In 1929, the French philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir agreed to commit to an open relationship – one that lasted until Sartre’s death in 1980. — Read on www.bbc.com/reel/video/p094v5kg/were-sartre-and-de-beauvoir-the-world-s-first-modern-couple-
What follows is a bit of a ramble, though I tried to contain it. But sometimes things just occur to me, ya know?
I found this article’s revelation interesting for one particular reason: open relationships and ethical non-monogamy are NOT some new “fad.” It’s been a chosen relationship structure between adults for at least 100 years. I am not referring to polygamy (the idea that a man may have many wives) but the egalitarian “we each can have the relationships that make us happy and fulfilled” followed by “I have no hold solely on you, nor you on me.”
The Judeo-Christian influenced West may have “instituted” marriage (feudalism alliances and patrilineal primogeniture both required assurances that a woman’s child was the blood heir of her husband). The Church reinforced that with sacramental marriage. And women (and their children) became so much chattel to be bartered and bargained, sold and scorned should anything about legitimacy be called into question. It gave priority to virginal attitudes and the Puritanical views that sex for anything other than procreation has been influenced by the Devil.
And for a long time this has been the majority view leading to attacks on those who would live in communal groups, freely loving and intermingling their partnerships, while also loving equally all children born into the group.
Perhaps we in the 21st century can actually bring back this respectful, egalitarian, self-actualizing relationship model and get rid of the yoke of a practice that so frequently denies any relationships beyond sexual and emotional monogamy are valid.
IMHO this is ruining the opportunity for even just simple friendships between men and women as well. I’m sure you’ve heard the question: Can men and women ever just be friends? And it’s answer: No.
There’s another situation that frequently comes up in monogamous relationships: You are now no longer allowed to look at another man/woman.
That’s so damaging to the possibility of having a healthy relationship with your own emotions. If you are feeling lust, desire, or even simple interest in someone, telling yourself it’s wrong and forcing them down, you’re emotionally stunting yourself. And you’re hiding/subsuming the Self.
And it’s awful. Whether within a monogamous or polyamorous relationship, a healthy understanding of your own emotional responses to other people and being able to freely communicate about them, and listen to someone else’s emotional responses without judgement, is a LIFE skill.
Maybe we’d have a lot less emotionally damaged people running around with guns killing people because they’re jealous or don’t know any other way to process anger or even disappointment.