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?
I have read a lot of posts in this thread that mention polygamy, polyamory, etc... and I have this to say about it:
Don't do it.
But, see, I am jaded... I am the survivor if a polyamorous relationship - and I do mean survivor! It was a complete nightmare. First of all, you can set 'boundaries' and make 'rules' for you and your partner to follow, but there is no guarantee that any of it is going to be followed once your back is turned. The first rule everyone always wants to make is: "It's OK tp have sex with another person, but you can't have an emotional relationship with anyone else..." I've seen it in many posts, right here on this thread... Well, let me just tell you that there is NO WAY, absolutely NO WAY you can control another human being's emotions. There is no way that you can stop yourself or your partner from forming an emotional attachement to someone else. If you want to have an open relationship, you have to be willing to accept the fact that, one day, that partner might choose one of his other partners over you. It's just a fact. And, I was the one who was chosen, in my case, so I am not even angry for being jilted. LOL.
Second, let's say that you want to have a true polyamorous 'group' type relationship with more than one person, where all parties involved are also involved with eachother (I hope that made sense...). While this type of situation may seem ideal, there are many, many problems that arise. It is very hard to achieve balance in a relationship like this. You will drive yourself crazy trying to satisfy everyone you are involved with, even if it's only 2 other people. Jealousy can arise where, previously, none exsisted. THis is especially true of poly relationships where two people have been alone in a relationship prior to inviting the third (fourth, etc...) person in to the relationship. In the case of my reltionship, two of the partners started not getting along with one another very well. A rift was formed and the third party was left standing in the middle, trying to satisfy two people who were just dead-set against each other. It can turn into a nightmare rather quickly, as you can guess.
Also, speaking in terms of polyamorous relationships, there are those who will try and set up a hierarchy for their multiple partners, where the original partner will be considered the 'primary' relationship and all others would be considered 'secondary'. Thus giving the 'primary' partner a higher status in the relationship. I think that this is wrong. No one should have to consider themselves 'secondary' to anyone else, especially in a supposedly 'loving' relationship. If you are in this position, maybe you have some deep inferiority complex that you should address.
I am not saying that there are not people out there that can pull this off and use it to their benefit. But having more than one partner and having those partners aware of each other is a lot of trouble and a lot of work. I experienced it first hand and it has changed me to my core. It is hard enough to foster one relationship and make it work. If you don't want to be monogomous, then don't get married and make sure everyone you date knows that it's just for fun - no strings!
All that being said, and this is going to sound contradictory to everything I have just said, I don't think that, physically, we are monogomous. It was only when we developed that little thing called the frontal lobe that we started to think about things like monogomy. Before that, it didn't matter much to us. So, mentally, yeah we can be monogomous. Well, some of us. LOL. I am not disqualifying polygamy or polyamory completely; as long as all parties involved are willing to be casual about it it's ok, but as soon as you form an emotional attachment to one of your partners, it's time to discuss monogomy with that person. And if that's what you decide, then you can break away from the rest. Emotions will get in your way every time if you don't!
I have a pen-pal who is ,& has been married to a guy for over 28 years - open marriage. Both had sex partners & on occasion even dined together. All I know is - it has worked for them. She said it is after all 'just sex'. She enjoys it very much, but her husband always comes first. You might say - different strokes for different folks. :-)
I have a friend whose wife made a poly-amorous arrangement with him (basically an open marriage). They are now getting a divorce and she no longer loves him.
I think people often engage in these behaviors because they believe they have more control over their emotions than they truly do.
First off, if it's a sect or a cult it's still religious in nature and I would still call it abusive for that reason alone, aside of any religious overtones, It would still be confinement, such as being confined to a juvenile detention center for no other reason than being young and female, a complete loss of one's freedom to learn opposing points of view on the reason for such confinement in the first place. Such as a prisoner without legal representation.
I've had sex before without love, and it was great. I have also loved before without sex. So I personally think they are separate.
I don't remember where I saw this, it might have been on 20/20 or some similar news show, it was about one of the oldest civilizations still in existence, and I think it was a remote Asian village that was the last known to still do this, the women and were the homeowners, their homes were passed on to their daughters, all the female children lived at home for life and the boys once reaching a certain age were sent away to live on their own (probably with the other men,) when procreation was necessary the women would choose who to mate with (the strongest and fittest at the time) within the village, usually the younger most healthy men, the children were raised in the home by the women, no men lived with the women or shared responsibility in raising the children, there were no marriage’s, the women were the rulers of the villages, and because of this arrangement only the healthiest men produced children and in turn created the most robust of people. Does anyone remember seeing or reading about this? It was within the last few years that I saw it. It seems like a natural, non-monogamous society. All the men were like the worker bees and the women were the queens, the men would maintain the villages and the women's homes and build additions if there were an abundance of female children (each requiring their own sleeping quarters/bedroom) to establish their having the ability to produce the healthiest children, sort of a 'choose me, look what I can do' kind of thing. Anyone heard of this?
I haven't heard of this particular village, but I remember some native american tribe that was similar. They didn't necessarily send away their men, but they were in charge of everything while the men were off hunting and fighting. They traced heritage through the mothers instead of fathers, and so females inherited the family assets and such and had all the power in the community.
All this talk of monogamy is reminding me of my ecology class where we looked at lions and bees. Lions live in prides with only one male and many females. The male may even try to kill his male offspring if he starts to see them as a threat to his power. Bees live together in their hives, but only the queen bee produces any offspring. But how could this polygamist behavior have come about naturally? It seems that many fewer offspring would be produced this way, and the biggest problem is the loss of genetic diversity. How could evolution favor stripping down the gene pool so much? The answer lies in the fact that having many parents creates a sense of community where all the adults will help to support and provide for the offspring. This leaves time for some individuals to be doing things unrelated to caring for the offspring, like working for the overall benefit of the community. Most species will support a youth of their species even if it is not their own, and this tendency has allowed many populations to evolve to have a sense of community survival as opposed to simply personal survival.
With humans, we tended to care for our young by leaving the females home to care for them while the men ran off to take care of other things. But it is obvious that moving away from this requires help outside of the 2 parents...people send their kids to day care, not to mention to school. Also we have babysitters, grandparents, aunts and uncles etc. It can often a group effort within families.
I would say that with raising children the more adult role models they have in their lives the better, so is it that crazy to imagine a family unit that doesn't rely on monogomy? This could be structured many different ways (for example, many sexually monogamous couples living together as a family community, or many polyamorous adults forming a family unit) but the common thing would be that they would all be there to help raise and provide for their kids.
I the watched Big Love tv series and it seems to me that the only reason the women put up with being polygamist and sharing their husband was the fact that they were all there together, with the common goal of caring for their kids. The husband kind of did his own thing all the time and was often quite selfish, but the women all had such a sense of family it was impressive and inspiring at times.
A sense of family is a good thing but it's a small part of what it takes to survive in modern society, personally I've found that in open relationships jealousy nearly always rears it's ugly head, it's our nature, watch any group of children fighting over a toy that they wouldn't be interested in if someone else wasn’t playing with it.
OK, I've been doing some searching and I think I’ve found it. They're called the Mosuo Tribe.
"On Rough Cut this week,,, In their matriarchal society, they do not marry. They practice what they call "walking marriage" in which a woman may invite a man into her hut to spend a "sweet night," but he must leave by daybreak. If a pregnancy results from this union, the child will be raised by the woman and her family." pbs.org/frontlineworld/rough/2005/07/introduction_to.html
I can't check out the video because I'm on dialup, but it looks like it might be the original story I was looking for. Also, I looked up "Mosuo" and found a wealth of info on them, they're very similar to the Native American tribes you mentioned, thanks, you inspired me : )
To the degree a relationship is romantic, it is based on possessiveness. I've always regarded it obvious that real love means wanting what is best for the other, even if there's no benefit in it for oneself. Nobody goes into a romantic relationship with that attitude. The only interpersonal relationships which are purely about love are the love of a good parent for a child and the love of good friends for one another. What we call romantic love is a witch's brew of infatuation and selfish obsession.
I like the concept of open relationships, but in practice they seldom work out. I think I could do it though. Any takers? ;)