By: Dani Langevin – September, 2011
For the record, the word marriage originated in medieval France in the mid-1200’s. The term marriage is not mentioned in the bible. At no time did whatever entity you believe in say that marriage was between one man and one woman. So, please, for the love of God, stop quoting that when there really is no quote to be quoted. Say that five times fast.
I do believe in marriage. Most insane adults do. I believe a marriage should be between two consenting adults who have fallen in love, cannot imagine their lives without one another, treat each other with respect and dignity and feel incomplete without the other in their life. PERIOD!
I love my wife. She makes me laugh every day. She tells me she loves me a little too much, but at least she loves me and respects me as I do her. I married her because we fell in love and because our state thankfully says we can. Between the two of us, we’ve turned the word ‘wife’ into a term of power and endearment instead of a term of subservience. I neither have the energy nor the desire to share my heart or my body with any other human being. Michelle, my wife, is the one person I have chosen to spend, make and waste time with until death do us part.
As a gay American, I consider myself quite liberal. I know this makes most of the readers of this conservative rag gag, but I recently read an article in The Advocate, a monthly magazine for the gay community, that made my liberal heart skip a beat and almost stop. It was entitled Monogamish. It was about how gay marriage is changing the institution of marriage for the better, but in this instance I couldn’t disagree more. As much as it makes me cringe to share this with the Valley Patriot’s conservative readership, I think it’s important for me, as a member of the gay community, to show and share that the majority of us are not trying to change the institution of marriage; we’re trying to preserve, honor and strengthen it.
According to writer Dan Savage, Monogamish is a term, “to signify committed relationships in which the partners are mostly monogamous, but there’s a little allowance for the reality of desire for others and a variety of experiences and adventure and possibility.” In other words, people in a monogamish relationship give one another permission to sleep around outside of their ‘marriage’ or bring another person or persons into their bed with their spouse. Yeah! I know! What?! I tried to be objective and open minded when reading this article, but I just couldn’t swallow that pill. I looked at all of my other relationships as a comparison. I have more than one sibling, more than one friend, and more than one child. I don’t feel like I am betraying my son because I love my daughter, or my sister because I love my brother, but this is just too liberal for even this dyke.
This is not a gay phenomenon. According to a study conducted by Brookings Institution as reported in The New York Times, 28% of heterosexual couples, 29% of lesbian couples, and 69% of gay male couples participate in monogamish relationships. I wonder what the study would show if political couples were surveyed. Oh, that’s right, those men: Clinton, Edwards, Gingrich, Hart, Schwarzenegger, and the Kennedys to name a few simply cheated. They didn’t have the decency to discuss the possibility of an open marriage with their wives.
But there in lies the problem: Open Marriage or Monogamish does not a marriage make. These are people who want their cake and eat it too. Many of these couples have children. Are they open about their philandering with their children? How do they explain and justify this to them? Marriage is a two adult deal. If there’s room for another adult in your bed then don’t get married. I got so angry reading this article because I felt it set the gay community back to before the 1970’s when homosexuality was thought to be a mental disorder and we were all sex addicts and deviants. All the gay couples in my life who have been legally married believe in and emanate a monogamous relationship unless, of course, they are not divulging information to my wife or me. This could be the case because according to the article, “divulging the bounds of an unconventional relationship can be akin to coming out of the closet.” I find that comparison insulting. Coming out of the closet is to be welcomed and celebrated. I think telling people that you are in one of these relationships is more like admitting you’re incapable of commitment and keeping your pants or skirts on.
Marriage between two committed adults be it man and woman, woman and woman, or man and man is to be accepted as good for continuing and preserving family values. Monogamish relationships push the envelope too much. This is just another disgusting display of a new generation that is incapable of saying, “No!”
Dani Langevin is our Valley Patriot Lesbian Columnist. She is a teacher at Methuen High School.