What is marriage?

Real dope conversation topic this weekend. What is marriage? Simply loyalty? Simply a partnership? Can the relationship of marriage be put above other relationships that provide companionship, such as friendship? Can that energy be divided among several people if everyone is cool with it?

Scenario... A woman marries a man. The woman desires to be with someone else, either another man or another woman. The husband is okay with it.

Does that make it okay? In other words, is harm only done in this situation if the husband objects and the wife betrays his wishes? Or is harm done even if the husband approves?

So does engaging with third parties lessen the strength of a marriage per se? In and of itself? Even if the other person in the marriage is cool with it?

I say yes.

But it was compared to polygamy where there are more than one party involved and everyone is cool with it.

But my objection and where I have to point out the distinction, is that in a polygamus relationship (first of all there is still often jealousy there too because we are dealing with humans afterall) all parties are committed not only to another person but to the institution of the marriage. They all have sort of opened up joint bank account and each one invested something of value in that joint account. Moreover, all parties are married to each other. Wife married to second wife and vice versa, and each married to husband and vice versa. Or husband married to husband and vice versa, vice versa times 2. lol. You get the point.

But in the situation I illustrated at first, there is no accountability or investment by that third person who is an outsider to the institution of marriage and family. More so, that third person is involved for completely selfish reasons. And not much good comes from selfishness from what I've learned in my short time on this earth. Further, the person in the marriage who is engaging that outsider is also doing so for selfish reasons because there is nothing else coming from that relationship but self pleasure.

And to answer the question of where marriage stands. To me it stands above friendship because even there, friendship is a institution-less relationship. I tell my good friends all the time, if we don't have similar vision, similar purpose in life, our relationships will not flourish. Because friendship just makes you my buddy. It's a leisure relationship. It's selfish. I need a friend at times, at times a friend needs me. But friendships evolve to something bigger, namely community and family, when there is a committment and common investment that begins to tie people together. To me that's what marriage is. And that's what makes it distinct. You are making a committed investment in something bigger than yourself. And something that you cannot do alone. Anyone who enters into or in between that, must also be committed to it (i.e. what I see as one of the main purposes of polygamy, as oppose to the monogamous adultery that's preferred in our modern world) if not they are a threat to it because they do not have any investment in it and are prone to destroy it rather than help build it up.

For me that cleared things up and laid it to rest, albeit it took a while to come to that conclusion. What do you think?

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