This guest column is by Edward Martin, III
This is something I don’t understand.
If I say “There’s no such thing as a white pigeon” and someone shows me a white pigeon, I have to admit I’m wrong, right? I mean, there’s the pigeon. It’s white.
And there’s no harm in BEING wrong, near as I can tell. Maybe I had never SEEN white pigeons before, or had been told by someone claiming to be a zoologist that no pigeon can be white, but once I’m looking at a white pigeon, you would think the gig is pretty much up, right? I mean, it doesn’t get more complicated than “Well, I guess I was wrong — there ARE white pigeons.”
So, I readjust that part of my head. You won’t catch me telling people “There are no white pigeons” because, well, that would just be stupid of me.
So, there’s that.
Now, on the other hand, think of all the divorces going on. Think of all the breakups, the miserable marriages ended even more miserably.
Think of all the violence done upon someone by their own partner. It’s so popular that there’s a special NAME for it: “domestic violence.”
What the fuck kind of situation could be so screwed up it would provide a phrase such as “domestic violence”? Man!
Yet, at no point in time do people in general say “See, marriage doesn’t work. Partnering with someone else just doesn’t work.” They don’t! They might say “Well, of COURSE it can work, but both folks have to want it to, and they have to be somewhat compatible.” (or some nice variation).
These are two examples of some really dingleberry perspective.
Let’s look at the first one.
You can’t throw a rock on a poly board or thread without hitting someone who is convinced it just can’t work. Definitely OUTSIDE of such an environment, you’ll find all sorts of people insisting there are no white pigeons — er, I mean, insisting that relationships with multiple partners can’t work.
This is, of course, odd to hear if you happen to be a part of a relationship that IS, in fact, working quite well, thank-you-very-much. There are lots of them out there, in fact, all defying the odds and exhibiting their audacious streak by, well, by WORKING.
So, they can work. Quite well, in fact.
Now let’s look at the second thing above.
Everybody has relationship troubles here and there. It’s natural. It’s fine. It’s expected. But it’s not necessarily a result of the structure. Multiple partners is not a system that is that much more difficult than any other relationship situation.
So, on those occasions when a relationship falls apart, it just doesn’t make one whit of sense why people would blame the shatter on the fact that there are more than two adults involved. It’s a complete red herring! The problem is with one or more of the people involved, or their personal issues, or some incompatibility between two or more members of a group.
It has nothing to do with having multiple partners — in fact, the folks I know who seem most convinced that multiple partners just can’t work are usually the folks who wind up cheating on their partners and causing all sorts of dramatic fuss.
This is not to say ALL of ’em are like this. Just every single one I’ve ever seen.
And I’ve been watching for a long time.
So, I think it’s about time those two chunks of nitwittery were finally laid to rest. Multiple partner relationships CAN work because for many people, it simply DOES. Also, as a corollary, if a relationship fails, breaks down, or goes ’splody, it probably has NOTHING to do with the fact that it’s multiple partners — just the people involved.
Okay, I think that’s about enough for tonight.
Perspective: Grab Some — it’s FREE! © 2009, Edward Martin, III
Used by permission
All Rights Reserved
Edward Martin III’s a writer and filmmaker living in the Pacific Northwest. Other essays and reflections of his can be found at http://www.petting-zoo.org/NonFiction.html and his movies can be found at http://www.guerrilla-productions.org/ he also does these animations: http://www.petting-zoo.org/Hardcore.html