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Big Families


skyseeker
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Hello,

 

I've wanted to ask you about something that would be really untraditional in christianity. It's the idea of bigger relationships than the 1-1 relationships that we usually regard as the best and also as the only really valid form of romantic relationship.

 

I got this idea mainly from seeing documentaries about some indigenous peoples that still practice it, and from the book "The moon is a harsh mistress" by Robert Heinlein.

 

The idea is, to have a marriage that includes more than 2 people, ie marriages of 3 or maybe even 4 or 5 people. Not like in the OT where a man could have many wives, but wives couldn't have many men. The ideal would be marriags of 2 women with 2 men.

 

I know this idea rings strange in our ears, but it seems to me that it could prevent base fornication and also reduce affairs and adultery.

 

Basically, 3 or more people in the marriage could produce a form of romantic living together that could be really wholesome and healthy for us. I know that indigenous peoples who practice such forms of partnership really enjoy much joy and love and also a whole another sense of peace in the partnership. Instead of being a 1-1 love cell, you could have more people to turn to, and when all members of the "marriage" would stick to each other in such a way, there would be so much love and safety.

 

Am I deluding myself with this idea? I mean, while I can imagine that such a partnership could be as beautiful and good as I wrote above, I also feel like there could be struggle and unpeace, that humans don't really fit to such partnerships, I just don't know.

 

What do you think?

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In theory I think it could work well, Skyseeker, but in practice I'm not so convinced. It might reduce affairs but I wonder if at the end of the days affairs are in some ways attractive because of the 'thrill' of the chase and not so much about the 'product'. A husband or wife that needs an external affair because they're bored with one partner, would probably be just as bored with two (perhaps).

 

I think culturally there might be too much baggage to make it work. But if a number of people were happy enough and found the relationship worked for them, then I'd see no harm.

 

I have always thought it strange that the expectation is that we will have one and only one love for our life. I think I could love more than one person as dearly as I love my current wife, however I'm not certain relationships can stand up against that so well.

Edited by PaulS
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skyseeker,

 

While such a family might and does work to some degree in various cultures with some possible inherent social problems....... within the American culture as it exists today,...... it would in my opinion, not work well and create a nightmare for our present system of laws, morals, and governing organization structure.

 

The idea i think exists and works in more primitive societies as you have mentioned but not normally as relates to our idea of fairness in relationships. That is not to say that it may not be appropriate for highly advanced societies where consciousness has risen beyond dominating emotions of greed, lust, jealousy, anger, pride, etc.

 

In short, in my view, there may be a day when such an idea may work well.

 

Joseph

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Count me as skeptical. I can imagine all sorts of social problems with jealousies, favoritism, issues with parents and children, etc., etc., etc.

 

The nuclear family is a cultural universal, but, as far as I know, this is a form that has never developed, at least, on a wide scale and maybe for good reason.

 

George

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I personally have no problem with it. Some situations might work. Jealousy is a spectrum sometimes to extreme, so in most cases this scenario would be a problem. Today's society is wont to accept only traditional relationships. It's pretty much only a mental exercise.

 

Ron

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Thank you for the comments.

 

Has anyone here maybe read Heinlein's novel?

 

In this book the main character of the novel is part of a line marriage. Basically it is a huge family with maybe 10 wives and 10 husbands, and many children. And they form something like a clan, having their own huge home in a tunnel system on the moon. The thing was, the main character expressed how he enjoyed having so many "partners". They all consciously tried to make it work, especially the women who, in the novel, have more authority and political power than men. So for example, they all tried to help each other and while some were closer to each other than others in the family, there was a lot of understanding and mutual support.

 

But maybe it's kind of a dream to have such line marriages, and in reality on this Earth in our time here now it could not work. I'm not sure and can't decide myself. If there'd be a chance to be part of such a big family that is actually working, I'd be happy to join it, but I'm not sure how jealousies and envies are kept in check. But who knows, maybe such line marriages would work better than I can see here now, and there wouldn't be much jealousy and envy. It depends how willing to show love the people in the marriage are. And how they would handle it if one of them felt bad or felt jealousy and wanted to be alone with his "favourite" among the other husbands/wives.

 

I felt especially interested in the other men that would be part of the marriage. I mean, suppose two men love the same woman, could they overcome their jealousies and desires and support each other loving their wife, or would they start to fight?? I saw this movie once, "Gloomy Sunday", about such a menage a trois in Budapest, Hungary. They really helped each other and lived together, and gave each other strength in a life that was threatened by the nazis (the movie played in the 1930's).

Edited by skyseeker
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When I was in Morrocco, I was told a group, it might be the Berbers have a festival once a year and the wife has one day to change her husband for a new or older model.

 

I read where another African group somewhere in Africa has a social security system that seems to work. A young boy marries an older women who has assets and experience. The older women teaches the boy about life, money and spirituality. When the boy grows older the women dies and the elderly man takes a young women and returns the favor.

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When I was a monk and living a life of celebacy, I became very close to women. It was very satisfying and I had no desire for a sexual connection. I lived in ashrams and communes and I became close to them because I had no barriers or ulterior thoughts and they had the same mutual feelings so we became close without attachments.

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