Here’s a therapy mindfuck if ever I read one — after you’ve been cheated on and you want to reconcile the marriage — strive for a “new monogamy.”
This nonsense in today’s Huffington Post (which could really keep me in material indefinitely) by Dr. Tammy Nelson. The same person who gave you: “Affairs happen because of opportunity.” No, you quack — they happen because of entitlement. Lack of character. Opportunity is everywhere — on every bar stool, office cubicle, and online dating service. What keeps our fingers in the dyke against an onslaught of “opportunities” are boundaries and a moral compass.
Apparently not. When your partner goes slunking off after (cough) opportunity, according to Dr. Nelson, you’re supposed to own what you did to drive them away from the marriage, recommit! and strive for a New Monogamy.
What part of monogamy does Nelson not understand? The “mono” part? It means “alone,” “single,” “ONE.”
When monogamy is broken – it is broken! Like virginity, monogamy is a one-time thing. You’ve either fucked or you haven’t. The New Monogamist is every bit as deranged as the Born Again Virgin. You’re fervently wishing that defining event didn’t happen and so you’ll just spackle yourself a new name and pretend that it didn’t. What? You’re not convinced by my new branding campaign?
Assuming you can reconcile (I do believe in unicorns, I do!), I would think radical honesty is essential. “I fucked around because I wanted to. I put your health and well-being far beneath my desires. It was not a loving act. I didn’t love you while I did it, I loved me.” These are all things I would need to hear — not some blame shifting crap of how their Needs Were Not Met and I drove them to it.
And I certainly would not want to sit in a chair, shattered and vulnerable, across from a shrink like Dr. Tammy Nelson who wants me to own my part in this abuse and paint me a happy, ever after — in which after some hard conversations, gosh, we have insight into how we both suck, but now we can rebuild towards a New Monogamy.
If monogamy means anything, there should be gravitas when it is broken. In this therapy model, no, monogamy is like one of those avatars in World of Warcraft — you can kill it over and over and over again, but it comes back from the dead, ready for a new game.
Fuck that shit.