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Polyfidelity - issues in a non-traditional relationship
May 19, 2006
12:59 am
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Mardoll
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OMW - "Why do you beleive as you do?"

That's a very complicated question. The shortest answer I can give is "because my life experiences have shown me the truth as I know it" - I mean why do you believe what you believe?

If you can ask me more specific questions, or else pop over to the "Shame and The Golden Fantasy" thread in the Liberation Brew forum, where I've been answering a lot of questions about myself, that might be a good place to start.

Seeker - "Do you do any of these or similar ceremonies? Also, are your polyamory and pagan groups the same, or separate from each other?"

Um, I work with aspects of the Green Man, yes. I have been in plenty of rituals where they called the quarters, but that is not a Heathen practice, so it mostly comes up when I go visiting other groups. Many cultures have one or another kind of sweat lodge, including Scandinavian practices, but I have yet to participate in one. If I ever do, it's as likely to be American Indian as Swedish, just because of where I live. I do honor my ancestors, but not by walking in a particular direction, and then walking the other way for my future descendants, no. However, it has been pointed out to me that if you visit Westminster Abbey in London you walk all the way around, clockwise, while honoring the Ancestors of the United Kingdoms - I think that's a well-hidden bit of seriously powerful protective magic right there! 😉

There is tremendous overlap in the polyamory and pagan communities, but neither group presumes to encompass the other. They are overlapped as well with the Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Transgendered, Goth, Industrial, Fetish, Rennaisance Faire, Society for Creative Anachronism, Celtic Music, Strategy and Role Playing Gamers, and Science Fiction Fandom communities, just to name a few, so it's really a matter of perspective. (No, I'm not in all of those! Who has that kind of time?!)

Dad - "I would emphasize that polyamory and swinging are not the same thing at all. Swinging is about recreation. Polyamory is about love. To dispense with the idea that this poly thing is just something that men "inflict" on women, consider the following book."

I can agree with your assertions about Polyamory. I have never been involved with a Swinging community, so I am in no position to judge their treatment of women, or intentions with regards to their sexual habits.

Were there supposed to be links in the rest of your post?

May 19, 2006
1:16 am
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on my way
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Very interesting. Why the marching for ancesters and future descendants? Almost sounds similar to the Mormon religion in that they are baptized for as many deceased relatives to save them from going to hell. Is it a similar concept? Do you beleive in hell?

In answer to your question that I posed to you, "Why do I beleive as I do?"

Because my life experiences have shown me the truth.

May 19, 2006
2:40 am
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pez
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I don't feel I can weigh in on the subject in general because I have too many personal issues to work out surrounding it, but I would like to suggest a great book to p.o'd, as well as everyone else, titled "The Monogomy Myth," by Peggy Vaughan.

The book doesn't promote or endorse any one choice over another, but explores the various choices along the spectrum and was very helpful for me in coming to terms with the feelings of betrayal and rejection.

My own experience was that he ackowledged responsibility for "changing the rules without informing" me, but rejected accountability for the acts themselves. I continue to have difficulty making the distinction.

I'm not sure if I would feel differently today if 'the rules' had been renegotiated beforehand or not; I do, however, believe we would not be having the difficulty in rebuilding the trust that was damaged due to the dishonesty and deceit. Perhaps the initial shock of an admission would have been just as daunting as the discovery. I don't know; still working on it, still hurting about it....

I'm very glad it was introduced as a subject, because it seems to touch many lives.

Pez

May 19, 2006
2:41 am
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Mardoll
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"Is it a similar concept? Do you beleive in hell?"

No, not really. We're honoring them, not trying to save them from anything. Um, do I believe in Hell - not in the Christian sense, no. Helheim (from which the English word "Hell" was derived, as far as I know) is indeed the land of the dead in my religion, but they're not there as punishment, it's simply where most of them go.

"Because my life experiences have shown me the truth."

Well there you go - that's essentially the same answer, except that one of the truths I have learned is that no two people know the same exact truth, even if they hold the same overall beliefs.

May 19, 2006
3:55 am
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on my way
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you added "as I know it"..i merely stated that i know the truth.

I would say going to the land of the dead would be extreme "self punishment" to end up there.

May 19, 2006
7:03 am
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free2choose
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Yeah...heh, I caught that small slip of language... Very self-righteous of you, OMW!

That is the type of thing I hate... Why do you have to insist on your truth being "THE TRUTH"...why can it not just be the truth as you know it???

May 19, 2006
7:21 am
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bonni
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Taj,
I'm confused, are you saying that its terrible that my husband and i talk about other people sometimes and use it as foreplay? If neither of us have a problem with it, and in fact, we both really really like it, even though it doesn't involve other actual people, except within our discussions, its still wrong?

Mardoll,
Is it polyamory to fantacize about other people as a couple? I'm not going to swear we'd NEVER do it, but I think we are both so introverted that we get more out of talking about it than doing it. I do have an intimate emotional relationship with another man, and dh is completely aware and supportive, we are all friends. The friend and I are very clear that neither of us want to move beyond the emotional closeness to sexual intimacy.

I trust my dh with my kinky fantasies and preferences. We even talk about a 3some with our friend (in his absence, I don't trust him in that way, plus I don't want to actually do it, just like how it enhances OUR sex life and our marital intimacy). Even as much as we love my friend, and we've been close friends over a decade, I can't see me trusting him enough to be sexually intimate with him. Talking about it is as much as I can do, so is just talking polyamory? or the part where I love another man, differently than I love my husband, but intensely and as much as i love my children, like a brother.

It feels so confusing, but I finally get that one person can't be my everything, any more than I can be my husband's everything. trying to be each other's everything would probably destroy us, as we'd never make it.

bonni

May 19, 2006
8:30 am
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Mardoll,

This has been a fascinating, though somewhat uncomfortable, topic of conversation for me. I thank you for teaching me about polyamory. I'm pleased to know that women have as much opportunity to have secondaries or tertiaries, etc. as men do. I'm also glad that the primary partners have the right to veto any potential choice the other might have for a, for lack of a better word, fling, although that's not exactly the right concept.

Who raises the children born in a polyamorous relationship? What if you don't know who the father is? This could be an awfully sticky situation.

I think polyamory is far better than having one spouse cheat on the other. At least the primary has to give their consent, or the whole deal is off. If one is determined to cheat or to change the rules without the other's consent, IMO, he has no business being in any relationship, monogamous or otherwise.

However, I still think monogamy is preferable. No matter what any of us think, I believe that God expects us to be monogamous. If anyone finds that talking about being with other people helps their own marital relationship, well, I won't be a judge of that. Or if you have a happy experience with polyamory, I also won't be the judge of that.

Take care, and thanks for furthering my education.

Seeker

May 19, 2006
8:43 am
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taj64
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HI Bonni, no I don't find it terrible what you had said. I thought the idea of poly fidelity was terrible, I was not so clear and your post just happened to show up before mine as I was writing it. Sorry for the confusion. I feel like a hypocrite not agreeing with this idea after I had an affair myself. I have since done soul searching and going back to my original thoughts in life to believe in marraige. I hope to attain this with a man who believes in this as well. I made a mistake in life and correcting my life is my goal. Intimacy to me means with one man and sharing our life and to be in the affair cost me pain to have to share.I learned I am not a sharer in relationships.

May 19, 2006
1:24 pm
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Matteo
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Seeker,

How about leaving God out of it and concentrate instead on what is good for us and other people involved, and how do we feel about it? I am pro monogamy, no matter if God wants me to be or not. Trust me, if I felt that polyamory or bigamy was for me, I would be the most devoted follower. Are we are talking about the same God (and I believe there is only One) here? According to Islam, Islam is a continuation of Judaism and Christianity, and Koran accepts polygamy for men is certain circumstances, which are grossly abused by many.

Why in your opinion it would be such sticky situation not knowing who the father of a child is? It is quite easily detectable who the mother is, isn’t that enough? Let’s be honest and see the truth the way it presents itself: There are millions of fathers all over the world who cannot care less how many children and with whom they have and are indifferent about those children, and many more millions of those who are able to walk away on their partners and children and never look back. No, really, how important is it to know who those fathers are? And for what purpose? Giving a name to the children they don’t even care to know??

I just want to add to the discussion that the institution of marriage was established long before the average life expectancy exceeded 35 years, which happened some two hundred years ago or so. Taking into consideration wars, famine, diseases, women dying in childbirth, there was quite good possibility that “till death do us part “ would be no longer than 10 – 20 years maximum, and that death will do us part much earlier, indeed. Nevertheless that’s enough time to raise quite a few children, especially with the great involvement of extended family. If we look around, 15 – 20 years is very often the time after which people divorce, because they grew apart, and not having to raise small children anymore, don’t have any other good reason to stay together. Some, instead of divorcing, cheat on their spouses, some just remain lonely, unhappy and frustrated in their marriages, some swing, some engage in “non-traditional” relationships, which might be more traditional than we all would want to imagine. Who knows?

Perhaps it would be useful to make some major shifts in thinking (and acting) adopted by patriarchal societies? Let’s face the truth, that while mothers are as important for the children’s upbringing as fathers are, if not more, their caregiver responsibilities and birth rights to their children are very often equally unrecognized and unappreciated by the society; that fathers should be actually (not just on paper) held responsible for fathering, caring and especially financially supporting of their children, no matter what lifestyles they chose to follow, and that the institution of marriage with “happily ever after” and “till death do us part” models is not as feasible path to follow in today’s society as it was earlier, and especially before the invention of penicillin.

Most probably a lot of water will have to circulate on Earth before men will be held responsible, equally as mothers are, for children they chose to father - which would come as a major inconvenience to many of them, as they would be forced to finally grow up. That part should (although it is not) be taken care of as the first priority, before the institution of marriage as we know it, and the traditional way of thinking about it will not take preference anymore. That part, beside major changes in laws, would take great shift in mentality - not only men’s’ mentality, but also women’s’ and how they go about to raise their sons. Where that would leave men in society where women would not be oppressed by their power and privilege…? Nobody knows, we didn’t get there yet – if ever.

For now, let’s keep in mind that the model of monogamous life time marriage, where divorce was unthinkable, is invented by patriarchy and devoted to protect the rights of men, not women or their children, and let’s recognize that in today’s changed society many adjustments with regards to marriage might be necessary, including abandoning the myth of “till death do us part”.

OK, sorry for the interruption Mardoll, I am getting off my soap box now.

May 19, 2006
3:07 pm
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Wow! I'm new to this site as I just truly disovered that I'm codependent (I just thought I was the rock in most peoples lives but, that's a whole different thread).
It's got to be a sign that this thread was on this site at this time. My parter and I have a polyamorous (sp?) relationship - ie: we are "swingers". We are also having serious relationship problems that I (as a textbook codependent) am furiously trying to fix. The "lifestyle" has not and is not the problem. The problem, is his inability to be "monogamous" even within a polyamorous relationship and my inability to deal with it. Like others who post here, I've allowed myself to be a victim of the lies and decete instead of respecting myself and the guidelines we set forth when whe enterd the lifestyle. My partner is not capable of monogomy of any kind and I realize, today, that I am not responsible for that (thanks in part to much of the posts here today). I have been hurt, angry, etc., etc.. Felt inadequate, greavious, powerless, ugly,etc., etc.. I'm rambeling, please forgive, I'm new...
Back to the lifestyle.
But, just like any relationship, there must be honesty and trust. If those things are broken then the relationship is broken. Rules or guidelines for couples in the lifestyle are much the same as monogomous couples in that you both determine what is acceptable to you both within the relationship. We have had wonderful experiences in the lifestyle and met wonderful people from all socio-economic backrounds. (Someone posted that they thought there were probably "hundreds of people" in the lifestyle in thier metropolitan area. There are,literally, millions of people who are swingers in this country and across the globe. They are attorneys and politicians, social workers and teachers, stay at home mom's, construction workers, musicians, your neihbors - you name it - and they all lead generally "normal" lives. There. My attempt to ej-a-ma-cate those not familiar with the lifestyle.)
And, like in any relationship, it works for them when there is a consideration for the other along with honesty and respect. It also DOESN'T work for many people - just like "traditional" relationships don't work for many people.
Perhaps my point, after writing this novella, is to confirm what many have already written in the thread. Regardless of what type of relationship you have with your mate/s, if you don't work out your issues, respect guidelines and generally honor the person you profess to love or care about, you aren't really in a relationship at all. Your just trying get your boat up that creek we've all heard about with no paddle. I'm going to the nearest marine store and find myself a motor! Thank you all, for having the courage to share yourselves with each other and those who are here for the first time. May you all be mightily blessed by what ever God(s) you believe in.
Blonde1

May 19, 2006
10:53 pm
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Mardoll
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Pez - "My own experience was that he ackowledged responsibility for "changing the rules without informing" me, but rejected accountability for the acts themselves. I continue to have difficulty making the distinction."

Honestly, "changing the rules without notice" is the same as "breaking the rules" in *my* world. Neither of my lovers would accept that behavior out of me, nor would I accept that behavior out of anyone I was with. A rule is only a rule if everyone agrees to it. If anyone can just change the rules without getting that kind of agreement, then there's no point at all to even *having* an agreement.

There's a world of difference between "rules can be renegotiated" and "rules can be changed without notice". Anybody who thinks rules exist to be broken needs to grow up.

OMW - "you added "as I know it"..i merely stated that i know the truth."

That would be because I'm aware I'm talking to somebody who dissagrees with me, and I consider it disrespectful to act like I know "The Truth" and they don't. It's the sort of thing one learns very quickly when one practices a minority religion.

Bonni - "Mardoll, Is it polyamory to fantacize about other people as a couple?"

That's an interesting question. If you know that you really don't want to ever actually practice it with other people, you just find the *idea* sexy, then I'd say maybe that's a fetish, and more power to you. Ultimately, though, "poly" is both about self-identification AND practice. If you're practicing polyamory and not identifying with it, I'd say you might want to be very clear with yourself as to WHY you're willing to practice something that you don't consider "you". (That doesn't mean it's automatically bad - I practiced Polyamory for years before I considered myself "poly" outside of the context of the particular relationship I was in. But I was very clear that the reason I don't consider myself poly wasn't that I thought it was immoral and I was simply putting up with it, you know?). I know plenty of people who self-identify as Poly who aren't currently in a poly relationship. Just like a gay guy who isn't actually sleeping with any men right now, it's not just about what you DO, it's about how you FEEL. So are you guys poly? Well, I can't answer that for you. But I can say that there's nothing wrong with it either way as far as I'm concerned. 🙂

Seeker - "I'm also glad that the primary partners have the right to veto any potential choice the other might have for a, for lack of a better word, fling, although that's not exactly the right concept."

While the particular agreements I have with my Primary are pretty common, please understand that each relationship is unique, and I am not describing "How Polyamory Works" I'm describing how *my* relationships happen to work. Most poly relationships I'm aware of are careful to find a fair balance for all involved, and no, sexism is not often a problem in my experience. However, not all relationships are set up specifically with "Veto" beyond that anyone can veto with their feet by refusing to continue dating somebody who does things they can't accept.

"If one is determined to cheat or to change the rules without the other's consent, IMO, he has no business being in any relationship, monogamous or otherwise."

AGREED!

"No matter what any of us think, I believe that God expects us to be monogamous."

That does seem to be the most common Christian doctrine... though actually, come to think of it, not all denominations have said so, and the bible is filled with male characters with multiple wives (Jacob comes to mind immediately, for example).

"Who raises the children born in a polyamorous relationship? What if you don't know who the father is? This could be an awfully sticky situation."

Heh, okay, I haven't seen any situations firsthand where the parentage of the children wasn't pretty clear. Most poly couples I know have very clear rules about who they do and don't use what kinds of protections with, and the poly couples I know who are working towards children are doing so with an explicit plan in mind for raising them.

The plans themselves, however, vary quite a bit. One of the things polyamory tends to bring up is that it really *does* "take a village" to raise a happy child, and the more responsible adult influences in a child's life, the better. But we're also clear that a child needs stability in the form of consistancy, and that our society expects couples - usually hetero couples - to raise any given child.

So most of the time it's a married, primary couple who has kids and raises them about the same way you'd expect.

Taj - "I learned I am not a sharer in relationships."

That's exactly the sort of thing everybody needs to know about themselves. Kudos for you being so self-aware. 😉

Matteo - "I just want to add to the discussion that the institution of marriage was established long before the average life expectancy exceeded 35 years, which happened some two hundred years ago or so. "

True. For that matter, the "Institution of Marriage" has a long and murky history that is far more varied than most people are ever aware. Gay marriage has as long a tradition as straight marriage. Polygamy is quite common throughout history. The modern definition is rather specific, and not anywhere near as universal as most folks assume.

"For now, let’s keep in mind that the model of monogamous life time marriage, where divorce was unthinkable, is invented by patriarchy and devoted to protect the rights of men"

Also true! The idea that Women and Children are objects of posession rather than autonomous people is a lot of where our current assumptions about relationships come from. Heck, the definition of "Adultery" was "Sleeping with another man's wife", with no word whatsoever as to what happens when an unattached woman sleeps with another woman's husband. The woman in that picture must be a whore or something, and the man, it seems, had done nothing wrong.

Well, it's a motion towards equality to declare that what the woman is *not* allowed to do the man should not do either. But wouldn't it be just as equal to say that what the man *may* do the woman may do as well?

*shrugs* It's all a question of trust, really - what can you trust somebody else with? What can you trust yourself with?

"The problem, is his inability to be "monogamous" even within a polyamorous relationship and my inability to deal with it. "

That doesn't make sense by itself. You mean his inability to be faithful to his lovers, even with polyamorous rules? Because an inability to be monogamous in a poly relationship is kind of a given...

"Someone posted that they thought there were probably "hundreds of people" in the lifestyle in thier metropolitan area"

I said that. By which I mean *AT LEAST* hundreds who are open enough to be on my radar. 😉

May 20, 2006
12:38 am
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Worried_Dad
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Great posts, everyone.

This one triggered me a bit though.

"For now, let’s keep in mind that the model of monogamous life time marriage, where divorce was unthinkable, is invented by patriarchy and devoted to protect the rights of men, not women or their children"

Oh, you just had to use the "P" word didnt you! :))

I have no idea where the model of monogamous marriage came from. I suspect it has a basis in natural history and biology and was culturally selected for in times when it was difficult to find mates--and Im talking paleolithic times.

I also agree with the idea that marriage has been used as a way to control property, etc.

While I understand the idea of partiarchal values, cultures, and instituions, I am a little uncomfortable with talking about "Patriarchy" as if it were a person or discrete entity of some kind that "invents" things. It reminds me of the "War on 'Terror.'" How can you declare war on an emotional state?

I do find it fascinating that the notion of non-monogamy can be discussed as just another example of lousy, irresponsible men screwing women over, while the concept of monogamy can also be used as an example of lousy, controlling men screwing women over. Which ever way you go, you can be accused of being a patriarchal bastard.

I started out as mongamous, years ago, then went through years of considering myself to be spiritually, morally, emotionally, and politically polyamorous. Now I'm, I don't know what.

Is there a name for someone who believes that marriage is a properly the union between a man and a guitar?

May 20, 2006
8:17 am
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WD,

{Is there a name for someone who believes that marriage is a properly the union between a man and a guitar?}

Yes, there is -- "musician". Most musicians I've met seem to spend more time with their instruments than their wife.

May 20, 2006
8:36 am
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Mardoll,

Seeker - "I'm also glad that the primary partners have the right to veto any potential choice the other might have for a, for lack of a better word, fling, although that's not exactly the right concept."

True, I shouldn't generalize from your experience to everybody's. I mean it's good that both the man and the woman's desires are taken into account. Too often it's the man who sleeps around while the woman is the suffering faithful.

{"No matter what any of us think, I believe that God expects us to be monogamous."

That does seem to be the most common Christian doctrine ... the bible is filled with male characters with multiple wives (Jacob comes to mind immediately, for example).}

True. Anciently, polygamy (more properly, polygyny [more than one wife]), was practiced. Nowadays, for reasons I don't fully understand, the days for that have passed. I know it's still practiced in some other countries.

The main drawback of a polyamorous relationship appears to be the children that might arise from it. There have to be clear cut rules on which man or men are responsible for raising the children. The men could easily dispute parentage, in which case which guy would take on responsibility for them, especially if the rules can differ among polyamorous relationships?

Yes, everybody knows who the mother is, so in any case she would end up raising the child, and possibly alone. Hopefully there'd be more of a feeling for community support in the poly community. Let's hope so.

I heard of a certain African tribe where several men share a wife. They're so poor that one man can't afford to support a wife and children. All of the husbands jointly take responsibility for the children, no matter who physically is the father. Sounds like the most equitable setup to me.

Seeker

May 20, 2006
9:06 am
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Matteo,

{How about leaving God out of it and concentrate instead on what is good for us and other people involved, and how do we feel about it?}

I view God as being a living being just as real as you and me. He has desires and expectations for us, although he doesn't force us to obey him. He's revealed his presence to me many times. Believe me, if I didn't know that God is real, I'd have already had an affair. I've had chances to do this over the last two years, being separated from my wife, and haven't always felt like abstaining from sex.

I can see some benefits from polyamory as Mardoll described for her and her primary, but I know God wouldn't approve of my doing so, so I won't.

You wonder why not just talk of what's best for us, and leave God out of it. Sometimes we don't know what's best for us, Matteo, but God always does. So I'll defer to him in this matter, in spite of how I might feel at the moment.

Somebody did a study some years back on the reasons women have affairs, and there was a significant correlation between their religious beliefs and their having or not having affairs.

{Why in your opinion it would be such sticky situation not knowing who the father of a child is?}

Because oftentimes, even when a guy knows he's the father of a child, he absolves himself of responsibility for it. Under faithful monogamy and marriage, everybody knows who the father is, so everybody, even the most calcitrant judge, knows who to expect to care for the child.

Polyamory leaves open too many loopholes, IMO, for an unprincipled father to escape responsibilty for his children. There's enough loopholes as it is.

I think mothers are more important to a child's upbringing than the father. Decidedly more so.

Why can't a couple make their monogamous marriage work, no matter how long it lasts? My parents are still married after 50 years, and they seem content together. They're aren't unhappy. They'd be less happy if they weren't together.

{the model of monogamous life time marriage, where divorce was unthinkable, is invented by patriarchy and devoted to protect the rights of men, not women or their children}

I don't see how you get this. I couldn't disagree more. Monogamy, if properly practiced and the man doesn't cheat on his wife, means that a man would support and stay with his wife and children. He wouldn't abandon them and leave them to fend for themselves. He'd take care of them.

By the way, you wondered why bring God into this. Don't you think that it displeases God to see men abandon their wives and children? Don't you think he'd want men to be true and faithful to their wives? I think us men need all the help we can get toward this end, and God is certainly the biggest help I can think of.

Seeker

May 20, 2006
9:16 am
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Mardoll,
I'm thinking that we would only open our bed to the right person. We have opened our hearts to another person in our relationship. So, I guess I believe we can physically and emotionally love more than one person, especially if it is in a way that doesn't take away from anyone, but builds us all emotionally. It would have to be the right person and the right time and that hasn't happened.

We sure love our kids emotionally and physically but NOT sexually, though sex certainly created them.

bonni

May 20, 2006
9:43 am
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Snow,

I don't have anything to add to this thread as I don't personally care what anyone else does in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

As far as I'm concerned, I was not put on this earth to judge anyone.

However, I did want to stop in to say thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life with us and to give you a great big hug.

((((((((((Snow)))))))))))))))

Love,
Lolli

May 20, 2006
11:42 am
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Seeker,

Why did I ask to take God out of it? I have my sets of values, beliefs and morals and if I don’t do or do something, it is not because I am afraid of hell, but because I believe that this is right. I would hate to make anyone think that I am pro monogamy because of my religious beliefs. What you are saying your morals are as good as long God is “watching” you. Not everybody feels the same.

Apparently you and I have very different understanding of God, and I would appreciate if you would not force your understanding: frankly the way you talk about God is deeply offensive to me, and I don’t think you can even imagine how offensive it is. Moreover, there is big discrepancy in what each religion in the same continuum (Christianity and Islam) preaches in regards to marriage. I don’t think this discussion should take place here, anyway.

“Where did I get it from?” From History. Monogamy was established by Catholic Church to protect the property and heritage rights of men: land, women and children. Marriage ensures that the children his wife has, are actually his, that his land will be inherited by his sons and so will be his mane. Women, just as children, had no rights and were treated as part of his property. This is where the idea of chastity belts comes from. The problem with that was that while the women were wearing chastity belts during years of husband’s absence, men were not faithful to them and were actively involved in expanding peasants’ population; the monogamy was actually one sided. This is where the idea of bastards, “illegitimate” children comes from. Not fair, really. Not for the women. Neither for the children.

The argument that polyamory opens more loopholes in regards to caring for children, seems to be very weak to me, especially in today’s word with DNA testing.

I never said that a married monogamous couple cannot make their marriage last forever and be happy. If they can, cudos to them. But they might as well not.

May 20, 2006
11:47 am
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Matteo
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I meant: so will be his name.

May 20, 2006
10:45 pm
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Anonymous
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Matteo,

{Why did I ask to take God out of it? I have my sets of values, beliefs and morals and if I don’t do or do something, it is not because I am afraid of hell, but because I believe that this is right. I would hate to make anyone think that I am pro monogamy because of my religious beliefs.}

Different societies have different ideas about marriage, as you point out. How do I know which right, from my own wisdom and experience? If I'd been born a Moslem in the Middle East, perhaps I'd swear by polygyny today. Or in a certain tribe in Africa, I might swear by polyandry. etc.

If I didn't believe that God prefers one way over the other, how could I feel in my heart that any one of them was best?

I have a conscience, and usually I do what I do because I feel it's right, not because I'm thinking God would get mad at me. But when I'm tempted, sometimes I need to fall back on God. For example, today I met an attractive single woman. She seemed interested in me. I wanted so badly to ask her out. But, being still legally married, I didn't feel it would be right to do so. I was wavering on the borderline, but when I thought that it would displease God, I decided firmly to not do it.

Is it this sort of talk about God that offends you?

{What you are saying your morals are as good as long God is “watching” you.}

Since I believe God is always watching me, that would mean my morals are always good, right? Not a bad deal.

{I would appreciate if you would not force your understanding: frankly the way you talk about God is deeply offensive to me,}

Can you be more specific about how I talk about God? Also, how do I force my understanding? Can you give me some examples? I don't want to offend you or anybody else, and I want to see what I might be able to do to change that.

I see better what you mean by monogamy being established for men, but as you said, the real problem comes when men don't practice the monogamy they are supposed to, or they should, right? If men were as devoted to their wives as they want their wives to be to them, the world would be a much better place, no?

One-sided monogamy is polygamy, whether it's called that or not. I have just as much objection to one-sided monogamy as you do.

I think I've touched some hot buttons with you. I hope you know I didn't do so intentionally.

Seeker

May 20, 2006
11:34 pm
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Matteo
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Seeker, I know. I would gladly explain to you what my beliefs are or rather what is offensive to me, but I am afraid we would have to continue our discussion on libs. I also don't want to force my beliefs on anyone, and that's why I am trying not to mention God in my discussions and it bothers me that not everyone is doing the same. Hugs.

May 21, 2006
12:29 am
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Matteo,

I'll open up a thread on Lib Brews for us to continue this discussion. Sound good? If you're so inclined, please join me there.

May 21, 2006
10:14 pm
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Juanita
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Let me just say, unless both or all the people involved are willing or open to the idea, let it drop... maybe you need to re-consider your relationship and if this is the person you want to be with. If this is an important thing to you, and they do not agree with you, or show interest in it ~ decide if you can let it drop or let them go ~ for both your sakes.

My spouse was interested in trying swinging, 3 somes, 4 somes, etc... Would 'tease' me or try to pursuade me to try these things... including granting me permission to have a bf or an affair, etc. (too much that I don't want to bring up again) I protested saying I loved & adored ONLY him, not to ask such a thing as I could not fathom such a thing. That I could NOT be physically involved with another UNLESS EMOTIONALLY INVOLVED with them. My spouse tried to 'teach' me (for lack of a better word) that sex does not necessarily have to involve emotion. He felt that would be a benefit for me to know this. To be married in a loving, committed, trusting relationship where we'd both have the ability to 'play' with others & return home to one another.... to be able to have your proverbial cake & eat it too.

Long story short ~ I became broken hearted & broken spirited. I became emotionally attached to another man I can't have as I felt unappreciated, unwanted, by the one I'm married to. There is a whole host of self-confidence issues I am fighting & have fought for a few years now. My spouse has dropped the subject & swears never to bring it up again, but the damage has been done. My love for him / our relationship will never be same. I will never be the same.

So please folks, don't play with your loved one's heart or mind. There may be consequences you hadn't thought possible. You may think your relationship is strong enough to withstand anything ~ but warning, even the strongest buildings of mortar, iron & stone can crumble & rust. Hearts are much more fragile than these other things. They are spiritual as well as physical ~ there is never any guarantee to their repair or return should you damage or lose them.

May 21, 2006
11:22 pm
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((Juanita)),

Thank you for sharing. I was touched by your story. Maybe you will yet be the same again. Let's keep our fingers crossed for it.

Seeker

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