ABC’s “Good Morning America” aired a story this week on a different kind of “modern family.” This family is composed of one woman, two men, and a young boy. The story is about a woman named Gia who, in her words, gave up searching for “the one” so that she could have “the one and the one and the one and the one.” They are a polyamorous “throuple” (as George Stephanopoulos called them).
The difference between polyamory and polygamy revolves around marriage. While polygamy refers to multiple marriages and most typically has in mind one man with multiple wives, polyamory does not require marriage and can include any combination of men and women in a “committed relationship.”
The story of Gia, Ian, and John is quite interesting. The son in the family is the biological child of Gia and Ian. Gia describes her relationship with Ian as one of passionate romance. She describes her relationship with John through an analogy of an old pair of favorite shoes.
As the “family” is interviewed together, everyone puts on his/her best face. However, in a separate interview by himself, John admits to bouts of jealousy because he is the one who plays the role of domestic servant more than husband or lover. John quit his job, takes care of the son who is not his, and does most of the chores around the house. Even his body language screams, “I am the third wheel.”
If this relationship were not unusual enough already, the “throuple” admits that they are allowed to date outside of their relationship and could even bring another person into the “family.” They claim this would bring a “jolt of relationship energy” into their lives. The story reveals that Ian is currently dating someone else, and there is always the possibility of one of the other members of this relationship to bring another person into the mix.
So what should we make of this? First, we need to recognize that polyamory is most likely not going away. Research shows that polyamorous relationships are growing.
Second, the next step along the way for polyamory will be legal recognition as a “marriage-like” relationship. As the government and courts continue the quest for a redefinition of marriage, polyamory will ultimately be included. If the battle for legal recognition of homosexual marriage clears the courts, polygamy and polyamory are just another step down the road.
Third, we need to recognize that polyamory is a distortion of God’s design for marriage and relationships in general. In Genesis 2:24, we read, “For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” From the beginning, God designed marriage to be monogamous. God designed for the sexual relationship to be contained within the bounds of a lifetime, monogamous marriage (Hebrews 13:4).
Fourth, we need to continue the fight for defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. Our society is embarking on a slippery slope with a possible redefinition of marriage to include homosexual couples and polygamous relationships. Opening the door on one of these distortions of marriage will open the floodgates for the others, including polyamory and incestuous marriage. We cannot simply turn a blind eye to this lifestyle and say that our society will never buy into it. The fact that it was presented on “Good Morning America” in such a positive light demonstrates the attempted normalization of this lifestyle.
Good Morning America, “Modern Families: 2 Dads, 1 Mom and a Baby,” January 4, 2012.