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Spring and Monogamy

Spring and Monogamy
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BY DON PORTOLESE

Good God, it’s spring and the pink fleshy petals of our sexuality open like the blossoms of the cherry trees that dot our sun-soaked streets.  This is the time when our middle-aged mojo kicks back into gear as we wake from our hibernation.  Women and men run around scantily clad, desperate to show off their spring fashions and their newly earned curves.  We feel young again and, for many, the desire to screw our way back to youth becomes nearly an imperative. Unfortunately, during this time of year, the increase in blood flow to all the right places (but our brains) can be disorienting and obfuscate rational thought.

Spring is the time of year when the seeds are planted for the end of many relationships. We are so intoxicated by biological impulses and possibilities, both real and imaginary, that we sometimes make hasty decisions regarding our relationships. It is at this time that those of us who have been married or in a relationship for some time contemplate asking for a period of marital amnesty from our lovers. If we could only have a month to live out our fantasies, in the long run, we would be better husbands or wives, boyfriends or girlfriends.

While these thoughts are perfectly natural, many people who are in relationships refuse to acknowledge them. These people feel we should never discuss how we might find other men or women attractive for fear we might offend or lose the person we are with. As a result, we bury these urges deep within ourselves, until the pressure becomes too great and we sex-plode.

In spring and summer there is no end of temptation, and that is why we really need to reflect on our relationships and our priorities. We must consider this from both points of view. First the temptation: Is satiating that nagging desire to ditch our significant other and go on a sex-athon really that important? On the other side of the spectrum, if our partner succumbs to these urges and has a fling with someone else, is that really the end of the world and our relationship?

The consequences of this shallow and overly moralistic thinking are placing monogamous relationships on the endangered species list. In this disposable society we live in, it is incredible to see how easily people are able to end their relationships without fully understanding who their partner is and what he or she needs. These break ups may be for legitimate reasons, but one has to wonder as the ranks of the divorced and separated swell, whether, as a society, we are losing our grasp on what is truly important in a relationship.  Let’s face it; monogamy is just not a simple thing; it requires constant work and, above all, trust and communication.

We should foment that trust by being honest with our partners. And that means we must be open about things that our partners might not like to hear. When we try to bury our natural urges or don’t communicate when our needs are not being met, our relationships break down. These days with so many things pulling us this way and that, it is easy to understand how communication in a relationship can breakdown. However, we must realize this: the reason people don’t communicate is because they don’t try or simply don’t want to.

If we feel the puddle-lust of spring tugging at us or notice that our partner’s mind and eyes are wandering, there is even more need for communication. Rather than succumbing to temptation we can try to talk things through. And, in the event that we do succumb, we should be willing to open up the lines of communication no matter how much it hurts. Instead of giving our partner his or her walking papers, we should be trying to figure out if this was a moment of weakness or a long term problem that will never be mended. Let’s face it, people, we are human beings and biology runs contrary to our moralistic views on monogamy. It’s one thing if your partner doesn’t care enough to remain faithful; it’s completely another if he or she succumbs to temptation in a moment of weakness.

Before we overreact and throw a beautiful life together down the toilet because our partner had a moment of indiscretion, it’s important to think about what we share with our current partner. Are we compatible? Do we enjoy spending time together? Do we have similar interests? Temperaments? Senses of humor? We need to understand that these commonalities are far more difficult to come by than a meaningless evening of sex.

No matter how many springs we have lived through and survived with our partners, we still have difficulty understanding that we are humans and these urges are far more natural and normal than our foolish attempts to repress them. Let’s get off our high moral horses and just try to understand each other.  Enjoy this time with the people you enjoy spending time with. With sound communication, you will make it through the bumpiest roads that this season has to offer.

 

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