“I, Nadine, promise to enjoy inhabiting my own life and to relish a lifelong love affair with my beautiful self,” Nadine Schweigert vowed.
That’s right – she married herself. With all the talk about same-sex marriage, polygamy, incest, polyamorous relationships of various kinds, it’s not surprising to find that there is also a practice called sologamy.
What is Sologamy?
It is the act of marrying yourself with a commitment to self-love and self-compassion. It’s also known as “same-self marriage.”
Is this related to the celibacy encouraged in the Bible?
In 1 Corinthians 7:6-8, Paul describes singleness as a gift from God. It includes staying sexually pure, which sologamy does not endorse. In Matthew 19:9-12 Jesus teaches that celibacy is a kind of calling “for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven.”
God ordained marriage as the plan for building His Kingdom, but gave some the gift of celibacy. Whether single or married, the goal of any Christian or Christian marriage is to love God, know him, worship him and enjoy him. The question for the individual is whether you can do this better single or married.
There is no evidence that sologamy’s purpose is a radical desire to serve the Lord.
Independence versus interdependence
God created us for relationship, with him and with each other. That’s interdependence. We start life totally dependent. Each day we become a bit more independent until the day we hopefully leave the nest. As our parents age, they become increasingly dependent. We are called to share each other’s burdens (help one another in times of trouble), but each carry our own daily loads (Galatians 6:1-10).
In 1 Corinthians 12:12-31, Paul writes of the body of Christ having many parts, each one functioning in the way God designed us. No part can function without the other, and no one can do all things. And when the day of trouble comes, to whom will we turn?
In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul talks about the thorn in his flesh and how God uses it to remind him that he’s not all that, and that he is truly dependent on God. God reminds him that His grace is all we need. Paul acknowledges, “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
The trouble with dependence in marriage
Too often, people seek to marry someone to solve their problems. One or both are not whole and healthy individuals when they marry, and they expect the other person or the act of marriage to fix their stuff. The problem with that idea is that two sinners are marrying and that spells trouble. The seeming selflessness of dating turns to selfish power struggles and disappointment when the other person does not live up to our expectations. In other words, we put our trust in the other person to fix us (dependent), and they let us down. Because we don’t ever want to depend on another person, we will never trust again.
If we come to marriage as a whole person, we can share our burdens, but we do not expect our lovers to fix them.
Is sologamy ultimate narcissism?
Interestingly, there is no indication that sologamy is the result of being obsessed with oneself or self-image. In fact, it may be quite the opposite.
From dozens of accounts of sologamous women, several things emerged. Among them was a brokenness – either the result from not having found a suitable mate or from having been in hurtful relationships. Further, not one woman closed the door to a future relationship with a man. There was no “monogamous” element to their marriages to themselves. These women’s hearts were crying out for love and felt they needed to love themselves first.
In some ways, their desires were to become whole … a good thing. They were working on not needing anyone to fix them. Consider the vows Tarra Christoff shared in her article on the subject:
I vow to comfort myself during times of hopelessness, despair, depression, disillusionment or any difficulty that arises.
I vow to be my Beloved always and in all ways.
I vow to never settle or abandon myself in romantic partnerships again.
I vow to honor my spiritual path and create an amazing life whether I am ever legally married or not.
I vow to honor my calling and live my life as a work of art.
God, and the hope that he gives us, and the recognition of the plans he has for our lives. In fact, marriage is designed to be the union of three, two sinners supernaturally being joined with each other and God to form a one that will have kingdom impact.
The truth is …
When predators hunt, they work to get the weak prey isolated to make easy work of their hunt. Satan loves to get us off on our own where we can be easily discouraged and our hope can be destroyed. Only God can be trusted with our provision, protection and problems. Some of this he does through his design for interdependence, as described in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12:
“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.”
Patricia Hartman, CPA is the owner of Patricia Hartman, CPA, PA, a forensic and tax accounting practice, where she has worked with hundreds of divorcing clients. She is the author of “The Christian Prenuptial Agreement” available at www.ChristianPrenuptial.com. She is the president of South Florida Word Weavers and a board member Living Water Christian Counseling.