Sunday, May 1, 2011

42. The intimate love of couples. Power, happiness, monogamy, polygamy, polyamory.

In short:

The choices of the details of sexual practice, and the modes of a couples life, like monogamy, polygamy etc are entirely the responsibility of the involved individuals and are not  forced by religions, society or other groups. The erotic life usually involves modes of physical sex, "falling in romantic love", and long-term partnership. The erotic life is liberated from fear, feelings of guilt, humiliation, superstitions,  lies, pretence and deception. The erotic life is compatible with the basic values of the individual and the society. There are not true erotic relations against the will of one of the involved or without truth and sincerityUnavoidably the couples life, either as monogamy or polygamy, is based on an explicitly conscious agreement (possibly renewable) that is to be respected, (until re-validation). This liberated erotic life is the true condition for satisfaction, happiness, peace and absence of violence in intimate relations. Happy and fulfilled erotic life is the base of creativity, and non-violent, prosperous society. 

Some more details:
Monogamy is an easier erotic life, and it  can also involve deeply the soul. Neverthless it is a rare case (1%-10%).
 Polygamy, and  hidden (secret) polygamy, is a much more common reality (90%-99%) , but it is emotionally difficult, especially when there is not  maturity; while it converges often to intimate friendship.
The issue of the power balance in the couple is never to be underestimated. In a polygamist couple, the side that has higher "score"  in (secret or not)  polygamy (in contacting sexually third persons) has greater emotional resilience and power. So this creates power imbalance and domination in the couple.

The statistical majority of people live, a bit in an iterated sequential monogamy, and mainly in (mainly secret) polygamy, clothed as if in monogamy.
The keys for a non-violent happy life in intimate relations. ( 1. Truth, and respect of any explicit agreements for the time interval agreed, plus love free from 2. lies, 3. fear, 4. humiliation, 5. guilt,  6. pretence. 7. violence ).
The upper-stratosphere of the intimate relations is reached with the above 6-keys. (Upper-statosphere=the upper part of the  atmosphere above which there are not cloud-based weather phenomena at all, like storms, rain, thunders , lightnings etc)
Sexual practice is shaping  sensitivity, the subconscious and social interactions.

According to the ancient philospher Plato in "Symposio" but also according to the researcher Helen Fisher, the 3 dimensions of the erotic life, that utilize ,
 3 different areas in the human brain and the nervous system are 
1)Physical sex, 
2) Falling in love (the other persons becomes the unique centre of your emotional world) 
3) Long-term  partnership/friendship. 
Experiencing  of each one separately, seems to be much easier than succeeding in combining all the three. 
Legal agreements in the couple are at best a bit relevant only to 3), not to 1) and 2) 

Based on the above distinction , there can be also all possible combinations of these elementary types, therefore in total 7 types of intimate relationships.

The polyamory mode of intimate relationships, is directly compatible, with 1) The physical sex type of intimate relationships and 3) Long term partnership. But it is not compatible with the 2nd type of intimate relationships, that is falling in love. Falling in love is a special case that demands for the monogamic mode, as it is like being emotionally pregnant. But it does not last very long (say 1 year in the average) and thus the restriction to the monogamic mode is not a severe restriction of freedom, while at the same time, refraining of having sex with other persons, when you know that your partner has fallen in love with you is a significant respect of the emotions of the other person. 

Also according the psychologist of marriages J.M. Gottman,(see e.g. by J.M. Gottman, J.M. Murray C. C. Swanson, R. Tyson, K.R. Swanson,

 there are three types of marriages, or couples relations. 
1) The Domination type.
2) The Competition type
3) The Cooperation type.

In the domination type on of the two is dominating the other. The positive emotions of the dominator may create negative emotions to the dominated. But the positive emotions of the dominated do not create negative emotions to the dominating (win-lose). Such marriages may be stable but usually unhappy, and sometimes with violence.

In the competition type, the positive emotions of each usually create negative emotions to the other, and vice-versa (lose-lose). Such relations or marriages lead very fast to divorce.

In the cooperation type , the positive emotions of each create positive emotions to the other and vice-versa (win-win). Such marriages are not only stable but also happy. Usually they start with sex, pass, to falling in love, and result to friendship and love. Each one has space in his/herself for the self of the other as if he/she was his/her own self. 

It seems that the statistics of couples after 5 to 10  years of couple-life show that
1) Group A:  About 3% are  agreed monogamy couples in choice of principles or values and by agreement, and also their practice is of the monogamist type. But from them only 1% is enjoying it as natural mutual love, while the 2% rather suppress themselves so as to act as monogamist, which often leads to verbal fights and  nervousness. 
2) Group B: About 17% are agreed polygamists, without hiding it, without saying lies to  each other or complaining, without jealousy, and accusations when sex with persons outside the couple occurs. They believe that in this way, their relations is going to last longer, due to tolerance and discrete love. And it does last longer, than the normal.
3) Group C: About 40%  of the couples have a polygamy practice which nevertheless one or both hide ,so they claim that their relations is monogamy. They live in hypocrisy lies and deception, because they believe that this is the only way their relation can last: By hiding that under the table it is polygamy, while on the table it is monogamy.
4) Group D: About 40% of the couples have a polygamy practice which nevertheless none of the two hides it, but still they believe only in agreed monogamy not in agreed polygamy and they hope that in the future their relation will be entirely monogamy. 

It is obvious that most people would prefer to be in the Group A (and in particular in the lucky 1%).
But also most people are afraid that they will experience their relations as being in the group C or D. So they are afraid of falling in love.
The relations of the group B, last longer than those of groups C and D. And those of the group C last longer than those of the group D. 
The most unhappy is the group D. At least consciously. Because their beliefs and expectations do not agree with the reality.  But when a couple from the group C passes to the group D, the pain is maximum. The couples in group C, suffer secretly but they do not know it consciously  Their psychic state is the most dangerous. 
Not very many couples can feel comfortable being in the group B. But when they are, are genuinely happy, realistic, humorous and of help to other couples. 
Most of the couples in groups C are from southern countries, or non-developed countries, while groups D and B is more advanced countries, and northern countries. 

The most happy is of course this lucky 1% of the group A. Then group B, then the unlucky 2% of the group A. Then group C, and finally group D. 

It seems that the dynamics  that last 50 years are 
1) The group A has been decreasing, and in particular the unlucky 2% of it.
2) The group C is decreasing , 
3) The group D is increasing
4) The group B is increasing. 

Famous spiritual and wisdom teachers , like Rajneess-Osho who was love and happiness centered with their own ashrams where people could escape from the "jungle" of the survival mode of social life, usually advised couples in troubles to shift from groups C and D, to group B. Given the fact that the couples of the groups C,D, present in "face value"  an ideal, that of monogamy,  while their subconscious drives them to polygamy, thus their practice does not support the ideal, and it is plainly obvious that it is better to deal with their actions , desires and  instinct,  and accept themselves as they are, instead of beating themselves with a theoretical to them ideal, thus move to the group B. 
While other teachers oriented to power, and  control in life and to people that do live in the "jungle"  of survival of social life usually advise couples in troubles to shift to the group A, even to the unlucky 2% of it, which sounds perfect advice but it is under question how much feasible it is. 
Maybe, in another civilization, on another planet 3-4 thousand years more advanced, the percentages of group A would be very high. But on the current earthly civilization the reality seems to be close to the above statistics.

With few words: "Ownership" (=a form of power over the other) in a relationship has to be equal to both sides, with mutual awareness and agreement (Consent) , Furthermore of low intensity in our civilization, otherwise mutual but strong conflicts will occur and mutual jealousy will arise (and this is bad even when it is of equal amount from each direction). Unequal "ownership" is in the realm of the duality Prey-predator and its destructive and unhappy in the long run in the relationships. Of course there are couples that they both want it, but still it is inside the previous duality. Such inequality and prey-predator duality does not have to be in the violent form of handcuffs and raping, but can also be in the subtle form of captivity through charm. Even equal "ownership" from each side but without mutual awareness and consent , is a problem. What a non-destructive relationship is, is not something that only local in space and time feelings will suggest. It is necessary to have non-emotional awareness and wisdom to asses it. The word "ownership" is an ugly one, as ownership is a form of one-sided power interaction from humans to objects, while between humans respect and consciousness is the appropriate interaction.

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