Polyamory can be tricky

Cape Breton Post - - Obituaries/Advice/Games - El­lie Tesher Copy­right 2017: El­lie Tesher Dis­trib­uted by: Torstar Syndication Ser­vices

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.

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