Biologists distinguish sexual monogamy from social monogamy. As DNA testing has grown cheaper in recent years, we’ve learned that most species formerly classified as “monogamous” (primarily birds) are socially monogamous, but not sexually so. In other words, they form pairs that cooperatively care for that season’s brood of young, but the male may well not be the biological father. Applied to humans, we argue that a more flexible approach to sexual fidelity can increase marital stability and thus lead to greater social and family stability.
The problem I have with this is that there are plenty of things humans do that aren't natural, but are all for the better. Such as not raping or pillaging, or other activities that primates excel at. Also, it's sort of hard to argue for any activity based on the fact that birds do it. Birds are cold. reptilian, beastly things with beautiful plumage. My other quibble is with the term "family stability" which seems to imply "married with children". I suppose I should mention here that my wife and I take a, um, "flexible approach to sexual fidelity", so I'm not really one to talk, but it's hard for me to think that people with children shouldn't be monogamous. Well, or be really good at keeping things from the kids, who likely wouldn't get non-monogamy.
This passage I find a bit irritating, for reasons I can't explain:
Another problem is that most people in the West marry because they’re “in love,” which is a temporary, blissfully delusional state we should enjoy, but not expect to last forever. As the German poet, Goethe put it, “Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing. A confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished.”Okay, well, I'll try to explain. It annoys me when people make the distinction between the initial thrill of falling in love and the day-to-day work of a romantic relationship and suggest the two are diametrically opposed. While that initial rush certainly fades, I find that it comes back in waves that are, let's be honest, much more manageable than the initial swooning and dizziness. Birthdays, weekends, anniversaries, other people's weddings: quite often I am blissfully and delusionally in love. The rest of the time, we're best friends who love each other deeply and like to screw. But I don't get where people get this idea that "love" disappears once you start doing laundry together.