Shirley has been with her husband for 12 years. There have been some good times, a few great times, and a moment when their relationship hit rock bottom when she caught him cheating.
That cheating incident happened three years ago, but her sexual satisfaction has never really returned. She loves her husband and has forgiven him, but a question lingers in her mind: what if?
What if she were to seek sexual satisfaction outside of the marriage like her husband?
Religious values dominate many countries on the planet and dictate that people be in certain relationships. Threats of “eternal damnation” or “burning in Hell” are associated with sexual desires that fall outside of the accepted societal norm. Shirley can’t help but wonder if it is possible to love her husband and another man just as he loves her and another woman.
Is it possible for 2 guys and one girl, or 2 girls and 1 guy, or a set couples coming together as 4 to have a fulfilling, meaningful relationship that is based on love?
Does Love Have a Specific, Defined Structure?
It’s a thinking error to believe that one person cannot deeply love more than one person at the same time. We might force ourselves into socially acceptable circles of conduct, but that’s not enough for some people to be able to truly lose themselves in another. Some people cheat or stray because they are being mistreated. Others, however, look for relationships outside of traditional structures because that’s the only way the can merge love and satisfaction.
This is where the Law of the Vital Few comes into play. This law, which is sometimes called the Pareto principle, basically says that 80% of anything can come from 20% of a source. In other words, when it comes to relationships, a loving spouse or significant other can provide you with 80% of your needs at best. A loving spouse will give of themselves freely, but their very best efforts cannot provide everything.
Some people are satisfied with 80%. There’s nothing wrong with the people who are. Others, however, want to experience 100% satisfaction. That’s why non-traditional relationships, as defined by modern society, are sought after.
How Can Multiple People Lose Themselves In Each Other?
Although monogamy is the emphasis of many societies today, it hasn’t always been this way. In the Bible, someone couldn’t become an elder in a church if they had “multiple wives.” Think about what that says for a minute. It was perfectly acceptable in 1st century Christianity to have sex with more than one person and still call it a marriage. When Islam came along a few centuries later, a similar message was given.
It is only in our modern society where we stress coupling. Love must certainly play a role in any relationship, no matter what the structure might be, but in looking at all historical books, one truth comes out: people want to be with other people. They want to create their own social groups. That means it is perfectly feasible for a couple of 3 or a two couples to make 4 to exist together in meaningful, loving harmony and still have sexual satisfaction.
What about jealousy? Jealousy is only present when love is absent. Love doesn’t get jealous because love wants the best for the other person. That’s the whole concept of loving someone as much as loving oneself. Love doesn’t envy and it doesn’t lie. It simply exists, supports, and rejoices in the truth.
For Shirley, her thoughts of being with another man came about because of jealousy and a slight tinge of revenge. She wanted her husband to feel betrayed like she had felt. There is betrayal in cheating because outside of a relationship, no matter what the structure is, because love is honest. Love comes forward and says that a need isn’t being met and suggests changes that benefit the entire relationship, not just a selfish component of it.
What Does This Mean For the Modern Relationship?
If you’re thinking about changing how you see a relationship, whether that’s with two men or two women in your life – or some other combination – it is important to distinguish whether you’re feeling lust or love. Lust is destructive and causes you to chase after things for your personal benefit only. Love, on the other hand, benefits everyone involved. If greater sexual satisfaction can be achieved and everyone can have 100% of their needs met, then a different relationship structure makes a lot of sense.
If you’re satisfied in the modern tradition of a 1:1 pairing, then there is nothing wrong with this either. People shouldn’t be judged on how they love. Different people have different needs based on their own unique life experiences. The definition of “normal” is only how we each define it for ourselves.
Without love, however, no relationship can exist. It will fail because there is no emphasis on the relationship. There is only an emphasis on personal needs being fulfilled. That’s why with love, any relationship structure can have sexual satisfaction.