Some of us are likely to picture some bunny people who do not sleep, do not eat, and do not work once the terms “polygamy” and “open marriage” are being mentioned. In fact, the bunny people do nothing but copulate in an unstoppable frenzy all the time.
The majority of animals are polygamous, and those who belong to the Homo sapiens species are not an exception to the rule. According to a popular myth, men are portrayed as the only ones inclined to engage in extramarital sexual relationships. In actuality, women are snapping at men’s heels when it comes to extramarital sex. The difference seems to stem from a “biological program” of the male and female, whether it refers to animals or humans. The male is programmed to fertilize as many females as possible, while the female aims to seduce as many males as possible so that she may choose the best of all.
It was not for nothing that man was made to be the king of nature. Man’s ability to fool his own nature was part of the deal. The point is that the quantity of offspring was far more important than the “quality” of descendants for both the agricultural and industrial methods of production in terms of survival and well-being.
Marriage based on sexual monogamy can ensure the maximum population growth. Under this kind of marriage, a husband is a breadwinner for his family, and thus his wife does not have to make money to support her offspring. She may as well bear children every year. However, human passions and monogamy have to be held in check using a number of restraints in the form of religious, moral and legal bans. Only the powers that be took advantage of a few exceptions e.g. the right to the first nuptial night or divorce. However, both husbands and wives have always committed adultery despite the fear of punishment. Compared to marriage monogamy, coupling monogamy has never existed in the human society.
Things were different in the nomadic tribes. The “quality” of offspring was on top of the list. The nomads wanted their boys to grow into strong and skillful warriors while the girls were supposed to turn into able-bodied female companions whose main job was to endure the hardships of a nomadic life and bear healthy children. The nomads practiced polygamous relationships to give a boost to the “quality” of their offspring. Polygamy was a way by which the carriers of the best “genetic material” could sooner or later couple and procreate better offspring after a number of trials and errors. Yet again, the human race needed to do the job not with number but with skill in a postindustrial society. Only the smart, talented and creative ones can succeed in today’s life and attain their goals.
That is why sexually monogamous marriage gradually ceases to be the only acceptable form of sexual and family relations. The “consecutive polygamy” e.g. engaging in a new relationship upon the termination of an old one (divorce) has been legalized a long time ago. Single-parent families are not a novelty any more either. The hippies lectured the world at length on the subject of “free love” in the late-1960s.
Once upon a time there was a husband and wife. Then a wife happened to fall in love with another man. Needless to say, her reckless behavior is in complete contradiction to a set of clear-cut rules and norms of society. So what is a poor woman supposed to do under the circumstances? Is she supposed to leave her husband, her beloved spouse and father of her children, and run away with a lover? Is her affair worth leaving everything behind? Alternatively, is she supposed to trample her blind passion under feet?
Will she opt to cheat on her husband instead? Any solutions offered by the polygamous society will make all three parties involved in this triangle suffer.
Yet happiness is just a step away, happiness can be very real. All you have to do is break the “moral norms” and take a leap into the world where love comes in a carefully measured fashion. You can love in this world but you do not have lie to anybody while doing so. In this world wives do not spy on their husbands by glancing secretly at text messages in their mobile phones. And husbands do not discuss their wives behind their backs since adultery is a base thing to do in this world just like it is anywhere else. To put it short and simple, faithfulness is not kept in the pants in this world. It is kept in the head.
First off, couples in polygamous relationships experience jealousy more frequently than those in sexually monogamous marriages. Well, you can feel somewhat lousy after your hubby gives you a kiss on the cheek before going on a date with somebody else who could look much younger and prettier than you. Jealousy is justified and often extolled as a virtue by a monogamous ethic. On the contrary, jealousy is a “shame” and, in a sense, a form of violence toward your partner, according to a polygamous ethic. It is easier to beat the demon jealousy when you know that jealousy is bad: “I love him, I want him to have fun, and so I won’t be suffering because he’s having a good time etc.” However, living in a polygamous relationship will be hell on every party involved in it when the demon gets the upper hand.
“If something disappears in one place, it will certainly appear in another one,” as Mikhail Lomonosov put it. Limited resources beget the second archenemy of those who in polygamous relationships. Every partner needs care and attention but the day equals 24 hours only. You can do without a certain amount of time for work, sleep, and some urgent matters to attend on a daily basis. As a result, time allocated for your personal life is next to nothing. So far nobody has accused a woman who gave birth to her second child of being reckless and selfish to her children because the second child could allegedly deprive the firstborn of his share of the motherly love. In other words, the question is: Why is the possibility of maintaining a full-bodied relationship with more than one person so hard to believe? We do know that people can make appropriate arrangements so that none of their two or three children may feel left out or forlorn.
It’s up to you to decide
Calling the advocates of polygamy “the enemies of monogamy” is simply preposterous. In actuality, polygamists are opposed to lies and abuse of feelings. If your partner fits like a glove and the idea of fooling around with somebody else never occurs to you or your partner simply because neither you nor your partner feels like trying it out – so be it. Stay the way you are.
On the contrary, you are must be ready for polygamy if you feel that your relationship has gone sour and boredom is a key word for describing your family life. You start cheating on your husband who (you are sure of it) is cheating on you in the meantime. You tear off your bleeding heart piece by piece, trying to play it safe or call it quits and remain “just good friends” because “this romance will get us nowhere, you know I’m married and I just can’t…” Maybe it is time you gave it a thought and changed something in your life? The conclusions you will arrive at after considering your situation might as well be wrong and misleading but a final decision will be entirely yours. Your choice will be one of the many choices you can make of your own free will and thus you will not be forced to fit in Procrustes’s bed modeled after some ostensibly universal standards applicable to human relationships. By and large, monogamy is an individual case of polygamy with the number of partners N=1.
Translated by Guerman Grachev
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