Challenge to all poly thinkers
When I say challenge I donít mean that I want to ďbring all you heathens downĒ haha or anything like that, just a friendly, intellectual challenge.
So, first off, Iíve been very impressed overall with the postings and the depth with which people deal with their own issues as well as their relationship issues, and the relationships of others. Every group has its bad apples, but no more here than in any others that Iíve seen. GalaGirl in particular Iím very impressed with. She has a knack for combining the difficult to navigate worlds of love and logic, and balances an honest, blunt assessment of someoneís situation, with an obvious care for their well-being.
What I want to challenge (partially) is the core value of openness and honesty. I wish I remembered the exact tagline someone had because it strikes to the heart of the matter. It was something like, ďif youíre not honest, itís not poly; youíre just fucking around.Ē Like any bumper sticker Iím sure it has a good deal of truth to it, but imho itís probably overly-simplistic. Maybe this has been discussed in threads before and someone could point me to that. But this idea seems to alienate a large number of people who could enrich the poly world.
Now, I readily concede that openness and honesty are the ideals that everyone should be working toward with regard to all of their relationships. But monogamous marriage is structured such that it rarely happens that way. Possibly 90% of people are in the realm of monogamous marriage (and many homosexuals would like to be), even if they get divorced, remarry, etc. Yet that is only one of the multitudes of various possibilities for structuring a long-term relationship. And the remaining minority of people are left to experiment with those multitudes. Monogamous marriage and the ideal of romantic love, however, are the dominant structures. They are reinforced by churches, by Hollywood, by infinite love songs, and then by peer pressure, family pressure and so on. So unless someone has been lucky enough to be influenced by the minute number of people that have the radically different poly mindset, they if for no other reason, fall into monogamy by default.
Once the marriage bond takes place (still speaking from within the monogamous realm here) it is supposed to be irrevocably permanent, upon pain of hellfire, according to some. But even before the contract/ceremony occurs, a couple on their way toward marriage is enmeshing themselves in a web of bonds that everyone else expects to be permanent too. They get to know their future in-laws, their future spouse meets their own family, and their friends begin to interconnect.
Now what happens when someone who by default gets married between 18 and 30 even, wakes up later on in life and finally realizes who they are, who they want to be, what they need, and they realize it doesnít have anything or little to do with monogamy? Even if you love the person you are with tremendously and want to be open and honest, the web that one is enmeshed in, does not easily allow for a person to be so. They would be disrupting an entire chain of being and interconnectedness that gets even more complicated once children are added to the picture. So a person may feel that they are forced to choose between A) being open and honest, but possibly destroying all of these layers of relationships that have developed for years or decades, and B) having secret relationships whether sexual, romantic, or both (with the hidden potential to destroy those same long-developed webs).
I am not saying that choice B is right or moral. What Iím saying is that given the large number of adulterous monogamous people, a large percentage of them are choosing B over A, but would like to get to A, they just donít know how. They are also likely more afraid of the consequences of being truthful than of the consequences of getting caught, because the truth guarantees some consequence, but hiding their relationship may prove never to have a consequence at all and thatís what they are gambling on.
I know that, especially with men (we can be lower than slugs), this is not the only reason for having affairs and hiding relationships, but I have to think a large number of people choose that path.
So, poly people, what do you say, both about their logic, and to give them practical advice on how to do so, to move this group from choice B to choice A?