A couple of nights ago someone started talking about monogamy and how monogamy is “right”. It reminded me of a topic I had been meaning to write for a while now on the very topic of polygamy and “different” relationship styles.
Personally, I am monogamous, I believe in monogamy for myself because I know that I couldn’t be comfortable or happy in a relationship that was not monogamous. However, I don’t see anything wrong with people in other styles of relationships. Primarily I am going to talk about polygamy as it refers to relationships or marriage with multiple partners. Other styles of relationships such as a basic open relationship in which you are in a relationship with someone but are comfortable with each other seeking additional sexual satisfaction outside of the relationship are also relevant. I also want to add that I am not an expert on any of these topics. I say things based on knowledge from friends and from books and websites. If I am factually wrong about anything please correct me.
I view polygamous relationships the way I view homosexual relationships. A relationship style that is not “normal” in society but that is not exactly a choice (there is a choice to act on one’s feelings, but not a choice to have those feelings). A group I don’t belong to, but a group that I view as no different to the group of people in heterosexual relationships that I belong to. To me it seemed normal. We are all attracted to different things, different people, and different lifestyles. Some people are attracted to a person of the opposite sex, some to the same sex, or to both sexes, or neither. Why can’t a person be attracted an feel an emotional connection to more than one person at once? Many people have felt it. It tends to destroy relationships. You are happy in one relationship but start to find yourself “connecting” with someone else. It confuses things and doesn’t feel right. In most monogamous relationships this wouldn’t be acceptable, and this can cause the current relationship to end (or the involved party to cheat) — either way, it’s bad.
But what if that were fine? What if you and your partner were comfortable with that? Why is there such a problem with this? What right do I have to say that that isn’t acceptable? I am not comfortable with that, but some people are not comfortable without being able to show love to more than one person. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.
It seems to me that the issue with polygamous relationships is the same as the issue with interracial relationships 50 years ago, and the issues that people are still having with homosexual relationships today: It’s not “normal”. That’s not how most people work so it isn’t right. As you may have guessed, I don’t agree with that view, but I also don’t see why this matters. How is someone’s else’s relationship going to effect you, and what right do you have to judge it?