To the argument posed in the subject line, which happens to come from a best friend’s sister, I say, why not? Don’t get me wrong. Polygamy is not for me, and I think in most circumstances, it’s not for most people. I’ll explain why in just a short little while. First, I want to talk about what I think love is. Please, keep in mind that this post is purely opinion. It’s not meant to offend or bring on the war sirens.
I’ve spend a lot of time growing up trying to figure out what love was. Most of this discovery stems from trying to “create” for myself what I thought love was supposed to be: that is, between one man and one woman. As I grew up, I started to discover that the love I had to offer wasn’t like most others around me. I didn’t feel the “one man, one woman” love that seemed to be an expected equation. My brain and body had other ideas swimming around; despite the efforts I put out to be “normal” and to create the “expected” love, I was unable to give myself over completely to the relationships and the women that I dated. Why? Because my attractions and feelings are for men. I’m gay. Duh.
I literally tried everything. My first relationship with a female came in high school, and it lasted three years. What can I say about that relationship? Only that I’m sorry for the person whose life I wasted for three years. She felt it, I felt it. She wanted more out of me than I was ever willing to give her, and it was probably the worst three years of my life. So, why did I stay with her for so long? Because, I had it in my mind that this was how it was supposed to be. One man, one woman. Eventually, she cheated on me, and I used my opportunity for an out to end our relationship. I still regret never having the courage to tell her that it was not her fault but mine that our relationship wasn’t what she always thought it would be. Today, she is with someone new, and from what I can tell, he makes her extremely happy. It doesn’t alleviate the guilt I have for having stolen so much of her life as I tried to discover mine, but I’m still glad to know she found someone that can treat her like she should be treated.
Time carried on and I met a friend at work. This friend quickly became a close friend, and now I consider her a best friend. We became very close, and for a while I thought that this could be it. Maybe I had finally discovered where “love” comes from. So, when she asked me out, I accepted, and once again, things went spiraling downhill from there. I could tell how she felt about me, and I tried desperately to feel the same way about her; however, when I looked at her, I saw only a best friend, and it never amounted to more than that for me. So, after nine months of trying to “create” love again, I ended our relationship, and I feared, our friendship.
After that, I decided I was finished. I knew what I felt, and I knew that anything else beyond that would be a lie to myself and a lie to the person I was trying to be with, so I told myself I’d never enter into another relationship unless it was genuine. I finally admitted to myself what I had been trying to avoid due to what I had learned growing up. I finally allowed myself to understand what love meant for me despite what the world tried to tell me it should be. Love isn’t simply something that’s felt between one man and one woman. Love, for me, is something between two people. <–Do not misinterpret that to mean I have something against polygamy. I'm getting there, keep reading.
To get a little more specific, love is a connection between two people. I’ve discovered through personal experience that it doesn’t have to be one man and one woman. I’ve tried that twice, and it doesn’t work for me. If you’re straight and it’s your thing, kudos to you; however, that doesn’t mean that the rest of us should be hindered because yours is the dominant love. There is no dominant love. Want to know why? Because love has no idea what gender is. Love is its own thing, and it’s not limited by gender like our minds are.
My brain and body tell me that my love is for another man. BF’s sister obviously feels her love is for a man. Although our brains and bodies are telling us that those are our only options, love says, “that’s ok, I’ll accept them both.” Yes, I realize I’m referring to love as if it’s a living being that thinks all on its own. But that’s the easiest way to illustrate the fact that love isn’t bound to one form or another.
With all of that being said, do I believe that polygamy is wrong? For me? Yes. For others? Not necessarily. With love, you have to be willing to give yourself over completely to the person(s) that you’re with. The key word there is “completely.” I honestly believe that love is only felt when you can say that you’re completely theirs. When you can say that you’d do anything and be anything that they needed. When you know in your heart that you would like more than anything to spend the rest of eternity with that person. I can’t say that if I was in a polygamous relationship that I could ever give myself over completely to each person involved. I can’t fathom how it’s possible. If you’ve already given yourself completely to one person, what’s left for everyone else?
I’m not saying it’s not possible. If there are people out there that are being real with themselves and still feel that they’ve found true love in a polygamous relationship, then I’m ok with that. For one, it’s not my place to judge them regardless. It’s not my place to decide that they should or shouldn’t be together. As someone that is currently experiencing what it’s like to be on the downhill side of being told who it’s ok for me to marry, I understand how extremely frustrating that can be. How dare you try and tell me that it’s not ok for me to express my love to someone by joining with them in marriage?! I never once tried to pass a vote for your marriage, so why the hell do you think it’s ok to decide on mine?
Love doesn’t know what gender is. I never decided to be gay, just as you never decided to be straight. I fought my feelings, and it almost killed me. At one point, I had decided that if I couldn’t be true to myself, I shouldn’t be at all. I’m done with that, because I am being true to myself. And one day when I find the person I’m meant to spend the rest of my life with, I will marry him, because your opinion has no part in the love I feel. Just as I cannot decide the outcome of a polygamous or straight relationship, no one can decide the outcome of my relationships.
So to the best friend’s sister who posed the question: “If I can marry one woman, why not three?” I say, “Sure, why not?”