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I’m sitting by the pool sipping a drink that will most likely decline my sensibilities when I decided to make an observation. This resort is packed with both new and mature couples as they’ve decided to make this resort, the destination and headquarters for their quality time together. While it may very well be their vacation, I couldn’t help but notice most couples struggle to pay attention to one another versus the surroundings. When I say surroundings, I mean the scantily clad, eye candy that paraded through the resort. Men and women alike struggled to stay focused while creatively canvassing the perimeter. This observation is a very common one and points out what we already know. Attractions get attention. It’s very natural to look at other people that you’re attracted to although you may be in a monogamous relationship. But that’s just a look right? There’s no harm in that. After all; everyone does it. It’s perfectly human right? What about monogamy? Why if it’s natural to be attracted to other people, is it also natural to want to be in an intimate relationship with more than one person?

Theologians, scientist and historians have chronicled and dissected this topic for centuries. Scientist contends that monogamy among humans as it is with most animals is the exception rather than the rule. In many countries throughout the world like South Africa, The Sudan, South Asia, India, Thailand etc , polygamy is practiced and supported by creative interpretations of religious doctrine and has some variations (polygyny, polyandry or group marriage)

The normal response when a topic like this is brought up is one full with passion and anger. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if there were issues with infidelity that came up in their past relationships. However the notion of monogamy not being natural isn’t being created to introduce the act of infidelity. Whether or not monogamy is natural is important to empower us to understand ourselves on a deeper level, not to condone infidelity. A natural urge doesn’t make it morally justifiable.

Infidelity crisis in marriages and all relationships is very common. If you were to do an informal survey and ask all of your friends if they have cheated on their mate or have been cheated on, your response will provide a startling and disheartening statistic. It begs the question “are we as a society so morally corrupt or are we fighting a losing battle to nurture a monogamous culture”?

One silver lining in this otherwise grey cloud is the fact that most acts of infidelity are not affairs of the heart. It isn’t due to a lack of love but perhaps a lack of discipline, maturity or character. In this case, it may be fair to mention that your former lover, spouse may have just been acting naturally, responding to their natural urges.

It is difficult to obtain data to support just how many men and women really are monogamous because people don’t tell the truth. However it is estimated that at least half if not more are not monogamous despite being in a monogamous relationship. Being monogamous is rare and requires a great deal of work, love and discipline. Monogamy can be challenging for various reasons. There are many temptations and situations that can make it difficult for those that are trying to stay on the straight and narrow path. Infidelity can be the result of a desire for new, or different, lust or something lacking from the relationship. Men tend to be lean on the social bias that prevails and have sex out of the relationship because there may be an opportunity whereas women may have sex out of the relationship for more strategic reasons. It may be to get someone that is a better mate, more attractive, higher class or power.

It’s 2010 and the debate on whether or not monogamy is natural, remains one of the most controversial topics to discuss. Whichever side of the coin you’re on, you should probably have a consider some of these tips before your theoretical disagreement turns into a scene from Jerry Springer or Cheaters.

1. Do an inspection- Do you want to have more than one mate? Would you be offended if your mate was seeing someone else? Is this an historic issue or situational. Your desire to see someone else can be derived from the lack of desire for your mate or has this always been an issue for you?

2. Discuss and Define- Talk about your feelings. While you may be in a monogamous relationship, it’s important to know how your mate feels about this topic. You may need to provide positive reinforcement and support to keep them encouraged about being in a monogamous relationship.

3. Don’t be afraid- Being open and honest about your true feelings around monogamy can get you to a more intimate place with your mate. You may discover that you both may want to have a different kind of relationship or perhaps you aren’t on the same page. Fear of a break up or acceptance usually breeds dishonesty. The clearer you are on the issues, the more likely you will be in a relationship that caters to your real interest and desires.

Sophia Avery, MA and Donavan Sterling West are a dynamic Relationship Counseling team! If you’d like further information, discussion or a Relationship Counseling session, please call us at visit our website at AND become a fan of the Avery-West Counseling team! Visit our page on FaceBook at