Brandon Stover

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Marriage

July 30, 2022

80

Marriage as a Social Contract

A narrated essay reflecting on marriage as a contract, whether love should be a part of this contract, what other types of marriage exist, and if monogamy is the best form of partnership for marriages. Brandon elaborates on his 4 year marriage ending in divorce, relationship check-ins, and what forms of love and relationships he may look for in the future.

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Essays

July 30, 2022

Marriage as a Social Contract

Marriage appears to be an agreement, a social contract, between two people to continue ongoing negotiations about how each person will show up to better themselves, each other, and the relationship. Each individual enters the agreement under the belief that this union is more beneficial to each individual’s life than what that individual could do on their own. As a social institution, marriage provides the motivation for ongoing negotiations between each individual. From an evolutionary perspective, marriage is a time tested strategy for successful conception and raising of children. In which case, marriage is of utility.

So why do we complicate marriage with love? You would not enter a business contract under the influence of cocaine or heroin, yet we enter the contract of marriage under the influence of love. Wouldn’t this contract be better conducted if we were in a rational state? Love may be the glue that keeps the contract intact, providing motivation to connect, to help the other person in their worst times, to sacrifice parts of you for them, and for agreeing to continue negotiations.

Maybe we have confused the type of love that is correct for marriage. The Greeks understood that we are capable of more than one form of love. We want to believe marriage is for Pragma, a mature enduring love, or even more, Agape, an unconditional love. Despite this romantic ideal, building long lasting love takes time and marriage, being a contract, is anything but unconditional. Maybe the form of love marriage is aiming for is Philia, a deep friendship and soul connection based on values. However, should the spiritual union of two people in love be tied to this social contract? Maybe there is another form of love. One based on conditions of mutual growth and utility. But that does not sound much like love at all.

Love in marriage may be a deep desire to want the very best circumstance for that other person, because you see the beauty of humanity in its unique manifestation in this other person. But what if that best thing is not you?

In the agreement of supporting the development of the other person, there may come a time when the development of each spouse would be better done in separation. In which case, if marriage is not to end in divorce, it would require more flexibility, allowing time for separation and then reconciliation of identities through ongoing negotiations of values. If marriage is a contract, why don’t you periodically negotiate terms as each person develops? Contracts have terms and dates. Surely, the contract does not serve in the same way forever.

As each person in the marriage changes, their type of love changes, and what compatibility was right for one time may not be right for another, calling for a new form of marriage. As there are different forms of love, there are different forms of marriage. Two people may form a bond strictly around companionship, devoid of passion or romance. People in a parenting marriage may commit to raising children together, agreeing to stay in the marriage for the duration of raising those children, yet spiritual or sexual connection may not be part of the package.

And what of monogamy? Is monogamy truly the best way to handle the goal of marriage? Of course, there are open marriages where both people consensually agree to see other people. Love is not finite. I can love more than one person and love each in a different way. Maybe, I have a social contract with one person, for financial or parenting reasons, and the erotic lover of another because it fits each person's circumstances better. It’s too much of a burden to place all my needs to be fulfilled by one other person. I don't hire one person to fill all roles in my company, so why expect that in my family?

I’m coming to the conclusion that love and spiritual union of two people should be separate from the social contract of marriage. The feeling of building a life with another should not be taken lightly. This spiritual union of two souls helping each other to grow should be respected and acknowledged, not in the form of a legal contract stating terms and dates, but a point of development where the true act of love would be to let that person go.

Shownotes

Resources

People Mentioned

Timestamps

  • (00:00) - Introduction
  • (01:20) - Beginning of essay On Marriage: Marriage as a Social Contract
  • (05:43) - Current context, recent divorce, and childhood background
  • (06:58) - Is marriage a contract requiring negotiations?
  • (08:41) - Is marriage as a positive environment for children?
  • (09:42) - What of the chemical influence of love on the brain?
  • (10:32) - What role does love play in marriage?
  • (14:16) - What is the desire to want the best for your partner?
  • (15:29) - Relationship check-ins and the beginning of my divorce
  • (19:09) - Should marriage be more flexible?
  • (20:58) - What other types of marriages exist?
  • (28:30) - Questioning the standard template of marriage to fit your circumstances
  • (30:08) - Should love and marriage be separate?
  • (31:40) - Questions I have for those in long lasting marriages

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Hello, my name's Brandon Stover and welcome to the podcast on life.

[00:00:19] If you're a long time listener, thank you for returning and taking the time at of your day to reflect on life.

[00:00:24] If you're new to the show, the way it works is I'm going to narrate one of the essays that I've written on a particular topic on life. after giving one full length, read through, I'll start to dissect where I am in my own life.

[00:00:36] Where the world at large is, and the reasons I was thinking this way, when I wrote the essay,

[00:00:41] all the essays, including this one can be found@brandonstover.com. You can also find the show notes for any resources that I mentioned during this episode. At Brandon stover.com.

[00:00:52] And if you enjoy this podcast and want to get the essays in your inbox, when I publish them, You can also subscribe to the newsletter@brandonstover.com. Or follow the links inside the show notes

[00:01:03] today, we're gonna be reflecting on the topic of marriage. So let's dive into the essay.

[00:01:08]

[00:01:20] On marriage, marriage appears to be an agreement, a social contract between two people to continue ongoing negotiations about how each person will show up to better themselves, each other, and the relationship. Each individual enters into the agreement under the belief that this union is more beneficial to each individual's life than what the individual could do on their own. As a social institution, marriage provides the motivation for ongoing negotiations between each individual. From an evolutionary perspective.

[00:01:54] Marriage is a time tested strategy for successful conception and raising of children. In which case marriage is of utility. So then why do we complicate marriage with love? You would not enter into a business contract under the influence of cocaine or heroin. Yet we enter into the contract of marriage under the influence of love. Wouldn't this contract be better conducted if we were in a rational state.

[00:02:19] Love may be the glue that keeps the contract intact, providing motivation to connect, to help the other person in their worst times to sacrifice parts of you for them and for agreeing to continue negotiations.

[00:02:34] Maybe we have confused the type of love. That's correct for marriage. The Greeks understood that we are capable of more than one form of love. We want to believe that marriage is for Pragma a mature, enduring love, or even more agape, an unconditional love. Despite this romantic ideal building long lasting love takes time and marriage being a contract is anything but unconditional.

[00:02:59] Maybe the form of love marriage is aiming for is Philly, a deep friendship and soul connection based on values. However should the spiritual union of two people in love be tied to this social contract. Maybe there's another form of love. One based on conditions of mutual growth and utility, but that does not sound much like love at all.

[00:03:20] Love and marriage may be a deep desire to want the very best circumstances for that other person, because you see the beauty of humanity and its unique manifestation in this other person. But what if that best thing is not, you.

[00:03:34] In the agreement of supporting the development of the other person. There may come a time when the development of each spouse would be better done in separation. In which case if marriage is not to end in divorce, it would require more flexibility, allowing time for separation, and then reconciliation of identities through ongoing negotiations of values.

[00:03:56] If marriage is a contract, why don't you periodically negotiate terms as each person develops contracts have terms and dates. Surely the contract does not serve in the same way forever.

[00:04:08] As each person in the marriage changes their type of love changes. And what compatibility was right for one time may not be right for another calling for a new form of marriage. And as there are different forms of love, there are different forms of marriage. Two people may form a bond strictly around companionship, devoid of passion or romance.

[00:04:28] People in a parenting marriage may commit to raising children together, agreeing to stay in the marriage for the duration of raising those children yet spiritual or sexual connection may not be part of the package. And what of monogamy is monogamy truly the best way to handle the goal of marriage? Of course, there are open marriages where both people consensually agree to see other people.

[00:04:49] Love is not finite. I can love more than one person and love each in a different way. Maybe I have a social contract with one person for financial or parenting reasons and the erotic lover of another, because it fits each person's circumstances better. It's too much of a burden to place all my needs to be fulfilled by one person.

[00:05:11] I don't hire one person to fill all my roles in my company. So why do I expect that in my family,

[00:05:17] I'm coming to the conclusion that love and spiritual union of two people should be separate from the social contract of marriage. The feeling of building a life with another should not be taken lightly. The spiritual union of two souls, helping each other to grow should be respected and acknowledged, not in the form of a legal contract stating terms and dates, but a point of development where the true act of love would be letting that person go.

[00:05:43] All right before we start breaking this down for a little bit of context.

[00:05:47] I'm recently divorced from a marriage that was about four years long. I'm about to reach five and I was what my ex-wife for about eight years in total.

[00:05:57] During my childhood. I grew up with a single mom. My mom and dad divorced when I was about two

[00:06:04] and they got together and separated a few times throughout my childhood. But mostly living in a, a divorced state. My dad also has been through three marriages, and my mom never remarried.

[00:06:17] I don't think before I got married, I had ever. Settled on what marriage was for me. I think it was just kind of the next logical step , in the relationship. And that's the template that everybody else had been doing. I'd never really seen any relationships that were based on like open marriages or the different kinds of combinations that we have today,

[00:06:37] But it took me going through a marriage to really understand what it was about and then going through a divorce and seeing that maybe there's a better option that fits for me. So let's go ahead and go through each one of these paragraphs, in the essay and break it down. And I'll give you an understanding of some of my ideas behind it and why I'm seeing the world in this way currently.

[00:06:58] So the first paragraph marriage appears to be an agreement, a social contract between two people to continue ongoing, no negotiations about how each person will show up to better themselves, each other, and the relationship.

[00:07:11] You're in a relationship. I see it's this like trifecta, you basically have you the other person. And then the relationship like this third person, and during the relationship, you're always trying to better yourself. You're trying to help the other person grow. And you're also trying to help the relationship grow.

[00:07:28] If you're familiar with the work of Carl Young, he thought about these two people coming together in union, like you're creating one hole or creating something better than just those two separate people.

[00:07:39] And so in marriage, you're literally creating a contract. With the government that you two are going to continue to be in this union, which is going to require negotiations. If you have ever done a contract, you're gonna negotiate the terms while in a marriage you're doing give and take the entire time.

[00:07:56] And for it to con continue to be successful, you have to continue to show up in doing those negotiations. otherwise one side just gets resent. The marriage doesn't work out.

[00:08:05] Let's continue each individual enters the agreement under the belief that this union is more beneficial to each individual's life and what the individual can do on their own.

[00:08:15] This is really about teamwork, about growing a life together. Obviously when you're bringing two people together, you're bringing together those two people's brain power, their resources.

[00:08:24] And especially in the past, when society was based around agriculture or even further back.

[00:08:29] When we've had to fight off many things in history, it made a lot of sense to get into a marriage,

[00:08:34] but right now we're living in a time of abundance. And so it's not necessary that you need to have more than one person under a household.

[00:08:41] Let's continue as a social institution. Marriage provides the motivation for ongoing negotiations between each individual. From an evolutionary perspective. Marriage is a time tested strategy for successful conception and raising of children. In which case marriage is of utility.

[00:08:59] So here we see that by having some sort of social contract, a social institution, a way that people get together, it's going to give you a framework for you to interact with your spouse stating terms that you're going to continue these negotiations in order to continue the marriage. Likewise, from an evolutionary perspective, like bringing these two people together.

[00:09:19] In a institution where you both say I'm going to stay in this institution with you. We're going to work it out. Breeds a good environment for having children. Research shows that households that have both parents, the child does much better than a household that only has one parent.

[00:09:34] We also see in a child's development, they get unique things from both the mother and father, and that each is crucial for the development of that child.

[00:09:42] So marriage is of utility for the continuation of our species. And for interacting in society, let's continue. So why do we complicate marriage with love? You would not enter a business contract under the influence of cocaine or heroin. Yet we enter the contract of marriage under the influence of love.

[00:10:01] This was so funny when I was writing it. when you are under the influence of love, when you're at first in that infatuation stage of another person, you're basically pulling the same levers in your brain as cocaine or heroin does.

[00:10:12] And my guess is you don't go and enter into some business contract under the influence of cocaine or heroin, depending on what the business is.

[00:10:20] Yet, we're going to write down these terms that I'm gonna be with this other person. I'm gonna make this lifelong decision to be with this other person when you're under these influence of all of these brain chemicals running through your brain,

[00:10:32] let's continue. Love may be the glue that keeps the contract intact, providing motivation to connect, to help the other person in their worst times to sacrifice parts of you for them and for agreeing to continue negotiations like for anybody that's been in a marriage, you know, that being in the process of going through those negotiations, sacrificing parts of you for.

[00:10:53] like, that's gonna take some major motivation and juice to do. And so it seems like love may be the factor behind that, that allows you to continue to be altruistic towards that other person in your life to help them when they're being a shithead and they're, or they're really down and in their worst times,

[00:11:11] and to agree to continue those ongoing negotiations.

[00:11:14] Let's continue. Maybe we have confused the type of love that is correct for marriage. The Greeks understood that we are capable of more than one form of love. We want to believe marriage is for Pragma a mature, enduring love, or even more agape and unconditional love. Despite this romantic ideal building long lasting love takes time and marriage being a contract as anything but unconditional, maybe the form of love.

[00:11:38] Marriage is aiming yet. Is Philly a deep friendship and soul connection based on values. However should the spiritual union of two people in love be tied to this social contract. Maybe there's another form of love. One based on conditions of mutual growth and utility, but that does not sound much like love at all.

[00:11:56] I think when people use language, they forget that words have power.

[00:12:00] Words are the way that we communicate what's going on in our brain to another person so that we can. And create and be something in the real world.

[00:12:08] So in every word that we use, there's an entire idea or concept or information structure that underlies that word. In some words, like the word love is only four letters. But it stands for so much. And I think when we enter into a marriage and we start this contract with another person, we haven't defined the love that we're looking for with that other person, we haven't defined the underlying structure.

[00:12:36] We're just using love to communicate with one another, but we haven't sat down and defined. What that love is that we need from the other person.

[00:12:44] Now the Greeks actually had several form of loves a few that I mentioned here in the essay because they understood that there's different ways that two humans connect with one another and you're not gonna connect with every human in the same way. You're not gonna love another person in the same way.

[00:13:00] Now, I don't really know what the form of love is that we're supposed to be looking for in a marriage. That's what I'm questioning and hearing the essay. I think when some people into, into a marriage, they may just be an arrows, which is that erotic love.

[00:13:14] I also think some of these loves aren't built until you've had a marriage for a very long time,

[00:13:20] such as that Pragma or agape to mature, enduring love, or even an unconditional love. And I don't even think in a marriage, you could have an unconditional love. Because marriage again is built on conditions. It's a contract you're going to show up in this relationship and put work in, and I'm also going to do that.

[00:13:38] And if you break those conditions, then the love is not there.

[00:13:42] As we've been exploring in this essay. I think the role of marriage is more of utility than it is the spiritual connection. I'm not denying that. That's what I want from love is that spiritual connection. But I believe a marriage is more about utility. In which case, what form of love are we aiming at to have in this marriage?

[00:14:02] Which is why at the end of this paragraph, I question if it's one that's based on conditions of mutual growth, which is what we're looking for in the marriage and of utility of making our lives better through this. But again, that doesn't sound much like love at all.

[00:14:16] Let's continue love, and marriage may be a deep desire to want the very best circumstance for that other person. Because you see the beauty of humanity and the unique manifestation in this other person. So this is an important line to me.

[00:14:29] When I was in my marriage with Lauren, I was always trying to do what I thought was best for her. Now, of course, that's pretty naive.

[00:14:37] And comes with a lot of Hubers who am I to know what's best for her, but of course I wanted her to be happy and do everything in my power to help make that happiness happen.

[00:14:48] And so I always wanted the best circumstances for her. And one of the reasons is because I did see the beauty of humanity in her.

[00:14:56] I'm sure. Just like you have, I've seen plenty of ugliness in my life. Of pain of sorrow, of suffering, but when you're in love with another person and especially being a man in love with a woman, the femininity that extrudes from her shows me all that is beautiful in the world and even more.

[00:15:15] So her being a woman, that's where life comes from. So she part takes in the one thing in this world

[00:15:22] that brings creation. And I can't think of anything that's more beautiful in humanity than the act of creation.

[00:15:29] So of course I want the very best thing for her, for that person that is helping to bring life into this world. Now let's get to the last line of this paragraph. What if that best thing is not you?

[00:15:42] This was an also an important line when Lauren and I got to the end of our marriage,

[00:15:47] we were starting to separate to go down different paths or at least planning to. And then I was starting to gain an awareness for this of myself. I could tell she wasn't as happy as she used to be. And our relationship wasn't exactly the same

[00:16:03] now, something that Lauren and I did. Was, we went on weekly, walks with each other and called 'em relationship check-ins and that was really to gauge the emotions of each other and to discuss things that are happening in the marriage that we would like to fix.

[00:16:17] Now, I'll say that this was an excellent practice. However, something that I could have done better in the practice is not always bringing up the problems because I'm always trying to find solutions of ways to make things better, but also to bring up the wins. And I tried to do that, the most that I could, but more times than not, I was bringing up problems or ways that we needed to continue to negotiate.

[00:16:38] I think this was really healthy. It helped both of us to learn communication and to grow with one another. And it made sure that nothing was swept under the rug. However, that doesn't mean it was easy. Sometimes these discussions were very emotion filled and very hard to continue to do negotiations. We, it brought up a lot of insecurities and ways that we weren't willing to negotiate with one another.

[00:17:01] Now more times than not, we figured it out. And we always felt better after going through the discussion, even ones that ended in tears.

[00:17:08] But the last relationship walk that we took.

[00:17:11] Warren was bringing up how she was unhappy in her life. And wasn't sure if it was the relationship or not. And I knew that that was my signal

[00:17:20] that maybe the best thing for us at that time. Was to separate,

[00:17:24] because again, I wanted the best thing for her

[00:17:27] and I was starting to recognize that maybe the best thing for her at that time was actually not, not to be with me because I was holding her back from her next stage of development from her next stage of growth.

[00:17:40] I think we went through the marriage and grew to a point

[00:17:43] that both of us were ready to go on our own way. And this is why I think not all relationships are not all marriages are supposed to last forever. You're both going through this process of life, of developing and becoming a different person. And at some point you're gonna. A point where your next stage of development is going to require you to separate from that other person.

[00:18:03] And that's exactly where I was seeing us coming in our marriage.

[00:18:07] Now, of course, this was a hard decision to make and we both very much value and are very grateful for the relationship. Lauren helped me grow. So. During our time in our marriage, but I was also reaching a point in my development, going down a different path from her

[00:18:24] where my next stage felt like it was supposed to be done on my own.

[00:18:28] And so during that relationship walk, we discussed getting divorce and both of us were on board for it.

[00:18:33] and because we've negotiated this entire time. We've had that connection. We've had these communications and it's probably the easiest to force that two people could have gone through. We split everything 50, 50, it was uncontested and both of us completely respect each other are still friends and want the best for each other.

[00:18:52] So in my view, the marriage, not at all was a failure. In fact, it was a success. We continued to communicate through the entire marriage. We both developed beyond what we were from the beginning and we both still have a long lasting friendship. I'm not sure what more I could have asked from a.

[00:19:09] Let's continue with the rest of the essay in the agreement of supporting the development of the other person. There may come a time when the development of each spouse would be better done in separation. In which case, if marriage is not to end in divorce, it would require more flexibility, allowing time for separation, and then reconciliation of identities through on negotiation of values.

[00:19:30] So doing this marriage contract, you're basically, you're basically saying, Hey, I'm going to be with you forever. But as that, each person develops they're going to change. And so the person that you originally got into the marriage with is going to be different in five or 10 years. And so I would think that if you are going to have this marriage continue to have this contract continue, that you're going to have to renegotiate those terms with that other person.

[00:19:55] Because now you're basically in a marriage with a different person. It's like getting into a business contract with business a and in about five to 10 years, they turn into business beat. And so now you're doing business within a completely different person.

[00:20:07] My guess is the contract that you originally made in the beginning with business a is not gonna fit very well with business B. And so you need to do a new contract.

[00:20:16] And this is where I also think. Maybe some time separating from that person. And then coming back to do those negotiations, you know, if you're in a marriage for say for five years, and then you both separate for a couple years and decide, oh, actually I really did enjoy being with that person. You can come back to the other person, renegotiate those terms and continue the marriage, but that's not the way society wants you to do it.

[00:20:39] Usually they're like, Nope, you married this person you're in it forever. Or.

[00:20:43] Which I don't think helps out a lot.

[00:20:45] Let's continue. If marriage is a contract, why don't you periodically negotiate terms as each person develops contracts have terms and dates. Surely the contract does not serve in the same way forever.

[00:20:58] As each person in the marriage changes their type of love changes. And what compatibility was right for one time may not be right for another calling for a new form of marriage. As there are different forms of love. There are different forms of marriage. Two people may form a bond strictly around companionship, devoid of passion or romance.

[00:21:18] People in a parenting marriage may commit to raising children together, agreeing to stay in the marriage for the duration of raising those children yet spiritual or sexual connection may not be part of the package. This is something that I think I wish I would've known, or at least been shown that there's different types of marriages than the standard marriage.

[00:21:36] So that again, you can negotiate those contracts with a better understanding.

[00:21:41] When you go into a contract with somebody there's a specific goal that you have in mind, something that the two parties are trying to do to reach a goal that again, betters each one of the parties, then if they were trying to do it on their own.

[00:21:54] So if you understand that maybe you're going into this bond just to have compan. Maybe it, a contract is not the, is not the right way to do that. I particularly like the idea of a parenting marriage where these two people are coming together saying, okay, we're both going to show up and continue to do negotiations for the sake of this child.

[00:22:14] And we're gonna set out these terms in order to raise this child in the best way possible. But maybe we go gig our other needs and other types of love fulfilled from other people so that we can focus a hundred percent on raising this child, putting a hundred percent effort into that child without trying to muddy the waters with other, all the other complicated things that come in love or in a marriage.

[00:22:37] And I think this is where the next part of the essay becomes very important. And this is around the idea of monogamy. So let's continue. And what of monogamy is monogamy truly the best way to handle the goal of marriage? Of course, there are open marriages where both people can centrally agree to see other people.

[00:22:54] Love is not finite. I can love more than one person and love each in a different way. Maybe I have a social contract with one person for financial or parenting reasons and the erotic lover of another, because it fits each person's circumstances better. It's too much of a burden to place all my needs to be fulfilled by one other person.

[00:23:15] I don't hire one person to fill all my roles in my company. So why expect that in my.

[00:23:21] Like when you start a business and you go to higher roles, most of the time you have things laid out like marketing, accounting,

[00:23:28] human resources, and so on and so forth. And yes, in the beginning you are the one person trying to fulfill all those roles. But think about that. When you're trying to fulfill all those roles, how well do you do in each one of those? There's probably gonna be ones that you're really, really good at and ones that you really suck at, and you're gonna do really well in the ones that you're good at.

[00:23:47] And you're gonna suck at the ones that you suck at. So then you start hiring other people and you don't try and hire one person for all those roles. Usually what you do is when you're hiring that first hire, you're gonna hire somebody to fulfill the roles that you really suck. So now they have multiple roles.

[00:24:03] And as you hire on board, you hire somebody specifically for marketing, somebody specifically for design, somebody specifically for accounting and so on and so forth.

[00:24:13] Yet when it comes to our marriage, we expect this one other person to be a mom, to be a wife, to be a lover, to help take care of the household, to also go out and work and have a job. And to provide every single little need that we have as another person. That sounds freaking crazy to me because there's some things that I'm really good at.

[00:24:32] And there's some things in a relationship that I really suck at and I would rather show up for that other person and the things that I'm really good at. So I can give my all to them in the.

[00:24:42] And for the things that I suck at, of course, I'd like to get better at those,

[00:24:46] but if that's something that, that other person really needs in a relationship, I'm just not gonna be the person that can show up and give them that. If I want the best thing for that other person, for them to be in the best circumstances, I would rather them go get that from another person.

[00:25:02] And I mean that in all realms, whether that's emotional, that's sexual, that's financial.

[00:25:07] during my marriage with Lauren, there was a point where I had read the book, the sex at Dawn. And if you've never read that book, And talks about a lot of cultures in the past and tribes that had much more open relationships with the other people in those communities. And the way that dynamic really helped the community to thrive.

[00:25:25] Now, when Lauren and I originally made our contract for marriage, it was completely based on monogamy. I didn't really have an idea of what polygamy or any one of these other types of relationships. Might look like, I didn't know if that was the thing I wanted in my life, because I didn't even know it existed.

[00:25:40] But as we went on in our marriage and I had read this book, the idea of having other partners in order to. Different desires that I had became more appealing to me. However, we are, we already originally made the contract on monogamy. So having a discussion with Lauren about this, she wasn't exactly keen, which is completely respectable. I understand. So I continued the marriage and the way that it was laid out and the original contract that we set.

[00:26:05] However, now that we're divorced and I have a better understanding of these things for myself. I think the dynamic that I am more looking for to fulfill the different types of love that I have. Is one that's more polygamous having different partners for different roles.

[00:26:19] and after much self-awareness and reflection. Seeing the different types of love that I'm looking for in other people. so one type of love that I need is something I like to call warrior love, where both of you are going through something intense together, building something together. And both of you are sort of warriors doing this. You have a deep respect for one another. Because of how much struggle the other person is going through and how much they continue to show up to the table in order to build that thing with you.

[00:26:48] I'm looking for a love with the person that is very ambitious and continues to show up and go through that struggle and honor me and honor them as we do that. However, I don't think this sort of relat. Needs to have a sexual connection between it,

[00:27:03] however that it's still a need.

[00:27:04] So the other type of love arrows as the Greeks called it, the erotic love would be fulfilled by other partners.

[00:27:11] I also think at some point I would like to have a child right now I'm in the middle of building a startup and plan on doing that through my thirties. But I think as I reach 40 reaching that new decade.

[00:27:22] I may like to have a child then however, I would want to give my a hundred percent, give my all to that child.

[00:27:28] And I think when you have a child with somebody in a marriage or with somebody that you'd love, although the loves are different between you and the child and you, and that spouse.

[00:27:37] You do start to feel a little bit of resentment for one or the other, because you're trying to give your love to both trying to give a hundred percent to both. And maybe when that child comes into the life, you have a little bit of resentment because now the, your spouse is giving more love and attention to that child as they should be, because they're trying to raise it.

[00:27:55] Rather, I would like to separate those two functions. I'd rather give a hundred percent to this child and not have to worry about also giving my attention, love, and resources to that spouse. And so I think some sort of parenting partnership where both of you are coming together to say, yes, we're going to work together to raise this child and we're gonna do what's best for this child.

[00:28:17] Would work better for me rather than being in a committed relationship with this other person, trying to love them fully and trying to love this child fully.

[00:28:25] So you can see in this dynamic, I have three different types of loves, three different types of partnerships going.

[00:28:30] Of course, this is very different than the standard template of marriage and what society tells you. But this is what we're trying to do with this podcast. Trying to open up your mind to different ways of living and finding ways that fit more in line with your circumstances for just a moment, forget, everything else that people have told you what love is supposed to be or what a marriage is supposed to be and think about your own needs.

[00:28:54] What type of love are you looking for in a partner? What type of love are you looking for in life? My guess is, is if you did a little self-reflection, you're gonna find that there's just a few different types of love. And if you're in a partnership, how well are you receiving that? Love? How well are you receiving those types of love from that person you're in a partnership with my guess is if you're feeling a little unfulfilled, you're missing one of those types of love that you're looking.

[00:29:20] It's probably causing a little resentment and a little friction in the relationship.

[00:29:25] Now on the flip side of this, I don't want to just throw out the baby with the bath water. Monogamy and marriage have been a social institution that have been around for thousands of years.

[00:29:35] It's a template that works well

[00:29:37] and a template that does bring many people happiness. So our job here is to ask ourselves what are our circumstances, and that includes our personalities and the things that we want in life. does monogamy and marriage do these templates fit well with our circumstances? And remember that your circumstances change you changed in life and what's right for the circumstances now may not be right for the circumstances in the future, which is why I also believe that maybe marriage is not supposed to last forever.

[00:30:08] Let's finish this essay. I'm coming to the conclusion that love and spiritual union of two people should be separate from the so contract of marriage, the feeling of building a life with another should not be taken lightly. The spiritual union of two souls, helping each other to grow should be respected and acknowledged, not in the form of a legal contract stating terms and dates, but a point of development where the true act of love would be to let that person go.

[00:30:35] So we have this deeply spiritual human act that we do with another person of loving them and bringing you and them together to bring, make a whole, as Carl Young would say, and then we have this social contract, two people coming together to have more utility in the world to build something beyond them.

[00:30:52] as you've seen some of the things that I've questioned in this essay, I'm thinking those things should be separate. They'd be better served if they were separate.

[00:31:00] And finally, if we're focusing on. This side of utility with the social contract, we already know that a contract can only go so far before it becomes void and no longer of utility. So then why is marriage supposed to last forever? On the other side of the spiritual union between two people, the two people are gonna develop, they're gonna grow and eventually they're gonna change. And the next stage of development is gonna require them to separate and maybe go be in union with another person.

[00:31:27] Who's also at that stage of development.

[00:31:30] And if you're in love with this person and you want the best thing for them, that maybe that best thing is letting them go. In which case the relationship does not last forever either.

[00:31:40] So those are some of my thoughts and ideas currently on marriage. Of course, as I have more relationships and go on through life. Those ideas will probably change

[00:31:50] with these ideas that I have right now. We can see one of the circumstances of this is gonna be, I probably don't have a long lasting marriage, something that's 40, 50, 60, 70 years long. In which case I may not ever find out what it really means to have Pragma

[00:32:06] and ensure enduring love.

[00:32:08] I think the people that have gone through marriage and lasted for that long, they probably have a deep respect for one another and a type of love that is completely different than what they started their marriage.

[00:32:19] I guess my question for them is why did you continue to go through the marriage during the times that maybe you would've been better served? Separating or the stage of development you were at would be better served, going a different way. What did you do to continue those negotiations? So that staying in the bar marriage was actually more beneficial than separating.

[00:32:41] And what about the other forms of love? are they all fulfilled by this one person?

[00:32:45] Or are those forms of left now, part of your shadow because they've been suppressed

[00:32:50] and gone unfulfilled.

[00:32:51] As with most things in philosophy, when you start questioning it, you end with more questions than you have answers, but I think that's the best part of life. Just trying to discover these answers for yourself as you love it.

[00:33:03] Thanks for listening.

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