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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 10:30 pm 
wenglund wrote:
liz3564 wrote:
Wade--

How do you see spousal intimacy and narcissism tying into one another? The type of spousal intimacy I was referring to, at least, involves completely caring about the other spouse...emotionally, physically, spiritually.....How is that narcissistic?


I appreciate you asking. Clarifying questions, as opposed to certain people closed-mindedly jumping to false conclusions, tends to be a very effective means for encouraging mutual understanding and enlightenment.

Please keep in mind that when I speak of "spousal intimacy" and "family", I am not speaking necessarily in terms of one to the complete exclusion of the other, but rather in terms of "emphasis"--i.e. the point to which one may emphasize the one more than the other and perhaps somewhat to the exclusion of the other. And, I am speaking in terms of a broad spectrum, and not just polar extremes.

With these clarifications out of the way, let me see if I can explain my reasoning. Consider, if you will, a relationship spectrum that ranges from inclusive to exclusive. Would you, like me, generally place the notions of "family" more towards the inclusive end of the spectrum, and "spousal intimacy" as more towards the exclusive end of the spectrum?

How about on a spectrum ranging from outward to inward focused? Would you, like me, generally place the notions of "family" more towards the outward focused end of the spectrum, and "spousal intimacy" as more towards the inward focused end of the spectrum?

Or, what about the spectrum from others-centered to self-centered? Would you, like me, generally place the notions of "family" more towards the others-centered end of the spectrum, and "spousal intimacy" as more towards the self-centered end of the spectrum?

Do you see where I am going with this? In my mind, there is less of a difference between the narcissistic notion of "its all about me" and "its all about me and my spouse" than there is between "its all about me" and "its all about me and my wife and my kids and my parents and siblings and ancestors, etc.".

To me, the exact point at where one's own personal notions may rest on each of these spectrums is, in large part, dependant upon how one mentally balances the notions of "family" with "spousal intimacy". The greater the imbalance towards "spousal intimacy", the closer one will mentally be towards the exclusive, inwardly focused, and self-centered ends of the spectrum.

Now, given the prevalence of narcissism in modern culture (marked by inward focus and self-centeredness and self-gratification), wouldn't it make sense to conclude that there is a greater likelihood that there is a general imbalance towards "spousal intimacy"?

Isn't it also reasonable to conclude that the greater the imbalance towards "spousal intimacy", the more plural marriage will be viewed as objectionable--and this because plural marriage unavoidably requires a greater level of inclusion, outward-focus, and others-centeredness; whereas, the opposite may be more likely the more one's mind is oriented towards "family"?

I happen to think so. Does this help?

...and this begins to touch on the differences between true love and romantic love--with the later fallin closer to the exclusive, inward-focused, and self-centered end of the relationship spectrum. (at least as I see things).

Thanks, -Wade Englund-


Thanks for clarifying, Wade. I understand what you are getting at from a general societal perspective.

However, I don't think that "spousal intimacy" would be defined the same way from a gospel perspective, which is what I was referring to.

When my husband and I were sealed in the temple, one of the first things the sealer told us was that we had just formed a family. From that point forward, my husband was my family. I was his family.

So, in that sense, the selflessness has already been established as a part of how we should live our lives.

In lieu of this, I see polygamy, at least as it was practiced here on earth, as more selfish. The male in the relationship was more focused on the increase in posterity, or quantity, as opposed to quality, or the partnership and trust building skills that happen within an exclusive husband/wife relationship.

(I hope I'm making sense...I need to go to bed. LOL :lol: )


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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2009 11:24 pm 
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liz3564 wrote:
Well, I suppose I am the eternal optimist in that regard. I think that if both parties are willing to work at it, the intimacy can be achieved, even in the face of some of these difficulties...."for better or for worse", and all that. :wink:

Which things would make intimacy impossible? If I'm understanding you correctly, the two would be abuse and polygamy. Adultery could be worked out (although with much pain), correct? Is the difference between polygamy and adultery that polygamy is ongoing instead of in the past?

Personally I have a hard time imagining how deep intimacy is possible in the case of religious differences without one spouse changing his or her beliefs to agree with the other one. In that respect I would think it poses at least as great a challenge to intimacy as polygamy. Yet I would not recommend divorce on the basis of religion alone. I don't expect that you agree with me about religion and intimacy vs polygamy and intimacy vs adultery and intimacy. However, I would like to know your thoughts.

Quote:
In answer to your question of keeping the marriage to protect the children....I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. Again, it depends on the circumstances surrounding the difficulties. If there is no abuse involved, then yes, I think the couple has a responsibility to try to work things out if there are children in the home. As a couple, they created those children. They made those choices. The children don't deserve to suffer based on the immaturity of their parents. They deserve the stability of a two parent home. The couple needs to grow up, and take responsibility for their choices.

I could be completely wrong, but it sounds to me like the responsibility parents have for their children trumps the rights adults have to seek deep intimacy as they see fit. How would you rank the importance of various aspects of marriage? Maybe something like this:

1) Care of children.
2) Deep intimacy.
3) White picket fence.
4) Matching his and her towels.
5) ???

If the care of children is foremost, what do you think about Abraham being commanded to sacrifice Isaac? What about Heavenly Father having His Son be sacrificed for our sins? What things might trump the care of children? Does it matter if the children are willing to have their needs trumped by something else?

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:26 am 
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I appreciate you asking. Clarifying questions, as opposed to certain people closed-mindedly jumping to false conclusions, tends to be a very effective means for encouraging mutual understanding and enlightenment.

Please keep in mind that when I speak of "spousal intimacy" and "family", I am not speaking necessarily in terms of one to the complete exclusion of the other, but rather in terms of "emphasis"--i.e. the point to which one may emphasize the one more than the other and perhaps somewhat to the exclusion of the other. And, I am speaking in terms of a broad spectrum, and not just polar extremes.

With these clarifications out of the way, let me see if I can explain my reasoning. Consider, if you will, a relationship spectrum that ranges from inclusive to exclusive. Would you, like me, generally place the notions of "family" more towards the inclusive end of the spectrum, and "spousal intimacy" as more towards the exclusive end of the spectrum?

How about on a spectrum ranging from outward to inward focused? Would you, like me, generally place the notions of "family" more towards the outward focused end of the spectrum, and "spousal intimacy" as more towards the inward focused end of the spectrum?

Or, what about the spectrum from others-centered to self-centered? Would you, like me, generally place the notions of "family" more towards the others-centered end of the spectrum, and "spousal intimacy" as more towards the self-centered end of the spectrum?

Do you see where I am going with this? In my mind, there is less of a difference between the narcissistic notion of "its all about me" and "its all about me and my spouse" than there is between "its all about me" and "its all about me and my wife and my kids and my parents and siblings and ancestors, etc.".

To me, the exact point at where one's own personal notions may rest on each of these spectrums is, in large part, dependant upon how one mentally balances the notions of "family" with "spousal intimacy". The greater the imbalance towards "spousal intimacy", the closer one will mentally be towards the exclusive, inwardly focused, and self-centered ends of the spectrum.

Now, given the prevalence of narcissism in modern culture (marked by inward focus and self-centeredness and self-gratification), wouldn't it make sense to conclude that there is a greater likelihood that there is a general imbalance towards "spousal intimacy"?

Isn't it also reasonable to conclude that the greater the imbalance towards "spousal intimacy", the more plural marriage will be viewed as objectionable--and this because plural marriage unavoidably requires a greater level of inclusion, outward-focus, and others-centeredness; whereas, the opposite may be more likely the more one's mind is oriented towards "family"?

I happen to think so. Does this help?

...and this begins to touch on the differences between true love and romantic love--with the later fallin closer to the exclusive, inward-focused, and self-centered end of the relationship spectrum. (at least as I see things).


Wade –

Only someone who has never been married nor been involved in a long-term, emotionally and physically intimate relationship would think that emphasizing spousal intimacy would result in neglecting, somehow, the children, or would be the equivalent of narcissism.

Spousal intimacy must come first. If the spousal intimacy is not treated as the primary priority in a marriage, then the couple will not have the pre-requisite emotional foundation to create the optimum home environment for the children.

Children do not really want to be placed ahead of the emotional need of the couple to form an exclusive spousal bond. Children feel the most secure and happiest when they know that their parents have formed exactly that kind of bond, because they know that this makes it the most likely that the parental unit will be permanent, and will be able to care for the children.

Marriages in which the emotional intimacy and dependence with the children replaces or surpasses the emotional bond and dependence with the spouse are marriages that are vulnerable, and are usually already in deep trouble. And the children are often the first to recognize this.

There is no doubt that polygamy requires a different kind of marriage. As some of these early polygamous wives noted for us, a polygamous wife cannot expect this sort of emotional intimacy with her husband, and will suffer great pain if she does. At the same time, polygamous marriages alter the father/child relationship, as well. Often the families live in different homes, for one thing – and even if that is not the case, the significant increase in the number of children the male is attempting to father inevitably weakens his bond with the specific children. Think about Brigham Young. This man was not only leader of the church, but husband to 56 wives and father to 57 children. Simple logistics would show that there is no way his children had the same quality of father parenting as a man who had one wife and five children. A person who has never been a parent may object that quantity is not the same as quality, but, in parenting, part of the quality is the quantity.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:33 am 
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Quote:
I could be completely wrong, but it sounds to me like the responsibility parents have for their children trumps the rights adults have to seek deep intimacy as they see fit.


I want to make sure my comments are not misunderstood. I am talking about what kind of family provides the optimum environment for raising children. That is the family wherein the couple views their intimate pair/bond as primary, and therefore has the emotional capacity to fully love and support their children.

Most marriages are not optimum. Many, if not most, marriages are plagued with fighting, stress, and discontent. I do not believe it is in the best interest for parents to divorce in order to find some fuller romantic satisfaction when there are children in the home. As long as the parents are not engaging in frequent conflict in front of the children, research shows the children are better off if the unhappy marriage remains intact. If the conflict is “front-stage”, so to speak, children are better off with divorce if divorce ends the open conflict.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 7:59 am 
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Quote:
Isn't it also reasonable to conclude that the greater the imbalance towards "spousal intimacy", the more plural marriage will be viewed as objectionable--and this because plural marriage unavoidably requires a greater level of inclusion, outward-focus, and others-centeredness; whereas, the opposite may be more likely the more one's mind is oriented towards "family"?



Ok

I read your lengthy reply and basically the paragraph above sums up your thoughts and your conclusion is similar to your initial statement that our narcissistic society tends to make person focus on the me and want marital intimacy. So people don't like polygamy because it takes away from their chances to be intimate.

I think essentially what you are saying is hogwash. I have no doubt you would never argue that this is why polygamy is abhorred and essentially that polygamy causes people to be more inclusive and less selfish were you not trying to defend it as divinely ordered. To apologize for it you need to work through all sorts of mental justifications.

Plural marriage is bad for everyone involved both emotionally and often temporally. The wives have to share a man physically and emotionally. The man has to spread himself far beyond what a man can typically do both for himself, his wives and his children. The Children be default have much less time with a father who can connect to them be giving his time and attention. And as far as a man goes it also created less outward focus because often the man can justify his physical desire to have more than one woman through taking on new wives. This part of polygamy is in fact very selfish for the man, at least perhaps in the physical sense.


I do not think any of your conclusions are reasonable. Even person who may not be what you call "imbalanced" ( as if wanting marital intimacy is a imbalanced-a flawed conclusion as well) will often find polygamy objectionable.

Do a survey Wade. Ask your non LDS associates what they think of polygamy. See what they have to say.

Even the LDS Church hates polygamy at least today.


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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:04 am 
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Jason Bourne wrote:
Even the LDS Church hates polygamy at least today.


But Jason you lack eternal perspective. As Dan has promised, in the hereafter, God will make it clear to you just how marvelous it all is. You just have to have faith.


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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:11 am 
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I had faith in Joseph... then found out he married an extra wife before the authority to do was restored.

I had faith in the Baltimore Colts... then they fled to Indianapolis like a thief in the night.

I had faith in the office of Bishop... and then found out reality in reading Danny Petersons junk on here.

I think I'll have a Pepsi and get ready to watch the Perseids meteor showers over the next few weeks. At least that is dependable.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:32 pm 
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Peterson wrote:
Quote:
Joey wrote:And I hardly believe that the Lds church would use "social distancing" as a rational argument for polygamy. I do, however, understand why you would here.


The Church hasn't used social distancing as an argument for plural marriage, and neither have I.I simply described one of the unmistakable effects of plural marriage.


But you did not, again, answer the question I originally asked. You do that often - perhaps a product of being a great understudy of Robert Millett.

And I trust you do not look at "social distancing" as being an achievement or accomplishment of the Lds church as my question originally asked.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:00 pm 
Abman wrote:
Which things would make intimacy impossible? If I'm understanding you correctly, the two would be abuse and polygamy. Adultery could be worked out (although with much pain), correct? Is the difference between polygamy and adultery that polygamy is ongoing instead of in the past?


You are correct. I think that if one spouse or the other commits adultery, and it is a "once and done" deal....there is still a tremendous amount of pain and trust issues that would have to be worked through...but through love, prayer, forgiveness, and open communication, these things could be resolved. Most of the time, when one partner commits adultery, there are extenuating circumstances surrounding the incident that contribute to that culmination. Normally, other problems exist, and the adultery is a symptom of other problems in the marriage that need to be addressed. If those problems are resolved, and the adultery is not repeated, it is a long road, but often times, a couple can actually not only overcome this pain, but transcend it, and become closer.

Polygamy licenses sexual relations for the man with multiple partners, so, obviously, yes, it is an ongoing issue.

I think, though, that the main reason polygamy "goes against my grain" as much as it does, is that I didn't marry my husband because I was looking for a sperm donor, or a provider. I married my husband because I love him, and wanted to share my life with him. I know...I'm a sappy, hopeless romantic. LOL

Abman wrote:
Personally I have a hard time imagining how deep intimacy is possible in the case of religious differences without one spouse changing his or her beliefs to agree with the other one. In that respect I would think it poses at least as great a challenge to intimacy as polygamy. Yet I would not recommend divorce on the basis of religion alone. I don't expect that you agree with me about religion and intimacy vs polygamy and intimacy vs adultery and intimacy. However, I would like to know your thoughts.


I agree that religious differences would cause tremendous challenges, particularly when it comes to raising children. The couple has to come to some resolution on how the children are to be raised in regards to religion, without completely confusing the child.

I still think that polygamy makes an emotional intimacy situation close to impossible, though, at least from a female perspective. Adding another woman, or several other women, into the mix of the marriage is not going to allow for partnership, compromises, etc. The husband is going to have divided loyalties. How could he not? He is only human...and he is one person. Someone is bound to be ignored...and hurt from being ignored...at a minimum...just based on time constraints.


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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:52 pm 
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Thanks for your remarks Liz (and Beastie). I'm currently going through some rather strange circumstances so I might be a bit weirder than usual right now. It's nothing to worry about. I still have a job, I haven't had any big disagreements with my wife for a while, and there have been no recent health issues (at least that I know of). It's just one of those days.

It's days like this that I almost wish I were a woman. At least then I'd be able to predict when I'd have the next one of those days (or weeks).

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:40 pm 
asbestosman wrote:
Thanks for your remarks Liz (and Beastie). I'm currently going through some rather strange circumstances so I might be a bit weirder than usual right now. It's nothing to worry about. I still have a job, I haven't had any big disagreements with my wife for a while, and there have been no recent health issues (at least that I know of). It's just one of those days.

It's days like this that I almost wish I were a woman. At least then I'd be able to predict when I'd have the next one of those days (or weeks).


Well, for what it's worth, I have enjoyed our discussions, and hope they can continue.

I hope, though, that if you are feeling down, or "not right", for a particular reason, that things improve for you, and you feel better soon. *HUGS*


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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 9:17 am 
God

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One of the things about this discussion that has irritated me the most is the idea that when we die/are resurrected/given our exaltation, the whole plural marriage thing won't matter because it will all be so glorious/fabulous/unmistakenly wonderful.

I think that's a crock of horse pucky.

We know what matters to God: love our neighbors as we love ourselves, love God, do good to others, be honest, love our parents, get married... the list is long and clearly spelled out.

Plural marriage isn't on that list. Neither is concubinage, slavery, or racism. That should tell us something.

If it's not important enough to get on God's list, then it's not important. So what do we conclude regarding plural marriage? That it matters so much here, God called it an abomination. It matters so much here, Christ himself set the standard and told us to follow him... and he didn't do it. It matters so much here, it doesn't occur at all in the New Testament and only within ancient cultural guidelines that don't apply to us in the Old Testament.

Joseph thought this one up all by himself, and it shows.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:49 am 
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harmony wrote:
We know what matters to God: love our neighbors as we love ourselves, love God, do good to others, be honest, love our parents, get married... the list is long and clearly spelled out.

Where I can I find the complete list? I'm serious. I really don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:00 pm 
God

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asbestosman wrote:
harmony wrote:
We know what matters to God: love our neighbors as we love ourselves, love God, do good to others, be honest, love our parents, get married... the list is long and clearly spelled out.

Where I can I find the complete list? I'm serious. I really don't know.


Start with the 10 Commandments. Progress to the Sermon on the Mount. Avoid the D&C like the plague it is.

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 2:44 pm 
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Quote:
Start with the 10 Commandments. Progress to the Sermon on the Mount. Avoid the D&C like the plague it is.


Oh come now Harmony. I know there are sections you do not like but there us a lot of good stuff in the D&C as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 7:23 am 
God

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Jason Bourne wrote:
Quote:
Start with the 10 Commandments. Progress to the Sermon on the Mount. Avoid the D&C like the plague it is.


Oh come now Harmony. I know there are sections you do not like but there us a lot of good stuff in the D&C as well.


Not having anything to do with the subject of this thread, there isn't. Or even a list of commandments (in which plural marriage is significantly missing).

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 Post subject: Re: Rational justification for Polygamy?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 4:39 pm 
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Whoops. Wrong thread

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