I'm newly engaged. Which, because I'm an easily amused and obsessed pessimist, means that I am not obsessed with my wedding - but rather issues that can and do affect married people. If you're married, or have been, you're probably already way ahead of me and you are probably already bored with this drivel pouring from the keyboard of a 25 year-old monogamy novice, but still...here it is.
So what are these issues?
- Potential divorce
- Life insurance of spouse
- Joint bank accounts (we have a joint bank account...mine)
- Children (we've decided I'm preserving my genitals, if I could cryogenically freeze them I would, instead, I'm just going to adopt)
- The general maintenance of monogamy
Some of these things I may never have to deal with. Others, or all, I may. The one that is completely unavoidable and all people and couples deal with in varying ways is the general maintenance of monogamy.
Recently, several friends of mine have reached a point in their life that is full of foul marital downgrades. Either their own or of other close friends. Loss of libido, other intimacy issues, parenting disagreements, and life stage realizations and changes. Some will choose to get therapy, deal with them, appreciate their spouse and trudge down the road of "for better or worse". Others, will choose to hang up the towel and move on and create another life.
Overwhelmingly these issues have been sex related. I listen. I hear stories about no horrible defamation of the relationship, no horrible wrong was done, no great upset created by either party. The female just decides she doesn't like sex any more, but she is still in love.
This has got to make the other in the party feel a bit disenfranchised, a bit fooled. However, the female typically feels somewhat vindicated by society. Other females empathize and agree. Comedians(ennes) commiserate. Sitcoms mock, middle-aged radio DJs make euphemistic references to the same situation - it doesn't even need to be spelled out. It's just common - after a while, women don't like sex.
So I must ask: do women stop enjoying sex because they really don't enjoy sex with their partner any longer? Or do they stop because it sounds like it's okay to stop?
We mock fat people because it's the last acceptable prejudice.
Maybe this is the same situation.
Just like being fat is a symptom of our superpower advantage of having as much shitty food around as we possibly want, maybe losing desire to fuck your husband is a result of having so many condolences around us all the time. Both are overwhelmingly understandable and therefore universally understood.
But...but...but...I DON'T UNDERSTAND.
I've been in a relationship in which I no longer wanted to fuck the one I was with. He became repulsive to me. He did not make me feel beautiful. He made me feel like I was nothing but a ball and chain on his Oedipus leg. So, I broke up with him. I didn't marry him, obviously, and I shouldn't have. I also had a boyfriend whose secret non-verbal method of breaking up with me was just to stop having sex with me and let me figure it out. Figure it out I did. It was like I dumped myself. Now that's a mindfuck.
On the other hand, I cannot get enough of my finace. Largely because I will never forget what it's like to be treated like shit, and my fiance on the other hand, treats me like a gold encrusted diamond fused with rubies and sapphires and emeralds.
Maybe this didn't happen to most people. Maybe most people don't know what it's like to be the opposite of lucky.
It's very easy for me to sit here and say that this will never happen to me, this mysterious loss of libido. I have many reasons to believe that this is so, however, I do not know what happened in these other relationships. Maybe there was no abuse, verbal, emotional, or otherwise. I don't know. I will never know. I only wonder, what's this problem with monogamy? If you have it, you don't want it and show it in a variety of ways, and if you don't have it, you want it and humans are pretty fucking good at sabotaging getting it.
Historically, marriages succeeded (and the definition of success being solely that there was no divorce and one spouse didn't kill the other) because it was socially required. It's presently completely optional. Whether or not you want it is completely optional. It should not, and is faulted if it does, depend on what world allows you to do.
I can safely say that if my plan works, and my reason for believing that we can thwart a lot of standard marital issues that rear their bulbous heads over time, it will be because neither of us will forget what it was like to be the opposite of lucky. We feel insanely lucky. I know that part of our success has much to do with our remembrance of our failures, and others having failed us.
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- December 12
- Myth Maker
- A foul-mouthed commentator on life, society, politics, pop culture, and economics. I spend a lot of time in bars.
I wrote a manuscript about the perils of online dating and its ultimate cost to society. It's not published. Meh.
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