Friday, 14 September 2007

Open Marriages Part 2

Following on from yesterday’s comments about Open Marriage, this got me thinking about someone we’ve met who builds catamarans and has become well known for having ‘adopted the Polynesian way of life’.

To me this seems to mean that he has a wife ( a lovely, very intelligent woman) but he became famous for his Other Women, who he took sailing and obviously had sex with. (He has a son by one of them. Oh yes, and his wife stayed at home and brought up the son while the mother went off sailing. Why, I wonder?)

Apparently the Polynesians have lots of wives. The women appear to pander to the men, bring up their children and have a good time. Oh yeah? The children, in turn, are ‘instigated into sex’ by uncles or fathers or whoever from a very young age. Don’t get me started on this topic - but evidently child abuse is unknown, or unacknowledged, in Polynesia.

When this character’s way of life was first mentioned, sitting round over a meal one evening, I was horrified. Unsurprisingly, the men around the table were very envious of this man. Talk about having your cake…

‘Don’t be silly, Pop,’ said my husband with a lustful glow in his eyes. ‘Of course the women enjoy it. That’s what they’ve been brought up to expect.’

I don’t think one qualifies the other, and I shot down his argument pretty smartly, but it got me thinking.

Now I don’t know nearly enough about this way of life, but I know enough to realise that there’s no way I could ever live like that. Perhaps I’m too needy, too selfish. But I need to be able to trust my partner. If he’s off screwing other women, all of whom are people I know, if not my best friends, I won’t respect him let alone trust him. And for me a relationship has to be based on trust and respect. Believe me, I’ve had enough disasters in the past to have learnt the hard way.

So I have no desire to go to Polynesia, or to entertain Himself’s wild fantasies about this way of life. (When he’s sober he would admit to finding one wife hard work, let alone more than one.)

I’m staying firmly in Cornwall. With my husband. In shackles. (Him of course, not me.)

11 comments:

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Good God! It just makes a mockery of relationships. These women are obviously brought up to live like this, but I'm sure, if they saw another way of life, i.e. ours, they would realise that they are being totally ripped off from having a loving and trusting relationship with someone who truly loves them.

Crystal xx

Flowerpot said...

Exactly Crystal. It's very tempting, actually, to take a boat out there and open these poor women's eyes...
Of course they might be highly modernised now but I doubt it.

laurie said...

flowerpot, you need to read margaret mead's book "coming of age in samoa." that's what theyre referring to when they talk about uncles and brothers indoctrinating the women.

it's an anthropological book but it became a best seller and was quite controversial when it was published.

i guess if we had been brought up that way, surrounded by people who lived that way, we would be fine with it, too.

but i am glad i was not. i like my life: my husband, our dogs, our trust in each other.

LittleBrownDog said...

Hmmm - I think I'm going to be a bit contraversial here. Obviously the abuse/instigation thing is completely unacceptable, but you know, I don't think I'd mind all that much if my husband had another wife. Company during the day, someone to help out with the housework and kids, the bedroom to yourself on occasion - certainly a helluva lot more use than a second husband.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Do you have the television show Big Love in the UK? It's about a polygymous family in Utah told mostly from the man's perspective.

And it ain't what it's cracked up to be...

Flowerpot said...

laurie - yes I suppose it depends what you get used to, but I'd rather stick with what I've got - at teh moment!

littlebrowndog - I can see what you're getting at, and there are times when that could be very useful. I can't help thinking that emotions might get in the way.... his of course.

correspondent - no we don't ahve that show over here. Or at least, i haven't seen it. I guess it could be hard work pleasuring all thsoe women. Please tell more...

Lane said...

I did catch a programme about a polygamist family in the States. Not sure if it was the same one Correspondent mentions but ergggh...
It all seemed very organised and sterile but the bottom line was the women were there solely to make the husband's life easy. It was not pretty.
xx

Flowerpot said...

lane - sounds dire indeed. Though intriguing..

Akelamalu said...

I've got this overwhelming urge to go to Polynesia and lead the women in revolt! Anyone care to join me?

Flowerpot said...

Ak - yes, count me in!

debio said...

Of course open marriages are just an excuse for sex without commitment - or limited commitment. Ticks all the boxes for many, many men, I think.

Rather than convert the women, perhaps we should all vote for open marriages and see how the men like the 'no commitment' bit turned on its head.

Of course this unhealthy interest in young girls is revolting but, then again, many men don't really appreciate being challenged or answered back - so they get everything they could want in one, young package.

Rather than convert the women, perhaps we should all boycott men as they make the rules both for women to adhere to and for themselves to break.