Relationship Satisfaction in Monogamous and Non-monogamous Couples: Is Monogamy Truly Ideal?
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The vast majority of Americans practice monogamy in their romantic relationships, yet roughly half of all marriages end in divorce (National Center for Health Statistics, 2010). There are several other issues with monogamy that drive partners apart, such as infidelity and the unrealistic expectation that one’s partner fulfill all one’s needs from intellectual to sexual (Kipnis, 2003). However, few Americans consider other relationship types, and little research has been done comparing satisfaction between types. This study extends the research of Ahlborg, Lilleengen, Lӧnnfjord, & Petersen (2009), who used the Quality of Dyadic Relationship 36 questionnaire to measure the relationship satisfaction of couples who had been together for at least 20 years. The same criterion and questionnaire were used to recruit participants in southern Michigan, half involved in monogamous relationships, the other in non-monogamous. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not there is a significant difference between relationship satisfaction of monogamous and non-monogamous couples, and the researcher expects no significant difference between relationship types, except with regards to the subscale Dyadic Sexuality, for which the researcher predicts greater satisfaction among non-monogamous couples. These findings would suggest that non-monogamous relationships are a legitimate alternative for people who struggle with monogamy.