Monday, January 24, 2011

Checking in on Polly

Polly continues to have a wonderfully insightful blog, giving us a look at what it is like to be a mother with two husbands and doing all of the things that she does in terms of running a household, education, and dealing with hostile family members.

She gets a lot of questions. She has some great advice for someone looking for a polyamorous partner. Go read the whole thing if you can, but here’s some of it…

1. Don't cheat. If you are with someone who cheats, it's probably time to change or end that relationship. (It's definitely not time to add a person to the relationship.) Therapy and/or breaking up are pretty much the only options here.

2. Figure out if you are poly *before* you start falling in love with lots of other people. It simplifies things immensely. You probably will have some failures before you have successes.

3. Look for other poly people to date, instead of trying to "convert" monogamous people. This also simplifies things immensely. People who have identified as poly for some time probably have already gone through the Fail stage, too.

And here's possibly the most important thing:

4. Polyamory is a lot of work, and people are real people, with individual characteristics that may surprise you.

Further along…

Ultimately, what I found about my poly relationship was that it wasn't about what Gabe was providing for me, or what Stuart was providing for me, either. It was also about what I could give these men, and what we share as partners. Nobody is perfect, and Gabe, Stuart and I are no exceptions. We are, however, perfect for each other, even in our imperfections. I am cradled and kept warm by these men. They nurture me and my children and each other and are providers and protectors and champions of my heart. They are so affectionate and respectful with each other, and truly partners for each other as well as for me. Seeing them embrace is in many ways more wonderful than having them embrace me. I am deeply grateful for every moment of every day that they deem to love me. And yet, somehow, Gabe (or Stuart) will so often take me into his arms and tell me he feels like the luckiest man in the world.

Beautiful. It is disgusting that someone would want to deny them their freedom to marry.

In this one, one of the things she talk about is dealing with mothers.

In talking with her own mother…

Anyway, mention of Gabe prompted a whole bunch of talk about how she believes marriage is sacred (so do I), that she thinks we are breaking our marriage bonds (not true, we just happen to have three people in ours, instead of two, and we're not looking for more people, thank you very much), and how would I feel if she had brought someone home when I was a kid (I said it would have depended on who she brought home - I didn't get into how it might have been nice to have someone who was more present and less depressed than Dad was most of the time, or more physically healthy than Mom was most of the time).

Further…

Then she said she worried that it wouldn't work out, and that we'd get hurt. I said that I'm a big girl, and that it *has* been working out for years now, that we are all happy, and we were all of the opinion that everything needs to remain stable for the kids, if nothing else. Then we changed the subject and talked about her poor health. I know my mother loves us, but she can be very frustrating.

If someone in your family is poly and their partners are being good to them, please respect them and their relationships.

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