"Will all those in Good Relationships please stand? Thank you, feel free to leave if this is not your story-you for whom long-term coupledom is a source of optimism and renewal, not emotional anesthesia. Though before anyone rushes for the exits, a point of clarification: a “good relationship” would probably include having-and wanting to have-sex with your spouse or spouse-equivalent on something more than a quarterly basis. (Maybe with some variation in choreography?) It would mean inhabiting an emotional realm in which monogamy isn’t giving something up (your “freedom,” in the vernacular) because such cost-benefit calculations just don’t compute. It would mean a domestic sphere in which faithfulness wasn’t preemptively secured through routine interrogations (“Who was that on the phone, dear?”), surveillance (“Do you think I didn’t notice how much time you spent talking to X at the reception?”), or impromptu search and seizure.
A “happy” state of monogamy would be defined as a state you don’t have to work at maintaining. After all, doesn’t the demand for fidelity beyond the duration of desire feel like work-or work as currently configured for so many of us handmaidens to the global economy: alienated, routinized, deadening, and not something you would choose to do if you actually had a choice in the matter?"