My experiment was a simple one.
As a writer and advice columnist writing about sex and relationships, I have become a confessional of sorts for those wanting to tell me the inner workings of their romantic endeavors. I have spent hundreds of hours interviewing and listening to men and women in a quest to determine what makes one relationship fail while another flourishes.
Everyday we are bombarded with stories of spouses that look for sexual satisfaction elsewhere. In a world where instant gratification is the only thing we've become accustomed to having, it is easier than ever for married men looking to cheat to find a way to break the fidelity bonds. I've been told those stories. The businessman that keeps an apartment for his girlfriend, or the seemingly content spouse that uses anonymous websites to find strangers to meet for an afternoon hotel tryst, and the hard working executive family man letting off steam on a "guys" trip only to visit a hotel suite filled with young women who are half his unsuspecting wife's age. Those stories are commonplace.
But what about the lives of those who remain faithfully monogamous, where monogamy has become the exception rather than the rule? I wanted to hear how they make it work. And so I sat down with three married, monogamous men to find out how they have kept vows they made many years before and what makes them different. They have allowed me to share their stories.
Angela Lutin: Why do you think married men cheat on their spouses?
Married Man 1: It's a grass is greener thing. Sure, we all go through it sometimes thinking our lives are routine and maybe momentarily think "what if" but I've never once been tempted by something strong enough that would ever break my loyalty to my wife.
Married Man 2: It's not just to your wife, it's loyalty to my family. I look at my life like this: My kids come first, then my wife, and then me. If I do something to disrespect my kids and my wife, only to satisfy myself, then the order is wrong.
AL: So are you tempted by other women?
Married Man 3: Every single day. Who isn't? (MM1 & MM2 reluctantly nod in silence)
AL: Do you think monogamy goes against inherent male traits?
MM1: Yeah, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
AL: Do you think your wives get tempted as well?
MM2: I don't think my wife runs into situations like that.
MM3: My wife is hot. I'm sure guys hit on her all the time. I just don't want to know about it.
AL: Obviously, the role of making a home for the family is sometimes underrated. Do you think because your wives being content in this role has something to do with why your marriages are successful?
MM2: I come from a very traditional background. My parents have been married over 40 years. I learned from them that the order of importance is: my kids, my wife, and then me. No matter what. That is really what makes my marriage successful. That loyalty to them comes above anything else.
MM3: I think I can speak for all of us and say that we give our wives a very long leash. They go out, they go away for girls' weekends and there is trust. They give us the same. I wouldn't want a relationship where my wife told me I couldn't play golf on a Sunday or play in a softball league every week. When you start putting too many restrictions on your partner, that's when someone looks for a way to rebel.
AL: What are the biggest misconception about men and marriage that you'd like to clear up?
MM3: It's much more important to me that she orgasms during sex. I think women believe all we care about is getting ourselves off, but in reality, I don't feel like a man unless I've satisfied my woman.
MM1: People who are having sex don't get divorced. It's that simple.
MM2: No marriage is perfect. It takes work. You don't give up on your family for sex. Ever.