When triad life comes easy
Poly discussion sites can make this life look damn hard. There's jealousy to analyze and master, insecurities to dredge up and dissect on a brightly lit table, agreements to negotiate, NRE craziness to manage, Non-Violent Communication to learn, Google Calendar to install.... It can sound like pursuing a PhD in self-improvement. For many people it is.
Showing up less often on poly-community sites are the naturals: people who just take to group relationships like fish to water. They seem born to it, and/or have lucked into the right partners. They don't seek much community support, often barely know a poly community exists, or perhaps even (until recently) know the word.
John Shore, a prolific gay religious book author ("America's preeminent non-douchey Christian" says Dan Savage), today interviews such a woman on his popular Huffington Post site. She is living in a polyfi triad home with a passel of their combined kids, where they hide out pretty comfortably in a deeply conservative Christian backwater of the South.
Sometimes It Takes Three to Tango
Could you give us a quick definition of what "polyamorous" is/means?
...Honestly, the term "polyamorous" wasn't on our radar when we fell in love. It was later that we discovered there was a term for what we were. If we need a term, we consider ourselves "polyfidelitous," which is what polys call those who love more than one person in a long-term, faithful kind of way.
Some people consider themselves polyamorous because they believe they need and/or want to be in multiple relationships at any given time. This is not a good description of us. We all feel we could be satisfied with just one person. It's just that we fell in love with two, pretty much all at the same time... and we discovered (through lots of open and honest communication!) that we were all not just OK with it, but that it was something we wanted.
Truthfully, we don't think of ourselves as polyamorous. We just think of ourselves as us.
...How long have you guys been together?
We have been dear friends for a very long time, with children who grew up as babies together.... I was a (divorced) single mother, and they were a happily married couple.... She had been my best friend for years, and we've always been closer than sisters. People used to always comment on how close we were, but we never realized that could be sexual, too. Both of us were raised to not even be aware that was a possibility.
Long story short, the three of us began doing more and more things together and it just... worked really well. We got along incredibly, the three of us, and at some point, my best friend realized she had feelings for me. She was the one who began the conversation about, "What if?"...
We all felt very excited when we realized that we were in love and that we all wanted the same thing (a long-term, committed relationship as a three). And then there was a lot of open and honest communication, of course. There has to be with any successful couple, and so with three people, even more so....
Every step forward just felt so right on so many different levels, and doors kept opening up right and left. There were numerous points where we would look at each other and say, "It's so weird, but if I was still a fundamentalist Christian, I would say that God is blessing us..."
We took very small and careful steps forward, hesitantly, every inch of the way being shocked at how nice, how perfect, how healthy, how "just right" it always felt. Our fears about each next step were always replaced by fearfully taking it and then finding it delightful....
Do you all live together?
Yep. Wouldn't have it any other way.... Two years this spring.
What's the sexual deal? Are each of you bisexual? Do you all sleep in the same bed?
He is not bisexual. I suppose that both of the women are. Well, honestly, I don't even know if we are. I just know that I love her. And she loves me. And being intimate feels like it makes sense, given the depth of our feelings for each other. We had been incredibly close friends for years, prior, and it never seemed close enough. Now, it feels just right.
We all sleep together every night. The person in the middle gets seriously snuggled on. It's fun.
Sexually, we have learned a lot about how three people can have an amazingly wonderful experience that feels like making love for everyone. We occasionally joke about the bestselling book we will write about how to have amazing threesomes one day. It was delightful to learn that you can have that feeling of being "one" with three. You totally can. That was one of the things we worried about at first -- what would we do about sex? Now, my mind automatically assumes that making love takes three.... We are sexual as couples, too, just not as often....
...I love my two partners. I love our life together. I love our big, happy home. But I do not love the fact that I live in a community that would rather me live as a struggling single mom to four children than to have the support of two adults who love me dearly as a life partner. The fact that my community would believe wholeheartedly that my sexual relationship with my abusive ex-husband was righteous but that my sexual relationship with two committed life partners (if they knew about it) is unrighteous, just seems so hypocritical....
Do you know any other polyamorous, or polyfidelitous, relationship units? (I guess "couples" isn't the right word, is it?) But do you know any others like yourselves?
No. I'm sure they are out there, but we don't know of any personally. That's OK. Honestly, I don't think this would work for very many people. The reason it does for us is that we are just the right three people for each other. It's hard enough to find just the right one person for yourself, much less two! When I think about my relationship as a three, I mostly just feel incredibly lucky, like God is smiling at us. I get to be loved by two best friends and lovers. I get to love two amazing people back (and they really are amazing). I get to love a whole house-full of children. It just feels like so much goodness. When I come home from work and pull into our drive, I smile. I love us!...
What do you want people to know about people like you, and relationships like yours?
That we are normal, solid citizens. That we are professionals that you work with at the office. That we are the teacher in your child's classroom, the person who delivers your mail, the doctor who looks at your injury. That we are the mom at the soccer games. That we are the dad at the geography bee. That we are the people with the really huge cart of groceries ahead of you in the supermarket line. That we grew up in conservative Christian America and certainly never imagined that we would do something like this. That we certainly weren't looking for something outside of the norm, but that love found us, and we were willing to step outside of the norm to meet it....
Read the whole interview (Feb. 25, 2012).
My girlfriend Mischa calls these "in the wild" polys. The people who just sort of come to polyamory very naturally.
I actually started out as one and didn't know the world "polyamory" when I got into my first poly relationship, but I dove headfirst into the poly community once I learned there was one.
It's a really beautiful story of love. :)
Ours is a triad very like this -- except that we are all heterosexual. We've always said that we didn't go looking for poly, but that poly was the answer when we found each other. We don't find many others like us either, and honestly, I think this kind of poly scares a lot of more casual and loosely linked poly formations... I'm not sure why, but that is the sense I get. Nice to "meet" someone else who shares the triad life.
Yup, we're out there too. Everything finally *worked* in our life when we became three. 15 years married and 5 years as a triad and counting. Life is good.
Yup, we're out there too. Everything finally *worked* in our life when we became three. 15 years married and 5 years as a triad and counting. Life is good.
Another member of a naturally occurring triad here -- thank you for speaking and being interviewed. We also live in the South, and it's hard sometimes to fit in. I feel the same way - how lucky am I to have the love, support, and kindness of two people.
Triad here as well. We just celebrated our one year anniversary. FFM with one child, one dog, two cats and two birds. We're in Texas. It's nice to know there are folks out there with a similar style of relationship as ours. Haven't been able to find that even in our local Poly community, so it's verr encouraging to read about it and see the comments.
We're a happy polyfidelitous triad in Texas. We have a son together who is about to turn one. One of our favorite pastimes is listing what movies would have been better with a poly ending :). All of our families know & the reactions have been prett y much the same, "we love you all, but we'd never wish this for you." Most of our friends know, so being social is not difficult. Life is good :). I still consider myself Christian. Self-sacrificing, covenental love between consenting adults is not sinful. Some of the most hurtful words come from other polys. Recently my partner came out to a colleague of hers because he had identified himself and his girlfriend as polyamorous. They were the "primary" and their gf was "secondary". He told my wife (in every way that matters) that she was kidding herself & that my husband and I were lying to her. That she was "just" our secondary. It was so hurtful. I love her as deeply as i love my husband of ten years. We all just fit together & this is the sweetest time of our lives. So good to hear we aren't alone.
I and my partners are in a similar triad. Every thing comes so natural it is almost scary. We share sexual moments when we can but as we haven't been able to combine households yet, there isn't a bed big enough for us all to sleep together.
My hubby and I had one poly relationship before this but the communication was terrible and it wasn't the even exchange of love and affection that we have now (and knew we wanted then).
Within two weeks of our third approaching us about a relationship (as we have been openly poly to our friends), everything just clicked into place. I keep waiting for missteps and bad communication to rain on our parade but everything has just flowed thus far. In fact, I find it is easier to be a three than it is for hubby and I to be a pair.
I love my partners and getting to be a secondary parent to her little girl. I even love the "brother" I picked up in the relationship with my third (her gay roommate/ live-in nanny). This is what I feel life is supposed to be for us.
We are a polyfidelitous triad too. FFM Seven kids, Met second female when pregnant. Three and half years later her husband asked for a divorce. She moved in with us and we have been a closed triad for three years now. Families don't have a clue. Most just think we helped a friend and we have combined resources to make a family unit work. I stay home with kids husband and second female both work.
This interview/post and all the comments resonate deeply for me. I’m a female with a husband and a wife. My husband has two wives. My wife has a wife and a husband. We are an interactive polyfidelitous triad, and have no need or desire to “rock the boat” with any changes or additions. We are happily in love with one other, and will remain together until we die and our organs are given for transplantation and our bodies are donated to science. We have had legal documents drawn up and we retained an attorney to act as our executor and estate administrator to make certain that our intentions are carried out exactly as we expressed. None of us have any fear. This is our life, and it is exactly what we want. May you ALL be as blessed/lucky! Namaste.
(FYI – We will be in our 60s soon, and have grandchildren. This lifestyle is not “just” for the young LOL.)
I am new to the polyamorous lifestyle. I met my partners FM, who have been together for 9 years, through an online craft group and as i am openly bisexual they jumped on the opportunity for a threesome. What none of us counted on was that we would all fall in love.
We have since combined our families and moved in together and later this year I am having my male partners baby.
Life isn't always easy but I wouldn't want things any other way. I love them both with all my heart and soul.
Would anyone have advice to someone just on the outskirts of this adventure? I am the best friend of the male in the relationship and the wife and I are very close friends but we are not sexually attracted to one another. I am the divorced one with the 2 kids and my best friend and I talk about getting a house all together. We are all always together with and without my kids and it always feels so right. He and I have not cheated on her but we have such a huge attraction. How to break the ice?
I feel so inspired by this post and the comments in it! I have a girlfriend and a boyfriend and we have plans of getting married and having children in a couple years. We always thought we were weird and reading about other people like us just makes me feel like we aren't alone. We are 20,22, and 23 y/o and we are ridiculously happy with how our life is playing out and with each other and our triad relationship. I am so happy to learn that others like us are too :)
My wife had a lesbian girlfriend before we got engaged. After we got married, they barely talked for 9 years, but I stayed in contact with my wife's gf. Recently, I got them back together and we are thinking of beginning a triad. This is something I would have never imagined just a couple months ago. The gf has not yet moved in, but she has a room my wife and her share.
The biggest problem do far is that I've had some trouble sharing my wife (the three of us have yet to be together, just waiting until the right time). Basically I'm dealing with jealously that my wife is with someone else (even though me and her gf are close) and the gf is lesbian who is in a relationship with a guy.
So while we have had some struggles during the first two months, I have to say that I'm excited about it. I'm glad to have found out about others who are in this type of relationship, especially Christians as that had been one of my major internal conflicts.
While it is scary at times, I am looking forward to seeing where this relationship with my wife and her gf goes.
I'm in a polyfi triad that came about naturally as well. My husband and I had 2 kids before we met our girlfriend. Our boys are all of our boys now. They call her Mama and me Mom. Our girlfriend is currently pregnant as well. We're out to everyone that we know and for the most part have been overwhelmed with happiness and support for us! It's amazing.
I love showing people that we are still a "normal" family and we still do things like go fishing, go to SeaWorld, out to eat, to parks, etc. My husband is a project manager and our girlfriend works in special education and I'm a SAHM. Our poly family works so well as we each have our roles in the household. Life is good :)
It's great seeing how many other poly families are out there. Much love to all!
Poly Fi Triad here too. My wife and I have been married 25 years, and we've been with our partner for 2 years. My wife and I have 2 daughters, 18 and 16 who are onboard with the relationship. It's been amazing and I'm so glad a found a place with others in the same situation. Love does work in 3s. I'm still on active duty with the military, so we have to hide our relationship for another 6 months. I look forward to hearing from others.
It's awesome to hear from all of you! FFM triad here, living in Texas. I'd say our live/love is not easy but it's worth it. The main stressors have actually been external. My ex sued us for custody sued me for full custody of the children I had with her last year and cited our relationship as a primary reason. The courts listened (in ignorance). We're getting through it though, TOGETHER.
Like most I'd think we don't hide our relationship, we just don't have a sign in our front yard about it. In fact, anyone paying attention would noticed that we each have a 3 piece tattoo on our wrists that match, lol. They're not identical, it's a 3 puzzle-piece heart and we each have a different piece colored in. When you put them together it's whole. Kinda cute.
Anyhow, thanks everyone and we wish you all the best!
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