A quad does us mighty proud in a tab
The only off note is that it appears in the Daily Mirror, one of the UK's notorious tabs (though a pro-Labour one; over there, not every lowbrow tab promotes the interests of the 1%).
My husband’s in love with another woman – and it's the best thing ever
The Quad, Raymond, Alex, Jason and Carson, pose for a photo
By Sophie Evans
...Carson, who uses a pseudonym, is part of The Quad – a polyamorous foursome made up of herself, her husband Raymond, her boyfriend Jason and Jason's partner of 12 years and fiancé, Alex.
She doesn’t bat an eyelid as her spouse, Raymond, goes on ‘date nights’ with his lover, Alex, every week and even encouraged him to get a girlfriend. Likewise Raymond recently wished his wife "happy first anniversary" with her boyfriend.
While Raymond and Alex have been dating for 15 months, Carson and Jason are in their own relationship – and have been for nearly a year and a half.
But despite their happy pairings, Carson, who grew up in a "religiously conservative family", and Raymond are still blissfully married with a 13-year-old son, who has had to explain to his friends what his parents' polyamorous relationship means.
Meanwhile, Alex and Jason remain engaged.
...Remarkably, each member of The Quad is close to all of the others – including their partner's lover (whom they call their ‘meta’, short for ‘metamour’).
...They have left waiters bemused with their displays of affection in restaurants, while others have been startled to hear them gushing about their ‘meta’.
Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, Alex said: “There are a multitude of situations that come up in polyamory that include an amusing take or funny twist simply because of their nature.
“There are also a lot of things said that you'd just never hear anywhere else or in any other circumstances. It's funny.”
...In fact, the group’s ties are so deep that Raymond once received some advice from Jason about where to place a ‘love bite’ on Carson.
He also tweeted on the couple’s one-year anniversary in April, writing: “Happy first anniversary to my wife and her boyfriend. #polyamory.”
...“Though we all like to cuddle, we almost always sleep in two separate beds because cramming four people into one bed doesn't typically make for a good night's sleep.”
...Over time, the separate pairings have acquired their own nicknames.
These include The Otters (short for ‘Significant Otters, developed from the phrase ‘Significant Others’) and The Owls (an acronym for ‘Our Wonderful Lovers’).
Jason, who is Raymond’s ‘meta’, added: “Each relationship really has its own identity from another.
“On occasion, Carson and I will spend a separate weekend evening together while Alex and Raymond will do the same.
“When we are all together as The Quad, most times, we act very much like a close family. At dinner, we take turns making it and the others do the dishes.
"We are support for one another. We are love.”
(The article reprints many of their tweets)
...Jason added: “Sex has never really been an issue, actually. In fact, when the sex has proven to be challenging is when our love, compassion, tenderness, pampering, and care for each other have been the most rewarding.
“Simple things, such as cuddling, are actually just as satisfying as sex can be.”
The Quad began after Carson became interested in polyamory and the deep "feeling of community and acceptance" that it appeared to offer....
But it’s not always fun.
One tweet reads: “Sometime being #poly means getting whiplash from the emotional rollercoaster. So thankful for the support system that keeps me buckled in.”
...Carson agreed about the impact on her son. She said: “I do think our polyamorous lifestyle has had a positive effect on him because it affords him more role models and access to a wider variety of world perspectives.
“He has more close-knit people who love him, that he can learn from, and that he can turn to if he needs extra support with something.
“He has said that Jason and Alex are like ‘second parents’ to him.”
And that sidebar:
The Quad’s advice to people considering polyamory
Carson: “Read everything you can on the subject. Check out MoreThanTwo.com, get their book, and read it twice. I would also recommend working to develop solid introspection, empathy, and communication skills. It’s important (for both you and your prospective partners) to make sure your relationship is solid before you start adding the layers of complexity that polyamory brings with it.”
Raymond: “Take your time and talk a LOT. Also, check you motivations. If your current relationship isn't fulfilling, don't expect a second one to make up for it. Polyamory is a rewarding lifestyle, but it's also incredibly difficult. It involves more communication, more time management, and more WORK than you would ever imagine going into it. I think most people have been in that situation of becoming interested in someone while in a relationship with someone else. At that point, most people see three possible choices: Reject the new love interest, leave your current partner, or cheat. Polyamory offers an alternative. It's a hard conversation, especially in a relationship that's been monogamous, but, as our experience has shown, not impossible, and may be well worth having."
Alex: “Go slow. Push the envelope, but gently. Be brutally honest with yourself and your partner(s) AT ALL TIMES. It's tough to own your own stuff, but it's absolutely necessary if you're serious about polyamory and not just playing.”
Jason: “If you find yourself being more inclined to be polyamorous be prepared, more than anything, as in any successful relationship really, to always communicate...communicate often, then clarify, and repeat. Also, as a bonus, learn your partner’s love languages. Knowing what they have as needs in how they communicate their love can help your communication abilities and provide a greater love in your relationships.”
Remarks Mar1ini in the comments,
I've known Alex and Jason for eight years. I've known Raymond and Carson--through them--for about a year now. They couldn't be happier, and I have an objective perspective on the affect this has had on Alex and Jason. I've been to functions with the Quad, and it really is amazing to watch them interact and flow.
Here's the whole article, with lots of pix (September 23, 2016). The quad was as surprised as anyone by the article popping up today. "We had no idea!" they tweet. "We spoke with a reporter several months ago, but didn't think anything would come of it. 😊" They add, "BUT, I wish we had spent more time talking about the difficulties. Not everything is rosey all the time. Jealousy is a real issue, & it doesn't go away just because you're #polyamorous. If anything it gets harder."1
The article ends with a form you can fill out to tell about your own "unconventional relationship" and, if you want, upload pix. So, it looks like this story is going to be part of a series. Wanna go for it?
1. I find it gets easier. In situations where I'm not socially expected to be jealous, it's easy for me to be my normal compersive self. Especially because I know I can talk a problem out with all concerned if I need to.