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Old 11-06-2011, 06:56 PM
UnwittinglyPoly UnwittinglyPoly is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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Default Jealousy a Root of Monogamy?

I need to preface my main point with a note about the discussion style I'm going to use on this subject. Otherwise, I will likely be seen as bullheaded and agrumentative This is one of those things where I have an idea in my head, I've rolled it around and around and need to fully vet it and see which parts of it hold water and which ones don't. During that process, I'll make an assertion, examine feedback, note what I think has merit and what I think doesn't and make more assertions. Sometimes it might seem as though I'm not listening, but what I'm really doing is running the idea through the meat grinder, many times with a devil's advocate approach, and seeing what makes it out the other side. I assure you I have no problem ultimately admitting I'm wrong, in part or fully. I just have to run it through all the logic in my head first, and I've found the only way I can do that is to open up my thoughts to being challenged and to challenge responses. I always do my best to do so respectfully and gracefully

It seems to me that an emotional need for monogamy is almost always rooted in some combination of jealousy, insecurity and fear. I think these things are unhealthy parts of the human psyche, and that people are ultimately better off without them, even if they think they aren't. The reason people think they aren't better off without them is because these things are self-perpetuating--our jealousies, insecurities and fears keep us from addressing our jealousies, insecurities and fears; they tell us, indirectly, that we are better off holding onto them.

In a short discussion with OldGuy, he noted that a relationship should be judged on whether it's healthy or not. I agree with this. But I maintain that a relationship where jealousy, insecurity and fear are generally never actualized is not as healthy as it appears. This is because, even though these things are never triggered, they still exist. The dynamic of the relationship is that each person is mindful not to trigger them, which can in fact be good. But it's kind of like the idea of the person who is deathly afraid to drive across bridges. What is the most healthy way to deal with it? One way is to examine what's behind the fear and try to overcome it. So an old story goes, a woman who had such a fear was driven across bridge after bridge after bridge by her counselor, to show that there is in fact no need to be fearful (in addition to helping her understand the physics behind bridge structure). Another way to deal with it is to avoid bridges. If you make sure the triggers are never fired, you have nothing to worry about right? I mainatain that the seemingly healthy relationship which never triggers jealousy is akin to avoiding bridges. The underlying unhealthy attitudes are still there. And just as the unhealthy response to a fear of bridges is to never drive across bridges, I think the less healthy response to jealousy, etc., is to ensure the triggers are never fired, rather than letting them fire and working through issues.

It may sound like I'm advocating purposefully finding things that trigger unhealthy responses in our relationships. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about allowing the triggers to be fired and not avoiding them at all costs. I think most "healthy" monogamous relationships do the latter, which is the less healthy response. I think this is part of why many poly people are seen as having a superiority complex towards mono--because mono is largely predicated on less healthy responses, and less healthy responses are in fact rigthly seen as inferior to more healthy ones.

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