Is Monogamy Really in the Marriage Vows?
Forsaking all others. That line is in the traditional marriage vow. People think it has to mean monogamy. Forsaking all others, just you and me. But there is more than one way to conceptualize forsaking all others. It could mean that we do not care what anyone else says our union should be. This is our thing. If we want to bring other people into it, that’s fine. If we want to have separate bedrooms like roommates, that’s our business. I have heard of people who have to be apart, maybe through work or incarceration. In some cases the agreement between them is, do whatever you want in my absence but be there for me and only me when I get back. Living up to the expectations of a faceless society is difficult when you have to live an unhappy life bc it’s the “right” thing to do. While you’re miserable how do you ever confirm that you’ve pleased these other people you’re so worried about? Or, you might suffer through the “right’ thing for a specific person’s approval but that person is not laying next to you at night. What could your life be if you could agree with your spouse about what you two want to do, regardles of how unusual your terms, while forsaking all others–parents, in-laws, strangers and their opinions, expectations and pressure. A marriage free of the influence of other people is far to rare but I think that’s the standard of freedom the marriage vows try to create.
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