Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Are These Double Standards or Not?

I'll get back to blogging about my marriage and life sooner or later. For now, it is time for another entry dealing with things said by my favorite (and I'm NOT being sarcastic - she's awesome) talk show host.

Recently, a woman called Dr. Laura to ask about having an open or polyamorous marriage or relationship. Dr. Laura asked if the woman's boyfriend of husband was asking for it, but that got shot down immediately by the woman saying it was what she wanted. This was clearly a Clueless Caller type #2 from my Dr. Laura Show Bingo.

Actually, I think Dr. Laura was very gentle with the woman, while still making it clear that since typical marriage vows include "forsaking all others", having sex with anyone other than your spouse (even with your spouse participating, present, or your spouse's permission) is a violation of the "sacred" vows. The caller probably had a specific third person in mind, but I don't recall she indicated whether the third person was a woman or a man. Since Dr. Laura doesn't believe bisexuality exists, if the caller had mentioned it was a woman, Dr. Laura would have told her she's a lesbian. Anyway, so the part of the vows (assuming someone even says them) including "forsaking all others" mandates sexual exclusivity. I agree with that. Here's where the possible double standard comes in. Most people who say that vow also vow "until death do us part", but Dr. Laura apparently considers that vow less sacred, at least if the married couple has no minor children together. See #15 on the Bingo sheet.

This previous entry (see #7 and #11) touches on these issues.

The other possible double standard comes with how people meet the person they're dating. Dr. Laura is, how should I put it, less than impressed with online dating/matchmaking services. She flat-out tells people not to use them. A caller toward the end of the second hour on Thursday, 11/20/2014, had been dating a guy for only a month after finding him through a dating website. Let me repeat: only a month. Dr. Laura told her it was mandatory she meet his friends and/or relatives before having another date with him. And yes, while Dr. Laura advises people looking to date (which means for Dr. Laura someone looking to get married) tell the people they respect and admire in their life, whose judgment they trust that they want to be formally introduced to quality people. The possible double standard is that I've never heard her tell someone who met their date at work, or at the gym, or anywhere else that didn't involve first making contact online, that they had to meet their date's family or friends by one month in.

I agree that, if you're looking for a spouse, it is very important verify the person is who they represent themselves to be, and it is important to meet their loved ones or anyone else who is going to be a regular part of their life and see the interpersonal dynamics at work. Meeting someone through an online connection doesn't make it more or less necessary.

So... what do you think? Are these double standards? Are there logical explanations for them not being double standards? Again, I agree with the underlying principles of the importance of monogamy and really knowing who a person is.

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