That kind of love.

Archive for the ‘Monogamy Battles’ Category

I officiated at a gay wedding

The legal stuff took place in Washington DC, but we don’t live there, me and my two very good gay friends. They’ve been together for a long time, and they definitely wanted to have a ceremony that could include a lot of people. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a civil union, but the room will be located in a court, and it will be small, shabby, cramped, and will probably have a fake garland of flowers hanging from an aluminum arch somewhere.

For some reason, the couple in question got it in their heads that I was good with language, and wouldn’t mind writing up a ceremony for them. They said there only request was that they wouldn’t have read vows themselves. I asked them if they wanted me to get ordained for the ceremony, but they said that they would rather me represent their group of friends, than any other power, and I agreed to leave the gods outside.

So I wanted to post the ceremony that I wrote for them. It’s definitely not all mine, I’ve cobbled things together from a few sources, but let me say that it’s not plagiarized either. Most of this stuff is so adapted that you could say with some confidence that it is essentially anonymous. Nothing would please me more than other alternative, LGBTQ marriages had officials use this setup. Please feel free to steal this. You could consider the writer of what follows as “Anonymous” if you like.

 

– – – – –

<Name1> and <Name2>’s Wedding

Seating Period

Entrance of the groomsmen

Entrance of the Best Men

Entrance of the Grooms


<Name1> and <Name2>, we are gathered here together to witness and affirm the love and respect that you have for each other. <Name1> and <Name2>, are you entering into this marriage freely, voluntarily and without any conditions?

In our lives, happiness is built, not found. Happiness is a product of the relationships we make.
A good marriage must be created. In making our happiness, little things are the big things. It is at no time taking the other for granted; It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is valuing the other’s feelings enough to hear them, honesty enough to communicate, and courage enough to act feel together. It is forming a circle of love that gathers in, and magnifies the relationships of both people.

It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy.

One of the purposes of marriage is to make a promise on your honor to stay together. It is a promise to uphold a relationship that last longer than the whims and changing desires of either partner. Upon entering this marriage, you will be committing to the idea that the rings you will wear are a symbol of your promise to walk through hard times with each other, to even carry one another in times of distress, even when it hurts. You commit to hold one another through the winter, as well as the spring.

It must be asked why anyone would make such a commitment to another person? Marriage bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry.  Marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family. Marriage is an esteemed institution because it fulfills yearnings for security, safe haven, and connection that express our common humanity. The decision to participate in this institution, combined with the decision who to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.

<Name1> and <Name2>, please face each other and answer me with an “I do”

<Name1>, are you ready to take <Name2> as your husband, to live together with him in a growing relationship? Will you vow with him to be partners who will meet every situation of life together; the peaceful and the chaotic, the routine and the exciting, the sorrowful and the joyful, the threatening and the inviting? Will you love him, affirm him, and commit yourself to him in marriage as long as you both shall live?

<Name2>, are you ready to take <Name2> as your husband, to live together with him in a growing relationship? Will you vow with him to be partners who will meet every situation of life together; the peaceful and the chaotic, the routine and the exciting, the sorrowful and the joyful, the threatening and the inviting? Will you love him, affirm him, and commit yourself to him in marriage as long as you both shall live?

Lighting the Unity Candle
The lighting of the unity candle symbolizes the joining together of two families. It represents the union of individuals into one united family, and also of the commitment of the larger group of friends and family to help keep the flame of their love burning.

May I Please Have the Rings

What you have to give to each other  is:he promise to take each other as your only love from this day forward, to stand by one another’s side, to listen to one another to give comfort when when there are tears,  and to join your laughter together. Take these rings, and be part of each other’s lives forever.If you wish to seal this marriage with a kiss, you may now do so.

Presentation of the married couple to their friends and family

Advertisements

Sexual openness reduces heirarchies everywhere

It’s really important that you know the paternity of your children because we live in a society where all things past to the first born sons, and all titles, properties and holding accumulated through tithing your people and reaping the crops of your fields must travel down through blood lines.

We aren’t that far from feudalism in a lot of ways.

Sexual openness makes it harder for men to control women, practically and generally too. If women are open, and allowed to have sex with whom they will, then men can’t protect their eggs from stimulation from the wrong sperm. There’s doubt. Doubt about bloodlines.

But in this day and age, does that really truly matter? It’s a provocative thought, I’ll grant you, but what’s the actual function of bloodlines if you’re committed to raising your partners kids with her. Think how many examples there are of folks raising their children without the children being genetically similar to one of the parents. Does it make any inherent difference in that child’s care and raising? I’ll wager that it does not.

There’s so much good that sex positivity and openness can bring to a family, and to people individually, and so very little to lose, and yet it’s one of the most important mores that people hold on to. That will change. But it will also always be very similar percentages as it is today.

Monogamy battles and time ownership

Ownership of time

There is this thing that happens when you start a monogamous relationship, where both partners lay claim to the other person’s time. This is part of the function of Bachelor’s and Bachelorette parties, where it’s you’re last real hurrah with your friends because you’re giving up all your time to the person that you are marrying, and you’ll never taste real freedom ever again.

It’s not just marriage. You’ve seen this happen with people in nonmarried monogamous relationships do this. People meet the right partner, and then they each lay claims to all the other persons time. They don’t act as if they want to do that, but they do it anyway. I’m not sure what the motivations are exactly for this, but fear, social order, expectations, words like those come to mind.

Many a friendship have perished because of this reality. Sometimes even family relationships suffer, and become relationships in name only, with very little time invested in them anymore, when there is clear desire to do so.

Separate Kingdoms

Over the course of time, the partners in the monogamous relationship start to feel the need to claim some of their own time back. Since it’s a huge burden on one partner to “go out” or do anything with former friends, former family, and any relations outside of the primary monogamous relationship, the partners react, and try to seek relief from the crushing burden inside their own marriage.

In my marriage before we opened it, the way it worked was that we built walled off areas that we protected from our spouse. The best way to do this without open defiance is to do things you know the other partner wouldn’t want to do. In my case, I played an MMO all the time. I knew it was safe, safer than locking myself in the bathroom just to reclaim some of my time. My partner watched constant trashy television. I don’t think either of us realized that we were lobbying for freedom, simply because we didn’t realize the possibility of being free.

In fact, we didn’t even realize this was going to be one of the awesome things we’d get from opening our relationship until well afterwards, but knocking down these separate kingdoms has been pretty spectacularly awesome.

How poly changes this

I have to give her time for her other relationships. It started out as time that I was giving her to date a guy she got interested in, but it quickly unfolded into something entirely different. We realized at some point that our time is actually ours. It’s kinda like this, our time, well that is our love. The time that we have is what we’re giving. There’s almost no difference whatsoever in love and time when your time is free.

Well, I never stopped wanting her love. I just didn’t or couldn’t realize that her love is her time. I thought I had to own her time, and that she was supposed to own mine. Well it’s clear that I don’t own her love, especially now. In the same exact way, I have no ownership whatsoever over her time. Any attempt to do so is false in any relationship. Even your employer doesn’t own your time. You are trading it at best, but they can’t own your ability to give it to someone else. It’s truly yours, and any relationship that attempts to build from the concept that your time can be owned by someone else is a terrible relationship you should avoid.

But that’s all a little beside the point. As soon as I realized that her time was hers, I wanted some of it. I wanted to earn some of her love. Not all of her time, but some. My separate kingdoms that I’d painstaking built over years vanished so suddenly, that it was like they’d never been there. The event made so much sudden sense to me that I saw this sort of necessary folly of what I’d been doing with extreme clarity. Polyamory has been more about excising unreasonable parts of my world-view, rather than adopting an alien one.

She lets me do whatever I want with my time. I want to give lots of it to her. She wants to ensure that I give her some of my time, and I want to ensure that she gives me some of hers. I let her do whatever she really wants. What we really want to do serves us both as an excellent compass for which way we want to go. It works out so simply and beautifully.