Cosmo's "Polyamory Diaries:" an update
Remember the trainwreck of a couple at the start of Cosmopolitan UK's "Polyamory Diaries" series? As I wrote last January from Winter Poly Wonderland in West Virginia,
"Jack" chronicles the true story of him and his wife "Lucy" opening their marriage after she demanded it. This is supposed to save the marriage. She demanded that he date also, against his wishes, because it's "enlightened." Ugly dynamics are moving in the background, room elephants loom unspoken, and the crazy grows. Those poor people!
I expected the series to end real quick. Well Jack and Lucy stuck it out, the series is now in Month 9, and they've settled into their open marriage thing well enough now that "Jack" (now using the byline Paisley Gilmore) is writing more about their common problems with the outside world than with each other:
Polyamory Diaries 9: “I’m finding that sometimes poly really is best kept secret”
By Paisley Gilmour
Following my wife Lucy’s* brief foray into S&M with a guy called James* (now, mercifully, not on the scene), the news that she’s found someone else comes as something of a relief.
It’s not that I don’t feel jealous when my wife tells me she’s going on a date – I do. But it’s not quite the gnawing green-eyed monster of old. It’s more of a fleeting feeling that is quite easy to dismiss as useless and destructive. On the plus side, I have a girlfriend and there’s nothing (apart from time and money) to stop me going on other dates. My life feels more exciting, fuller, and my marriage less pressurised, less strained… and, yes, happier.
For all polyamory’s unconventionality, it’s starting to become a way of life. And by virtue of that, sometimes it just feels normal. Having spent a lifetime listening to pop songs that tell stories of monogamous love and heartbreak, now when one particularly lovelorn singer comes on the radio, I just can’t relate to them any more.
Can it really be healthy to pin so much of one’s happiness on just one other person? Is monogamy really just an outdated social construct? A con? The fact that I have a happy wife, children and girlfriend doesn’t feel like it should be a crime, when everything is mutual, honest and agreed in advance.
But just as I start to feel comfortable, my bubble is burst, and I’m reminded that polyamory is most definitely not an accepted, mainstream way of life.
It happened when I attempted to introduce an old friend to my girlfriend, Nell,* who I’ve been seeing for nearly eight months. He knows about mine and Lucy’s set-up, and has previously been keen to meet Nell, but he lives out of town and, when the subject of [us visiting him and] sleeping arrangements come up, he says he’ll have to check with his wife. There’s an ominous silence for a few days, before I’m told there is a complete ban on me bringing any of my girlfriends to stay the night at their place.
Two weeks later, the same thing happens to Lucy. A different friend who lives in London and, over the years, has repeatedly offered his spare room to us flatly refuses to let Lucy stay with her new boyfriend, Max.* “I don’t know if I’m ready for that,” he tells her, ending the conversation.
...Before we were married, neither Lucy nor I were ever told we couldn’t bring a new lover to a friends’ house to spend the night, no matter how passionate and sex-filled that relationship might have been.
Instead, it seems it’s polyamory our friends don’t like. Whether they feel their own monogamous relationships are threatened by it; they disapprove of the “breakdown” of our marriage; or if it’s for other reasons we don’t understand, it’s impossible to say. But it does seem like a pattern is emerging, and both Lucy and I feel the sting of rejection from our mutual friends keenly.
...I’m finding that sometimes poly really is best kept secret.
How about finding better friends?! What he's not finding, and still seems too blockheaded to know he needs to find, is poly community. You need community.
Read the original (September 2018).
Labels: open marriage