Readers of the NOM blog know that the push to redefine marriage has far-reaching consequences. Redefining marriage renders the institution meaningless. Once marriage is no longer the lifelong union of one man and one woman, there is no logical conclusion as to why three or four consenting adults can't "marry." After all, if marriage is solely based on adults' emotions, why must it be limited to two people? Why deny a "throuple" or "quartet" the right to "marriage equality"?
A recent article in The Atlantic profiled "polyamorous" couples who reject "mono-normativity." Some of them have children who are aware of their polygamous relationships; others live together as "triads."
According to the featured polyamorists--who, by the way, were all interviewed using pseudonyms or their first names only--having different partners satisfies different needs and the more partners to whom they become close, the more fulfilled they are.
Leah Libresco, writing for The American Conservative, responded to some of the claims in this article, particularly the assumption that one's spouse or partner must fulfill 100 percent of expectations. Libresco argues that expecting one's spouse to be "perfect" or fulfill unrealistic ideals is a destructive mindset with which to approach marriage:
Monogamy isn’t premised on the idea that one person can ever be everything to a partner. When a marriage fails to fulfill “the full smorgasbord” it’s not a sign that anything’s wrong. An expectation that a partner (or full set of them) is meant to be a perfect complement is destructive to romantic and platonic relationships.
If the friends of these marital perfectionists are rarely given the chance to excel, their spouses are only ever given the chance to fail. Expecting a romantic partner to be fully satisfactory doesn’t just damage existing marriages, it can preempt them. A person who assumes that their spouse should fit seamlessly into his or her life may pass up several good partners while waiting for the perfect one.
In the meantime, they’ll be missing out on the best part of marriage—the presence of a partner in the ongoing project of becoming better versions of yourself.
Self-sacrifice, as well as commitment to one's spouse and children, make marriages stronger--not polygamy or "polyamory."