Only one mate?

For quite some time I have wondered if humans are supposed to be monogamous.  Check this out, only 3.5% of all animal life is monogamous.  Beavers, Otters, Jackals, Foxes, some bats, deer, penguins, antelopes, elephants, whales and a few others.  Even within those expressed examples, all of those fidelities are genetic and chemical based fidelities.

So why do we think that we are above that?  Sure, the only thing that separates humans from animals is the capacity to “reason” but does “reason” over ride nature?

Culturally, the practice of monogamy was/is a big practice of Europeans.  Not Africans, not Asians, not Aborigines, not Greeks,  seemingly not anyone.  It almost seem as though this was a imposition rolled up into the Christian belief system.

Keep in mind that nature is the opposite of culture. Monogamy itself isn’t necessarily in our nature as human beings (it’s possible but very difficult to determine). However, monogamy is part of most human culture, and adhering to culture is a “natural” result of socialization.

Monogamy actually means being with the SAME person for an entire lifetime. What our culture engages in now is more appropriately called “serial monogamy”. We are with one person at a time. So if you want to get technical about it, real monogamy hardly even exists anymore! It’s not a cultural imposition so it’s not adhered to. That might be a clue over whether or not “serial monogamy” is natural, too.

To determine if human beings would be monogamous without culture (and therefore consider monogamy natural), we would have to strip away all the “meaning” behind it. Without cultural ideals of soul mates, fate, morality, phrases you hear over and over in the movies (“we were meant to be together”), monogamy starts to look like an entirely different concept. What I’m trying to say is that monogamy itself is a cultural construction; it’s irrelevant whether or not we would only be with one person in nature (although I think we probably wouldn’t be). But like it or not, it is very difficult to deviate from such a strong cultural standard without repercussions. Only those who have a strong personal tendency are going to live a lifestyle contrary to their culture – that can include polygamy in our culture or monogamists in polygamy cultures.

I think monogamy works for some people, but definitely not everyone. I know a few polygamy people, and to them, it just doesn’t make sense to expect one person to fulfill every need you have. So polygamy works for them – they give all persons involved full disclosure, everybody fully understands what is going on and agrees to it, and they enjoy each other’s love.

The only time monogamy (or polygamy!) does NOT work is when any kind of deception is involved. If one person thinks they are in a monogamous relationship but is cheated on and deceived, consequences should follow. But that situation is not monogamy. And it’s not how polygamy operate either. Whether with one person or more, people just need mutually beneficial and honest relationships – that’s what works! The rest is a preference of the individual.  Polygamy also doesn’t mean that all parties involved can have whomever nor does is its intent to support “large sexual appetites”.

My final thought is this:

I have a big home, great income, and a wife and children.  Let’s say I happen to come across another woman with children.  The children have no active father and she has no emotional commitment to any man.  What really makes it “bad” to open my home to her family, for me to father those children and take care of her?  I have the capacity to love multiple women, and a man is certainly able to father many children.  I am now providing our seed a better chance for a future under my fatherhood.

I am interested in your response:  Even if I am open/honest with my current wife (and she is warming and welcome) would you have a problem with this situation?

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11 thoughts on “Only one mate?

  1. Let’s begin this discussion with a question — suppose you have a wife and children, both husband and wife have great incomes, a comfortable home. Your wife meets a man with children but no active mother. Is it ‘bad’ to invite them in to your home so that the children have a nurturing home with a loving mother, and the man the love of a woman. We’ve now provided a better future for these children, the potential for more children and are impacting society through giving of ourselves. If I am open and honest with my husband, do you have a problem with this?

  2. Well the entry was written from a objectional/curious view point but since I am personally being queried…

    I wouldn’t have a problem with “you” as a person doing it because it’s your home, body and decision. LOL, of course “I” would have a problem or rather objection with that if “my” wife made the inquiry. These are not double standards but more my opinion, and the nature of man with a tinge of Eurocentric culturalism:

    1. As man, I will NEVER take care of another man, his children sure; him um…no. There are certain things that are not allowable

    2. Two men cannot co-habitate in that type of environment. Too much aggression would persist, that is of course you meet the exceptional man. Remember, I prefaced my entry with a bit of “natures law”. Outside of the exceptional women, women are more apt in such environments then men. It’s the generally passive nature of women that allows them to works in ways a man just cannot

    3. Humanistically and biologically, men are to be the head of a family, home, pack, clan village or whatever you want to call it. I think humans were meant to be led by man. Proven in history and proven biologically. This is of course outside of the exceptional woman.

    All in all, it “could” would the other way around. The polygamy life style is based on you and your mates position and communication on the lifestyle. But this posed question defies natures position on humans and social integration thus the premise of my entry.

    Now that I have complied, I await you answer to my initial question and THEN your response to my comment 🙂

  3. I will start off with it is not the same thing to be a “Man” and a “Woman”. No matter how much our modern society wants it to be true, men and women are not equal. Man has role and woman has a role. I believe women are loosing touch with the role of a man due to the rise in fatherless homes and women having to raise men.

    Fathers provide so much a woman will NEVER be able replicate as a mother. I bring this up to move into the topic discussion. As a patriarch I have duties and privledges in my clan. Evolution and the effects of the christian faith has stripped us of our repsect as MEN. The leader… the decision maker… the worshiped… not because of our penis, but because of our job as MAN. If we do a great job we should be given great praise for takin care of our clan. The lifestyle adopted by our faith has left more women and children to die on the street in poverty that could have been avoided by the patriarch having the power to make decisions for the clan. Giving women the chance to be something their not has stripped our culture in what has worked for hundreds of years. Inturn loosing the clan leader and putting those not strong enough to fend for themselves and sometimes by themselves.

    Notice I have not talked about polygamy or monogany… why? Well because that junk came around when woman got a little power and thought the world would be a better place if she had a man to herself. When as a patriarch of the past it had nothing to do with the love for 1 person over another.

  4. This is a very important issue.. thank you Dimitri

    To share my thought with you let me first start with a small introduction.

    If I come across a situation that I am confused about and I don’t know what I should do, I usually refer to the most knowledgeable resource or person in that filed.

    For example if I am not sure what tire should I use for my BMW, then I will refer to the driver manual and seek for the information I need. If I fail to find the answer then I will contact the BMW Car manufacture because I know they are the best people to advice me and to “guide” me in this situation.

    Now, to answer Dimitri’s question, I would say that we should refer to the human creator… on other word, GOD (Allah).

    As a Muslim, I believe that GOD has created every thing in this world including human. So, GOD understands and knows the nature of men and women. So let see what GOD said about this situation…

    In Islam, Muslim men are allowed to marry up to four wives at the same time while Muslim women are not allowed to marry more than one husband at the same time.

    Why? This is the question you may be asking now!

    If I want to answer this question, then I will need more than 200 lines… However, I will refer you to a website that provides a very good explanation about this.

    http://www.islamtomorrow.com/articles/marry_4_women_too.htm

    My final thought is this:

    There is no problem for a man to be a husband for more than one woman. The Creator (GOD) allowed this because he know that “some” men might need more than one wife if they –men- follow the rules that has been generated by GOD.

    Finally, excuse my English since it is not my mother tongue.

  5. How’s I sees it:

    All Forms of Marriage and there functions are socially implemented for natural survival. For example, the act of polygyny, one man with multiple wives, includes the opportunity for a man to gain status by having more than one wife and having more than one child. It is a common practice among pre-industrial societies where horticulture or pastorialism is the basis of economic life. More wives mean more workers, more wives means more children and wives with children means a shit load of workers. The primary function of polygyny is implemented for natural human survival in non-industrial societies. Of course there is a negative side to polygyny, it can get expensive to maintain a household multiple wives and jealousy among the wives that may ensue. Another example, there are also societies that practice polyandry, multiple husbands for one wife, which is crazy awesome, and the primary function of this union is due to the shortage of females. Clearly, all forms of marriage and their functions are social put in for natural survival.

    As for monogamy, it is very conducive to our finical life style in this day in age because it is a little difficult for most families in an industrialize nation to afford multiple wives and children.

    How I sees it: If a guy wants to have more than more woman, more power to him. That is one brave, brave soul because it is bad enough for a man to get the tail end of P.M.S mood swings of one woman, shit, imagine if there were five of them bitching and complaining. If it is hard to “successfully” sexually please just one woman, imagine trying to do that to more than one woman. So sure, monogamy is not ideal union for most societies but it takes a great man to handle more than one wife. If a man can handle it , than its all gravy baby.

  6. I personally would not get involved with a person who felt that they could not commit to one woman (namely, me). There are many reasons that I feel this way, but none of these reasons stand out as much as the fact that I think that I am too valuable to share a man. It’s that simple.

    And honestly, I don’t buy into the whole “animals aren’t meant to be monogamous” because I am not an animal. While I share all of the major organs of all mammals, I am a thinking being…. Show me a monkey that can drive a car, check its email, cook a meal and think about what it is going to do tomorrow, and I’ll abandon this way of thinking. I’m not an animal, and don’t condone people who behave like animals.

    If it’s your culture, that’s a different story. There are some cultures where it is not only allowed, but encouraged that a man have more than one wife.

    Just shows that this is indeed a man’s world, because I have yet to run across a culture that allows a woman more than one husband…. But that’s another Blog Entry, right, Dimitri?

  7. Thanks for providing a response to my query. Let’s engage in further discussion…I’ll begin by concurring that monogamy and polygamy are choices to be made within a relationship — and are private decisions between parties involved. If me, personally — No, I don’t find your proposal acceptable. I wouldn’t share my mate and our home with another woman, nor would I expect my mate to share our home with another man. Not in the sense you imply above. If, however, WE wanted to provide shelter, nurture and food for their family until which time she / they were on their feet, so be it. But not my bed, nor my man.

    Let’s visit concurrently, the interrelated point within your argument of ‘my home’ rather than ‘our home’. Rather evokes the overriding theme here of omnipotence within the male figure…(I’ll give you a ‘mulligan’ as you sort of slipped from upper to lower ‘brain’ functioning on that one) A family’s home is a haven; a place to be shared and cherished by each, not dominated by the ‘patriach’ — said facetiously.

    With those points made, there are some additional points for clarification:

    1.) I need to point out that there are differing opinions as to the origin of the family. If one looks at the early forms of government…of which the family is a governmental unit of sorts…there are those that believe the origin to be patriarchal BUT, also those that believe it to be an evolution of polandry and polygyny. The jury is out on that front…and if you think about it, each could, depending on circumstance (e.g. in times of war and scarcity of men) serve a practical purpose for society. This sort of spills ‘water’ on your argument, and allows a natural flow, that man was ‘in nature’s eye’ the head of household. LOL

    2.) Further, I would argue not all women are passive, and accepting of a man’s choice of promiscuity. Men were blessed with two heads, however, unsuccessful in maintaining adequate blood flow to utilize both successfully at the same time.

    3.) Let’s assume the world was meant to be led by men…yeah, I’m not thinking we’re where we need to be with this plan…rather quite a far distance off course. Another topic for another day, but our world is in a state of clusterf*&k…and we’re running out of time to right the course.

    I believe I have answered your initial query and raised you one in response to your reply.

  8. Yes, monogamy is an oddity. Research tells us that it’s not our fault, that we simply don’t have those genes encoded into our DNA. It also states that “strict monogamy” is almost inexistent. Staying faithful is extremely hard for animals, as the males are programmed to spread their genes.

    While I do not agree with Darwin’s “Theory of Evolution” of how we evolved I do agree that we are somewhat like animals. Of course we can do the obvious: cooking, cleaning, driving a car, read, write etc..things which animals cannot – but – our concept between humans and animals mainly on monogamy is quite the same.

    From MY spiritual point of view, when God made the first family, people, how many were in it? Two! That’s a rather significant statement, don’t you think? Monogamy was Gods intention from the beginning. While God did allow polygamy for a time, it was probably for the same reason as his allowance of divorce. Monogamous marriage was always God’s will. Do I believe God allows polygamy? Yes, I believe he allows it. Do I believe God wants it? No. There is no reason for it.

    I believe if you let God take control of your life “He” will lead you to the person you were meant to be with. In that case there will be no need to find fulfillment in any other woman or man other that you “initial” husband of wife.

    MY final thoughts:

    I would never agree to the outlandish proposal of letting another woman into my home around my children and bedding my husband. “I” am not that “warming and welcoming”. I would never provide shelter to another woman – not in my home- and that’s simply because I don’t trust women. However, I would provide her children shelter, nurturing, food..etc. – and – help her find other arrangements; and that is all I’m offering.

  9. LOL, oh crap this is a sensitive subject. I personally see nothing wrong with “not living a monogamous life” lifestyle, and I know other men and women who live this way. I know a few kats, with multiple women and it’s not based on sexual relationship. I know women who are perfectly engaged in that lifestyle without being manipulated or “coerced” into it. I’ve seen it work and fail, but yes, sometimes I do question sole monogamy. I think the issue is when it is covert/secretive/hidden from all parties involved. My good friend’s grandfather is one I know, he has/had multiple women, tons of children and grandchildren and took care of all of them. Again, I believe monogamy has some base root in selfishness, dogmatic teachings, and emotional thinking. Personally you take care of multiple women, e.g. mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally, then more power to you. I personally don’t think I could handle multiple wifes/women/companions. LOL, one is enough for me 🙂

    – Tareef

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data, ability to repeat discredited memes, and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Also, be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor even implied. Any irrelevancies you can mention will also be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous :)

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