Polygamous and polyamorist relationships

Friday, August 3, 2012

You knew it was coming.

With gay marriages becoming legal in several states, it was just a matter of time before other people involved in non-traditional relationships wanted theirs legalized too and that is reflected in a story in the Aug. 6 edition of Time magazine titled, "I Do, I Do, I Do."

Polygamy is having more than one spouse. Polygyny is a man having more than one wife, polyandry is a woman having more than one husband, and polyamory is several people involved in sexual and romantic relationships with each other.

The Mormons practiced polygamy for a long time before banning it, although some fundamentalist Mormons still do it, contending that it mirrors the selfless interconnectedness that will exist in heaven. They call it "living the principle."

Probably many of you are wondering how in the world you could ever make a life with multiple spouses work when the hardest job in the world is making ONE relationship work but the people featured in the Time magazine article all support the lifestyle. They're very pragmatic about determining how much time they spend with each spouse, making sure that one spouse isn't favored over another one.

Polyamorists tend to focus more on the sexual side of relationships rather than the romantic, contending it isn't natural for a person to be monogamous throughout their lives and trying to be so consequently disrupts the natural flow of personhood. They may alternate living with different people for different time periods. One woman interviewed in a different article said that she loved two different people for totally different reasons and it wasn't fair OR right to pick one over the other so she opted for both. She spends equal amounts of time with each person and she says it has made their lives richer and fuller because each person treasures the time they spend with her in a way that would be almost impossible with a single person and that it has made her life more exciting and complete as well.

I'm sure some of you are reading this column with contempt in your hearts because you are committed to a monogamous relationship and won't tolerate or even attempt to understand anybody who would opt out of that. On the other hand, we all know that we don't choose the people we fall in love with and that we can't make other people fall in love with us. It's one of those things that happens to us that is unexplainable. And it's not always for the good, since over half of all married people will eventually get a divorce. So monogamy hasn't exactly claimed "the only way to do it" territory either.

I suppose it all goes back to the judgmental nature of some people; those who stake out a moral high ground and believe that anyone who isn't like them is wrong. We live in a wonderfully diverse society where every race, nationality, creed and religion is represented and it just seems we should relish these differences instead of criticizing them. If someone wants two or more spouses or lovers and no one personally involved objects, why should it be anyone else's business, especially the government's? The law has no more business being an uninvited guest in the bedroom of consenting adults than you do.

We all know that love, happiness and contentment are found in different people and situations and no one has any business imposing their lifestyle on someone else. If we celebrated our differences rather than condemning them, the world would be a much more peaceful place.

Live and let live.

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  • If I had 15 wives could I get them all on my family insurance policy?

    What about brothers marrying brothers for insurance. Cousins marrying cousins for insurance.

    Your remarks are appreciated.


    -- Posted by wmarsh on Fri, Aug 3, 2012, at 6:55 PM
  • People need to understand "big love" and "sister wives" are NOT the true picture of polygamy. The true polygamists are in AZ/UT/TX and other groups. the group on the AZ/UT border are the Warren Jeffs group. Must I remind you he is in jail in TX for rape of a child...the Jeffs group marries children as young as 12 and 13... as soon as they are able to have children. They live off of the welfare system by putting "father unknown" on birth certificates. This is a practice they call "bleeding the beast". All of this is described in the new book, "plygs". This is a dangerous group with horrible practices. As far as the gay community goes, as long as they are consenting ADULTS and tax PAYERS let them do as they choose... but something needs to be done about the this group in AZ / UT / TX are nothing but pedophiles and welfare cheats...

    -- Posted by CaboCara on Fri, Aug 3, 2012, at 8:11 PM
  • I do have one correction to make to your otherwise excellent article. With the prase, "Polyamorists tend to focus more on the sexual side of relationships rather than the romantic..." you have confused Polyamory with another alternative lifestyle called Swinging.

    Swingers are (usually) married couples who have consensual,casual sex with others while maintaining their marital bond. Polyamorists focus more on having intimate relationships with more than one partner -- its not all about the sex but rather about the connection. You may find this to be nit-picking but it is a definite distinction. When meeting a person she is attracted to, my friend the Swinger thinks, "How can I get this person into my bed?"; I as a Polyamorist think, "How can I get this person into my life?"

    -- Posted by rose94040 on Sat, Aug 4, 2012, at 10:39 AM
  • *

    "Polyamorists are exploring different kinds of intimacy, whether emotional, mental, spiritual and sexual."

    Taking the liberty of removing one or more of those adjectives from the sentence...aren't we all polyamorists on some level?

    I have different levels of emotional relationships within my immediate family. I relate to my wife differently than I relate to my daughter, son, or sister.

    Mental intimacy is a never ending quest and many people are still searching spiritual and sexual intimacy on various levels.

    Wouldn't Mikes dig at people he perceives to be coming from the "moral high ground"; in fact be holding a position from a self perceived moral superiority? I read somewhere once about removing the plank in your own eye, before trying to remove the speck in the eye of someone else.

    -- Posted by Mickel on Sat, Aug 4, 2012, at 11:54 AM
  • I am suspicious of polygamy, as it never surfaces as one woman, many husbands. It's all about one man, several women, and way more fecundity than society needs. How does polygamy mirror "the selfless interconnectedness that will exist in heaven"? What is selfless about it? One comment in the TIME article from a polygamous father said he tried to at least touch each of his (23?) children every day. Is that selfless? Is it good parenting? And I suppose it might be possible, if all or most of the participants work, to support those children adequately. The fundamentalist communities in AZ/UT do not; they rely on government handouts. Can the rest of us afford this "selfless interconnectedness"?

    -- Posted by MaryMac on Sun, Aug 5, 2012, at 2:35 PM
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