Friday, March 19, 2010

"Oscar Curse" or new discussions for your relationship?

I've been reading all the scandalous gossip swirling around Hollywood's sweetheart, Sandra Bullock and her not so sweet husband, Jesse James. His alleged affair with tattoo model Michelle "Bombshell" McGee is a nauseating, overwhelming, and completely un-shocking chapter in the world of guilty pleasures. But as much as I would like to comment on the details, I am already tired of the story. What I do find interesting is the combination of a this "breaking news" in the aftermath of Sandra Bullock's Oscar win as best actress (yes, I know it's officially "actor"), to the interview between Best Supporting Actress Oscar winner Mo'nique and Barbara Walters.

We are so quick to talk about the cheating husband, the poor unsuspecting wife, and the slutty mistress, but nobody is talking about the happily married couple in a self-proclaimed "open marriage."

Here's a woman who is confident enough to NOT SHAVE her hairy legs, and says an affair is not a deal breaker in their relationship. I salute the strength and honesty of Mo'nique. I think her attitude and outlook on marriage, especially in Hollywood is a much more realistic approach to the unnatural agreement of monogamy.

Yes, I said UNnatural. Humans are not monogamous by nature. We have been socially programmed to be monogamous as a survival tactic. Long before religion had a say in how we should be committed to one another, evolution played a role in determining the optimal relationship status for humans. Homo sapiens were in danger of becoming extinct, there was a strong desire to procreate and speculation suggests that had early man been monogamous, that inbreeding would have done our species in.

Marriage is a relatively modern concept: a contractual agreement before God and country that two people promise to practice monogamy and remain partners til death. For this promise, they receive status and tax benefits... sounds romantic doesn't it?

Sandra Bullock proclaimed her love for Jesse James, and thanked him at nearly every recent acceptance speech I can think of. She obviously bought into the whole monogamy thing, and yet he allegedly has not.

Mo'nique and Sydney Hicks have publicly claimed they have an open marriage. She told Barbara Walters on her Oscar interview that if either of them wanted to have an affair with another person that it would not jeopardize their marriage.

So, for all of you in relationships, I think it's the perfect time to discuss these two award winning actresses and decide which one you'll be. Will you be the lead actor in a role, getting blindsided when you discover that your supporting actor isn't who you thought he was, or will you be happily fulfilled as a best supporting actress to your lifelong partner?

Let's face it folks, there are two kinds of lovers out there, one who is dedicated to and capable of monogamy, and those who aren't. The problem is, most people don't find out if their spouse is on the same page until it's too late. Mo'nique has blazed a trail to openly discuss marriage with your partner. Whether or not you decide to walk down the path to truth is up to you.


Anonymous said...

I think that you summed it up well with simply; Is the couple on the same page? I am surprised that Sandra Bullock was "blindsided" by this. When they first got together I saw that coming a mile away. I love Jesse James, but...c'mon!

I don't believe, however, that this is a result of the flawed nature of monogamy. If we are "programmed" to be monogamous, then we are programmed to use the toilet, have manners, better ourselves, strive to make the world a better place and not abandon our children when they are old enough to fend for themselves. All these things and many more go against our nature, but I have always believed that to be a very "human" quality.

Full disclosure is paramount in any relationship, whether that involves extra-marital affairs, finances, or whether or not to have children.

It is really simple, at 40+ years old Sandra Bullock should have known what she was getting into. On the other hand, we don't know what kind of discussions they had as a couple, he could have promised his undying fidelity on many occasions....who knows? To me, any breach of trust, financially, sexually...whatever, is a symptom of a greater problem. Something in that relationship is missing.

The one thing we sometimes overlook is that there are a fair number of marriages, "Hollywood" or otherwise that do quite well, monogamous or not. They are not reported on as often but they're out there.

One thing that can be said in regards to the train wrecks we do read about is that it's just another reminder to the rest of us. Have we done what it takes to make our own relationships successful in what ever way we have defined "success" for ourselves.

Miyoko said...

I agree with your statement about full disclosure. Honest, open communication is necessary in my book, but let's face it, many people are unable to be honest when the "stuff" hits the fan. We have an innate response to act in fear, insecurity, or with more lies.

Whether Sandra Bullock should've "known better" is irrelevant. We generally don't know better until we've been burned, and who's to say at what decade in life that burning takes place.

Our human nature provides the need to empty our bladders, but we evolved socially as colonies were formed, and the need to dispose of this waste became an issue.

I agree that as humans we strive to be better than our animal instincts for the sake of society, but at what cost? Serial monogamy runs rampant in this country. Men and women are marrying and divorcing multiple times, creating broken homes and extended families. I am not saying that is bad, unacceptable, or detrimental to society, but I am also not one to say that monogamy is the ONLY option for married couples. Polygamy (as featured by Big Love on HBO), polygany, polyamory, and homogamy are practiced, whether legal or not.

While Tiger Woods and Jesse James try to be married in the "ideal" world, Monique and Sydney have made an agreement that works for them.

Ultimately we both agree that this is an opportunity to look at our relationships and discuss with our partners what we expect, and are capable of, in our commitments to one another.