Polyamory in the News!
. . . by Alan M.

August 17, 2014

Is this story awful for polys, or exactly our point?

Your Tango

Here's one that some people will see as confirming the worst stereotypes about the danger of open relationships ("This never ends well." "Totally playing with fire." "Reeks of 1970s narcissism."). And others, if they read the full text to the end, may see it as exactly what can turn out great about what we're doing.

It just appeared in the popular online women's magazine Your Tango, "Your Best Love Life."

Asking For An Open Marriage Made Me A Better Wife And Mom

monogamy or polyamory?
By Emelie Archer Pickett

The wild calls to us like a far-off wolf pack and most of us have forgotten how to answer.

We are scared of the dark forests, of our own depressions and ecstasies, of anyplace untamed and free … and yet we ache for freedom....

After a decade of being saddled by picket fences, a fine marriage, taut physique, moderate career success, and an enviable collection of high-end shoes, my body and heart yearned for real unleashing.

Then, four years ago, I heard my desires howling.

Not knowing how to be wild, I headed to amazon.com for ideas in book form, eventually landing on a topic light years away from my good-girl tendencies: open marriage. Intrigued and intimacy starved, I followed my curiosity into what would become one of the most surprising experiences in my life.

After devouring books about polyamory, open relating, and primordial urges, I sat my husband down to have the talk....

He, also being slightly unsatisfied, eventually agreed to opening our relationship....

For a little while, the theory of openness played out like the books said it would: I felt immense gratitude and newfound attraction for my husband for trusting me enough to set me free, even as he struggled to make any connections beyond ours. One morning after waking from an encounter, I was absolutely flooded with emotion; not toward the man in my bed, but toward my own husband.

It seemed to be working. I looked like I had light beams pouring from my body. I was purified by my own discomfort, by the permission I gave myself to explore, by the ruthless honesty of terribly uncomfortable conversations I could no longer avoid.

And then, one day a few months later, this new wild life began to unravel.

It started with a profile photo from an online dating site that I joined as a joke.

His face appeared in my inbox and a lightning bolt shivered down my spine. I immediately knew I was in trouble.

I said yes anyway....


...So, I leapt, extracting myself as gracefully as possible from a marriage I never intended to leave.

...My tiger man moved to Peru, following a lifelong dream to live and work in the Amazonian jungle. I moved into a small artistic apartment and started rebuilding a life of my own. My practice husband lost his job, moved in with his dad, and we worked through how to lovingly co-parent our son amidst chaos and upheaval [yes there's a kid in this –Ed.].

...My Tiger and I eventually married (three times, just for good measure), laying down roots in a new home together after his stint in Peru.

We are expecting a child together. Big brother (and his dad) are genuinely excited for us.

...Together we have built a golden life out of the ashes of what came before.

My open marriage gifted me with so much: I learned how to tell the truth, to stand up for my hunger, to be brave. Those few precious months were the doorway to my forbidden life: the life I couldn't have dared to believe in....

Read the whole story (Aug. 15, 2014).

The very first commenter writes,

Soooooo grateful for the telling of your story, Emelie... for now I realize that I am not alone in what occurred in my own marriage. I entered into my marriage deeply in love and fully intending that it would last 'forever'. Yet as the years went on and our personal growth and changes occurred, along with extremely different parenting styles not known before we had children... we both began to recognize that a change was occurring that we could not control. We still loved each other as close friends... but what was apparent is that we were not compatible as lovers and life intimate partners any longer... and trying to force it was making us both miserable, which was spilling out onto our sons. Yet we didn't believe in the usual love/hate, married/divorce models. We didn't hate each other. We were close committed friends. We also didn't want to cause the psychological schisms in our kids' lives the divorces we saw happening around us did to theirs. So we sought another way.

For a time we chose to open our relationship. And then, over time we each chose new intimate partners... and continued to live on the same property in separate houses, gifting our sons, their friends, and our community with a new way of love and family in the world. One that doesn't pretend that love does not change when we grow. Or pretend that now the one we once loved, we now hate and thus take them for all we can. Our sons now in their 20s have thanked us repeatedly for choosing this way. And many in our community have come forward to tell how us deeply touched and inspired they are by experiencing a 'new way' of living family into a community that flourishes from a ground of love.

The "game-changer relationship" is a tough issue that Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert address head on in their book More Than Two. As they stress, you cannot wish this risk away or successfully rule it away. I don't know if they invented the term "game changer," but I'm seeing it enter the poly vocabulary even before the book's official publication date.


Labels: ,


Anonymous Eve said...

Franklin didn't invent the term "game-changer," of course, but I believe he was the first person to apply it to poly relationships, in this post from February 2010:


It's also the title of his forthcoming (2015) memoir.

August 17, 2014 1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just posted this comment on this article:

"I am in an open polyamorous relationship and I found this story appalling. This looks very like a woman who used an open marriage as a cover to shop for a new partner while still hanging onto the security of her existing relationship, until the new relationship was established enough so she could dump her "starter husband." That is NOT how openness/polyamory is supposed to work, and I really feel for the husband, who probably had no idea he was only going to be tolerated until hotter sex came along. And I wonder about her son with her first husband and what is happening with him. Did she move him to Peru too and take him away from his father? Or did she abandon him and now mothers him via Skype, at best? Good going, mom."

Further, I think people like the author give polyamory a bad name. The incredibly disrespectful way she refers to her first husband, who went into an open relationship in good faith believing she was committed to him, pretty much says it all. "Starter husband." I am just glad that she is monogamous now and not continuing to treat anyone else as disposable garbage (until, perhaps, she finds a hotter man than husband 2.)

August 18, 2014 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous above. This is nothing but shopping for a new partner. And the example of the couple opening and then moving into separate houses on the same property - That's not poly as its strongest supports would have you believe - its simply mature shared parenting after a marriage fails. None of this acknowledges the people who, as the commentor above states, are treated as disposable garbage along the way.

August 19, 2014 9:16 PM  
Blogger Natja's Natterings said...

regardless of whether her 'Poly' was a version of serial monogamy and I get that you are not happy with the way Polyamory is being treated in the article, is it really necessary to bring her parenting into it?

The majority now) of marriages end in divorce, some parents DO move, to accuse her of either taking him from his father or abandonment is a short stop on the moral finger pointing train line from 'Stay together for the sake of the children'. You don't know so do not assume you know.

I know enough Poly people who are so deep into discovering the joy of new dickandpussy that they only occasionally remember they HAVE kids so please don't play the moral superiority game.

It was presented wrong, but bringing up her kid in that way was low.

August 20, 2014 3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a starter husband to a woman who I was with for over 4 years.

I genuinely thought she was dedicated enough to me that we could see other people and that it was just a sex thing and that didn't bother me as long as she was happy and someone else's happyness didn't get in the way of ours.

Boy was that a joke.

I realize now I was just a toy to her and that I was only kept around as a good lay till she could find something else. I genuinely do not think now that I look back at it that our relationship would have lasted nearly as long if she didn't enjoy using me for sex, not that I particularly minded that but when your trying to build more then that with someone and they say they do too but then thats all tossed out the window for some new fling with new relationship energy a couple months after they're dating cuz hes "not comfortable with her seeing or talking to me"

Yeah your right, this gives poly people a bad name, its mainly due to people using poly as an excuse and how the poly community has this naive saying of "there is no wrong way to poly", prob some of the worst advise I was ever given in my entire life, by someone who was supposed to be "in the know"

With that being said I have had some minor luck with poly with other people, things like where we both knew that it would not last forever, like they had planned on leaving the country in a year and we both know that we can't do a long distance.

But when someone says "That never ends well" I must admit I have to agree, unless someones REALLY dedicated its an absolutely bad idea. If the person cannot properly communicate their feelings, issues or problems with things going on again your going to have a really really bad time with poly. With that being said, dispite the many mines to dodge and the red flags to watch out for, in theory it could work, the same as communism, but in most actual practices you don't see many places where it actually is put into action very well, like for example china.

August 23, 2014 3:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I know enough Poly people who are so deep into discovering the joy of new dickandpussy that they only occasionally remember they HAVE kids so please don't play the moral superiority game."

I cannot agree with this enough.

August 23, 2014 3:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It may give poly a bad name but lets be honest here theres obviously enough people out there trying to adopt just barely enough of this to make them feel good about doing things like this, but not enough that they have any morals about it or see the errors or any negativity in any of their actions. So this isn't like some rare minority case here, I personally know people who have been dismissed like this after their "dedicated open mate of many years" met some new fling with a silver smile, trying really hard, buying them things and taking them where ever they wanted to go, mix that with some new relationship energy and its hard for a lot of people to resist NOT leaving the one their with for someone else when they're constantly putting themselves in a situation where they may fall, with people who want them to fall so they're all theirs. If your tested enough times, maybe one day they finally do actually fall, as made clear by this womans post.

I'm really thankful for the anonymous nature of this site, I really was not looking forward to sharing my views on this publicly with the rest of the local poly community for fear of damnation due to my views and past negative experience being a "starter husband". Its more common then you think, we just try not to think about it since it can be quite bothersome on the mind.

August 23, 2014 3:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this not just supporting a disposable people culture?

I'm not poly myself but I'm over at a friend of mines who is poly and she showed me this. I know enough of these people over a long term time that I can see over the time how often people are see or viewed as disposable and the numbers are actually quite high.

When the above poster said "I know enough Poly people who are so deep into discovering the joy of new dickandpussy that they only occasionally remember"

I'd like to cut it before it talked about the kids, since I see people ignoring almost all aspects of their life, other relationships ect, for a new one that just cropped up, that may or may not be around once the new energy is gone.

So in that sense, isnt this just conditioning to dispose people if theres ever any issues?

"Well its not working perfectly or as flawlessly as this other new relationship I just started, better dispose and find someone" is the vibe I often hear. "it should just work without effort" is something I hear echo'd often as if its a mantra.

August 23, 2014 3:07 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home