More than just a recent trend, more than some abstract that applies to certain cultures or religious traditions, monogamy, it seems, is on the outs with the American people.
In recent years, studies have shown that married couples are rejecting the notion of monogamy, and an equal number of studies have shown the opposite. So what do you believe? Married couples, listen closely: What do you WANT to believe about your partner?
Conservative sources report homosexuality is most compatible with promiscuity in committed relationships. I dont want to ruffle any feathers, but these sources are wearing rose-colored blinders. The desertion of monogamy is as apparent in gay couples as it is in straight ones.
Homosexuals, it may well be, are used to derision from the holier than thou crowd, so they carry on relationships openly and unabashedly. Most Conservatives hide it a whole lot better. Why not? They have the weight of the church threatening to crush them if their misdeeds are revealed.
This American Life, the NPR produced program originating out of Chicago, did an episode dedicated to the topic of monogamy in mainstream America as long ago as 1998. Their findings pointed out a significant news story that was lost amid the Lewinsky scandal.
Roy Romer, governor of Colorado and the Democratic Party chair, had carried on an affair for nearly two decades with his family's full knowledge and cooperation.
The NPR program went on to profile several couples that had chosen open relationships, and the psychological effects were outlined.
New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey was thrown out of the closet recently amid blackmail threats from his Israeli lover. Friends of the family claim that McGreeveys wife Dina Matos was wholly oblivious.
Many people choose to have affairs in secret, but just as many choose to do it loud and do it proud.
My great-grandfather, now ailing, recently spoke of a decades old affair within the family. His nephew had impregnated a black woman.
More power to him, he laughed, even as news of his wife's cancer still echoed in his ears.
I don't know a married man today who hasn't flirted, grabbed, or winked sideways at me...
Take "Brad and Janet.
Brad is your average forty-something male, going through a mid-life crisis. He constantly paws at me.
Janet, on the other hand, has been a great friend of mine for years. She wants to introduce me to her son's gym teacher because she says he is too good to be single.
You like him, I chuckled.
Yeah, but don't tell Brad.
People look, I said.
Don't tell him. I don't want him to know, she insisted.
So is the state of the union really all HIS fault?
I would offer that casualness and emotional detachment are more common in men than women. Men are readily able to sever sex from love. Women, meanwhile, are getting the hang of it. My friend Stacy is a prime example.
In her search for the ideal man, she snagged loser after loser. Finally, Stacy settled into an easy rhythm (Its fun!) with a friend of hers, a man who is chin-deep in a long-term relationship with a female investment banker.
If monogamy is cast aside for fun, then can a long-term affair yield any positive results, other than the release of sexual tension? Is that really wrong? Why do so many men complain about hum-drum sex, about boredom in the bedroom with the woman they promised to cherish forever?
So many questions, so few answers. Dr. Nigel Cummerbund, British sexpert, agreed to do an interview with me for my column on MBC. I never had the courage to call him back!
Fear or no fear, I do think lasting love is a worthwhile goal. With most, but not all, of the precincts reporting in, the state of the union is a positive one.
All relationships deepen with time and should be strong enough to withstand the universal tendency to stray.
Ladies, tie him up! (he may like that, anyway).
And always, ALWAYS, cast a sideways glance at the girl who lives down the street...