It may be that most households are usually headed by two married couples, (amounting to three people), most of the time; alternating between a woman and her two husbands, or a man and his two wives.
I would think that once a person has successfully reproduced with two different co-parents, restrictions on whom they can marry as a third spouse, would be a lot more relaxed; especially if the proposed third spouse has also already successfully reproduced with two different co-parents.
In particular, same-sex marriages, different-species marriages, unusually consanguineous marriages, or whatever, might not raise as strong objections, if the two proposed betrotheds have already done their reproductive duties and reached a point where they can’t or won’t be allowed to reproduce again.
Posted January 2nd
First of all, this is a very interesting and engaging system!
I can only imagine what a household's web of married triads would be like!
Culturally, it makes sense: a first marriage to an older person (presumably not an excessive age gap? -- 15 ~ 92!!!) This would allow the younger partner to learn the ropes of married relationship, learn how to have sex, learn about child rearing through observation and practice with the elder spouse's children. The second marriage would put the now more mature partner into the position of teacher. The final marriage, hopefully, would bring together two people who are now mature, experienced and capable of raising a family.
Sounds like something some Daine culture would do! :D
But I have a question of practicality: are all three (or any of the three) marriages for life or are they "timed"? In other words, how many (adult married) people live in a household? I could imagine a sort of runaway situation where an individual has her three husbands (OH, YH, SAH), the OH has his OW & SAW, they each have their other two wives...and so forth! Plus all their kiddoes! Where does the madness end!? ;)
Might the first & second marriages be time limited in some way? Two to five years?
Though I wonder how practical
Posted January 3rd
Thanks for your interest!
Maybe we want to pair the peak-libido 30-36-y/o females with the peak-libido 16-20 y/o males; and the not-yet-peak-libido-but-prime-birthing-age 20-25-y/o females with the more calmed-down 40-60-y/o males.
I did not intend any of the marriages to have a time-limit.
I was hoping I could expect divorce to be pretty rare.
People might mostly be limited to three children.
They mostly would be socially-pressured to have children by at least two spouses.
One would not seek a second spouse until one has a child by their first spouse. But one would seek a second spouse before having one’s third child.
Usually one wouldn’t seek a third spouse until one has had one’s third child. One would usually not expect to have children by one’s third spouse.
As a rule one seeks one’s next spouse at about the same time one’s current spouse is seeking their next spouse.
One is one’s first spouse’s second spouse; one is one’s second spouse’s first spouse; and one is one’s third spouse’s third spouse.
Ideally, if everything goes according to plan!
You’re usually living either with your first spouse and your second spouse, or with your second spouse and your third spouse.
Sometimes you’re living with your first and so far only spouse (as their second spouse), and also with your spouse’s first spouse.
Sometimes you’re living with your second spouse (as their first spouse), and also with your first spouse (as their second spouse).
Sometimes you’re living with your second spouse (as their first spouse), and also with their second spouse.
Sometimes you’re living with your first spouse (as their second spouse), and also with their third spouse.
Sometimes you’re living with your second spouse (as their first spouse), and also with your third spouse (as their third spouse).
Sometimes you’re living with your third spouse (as their third spouse), and also with their second spouse.
It probably happens frequently that a household has two Male heads and two female heads. One of the husbands is married to two of the wives, and one of the wives is married to two of the husbands.
It’s probably a rare and/or short-term thing for a household to have two male and three female, or two female and three male heads. It’s probably not at all unheard-of, though.
Say, one man is married to each of two women, each of whom is also married to another husband. Or, one woman is married to each of two men, each of whom is also married to another wife.
In general, people usually live with whichever of their spouses they feel like living with, if that’s fine with that spouse; and also with whichever of that spouse’s spouses want to live there.
You always live with your first spouse at least until you have a child by them; then, once you marry a second spouse, you live with your second spouse until you have a child by them. If you have a child by each of your first two spouses, but can still have another child, you and your spouses can negotiate who lives with whom. Once you marry a third spouse you live with them for a while, but there’s no settled criterion. You can continue to return to and visit any spouse you’re still married to, as long as that’s OK with them and whichever other spouses they’re living with.
The reproductive marriages, that is, the first and second marriages, form a “line marriage” a la Robert A. Heinlein’s “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress”. Ideally, the third marriages are just collateral relationships to these, since they don’t produce offspring.
There has to be a systematic way to handle death and divorce.
Mostly people will have three living spouses to whom they are still married, and mostly will live with any two of them, though sometimes they’ll live with just one and sometimes with all three; and sometimes someone will have two spouses, or one, or none.
I imagine the death-or-divorce-and-remarriage moreways (or more’s?) will restrict one to at most three spouses at a time and at most six spouses total per lifetime.
Consider Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice.
Alice is the youngest. Ted is her first husband and she is Ted’s second wife. They have a baby.
Ted is next youngest. Carol is his first wife and he is Carol’s second husband. They have a 9-y/o.
Carol is 2nd-oldest. Bob is her first husband and she is Bob’s second wife. They have an 18-y/o.
Bob is oldest. His first wife is deceased; their 27-y/o child is married and doesn’t live with Bob. Bob is looking for a third wife (with Carol’s permission). She will be older than Carol but younger than Bob’s first wife; she’ll be about Bob’s own age.
When Carol’s and Ted’s kid is old enough, or maybe when Bob marries his third wife, Carol will get Ted’s and Bob’s permission to find a third husband. She may already be kinda wondering about it, though probably not very eagerly at the moment. That third husband of Carol’s will be older than Ted but younger than Bob, around Carol’s own age.
Does any of that help?
Are you confused just exactly the right amount? Or are you too confused?
Or could you possibly be not confused enough?
Edited February 13th
Oh btw: the ideal age-difference between two co-parents is “half a generation”, whatever that turns out to mean.
In my example I picked 9 years; possibly that’s not sufficiently well-thought-out?
Posted January 4th
In Henrician and/or Tudor England, if a husband and wife got married at an average age for first marriage, both lived to an average lifespan, and managed to live together from marriage til death, they’d have an average of six or seven children.
So when one of these consocieties I’m talking about here is at a similar level, and wants not to limit births, it might be more common to seek your second spouse after your third child is born but before your fourth child is conceived, and to seek your third spouse after your sixth child is born but before your seventh child is conceived. Perhaps most seventh children are the products of third marriages, and/or the products of third marriages are mostly seventh children. Perhaps seventh children, and children of third marriages, are usually unplanned surprises.
When they’re at our current tech level, the replacement-rate of births is an average of 2.1 children per person.
It’s logical, if one wants Zero Population Growth, to restrict people to:
3 children maximum (>2.1)
5 grandchildren maximum (>4.41 = (2.1)^2)
10 great-grandchildren maximum (>9.261 = (2.1)^3)
20 great^2-grandchildren maximum (>19.4481 = (2.1^4))
41 great^3-grandchildren maximum (>40.84101 = (2.1)^5)
If we make it 9 great-grandkids and 17 great^2-grandkids and 33 GGGgrandkids etc., we’re actually making the population shrink, oh-so-gradually, because that’s less than the replacement rate.
In any case; in such circumstances one of these societies would probably seek a second spouse sometime after the birth of a [g][b]first[/b][/g][r][s][i]fourth[/i][/s][/r] child but before the conception of a third child, and seek a third spouse only after the conception of a third child.
Or, at any rate, such have been my musings this late morning and early afternoon.
The preferred cousins might not be available more than about half or two-thirds of the time. Maybe only half or two-thirds of maiden brides and grooms can actually marry a first-choice-type 2nd-coz-1ce-removed for a first spouse; and independently only half to two-thirds second marriages can be to a best-preferred-type of blood-relative; and then independently only 50% to 67% of third marriages can be to the best-preferred type of blood-relative. Then only 12.5% to 29.63% of people can have all three spouses from the best-preferred kintypes.
These difficulties might be much less severe if classificatory kin are acceptable instead of blood kin.
But otherwise the society would need traditionally-acceptable second-choice and third-choice relatives, more distant than full second-cousins or double-half-second-cousins, to boost the odds that one can marry a relative of the best or 2nd-best or 3rd-best preference type above 80% for each marriage, to boost the odds that all three marriages can be at least that acceptable above 50%.
Edited January 13th
> I can only imagine what a household's web of married triads would be like!
> But I have a question of practicality: are all three (or any of the three) marriages for life or are they "timed"? In other words, how many (adult married) people live in a household? I could imagine a sort of runaway situation where an individual has her three husbands (OH, YH, SAH), the OH has his OW & SAW, they each have their other two wives...and so forth! Plus all their kiddoes! Where does the madness end!? ;)
My image is of a room full of rough hempen ropes hanging from the ceiling with gaps or intervals roughly equal to their thickness at least, twice their thickness at most.
The ropes proper are the first and second marriages.
The threads sticking out from the ropes are the third marriages.
If two ropes are nearby, every so often a thread from one of them will touch a thread from the other.
Problems or suggestions?
Posted January 5th
This thread has been (temporarily?) relocated to this subforum, because this is where threads that were rescued from the recent vandalism come.
Posted January 12th
Makes sense to me!
One wonders: what sort of housing arrangements would such a society construct?
Also: how is child rearing shared, if shared at all?
Posted January 12th
> One wonders: what sort of housing arrangements would such a society construct?
I suppose one would need at least two master bedrooms with at least a double bed in each, so that a person in two active marriages could sleep with either spouse while the other spouse is still welcomed and kept comfortable in the home.
For one of those H-W-H-W-H or W-H-W-H-W households one might need four master bedrooms and four double beds.
If people don’t mind threesomes,
one master bedroom with a king-size bed might work for an HWH or WHW household (instead of two master bedrooms and two double beds);
and two master bedrooms with kingsize beds might work for HWHW or WHWH households (instead of three master bedrooms and three double beds);
I’m afraid I can’t imagine four-in-a-bed becoming all that popular. Four in a house, OK; but not four in a bed.
Indeed I imagine three-in-a-bed would be a minority taste.
> Also: how is child rearing shared, if shared at all?
I imagine the biological parents of each child would be ultimately responsible for the upbringing of that child.
OTOH in actuality whoever has to work outside the home would probably need to depend on whoever can stay home to help out with the children younger than fourteen decimal Earth years old.
Children older than 14 probably don’t need parental supervision 24/7. They probably need it something like 16/5 plus 24/2.
Unmarried children old enough to marry, if still living at home, would probably be expected to help care for their younger siblings and half-siblings and step-siblings, to the degree that they can do so without having to give up gainful employment away from home, if they have any.
If the culture has classificatory kinship, maybe all of a woman’s husbands count as each others’ “brothers” and all of a man’s wives count as each others’ “sisters”. And a father’s brother counts as another father, and a mother’s sister counts as another mother. And a child is the responsibility of all of their fathers and of all of their mothers.
On the other hand, if the society is strictly matrilocal even after marriage, probably the father and the mother’s brother swap roles, compared to our own society. A child is the responsibility of their mother and of all their mother’s brothers, particularly her eldest brother. A child’s father visits the child frequently at his wife’s house (the child’s mother’s house, somewhere on the wife’s mother’s property), and swaps jokes with the child, and brings gifts for the child, but doesn’t have to discipline the child nor enroll them in school nor take them to the dentist etc. The child’s mother’s brothers (especially the eldest?) would have to do those things.
But I don’t know how compatible my initial premise(s) would be with either matrilocality of that kind, nor classificatory kinship of that kind.
Posted January 13th
It has occurred to me that so far in this thread I have not challenged the assumption that a mother would probably be younger than a father.
Among a man’s female cross-second-cousin once-removed-ascending could be:
His older parent’s older parent’s older parent’s oldest opposite-sex sibling’s oldest child’s oldest daughter, probably among his oldest such second-cousins-once-removed;
His younger parent’s younger parent’s younger parent’s youngest opposite-sex sibling’s youngest child’s youngest daughter, probably among his youngest such second-cousins-once-removed.
The oldest might be older than his older parent, or otherwise too old for him; more than half a generation old, for example. At any rate, likely to be his younger parent’s age, or older, or not much younger.
The youngest is nearly certain to be younger than either parent of his older parent, and younger than the older parent of either of his parents. In short she’s nearly certain to be younger than all but his youngest grandparent. She’ll quite probably be younger than all of his grandparents; and has a very good chance of being younger than his older parent. But she may not be younger than his younger parent. And she probably won’t be younger than the man himself.
Suppose we assume, for sake of an easy-to-understand example, that an 18-y/o bachelor H comes from a family in which everybody’s older parent has been their Father for the last 3 or so generations.
So H’s father HF could have had H when he was 27, and could now be 18+27=45 y/o.
HF’s father HFF could have had HF when HFF was 27, and could now be 45+27=72 y/o.
HFF’s father HFFF could have had HFF when HFFF was 27, and could have been born 72+27=99 years ago.
Perhaps HFFF’s oldest sister, HFFFZ, was 4 years older than HFFF; born 103 years ago.
Her firstborn child, her daughter HFFFZD, could have been born when HFFFZ was 18; and now be 85 y/o.
HFFFZD’s oldest daughter, HFFFZDD, could have been born when HFFFZD was 18, and now be 67 y/o.
I don’t think anyone would doubt a 67-y/o woman is too old to be the first bride of an 18-y/o bachelor.
But now suppose we take an example in which the 18-y/o bachelor, still called H, is assumed to come from a family in which everyone’s younger parent has been their mother for the last three generations. (This probably applies only to something like one out of every sixteen or something like that, but it’s easier to regeneralize from the overly specific, than to try to talk about something excessively general.)
H’s mother, HM, could have had H when HM was 18, so HM could now be 18+18=36.
HM’s mother HMM could have had HM when HMM was 18, so HMM could now be 36+18=54.
HMM’s mother HMMM could have had HMM when HMMM was 18, so HMMM could now be 54+18=72.
HMMM’s youngest brother, HMMMB, could be 4 years younger than HMMM; in other words, 72-4=68 y/o right now.
HMMMB’s youngest child (let me just guess it’s a son, HMMMBS) could have been born when HMMMB was 27 or older; let’s say 31. So HMMMBS could be 68-31=37 y/o.
If HMMMBS’s youngest daughter, HMMMBSD, were born when her father HMMMBS were 27, she’d now be only 10 years old; too young to marry!
I think we probably need to allow H to choose, as his first wife, any female cross-second-cousin-once-removed-ascending in the appropriate age-range; no younger than midway between the ages of H and of H’s younger parent, no older than H’s younger parent nor older than midway between the ages of H and of H’s older parent.
She should already be or have been married and already have or have had a child. H should be older than her oldest child and no younger than midway between his wife’s age and the age of her youngest child.
(Assuming I’ve got it all right!)
I was also going to consider two possibilities each for a man’s second wife, a woman’s first husband, and a woman’s second husband.
But it looks like a lot of work that’s either essentially duplicated effort, or that is a mirror-image to something like that, and might better be “left as an exercise for the reader”. If the reader is into that sort of thing!
A person’s third spouse might be allowed to be anyone otherwise suitable and not too consanguineous. There may be no preference, or scarcely any preference, for MFMBDSD as 3rd wife or FMFZSDS as 3rd husband.
Edited February 25th
I need one-character, or obviously-parseable 2-character, abbreviations for:
I could rework the examples varying the following numbers:
* age-gap between younger parent and oldest child could be 15 or 20 or 25 years
* age-gap between older parent and youngest child could be 35 or 40 or 45 years
* age-gap between older sibling and younger sibling could be 4 or 7 or 14 years
* age-gap between older parent and younger parent could be 7 or 9 years
I don’t know every choice of one would be compatible with every choice of another.
Edited February 25th