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