Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Some things you just can't measure...

I realize that statistics and studies are how we like to analyze things. We take 1,000 people from XYZ demographics, ask them a series of controlled questions and make conclusions and take notes on the results. We repeat this process throughout an area, a city, a state or a country and get a result we consider to be "as thorough and accurate as possible". We use this data to support our arguments.

This can work effectively for lots of things. How many cars do you own, how many kids do you have (hell that question can be complicated for some), do you own your home, etc, etc. To an extent, relationships and marriage can be measured this way as well. How many have you had? Have you ever been divorced? However, when we start talking about how healthy relationships are, are they meaningful, did you mature or grow as a person or help your partner do so? No. Numbers don't cut it.

Some relationships are meant to end. Some aren't healthy at all yet people continue to willingly submit themselves to the negative attention and\or abuse that they receive. Whether that's a marriage or an open relationship, or just a fling you see occasionally, how would that reflect on a survey or as a statistic?

I support the idea of a healthy relationship, whatever that means for you, whether its monogamy, poly, open, or whatever. I could not function in anything but a monogamous relationship. Hugo Schwyzer wrote a great post on monogamy and I completely agree with this view on things. I know my limits and my rules. I've broken them in the past and reaped the consequences. I've learned and I've grown with my wife through those experiences. Has our relationship always been healthy and happy, a nurturing and growing experience? No, it hasn't. Relationships are hard. They take work, real work and dedication. 

Were we to get divorced tomorrow, I would become yet another statistic to someone saying "monogamy doesn't work" or "we aren't wired for monogamous relationships". However, if you asked me was it meaningful? Was it worth it? This woman has changed my world and my being more drastically and positively than any single person in my life. Put that in your report.


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