Marriage, Monogamy and Liz Taylor
“You don’t have to marry every boyfriend you have you know. What’s wrong with just having a good time and lots of shags?”
My friend just got married for the fifth time at 40. Her name is Elizabeth, which is very fortunate, as we all like to call her Elizabeth Taylor. In fact, I can’t even remember what her real surname name is now, as she always likes to change it to that of the latest husband.
Her marriages have all lasted between three months and five years, which is why no one understands why she keeps marrying them. Just because you are seeing a man and he asks you to marry him, it doesn’t mean you have to say yes.
She is very honest and says she marries them knowing it probably won’t last, but she enjoys the process of meeting someone new, falling ‘in love’ and going down the whole engagement and marriage route.
She’s even worn the same dress for the last two weddings and when ever you get something from her in the post, you are never sure if it will be a Christmas card or yet another wedding invite.
Funnily enough, none of her five husbands have shared her view that marriage is not forever (or not even until the end of the year) and they have all been devastated when she has left them – usually for the next husband that she has lined up. They all think they will be the one to change her, current husband included. And that is how she refers to him – “my current husband”.
I will put my hands up now and say that I have only ever been on nodding terms with monogamy for most of my adult life, and I don’t think that we are supposed to be with one person forever either – the difference is, I don’t go around marrying everyone I shag. Okay, so I have been proposed to seven times in my life – don’t be jealous though; two were drug addicts, one was borderline schizophrenic and the other one was a bass player. Out of seven proposals, I have married two, which is pretty good going – at one point I was on par with Kerry Katona age wise, number of marriages and number of kebabs eaten.
What if everyone is putting so much pressure on themselves to be monogamous when maybe, it’s not the way we are supposed to be? You just have to look at the number of people who have affairs. They can’t all be morally bankrupt, sporns of Satan – maybe they genuinely find it hard to stick with one person. Yes, the right thing to do would be to end one relationship before you move onto another, but when long term relationships and marriages are presented to us as the norm, it’s hard to break social convention and move from one partner to another.
People always say that it’s different when you meet the right person for you; that you will want to stay with that one person until the day you die and that you wont even feel the slightest temptation to cheat.
It always leaves me thinking “really? Really, one person, for years on end?”
You wouldn’t ever meet someone you found more attractive, or who you got on better with? And if you did, you wouldn’t pursue it?
What if you both change and end up wanting different things in life? Surely it’s better to part and do what you want to do than be miserable with having to compromise on your plans because the person you are married to doesn’t want the same things as you.
I am not advocating cheating in relationships, and I know my personal views on marriage and fidelity are questionable to say the least, but there are always more complexities to a relationship than can be seen from the outside.
Maybe my friend and Elizabeth taylor had it right after all.