My doctor questioned my partner's fidelity

Heather Jauquet

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Are you in an exclusive relationship?

During a routine health check my doctor asked me, “Are you in a monogamous relationship?”

I replied with a confident, “Yes.” I wasn't prepared for her next question and her response shocked me.

“Is your partner in a monogamous relationship?” My reply was a stunned silence and then I laughingly asked, “Why wouldn’t he be? We’re married.”

She gave a non-committal shrugged. Wait, what? Did she just shrug? What does that mean?

Then I replied, “Well he damn well better be. We’re married.”

She delicately told me that some women find out after an appointment and specific test results that while they thought they were in a committed relationship, their partner was most definitely not and it led to some uncomfortable conversations.

When I got home, I had a long conversation with my husband. He, too, was surprised by the question. And yep, there was no doubt that we were in a monogamous relationship….with one another.

A Routine Test

Monogamy is defined as being married to one person at a time or having one intimate partner at a time.

Early in my marriage I went to a routine physical. As part of the appointment the doctor asks routine questions regarding your physical and mental health.

Any part of gynecological care is also going to test for STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). It’s part of the routine.

Unfortunately, some women don’t know that their partner has transferred an STD to them until they go to their routine checkup. It’s a nasty surprise when they found out. Shocking, I know.

Define the relationship

Monogamy is defined as being married to one person at a time or having one intimate partner at a time.

In order to avoid any surprises, it’s best to be up front with your partner and set boundaries to your relationship. If you want to be in a committed relationship with one another, share that information with your partner early in your relationship.

If he seems to be uncomfortable with the thought of being only with you, you might need to reevaluate your relationship.

What does a relationship mean to both of you? Are you going to be an exclusive couple, or are you leaving your options open?

What are your relationship goals? Is this a serious relationship or are you both just passing time? Do you plan on getting married some day? I

If one half of the relationship is only interested in casual dating and the other half wants something more, you’re probably not on the same page.

If you want to be monogamous, but he doesn’t, this might be a red flag. You should pursue a relationship where your partner is respectful of your feelings and your boundaries.

If you are uncomfortable that your partner is with someone else, then this is not the right situation for you.

Unless you are comfortable in being with everyone one he has been with, move on. Find someone who is interested in the same definition of relationship.

Signs that monogamy is right for you

  1. You are not interested in multiple partners or other intimate relationships.
  2. You like stability. You like knowing what to expect and already have a secure and established relationship with your partner.
  3. You easily become jealous if your partner appears to be interested in someone else.

Signs that your partner isn’t interested in monogamy

  1. Your partner feel strongly about having an open relationship. He or she wants to keep their options open. They are want to explore other relationships while being with you.
  2. Your partner has not been faithful. He has been participating in intimate relationships with other partners while also in a relationship with you.
  3. There aren’t clear boundaries or your partner does not respect your boundaries.
  4. Your partner does not like being limited to one person.
  5. Your partner is uncomfortable staying in one relationship.
  6. You partner has FOMO (fear of missing out).

My husband and I had been dating seriously for a few years and we were both sure pretty early on that this was IT. We were going to be with each other forever. I wasn’t one to date around or explore relationships. I know what I like and I stick with it. My husband is cut from the same cloth. We weren’t interested in other people.

A friend asked me if it was wise that I marry my one serious dating partner. She was on her third husband. It might have taken her three tries to find Mr. Right, but I was confident that I had found mine.

According to an article on polyamory on CBS News: “It's estimated that 4% to 5% of people living in the U.S. are currently participating in what's known as consensual or ethical non-monogamy a practice in which partners maintain more than one sexual or romantic relationship with each others' knowledge and consent.”

This is different from cheating. Both partners are aware of outside relationships. And it’s consensual if both parties agree to bring in one or more people to the relationship.

In the same article CBS News also reports: “According to a 2016 study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, about 20% of single U.S. adults reported that they have engaged in consensual non-monogamy at some point in their life.”

Call me old fashioned, but I like to stay with one partner. My husband and I have been together for almost 24 years. I like the stability and knowing what to expect each day.

Others might think it’s boring. Someone once compared having the same relationship for years as to having corn flakes everyday and asked maybe if I wouldn’t get bored. Maybe I’d like to try something new. No thanks. You can always jazz up corn flakes.

I like that I know that I’m his one and only and that he’s mine. There’s no one I’d rather be with for the long haul. There’s no suspicious, worries, or doubt and that’s worth everything.

Citations:

Jessica Kegu, Jason Silverstein. “Not Just ‘One Big Orgy’: Fighting the Stigma of Consensual Non-Monogamy.” CBS News, CBS Interactive, 24 Oct. 2019, www.cbsnews.com/news/polyamory-relationships-not-just-one-big-orgy-stigma-of-consensual-non-monogamy-cbsn-originals/.

Haupert ML;Gesselman AN;Moors AC;Fisher HE;Garcia JR; “Prevalence of Experiences With Consensual Nonmonogamous Relationships: Findings From Two National Samples of Single Americans.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27096488/.

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Certified educator K-12 and Reading Specialist with a focus on the adolescent brain. I write about how educational decisions affect parents, students, and staff. As an educator and parent I also focus on community events for the whole family.

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