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I’ve recently been spinning some old posts on account of the fact that I’ve had to work and life has temporally interfered with my blogging.

plates“Spinning plates,” for those who don’t know, is actually a manospherian term that has to do with keeping all your irons in the fire, making sure you have plenty of backup women so you don’t accidentally suffer from Oneitis, Oneitis being the dread disease also known as “monogamy.” This can be a very bad thing because it sometimes makes you vulnerable. Being vulnerable can hurt.

Thou shall never be vulnerable, so thy must spin plates at all times, sometimes even when married because there are lots of girls on the girl tree and at any moment your wife may go feral and decide you are simply not beastly enough to join her Where the Wild Things Are…

wild thingsAll humor aside, I do not wish to a shame anybody, I just wonder who comes up with this crap and who falls for it? I am not making this up, this is actual relationship advice being bantered about the intertoobz. I don’t mean to sound morally self-righteous or judgmental here, in truth I actually empathize with the idea of having spares, of spinning plates.

My husband is like a spare parent, something I have been so grateful for multiple times in my life. It is so nice for the children to have an extra parent, kind of like having a spare tire when you totally deflate the first one and leave her limping along on her rims.

As to having an entire spare husband, a backup man so to speak, I suppose I do that too. Christ is my back up plan for all things. It’s far more complex than a simple romantic relationship, but I can see the overlap there. Another blogger recently blogged of Christ, “I am in love with another man and my husband knows all about it…” It was rather cute and yes, the same applies here, there is another Love in my life and my husband knows all about it. A relationship with Christ is a bit different then having a wonderful earthly husband around all the time, but it is a far superior plan than just keeping an extra human husband locked in the basement, in case the first one doesn’t work out.

Therein lies the problem with spinning plates. It reveals insecurity and a fear of vulnerability. One cannot keep a bunch of extra women on the back burner in case the one you are with does not work out, because that means your mind must always be obsessed over it not working out, What Could Go Wrong. Hidden behind that is the implication that you really will not be okay if you are left alone. If you are not okay alone, how could you be okay enough for anyone else?

In a dating situation, the idea of spinning plates, at least as a metaphor for not putting all your eggs in one basket and risking a broken heart every time you get rejected, makes perfect sense. Keep your options open, keep in mind that there are a lot of people in the world. But when you are an allegedly happily married man (or woman) now approaching half a century of life, spinning plates is just pathetic. Yes, pathetic and sad. Two decades later and you still have one foot out the door fearing rejection will strike at any moment? You fear becoming a victim of the dreaded hypergamy? Ever heard of a self-fulfilling prophecy??

Your poor spouse! Who lives like this? A whole lot people apparently. Not long ago Ashley Madison, an on-line dating service for people already in a relationship was hacked, putting at risk some 37 million users.

It takes risk, vulnerability, trust to build intimacy. You have to surrender some pride, realize you do risk losing, but also knowing you will be okay, you will survive. Marriage requires one to let go of the desire to have complete control at all times.  Love may actually be the opposite of control, because perfect love casts out fear and control is all about the fear. Love needs some trust in order to grow.

In a Christian context, Christ should be one’s rock, He is our refuge from whatever life deals us. That relationship is paramount because that is where your strength lies, that is where your safety lives. Get that relationship right and all the others will fall into place.

****REPOST FROM 2015