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Monogamy Versus Polygamy: The More The Merrier

Essay by   •  February 26, 2012  •  Research Paper  •  1,698 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,432 Views

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Monogamy versus Polygamy: The More the Merrier

Monogamy means love for one partner while polygamy means love for multiple partners. This could mean all different kinds of love: spiritual, bodily, friendly, or romantic. Focusing on a romantic sense of love, however, should there be a specific number on how many people one can truly love? Is the potency of true, romantic love at stake when one has multiple partners? If one person has truly romantic love for more than one person, potency should not be at stake simply because it spread amongst multiple partners. In fact, the romantic love in a polygamous relationship should be considered just as strong as that of a monogamous relationship. The only way that true love would lose its potency would be if there was never any true love to begin with.

For example, in the Fundamentalist branch of the Mormon religion, it is very common for a man to have more than one wife. This happens because people of Mormon faith believe that family is eternally sealed through God.

In the HBO series Big Love , Bill Henrickson (Bill Paxton) practices polygamy through the marriage of three wives, Barbara "Barb" Henrickson (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicolette "Nicki" Grant (Chloƫ Sevigny), and Margene "Margie" Heffman (Ginnifer Goodwin). Although he and his wives face several struggles, they manage to pull through and remain to truly love one another. During the first dinner scene of the first episode, it shows the wives working together to make dinner for Bill as he came home from work. As he entered the house where all the wives were working on dinner, it shows him kissing each one of the on lips (Michael Spiller, "Pilot"). He doesn't treat any one of his wives unequally which implies that he has equal romantic love for each of his wives. Bill also often reminds his wives that he does not love one wife any more than he does his other wives, as jealousy is often a negative factor of polygamy. For this reason, Barb, Nicki, and Margie have set up a schedule for which they schedule nights with Bill so he spends and equal amount of time with of each of his wives. This also implies equality amongst the polygamous marriage (Spiller, "Pilot").

The fact that they can face struggles and even sometimes doubt their relationship but then come back and realize that still love one another just proves their true love and commitment to one another. The wives may fight with one another as well as Bill sometimes, but they still come together and realize why they made this commitment. For example, there was a point in time when Margie, who is the youngest and least experienced of taking care of children, was forced to take care of Nicki's and Barb's children as well as her newborn son while Nicki and Barb left with Bill to check on his sick father. This of course was pure chaos for poor Margie as she wasn't yet used to so much responsibility. Later on as the elder wives return home, she has a bit of meltdown wondering if she is capable of the life that she had set out for herself. But in the end, both Barb and Nicki come together and tell Margie that it will be okay and that things will get better in their family, just proving the love and commitment of the family (Spiller, "Pilot"). The number of people in the marriage doesn't make a difference on their true love and commitment.

On the other hand, some people would argue that the romantic love in polygamy would lose its potency because it is impossible to spread one's love amongst more than one person. Some people would also argue that a man may be married to three women, but he may not love them all in the same amount or even in the same way as some of his other wives. People who oppose plural marriages would claim that a man marrying multiple women probably has specific purposes for each woman. For example, one woman would carry and give birth to his children, while the other two women would serve as his mistresses. People who oppose polygamy wouldn't believe that each woman would serve the same purpose simply because it doesn't make sense that a man can romantically love more than one woman. Some people would argue that marriage can be hard to maintain between two people, let alone three or four people, and so on. Some people would argue that in a polygamous relationship, it would be hard to meet everyone's needs in the relationship. The fact that it is increasingly difficult to meet every person's needs in a polygamous relationship, many people who take an opposition to this belief would also claim that it is more likely that one or more people involved in the relationship would get hurt significantly which in most cases cannot be considered true love.

In refuting these arguments, true love has to be present in order to keep its potency in any relationship, whether it is polygamous or monogamous. If a

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