A polyamorous life…some thoughts.

Polyamorous life may not be to everyone’s liking, and indeed offends almost every formal religion. And that’s not altogether by accident.

This blog arises from an exchange of comments regarding a blog I wrote some time ago about my marriage, and how my partner and I have tried to work through my fundamental polyamorous beliefs and nature, and to deal with and recognise her fundamental monogamous values and nature.

I appreciate your feedback to my blog which is couched as a question, but by which you really mean as a statement of your convictions and societal beliefs.

First of all, polyamorous relationships may or may not be “open marriages” and in fact most people in poly marriages prefer to de-emphasize sexual aspects of poly life in favour of the “loving” aspects.

Polyamory means loving more

Polyamory means loving more than one person at a time but doesn’t automatically include sex. True, if often does, but the ideology of multiple relationships rests more on a person’s right to engage in intimate personal relationships outside of a formal hierarchical structure. In some respects it’s the social and familiar extension of the ideas of the Libertarian philosophy, which postulates that the free will of an individual is the highest freedom. Anything that impinges on individual freedom and the personal right to control her/her own life is contrary to this philosophy, and that includes the traditional marriage customs of almost all religions and legal systems.

“Free love” is the lowest expression of the idea of polyamory, included but hardly the point of it for most of us. Many in this community are part of the LGBTQIA community as well, with certain blurring of the lines of gender identity and sexuality as well. It also includes BDSM and other types of experimental behaviour for many followers. What Polyamory shares with this community is a conviction of many that they are “born this way” rather than this being a “choice” which is what was believed to be true about homosexuality and transgender issues until very recently.

Almost all of the women I know in this community contend that polyamory is the fundamental nature of women, only controlled and managed by organized religions and public policy. Men in this community are often less certain that it is so, I think, because they feel enormous guilt about their inability to exist in traditional relationships without “cheating” and being outlaws of a sort.

But Polyamory is also not necessarily kink.

A kinky person may be polyamorous or a traditionalist believing in the one man/one woman type of marriage. But he/she may also be extremely interested in maintaining their own independence of thought and action, regardless of choices made as to their sexual partners or co-parents of their children.

I respect that your concerns have more to do with maintaining a stable, loving home, both for the benefit of children having two parents in the home, as well as for the husband and wife, who can have the comfort of maintaining lifelong stable relationships.

However, families such as you describe are rapidly vanishing in contemporary society, and seldom, in history, were seldom more than a minority of the population. Single parent homes now out number two parent homes in many communities, especially in millennial families.

Families may be stronger in polyamorous relationships.

Recent social trends and statistics suggest that polyamorous relationships are on the rise, radically so. On a recent CBC TV special recently it is now believed by certain social scientists that more children have multiple parents (ie: more than two) than are being raised in two parent families.

There is strong historical precedence for this. If you take the issue of sexual fidelity out of the question, and simply look at the number of children raised in homes with only one adult or two parents in the historical past, the number was small.

Families often included the two parents, at least one grandparent, often a couple of aunts or uncles, and siblings of the partner. Even today, in Vancouver’s East Asian families, there are many many homes which house as many as twenty five people at once, including the children. The same is true of many families from China, where the one child rule pushed people together to collectively raise children for their welfare.

The nuclear family is inherently unstable, even in the best examples of western values. Do you have any idea of the number of these traditional families who break up over and over again, reforming into new arrangements and new parenting partners? It can scarcely be better for kids to go through repeated divorces and remarriages than to live in long term polyamorous families with multiple parents in constant attendance. My poly friends mostly have a number of children, and their children are raised in the wider family community.

Traditional marriage is a financial disaster for most, even for those it works for emotionally.

One last point. The nuclear family, and its necessary companion, the single parent family, are financially a disaster for most people. The addition of more than two people to help share the load makes all the difference in the quality of everybody’s lives, including the children. When there are multiple people earning incomes it is much easier to be able to afford a home, feed the family, have nice cars, and afford family vacations together every year.

So don’t be quite so quick to judge. Those quirky people who live in these weird situations may have it much, much better than you realise.

30 thoughts on “A polyamorous life…some thoughts.

  1. I love that you’re opening the forum for debate about this. I enjoy the concept and enthusiastically agree it makes sense but have found it much more difficult when relationships and people are actually involved. I think it’s also crucial to note that dysfunction can exist in any environment. I’m hesitant to agree that the nuclear family is inherently unstable because it’s a ‘nuclear family’. It may have been that way for some… and I would know, I grew up in one. What makes any environment loving, may not always be because of the way it is structured, but the people in it.

    For the more financial viability aspect of polyamorous structures… that’s a really beautiful point: access to community and shared resources. But I also would consider… that the traditional structure of families, could equally, become more community oriented… without needing to change entirely, their approach to relationships.

    Just a thought. 🙏🏼

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Yeah see your point. Poly household can work out very well. I have household it seems to work out well, but there seems to inherent problem with it. More people more problems, and there plenty times where we just don’t see eye to eye. One more thing privacy is just not there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • There certainly are challenges as well as opportunities, but as in all things in life, that seems to be the way of the world. Personally I find that it is easier when I don’t have to depend on a single person for all of my emotional and other needs and wants. Ironically, there may actually be more privacy in a polyamorous home because of the deliberateness of how we establish our boundaries, and ensure a degree of fairness in sharing our lives together.
      It is altogether normal that we don’t always all see eye to eye on some things, but it a measure of our emotional maturity and commitment to our relationships that we make extraordinary efforts to find compromises that work for everyone involved.
      At the end of the day, it is not Utopia, it is still us plain old human beings, and to make it as good as it can be requires clarity of purpose, and a willingness to listen intently to each other.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I would be curious to know if those living in this life choice would not feel mentally exhausted to a point, having to split parts of you to share with others, plural beings. I can be overwhelmed sharing space with one partner.

    This is not a life choice for me as I’m content in monogamy however, I am quite open and not easily offended by others choices. I say if it makes you happy without hurting another, enjoy. Life is too damn short not to live in your joy.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Many people are too squareheaded and think it is the end of the world outside of it, Im sure most thought the worst in their heads by just reading “polyamorous”.
    Also Im certain some want partners like pets, they can only afford one so the “traditional family” gives them a chance for that. Cant do that so easily if there is more people involved, it breaks the monopoly.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. A highly interesting point of view and I can certainly agree with most, if not all, of it, especially your last comment on this thread. I married very late in life. I was 55. By that age, I had been in many relationships but none where one person depended on the other for anything. I never ‘lived’ with another person for more than a weekend. But finally, I meant someone who wanted me for just me and I wanted her for just her. We share our lives in a constructive way. By that I mean we help each other because we love each other for what we are, not for what either of us would like the other person to be. Thank you for posting your beliefs.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I wonder whether the use of prostitutes by man men (and some women) might, in part at least be explained by a desire to live a polyamorous lifestyle, whilst their partner would not embrace such a way of living, hence the use of sex workers to vary the monotony of one sexual partner. Of course there are many other reasons why a person may use a sex worker/escort (for example not being in a relationship and desiring a sexual release), but perhaps some people do use prostitutes as a way of experiencing polyamorous relationships. Best, Kevin

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So many things sound good in theory. Once we plug actual humans into them, the flaws show up. My thought is that our purpose in an evolving world is to learn to actually love, as opposed to fulfilling wants that we consider needs.. I see marriage as the best, most challenging, but potentially fulfilling school for learning to love. I was married for one month short of sixty years. We were total opposites in personality, so we certainly did not get all our “wants” met. It was touch and go sometimes, but as imperfect people in an unfinished world we did evolve. And as the high maintenance one in our marriage, being my husband’s caregiver in extreme for a long time before his death brought me more joy and love than I had ever experienced. No way to adequately describe or explain the change except receiving the grace to grow into a loving rather than a needing person. Getting all your needs met by multiple partner though sounding appealing, doesn’t seem to me a way to accomplish that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • My grandmother and grandfather were married for more than sixty years as well, and she also played the role of caretaker for him, for all those many years. She stayed at home and raised the family, bringing up my mother and her brother.

      It would have been impossible to know them without also knowing that they deeply loved each other, and can’t imagine either of them without the other. After he passed away, her life seemed to wither away as well, and she died shortly after he did.

      The main advantage of polyamory is NOT having multiple partners, but it is in being free to live your life as you choose without order on your life being imposed from without.

      They were truly happy in their monogamous life, and more power to those who can achieve this level of happiness in a marriage.

      What is unfortunate is that there are relatively few marriages that measure up to this quality of life, and even fewer people who find their entire emotional and romantic fulfillment with one, and only one, partner.


      • Happiness is not only the absence of unhappiness, but also an affirmation of a kind of state of grace, which encompasses all the good and bad in life, but as a kind of continuing sense of gratitude. Happiness is not necessarily always being a happy person, but is rather the presence of a profound sense of joy in life itself, for good and ill alike.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Donald, It is rare to find someone that writes freely on the “polyamourous” life. I know many women that are very upset by this idea. But it is very presidential: look at Bill Clinton, a very sexy guy who loves music and obviously flirtation.
    Here are my thoughts. Evolution has resulted in a high flirtation and sexual interest in males, and in some females, that may have slightly different goals. For many people, the “poly” life is really very important and for others it is frightening. It is sad, that there are many who would like to participate, but just are not all that attractive (some of these folks are very angry).
    I enjoyed your blog a lot. I could write much more on the subject, but…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Pingback: A polyamorous life…some thoughts – Poetic Justice

  10. Certainly thought-provoking. First though, thank you for the follow, which I gladly reciprocate. I guess the issue stimulating religious opposition and social ostracism in the past was control of disease. The thread binding morality and STD might be less relatable these days, although moral censure is still an issue: so many angles to this, one could write a book about it – and several thousands have, I believe. Very interesting – again, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I came as a result of your deciding to follow me. Thank you. I found your post fascinating and the comments by others as well. I imagine I am a monogamous person. I was married once many years ago. However, I’m not sure that polyamory or monogamy is for me. I was in my early 30’s when I got married and I have been single now almost 20 years since my divorce. I enjoy not sharing a space. I don’t believe individuals should be dependent on one another for happiness.(I see that co-dependency in many relationships.) Rather they should enjoy each other’s company and delight in the successes of each other and lend support in those times of disappointment. I find a certain amount of joy and and satisfaction in sharing thoughts, ideas even or especially when there is not total agreement. I have learned much from listening and little from speaking. I am a better person by myself than I was with another or would be with others. I think part of that is because after engaging in activity with one or more individuals, I am able to retreat to my space and get re-energized. Is it lonesome sometimes, yes but not so lonesome that I desire to share my space. My best to you and all those who share your view as well as those who were able to find a loving relationship with just one person..

    Liked by 1 person

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