relationship rhetoric

Big Love, Big Pain

     Would polygamy help to resolve the issue of infidelity in marriages, being that a man who is wealthy enough to “keep” a number of wives will have the variety that many men crave, thereby allowing him to remain faithful by only engaging in sex with his wives?  Polygamy is not to be confused with open marriages or polyamorous relationships (having more than one intimate relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of everyone involved), as it is more widely accepted, morally and justifiably sound, encouraged by the Mormon and Muslim religions, and it is a form of marriage, unlike the latter.      

     Since lack of variety/boredom is one of the most noted reasons why men say they cheat, and why they are not marrying as much as they once did, or as young, wouldn’t it follow that variety in a marriage would have the opposite effect?  The implications of polygamy mistakenly lead folks to believe that it is sacriligious and morally sinful, but it doesn’t seem to be. In biblical times, men were allowed to have as many wives as they could “keep,” and such an arrangement was not considered immoral or sinful because polygamy IS still a form of marriage.  For the record, I am in no position to state whether the Bible speaks to the issue of whether polygamy is right or wrong, but to me, whether it is or isn’t, is not clear.

None of them look blissfully happy; the one on the far left must not be the favorite.

     The idea of a woman being kept, for some reason, is now looked upon unfavorably.  However, keeping wives requires major responsibility and culpability, and polygamy is still a commitment of sorts. The only difference is that it affords those willing to take on such a massive obligation the right to love several women within the confines of marriage.  Furthermore, polygamy is not only a luxury that men can enjoy.  In some societies, women may also marry multiple men, although I’m sure it is more prevalent with men.

     Despite the positive ramifications of America becoming a polygamous society, I don’t think the idea would fare well for one reason, and one reason only. Jealousy.  If a man solicited me to be a part of his harem of wives, I’d be quite offended. I personally don’t like to share, but who does?  Americans are so devoted to monogamy in theory, but epically failing when it comes to practice, so maybe it’s time for a change.

Looks like the guy is the only one WINNING in this scenario

     Shows like HBO’s “Big Love” have introduced the idea of polygamy to American society, but will the notion ever really be accepted?  I seriously doubt it.  Being one of many wives, I would imagine, requires extreme humility, tolerance and a willingness to wholeheartedly submit to someone who is not totally and completely commited to you.  The haughtiness and egotistical nature of the average American male and female would not allow either to participate in a situation where they are not the center of their partner’s attention, and the main object of their affection. What if the husband has a favorite, and you’re not it?  Could this lead to extended absence in one household as opposed to another, resulting in some children having less opportunity to bond with their fathers than their siblings?

     I can’t even bring myself to watch “Big Love” for fear that I might be sold on the idea of polygamy. I don’t even want to put that in my spirit because, although it doesn’t appear morally wrong on its face, I just can’t.  Could polygamy also cause further confusion in a society that holds such conservative views on marriage, and the nuclear family? Do the positive effects of polygamy outweigh the negative? Probably not.  But, it does seem that our society could be headed in this direction with more and more couples openly admitting that they are or have been involved in polyamorous relationships.  I was floored when I heard that legends, Ruby Dee and Ozzie Davis had an open marriage. It’s like finding out YOUR grandparents were swingers. #Idontwannaknow


5 thoughts on “Big Love, Big Pain

  1. Hahahaha

    Posted by Ahmed | September 20, 2011, 9:16 AM
  2. In regards to what the Bible’s stance on Polygamy is, I can assure you that polygamy is not okay in God’s eyes. In the Old Testament, during the maturation of His people, God tolerated but was not pleased with Polygamy. Jesus made it very clear that this was no longer acceptable in the first book (Matthew) of the New Testament. People may look at David, who was a great man of God, and say well he had many wives. This is true, however, if those people STUDY the life of David, they will see that this is exactly what brought him and his kingdom to ruin. It was his lack of self-control relating to women that brought him down. The same thing happened to Solomon who was blessed unlike anyone before or after him but everything changed because of his pursuit of multiple wives and concubines.

    There are many scriptures in the New Testament that speak to the fact that a man is supposed to have one wife: Matt 19:4-7, I Cor. 7:2-5, Eph 5:22-33

    People just make excuses as to why they cannot or should be exempt from exhibiting self-control. The Bible is very clear on everything we need to know when STUDIED from a place of neutrality. By neutrality, I mean one who STUDIES the Bible without looking to find some opening to say “See, I think I can do that”, while knowing within their conscience they are wrong (unless that conscience, through repititive sinning, has become seared).

    There is no time in a day for a male to pursue a woman outside of his wife if he is about his business. I think about my days and how quickly they go by and I have yet to get married. If people were to do the following things: spend time in prayer, study the Word of God, work, cook, speak with and/or visit family, workout, do something for someone other than themselves, run errands, and read; How could that person have time to pursue multiple relationships, especially, a man or woman that is married and has kids.

    Men and Women (not to be confused with males and females) are so rarely seen nowadays that the standards that once existed have been forgetten and childish behavior has become acceptable for those who are in the adult age bracket. We should take the mindset that Paul spoke of in I Cor. 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. But when I became a man, I put away childish things.” The type of irresponsible behavior that makes a man enjoy the pursuit of multiple women rather the enjoying committing to one has become so popular in our society and it is truly sad. It is the direct result of broken homes, poor upbringing, and media and entertainment. There’s a quote from the great movie “Hud” that hits the situation on the head as it relates to America. “Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire.”

    Lastly, I know and continue to meet many people of various ages, who are hurting because they had absentee parents, or in multiple cases, a father that had multiple families. These people have suffered a lot of pain and anyone who wants to do that to a woman (even if she doesn’t value herself enough not to put up with it) and/or children is thinking about no one but themselves!

    Posted by Mark | September 21, 2011, 8:43 PM
    • Thanks Mark for giving a point of reference in stating that the Bible does not support polygamy. I fully intend to look up all your references, and respond again at that time.

      I also feel that self-control and discipline are attributes that our men, and some women lack, which is one of the reasons I even considered polygamy as a possible way to cure this problem of infidelity. And maybe the answer is not to accommodate, but to continue to hold men and women to the standard of monogamy.

      Posted by thirtythoughts | September 22, 2011, 4:03 AM
  3. I am not a Christian, but since the law is based on what Christendom views as right or wrong controls the law on this issue (and now almost nothing else, we can shop on Sunday but its a felony to marry more than one wife) its important to point out where this whole thing goes wrong. I can see how coming to the extreme conclusion the Bible somehow bans polygamy requires STUDY, since merely reading can’t get us there. Even plain old “study” won’t get us there. Anyone can plainly look up any of those citations and see there is no ban on polygamy, anywhere. The ban on Polygamy is Roman in origin. The Romans gave one woman the status of wife and men would have many more women without such a status. Otherwise, as your reading of the Bible itself demonstrates, polygamy was common and not at all condemned by scripture throughout history.

    The Bible is full of stories. Good stories have some drama, even in the Bible. Yes, polygamy is a rich source of drama, but so is sibling rivalry (see the stories of Joseph and his brothers, then there was Cain and Able)- From this study do you derive anything on not having more than one child? This would rid the world of fratricide forever no doubt.

    Its especially rich to denigrate Biblical figures honored by God as being immature or childish. Abraham, noted as a “friend of God” at least three times in the Bible, immature? If thats what it takes for being tight with God, I’m all for being immature! The sad fact is, the values modern Christianity derives this concept of marriage not from the Bible but from the Pagan Romans. Add to this the sin of adultery (something the Romans were not burdened with, neither are most Americans as it happens) and things start looking warped.

    Posted by ahmed | October 12, 2011, 4:45 AM

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