Updated: May 10
Written by Bryen Glass
Conditions of Today
According to prominent divorce lawyers, Wilkenson & Finkbeiner, almost 50 percent of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation, 41 percent of all first marriages end in divorce, 60 percent of second marriages end in divorce, 73 percent of all third marriages end in divorce.
The leading causes of divorce according to Unified Lawyers, lack of commitment (73%), excessive arguing (56%), infidelity (55%), marrying too young (46%), unrealistic expectations (45%), lack of equality in the relationship (44%), lack of preparation of marriage (41%), and domestic violence / abuse (25%). Premarital counseling could greatly reduce these issues. Often times, newlywed couples enter marriages without knowing the expectations, responsibilities, or effort that is required to make a successful marriage.
Recently, I became aware of an all to frequent occurrence of divorce, separation or family abandonment because the wife "could not give her husband a male child." This insane behavior, born from ignorance and superstition. The father of the child determines the sex of the child. The mother donates an X gene, and the father will donate either a X or Y gene. If the father donates an X gene, the child will be a female. If the father donates a Y gene, then the child will be a male. This ignorant practice can destroy a family and could have a negative or irreparable impact for generations.
The size of a family could determine its survival or its success. It was power. A larger family would have the human capital needed to hunt, gather food, tend livestock or crops, protect them from harm, and prevent outsiders from taking their land, property and their human capital. Marriage began simply as a business transaction or military alliance. If one family wanted, or needed to grow their families, they would make an arrangement with another family. A marriage between families allowed one family to receive a wife who could provide children, while the other family would receive compensation (dowery, brides price, lobola) in the form of cattle or other livestock, clothes, beer, or other items, for the loss of a "worker". The new kinship would also bring an alliance to confront any outside threats.
Types of Relationships
There are many types of relationships, but for this particular discussion, we are going to focus on the most common or most prevalent forms of marriage: monogamy, polygyny, polyandry including same sex marriages. Let's define them first.
Monogamous marriage is where one spouse is committed to one spouse.
polygyny is when a husband has more than one wife.
polyandry is when a wife has more than one husband.
Genetic or biological programming influences how humans interact with each other and is also a determining factor when it comes to survival. This genetic and biological programming can also influence how you adapt to your environment and also environment irregularities.
Throughout the history of humans, in Africa, polygamous unions were common practice. It was more common than not. Marriage had less to do with love, and more to do with business. As I stated before, it is my belief that men are not genetically or biologically programmed to be monogamous. That's not the say that all men cannot be monogamous, nor does it mean that all women can be monogamous. This also should not be taken as every man should have multiple wives, or even one wife. Each person is an individual and how the union works will depend on each person involved. Monogamous marriages were the result of early religious influence. In more recent times, monogamous marriages are endorsed by governments due to early religious Christian influences. In some countries, it is preferred due to the rapid spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and high rates of HIV amongst its populations. Proper health & reproductive screenings, regular STI testing, healthy lifestyle habits, sex education, STI preventing contraceptives, and refraining from promiscuous behavior should mitigate the fear of acquiring an STI.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Polygyny
Choosing a polygynous lifestyle can come with both benefits and disadvantages. Whether you receive more benefits or more disadvantages depend on the individuals involved.
Some benefits one could expect is a home with more sources of revenue, assuming each member is gainfully employed. Polygynous marriages have the benefit of having more skills and resources within the home. Each member possesses a certain skillset and varying perspectives that can contribute to the success of the family. Polygynous families may not have to outsource certain duties and expenses such as childcare services, health & beauty expenses, or other household services. Household duties and chores are shared between all members which makes less time working, more leisure time, less stress, and better attitudes. Polygynous families also add a higher level of safety in respect to safety in numbers, trusted family members to watch over the younger family members, and a companion when traveling or handling business outside of the home. Men and women are different, and the wives may find themselves developing a strong sisterly bond that they never had before due to having someone more understanding and knowledgeable about what they may be experiencing.
Some of the disadvantages of polygynous marriages are more responsibility and obligations, jealousy, competition, and lack of privacy. Jealousy is a normal human emotion. It is often rooted in a fear of loss. Competition may occur in the household where one spouse may seek a higher position or more favor over the others, or if in separate households, one household may feel slighted if they feel another household is receiving more material things, time, or attention. In households where all spouses are living together, spouses may find that they don't have the privacy that is needed. It is natural and essential that all members maintain some level privacy. Special attention or planning should be considered to ensure each member has some level of privacy. Proper planning, effective communication and acceptance of a family / team first mentality should address these issues.
Benefits and Disadvantages of Monogamy
As with polygynous marriages, monogamy has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages include having less spouses to consider and consult when handling family business. The wife has more access to the husband. Both have less consideration in respect to contagious diseases, and more privacy.
Disadvantages include less revenue streams, unless they maintain a successful private business. monogamous marriages typically rely on the skills and resources of only two people within the home and may require outsourcing certain duties such as childcare services, health & beauty expenses, or other household services which can be extremely expensive and eat up a large portion of the household revenue. Household duties may be shared between the couple, however, realistically one spouse usually handles the bulk of the household duties. This can lead to more time handling household business, chores or other tasks, less leisure time, more stress and anxiety. Monogamous families also lose a certain level of household safety as compared to polygynous families, because oftentimes members may find themselves alone in the home. As stated before, men and women are different, and communication and understanding needed from the spouse can be lacking which results in the other spouse looking for outside communication and understanding, even from the opposite sex which may place additional strains on the relationship.
A home should be operated like a business. As much as some would want to think, the responsibility of running a household is never a 50/50 task. Someone will have more responsibility than the other. Generally speaking, I believe in gender roles, which are roles or certain behaviors learned by a person as appropriate to their gender and are determined by tradition or the dominant cultural norms. These ideas are based on the assumption that males are masculine which brings a more aggressive, competitive, and violent nature, and women are feminine which brings a gentle, passive, and nurturing nature. Your particular situation will depend on the individuals involved, their personality, interests, and upbringing. I encourage each member to embrace their masculine and feminine energies. Embracing a gender role does not make one gender weaker or lesser of a person and should not be perceived as such. All are equally valued in their role.
The husband should take on the role of head of the household. He should be able to plan, organize, and set goals for the family. He should be able to make sound decisions and know when to seek advice and utilize the skills and perspective of his spouse or spouses. He must also realize that certain tasks or responsibilities should be delegated to those who are best able to handle the responsibility. In polygynous marriages, the husband must take special care to treat everyone fairly and be able to settle disputes fairly. Fair does not mean equal. There will be times when a spouse or child may require extra attention, or less attention. With the family being operated as a business or team, all members must be able to carry a heavier load when other members cannot. As a man, it is perfectly okay for your wife be a higher wage earner because all revenue sources should go towards the family account. What is not okay is allowing your wife to outwork you. Your wife should never be required to work more hours than you, except in special circumstances.
Whether in a monogamous or polygamous marriage, the wife is the husband's help mate. A submissive wife is not a servant or slave. A submissive wife submits by placing her trust in her husband's decisions and accept his vision for the family. A wife must also realize that a good decision is not based on the outcome of the decision, but in the reason, intent, logic or rationale of the decision. The woman is responsible for the home and taking care of the children. This does not mean that the husband cannot or should not help. This is simply a traditional role reserved for a wife.
In the book titled, "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman, he spells out that there are five love languages:
Words of affirmation
Acts of service
Everyone has a combination of two or more, but there is one that is most dominant. Each spouse should take the time to learn each other's love language. This could assist in treating each other fairly and help keep the relationship healthy.
What happens in the privacy of your own bedroom is a private matter and should be kept private. See video in reference to intimacy and privacy. No spouse should be subjected to chastisement for activity found to be distasteful to the spouse. All activity should be between consenting adults with respect to health concerns. In polygynous relationships, it is important that a discussion is had to ensure each wife has fair, if not equal, access to the husband, and executed in a way that is acceptable to all.
In closing, when entering into a marriage, you must be prepared for what awaits you. seeking counseling may save you a tremendous amount of heartache and pain in the future. Some men or women are not suited to be husband or wife in a monogamous or polygynous relationship. No relationship should be entered solely on the basis of sexual attraction or physical beauty, which will at some point fade. Learn each other's love language and their suitability for your style of marriage. Respect the differences between men and women. A wife embracing her feminine energy and a man embracing his masculine energy is not a weakness, it's a strength. In your relationship, remember the 20 virtues of the Temple Code and you should have a happy marriage.