Monday, July 22, 2013

Alpha Mail: the sexless marriage

JG asks advice concerning fidelity to an asexual wife:
I am normally reluctant to discuss my personal business with others, but after reading TIA & RGD and lurking on VP for a few years (and now AG) I have come to place a lot of stock in your analytical abilities and was hoping for your insight. It's somewhat complicated so I'll do my best to trim the fat and avoid boring you with any unrelated rambling.

A dozen years ago I started dating a girl from where I worked at the time, who left her 1st boyfriend to 'trade up' to me. She is 7 years younger than me, was 20 at the time. We hit it off very well and became very close, but I noticed one odd problem: there was no sex or sexuality. That baffled me, as I was unaccustomed to 'dry spells', but I thought perhaps she just needed time, which I allowed. After 6 months things started happening, but only just barely...as in, once a month or so, no foreplay allowed, and she would get noticeably restless after a few minutes.
Despite this, I felt close enough to her that I eventually proposed, and we got married. (I know, sounds delta or gamma or something but that's where I was then).
After a while, even the minimal sex stopped altogether. She flinches if I touch her near a sexual area, it is clearly unwanted. No amount of flowers or jewelry or other traditionally romantic gestures has ever deactivated her force field. After ruling out theories like closet lesbianism, an inexplicable nosedive of Game, previous sexual abuse, that I might unwittingly be an odorous troll, etc, I eventually realized she may well be one of the statistical minority of people who are genuinely asexual, which pretty much killed my sexual desire for her since she has none to reciprocate with; I just have no physical interest in any woman who has none in me, or with whom I have no strong bond. So, I no longer pressure her with notification of frustration over my unmet needs.

Of importance is the fact that at some point I evolved from agnosticism to a strong interest in following God, whereas she remains unconvinced and uninterested, even though she is aware of the abundance of supporting evidence that might otherwise cause the intellectually honest to reconsider their previous skepticism. However, this has never been a source of friction between us, we're both pretty laid back. So I feel compelled to honor my commitment to her despite her absence of sexuality. And despite being otherwise somewhat misanthropic, she in turn leans heavily on me, having formed some deep bond that doesn't include any intimacy beyond holding hands. Not even kissing. (both non-smokers, good oral hygiene, so not an olfactory problem) So, I had no idea what spiritually acceptable recourse I may have.

Although I'd be interested in your commentary on that, here's where it gets more complicated: In your opinion, is it technically possible to cheat on a person with whom you have no sexual relationship? The reason I ask is, I met a woman at church and we were drawn to one another and have been in regular contact. She and I are strongly attracted to each other, and none other, but she periodically reminds me that if my faith in God is not a top priority like hers, then she will have to sever our relationship. Her faith is strong, and at times I have given her some very reassuring input when she has questions, or when her atheist friends attack her beliefs. In turn, she tries to keep me on track, spiritually. She is aware of my unusual marital situation, and proposed a solution I didn't expect: sharing me with my wife, but with exclusive sexual rights. (she has a very...vigorous drive)

I would much prefer to have everything straightforward and out in the open with nothing to hide, and I can't help thinking that since my wife has permanently said 'no' to me sexually, then she has essentially forfeited the right to say 'no' to this, but then again, I'm sure she will somehow not see it that way, so I have been procrastinating having "the talk" with her because historically, she has a meltdown if she feels our stability is threatened. However, the other woman is becoming increasingly anxious about it, and wishes I would proceed with all due haste.

Although I'm not looking forward to "the talk", I'm about ready to pull the trigger on this but first I need to know: I'm sure that mainstream 'Churchianity' would make no provision for any non-standard relationship but given the unusual circumstances in my situation, if I were to conduct myself responsibly towards these 2 women according to our individual relationships and spiritual principles, do you feel that such an arrangement would find disfavor in Gods eyes? Aside from my unmet needs, aside from the presumably conflicting desires of both women whom I love in different ways, aside from disapproval from those with strictly conventional perspectives, above all else I would greatly prefer not to displease God. If it were permissible, I'd have to tell my wife that it comes to this. If not, I'd have a different talk with the other woman. So I am requesting the aid of your advanced analytical abilities as well as your spiritual perspective. If you have made it here to the end of the email, I would like to thank you for your consideration of this matter, and I look forward to your perspective on it.
Considering that he's essentially talking about de facto polygyny here, for which there is not only copious evidence that it is Biblically acceptable, but soon to be entirely legal in the USA as well.  I am a little skeptical that the wife will be as accepting of the expanded structure as the other woman, but if she's genuinely asexual and is sufficiently intelligent to protect her own long-term interests, she might accept it with an amount of relief.

Regardless, I think JG has a free hand here, as the wife has clearly violated her marital vows to love her husband and has failed to perform her primary marital duty.  She's fortunate that he takes his vows as seriously as he does, because there is little question that he has firm grounds for a divorce, if not a legitimate annulment.

Sex is not the entirety of marriage, but it is a foundation and a necessary aspect of it.  A sexless marriage is intrinsically oxymoronic and cannot be expected to last without an amount of external support.

117 comments:

HanSolo said...

If she can't see that one of his needs isn't being met (sex) and be open to finding a way to satisfy them (perhaps involving the other woman) then she isn't worthy to continue as his wife.

The question for the man is whether he even loves and likes her enough to continue with his wife at all, though if he really doesn't believe in divorce then I guess he's stuck with her.

Weouro said...

It wouldn't be polygyny though unless they were married for life. The question of polygyny aside, a wife can't legitimize adultery by giving permission since it's a sin against God as well as the spouse. But questions about what is "Biblical" are absurd if there is no authoritative reading. Everyone simply does what is right in his own eyes.

D'Arcey said...

Don't do it. I respectfully disagree with Vox: you absolutely do not have a free hand.

I grant that polygamy has a biblical _precedent_, that is not the same as biblical warrant. While polygamy is not explicitly outlawed, it is put out of view by strong and, in my view clear, implication.

The teachings of Eph 5 on what marriage _is_ (by nature of what it points to) preclude polygamy. It is a picture of the singular groom and his singular bride. That the singular bride is a corporate entity in the metaphor changes nothing.

Further, given that the character of an elder is merely a description of what every Christian ought to be doing, but the elder is _succeeding_, you ought to be the husband of one wife (1 Tim 3).

With an explicit arrangement where all parties recognize the rights of the wife and the part-time sexual partner, that would be concubinage but still not biblically sanctioned (even if normative).

As it stands, JG is about to head into full-on adultery.

If your wife were a Christian, you would take her before the elders (and eventually the church) on charges on the basis of 1 Cor 7 (as the Puritans were wont to do).

In the same way, 1 Cor 7.12-16 binds *you*. Lead her strongly. If she refuses to follow and desires instead to 'leave', then you are not bound. But you may not commit adultery, you may not divorce her, and you ought not seek to enter into concubinage. Consider all of the points that Vox has made re: polygamist societies. Now concentrate that in your house.

In my view, you are definitely already cheating (an Emotional Affair in Athol's categories) and your own "hamster" is running wild. Hers already has, and the two together will definitely leave your current marriage shattered (instead of broken as it is now).

tz said...

A parallel would be a woman with a really risky pregnancy or damaged fetus asking about abortion (without a true double-effect). What part of "Thou shall not kill" don't you understand?

Both our Lord and St. Paul are clear on adultery. Absent the sacrament of marriage, no sex. Absent the death of an existing spouse in a valid marriage (see annulment), divorce and remarriage is adultery - use your concordance.

From the "game" point of view, he is acting like the Beau that gives large boxes of candy and large bouquets of expensive flowers for Valentines day. He should try saying "Skittle?". Or as some others in the manosphere have put it, "Dread Game".

Alpha part 2 would insist on telling your wife that she has a problem. Does she, would she kiss her parents or siblings? Or a child (children might be another entry) - hers, niece or nephew? If she is badly OC (ask her if she wants to wash her hands and hand her some antiseptic soap after holding hands), point out she is neurotic and needs help.

If done carefully, it isn't illicit to flirt, or to explain the much more attractive babe client/coworker/total-stranger-you-found isn't a threat.

But the sacrament binds two BAPTIZED persons. If you or your wife weren't baptized, then just divorce and find better partners if it is that difficult.

If Woman A is being a psycho bitch from hell (the last word I mean in a more literal sense than is usually used), dump her. Don't white-knight. Tell her to either become your wife with all that implies or become single.

(usual diatribe about contraception omitted, but "sexless" is a form of "childless").

matamoros said...

Actually it would not be polygamy as he wouldn't be married to another woman. He would have, however, a mistress. It is historically, in Europe, a normal situation.

There are numerous reasons why it is/was normal, including family arranged marriages between noble houses, between rich families, etc. Also, for reasons such as this where the woman could not, or would not, fulfill her marital duties.

Love was more typically thought of a being between a man and his mistress than between the man and his wife. The wife was to produce the children, the mistress to provide friendship, passionate sex, someone to talk with, etc.

Whether he should do this or not, is not my call, but the woman has definitely violated the marriage covenant/contract; and in the Catholic Church (which is strictest as regards marriage vows) a case could be made for an annulment.

Dezdren said...

If your wife agrees, you will eventually love one more than her.
If she disagrees, you will still love her less.

Once you have the talk, divorce seems inevitable.
Unless you are open to the possibility of becoming neutered.

On another vein, was this woman married before? And if so, is it moral to marry a women who has been or has divorced?

anorthernobserver said...

This "other woman" has a "strong drive" and a "Strong faith"?

If she's single, this is a contradiction in terms.

pdwalker said...

JG,

Either cut your balls off and be happy, or find a more compatible mate.

Any woman who won't have sex with her husband is not his wife.

You shouldn't have married her in the first place, but what is done, is done.

Kgaard said...

As a practical matter the existing arrangement is not sustainable. In five years you WON'T be in a sexless marriage to your existing wife. It's gonna change. The question is how.

Foster said...

While a legalistic view of the law of Moses like the ones Jesus was combatting in his ministry might allow polygamy, Jesus made it clear that from the beginning, it was not so. God made them male and female, so that a man will leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. Not his wives. The Church has always kept this understanding, and polygamy, particularly in our age in which we have the light of the gospel, is an abomination.

You should try to work things out with your wife and/or pursue annulling the marriage assuming she had the intention to deprive you of your marital rights and decline to bear your children from the beginning of your marriage.

Frankly, I am curious what denomination you and your lady friend belong to, that a supposedly strongly faithful woman is asking you to break your vow you made to your wife to love her forsaking all others. If your marriage is symbolic of God's faithfulness to the Church, as St Paul says it is, are you really contemplating a God-pleasing move? I mean, if you were an atheist, I would see your logic, but being a Christian, I can't imagine how you rationalize this. Are you part of some polygamous sect of Mormonism where there's a tradition of this kind of behavior?

texaust said...

Surprised by VD's facile response here -- at a minimum I would be suspicious of the other woman who is clearly leading JG astray from his marital commitment.

mmaier2112 said...

"legitimate annulment" Where is the Biblical support for the idea of annualment?

mmaier2112 said...

"The Church has always kept this understanding, and polygamy, particularly in our age in which we have the light of the gospel, is an abomination."

I call BS on this one. It's not called an abomination anywhere in any Bible translation I've heard of.

Hell, would He have used a parable of a bridegroom with 10 virgins lined up were it so?

MycroftJones said...

Vox spoke good advice to the man; I'm surprised at all you idiots trying to oppress him with your mainstream mis-interpretations of Scripture. You lack love; you bind up heavy burdens upon him which God himself did not.

To the fool that said Scripture doesn't "warrant" polygamy, go back and read the Law of Moses. The VERY FIRST LAW in the entire law code, after the ten commandments, is the one that outlines how polygamy is to operate, with no condemnation at all.

Three times in the Old, and at least once in the New Testament, situations are outlined where polygamy is required of a Covenant man.

JG: if you need confirmation from Scripture that Vox is right, you can contact me off the forum and I'll provide the materials I've gathered over the years for just this circumstance. Do not be afraid to move ahead with your new relationship. If the old wife disapproves, let her go. You are called to peace.

Res Ipsa said...

There is an aspect of JG’s post that being overlooked. I believe it is key to the question at hand. His wife is perfectly capable of increasing the amount of vaginal access that he gets. She may even do this in an effort to make the upcoming divorce his fault. I believe she is going to see any talk of her husband taking a concubine as a prelude to divorce.

JG is looking for more sex, but that is only part of it. He needs a certain QUALITY of lovemaking, a level of passion and mutual involvement that he has no reason to believe he will get. His wife has chosen to play the role of a whore who isn’t delivering the goods. Getting her to flop on her back and let him stick it in her a couple of more times isn’t going to solve anything. It will probably add to JG’s level of frustration.

JG needs a way to increase the passion and sexual fulfillment in his marriage. Other advice simply isn’t helpful.

Observation:
A women who wants the respectability of marriage is capable of lying to herself and her family and even her husband in order to get him to wed her. She probably isn’t capable of manufacturing the passion required to actually BE MARRIED. Right now she has the best of both worlds, no effort as a wife, no stigma of being single.

If this is what JG’s wife did, the marriage is a fraud and has been from the beginning.

Hermit said...

@ Mycroft

I was trying to come up with something similar, but you said it 10X better than I ever could. Polygamy isn't always ideal, but it's a perfectly legitimate choice.

Duke of Earl said...

I would suggest divorce, regrettable though it is.

A marital relationship without any marital relations (except by mutual agreement) seems contradictory to me.

I wouldn't take the concubine option though. While technically it's not specifically forbidden in the Bible, it requires a division of affections and resources that had seen it fall out of favour by the time Jesus came along.

rycamor said...

Indeed, it is not VD's response, but the anti-polygynists' that is facile. Before we get started, I don't come at this with any particular theological axe to grind, nor am I a member of some polygamous sect. I'm just that odd person that wants to know the truth as much as it can be known.

Let's face it: absolutely nowhere in the Bible are we told that it is a sin for a man to have multiple wives. It's just not there. In fact, we don't see any direct injunction against a man having concubines. One has only to do a cursory reading of the Old Testament to confirm this. Do we find Jesus himself redefining marriage as part of the New Covenant? Where? All He does is to elucidate some truths for the particularly thick-headed.

Eph. 5 as a sweeping condemnation of polygyny? Only a particularly obtuse mind could conclude that drawing a parallel between marriage and Jesus' commitment to the multitudinous church requires monogamy. It is a parallel, spoken in the language of illuminating a truth rather than the defining of boundaries (I note that historically Western thinkers are much more obsessed with defining boundaries than illuminating truths. I think that is why the West has produced so many geekish, compulsive organizers and inventors, but it does come at a cost).

Having been raised "steeped" in the Word since a child, I can only think of one passage that has any sort of hint at seeing polygyny in a negative light, and even that one is a little problematic. A deacon should be the "husband of one wife", but it doesn't say "husband of only one wife". What I find funny is that every theologian who interprets this as a "must" is conversely quick to assure us that it doesn't mean a man *has* to be married to be a deacon. Why not? It looks pretty much to me like plain language. Be that as it may, even the most boundary-obsessive interpretation still does not prove polygyny is a sin, any more than it says that a man who does not control his household is sinning. It just expresses a preference.

Ah, but of course, who would want to disappoint God at all? Well if Paul is speaking for God, we are told that he wishes men could be "even as I am"--completely celibate. Any takers?

rycamor said...

I confess that I don't have all this perfectly sorted in my head, but I find it hard to reconcile "polygyny as abomination" with the God of the old Testament who gladly rewards his faithful servants with multiple wives, as we see in the case of David and Solomon. Also, we find one place where Jesus has the opportunity to denounce polygyny (the "Levirate marriage" question) and He does not. In fact, his extended answer leads me to suspect that modern Christians are placing perhaps too much of a shrine around marriage, for in heaven we are neither married nor given in marriage.

I do wonder why the European church, including modern evangelical Christianity reacts with such vaunted disgust at the idea, given the weakness of the denunciations, when they seem to have no problem fellowshipping with divorced/remarried believers, gluttons, gossipers, all of which we are told in much more forceful terms is sin. Could it be that the vested interest in this topic is just beta male jealousy (another specific sin we are warned of)?

I know, the whole concept of polygyny seems so "not fair", but God never tells us that love, marriage, and sex is going to be fair anyway. He never tells us that anything is going to be fair, but questions what business the clay has asking the potter why it was made that way.

Now, I do think there is another problematic question here: If we do conclude that polygamy is legitimate, but if a man has made a vow to "forsake all others", "until death do us part", has he then sealed the deal for himself? Or can he be released from that vow given that he was led astray by church leaders? Can he be released from that vow by the consent of his wife? I can't say I have a perfect answer for that, but I think God does look upon vows as important.

Remo said...

Well if we were actually discussing biblical marriage the man would not be in a sexless marriage. He would simply grab his wife, take her against her protests, and do this as often as needed. Of course in this day and age that's "rape" so he is stuck. You have the state definition of marriage which is continued responsibility to a woman no matter her behavior which isn't a marriage at all in the biblical sense.

I argue that 'marriage' as it exists today in the U.S. especially is not biblical marriage at all. What if the law allowed for a woman to simply move any man she wanted into the house as a second husband and forced the first husband to pay for him. Is that marriage if the state defined it so? So now you have "marriage" where the woman does not have to provide sex and may call it rape if she doesn't like it. Not marriage.

Churchianity will say that you *must* continue to live the life of a eunuch with your first wife and that's that. You got married to avoid the trap of lust and here you are firmly trapped by it because the state changed the rules (and the church agreed through silence) on what marriage is but we'll pretend that's not the case and chastise you for wanting to commit adultery.

Whatever you do DON'T go after the church lady you want to bone. She is not a Christian anymore than your current wife as is proven by her willingness to have an affair with you. Either move your wife to a place on Earth where taking her isn't illegal so as to slake your lust or divorce her and get the hell of the U.S.

MycroftJones said...

Remo: marital rape wasn't even allowed in the Bible. If a slave can flee an abusive master, how much more the wife, who is a free woman. Nor is it a good idea. A man has to sleep sometime. You need to be able to trust the person sleeping beside you.

JK, that "Church lady" that Remo condemns as "not a Christian"... ignore him. Thank God she is willing to follow the Bible rather than the Church; she is worth 100 Christians.

rmaxgenactivepua said...

Marital rape is allowed in the bible ...

Also theres no such thing as marital rape, if you marry a man & dont want to service his needs, as & when he wants it, dont get married

Marriage gives a man complete access to a womans body, sex on tap, DEAL WITH IT

Only gold diggers & looser retarded women withhold sex from a man, who works sweat & blood for the marriage

Eric Mueller said...

I was looking over the divorce agreement we're filing because that's the only thing that will make my soon-to-be ex-wife haaaaaaaaapy. At least in the People's Republic of New Jersey, you can file for divorce on the grounds that sex has been deliberately withheld for a period of a year.

If I'd known that, maybe I should have filed first. We're going for the "irrecocialable Differences", which gets a rubber stamp. No "no fault divorce" judge will ever question it.

Bobby Dupea said...

JG is out of his mind to propose an 'arrangement' to his irreligious wife: she will use that to clean his clock in divorce court. He either learns to enjoy his very odd marriage, or he needs to suck it up, develop some critical thinking and introspection skills, take a deep breath, and terminate the sham marriage. I think the scriptural debate is somewhat interesting but a sideshow: the time to resolve questions of polygamy are before one has handed one's agency over to the state via a state marriage.

The 'wife' in this anecdote is totally devoid of appeal or even humanity. Getting some strange on the side, with a smearing of putative religiosity on top, fixes nothing and endangers all.

This is a very strange story with very strange people wandering about.

/buena vista

swiftfoxmark2 said...

Indeed there is no such thing as marital rape, however there is a such thing as spousal abuse. When your wife withholds sex from you, you are not allowed to sin in kind. In other words, while it is a sin for your wife to withhold sex, it does not justify any sinful actions that you take, be it adultery, pornography, or taking your sexual liberties by force with your spouse.

I sympathize with JG, but I think instead of resorting to polygyny, divorce, or adultery, he should discuss the situation with his wife first. He should tell her that the only perk to marriage for a husband is sex. Everything else that occurs within a marriage a man can acquire on his own. From children through adoption to friendship, a man can get all of these things through other channels. But in Christianity, sex is only allowed through marriage and therefore he can only get it from her. He needs to make this clear to her in no uncertain terms, that he does not feel married to her at all and that he wants to make things work.

An ultimatum is not out of the question either. Demand that she try and fulfill her side of the marriage bargain or face divorce.

If he decides to divorce his current wife, he should make sure that his current interest knows of everything that is going on. She needs to know that his current wife is, at best, a female roommate who shares the same bed and that's about it. But he isn't being fair to this woman either.

I am not opposed to polygyny myself, however, in every case where such relationships are described in the Bible, it comes with trouble. More trouble than most men should care to bring upon themselves, considering that most men can barely handle a relationship with one woman, let alone more than one. JG's current wife might be all right with a second wife, but the second wife may have issues with the first wife.

Ray said...

JG would be a fool if he does anything but divorce his current "wife." What he is proposing will give his "wife" the whip-hand (even more than the law already does) in the inevitable divorce if he follows through with it. And please don't think that her agreement to the arrangement will mitigate the legal fallout at some later point.

Nate said...

Sounds like this chick was sexually abused as a kid. Probably by a parent. Almost certainly by someone she trusted a great deal.

My suggestion is to head down that road and find out what the hell happened.

If that turns up nothing I would recommend talking to her about it. If she is focused on God like she said she is, then she is reading the bible. If she is reading the bible... then she understands that there is something wrong here. Show her Paul's advice on marriage and get her thoughts on it.

You're absolutely within your rights to take another wife. Even if she put out all the time you would still be in your rights to take another wife.

Here's the thing... something is very wrong. Women are significantly more pervy than men are by nature. something has happened to change that. Something is screwing up her hormones, or something happened in the past that has screwed her up emotionally. Its possible her parents beat "sex is bad" into her so much that she can't get past it. Of she was abused sexually at some point.

Find out.

Foster said...

@mmaier2112 ""legitimate annulment" Where is the Biblical support for the idea of annualment?"

Where is the biblical support for the Trinity? As with the Trinity, we have to look at the Scriptures in their totality for evidence of a doctrine.

The concept of annulment proceeds from the Church's reconciliation of the difference between Matthew 19:8-12 and Luke 16:17-18. Matthew provides the exception of the ambiguous (Greek transliteration) "porneas" whereas Luke provides no exception to the ban against divorce and remarriage.

Are we going to (self-servingly) attribute the Luke passage to a scribal error or omission, or do we believe the scriptures are infallible? The concept of annulment allows us to blend the two passages into a coherent doctrine. On the one hand, no one legitimately married can divorce and remarry (Luke). On the other, if there was a malformation, a sexual/marital perversion from the beginning of the marriage, then although the parties may civilly divorce, from God's perspective there was no sacramental marriage from the beginning, and one is free to pursue a real marriage (Matthew).

How would you reconcile the two passages?

Vidad said...

As usual, Mel has the answer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJNs-sfTIM4

Vidad said...

As for this situation, adultery is never acceptable. We're not called to be "happy," so this needs to be worked out in a biblical manner.

"She and I are strongly attracted to each other, and none other, but she periodically reminds me that if my faith in God is not a top priority like hers, then she will have to sever our relationship."

Ah, the hamster. How the f#$%$ is her faith in God a "top priority" if she's offering a sexual relationship to a married man?

Remo said...

"Indeed there is no such thing as marital rape, however..." <long justification that attempts to nullify the first statement.

There is no such thing as marital rape as you cannot rape your own body. Your explanation basically turns things on their head and rubber stamps the current administrations policy of "only when she is damn good and ready".

Lets turn this around shall we? Suppose you decide that this month, you won't support your children. This month, you won't support your wife. In 15 minutes she'll have you in divorce court being forced at the point of a gun to fulfill your "responsibilities". So why are the mans responsibilities perfectly and justifiably backed up by violence and the females aren't?

If a wife refuses you sex in biblical times - you could *make her have sex with you* and this would not be a crime. Jesus did not rail about this in his various teachings. Love one another but if the wife is refusing to love you tough love was applied back then and it wasn't wrong.

rycamor said...

I was thinking the same thing as Nate. It sounds like she never had a healthy attitude toward sex. Be careful, though, with any sort of psychiatric counseling. Even Christian counselors get caught up in the drama of "suppressed memory" therapy, which can bend weaker minds into remembering things that never happened.

There is of course the possibility that JG's wife has been cheating on him all along, but that sounds a little less likely.

Remo said...

Oh and "spousal abuse" in the modern parlance which really means "anything he does that I don't like" didn't exist and was not legally enforceable either.

SarahsDaughter said...

I completely agree with what Vox has said. The discussion needs to be had. The wife needs to know about the other woman, that she does desire him sexually and will be fulfilling that role since she (the wife) is in rebellion to it. (I don't believe permission needs to be sought, it should be a statement of fact). I think it would be wise to give the wife some time to process this and make her decision before going forward with the other woman. It may be exactly what is needed for her to realize her rebellion and choose to fulfill her roles as his wife. Should she choose to divorce him, as I understand it, the only adultery would be with the wife should she marry or have sex with another man.

SarahsDaughter said...

Though the State does not currently sell licenses for this arrangement, this does not mean he wouldn't be married to both women before God, does it? And therefore must follow the guidelines for biblical multiple marriages as well as the restriction of Church leadership in 1 Timothy 3?

Foster said...

""The Church has always kept this understanding, and polygamy, particularly in our age in which we have the light of the gospel, is an abomination."

I call BS on this one. It's not called an abomination anywhere in any Bible translation I've heard of.

Hell, would He have used a parable of a bridegroom with 10 virgins lined up were it so?"

So you're basically arguing
1. If it's not explicitly condemned in the Bible, then it's okay to do it.
2. The parable of the 10 virgins provides a counterexample where a guy is about to marry ten virgin women.

Let's talk about that second argument first (Matthew 25:1-13), because both from cultural context and a careful reading of the verse itself, it's clear that the virgins are not betrothed to the groom, but want to get in to a feast in honor of the marriage between the groom and some other woman, the bride. If you bother to read the first verse, this is made clear: "Then shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins, who, taking their lamps, went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride." They themselves are not brides in the marriage.

As for your first contention, no law can ever be complete, since there are too many situations. Instead, we must use the law as a guideline and attempt to live our lives accordingly. Let me ask you this: if Jesus meant that you can just take another woman on top of your current wife, why do his disciples say (Matt. 19:10) "If this is the way it is between a man and his wife, then it is better not to marry" ? The clear implication is that this is a very difficult teaching that was not culturally current at the time, a revolutionary way of looking at marriage. Polygamy does not fit this bill.

The most logical conclusion, if we think with our higher heads rather than our nether ones, is that this is Jesus' authentic teaching about how one man and one woman symbolize and sacramentalize Christ and his faithfulness to his one bride (See Matt. 25:1), the Church.

Nate said...

"The Church has always kept this understanding, and polygamy, particularly in our age in which we have the light of the gospel, is an abomination."

This is an enormously historically ignorant statement.

Foster said...

Do enlighten us, Nate.

swiftfoxmark2 said...

There is no such thing as marital rape as you cannot rape your own body. Your explanation basically turns things on their head and rubber stamps the current administrations policy of "only when she is damn good and ready".

There are actions which are sinful and there are actions which are stupid. Do not think that just because it is not sinful to take sex by force from your wife that it is also a good idea.

You are not one with your wife when you get married. Jesus said "one flesh" in reference to sex, not some mystical, pseudo-pagan concept that our modern world seems to believe it to be. If you are, then why does Jesus make it clear that we are neither given in marriage or get married in Heaven? He clearly implies that we maintain our individuality.

As such, you have to look at your wife as another individual; as your neighbor. We are instructed to love our neighbors as ourselves and I don't think that forcing sexual liberties on your wife is an act of love. It is an act of selfishness brought on by anger and frustration at your lack of respect from your wife. Perhaps you should ask yourself, the only person you can change, what do I need to do in order to obtain the respect of my wife so she doesn't refuse my sexual advances?

Vox said...

I sympathize with JG, but I think instead of resorting to polygyny, divorce, or adultery, he should discuss the situation with his wife first. He should tell her that the only perk to marriage for a husband is sex.

I tend to imagine he has tried TALKING to her about it already. Almost surely more than once.

yttik said...

More than 40 posts and nobody states the obvious? Where is the tough love? Leaders lead! JG has led his wife into a decade of asexual marriage. Take some personal responsibility, for crying out loud.

Cringing, flinching, is not being asexual, it's resistance. Your job was to find out why, not let her lead sexually and sit back and accept it.

As to the woman at church, run like hell. With your lack of skills, you're about to get screwed in a bad way. Also, if I can see through your crap justification for adultery, God surely can.

Nate said...

"Do enlighten us, Nate."

Polygamy was a fact of life in the apostolic church long after Paul's death. In fact it remained so until Constantine ordered it banned by dictate that he didn't even bother finding a biblical justification for.

God rewards Solomon with multiple wives. When David is being chastised for murder... the prophet specifically tells him, "If you'd asked for more wives, God would've granted them to you."

There is not the slightest biblical support for the claim that God disapproves of polygamy. None.

Weouro said...

"Thank God she is willing to follow the Bible rather than the Church; she is worth 100 Christians."

Ironically, the Bible itself tells us to follow the Church, not the Bible. And the Bible isn't even in the the Bible.

"Should she choose to divorce him, as I understand it, the only adultery would be with the wife should she marry or have sex with another man."

Aren't you here appealing to the legitimate authority of your husband and not to your own understanding?

Peregrine John said...

If a contract is broken, there is nothing to cheat on. If one side refuses to honor their side of it, it is in any rational view void (call God irrational at your peril).

Unknown said...

What's done is done. You married this wretch and that was a mistake. You can't control that or go back and change it.

So....now do something over which you have control. March right on down to your attorney, or an attorney if you don't have one, and draw up papers for divorce. No talks, no try and work things out, no listening to excuses. She has shown that she doesn't take the vows seriously, and there is no reason to stay in the marriage. Take her directly to divorce!

Weouro said...

"Polygamy was a fact of life in the apostolic church long after Paul's death. In fact it remained so until Constantine ordered it banned by dictate that he didn't even bother finding a biblical justification for."

I tried to look that up but couldn't find anything about Christians practicing polygamy. The Church fathers were apparently opposed to it.

tz said...

In many writings of Paul, and across the bible, the word "wife" is singular, not plural. Jesus when talking about divorce and adultery quoted Genesis: "The Two become one". It is hard to reconcile that with the man becomeong "one" with many.

The bible can be made to say nearly anything the person wants it to say if they try hard enough. Divorce? That is crystal clear - Jesus could not have been plainer, but Luther said marriage is a civil matter (he didn't mention gay marriage though). Contraception? Universally banned until 1930, acceptable after 1960. The bible didn't change.

If you are asking for justification for breaking long-held traditions, you can get them anywhere.

If you want to know the truth - God's opinion - and not man's and not the Gospel according to the ratioinalization hamster, the way is to fast and pray and seek God with all your heart and be open to the truth. But you must go in expecting it might be unpleasant or involve suffering, and may be completely different.

Also for such a large group of alleged Christians, no one is either asking for or saying they will unsolicited, "pray that I do the right thing". Again, practical deism. Angels? A great cloud of witnesses? That's off topic. The holy spirit? No, lets just use our own darkened intellect to parse some verses in english.

The worst possible response to churches who have adopted the feminist heresy would be to adopt an equally evil heresy in the other direction.

So few even bother to ask "What is the truth?", even fewer ask it really honestly and require of God a flashing neon sign to hit them over the head before they will accept that their idea is not the truth. If the prayer is "God, please confirm my pleasant opinion even if it is a damned lie", (again I'm swearing but being literal), he won't answer. There is supposedly a list of prayers God always answers, but such a question would be for a list that he won't.

Weouro said...

In fact it remained so until Constantine ordered it banned by dictate that he didn't even bother finding a biblical justification for."

I found something that said Diocletian outlawed polygamy, and that it wasnt accepted by some sects of Jews. But that was long before the Bible existed per se. When did Constantine ban it?

Nate said...

"I tried to look that up but couldn't find anything about Christians practicing polygamy. The Church fathers were apparently opposed to it."

No. They weren't.

Monogamy was a roman concept... not a jewish one.. and not particularly a greek one either. The adoption of monogamy in christianity came as a result of Christianity's exposure to roman civilization.

Martin Luther himself wrote that there can be found not biblical justification for banning polygamy. He also wrote that it was a perfectly acceptible response to dealing with wife that had some physical problem that prevented intercourse... lepracy for example.

Nate said...

"When did Constantine ban it?"

The council of nicea.

The fact that he addressed the matter should suffice to indicate that there was something to address.

Nate said...

"In many writings of Paul, and across the bible, the word "wife" is singular, not plural. Jesus when talking about divorce and adultery quoted Genesis: "The Two become one". It is hard to reconcile that with the man becomeong "one" with many."

is it?

It appears to me the process is precisely the same. I have two metal bars... I melt them and they make one.

I have three metal bars... I melt them... and they also make 1.

You can scream hamster all you like. It won't change the fact that God gave wives as a reward.

Foster said...

Concerning your justification above, Nate,

I never claimed that polygamy was explicitly condemned in scripture. I only claimed (1) that the historical Church is in agreement concerning its illicit and therefore abominable nature, and (2) The Church has always held fast to Jesus' teaching about marriage in Matthew and Luke, which shows us that the Old Testament Jewish model was faulty. Your quote of me above failed to take account of what came immediately before "The Church has always kept this understanding."

Now, let's look at the merits of your arguments:
1. Some Christians had polygamous marriages until Constantine banned it (some time between 272 and 337 A.D.), so it was okay.

But Tertullian who lived from 160-225, much earlier, says: "We do not indeed forbid the union of man and woman, blest by God as the seminary of the human race, and devised for the replenishment of the earth and the furnishing of the world and therefore permitted, yet singly. For Adam was the one husband of Eve, and Eve his one wife, one woman, one rib." suggesting that the Christian understanding predates any official ban by Constantine significantly.

2. David and Solomon were married to multiple wives, so it must be okay. Actually, no, it was Solomon's wives who led him astray to follow other gods, which was Solomon's chief failing as a leader. Furthermore, we need to take Nathan's critique of David into context: he's just killed a man so he can get away with the adultery he committed with the man's wife. No, obviously polygamy is not as bad as murder, but it's still not what God intended, as Jesus makes clear in Matthew 19 when he cites Genesis 1 as the model, which was a marriage between one man and one woman.

While I may indeed be historically ignorant, the evidence you have cited when I pressed you on the point is not convincing. The normative ecclesial understanding of marriage for the past 18 centuries at the very least by any historical analysis, is unquestioned, except by fringe groups like the Mormons who obviously have even more significant problems.

Furthermore, Jesus' disciples' reaction to his teaching in Matt. 19:10 makes no sense if we assume Jesus was endorsing polygyny. It does make sense if monogamy is presumed. The Gospel's teaching may be inconvenient, but it is not ambiguous.

Bike Bubba said...

Folks, what we have here is the classic situation of 1 Corinthians 7, where Paul instructs believing spouses of unbelievers to live with them if the unbeliever consents. He does not tell them to pursue another woman!

So this man needs to discuss with his pastor or another Christian counselor, and then talk with his wife--ahem, the person he promised to have and to hold with no others--about what marriage ought to involve.

I'm amazed at the Bibilical illiteracy of those endorsing polygamy as some kind of "solution". How many wives did God create for Adam? How many brides is Christ going to take? The answer is "1", and those who endorse polygamy ought to consider as well that deacons and elders are to be "one woman men"--excluding both formal polygamists as well as rich men who had sex with their slaves.

Add to that the documented abuses of polygamists--e.g. the harem system, Uriah's murder, Sarah and Hagar, Rachel and Leah--and it frankly boggles the mind that any Christian would fail to figure out that polygamy is a bad, bad idea.

Weouro said...

The council of nicea.

The fact that he addressed the matter should suffice to indicate that there was something to address."



A Church council is a big group of bishops, descended from the Appstles deciding things for the believers like the Apostles did in Acts, not a dictate from an emperor. Christians have been writing against errors from the very beginning.

"No. They weren't."

I don't claim to be an historian or anything, but I can't find anything from Church fathers approving polygamy. there are statements condemning it.

"Martin Luther himself wrote that there can be found not biblical justification for banning polygamy. "

Luther saying that is exactly the same as a charismatic college professor saying it, so I'm unconcerned. The only thing I'm really concerned with is finding the truth. Obviously, since so many disagree about what the Bible means, studying the Bible doesn't always lead to truth. The Bible doesn't teach it's own truths.

Nate said...

"Luther saying that is exactly the same as a charismatic college professor saying it, so I'm unconcerned. "

A charismatic college professor... who happened to be one of the rockstars of the Roman Catholic church.

Don't forget that part.

Nate said...

"Add to that the documented abuses of polygamists--e.g. the harem system, Uriah's murder, Sarah and Hagar, Rachel and Leah--and it frankly boggles the mind that any Christian would fail to figure out that polygamy is a bad, bad idea."

Do we need to investigate the examples of bad monogamous marriages as well?

I note you fail to mention the fact that solomon's wives, many of them, were actually GIFTS FROM GOD.

I also note that you bring up Racheal and Leah... and apparently haven't actually bothered to read through that in much detail at all.

When does the pregnancy finally occur?

matamoros said...

Foster said... "Where is the biblical support for the Trinity?"

Most clearly - (This is from the REAL Rheims New Testament of 1582, which is translated from St. Jerome's Vulgate Bible.) I John 5:7. For there be three which give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. and these three be one.

SarahsDaughter said...

Aren't you here appealing to the legitimate authority of your husband and not to your own understanding?

My apologies. Correction: ...as my husband understands it and has informed me.



Saint Augustine:
That the holy fathers of olden times after Abraham, and before him, to whom God gave His testimony that "they pleased Him," [Heb. 11:4-6] thus used their wives, no one who is a Christian ought to doubt, since it was permitted to certain individuals amongst them to have a plurality of wives, where the reason was for the multiplication of their offspring, not the desire of varying gratification.. . . In the advance, however, of the human race, it came to pass that to certain good men were united a plurality of good wives, --- many to each; and from this it would seem that moderation sought rather unity on one side for dignity, while nature permitted plurality on the other side for fecundity. For on natural principles it is more feasible for one to have dominion over many, than for many to have dominion over one (A Select Library of the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of The Christian Church, Volume 5, page 267).

Andrew Taylor said...

@yttik

Your comment is right on. This situation is so common but it's so tough to get any good advice about how to rectify the situation. And advice you get from chuchy folks is worse than useless.

If you don't want to divorce or cheat, the short answer is you need to increase your wife's attraction to you. All chicks want dick. But chicks only want high-value dick. You gotta change the way your wife views you. Right now she thinks you're a low-value guy and isn't worried about losing you. And remember, chicks will never love "you"; they love how you make them feel and the resources you can provide for them.

So how do you increase your wife's attraction for you? Don't try quoting scripture to her. This isn't about what's right or wrong. Clearly, it's wrong for her to deny you sex. But recognizing that truth is only the first step toward making her want sex from you. Fortunately, there's a book called the Married Man's Sex Life Guide by Athol Kay. Read it and follow the advice -- it fucking works.Here's a thumbnail sketch of what Kay lays out:
Hit the weights so you don't look like a skinny pussy,
Act like a leader (in non-PC terms, dominate your wife),
Learn game, flirt with other women in front of her,
Make your life mission your priority (not your wife),
Pursue your hobbies that bring you joy, so you're positive,
Dress like a boss to make you look as good as possible,
Bust a move on her when you're feeling inclined,
But act like it's her loss if she doesn't respond.

Work this plan for half a year to two years. After you've become a significantly, objectively more attractive man, tell her that she needs to come correct, or else. Tell her you're going to divorce her if she doesn't change. Bring divorce papers if necessary. Then, if she still doesn't respond, because she's that fucked up emotionally, divorce her and move on with your pursuing your goals in life.

Seriously, get Kay's book. It'll do more good for your marriage than all the church counselors in the world.

Bike Bubba said...

Nate, while there are bad monogamous ("real") marriages, it's worth noting that no monogamous wife has ever squabbled with herself over her husband. You can't say that about Sarah and Hagar, Rachel and Leah, Solomon's wives, David's wives, or those in the harem system. Apparently the politics in that one make DC look benign in comparison, from what I've read.

And Solomon's wives a blessing from God? 1 Kings 11:1-13 suggests God disagrees with you, Nate. Unless you consider having your children burned as an offering to Molech a "blessing", of course.

Again, Vox's correspondent has a clear task outlined in 1 Cor. 7. Love the unsaved woman he's with as best he can as long as she will put up with him. God is not "gamed."

Jim said...

Don't do it. What your wife has done is deeply wrong, but it doesn't make what you would be doing less wrong.

Foster said...

@matamoros,

Regarding 1 John 5:7-8, The Johannine Comma, as that text is called by scholars, is generally known to be a spurious medieval addition to the text. At first, a marginal note, but later added by a careless scribe into the text itself and then translated into the Greek. It most certainly was not in Jerome's translation.

For more background: http://www.bible-researcher.com/comma.html

A better attempt at a one verse knock-out punch on the Trinity's behalf would be Matthew 28:19. But this also falls short of defining the doctrine of one God in three Persons in a logically air-tight manner. Bottom line, there's always some heretic or another out there who has his own theory no matter how clear the evidence is vindicating the Church's teaching.

Foster said...

@ Sarah'sDaughter,

Your quote of St. Augustine (particularly what you left out in that ellipsis) above makes me think you are reading into that Father only what you want to hear. Consider what Augustine says immediately before the second part of the quotation you presented to us:

"That the good purpose of marriage, however, is better promoted by one husband with one wife, than by a husband with several wives, is shown plainly enough by the very first union of a married pair, which was made by the Divine Being Himself, with the intention of marriages taking their beginning therefrom, and of its affording to them a more honourable precedent."

Did that not strike you (or perhaps whoever your source is) as relevant to the question?

Weouro said...

My apologies. Correction: ...as my husband understands it and has informed me."

Are you free to dissent from a point of doctrine he settles for your family? To what authority does your husband appeal?

Interesting. Augustine elsewhere speaks writes against it, though. This is hidden under your ellipsis:

But if any woman had so acted, what feeling but that of a disgraceful concupiscence could impel her to have more husbands, seeing that by such licence she could not have more children? That the good purpose of marriage, however, is better promoted by one husband with one wife, than by a husband with several wives, is shown plainly enough by the very first union of a married pair, which was made by the Divine Being Himself, with the intention of marriages taking their beginning therefrom, and of its affording to them a more honourable precedent. In the advance, however, of the human race, it came to pass that to certain good men were united a plurality of good wives,—

He's saying it was permitted but not intended.



"A charismatic college professor... who happened to be one of the rockstars of the Roman Catholic church."

That makes no sense. He tried to subvert the Catholic Church.

Bike Bubba said...

Regarding the Trinity, one derives that from the overall context of the Scripture, not a single proof text. Look at the plural form "Elohim" and plural verbs used in Genesis 1, The Lord speaking to David's Lord in Psalm 110, John 1:1, and Romans 8:26 for some examples. Then contrast with the "shema" of Deuteronomy 6:4--God is One, but He exists in 3 personalities. Hence, the Trinity.

SarahsDaughter said...

Are you free to dissent from a point of doctrine he settles for your family? To what authority does your husband appeal?

What does this have to do with the topic?

Weouro said...

"What does this have to do with the topic?"


I was curious because it's basically the same kind of intellectual submission I give to the Catholic Church, since I can recognize no authority in myself to decide what the Bible actually teaches. I was wondering how your husband thinks of himself. It's relevant because legitimate authority is at the root of every Bible debate.

Weouro said...

And I can recognize no authority in any of the Protestant founders. They're exactly like me, just smarter and more charismatic, so their opinions convince more people.

matamoros said...

Foster said... "Regarding 1 John 5:7-8, The Johannine Comma, as that text is called by scholars, is generally known to be a spurious medieval addition to the text."

Not really. That idea is a function of "higher biblical criticism", which sought to prove that the bible is uninspired.

A very good Protestant defence of the "comma johanneum" is “And These Three Are One: A Case For the Authenticity of 1st John 5:7-8, Rooted in Biblical Exegesis” by JESSE M. BOYD.

I will simply note one fact that kills the medieval arguement - the verse was employed at the Council of Carthage in A.D. 485.

Boyd notes:
"An assembly was called at Carthage where I John 5:7-8 was insisted upon by Eugenius, the spokesman for the African bishops, as he confessed his faith and the faith of his brethren:

. . .and in order that we may teach until now, more clearly than light, that the Holy Spirit is now one divinity with the Father and the Son.It is proved by the evangelist John, for he says, 'there are three which bear testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.[45] "

[45]Victor of Vitensis, Historia persecutionis Africanae Prov, 2.82 [3.11]; CSEL 7, 60.Translated by Michael Maynard in A History of the Debate Over 1 John 5:7-8(Tempe, AZ: Comma Publications, 1995), 43.

As I noted, it is found in the 1582 Rheims New Testament, which is an exact ("slavish") translation of the Latin Vulgate of St. Jerome, circa A.D. 400. So the verse has been in the Vulgate since the beginning.

A.D. 485 is a heck of a long way back from Medieval. You may wish to revise your thought on the question.

matamoros said...

Oh, I forgot to give the url for Boyd's work.

It is at: http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Bible/1john57-exegesis.htm

Conscientia Republicae said...

When Jesus is baptized, all three persons of the Trinity can be seen or heard.

mmaier2112 said...

Foster, I don't know if Vox uses the "PUT UP OR SHUT UP" rule here, but I'd like to know to which translation of Matthews 25 YOU are using. Because I went through a number of them here:

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25&version=GNV

and I ain't finding a one like yours.

Granted, I'm no Bible expert. But I can read plain Engrish.

Remo said...

"The worst possible response to churches who have adopted the feminist heresy would be to adopt an equally evil heresy in the other direction"

This is the excuse and has been the excuse for doing nothing - no push back, no challenges, not even calling out the error. We can't "sin" by doing too much so nothing is done... at all.

The scales are so unbalanced in the feminist direction that to go to the other extreme would involve requiring females to be confined to the house of their father then husband thereafter, never being allowed to drive, vote, or travel without explicit permission, and being executed by hanging should their husband want to divorce them.

Nate said...

"That makes no sense. He tried to subvert the Catholic Church."

Thank you for demonstrating your historical ignorance... again.

Honestly son you should learn more church history before you bother having an opinion... about... anything.

Nate said...

"And Solomon's wives a blessing from God? 1 Kings 11:1-13 suggests God disagrees with you, Nate. Unless you consider having your children burned as an offering to Molech a "blessing", of course. "

Comments like this make me think the Catholics were right and we never should've let the Bible into the hands of common people. Because common people are idiots.

God LITERALLY gave some of those wives (not all, others he literally forbid solomon from taking) to Solomon as a reward. Solomon's mistake was... against God's command... he took more.

Dumbass.

rycamor said...

It's amazing the things people will convince themselves of when they have an emotional investment, especially to a concept they have been socialized into. Just like trying to convince some teetotaler Christian denomination that Jesus actually drank wine. I mean, the words are right there, but people somehow manage to read between the lines to find meaning that contravenes the words themselves. It's like talking to strict Calvinists about 2 Peter 3:9 where we are told that God is "not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

In all these cases, the more you push, the more elaborate the explanations become, because, because, God couldn't have *really* meant that, right? Simple logic does not even suffice. If we see X here, and Y there, and are given no explicit relationship between X and Y, one is assumed, and then defended vehemently.

My hardest intellectual work as a Christian has been to filter out my presuppositions and predispositions and try to look at what is actually there, in the Bible and in history.

matamoros said...

mmaier2112 said... " Foster, I don't know if Vox uses the "PUT UP OR SHUT UP" rule here, but I'd like to know to which translation of Matthews 25 YOU are using. Because I went through a number of them here:"

I looked at your url, and it is in the 1899 Douay Rheims (which is actually the Challoner Revision, not the real Douay Rheims), as you can see if you click it.

However, it is virtually identical in the 1582 real Rheims New Testament, to wit:

THEN shall the kingdom of heaven be like to ten virgins: which taking their lamps went out to meet the bridegroom and the bride.

Foster said...

@mmaier2112

Do your research.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+25&version=DRA

Foster said...

@matamoros
"A.D. 485 is a heck of a long way back from Medieval. You may wish to revise your thought on the question."

I was unaware of that. Still, if you follow the link I provided above, the probabilities tend to be on the side that the Comma is spurious, since among other reasons the Eastern Fathers were at great pains to prove the Trinity, yet none of them uses the passage. Exactly *how* spurious is another question.

So based on your evidence, I will indeed revise my thought and say it crept in in the fifth century, rather than the medieval period, but I remain convinced that the comma is rightfully omitted from our modern critical versions and was not part of the original text for the reasons summarized in the link above. No higher criticism required. Just the observation that the most ancient sources don't have it and the early Fathers don't quote it, although they had every motivation to do so if it were there.

Weouro said...

Honestly son you should learn more church history before you bother having an opinion... about... anything.



The Bible is unbiblical.

All of the Church fathers disagree with you on polygamy.

Foster said...

@Weouro,

To whom are you addressing your comment?

SarahsDaughter said...

@Weouro I was curious because it's basically the same kind of intellectual submission I give to the Catholic Church, since I can recognize no authority in myself to decide what the Bible actually teaches. I was wondering how your husband thinks of himself. It's relevant because legitimate authority is at the root of every Bible debate.

And I can recognize no authority in any of the Protestant founders. They're exactly like me, just smarter and more charismatic, so their opinions convince more people.


You're not debating my husband nor am I having a biblical debate about polygyny. I agreed with Vox's statement: "Considering that he's essentially talking about de facto polygyny here, for which there is not only copious evidence that it is Biblically acceptable," And then I made a statement about adultery.

It hasn't gone unnoticed that you have not asked to what authority do the following men appeal: mmaier2112, MycroftJones, Hermit, Duke of Earl, rycamor, swiftfoxmark2, or Nate (all who from context appear to agree with Vox's statement as well) or Vox himself.

Yet you ask this odd question of the only women to comment on the topic: Are you free to dissent from a point of doctrine he settles for your family?

This has all come across as quite serpently of you.

mmaier2112 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mmaier2112 said...

OK, that's two versions. Wheres a dozen or more translations show the opposite. And I picked what I thought would be the more-well read versions.

Exactly how do you pick which to read?

VryeDenker said...

There's a good chance that this woman was raped at some point. Her behaviour is classic rape victim. My money's on a previous boyfriend or an acquaintance as opposed to a complete stranger.

Foster said...

@mmaier2112,

Alright, mmaier2112, this is getting a bit far afield, and if you'd like this cut out, Vox, let us know, but I believe it's still relevant to the question of whether polygamy is licit for the Christian.

The other versions do not show "the opposite," mmaier2112. The opposite would be "to meet their betrothed groom." The opposite would be to call these virgins "brides" which would emphasize their complementarity to the groom. Rather, what we have is still blindingly obvious from cultural context even if we accept the version without "and the bride." There is no jewish precedent for a ten bride, one groom wedding. Although many of the jews were polygamists, they would marry their wives one at a time. Furthermore, the custom was for the husband to walk through the street from his house to his bride's house at dusk, and for the young women of the town to light his way and then the couple's way with their lamps until reaching the groom's house, at which time they would enter into the wedding feast. There is no cultural context for your theory of the parable, whereas the obviously correct interpretation would have been very familiar to Jesus' original audience. The "and the bride" is only one nail in the coffin of some very poor biblical exegesis.

swiftfoxmark2 said...

It hasn't gone unnoticed that you have not asked to what authority do the following men appeal: mmaier2112, MycroftJones, Hermit, Duke of Earl, rycamor, swiftfoxmark2, or Nate (all who from context appear to agree with Vox's statement as well) or Vox himself.

For the record, I don't appeal to any human authority for the most part. I use what I have to the best of my ability. I can be wrong and I am willing to admit it when reasonable evidence is provided.

Weouro said...

To whom are you addressing your comment?"


To Nate. That top portion should have been in quotes.

Foster said...

Oh, and since it's the only polygamist argument that hasn't been torn down directly, let's take a look at the argument from 2 Samuel 12:8. The polygamists, like Nate for example, would have us believe that the OT is full of God blessing people with multiple wives, but the only passage we could find that could be construed this way is 2 Sam 12:8. God never is seen doing anything that could be construed as condoning Solomon's wives or the other patriarchs besides David, and please correct me if you find a passage that suggests otherwise.

"Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your keeping, and gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! Why have you despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in His sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the people of Ammon'"" (II Samuel 12:7-9).

God, through Nathan the prophet, told David that God had given him his position. The reference to David's master was referring to Saul. David lived in Saul's home. He had completely replaced Saul, even Saul's wife (I Samuel 14:50) and concubine (II Samuel 21:8) were now David's responsibility. Some conclude from this statement that David married Saul's wives, but this isn't a necessary conclusion and there is no mention of David having children by Saul's wives even though David's own wives are mentioned by name.

It appears that during this time, the wives of the prior king belong to the successor as cultural custom. That is why Abner was upset with being accused of wanting Rizpah (II Samuel 3:8) and why Adonijah asking for Abishag cost him his life (I Kings 2:23). To lay claim to the former king's wives was to lay claim to the kingship.

God said to David that He gave David everything he currently had, his wealth, power, and authority and these had been too little He could have given David more. You (Nate and others) assumed that God meant more wives, but that isn't what is stated. God could have made David emperor of many nations. God's point is that David had it all, so his taking another man's wife was all that more despicable.

There is nothing in this passage that indicates God sanctioned polygamy.

Even if there were such a passage, we have a great high priest who is superior to the Law, Abraham and the Patriarchs (Hebrews), who spoke on this issue (Matthew 19) in such a way that his disciples thought it was a very harsh saying (Matthew 19:10), although reasonably it would not have been harsh if polygamy was allowed. Anyone who wants to defend the Christian's right to polygamy in a convincing way needs to explain why Jesus' disciples reacted the way they did to his teaching on marriage.

Weouro said...

It hasn't gone unnoticed that you have not asked to what authority do the following men appeal: mmaier2112, MycroftJones, Hermit, Duke of Earl, rycamor, swiftfoxmark2, or Nate (all who from context appear to agree with Vox's statement as well) or Vox himself.

Yet you ask this odd question of the only women to comment on the topic: Are you free to dissent from a point of doctrine he settles for your family?

This has all come across as quite serpently of you."


You wrote this in response to a question I asked:
"My apologies. Correction: ...as my husband understands it and has informed me."

So I asked the follow up question based on that. It's called a conversation. I wouldn't personally call the follow up "odd" since it's directly related to the previous statement. I think your suspiciousness of a simple question is odd, though.

I have asked them to what authority they appeal in various ways. I wrote this in my first comment. "But questions about what is "Biblical" are absurd if there is no authoritative reading. Everyone simply does what is right in his own eyes." That's not a question, but it shows my line of thought. Nothing evil about it. In my experience, approaching the authority question directly makes Protestants run away, like you're doing, so I'm adopting different strategies.

"For the record, I don't appeal to any human authority for the most part. I use what I have to the best of my ability. I can be wrong and I am willing to admit it when reasonable evidence is provided."

You're the human authority to which you appeal, then. Admitting you're wrong when evidence is provided that you deem reasonable is an appeal that same authority.

SarahsDaughter said...

Weouro,
When a man asks a married woman if she is free to dissent from her husband's teachings, it is prudent for her to run away. Perhaps that is a Protestant thing. I could care less. It is wise for married women to not engage in conversations with individual men who have appeared to preface the conversation with a challenge for her to be persuaded his way and away from her husband. Matthew 19:6

Weouro said...

@SD I was also just curious since your setup is also very "odd." For the same reason, I'm curious about the Hutterites.

Weouro said...

ie not many women pursue submissiveness actively and I wanted to see the outer limit of your arrangement but I was raised with feminism and am not used to thinking in terms of whole family vs individuals. Would not want to divide a family in any way. Best wishes.

nicolas said...

A very good (and much more honest than usual) analysis of what the Bible says about polygyny:

https://bible.org/article/morality-biblical-polygyny

SarahsDaughter said...

Weouro,
I appreciate your clarification and your best wishes, thank you. I was also raised in a feminist household and four years ago would have pitched a fit about polygamy and the unfairness of what the Bible has to say regarding adultry. When I chose to repent of my rebellion to God's commands for me in marriage, much more happened within me than submission to Ben and respect for him and his authority in our marriage. My emotions were calmed. I was able to feel a peace and understanding of these commands. I view polygamy with that same peace and calmness. I don't believe it to be ideal. Nothing about the gentleman's life in the OP is ideal. I can clearly understand, having gone through a transformation myself by repenting of my rebellion how the wife might respond to his telling her he will be marrying another if she continues to live in rebellion to God's commands for her in marriage. Like I said earlier, the opportunity for her to repent and be forgiven should be the first step before he proceeds with the other woman.

As for my freedom - it is not against Ben that I rebel when I dissent from his teaching and his authority. I rebel against God. I am told to respect him and submit to him. Of course we have conversations - we talk all the time. If I have questions, I ask. Whether it is immediate or in a week, he tells me the answers that he is at peace with or tells me he doesn't know. He takes the commands God gives him quite seriously, as well. He loves me and he understands well what that means ie. it isn't a feeling.

Bike Bubba said...

Nate, if you're so sure Solomon's wives were a great deal for him, maybe you can find a source besides your own lustful desires? Reality here is that kings were prohibited from having multiple wives in Deuteronomy 17, God warned Solomon in 1 Kings 11, Solomon ignored God in that (and regarding gold and horses, too), and as a result the kingdom was broken in two, costing hundreds of thusands of lives.

You're not going to find it in Catholic sources, either. Sorry.

matamoros said...

mmaier2112 said... "OK, that's two versions. Wheres a dozen or more translations show the opposite. And I picked what I thought would be the more-well read versions."

Well, first you need to realize that the Protestant versions were polemical. They made whatever changes/translation they wanted to prove their points, and dropped whole books, or partial books such as in Esther. (Ever wonder why this is the one book without the name of God in it? Because the "reformers" cut out the second half with God in it.)

Second, the bible of Christendom was St. Jerome's Latin Vulgate, dating from 405 A.D. and using the closest copies to the originals extant at that time. These no longer exist. So this is the premier Bible of Christianity - 1613 years old.

Third. The Greek text which the Protestant Reformers seized upon was heavily corrupted by various heresies - so much so that circa 900 the Greek Church dumped their scriptures and translated the Latin Vulgate back into Greek so they would have a true text.

The same is true with the Old Testament. Christ used the Septuagint, which is what the Church has always used. The Reformers, however, adopted the Masoretic Jewish text which was not finished until around the 1400's as I recall - and was heavily redacted to remove the name of Christ from the Old Testament, the virgin birth, etc.

So, the oldest true text is the Latin Vulgate. It was "slavishly" translated into English beginning with the Rheims New Testament in 1582 and the Douay Old Testament in 1609 - combined into the Douay Rheims in 1610.

However, the "Douay Rheims commonly now sold is the Challoner revision of the Douay Rheims which was retranslated by Bishop Challoner to get the bible into England without running afoul of the penal laws.

The real Douay Rheims is available. See http://realdouayrheims.com for more information on its history and translation comparisons.

rycamor said...

Bike Bubba said...

Nate, if you're so sure Solomon's wives were a great deal for him, maybe you can find a source besides your own lustful desires?


You see? There it comes out. Any man who believes the obvious facts in the Bible concerning polygamy is just following his own "lustful desires". Face it, this is jealousy speaking, at some level. That sanctimonious fear that someone, somewhere is having more fun than you are, and God is not putting a stop to it. Just get over it and realize that this is the case. I realize it absolutely.

Honestly, any man who knows what he is about can have a much easier time following his "lustful desires" without bringing marriage into the deal. I really think most of you righteous churchians would be more likely to forgive a husband who spent the past 20 years of his marriage having affairs with other married women than a man who has the temerity to take a 2nd or 3rd wife.

Every single scripture you and the other bleaters have brought up simply *does not say* what you want it to say. Kings were not told to have only one wife. They were told not to have *many* wives. Obviously that is a judgment call, but you can see that God considered Solomon as crossing that line. It's pretty reasonable that a man with 600 wives and 300 concubines would have to struggle just to sex once with all of them (unless he kept a very strict rotation of 3 per day), much less getting to know and enjoy their company. Remember again, the middle eastern mind is not about establishing boundaries (A number! I must know the exact number that God considers too much!) but in trying to harmonize truths with one's life. Also, the middle eastern mind is much earthier and less concerned with abstractions than the Western mind. Let's face it: our prime pathology is obsessiveness with fitting everything into our abstract containers. It's why we invented computer programming and not someone in the middle east, or even Asia.

rycamor said...

In Matthew 19, Jesus makes pretty clear that some men are born to be celibate, some are made so by other men, and some choose it. Would it not make sense to see polygyny in the same way?

So, no I don't have multiple wives, but I don't begrudge any man who has. Nor am I seeking some sort of justification for an affair, or pervy leering at young single girls. I am married to one wife, and she is the only woman I've ever had. That makes me an oddity even among most conservative Christians, I know.

However... if I were to find out one day that my wife had an identical twin, and they had carried out an elaborate deception of trading places in my house over the years, I know exactly how I would handle that situation. She's a sweetheart, and I would gladly take two of her.

Foster said...

Wow, rycamor, and I thought mmaier2112's screwed up interpretation of the parable of the ten virgins took the cake, but you have definitely won the prize for crappiest exegesis of the day. You're taking a passage where Jesus describes celibacy for the kingdom of God as a holy calling, and interpretting it (somehow) as a defense of polygamy. Impressive.

rycamor said...

No dude, I am not interpreting it as anything. It is not a passage that requires interpretation because it contains its own interpretation. I am drawing a parallel, and asking if it might make sense? Do you have a reading comprehension problem?

I am suggesting that, given the fact of polygyny's existence in the Bible and God's approval of it in some places, and apparent disapproval of it in other places, it just might make sense that it is not an across-the-board injunction on one's behavior, *in just the same way* that God doesn't expect celibacy of every man. Once again... I'm simply drawing a parallel. I have no need to be obsessive about this thing one way or the other, as it is PRETTY OBVIOUS that God is not obsessive about this topic.

Foster said...

"It is not a passage that requires interpretation because it contains its own interpretation."

That makes no sense. Every piece of language requires interpretation, and if your crazy Sola Scriptura theology has led you to think otherwise, then so much the worse.

Point taken, though regarding the difference between drawing a parallel and interpreting. Allow me to rephrase:

You're taking a passage where Jesus talks about celibacy for the kingdom and drawing a parallel with polygamy (for the kingdom?). Still crappy exegesis.

Foster said...

Let me ask this of you, rycamor. Aside from 2 Samuel 12:8 which I already addressed above as bogus, where are the "some places" in the OT where God "approves" of polygamy? Whether we call it "drawing a parallel" or "interpreting," Jesus' words in no way lend any support to this idea.

rycamor said...

I'm going to be very patient with you one more time...

The parallel is not "polygamy for the kingdom". The parallel would be "monogamy for the kingdom". Ergo I was positing that just as God does not expect celibacy "for the kingdom" from all men, perhaps He also doesn't expect monogamy from all men. Which makes sense given that nowhere... NOWHERE are we given an actual condemnation of polygyny.

Note that I use the word "expect" and not "require". This is intentional. Expect might even be too strong a word. Maybe simply "approve".

I am thus also drawing a thread from my post above about God "preferring" celibacy (via Paul), which again is not given as a requirement but a preference.

Now, Foster, it is obvious that you are very emotionally invested in this topic, while I simply am not. I enjoy intellectual discourse in pursuit of truth. If you or anyone here could present a truly convincing, logical argument I would be happy to reconsider. So far I have seen very little that even approaches logic in this thread.

Ask yourself these two questions:

a) Am I a truth-seeker?
b) If I answer yes to the above, am I still willing to be a truth-seeker if I find out that the truth is the exact opposite of what I currently believe.

This is where I live, because it is how I must. I really don't understand how anyone with an ounce of intellectual curiosity can be otherwise. I want to know, even if I find the truth disturbing or repulsive (as has happened to me many times). I'm not saying I would have the strength of will to follow everything I find as truth, but I would still want to know.

rycamor said...

OK Foster, I see that you addressed 2 Samuel 12:8. Fair enough... It is obvious that the "plenty" of sheep that the rich man had and the one sheep that the poor man had represent wives. Otherwise why would this parable even exist? Matthew Henry himself sees this as the parallel. Now Henry makes the conclusion that the cause of David's sin IS his polygamy, but Nathan does not say or even hint that. He says clearly the problem is not appreciating what God has given to one who has much, and still being jealous of what is rightly another man's.

I guess you couldn't say it is direct approval, but the parallel indicates the wives are some form of God's blessing and provenance. Why would it make sense any other way? You are saying that the parallel is the man with one sheep (wife) was robbed by a man who should have been satisfied with the many sheep (riches and power) that God rewarded him with. Suddenly it's not a real parallel.

As for the "approval" of polygyny in the Old Testament, yes I agree that it should be called "apparent approval" just as I also saw "apparent approval" of monogamy in the New Testament. At no point are we presented with an absolute either way. In the context of David and Saul, the multiple wives happen during a time that God is pleased with them, and then they cross a line to where God is not pleased with them, but we are never told that the line is the fact of multiple wives, but disobedience of some other clear commandment. As for the kings in general God admonishes restraint, but doesn't forbid multiple wives.

From a comprehensive reading of the Old Testament, you get the picture that multiple wives is not the norm for most men, but is still treated as just a fact of life, not something to be spoken of in hushed tones.

Again, as I said above, I am not a practicing polygamist. But, I cannot in clear conscience condemn a brother who is.

Weouro said...

Three arguments are thus proposed re polygamy, all from authority:

SarahsDaughter: submission to the authority of her husband.

Nate, et al.: submission to the authority of his own intellect and experience.

Weouro, et al.: submission to the authority of the Successors of the Apostles.


SD's is better than Nate's; Weouro's is better than SD's.

Bike Bubba said...

Rycamor, take a look again, ahem, Deuteronomy 17 and 1 Kings 11. Sorry, but the Scriptures clearly indicate that the pursuit of multiple lives inevitably leads to moral offenses.

Look also at Exodus 21:10. The "marital right" spoken of there can also be translated "lovin'". If today's stats are trusted, most wives enjoy sex an average of at least twice per week. Hence, David had to satisfy his wives at least 40 times per week, and Solomon 2000 times per week, to satisfy the demands of this law.

Fat chance. Genesis 30 records how Jacob could not keep up with the demands of a "mere" four women. Jacob, Abraham, David, and Solomon all had squabbling wives, a problem no monogamist will ever have.

So do the math. The Torah allows multiple wives in the case of (a) levirate marriage and (b) captive women, but otherwise strongly discourages it, really because--as Exodus 21 notes--a man simply is not capable of keeping more than one wife happy.

Like Mark Twain said to the Mormons, "No man can serve two masters."

Brad Andrews said...

Little bits of Scripture can be pulled out to justify almost anything. The problem with polygamy:

- God made Adam and Eve (really just Adam), not Adam, Eve and Sue. That is the pattern and the ideal plan.

- Just because something is permitted doesn't mean it is a good thing. Else Paul we would not need to be told to put aside childish and other unprofitable things.

Christians can also pig out and gain massive weight (getting the "good of the land"), but that is a bad thing as well.

I do wonder how many who advocate polygamy practice it themselves. Are they planning for that or is it just for others?

I suspect it will end up falling under the "causing one of these little ones to stumble" category that receives some strong chastisement, but I guess time will tell.

You don't solve stupid situations with more stupidity. As if this marriage would be better with another wife who was more of a wife. How can that "other women" even claim that holding firm to Christianity is important when she has thrown it out the window?

Foster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rycamor said...

Just to be clear, I'm not advocating it, nor against it. I don't have a straight answer for JG, but I hope I am helping to illuminate for him what the considerations are. I'm saying that we are not specifically told it is wrong, much less one of the cardinal sins. Fraught with danger, perhaps, as many things in life are. Working hard to get that promotion so you make $150K/year can be quite potentially damaging to your soul, if you are willing to betray your principles in order to do so. I suspect there is a fair percentage of Christian men who fall into that category.

Also, I find it interesting that the anti-polygynists assume immediately that the whole thing is about "pursuing one's lusts", with no regard for God. There's a much easier way to do that, as can be plainly seen from the PUAs. Marriage to multiple women still brings with it responsibility, dedication and sacrifice. In no case would I counsel a man to jump into it lightly. Not ideal, perhaps so. Many things in life are not ideal. Sigh.

It's interesting that you compare it to gluttony, as I brought up earlier. It is one of the things we are specifically warned about. God obviously finds it distasteful. It would seem to me from a cursory glance that at least 50% of modern Christians struggle with this. Yet even so gluttony is a judgement call. No one can tell someone else what the exact line is to be drawn. Be that as it may, if one compares it to gluttony, then could one not reasonably say that a reasonable number of wives is OK, but multiplying them manifold as Solomon did later in life was not?

I also find it interesting that so many Christians rush to use Song of Solomon as a celebration of beautiful and proper sexuality in a marriage when it is obvious that the Shunamite was not his only wife. Even early on in his history we see him married to a daughter of the Pharaoh also.

Foster said...

@Rycamor

"Why would it make sense any other way? You are saying that the parallel is the man with one sheep (wife) was robbed by a man who should have been satisfied with the many sheep (riches and power) that God rewarded him with. Suddenly it's not a real parallel."

While we might suppose that a mere many wives vs. one wife comparison to many sheep vs. one sheep would be cleaner or a "real parallel," that would be to ignore the interpretive key that the prophet Nathan provided for his own metaphor, which tells us that the many sheep are not just the wives, (who came with and are cultural symbols of the office of kingship as I mentioned earlier), but David’s wealth and kingly power as well.

"From a comprehensive reading of the Old Testament, you get the picture that multiple wives is not the norm for most men, but is still treated as just a fact of life, not something to be spoken of in hushed tones."

To repeat myself, "I never claimed that polygamy was explicitly condemned in scripture. I only claimed (1) that the historical Church is in agreement concerning its illicit nature, and (2) The Church has always held fast to Jesus' teaching about marriage in Matthew and Luke, which shows us that the Old Testament Jewish model was faulty."

Foster said...

@ Rycamor,

I have to admit particularly after considering Abraham's and David's blamelessness before God, "abomination" is, biblically speaking, too harsh a word for polygamy, and it has polarized the debate above too much, and cast the light away from the real issues. "Abomination" is scripturally reserved for much more badly twisted things like homosexuality, idol worship and human sacrifice. I would remove or edit the comment, except without it, some of what comes later would not make sense, so I'll leave it up.

I still think that "tolerated" is a better way to describe God's treatment of polygamy than "apparently approved," as the stories that were written down in scripture were selectively chosen to teach us truths about human nature as well as to communicate historical truth, and polygamy simply does not work out well anywhere it's mentioned in the Bible, other bad factors in those people's lives not withstanding. And no Nate, God never explicitly blesses anyone with multiple wives (although he does explicitly ask someone to sacrifice their son). I would still classify polygamy as wrong in the OT, but more wrong in the sense that 1 + 1 = 3 is wrong, since they lacked Jesus and the Church's instruction on the matter.

I do think by the New Testament though and certainly in our own time, we can classify polygyny as morally wrong for Christians to enter into, given Jesus' disciples' reaction to his preaching on divorce in Matthew 19:10 and the witness of the Church Fathers not too much later. I just don't see the disciples reacting that way if multiple wives are permitted. It would be more like, "Oh, okay. So, if I want to sleep with another woman and provide for her, I have to keep the other one around too to keep the floors clean. Got it." than what they actually said: "If this is the case, then it is better not to marry." Jesus' use of the word "the two shall become one flesh" also seems to me to be compelling towards his asking people to live this way, and his disciples appear to have recognized that.

I think most of the rational people in the room, however, can agree that this chick is NOT JG's Rachel although he may have gotten stuck with a Leah. His situation is pretty miserable.

She clearly has a sexual relationship with him right now although he's married (adultery) despite her fake Christianity that is actually worse than atheism for its hypocrisy. That kind of moral indifference is going to turn on you when you least expect it. Run the other way, JG. Fix or annul this marriage if you can, and seek something real with someone real.

Bike Bubba said...

Rycanor, there are only three Biblical reasons for polygamy. Levirate marriage, captive women from annihilated pagan nations, and the desire to have more sex partners, i.e. "lusts of the flesh."

Since we don't practice levirate marriage anymore, and I don't see too many orphaned Canaanite virgins around (not even in B movies), I have to assume that the main reason to consider polygamy these days is to satisfy the lusts of the flesh, and that would be a prima facie violation of Matthew 5:27-30.

It's not an easy proof text argument, but if you look at the depth and breadth of Scripture, it comes out pretty clearly against polygamy.

cailcorishev said...

Frankly, I am curious what denomination you and your lady friend belong to, that a supposedly strongly faithful woman is asking you to break your vow you made to your wife to love her forsaking all others.

The Church of the Raging Hamster. AKA, any church where people say, "I don't need some authority to tell me what the scriptures mean."

I'd be very wary of this new woman, and wonder what her motives really are. She's offering to take care of the sex and spirituality, while your wife takes care of what, the shopping? How long will #2 really be happy with that, before she starts pointing out that #1 really isn't pulling her weight and ought to be shown the door? I'd say there's a good chance she wants you for herself, but she's rationalized this way of getting there that doesn't require her to wait until your marriage finishes self-destructing and you're ready to remarry.

On the other hand, if she really is drawn to the high-drama concept of being the sex-wife and lording it over the other one, then about the time #1 divorces you, #2 may lose interest when she can have you to herself, and you'll go from two sort-of-wives to zero. That might be better than the current situation, but only you can answer that.

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