Cheers Sexy People,
My friend (whom I met through this blog, and lives on the other side of the world) is a polyamorous woman who is recently divorced, and currently has two lovers. She also had recently started working at a job at the time that she wrote me her questions (a few months ago). Here are her two questions:
“I’ve visited poly forums where some of them are talking about longevity of poly relationships. They are saying it’s very common that poly relationships only last for five years. One of them mentioned monogamous marriages now last about seven years. This has surprised me very much. Why five years? I’m planning to have my poly relationships with my two lovers for all of my life.
So it is normal that poly relationship last only about five years?”
The way I view it, the length of time a polyamorous relationship lasts can vary widely just as it can with a monogamous relationship. The length of a relationship can depend on the circumstances of each of the unique individuals whom are the participants, on their respective maturity levels, on the geography of how closely they live to one another, on whether or not they have children together to help potentially “bond” them together, and the list goes on. But again, the same can be said for monogamous relationships. One could argue that monogamous relationships might last longer due to the long-lasting tradition of trying to stay together “for the children” or in an effort to avoid the heartache, headache and cost of getting divorced, if they are married. Also one could argue that polyamorous relationships are more difficult to maintain since they are more complicated and not as well accepted into our society at large.
Speaking for me personally, I have been in a relationship with my husband since June of 2003, so almost twelve years. For the first two years, we were exclusive to each other. But for the last decade or so, we have had an open marriage to a certain extent, today identifying as polyamorous. My husband has a girlfriend that he has been in an ongoing relationship with for over five years now. Though their relationship dynamic has changed somewhat since she has gotten married and had a child, they still very much love each other and are affectionate with each other, thus still in a relationship. He has another close friend / girlfriend who moved to Texas, so due to proximity, they are at this point, just good friends. As for me, I have been in a relationship with my live-in boyfriend since September of 2010, so over four years now. We ALMOST broke up once, when he was considering “going monogamous” with a woman, but that did not work out. And in the end, I think he and I are closer for having gone through that difficult, tumultuous period. He has had two relatively serious relationships with other women while he and I were dating. One lasted about nine months, the other just under a year. Both of those women were not fully poly-friendly and did not truly respect or understand his relationship with me – this at least factored into those relationships not ultimately working out.
How about you folks, my other readers? What thoughts do you have about the longevity of polyamorous relationships? Feel free to speak from your own experience or philosophically. Thanks in advance for “helping a sister out” with your feedback!
Now to her second question:
“Why do monogamous people hate polyamory and polyamorous people?”
She goes on to describe her co-workers at her new job discussing in a hateful manner people who have multiple relationships. They said that women who engage in such relationships are “only for sex” and are essentially “prostitutes”, taking financial benefits in some form or another from the men. They spoke in a disrespectful tone towards women. She also went on to say that she found an American blogger who was speaking out against polyamory (among other things that he hated as well).
I thought this was very profound and well-stated by my friend:
“Monogamous people want to convert us to monogamy. Sometimes they use religion and sometimes law. They want to force. This is why in my country, we are a secretive community. It’s us who should hate them. But we don’t hate them. We respect their choice. We also don’t want to convert monogamous people to our lifestyle. I don’t understand the reason behind the hate.”
Very inspiring words. I too was in my former office working with colleagues when the word “swinger” came up. Several of my office mates started talking about the “dirty, filthy swingers” talking in a hateful way and in a “how could they do such a thing” way. I too kept my mouth shut, and frankly eventually quit that job, as I wanted to embrace my own authenticity more, and it was just time to move on. At the time, I thought that they also didn’t understand the concept of ethical non-monogamy and polyamory vs. swingers. Even though I don’t personally have an issue with those who swing (which means more recreational and hopefully safe sex with less focus on relationship bonding), it seems the word “swingers” definitely seems to get some people’s (usually monogamous) panties in a bunch, and not in a fun way. One of my friends thinks that the “haters” are partly acting out of jealousy, as they wish they could “have their cake and eat it too” but feel that is both impossible, as well as morally wrong. I believe that though jealousy might be a factor, what’s more likely is that the “haters” are also just acting out of ignorance – a lack of understanding and empathy for how other people choose to live.
I appreciate you for sharing this post. Just as it was (and still is) with the LGBT community, it will take more people like you – with the courage to “come out” – telling their story and showing people that a different lifestyle doesn’t mean an immoral lifestyle. Especially not if you live it openly, honestly, and with the best intentions for those that you love and care about. I wish nothing but happiness for you and those you love!
What a lovely comment, and sentiment, from what might even be a monogamous person, and certainly an open-minded person. I spotted this beautiful video of a “coming out” story on YouShare as well from a young man named Michael. It is worth the time to watch such an honest and open young mind in his efforts to connect with and help others.
For further reading, here is a great article sent to me about “How To Deal With Highly Negative People”. It’s a great read, and a good one to keep handy as we all deal with the “haters” in our various walks of life, as well as “toxic” people:
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)