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Is Monogamy What it's About?


What the Marriage Toolbox presents below is admittedly oversimplified, not research-backed, not based upon any statistics and not validated or endorsed by a known name in the field. It is just one average person's thinking process which made a lot of sense and proved true to experience. Like with everything in The Marriage Toolbox, read this and let your thinking be stimulated and your ideas grow. If you find something that rings true for you or rings true in a new way, by all means use it in your life ASAP. Everything else? Discard it. It isn't true for you.

There are so many viewpoints on monogamy: it's good, it's bad, it doesn't make a difference, it's whatever the two people agree to, to list a few. I don't see monogamy as about good or bad or right or wrong but about where one's attention and focus is placed and if that's what is really wanted. Would you agree, that what you put your attention on and where you invest your energy is what gets your energy? Sure, this is a self-evident truth.


(I am going to be very elementary here for a moment, okay?) Take a 'one. Is a 'one' a relationship? No, of course not. A 'one' by itself is not connected or associated (American Heritage Dictionary) with another so it can't be a relationship. Take another 'one', is that a relationship? No for the same reasons. Now let's bring them together: 'one' and 'one' equals a 'two'. A relationship? Yes, together they are a relationship. They are each 'ones' but because they have become associated and connected, they are a relationship too.


How did they become a relationship? If each of the 'ones' had kept doing only what they had always been doing as 'ones', they would each still be just 'ones' and not together. But they got into a relationship so they must have done something different than they were doing. Yes, they gave themselves and received each other. Each 'one' had to focus energy for the other (giving) and had to receive energy from the other (receiving) and vice versa.

Would you agree then, that if the focusing of energy and attention is how the relationship originated and how it continues to stay together, then a change in focus and attention would affect the relationship?


What happens to the focus of a long-term committed intimate relationship when there is a non-monogamous choice: another partner, an affair, even if very short-term? Nothing someone said? Do you really think that while they are being intimate he/she is focusing on their spouse at home (guilty or conflicting feelings are not the same as the focus we talked about above)? I heard someone else say, "The attention/energy hasn't been with the relationship for some time". Maybe so, but that just means the focus has already was interrupted prior to the affair. This is about focus, where we one puts his/her attention and energy not affairs as such, which are just object s of one's focus.

When one spouse puts intimate energy outside the marriage, the focus and attention which founded the relationship and on which in one way or another it has continued to rely, has been put elsewhere. Another person is getting this spouse's energy.

Is this as simple and self-evident to you as it is me? Please know, that this has not been written to say that you should be monogamous. This is about what you two want together and how best to get it. This is about where energy is put and where results come from.


  • What a spouse gives attention to is what is attended to.
  • Where a spouse puts energy is where it goes.
  • The amount of energy a marriage receives has a lot to do with if it grows and how it grows.

*By the way, affairs can also be with work, religion, money, hobbies, oneself, and other things.

SEE ALSO: Affairs, Why? Early Warning Signs & Affair Prevention: Ten Tools

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