Sandra Bullock: A Victim of the Monogamy Myth

We’ve all heard on the news about the breakup of Sandra Bullock and her husband Jesse James due to an extra-marital affair.


The news was surprising, some say shocking—but I wouldn’t rate it in this category, and most of all sad.  Sad because the disruption of this relationship affects not only the adults, but the children involved.  This turn of events will rattle their security, their home-life, and change the landscape of their lives.


Jesse James will be labeled the villain in this unfolding drama and rightly so if he was practicing deceit and deception.  The woman he is involved with, often referred to as “the tattooed lady” with a disgusting sniff and expression of contempt, will also be vilified—we haven’t’ gotten too far past the mentality of Nathaniel Hawthorne and “The Scarlet Letter”.  Hopefully no one will drag this woman out to the town square and brand her body with an “A”.


This very same drama is played out thousands of times all across the country, no—all over the world, but because the couples aren’t well-known celebrities, their experience is contained to the people directly involved.


Human beings are not naturally monogamous.


With the advent of Christianity and its mythology, there came the idea that the state of marriage would involve one man and one woman who would be with each other for the rest of their lives, and they would exclude all other people as sexual partners.


This was a new concept.  Up until then sexuality was embraced for what it is—a natural function, a deep-seated physical instinct, sometimes a sacred act, a physical show of love between two people, sometimes a group adventure, and often times something that was done for the pure enjoyment it brought.


Then the world took a sudden and some would say dark turn.  The Roman Church sought to squelch all that is human and spontaneous.  It sought to make us feel ashamed of the female form; ashamed of most bodily functions; it vilified women and blamed them for the wanderlust that made men lose control; it made the charge that women were the reason evil was brought into the world; and it sought to control very personal aspects of people’s lives—and this included their sexuality and their personal relationships.


And here we are, in modern times, still struggling with these concepts. 


What does this have to do with Sandra Bullock and her husband? 


She can look at this predicament in two ways:


First, not every couple is meant to be together for the rest of their lives.  I believe that we are meant to be with a particular person during a particular phase of our life for a variety of reasons—but not necessarily forever.  People change, their circumstances change, and emotions metamorphose.  Relationships often come to natural conclusions; they run their course, with or without extra-marital affairs.  Lessons are learned, new experiences are filed away, and we move on, hopefully gaining some personal growth and wisdom in the process.


This is one way to look at this situation- the couple’s time together has come to an end, the reasons karma brought them together in the first place have played out.  It’s time to retreat for personal reflection and healing and to move on.


The alternative ending, one that I doubt very much to be feasible, is the fact that monogamy is not a reality will be accepted, discretions forgiven, new boundaries set for the future, and a continuation of the marriage could resume, albeit set in a new form.

4 thoughts on “Sandra Bullock: A Victim of the Monogamy Myth

  1. It would be nice if we could depend completely and surely on integrity, but unfortunately, too often this isn’t the case– as I’m sure many of us have experienced first hand.

    I can also say that, quite honestly, in over 50 years, I’ve only met one long-term couple that was truly happy with each other and their relationship.

    I’m afraid that the majority of couples are trying desperately to live up to some impossible standard, and making themselves frustrated, bewildered, and miserable in the process.

  2. There are also couples who have been together 30, 40, 50 years and while they have weathered some rough patches – they are happy – not just moderately tolerant but HAPPY…They have a joy, and a peacefulness because they are walking this rocky road we call life, with the right partner.

    My views on sex and monogomy aside…. Damn straight in a marriage it is expected and reuired. When one CHOOSES to commit to a relationship that is monogomous, weather your desires get distracted or not, it is your integrity that should keep you from straying on your commitment of fidelity.

    It is about your word. And if your word means nothing because ‘by nature’ we want more than one person…That’s an excuse for very bad behavior, and frankly it cuts both ways….women stray too and do not for a second think it’s that much less often than men do….Men may follow their sexual needs and desires and women do as well but MORE women stray to find attention, companionship etc that she lacks at home with hubby….foolish error as if she were with her ‘Prince de Affair’ full time, she would find that he too is distracted by life and not fully attentive.

    A secure honorable person – be they male or female – does not stray – even if their hormones want more because it is about being honorable.

    Infidelity may be a human weakness we can learn to forgive but no way in hell will I ever say that it is our nature to break our word…and our world.

  3. I’ve seen a few couples that were very proud of the decades they had spent together– so proud of the 25, 30, or 50 years. But the reality was they couldn’t stand each other and were incredibly unhappy living with each other. Yet somehow this was a ‘numbers game’ and they felt as though they had achieved something by just staying together so long…I don’t get this at all.

  4. Thank you for posting this my sister….It is refreshing to hear the truth about “relationships” and sex..the way they are trully meant to be understood. We have such pre-concieved notions about it all…due to what society tells us is the “norm”…along with various religious institutions…

    Blessed Be…Amythyst

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