Polygamy

Australia
September 22, 2012 2:08am CST
There has been an enormous fuss in recent years over the concept of gay marriage, a concept I thoroughly support for what that's worth. Some of the critics of the concept have come out with some pretty ludicrous suggestions, such as gay marriage leading somehow to bestiality and paedophilia, suggestions which are bewildering in their bigotry and ignorance. There have also been suggestions that it would lead to multiple partner marriages. Now I am also fully in agreement with that concept. Any of the three major forms of polygamy, that is, polygyny (many wives, what most people think is the meaning of polygamy), polyandry (many husbands), and polyfidelity (group marriage) all strike me as sane and sensible concepts, and all are practised unofficially in the Western developed nations. For example, I have been involved in polgyny and polyfidelity over a lifetime, and found them no better or worse in terms of effectiveness, than monogamy, serial or otherwise, or having affairs, or even promiscuity, all of which I have touched on at some point in my life. I would have loved to have been able to take my three partners (1M 2F) in wedlock in the 70s, or my three girls in the early 2000s. I suspect the relationships would have lasted far longer than they did in the face of social disapprobriation had formal marriage been available, and longevity brings about all the advantages of multiple partners. The extended family of the earlier centuries of our social life had enormous value in economic and emotional terms, and multiple partner families can have the identical effects. There can always be someone there to stay home and look after the children or the invalids, there are all the advantages of multiple salaries, of multiple hands to put to whatever task is needed for the family's wellbeing, of close emotional support whenever it is needed. So why does our society insist that marriage can only be between one man and one woman? And the answer is: religion. This might make sense in the US, where nearly 60% of people consider religion to be a most important part of their lives, but in the rest of the Western world, where 30% or less make that religious statement, it seems incomprehensible to me that there hasn't been some move toward multiple marriages. Of course it should be noted that I am most definitely not a part of that 30% figure. Religious motives aside, what would you put forward as a contraindication to multiple marriages of the kind I listed above? Lash
3 people like this
7 responses
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
22 Sep 12
Religion aside... I think I can do that. lol. In all seriousness however I do not think there is much of an issue with it except perhaps human greed and selfishness. In the aspect that I am speaking of, there are people who tend to get jealous rather easily, but may enter into this situation to prove they are a different person that they truly are. An example would be in a polygyny marriage in which the man has married one woman and two years later both him and his wife agree for him to take on another wife. If the first wife gets jealous and more it could lead to a very volatile situation. The same if a male in a polyandry marriage feels as though he should be the "alpha" male in the group of men. Now with group marriage it seems like there would be more attentions to be given and the chances of someone being jealous may diminish a bit. There is also getting partners tested and one being mature enough to handle such a marriage. Obviously you need to be of legal age to consent for marriage, but even at the age of 45 someone may not be mature enough for marriage. Actually, in the U.S. it doesn't make sense especially with the law stating that congress is not supposed to make laws respecting one establishment of religion, of course no one in our government pays attention to that which is why the mormons are no longer free to practice that part of their religion. The answer that 60% are religious in some way may be true, but the reasons for changing laws is money. Ok, that is all I will say on religion specifically in regards to the U.S. Now there are benefits to these types of marriage including here in the U.S. where more income coming into the house means higher taxation in which the revenue would benefit the government. On a personal level, I would have to believe those types would be beneficial like there would be no reason for technically cheating since you are married to more than one person. It all comes down to the simple fact of: "If you are against it, don't get one." In the U.S. that is the bigger issue I have noticed here when it comes to "traditional marriage" most people tend to think if it is legalized they will have to get a different type of marriage. In your mention of gay marriage they do believe people will stop reproducing for some reason (there are men here with 20+ kids), and the idiocy of it becoming beastiality and paedophilia. I think for polygamy they would say the same without the reproduction complaints. For some reason, I think these are illegal because people would think they would have to "follow the trend" essentially forgetting that they can make their own choices and do not have to "follow".
2 people like this
• Australia
23 Sep 12
Well, four responses so far, and every one of them thoughtful and interesting. Jealousy is, of course, a major issue in Western societies, but perhaps not as much so in social systems where polygamy has been traditionally practised. There's no point in going into the genesis of jealousy, it's enough to accept that it exists, and at this point in time multiple marriage would definitely not be for everyone. For those for whom jealosy is not an issue, it is a highly positive potential. I lived in a polygynous situation for some time in the early - mid 2000s, and one of those women is still with me now. If age and poor health had not begun to impact, I suspect the other would also still be with us, but at the time I decided I couldn't any more do two women justice and convinced the much younger partner that she would be best served seeking elsewhere. It was a sad period for all of us, but in retrospect I am still certain it was the right decision. If jealousy doesn't raise its ugly head, the advantages are manifest and multitudinous. The other opposition would come from those who fight so ferociously against gay marriage, and I think for them it will never get better, their religious belief sets marriage up as an integral part of their identity, and gay marriage threatens that identity, and incidentally, as they see it, insults the very institution which gives them that existential security. Lash
1 person likes this
• United States
22 Sep 12
I personally have never participated in any other form of a relationship, other than one man and one woman, though I did considerable research into possibly entering into a polgyny-style relationship about six years ago. I was quite serious about my relationship with Ed, even though I knew he lived with another woman (though at the time, I thought their relationship was strictly platonic). I saw a show about polyamory on the WE network (The Hidden Lives of Women), and was intrigued. I looked up and found a number of links about the lifestyle. After considerable reading and a LOT of soul-searching, I made a decision. I wasn't sure that I could live in the same household as the other woman in his life, but I was willing to share him with her with a written agreement of sorts. I spoke to Ed about it, and gave him a couple of things I printed out. He was shocked, to say the least. I don't think he even realized how I had been feeling about him, or his 'situation', or that I'd even consider something like that. I was beginning to feel like the 'other woman', but I was tired of giving a lot and getting very little. He didn't take it seriously, so I emotionally began trying to break it off. I admit, I cheated on him. I mean, BIG TIME cheated on him, but after all, he was going back to his bed that he had been sharing with someone else. Touche. And after a time, I was ready to break it off. I wanted a true relationship. I wanted to belong to someone in their heart. But he ran away first, and stopped calling. I don't really know, and after nearly two years, I really am trying to not care. I just tell people it was mutual (I was planning to break up with him anyway). But now I have someone who does love me, and I love him back. Neither of us is interested in pursuing an alternative relationship either-we're happy with just one another. And honestly-EVERYONE should be allowed to enter into their own form of marriage, but preferably with adults only and not with children or animals. But to each his own, right?
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
22 Sep 12
That is terrible that your ex did something like that. After all, you were at least trying to make the best of the situation. I have to disagree with the word "preferably". I agree that everyone should be allowed to enter their own form of marriage, but ONLY with consenting adults. I know some countries do have lower ages of consent, and so I guess... for those countries it would be ok? Personally, I don't see how people are attracted to children. However, in a country in which the life expectancy isn't very high, that might be the way of continuing the species? I don't know. To me it is just weird. Also, I don't understand people and their obsession with animals to that extent. It is so weird and not in a good way. It is nice you found someone you are happy with. In all honesty, I have thought about a polygyny relationship too and when weighing the pros and cons of it, there are more pros than cons for me personally. That is not to say I don't love my husband as I do and I am very happy with him and vice versa... we just see no issues with it.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Sep 12
I learned from that relationship, or at least I hope I did. And I am actually planning a future WITH someone for a change, instead of FOR someone. I said preferably only because I think that some folks are just to darn obsessed with everyone else! My ex husband called the cops on me, claiming I was abusing him. One of the responding officers that night tried to haul me off to jail even! All I was trying to do was get back into our home (we weren't even separated!) to get my meds (I have multiple sclerosis and was on a number of medications at that time), NOT trying to hit him (as he claimed). But at the time he was delusional. But here's the strange part: the cop who tried to haul me off to jail turned out to be a REAL sicko-a few years back, he was busted with his girlfriend for sexually abusing children! And while he was in jail, someone else reported that he also was involved with bestiality with cows. THAT was karma! I don't think that I'm open to the possibility of polygyny with my current relationship now-I don't think I'd be comfortable sharing him, and I'm pretty sure that he wouldn't be comfortable sharing me. We've been talking about our pasts, and while we've both had threesomes, we're no longer interested in participating in something like that. I know I couldn't be a part of one with someone I care about-I'm terribly jealous! Are the two of you considering introducing a new member to your family then? How do you decide?
1 person likes this
• Australia
23 Sep 12
I think a lot of men would find what you did a bit confronting, because it means they have to go back to the first woman and admit that they've been cheating. It also takes a fairly flexible mind to overc0ome decades of conditioning and a social system which would set many barriers in the way of those trying to do this. That doesn't make it any easier for you, and I sympathise with you. Someone once said that a polygamous philosophy always includes monogamy. There is a degree of flexibility inherent, I think, in people who can consider polygamy as a full personal choice, and so they can recognise that different setups appeal at different life stages. Perhaps after some years of monogamy one of you might meet a person who both of you like, and if you are at least open to the possibility of polygamy who knows what might happen. (And it might even be you who meets another female, or him who meets another male, rather than vice versa.) Lash
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
23 Sep 12
We think alike, Grandpa. I think it really is the word "marriage" that gets the religious people hung up on it. Marriage really is a "legal" contract and you can get "legally" married outside of the church. Maybe we should just change the word marriage to something else for those contracts that are outside of the church?? I do agree that any consenting adults should be able to enter into such a contract with whomever they want or however many they want and for whatever reasons they want. Why should anyone care? I also think that if I and a couple of friends (platonic) wanted to set up household together long-term, that we should be able to have the same legal contract as any married people. Civil Unions are not a good compromise as they don't offer nearly the benefits that a marriage offers. Why should a man and a woman get benefits that no one else is entitled to? As for multiple wives, I am not a jealous type and if I entered into such a relationship I definitly would not get jealous. I would rather have that than to have a husband that cheats and risks bringing home diseases. It's the lying that I always hated.
1 person likes this
• Australia
23 Sep 12
Yes, my partner has always said it beats "cheating" hands down. She always knew when I was seeing someone else, and always had the right of disapproval, in which case I wouldn't follow through. Most of my polyamorous partners in fact came to our home. My partner, clearly, has no issue with jealousy, insecurity, or possessiveness, but women like her and you are a bit like hen's teeth lol. Lash
1 person likes this
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
23 Sep 12
Really? Actually, I can see that. I went into to marriage when I was was really really young and naive and honestly, I trusted and expected my husband to be faithful to me as I was to him. It's all about the honesty, I think.
@sid556 (31006)
• United States
24 Sep 12
actually, my experience has been that most men also get jealous and even if they are cheating themselves. It is without a doubt that it is the lying that would bother me. I think also that the timing of when this stuff is disclosed in a relationship counts for a lot too. If I was told right at the beginning of a relationship that there would be multiple partners I think it would be easier to deal with. I imagine that once the relataionship is established as monogamous then the possibility of someone getting hurt when the rules change up is much greater. Maybe if more people learned to communicate clearly what is and is not ok in the relationship from the start then maybe more relationships would work out. I'm currently reading the 50 Shades of Gray series and the idea of a contract doesn't seem so bad actually...opens the door for communication and negotiation.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164743)
• Garden Grove, California
23 Sep 12
hi grandpa lash as long as people are happy with those kinds of marriages its fine with me. to each his own,for me as a Christian I first did not even like the idea of being married to a man who would probably treat me like my hypocrite dad treated his much younger wife my mom, verbal insulting all the time. but finally at age 32 I found the man meant for me and no I would not share him with umpty nine other women nor would I be one of a harem. one man one woman is my creed and I hope its respected as I respect all other types of marriages.
1 person likes this
@katie0 (5212)
• Japan
23 Sep 12
Many women outhere also would love to have many men and she be exclusive for sure, but it's about acceptance, we are not actually forced to get married but I wouldn't accept more in my man's life and I never dated or had and guy friends that would accept to share his woman so basically for me it's about as a society we don't accept it. I'm not religious and am not following for what people expect of me so if I wanted to be polygamus I would. There's a country a woman has many partners.
• Australia
24 Sep 12
One of the Himalayan nations, I forget which for the moment, practices polyandry, where a woman will marry two or more brothers. It is a land poor country, and this practice developed to keep properties together. It is all up to the individual in my mind. I don't suggest everyone should go out and get multiple marriage partners unless that is what they want; what I don't like is that social, religious, and political systems often make it illegal or socially impossible to live the way one wants in so far as marriage goes. Lash
1 person likes this
@flowerchilde (12520)
• United States
22 Sep 12
I too support gay marriage as I feel "the pursuit of happiness" a right guaranteed by the u.s. constitution covers this, and, I believe mankind was endowed with free will or more exactly the ability to make choices, so who is anyone to take that away.. I am libertarian, so I am against any sort of legalities concerning it what so ever. If someone wants to find out which ways lead to happiness, or, we could consider also societal stability, I suppose an open minded study over years and decades and even longer might answer that question..Me, I think there would be human problems like jealousies and petty disputes as humans do seem prone to those. I myself have been in a monogamous relationship for 38 years, legally so 32 years, and have been a christian for 33 years. My mate and I seem to love each other more and more as time goes on, and are very close and the relationship stays exciting and we get along very well. Neither one of us would want to share and these days we plan to be 'one' forever.. We have two grown children a male and female and two beautiful grand daughters, daughters of our daughter with different fathers. Our daughter is a single parent, she is 30 years old and has never been able to afford to move our of our house! I do feel there are a lot of single parents on public assistance, and there seems to be a lot of young men who lack direction, sometimes, in the cities, they even seem to become roving bands.. So I guess I have answered your 'poll' of what some folks think on these social issues.. But as a (minarchist) libertarian I prefer no laws concerning them at all.
• Australia
23 Sep 12
flowerchilde, the most effective laws of all are the cultural laws, the conformist laws, the religious laws. Official legal status is relatively unimportant if large proportions of the polity won't accept them because they clash with those subjective concerns. Lash
1 person likes this
@aabuda (1729)
• Philippines
20 Nov 12
wow...I was totally touched by your story...I never thought that this time, I will meet a person who supports or have been practicing such. Yes, you are true...people are just being controlled by Religion that stops them from doing what you have done...I am in your side and I supports you...but those acts is not practiced legally or publicly here in my country...I wonder where are the people who practiced it in here...hope I can meet a person of your kind face to face and I will love to know more of what you are practicing...