I believe that we need a new family structure; one that honors our biology and yet fosters mature enlightened behavior. I am a biologist, a student of animal behavior and of human relationships. Worldwide most social institutions today are characteristically domination cultures with men wielding power at the top. The traditional one man / one woman family structure perpetuates an inequality between genders with the deck stacked against women. By adding a third to the traditional pair bond, three loving adults join in three equal relationships forming a tri-bond family structure.
In most domination cultures, women are actively discouraged from forming strong bonds with each other. One path to our evolved selves could start with integrating a sister like partnership into the family. What if women paired up, allied as a team, and pushed through the jealousy barrier? By forming a partnership of shared cooperative values, they establish a strong attractor and agree to share a man in their relationship.
The traditional family structure was conceived in a world where equal rights for women were out of the question. In fact, women were considered property, subservient to men. Certainly over time things have changed for the better. However, even with all of the great strides women have made in establishing equal rights and equal opportunities for themselves that struggle for equality continues. Why?
Motherhood. Every woman transformed by motherhood faces the dilemma of working two full time jobs. “How do I split my energy between my kids, my husband, a career if I choose, and still have time for myself?” Raising children is the most exhausting job in the world. Every mom needs a break now and then. I know many strong, courageous women who rise to the challenge like super moms. Many more must sacrifice something because there just aren’t enough hours in the day. The persistent demands of motherhood limit a woman’s access to equality.
One alternative to the compulsory “couple” tradition that gets little positive air time is adding a third. Can you imagine a triadic family with two women happily married to the same man, sharing child care and completely satisfied with the relationship, both emotionally and physically? They exist today, under the radar.
There are certain steps that enhance the likelihood of their success. Like dance step diagrams each footprint represents a rule of conduct by which triadic relationships can flourish. Step one, trust. Step two, cooperate. Step three, communicate.
How can triadic relationships be so practical and yet seem so terribly impractical? I believe the impractical side stems from our conditioning in a domination environment, something so ingrained that we assume it is human nature. In fact that “nature” can be reconditioned in a partnership environment. People living in healthy triadic relationships look human. But they act in ways that most of us can only dream of. Their behavior is so beautiful and alien that at times it seems like they have discovered an evolved form of human nature. In a way, they have.