Some may already be aware of this, but one of my favorite shows right now is Big Love. If you are not familiar with the show, it is an HBO series about a mormon polygamist family in Utah. The husband is a successful business owner and he has 3 wives and 9 children. The show is literally “awesome”!
But to get to my point, a friend of mine asked me a very good question the other day, “would I ever big love it up?’. LOL, meaning would I be a polygamist. At first the answer seemed very simple, “No”. I was thinking about it from a religious standpoint, and it does not align with my beliefs, but he (my friend) opened my mind to the fact that it does not always have to be linked to religion. So as we talked about it more I realized that maybe it was not such a bad thing. Our continued conversation led to other thoughts and I wondered how natural is monogamy, really? I wondered if we as a society have been tricked or hoodwinked, no maybe conditioned to believe that this husband and wife monogamous thing is “morally right” and that it is what all people should work to obtain.
I started thinking about what I have observed and how I was raised. For as long as I can remember the images of family and marriage have always been present in some way in my life. My parents married young, and they have been married for almost 31 years now. Also, looking at toys, cartoons and all of the images children see that notion of “heterosexual monogamy” are thrown in our faces at a young age and continue through adult media and societal images. I am beginning to believe that is the reason why so many people are confused about relationships and their own feelings. This is the reason why people believe that if they’re not monogamous they have issues and some go so far as to seek counseling.
I am well aware of the religious/biblical context surrounding getting married and “being fruitful and multiplying” but….I am also aware of those mentioned in the bible who had several wives. Polygamy is present in the Holy Bible which is the foundation of so many of our religious principles…so why then is it illegal, frowned upon and thought to be horrible? I will be the first to openly admit that I do not live my life based upon the bible….. but if people bring that and religion up into many arguments about things that concern society, morals, decisions etc… then how can you discredit the presence of polygamy? It is implicitly applied in the most natural way… I digress from that part though.
Moving back to the main point, I don’t think it is horrible. My firm belief is that relationships whether the people are married or not, hetero or homosexual should be defined, described and lived by the people who are in them. Our government should not be able to dictate who can and cannot married nor how many marriages one can have at a time. If you are a polygamist so be it; if you are in an open marriage so be it. We spend sooo much time worried about what goes on in the lives of others, judging and scrutinizing people for not living their lives the way we think they should or they way we were taught to believe they should but what that really boils down to is insecurity within ourselves.
That was the lesson I took away from all of this thinking and conversation and I learned it from my friend. He said he believes that our supposedly “innate” beliefs that monogamy in relationships and even in marriages is an excuse for us masking our own insecurities and selfishness for believing that we must be the only “one” for another person. I concur! In my short but adventurous and experienced life I have learned some important things about relationships:
1. A relationship should only be between the people who are in it! It is no one else’s business what you all do within your relationship. It is left up to you to define it, to determine how it will go. You should not ever let anyone else make you feel bad for the terms of the relationship you are in.
2. Based on number 1, you should also COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE! with the other person(s) involved in the actual relationship. If I have an issue or a problem with my partner, I need to talk to my partner about it. Not my mom, dad, brother, friend, Benny from around the block or anyone else. No one else knows the other person(s) they way you do, that’s why you are with them, so why not talk things out and be honest and open with them?
3. Based on number 2, be OPEN & HONEST! Every day will not be a sunny, happy day. People will make mistakes and feelings will get hurt. But if you hold things inside for too long resentment and anger build up and that leads to confrontation. You should be able to talk and work through issues, but know that the other person(s) is most likely not psychic so you have to TELL them what you want and don’t want, do and don’t like.
4. Be true to yourself and never lose sight of who you are! This is the constant mistake that I have made in past relationships. There is no reason why you can’t be one piece of a pair but not still be an individual. Everyone always talks about compromise this and negotiate on that. BULLSHIT! I believe in reciprocity but it should not come at the expense of losing who you are as an individual. You should not and do not have to change everything about you or always be the only person compromising. In the past, my mistakes in this area have truly come from me not being comfortable with or knowing and loving myself more which leads to my last point…
5. It is about YOU! Everyone will face some sort of insecurities at some time, but it takes a person who is emotionally ready and mature enough to be able to work through them. This is where I failed…Epically! LOL. I was not ready to commit to anyone else, because I had not true commitment to myself. I based how I was in a relationship on what the other person needed and expected from me, as well as what they wanted me to be. I was very insecure and I didn’t really love myself. The age old saying comes into play here, “If you don’t love yourself, how can you love someone else?” Very true. Loving yourself is knowing yourself; being able to define yourself on your own terms; being comfortable with who you are and if you want to make changes, changing because you want to; you have to be committed to yourself! Never let anyone tell you that’s selfish; that is sanity! It is alright to believe that it is about you! Regardless of how many relationships end, how many friends you gain or lose, you will always have to live with you. Why not take care of and look out for yourself, your own wants, needs and desires??
Wow, I know I have put out quite a bit here, but I stayed up really late thinking about this and I had to express it here. The bottom line is, love how you want to, whether it’s Big Love style or not, it is about you and who you are in a relationship with. Keep the outside out! I knowI will…this time around 🙂