Restrictions of Number

Forbidding multiple loves

The final restriction to consider within the Old Paradigm marriage model is that of number itself. So far, the ‘marriage equation’ has been; 1man + 1woman (1creed x 1 race) = happily ever after. (My algebra skills are far from stellar, but hopefully the equation is written well enough to get the point across, even if incorrectly…) Essentially, the sum of the factors is the ideal scenario under the Old Paradigm.

This equation has held true in many cultures throughout human history, which spans about five thousand years, give or take a couple of weeks. While several cultures, at different times, have loosened the restriction of number or dismissed it altogether, the common trend is that the average person was only ever permitted to have one partner, and usually for life. And this is the ideal that underscores marriage in most societies to this day.

However, within the course of the past fifty years, the marriage equation has been altered dramatically. So far, the restrictions of race and gender have already been or are currently being removed. Additionally, as more people move away from a strict adherence to organized religious traditions, the restriction of creed is fading rapidly. Subsequently, the equation has gone from; 1man + 1woman (1creed x 1 race) = happily ever after, to; 1 + 1 = happily ever after.

Even so, the Old Paradigm is digging in, making its last stand on maintaining at least some semblance of the old ideal. Thus, all forms of marriage that contradict this 1 + 1 ideal are painted as doomed to fail at best, and downright sinful at worst. Open marriages are still portrayed as a lascivious way of life practiced by hedonists and those afraid of commitment. Furthermore, polygamy is still fiercely prohibited by law in most countries, as well as numerous cultures and religious traditions where it is deemed unnatural and an affront to all that is holy. While the battles for racial and gender restrictions have been lost, the war is not over in the minds of those adhering to the Old Paradigm. The restriction of number is where the final stand is being made, and that fight will be the fiercest by far, as it is the last element of control still being wielded by the powers that be.