Poly is short for "Polygamy
", "Poly Bigamy
" and more...
What is the difference?
Poly is a bit more diverse and somewhat harder to explain then what most people would call a "normal" relationship. Poly is where more then two people are in the relationship and it could be one man and a couple or a few women, one woman and a couple or a few men, a few women and a few men, or what ever...
Polygamy, Polygyny and Polyandry are more like traditional harems
, where one person in the relationship is the head, sorta. It's not quite that simple. Polygyny is where one man has more then one wife, like the Mormons. Polyandry is the reverse, where one woman has more then one husband. Polygamy is the category that sums them all up into one category. However, with Polygamy it can be a bit more diverse. If you were gay, then your spouses could be of the same sex; if you were bi, then your spouses could be of mixed gender.
Bigamy is similar to Polygamy. The difference is that in a Polygamous relationship one person is married to more then one partner; but they all either live together or close to one another and they all know about each other and where they are in the relationship.
The difference between Polygamy and Bigamy can have some gray areas. Bigamy refers to one person having two spouses, so I guess polygamy would be one person having more then two spouses. Many times you will here of a man having more then one wife in different locations; whether the women knew about each other or not, this would be more Bigamy. However it is not unheard of for a woman to do the same thing.
My girlfriend was somewhat in that type of relationship and if one wants to get technical, she still is. Her "ex husband" and she got a divorce many moons ago, but later got back together and petitioned the court to annul the divorce. They actually never did get another divorce, but he is now married to another woman who I understand is still married to another man.
Therefor if my girlfriend remarries either I or another woman before doing something about this, then she would be in a Poly Bigamous relationship, just like her ex. That is one reason we don't really wish to get married. Bigamy does not quite fit into the poly category, but if one is a Bigamist and is open and honest with their partners, then they would be considered Poly and accepted in the Poly community.
In most Poly relationships, all the people in the relationship are equal and act as a married couple "should" act. Only in a Poly relationship not all the partner should or do interact with everyone but everyone is aware of what interactions are involved.
Polymonogamy; formally known as Polyfailful or Polyfidelity, is what we like to refer to as a more modern Harem. Polyfidelity is where there are a group (meaning three or more) of people in the relationship and they only have relations with those within their group. Polyfaithful is similar, but more like monogamy where they are exclusive to those in the group and everyone in the group are unanimously as one. In Polyfidelity people may come and go from the group; where in a Polyfaithful relationship, you are more or less voted in or out. Our definition of Polymonogamy is where three or four people are in a Polyfaithful relationship, like Polygamy but where everyone is together as one in all ways. The one thing separating Polygamists from Polyfidelity is the sex. In Polyigamy the one person has the sexual union with the others. In Polyfideltiy, all the members have sexual union with others in the group or relationship. Other then that, it is the same for the most part.
A good example:
I am straight, my girlfriend is bi and we are both looking for another woman for a long term relationship. We are not looking for casual sex or a one night stand. We are looking for a girlfriend, for a Polymonogamous relationship. Just the three of us, no more, no less.
When her and I started dating, we were in a polyamorous relationship. I was dating another woman, not with her though she knew of her and we all three talked on the phone at times. We had no secrets
. We were all free to date others, but we all rarely ever did. I cared for them both, they both cared for me, we were all pretty much loyal and faithful to each other. Only one of them was bi that I knew of. She is married now and we are still very close friends. The other came out to me one year into our relationship, just after the other and I decided to just be friends.
The other is now in polyamorous relationship as well. Her new husband was married to another woman, though they were only married by paper for legal reason, they had no other relations and he was free to seek an intimate partnership outside the marriage. They all still live together to this day, but now he and my friend are married and intimate with only each other.
Poly is more about the relationship then it is about the sex. Though sex is important, poly relationships are more based on love, trust and multiple needs. Not only one person can fulfill anothers every need. Sometime monogamy works, but sometimes it takes three, four or more.
In the Sixties and Seventy when it was about "free love", possibly when Poly people first came out; the U.S. had a real radical twist in society and how one views his or her relationship. Since then, we have just been more or less fine tuning it. That being said, it was not always about love.
In our search for finding a partner in our relationship, we have run into a lot of potential women; they may have been interested in us, but they were not interested in getting into a relationship with us.
Swinging is what normal people might think all Poly people are; but, swingers do not necessarily fit into the Poly category. Not that swinging is not about the relationship, but it is more about the sex. Most swingers rarely live together and mostly have purely sexual relationships, and that's OK, to each their own. Polyswingers are dedicated to their partners and don't go outside the relationship, they live in a more Polyfidelity or Polyfaithful relationship. Those swingers would be Poly, but most Poly people are not always swingers...
Some may think that you need to be gay or bi to be in a poly relationship, that is not so though a lot of people are. Poly is mostly a collaborate of other types of relationships that don't quite fit in what you might say or think of as "Normal"; but to poly people, this is just how we are. Poly is like
being bi, meaning, you would have a lot more options in your relationship.
In the Bible there were a lot of Polygynous relationship and they were not looked down upon by God. In fact in some scriptures you will find that God encouraged or instructed these such relationships; but God did not instruct "all" relationships to be this way, I believe it is more or less optional to a point. In the Bible, some men had hundreds of wives. That to me is way to many, I'd stop at three. In the show "Big Love", he had three wives and had a hard time keeping up, then later wanted to ad another, I think two is plenty
. Some say you can not be Christian and Poly at the same time, or that Poly people are going to hell. Then again, anyone who doesn't believe exactly the way they do, is going to hell. In that case, they need to go back to the book and stop listening to what other people tell them without doing their homework. They hate, though they preach love and forgiveness. I am not saying that all poly relationships are or are not moral. I am just saying that like any relationship, there are some poly relationship that are biblical and that is between you and God. I try not to judge, for all have sin and come short of the glory! "Whosoever believith, shall not perish, but have eternal life." Read the book.
The Mormon religion is another good example:
The Mormons would fit more into the Polygyny category though most call it Polygamy.
Originally I was told, "While they were traveling west. Many of the men got killed protecting and defending the colony while on their way to Utah. According to their beliefs, each family must have priesthood and only men at that time could be the priesthood. So any woman that became widowed, she and her children would be adopted into another family. Some men had like 80 wives and who knows how many children. In the beginning it wasn't about intimacy, but once it became more of a practice it became more and more like a traditional harem. Now days since it is illegal in the U.S. to have more then one spouse, they now legally marry the first wife and then spiritually marry the others." This is a misconception. The FLDS still believes in plural marriage; however, the Mormon church claims that it is not doctrinal though they still believe they will have plural wives in heaven. ? That doesn't make scene. ???
I was confronted by a "Radical" Christian one day saying, "Mormonism is an O colt, bla bla bla". I told her that I would take what she said into consideration; but, I can not believe what just anyone says without doing my homework.
In my studies I can see where one would think that Mormonism or the FLDS are of an O colt for they believe in Polytheism
; that one must have plural wives in order to achieve Godhood and so on... That is the part that I would have a hard time accepting; but it doesn't mean it isn't true, it does sound somewhat believable. They also believe that God was once a man and had plural wives to become our God, also that Jesus had come to earth and had plural wives to achieve Godhood; though that was not the only purpose for Jesus's visit to earth. I don't deny that Jesus had or had not a wife or wives, there is so much that people hide from us that I am not sure who to believe anymore.
However; what I did learn is that the only reason "Mormons" don't practice Polygamy anymore is because it is "illegal", what kind of crap is that? Screw the stupid BS the government dishes out, they just pass laws to make more government and to take away our freedoms. That is why the Mormon church is loosing members to the Fundamentalist of Latter Day Saints, for the FLDS still practice the "True Mormon Religion".
Therefore they practiced Polygamy since before they moved to Utah. They actually fled Illinois to Utah so that they could practice their religion in peace; but as we all know, our government has to control what everyone is doing. The government cought up with them and through over 1,000 Polygamous practicing men in jail until they and the church renounced Polygamy in their religion. And you thought this was a free country.
Other then that I am not 100% sure; I am not Mormon, but I have Mormon friends and my girlfriend belongs to an RLDS church (Community Of Christ). The RLDS church is similar to Jews For Jesus, but they are like Mormons For Jesus. I say that in a funny way, but I go to the church myself sometimes and they are very much a christian church though people still call them Mormons and some still read the book of Mormon; in fact we have that one and the DOC but we still believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. The Mormons and the FLDS follow Joseph Smiths teaching more then they do Jesus's. The RLDS have not discarded all of the Mormon ways, but they are followers of Jesus, not Joseph. My girlfriend was raised Catholic and I Nazarene, but I study all religions; like Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Mormonism, All forms of Christianity; like Catholicism, Wesleyan, Holiness, Baptist, Nazarene, Unity and so on. I have started something new for people like my girlfriend; it is called, "The Rainbow Church of Latter Day Saints
". What do you think? I got the idea from a "FaceBook Group".
I bought the TV Series, "Big Love"; to get a better understanding of the Mormon (aka: LDS)
, RLDS (aka Community of Christ)
backgrounds; to understand the psychology, pros, cons and how to be prepared for what might happen in a plural relationship and what to do if these situations actually came up for Polygamy, Polygyny, Polyandry, Polyamory, Polyfidelity, Polyfaithful and Polymonogamy have very similar foundations, religion not included.
In conclusion of my Mormon study and it is not totally done, I don't feel that it is the "One True Church"; o cult, maybe. But many people confuse what goes on in the Mormon, RLDS & FLDS religions with all other Polygamous relationships. Polygamy isn't an o cult, you have to look at the religion and their practices. There are many Christians, Muslim and other religions who live and believe in Polygamy, but not achieving Godhood or whatever. Mormonism is a couple hundred years old, Polygamy goes back to the beginning of time as we know it.
Being Poly does not mean that you can not get married. Like the Mormon faith or the FLDS, you can marry one or the other and then together you can spiritually marry another or others and live together like one big happy family if you like. Some people have gone to other countries to get married into a Poly relationship, for in other countries they are not as narrow minded as we are here in the U.S., but their relationship would still not be recognized by our government though it is legal in the other country. I feel it is much safer just to not get married, legally; mentally and emotionally. Spiritually may be another story... That is between you and God.
We choose to not "legally" marry; we found and ware Poly rings and already have a matching ring picked out for our girlfriend, if she chooses to accept it. We choose to just keep it spiritual between the three of us. We don't need the government or some paper to say we are committed to each other. Some think we have commitment issues because we are not married, but if they truly understood, they would sing a different tune. I feel it is not fare to the third person if we can not legally marry her as well. We would not all three be equal if we could not all three be married, it just would not be fare or right. Not to mention the fact that the law is not on our side, the government only wants to create more chaos so that we will expect them to give us a solution for the problem that they created in the first place.
In that aspect, due to the growing number of same sex relationship though same sex couple can not get married with the exception of the flip flopping laws in California and a few other places; a lot of insurance companies are now doing away with the marriage policy. My girlfriends insurance says, "same sex partner" or "spouse". Therefore if we found a girlfriend, we would not have to get married in order for her to be under the same "family" plan. However, that only applies to same sex couples so far, opposite sex partners still "must" be married in order to be covered under the policy.
We haven't asked yet if we can all three be under the same plan if I was to marry my primary girlfriend... That's OK, I am a naturalist anyway. I try to avoid doctors; like the government, they give us pills with problems so that they can give us more pills with problems to fix the problems that were created by the pills in the first place. No thank you, I will stick with my herbs... So she can allow our girlfriend to be on her insurance if needed, I don't need it. You should talk to your insurance company to make sure they don't already offer the same benefit for you and/or maybe someday could or should.
In most states in the U.S. they allow same sex couples to adopt and have children together. Therefore there are a growing number of insurance companies that understand your needs. So if your insurance company does not understand our needs, maybe we need to find new insurance companies. However if the government goes to universal health care, then we wont have to worry about it, though I am afraid that will create greater issues. But we don't know if we don't try! If you could not tell, I for one am NOT for more government
. We do need a government, but not one that is more powerful then "We The People"!
So there are several good examples of what a poly relationship could be. For you, it could be different. If anyone has a positive addition to ad, please let me know. As are you, I am still learning; as I learn more I will post more... Feel free to post your own by setting up a profile and sharing your Poly experience. This is not a date line, though you are more then welcome to use it as one.
Thank you so much, CainO'
Nov., 2008 cst.Updated: 1-29-9 @ 0745Updated: 4-16-9 @ 0756
Updated: 7-25-9 @ 0251
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