I really feel that monogamy is a concept of whichever religion you were born into, but if you love and respect your partner, should you remain faithful to only them? I think that if you and your partner can agree on an open relationship, or anything of the sort, that is a wonderful thing, but if your partner isn't "down" with sharing, is it wrong to act on your sexual urges that arise outside of the relationship?
EDIT: I was totally misspelling this word lolz! But I also wanna add to this that I see love and sex having nothing to do with eachother. What is your views on the correllation between the two?
religion certainly enforces monogamy. (indeed, one of the theories of the origins of religion and religious transmission is that it exists to codify and sanctify already existing morality).
but evolution is what gives us monogamy. our brain chemistry pair bonds us in order to ensure that the mother and father stick together to ensure the survival of the child. sure, that urge doesn't exist in isolation; there are other urges that push us away from monogamy since evolution would seem to also favor a strategy of running around having as many children as possible. but it seems monogamy has largely won out as a strategy.
Actually, that's not the case. All anthropologic and anatomical evidence points to our human ancestors as having evolved with both sexes having multiple sexual partners throughout adult life, similar to chimps and bonobos today. Our current "monogamy" is also a culturally imposed illusion, as extra-marital or extra-relationship sexual encounters are extremely common among both sexes in every culture on the planet today. In other words, we like pretending to be monogamous, but we're actually not.
For an excellent review of this topic, I highly recommend Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Caclida Jetha.
I would wager that monogamy in some form or another would manifest as a result of the natural economy of sex within a social group. Maybe not in all species, but in some. I'm not well versed on the subject, but I'd further wager (a small sum) that this was the case for homo sapiens long before religion came about. Lifelong monogamy may not be a common occurance in the animal kingdom, but lifelong monogamy is not the only type of monogamy. Penguins, for example, are seasonally monogomous, staying faithful to their partner for that mating season. In their case, it is essential for both parents to be dedicated to rearing their offspring.
I feel I should note that the bigger issue in this situation is the dishonesty, not inherently the monogamy. It's wrong to violate a relationship's agreements and expectations (but not, in my opinion, necessarily unforgivable--people are mammals, after all); it's not inherently wrong to crave sexual diversity.
(This coming from a person in a non-monogamous relationship.) :)
True, we are mammals, but with evolution came intelligent responsibility. Is it possible that the advent of venereal disease is the major impetus for monogamous relationships? Even with modern preventative measures STD levels are increasing daily, even if the Pope approved the use of condoms there are several STD’s that can be transmitted outside of sexual intercourse. In that sense monogamy is the surest way to maintain a healthy society. In our youth do we crave sexual diversity or are we searching for something more, such as acceptance or approval or the sense of family without having parents in the mix, or could it be peer envy? Are you just trying to keep up with what everyone else is doing? Now that I look back I've found that sexual diversity was more of a chore than anything else, to deal with one person is hard enough much less several people at the same time. Like they say, when you sleep with someone, your sleeping with everyone that person has slept with, that's more than enough people at one time for me.