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

November 4, 2013

"Moving In with Polyamorists"


Ruth Fowler, a British novelist and screenwriter living in southern California, tells the tale of when a poly group took her and her husband in from the street, and they saw poly culture up close.

Moving in with polyamorists

By Ruth Fowler

We were newly married when we came to live in their home — and realized how badly we were failing at love

Bevan Von Weichardt via Shutterstock/Salon
Three things happened the year we lost our love. We got married, we went bankrupt and we moved into a house with a polyamorous family.

...It would be easy to blame the cracks in a monogamous relationship on proximity to friends committed to loving more than one person. But just as gay marriage probably isn’t the reason for your divorce, polyamory wasn’t the reason for our problems. By then we’d been broke and bickering and living in a van for three months, the romanticism of our itinerant life frozen by a bitter Pacific winter....

We argued through Christmas and the van shuddered into the New Year, where it, like me, promptly collapsed. By February, at a loss about what to do, we moved the van into the backyard of our friends’ home. We became a newly married monogamous couple, living with a polyamorous family in their new home.

In the face of our distressed and suffering love, living with a family who had committed to loving more than one person was not challenging to our monogamy and commitment to each other; it was simply a depressing example that we were, both of us, malfunctioning beings incapable of any relationship that wasn’t incredibly painful.... Here we were, just two people, struggling to communicate and make it work, and yet we were living with a family of four who put daily, exhaustive effort into making their relationships with each other and their multiple other partners work....

So many misperceive polyamory as either “cheating” or free love — some strange kind of permissive, boundaryless no-man’s land.... In reality... it’s the polar opposite of “cheating” — it involves an incredible amount of introspection, self study and communication skills. And free love? Love is never free....

The man and I would watch and feel quietly ashamed that our efforts to communicate were shrill, giddy, high-pitched and panicked, that unlike the hours of calm, often emotional, discussion which our friends patiently devoted to their love, we tried to plaster over the cracks of our pain with mutually silent pleasure: the joy of eating sushi without resorting to crying, the achievement in watching a movie together without hurting the other, getting through an entire day without a personal Chernobyl....

Read on (Nov. 3, 2013).



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't like the article at all. Although the author did point out a few things that her poly friends were doing well, like communicating a lot with each other and talking about tough stuff, I finished the article and thought, "So, how did any of that help your relationship?" And then the ending, "And then, as the baby grew, my husband and I slowly fell back in love." Wha!? Um, yeah....that is not the best message to give people. Babies rarely help relationships that are already in trouble.

I think the overall article was bad, and I thought it made polyamorists look a bit self-righteous with the, "Allegra would question us deeply about our monogamy, curious as to how and why two people might only want to be with each other when it was so obviously painful for both of us. David would launch into a long and complicated evangelizing argument about why everyone should be poly, and why poly was the “better” way. Laura would yell at us to “challenge our monogamy!” whenever we became too couply."

I like when polyamory is discussed in the media and more exposure is totally good, especially when people talk about having friends/neighbors who are poly and "normal," but the article overall just wasn't good, in my opinion.

November 04, 2013 12:57 PM  
Anonymous OldPolyman said...

Not every poly family makes for good spokespeople, but I agree the article was wandering and not going any particular direction.
Bty, I lived in my van for 29 years, even while poly, it was and still is warm, comfortable and safe, but preparation is the key.

November 04, 2013 6:28 PM  
Blogger Byron Vutz said...

I agree that the author meandered around a bit telling her story, and that the family may not be presented as the ultimate in examples of poly. However we are only getting one side of the story. I would love to hear from the poly family on having this, at the time, dysfunctional mono couple living with them had on their own relationships. That may provide some insight on why they broke contact afterwards.

November 06, 2013 1:53 PM  

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