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The Poly Mind and Life / Re: Is Poly An Orientation? by cathyreisenwitz
« Last post by Administrator on July 30, 2013, 08:48:20 PM »
Thank you Deorccwen for you insightful response.  I agree that non-monogamy has a biological basis, but I too am still not sure if it is really an orientation.  However, I thought the article brought up some interesting thoughts. 

Ethical Scenarios / Re: Veto Power
« Last post by Administrator on July 30, 2013, 08:41:05 PM »
Thank you for your insight Natja.  It is deeply appreciated.
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Real Ethical Scenario Posed by a Member
« Last post by Administrator on July 30, 2013, 08:38:49 PM »
This is indeed a polygynous household.  I, too, feel that if she wants to leave, then she should.  If he is not attracted to her the way she currently looks, then he should not continue this trial basis.  I feel the trial has done its job, and they have already made a decision.
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Our Bed
« Last post by Administrator on July 30, 2013, 08:21:58 PM »
Thanks for all of the responses so far.  I've enjoyed reading them.  I agree that if Ann expects Fred not to bring other lovers in to their shared bed, then she should not bring other lovers in there as well.  I also agree that our bed and bedrooms are our private spaces, so we have the right to have our spaces.  I also believe that if Fred plans to keep his relationship with Ann that he needs to be considerate of her feelings regarding her space. 
Sisterwives / Sisterwives - Season Premier Thoughts?
« Last post by Natja on July 23, 2013, 09:53:01 AM »
Well I finally got to see the episode, I had a bit of ambivalence about them spending so much time discussing 'My Sisterwives Closet' part of my was deeply sympathetic to the issue of trying to make money from a small business as that is something we are experiencing with our little business too but the other side of me was saying 'hurry up and go back home and start talking relationships, not business'.

Always nice to see Robyn's dad......he looks so lovely and supportive.

The younger kids are looking so much older.
The Meri baby drama - Hmmm, this is difficult, before I had my baby I might have said something different.  But since then I think that if a person really doesn't want a baby, they know it and she might regret it if she doesn't try. Meri is a little older than me but I don't think she should worry about her age much, I am a much more patient and relaxed mother than I was when I was in my early twenties, being an older mother is awesome.  :)
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Our Bed
« Last post by Deorccwen on July 21, 2013, 05:13:34 PM »
Thank you for your contribution, River Fox.

I understand your point, and in a rigidly logical world, it is a good one.  It has certainly given me something to think about.

The problem here is, I guess, not so much what is fair as what is reasonable to expect while maintaining the existing relationships, and I think that this is the question that those of us who posted have actually been answering.  We assume that the goal is to maintain the relationship between Fred and Ann in the happiest possible state, and also their relationships with their other partners in their happiest possible state.

One's bed is one's deeply intimate property and territory - domain, if you like.  It is a deeply visceral thing.  Even a dog dislikes to share its bed, and will only do so with those it is deeply attached to - or those it is submissive to, when it is forced against its will.  We are talking about something that goes so deep in the psyche that it is probably pre-dates homo sapiens.

Fred can certainly continue to bring his other partner/s into his and Ann's mutual bed.  But the chances are that his relationship with Ann will not survive such a complete lack of consideration for her feelings.  It may stagger on for a little while longer, but that relationship would be doomed. 

The only way we can get away with treating our partners that way is in a world where divorce, or leaving home, is simply not permitted once vows are exchanged.  And even then, the heart will have been ripped out of the relationship.  Ann would no longer trust Fred to treat her well, so she would no longer be as giving as she was before, and so both of their happiness in their relationship would be compromised.  Not to mention that it would be completely unethical to treat another human being that way simply because they could not leave you.  In such a restrictive situation, it behoves each partner in the relationship to be particularly and especially careful to consider the needs and wishes of the others.
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Our Bed
« Last post by Bud on July 21, 2013, 05:08:37 PM »
Welcome River_Fox,

Thank you for your insightful post; it really made me see things from another perspective.  I agree about measuring fairness, or the inability to do so objectively.  Sometimes a single word or phrase can make all the difference in how we view a situation.  Thank you for your post and hope to have you involved in more of the intellectual discourse here on the forums.

Best Wishes,

Ethical Scenarios / Re: Our Bed
« Last post by River_Fox on July 21, 2013, 03:54:01 PM »
Hello, all. I just joined this site specifically to respond to this question. The original question was, "Is it fair for Ann to expect this of Fred?"

I say, "fair" is a concept that almost never has an objective meaning. "Equal" can be defined as sharply as you're able to measure, but not "fair." "Fair" can only be defined when two or more people are in exactly equal circumstances (including their needs and wants), or when a decision process can be employed that will leave all parties satisfied. The classic "I cut, you choose" is a simple example of this.

Let me establish by example some of the obstacles to defining fairness in general cases.

  • You and I share an apartment. We make exactly the same money and pay half the rent each, and we have divided the chores up perfectly. (And we are equally able to do them.) I decide I want cats. Five cats. I bring in five cats. To be fair, I make it clear to you that you're also entitled to bring in five cats.
  • You and I co-own a car. Again, we make equal contributions to the upkeep of the car, and we use it as equally as can be. I learn of someone else's car that was vandalized on the south side of town. I declare that you must not drive our car to the south side. To be fair, I am not going to drive it to the south side either.

Is it fair for Fred to declare that his and Ann's common asset will be used in a new way, if he grants Ann the right to use it the same way?

Is it fair for Ann to declare that Fred shall not use it in a certain way, if she agrees to also not use it in that way?

Neither one is intrinsically fair.

Maybe Ann and Fred can come up with a fair *process* to arrive at a decision, but when there's  just a single binary choice to be made, it's hard to imagine. Some creativity will be needed.
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Our Bed
« Last post by Deorccwen on July 21, 2013, 09:24:23 AM »
Again, I agree with Natja.

Personally, I think that, unless all of the people who use the bed are sexual partners, then it should be *expected*, as a basic courtesy, that sheets, blankets, quilts should be replaced with fresh ones after sex, and before a non-partner of the previous users gets into the bed.

Given that Ann also does not want people she is not in a relationship with in her bed, then I think Fred and his other partners simply have to accept that.  However, to be fair, she should also volunteer not to bring her personal partners into her (and Fred's) bed.

Since the bed and space does not belong to any of the secondary partners, they will simply have to accept Ann's veto on this.  They have no say in the matter, any more than Ann should be able to demand to have sex in their bed, whether she is their partner or not.  Alternate arrangements will simply have to be made. 
Ethical Scenarios / Re: Real Ethical Scenario Posed by a Member
« Last post by Deorccwen on July 21, 2013, 09:14:20 AM »
I agree with Natja.  This sounds like a terrible situation.

If she wants to leave, then she should leave.  It seems to me unreasonable to require her to stay when she does not want to - and also, possibly illegal if she is being held against her will.

If the husband is not attracted to her as she is (e.g. weight requirements) then it is best if he does not pursue a relationship with her.  Even if she manages to get the weight off that he wants her to lose, there is no guarantee that she will be able to keep it off.  It is much easier to put on weight when you have been overweight than when you have never been overweight, and much more of a struggle to keep weight off than to never put it on in the first place.  As she gets older, and at stressful times in her life, it will be more difficult for her to keep the weight off, and to pressure her about it, or make her feel less desirable as she gets older would be cruel.  Love her as she is, or leave her alone.

Supposing that a real attraction exists between them and they choose to go ahead with getting married (this sounds like a polygamous situation rather than polyamorous, so I use 'married') - then the differences in domestic routines etc would suggest that it would be better for the 1st wife and 2nd wife to live in separate homes.  There are relationship stresses, and then there are living together stresses, and living together stresses can come to be mistaken for relationship stresses when people live together.  I think it's best to keep them separate and work on one at a time.

I think it is unreasonable to expect to have the input of a parent over another person's children unless that person has asked you to have that role in their lives and you are very well-known to the children and accepted by them.  In any case, it is certainly impolitic to strongly criticise how another person is raising their children unless you know them very well indeed (as in, have known them well for several years).  Making a suggestion may be acceptable, but assuming that you have the right to tell them how to raise their children is unreasonable.

It is worth remembering that this woman has lived her life independent of the man's influence and requirements up until now.  She is accustomed to being in control of her own life, her own home, her own children and her own destiny.  If she chooses to willingly give that up, then that's fine.  But to insist that she give up elements of autonomy that she is accustomed to seems unreasonable.  She is a whole human being with a history of her own, which needs to be taken into consideration.  Any changes should be negotiated, not demanded.  And negotiations should mean that there is give and take on both sides, with allowances made for each person's needs.

The children have reason to expect that their parent/s will be consistent in their approach, whether that approach is heavily disciplinarian or fairly lax.  It's unlikely that the children will respond well to sudden, heavy-handed discipline if they have been unaccustomed to it.  This, and their misery, would add to the burden of the woman who is already trying to adjust to a very different way of life.

Under the circumstances, when the man feels that she 'is not a fit for their family' and the woman just wants to go home, it seems pointless to insist upon her finishing out her time.  The experiment has been run, and it has brought definite results, just earlier than expected.  It has performed its purpose, and it is time to move on.
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