‘Til Death Do Us Part?

Marriage; the idea that we are meant to stay with one person for the rest of our lives. Have you ever stopped to think why we live like this? Why it is that we commit to spending our life with just one person? Why not multiple partners? All we know in the western world is monogamy. But what about polygamy? Much like Casey is the lesser known of the Affleck brothers, polygamy is the lesser known of marriages. It’s the marriage to multiple partners at the same time.

Of course, polygamy is often not recognised in today’s society, or is very rare in countries where it still is. So who decided we should only be with one person? The most common answer to this is religion. God. And we all follow along even though people claiming to have ‘no religion’ ranked second highest in the latest census.

People seem to have caught on that the idea of spending your entire life with just one person might not be all it’s cracked up to be. We’ve started marrying later in life, to make the most out of ‘being young and single’. The notion of breaking up a relationship because you’re too young to stay together forever is becoming more evident.

The way I see it, it’s easy to say you will stay best friends with someone your entire life, that’s a commitment most of us are happy to make. There are no legal documents involved, no messy divorce process if it doesn’t work out. And, most importantly, you’re allowed to have more than one bestfriend at a time. How easy it is to commit to something for life if you know it doesn’t mean also limiting yourself to it.

We have many different friends, each who fulfil different parts of ourselves and contribute different things to them, too. No one expects you to find everything you need in just one friend. There are many types of friends; party friends, trustworthy friends, serious friends, silly friends. And while some friends can seem to cover all bases, we still prefer to have more than one, just to keep things interesting. Of course, friends also have it a little easier than partners – they don’t have to share a mortgage with you, raise children with you, or make sure you’re physically satisfied.

This isn’t to say I’m against marriage, or I believe we can’t be with just one person for our entire lives. On the contrary, I’m quite a strong believer in monogamy and the thought that we can find love that will last a lifetime. I just can’t help but wonder if this is the way it was meant to be. Is it realistic to expect all our needs are met by just one person? Or are we setting ourselves up for (potentially) life-long disappointment?


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