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Discussion Starter #1
Consider this an informal survey. I am looking for opinions, because there can be no objective answer here. I want to see what everyone thinks.

I'll start.

Marriage is a committed relationship that last, or is intended to last for a long time. In this context, the term committed means that a large focus is on the relationship, although not 100%. Also in this context, a relationship has two or more individuals within it.

Marriage comes in a variety of forms and are made for a variety of reasons.These forms can also over lap. From my observations, marriage comes in three basic forms; legal, social, and religious, the last of which may or may not be considered a subset of social.

There it is. If you have questions on my view, please feel free to ask. And please post your own view.
 

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Well the law has an objective answer to what marriage is, but it only applies to the aspects they need to be concerned with and isn't very helpful to someone searching for the meaning in it. Which is as it should be.

I consider it a partnership. To some people it is being partners in their religion, whereas others have different religions. For some it is partners raising their children, but some couples conspicuously avoid having children. Economic partnership was once more important than it is now, as the modern economy and modern appliances have given people more independence. There are umpty-ump other bases for a partnership, all of which are optional in a marriage. So we each define our own marriage.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well the law has an objective answer to what marriage is, but it only applies to the aspects they need to be concerned with and isn't very helpful to someone searching for the meaning in it. Which is as it should be.
I would point out that it is only objective within the scope of the law itself. Given that different countries have different legal definitions of marriage, then even legal marriage is subjective.
 

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I think it's interesting that marriage has evolved from being a business contract, to being an agency for the emotional care and protection of the partners in it.

For me, marriage is a romantic ideal and very valuable...but I never felt more committed or devoted after marriage than I did before it - my love and dedication to the man I love is the SAME, with or without the legal contract. I can be happy and have exactly what I want from a loving, committed relationship without being married.

I would like to know, in the poly community, does a marriage denote the partners' most important relationship...??
 

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I'm going to be a realist here lol...sorry for the negativity in some instances, but it is what it is. Marriage is a commitment, hard work to make-it-work on most days. It's a handful of good times, with ups and downs for the whole duration of it. It is siblings and in-laws, and sometimes competitiveness between them. It's wanting to stay during the good times, and wanting to go when it gets difficult, but you don't... It's getting respect some of the time, and not getting it other times. It's fun at times, boring other times. This is what marriage is to me.
 

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I'm going to be a realist here lol...sorry for the negativity in some instances, but it is what it is. Marriage is a commitment, hard work to make-it-work on most days. It's a handful of good times, with ups and downs for the whole duration of it.
I would agree, but would say this is true of life in general. I guess some people think a good marriage will solve all of their problems, and they desperately need a reality check such as yours. Of course what we should all ask ourselves is, "Will I be happier in this marriage than I would out of it?".

Someone dear to me said "Marrying the right person doesn't solve all of your problems, it is just the best way to get through them."
 

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I would point out that it is only objective within the scope of the law itself. Given that different countries have different legal definitions of marriage, then even legal marriage is subjective.
In a given jurisdiction what the law considers to be a marriage is objective. In a different jurisdiction, the law may have different requirements, but they should still be objective.

But maybe you mean something else.
 

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I would agree, but would say this is true of life in general. I guess some people think a good marriage will solve all of their problems, and they desperately need a reality check such as yours. Of course what we should all ask ourselves is, "Will I be happier in this marriage than I would out of it?".

Someone dear to me said "Marrying the right person doesn't solve all of your problems, it is just the best way to get through them."
Yes, you are right...life is like this overall, but a good marriage, and even having kids will not solve all problems, as some believe. Luckily for me, my parents' marriage was a huge reality check for me, so I never fed into the fantasy of it. The right person probably makes it more bearable, but it's not constant. Sometimes the right person can be annoying, disappointing, lack respect for you at times, etc.
 

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Yes, you are right...life is like this overall, but a good marriage, and even having kids will not solve all problems, as some believe. Luckily for me, my parents' marriage was a huge reality check for me, so I never fed into the fantasy of it. The right person probably makes it more bearable, but it's not constant. Sometimes the right person can be annoying, disappointing, lack respect for you at times, etc.
Nearly everything in life is a tradeoff. Even the things that are mostly upside will have a downside now and then.

To some that sounds depressing, for me it liberates me from being disappointed when something isn't perfect.
 

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Changes over the life of a marriage. I believe a marriage changes over the course of five, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc years. Love changes over that time as well. My best answer is a thread I used to keep up with but have for many reasons have just stopped maintaining. I don’t think it got many views and I kind of got lazy keeping up with it. I would only pick it up again if folks wanted to hear more, otherwise it is what it is.

 

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Discussion Starter #12
In a given jurisdiction what the law considers to be a marriage is objective. In a different jurisdiction, the law may have different requirements, but they should still be objective.

But maybe you mean something else.
That's kind of what I'm saying. Only by limiting to one area or another can you make a legal marriage definition objective. As a whole, it remains subjective, as shown by the wide variety of legal definitions.

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Discussion Starter #13
I would like to know, in the poly community, does a marriage denote the partners' most important relationship...??
As a general rule of thumb, I would say yes, with the caveat that different people and units label things differently. Some might not call it a marriage simply because the legal aspect isn't there. You and I might look at it and say that it's a marriage regardless of the lack of legality.

There is also the variety of how people ascribe "most important". Some would say that the partners that they do not live with are as important as those they do live with, or in some cases, more important. As I have noted before, "There is no one True Way."

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As a general rule of thumb, I would say yes, with the caveat that different people and units label things differently. Some might not call it a marriage simply because the legal aspect isn't there. You and I might look at it and say that it's a marriage regardless of the lack of legality.

There is also the variety of how people ascribe "most important". Some would say that the partners that they do not live with are as important as those they do live with, or in some cases, more important. As I have noted before, "There is no one True Way."

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SOOOOO interesting!!!

So then, what is the point of marriage in the poly community, I wonder...? (not that you have an answer to that)

Do most married poly-people start their poly-journey married...??
 

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Do most married poly-people start their poly-journey married...??
Many do start married, as many discover they are poly later on (this can be problematical unless both want to investigate poly relationships). Some may know they're poly up front, but have only found one person (so far) and choose to marry for the usual reasons. A small number of married poly couples will go so far as to divorce so as to make other partners more equal.
 

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Many do start married, as many discover they are poly later on (this can be problematical unless both want to investigate poly relationships).
I am still not clear on how someone "discovers" they are poly - do they recognize that they feel love for two (or more) people at the same time...? Or do they just feel attracted to other people, AND ALSO feel driven to explore those feelings?

A small number of married poly couples will go so far as to divorce so as to make other partners more equal.
WOW...so that is instead of "marrying" (or committing) to those other partners...?

Again, I find the fluidity of poly-relationships and ways of defining them fascinating and I have great respect for the effort involved and how much communication is needed!
 

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I am still not clear on how someone "discovers" they are poly - do they recognize that they feel love for two (or more) people at the same time...? Or do they just feel attracted to other people, AND ALSO feel driven to explore those feelings?

WOW...so that is instead of "marrying" (or committing) to those other partners...?

Again, I find the fluidity of poly-relationships and ways of defining them fascinating and I have great respect for the effort involved and how much communication is needed!
Most people are socialized or conditioned to be monogamous, and may not even know there are other options. Many people used to be conditioned to be heterosexual, too, but as society became more open, some realized that they had a different orientation. So people tended to suppress and deny their true nature. Eventually, some learn otherwise and decide to explore it, maybe because they feel attracted to someone else, or in addition to their partner/spouse. You can't marry additional partners legally, but you can commit to several. However, legally the married spouse has priority if there is an issue that requires legal attention. This can be especially difficult when a couple (usually with a bi female) wants to add another woman to the mix. There's a common and unpleasant situation that can develop called couple privilege, which diminishes the additional partner. Other than awareness and sincere efforts to avoid that happening, the best solution can be for the couple to divorce so that their other partner is on equal ground legally and emotionally. There are so many ways to practice poly that there are no fixed rules, but there are key principles that should be observed to be ethical and fair.
 
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Not sure this question can be properly answered because people's answers are going to vary depending on their up-bringing, their culture, their opinions and experiences, their religion, and what marriage personally means to them. Then they have to compare that to what it means to the person they're marrying, who might have a VERY different idea of what marriage is.

But, if you live in certain parts of the world, for example I live in the US, marriage is a business partnership of two people (unless you're one of those weird people, like Joe Exotic), and that's how the government sees it, and more importantly, how the Family and Divorce court will see it for 50% of people walking down the aisle.

And because I like to answer these kinds of questions with a meme
70732
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So then, what is the point of marriage in the poly community, I wonder...? (not that you have an answer to that)
What is the point of marriage in the mono community? Well,legally that is obvious, although limited for the poly community. In the case of my spouses, it works out alright because we are a total of four, so we have two legal marriages between us (both obtained before we met). But by and large, most polys don't consider the legal marriage the important one. It's the social and/or religious marriage that matters most. That state of matrimony that no government can control. Some will have a ceremony. Maybe they will call it a wedding, maybe some other name. A rose by any other name.... Others will one day realize that they have been married for a while, and wonder when did that happen, as was the case with my legal wife and I. And polys are just as susceptible of jumping into a marriage or relationship that is not good for any involved. Basically, whatever problems you can have as a monogamous couple, polys will encounter it too.

Do most married poly-people start their poly-journey married...??
Very mixed bag. My personal journey of discovery occurred after my divorce from the mother of my children and meeting my current legal wife. She insisted that I date others to ensure that she would not be a rebound and I would not latch on to her and miss that we were as incompatible as my first wife. From there we discovered about poly and learned. My other wife had a brief fling as a unicorn (poly bi-sexual that ends up or searches for a couple) before finding her current legal husband. They were open to the idea and aware of polys prior to meeting us, but had not really done anything with or about it. From my experience older people are usually married or divorced/widowed when they find out about poly. Younger people tend to know about it earlier on. Thank you Internets!
 
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