Monogamy - A Spiritual Teachers Perspective
By Robert Burney

"We live in a society where sex is somehow shameful and should not be talked about - but we use sex to sell cars. That is backwards. Human sexuality is a blessed gift to be honored and celebrated not twisted and distorted into something demeaning and shameful."

"Trying to get our emotional needs met through sex does not work. It is dysfunctional. Human sexuality is a blessed gift when it is in balance with the emotional, mental and Spiritual. This is an emotionally dishonest society which knows very little about True, healthy emotional intimacy."

"The gift of touch is an incredibly wonderful gift. One of the reasons we are here is to touch each other physically as well as Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Touch is not bad or shameful. Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic life test. Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring our powerful human desires and needs, is - in my belief - a sadly twisted, distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving God-Force.

We need to strive for balance and integration in our relationships. We need to touch in healthy, appropriate, emotionally honest ways - so that we can honor our human bodies and the gift that is physical touch.

Making Love is a celebration and a way of honoring the Masculine and Feminine Energy of the Universe (and the masculine and feminine energy within no matter what genders are involved), a way of honoring its perfect interaction and harmony. It is a blessed way of honoring the Creative Source."

Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

A friend sent me an e-mail a few months ago, asking me what I thought of polyamory. This is a belief system that holds it is possible to have emotionally and sexually intimate relationships with more than one person at a time. Or as I have seen it described: "responsible non-monogamy."

In my reply to her I stated that I had heard of it but did not really know a lot about it - and that I wondered how many people living that life style have ever done any healing of their childhood wounds. And then I shared with her an excerpt from my online journal which I am going to expand for this article.

Someone once said to me, that they thought monogamy was a screwed up concept that was a result of the shame around sexuality that has been so strong in Western Civilization. This person - who was a man (surprise) - thought that monogamy was unnatural.

There has certainly been a great deal of shame associated with sex in Western Civilization. This is especially true of America with it's Puritan heritage.

I told him that I had no idea what sex in a healthy society would be like. Perhaps in the fantasy land where everyone is Spiritually connected, everyone is emotionally healthy and in touch with their connection to everything - perhaps there, we Spiritual Beings could truly enjoy this experience of being in body by being sexual with anyone and everyone we felt like. I have no way of knowing what a healthy Spiritually evolved society would look like.

I then told him, that given the societies we grew up in, given the emotional dysfunction and wounding that we experienced, I did not think anything but monogamy had a chance of being healthy. That the only people I knew who could be sexual a lot with a lot of different partners, either were using drugs and alcohol, or were acting out addictively because of their emotional wounding. (And I was not just referring to sex addicts here, I also include love or relationship addicts who feel desperately incomplete alone and use their sexuality to try to get the love they are starved for - looking for love in all the wrong places and accepting sex when they really want love.)

The first challenge for us in recovery is to start learning how to be emotionally honest and intimate with our self - which means we also need to develop a healthy concept of, and relationship with, our self. This is a process that takes some time - as we learn to practice intellectual discernment in changing the dysfunctional programming from childhood, and emotional discernment that allows us to have internal boundaries so we can grieve our wounds and disarm the emotional mine field within us related to opening our hearts to another human being. To be able to do that with another person whom we are attracted to romantically / physically, who is also healing their relationship with self - is an incredible gift, and a rare opportunity. The more people that get into recovery on the level where they are healing their inner child wounds, the more chance that we can find someone who is doing this work.

Uncovering and healing all the different levels of dysfunctional programming and emotional wounds in regard to our own gender and sexuality - and changing how we relate to people that we are attracted to - is a process that takes time and energy. To think we could develop the needed level of emotional intimacy to engage in sexual activity in a healthy way with multiple partners is kind of insane in my opinion. To engage in sexual activity without developing healthy emotional intimacy is codependent and dysfunctional most of the time.

I specifically said "most of the time," because sometimes it can be the path to developing a healthy relationship. So many of us learned to jump right into the sexual relationship without knowing how to be emotionally intimate, and most of the time - because one (or both) of the partners are not willing to do the healing - that will end up leaving us feeling empty and beating ourselves up for another "mistake." If however, two people who are in recovery jump into a sexual relationship, it may be the stimulus that forces them to learn how to develop healthy intimacy. Sometimes two people who are not in recovery from their childhood issues will be led into recovery to heal their wounds because of a sexual encounter - if both people are willing to do the work.

Whatever the circumstances, healing ourselves and developing a healthy relationship with another person who is healing, takes an investment in time and energy that is huge - just to do it with one person. I have a hard time understanding how it could be done with multiple partners.

I just really don't know what healthy sexuality would look like for emotionally healthy people. I don't know any emotionally healthy people - just people who are in the process of learning to be emotionally healthy. What I do know, is that our childhood role modeling, emotional trauma, and intellectual programming causes codependency - which involves having a myriad of dysfunctional relationships inside of our self before we ever attempt to relate to another human being.

As I say towards the top of the home page of my web site

"Codependency is about having a dysfunctional relationship with self! With our own bodies, minds, emotions, and spirits. With our own gender and sexuality. With being human. Because we have dysfunctional relationships internally, we have dysfunctional relationships externally.

Codependency is an emotional and behavioral defense system which our egos adapted in early childhood to help us survive. We were raised in shame based, emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environments by parents who were wounded in their childhood's by patriarchal, shame based civilization that treated children and women as property."

There are layers of wounding that need to be peeled off gradually as we do the healing and change the dysfunctional programming. We all have huge fear of intimacy issues because the first people we opened our hearts to - our parents - were wounded, and in turn they wounded us. In several places in my writing, I note that in my opinion romantic relationships are the greatest arena for Spiritual growth available to us - because being romantically, sexually involved with another person pushes all our buttons, triggers all of our deepest wounds and strongest defenses. For one person in codependency recovery to develop a romantic relationship with another recovering person, is a process that evolves over time and involves a lot of hard work - and a lot of emotions.

To find one recovering person who is willing to put in the time and effort, who is also someone we are attracted to emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically, is an incredible gift in my opinion. I really can't see it happening with several people at once.

I, personally, don't see how it would be possible for someone who was raised on this planet to have a healthy physically intimate, emotionally honest relationship with more than one person at a time. {Play}