Polyamory can be tricky
Q: I’d like to present an option to cheating: polyamory — having more than one romantic relationship with the full knowledge of all involved.
I’ve been married for ten years to a wonderful woman. We have two kids and have been polyamorous for five years.
The idea that one person can fill all the needs of another is one that I find ludicrous.
My wife had wants and needs that I can’t and don’t want to fulfill. She gets those needs fulfilled by her boyfriend. I get some things from my girlfriend that my wife can’t or is unwilling to provide. Everyone’s happy!
— Happy Solution
A: I believe that you’re happy. And it may well be that your wife, her boyfriend, and your girlfriend are all happy too.
You didn’t ask for advice, but you clearly seek a reaction.
To me, polyamory requires even more skill than a one-couple relationship. Since this type tries to “fulfill” more people and juggle them time-wise (an arrangement that may work for awhile but can be affected by changing circumstances).
Its clear advantage against “cheating” is that no one needs to sneak around.
And yet there are still some familiar relationship risks.
One of you could find there’s greater satisfaction from the added lover than from the spouse, and not need the work and bother of maintaining two relationships or more.
Also, not everyone’s emotionally suited to this level of inclusive intimacy and acceptance.
Nevertheless, it’s your choice and nobody’s business if there’s mutual agreement with your partner(s).
There are enough people who identify as polyamorous that an estimated 500,000 such relationships existed in the U.S. as of July, 2009 (in a then-total population of 306.8 million), according to Newsweek Magazine online, referenced in Wikipedia.
The umbrella term “polyamorous relationships” covers a variety of different arrangements.
Example: Some who promote polyamory have written to me that firm “rules” must be set, to keep boundaries intact within the spousal agreement, e.g. no falling in love with others, and never having sex with them in the matrimonial bed.
I’m sure many readers will have an opinion on all of this.