I am writing during a time of unrest and unpredictability, globally. It is no coincidence then that there is unrest in my soul and likely in yours too. It makes me want to talk about monogamy and the mind. Why? Mostly because, during times of weirdness and we are uncomfortable it is easy to blame or look for cracks in the structures of our lives. Our brains always search for meaning. For many of us, the possible suspect responsible for that discomfort lands with ease on our monogamous partner – the person closest to us. Just because they are close. Even if that person is as ideally suited for us as a person can be. Perhaps the unrest is that we were supposed to be with someone else. In another town. That’s what the voice will say. They are such easy targets particularly when you factor in that we are likely not truly monogamous and one of the ways we settle our minds to the worldly chaos is to settle in to a slightly unnatural position with a person we like, but who is also equally as human. Surely they are to blame for (fill in the blank). In a past life I followed this impulse, the instant gratification, table toppling way of things to find that it doesn’t fix the problem. My imagination has always told me a creative, romantic, awesome story that cannot be met by reality because reality has unromantic requirements. Paying bills, shifting moods, bad weather, awkward conversations and hurt feelings. I hate hurting people’s feelings and made a promise to myself many, many years ago that I would never do that again and yet the unease comes. And goes again.
I find myself caught between two lines of thinking: 1) AEDPfC – a modality of couples counseling based on enlivening and promoting what you have in the partner you’re with (here’s looking at you David Mars – mentor and sweet soul) and 2) Esther Perel’s practical lens that sees monogamy as impractical and a bit outdated but just a part of the thing we do these days (and have for a long time for reasons unclear at times, to fill the gap community living left behind). If I was to say how I see things it’s a mix of the two – magic and reality and the blend is something that I seek every day in hopes of finding a nest in the world, a sense of contentment which is elusive. It makes disciplined lifestyles make sense but oh how boring that must be! What’s a life without the wild impulses? But how to rest into reality with them, without making a big mess? I don’t exactly have the answers to this (obviously) but staying in conversation with it makes it far less oppressive. Talking with my partner takes some of the air out of it as well, despite it being predictably challenging to all egos and culturally imposed frameworks. But it may be worth it. To evolve and stay open without being dragged around by the animal in my mind/body who is always sniffing out new, shiny or even old and not recently visited things. . .