Amores múltiples: poly in Spain (and new book)
Juliette Siegfried and her triad in Barcelona, who are very much out as poly spokespeople, appear in a newspaper article in their hometown. Here is the original article in Spanish (June 20, 2008). Below is Juliette's translation.
Note the reference to the book that came out last month, which is said to be the first in Spanish on polyamory. Can somebody review it?
by Anna Lladó, ADN
Photo: Roland Combes, Juliette Siegfried and Laurel Avery, in the apartment of the first two, last Monday.
"I can't understand how you could love two women at the same time and not go crazy," said el bolero. Polyamory, an emotional concept that means maintaining more than one loving relationship at a time, has an answer to this dilemma. And for it, you have to have total trust with your partner(s) and leave jealousy behind.
Juliette Siegfried, for example, feels absolutely no jealousy when her husband Roland Combes goes out to dinner or the movies or to bed with Laurel Avery, his girlfriend of a year. "When he comes back to me he loves me just as much as ever, and with Laurel each day we're better and better friends," says Juliette. "To overcome jealousy you have to have a lot of communication, and tell everything to your partner," adds her husband. Within polyamory the term compersión has been created, which means the happiness caused by knowing your partner is happy with someone else.
Juliette, Roland and Laurel, the women from the US and he English, have all just passed 40 and are now looking for an apartment together in Barcelona. They chose polyamory while fleeing from the "hypocrisy" they say is in monogamous relationships: "It's more acceptable to cheat than to be sincere," they lament.
"Polyamory offers transparency in the couple, which reduces the stress that can cause cheating," says psychologist Yves-Alexandre Thalmann, author of The Virtues of Polyamory [Las virtudes del poliamor: La magia de los amores múltiples, Plataforma, May 2008], the first book on the topic in Spanish.
The limit on the number of people who you can love at one time is determined by "the time you have to give and how demanding your partners are," says Roland. Thalmann compares it with maternal love or friendship, which don't have quantity limits.
Don't confuse polyamory with casual sex with other people. "Don't even think that it has to do with looking outside for what you don't have at home," insists the French author. The pool of people that are interested in polyamory is very limited.
Often, the most difficult thing is managing these relationships day to day. "We have two bedrooms, and Laurel and I take turns sleeping with Roland, without a strict schedule," explains Juliette, who brings her boyfriends home with no problem. When her husband is with her, Laurel doesn't call; when he is with Laurel, Juliette doesn't bother them.
Roland assures us that when he is with one of his two women, he only thinks about her. His family and friends are growing to understand their unusual relationship little by little. If they end up having children with Laurel, as they would like to, things will get more complicated.