Don’t take monogamy for granted

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There are so many messages I wish I had heard before I got married for the first time at the age of 23. While my first wife and I did receive some pre-marital counseling, the few points I can remember all seem trivial now. While I’m not a therapist of any kind, I often like to imagine what I would tell a young couple if I had the chance.

I’m so glad you’ve come to see me. There is a lot to discuss before two people get married. …


How would I even know?

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What do Wayne Gretzky, George Clooney, and Barack Obama have in common?

They are all accomplished, successful, famous men. They are all good looking and wealthy. Each one has been awarded the highest honor in their field: four Stanley Cups, two Academy Awards, one Nobel Prize.

Oh, and there’s one other commonality they share. They were all born in 1961, the same year I was.

It’s natural to compare ourselves to our peers. It starts before we’re even aware of it when our parents anxiously track our ability to walk and talk relative to other infants. …


Owning someone else’s sexuality is just wrong.

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I’d like to open with a little story.

Imagine Person A marries Person B in a traditional ceremony. Person B is a kind, generous partner, supportive in every way. They do more than their share of the household chores and bring a good income into the home. Person A tells everyone how happy they are with the relationship. Person A is envied by their friends.

It turns out, however, that once a month, for years now, Person B has been engaging in safe sex with an old friend. This goes on in secret until an incriminating text message is mistakenly…


A secret autobiography in seven chapters

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All of us have subterranean narratives running through our lives, private biographies that play out over decades. From digestion to personal hygiene, these things are rarely spoken about. Yet they have their own highs and lows, sometimes dramatically informing our lives while remaining invisible even to those who know us best.

Pornography is like that. While not relevant to everyone, its pursuit says something about who we are when nobody is looking. It’s arguably more expressive of our core identities than the usual ways we define ourselves: hobbies, careers, favorite bands, etc.

Those of us of a certain vintage may…


When adult kids move back home.

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Talking about the pandemic in a recent interview with Brené Brown, President Barack Obama said, “My daughters have been with us for months now, and I’m fine with it.” He imagines telling them, “Just move in. There’s no reason for you ever to leave”.

Brown replied, “Oh man, me too!”

Who are these people?

The pandemic has brought all kinds of misery worldwide. Too many have paid with their lives and their livelihoods. The lucky ones have merely had to put up with inconveniences like restaurant closings and ‘mask acne’.

But among these myriad inconveniences is a phenomenon only whispered…


Five suggestions for those who believe it’s possible.

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If you think the words adultery and integrity exist at opposite ends of the moral spectrum, you should probably skip this article. If, however, life has taught you that nothing is simple, that we sometimes find ourselves having to navigate impossible waters, you just might relate.

Having had two major affairs during my previous marriage, I learned a few things about this unique relationship dynamic. Perhaps you are at a point in your life where my perspective can be helpful.

As strange as it may sound, my advice is based on the assumption that you have high moral aspirations. You…


What if what you want feels embarrassing or shameful?

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Sex is all about vulnerability. At its most basic, we take off our clothes — our armor — and expose the most delicate parts of ourselves to each other. When we think of our earliest ancestors on the African savanna, copulating involved putting their very lives at risk.

And that’s just the physical part. Yes, we shed layers of bodily protection to have sex, but the emotional dimension can be even more powerful than the physical. That seems to be where real connection happens.

I‘ve been thinking about that a lot lately. I’ve always considered emotional vulnerability to be about…


Getting it right the second time.

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When I left my first marriage, I immediately started a new relationship. This was exactly what I’d always told myself I wouldn’t do.

In the quarter-century since I got married as a young man, a fabulous scientific invention had been birthed into the world. No, I’m not talking about the Hubble Space Telescope or the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, but something more revolutionary.

Online dating.

Sure, getting a better look at our solar system’s exo-planets and identifying the Higgs Boson have been important, but nothing is more significant to our lives than our intimate relationships. …


What do they say about us?

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I’d like to start today’s article with a reading from the Bible. Please turn with me to Genesis chapter 19, as I begin to read from verse 33 about Lot and his two daughters: “That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and slept with him. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, ‘Let’s get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and sleep with him’.”

Nothing beats the Bible for depravity, does it? And I mean that as a compliment.

Surely one of the secrets of…


The stories we tell about infidelity

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So much of our thinking about our lives seems to concern self-vindication. When it comes to conflict, we tend to tell stories that put us on the side of right and the other party on the side of wrong. Unambiguously.

We don’t lie to ourselves, exactly, but we carefully filter the truth for the facts that support our version of events. We effortlessly craft good guy/bad guy narratives, and guess who usually ends up wearing the white hat?

You know those stories: the Saint versus the Sociopath. Apparently one side did nothing wrong, while the other side did everything wrong…

Liam MacAdam

Liam MacAdam is the male half of the couple responsible for the Monogamish Marriage blog. You can e-mail him at TheMonogamishMarriage@gmail.com

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