Ambigamy is not what you might think, or at least not exclusively. Yes, it is just two letters longer than bigamy, and so could touch on that illegal lifestyle. But ambigamy is about much more, touching pretty much all of psychology, philosophy, spirituality, social science and even life science.
A bigamist is married in stereo, doubly committed and spread too thin. He is making a mess of things, offering reliability he can not offer. Bigamists play at being serious, and drive crazy those who rely upon them. They say ‘I am yours and yours alone,’ but with their fingers crossed.
If bigamy is the worst of romantic vices, maybe its opposite is the best of romantic virtues. One marriage forever. Commited unconditionally. Be absolutely eternally reliable. Never sway. By the end of our lives many of us will have proven unconditionally bonded with someone.
But midlife, who knows with absolute certainty just who that someone will be? Even if we prove reliably committed, do we know that our beloveds will be there for us? People change. People die. People get over deaths. People move on after passing through the stages of grief.
We may talk of unconditional Love, but we can not live it. We all live in the gray area between commitment to stability and openness to change.
And its not just with people. All living circumstances have the potential to change, so today’s rushes could become tomorrow’s yawns, today’s absolute truths could become tomorrow’s falsehoods, today’s devotions could be tomorrow’s ‘been-there-done-that.’
We embrace and dread this changeability. We love changeability as freedom, room to make things better. We dread changeability as insecurity, room for things to get worse. Ideally, you get to decide what is permanent and what is not, and always with the option to change your mind.
We are all ambivalent, double-married, both to our freedom and to our safety, to membership in a supportive relationship and to the ability to step back and assess, maybe even walking out of that relationship.
We live torn between the virtues of dedication and independence, commitment and mobility, Love and skepticism, synergy and autonomy.
The 2600 year old logic puzzle ‘Liar’s paradox’: ‘It is true that I am lying’ is a statement that is true if it is false and false if it is true.
It is also the little engine that could go on forever, a little two cycle engine where the first part (It is true that) makes the second part (I am lying) true, which means the first part is false which makes the second part false which makes the first part true, which makes the …