We’ve seen Sister Wives and Big Love. That type of multiple wives relationship is called polygamy. And while I couldn’t do it, the thought of a Sister Wife is tempting. I would hope my husband could score a Sister Wife that loves putting away the laundry, having sex with him on the weekdays, and pulling the weeds.
Polyamory is another multiple partner lifestyle, with a slight twist. In this relationship, you have multiple relationships with multiple partners and everyone agrees that it is okay. There isn’t one husband with many wives. There would be, for example, one husband with a wife and a girlfriend. And a wife with a girlfriend. And a girlfriend with a boyfriend.
I thought so as well, until I spoke to Brenda. Brenda (of Portland, Oregon) is married Tom. Tom has a girlfriend named Sarah. And Sarah has a boyfriend named Scott. And Brenda is dating Chad.
Brenda and Tom have two children.
If I were to draw this out, it would look something like this:
Of course I had a lot of questions for Brenda.
Brenda, I would be so jealous. How does this work without everyone losing their minds?
Tom and I had a strong foundation before we explored the world of polyamory. Jealousy typically comes from the fear that your partner will leave you. We know we will always be together. So we work through it. Do I have a problem with him receiving pleasure from another woman? No. And I know he and Sarah are connected on a much deeper level. They are friends and lovers, and I’m okay with that. I can share and so can he.
Yeah, but he’s sleeping with her, and you’re sleeping with Chad. You don’t care even a little bit? He doesn’t care even a little bit?
No. We’ve been with our partners for some time now. I’ve been with Tom for 15 years, he’s been with Sarah for 6, and I’ve been with Chad for 4. I think a common misconception is that we’re having an open marriage with many, many partners. That isn’t the case. If I felt the need for another boyfriend, I would be welcome to bring someone in, but it would be something we discussed and agreed upon first.
Okay, I’m having a hard time wrapping my brain around this. What about the kids? Do they understand what’s going on?
Yes and no. They are ten and twelve-years-old. They think we have sleep overs at our friend’s house, just like they have sleep over’s. And they think we have a very close knit group of friends. Once they’re old enough to understand, we’ll share with them the lifestyle.
But I don’t think they’ll be shocked or think it’s weird. We never claim to be with just each other like most married couples. And our partners help with the kids as much as they can. After all, it takes a village!
Why did you choose this lifestyle to being with?
We didn’t want to get bored. And it was heading that way. We needed some sexual variety, another friend to share life with, and someone to share our own interests with. We were losing ourselves in our relationship, and it wasn’t going well. It was get a divorce or test the waters (which we were both doing anyway). Once we discussed everything in an open an honest way, we saw that we were both fine with it. We set up some parameters, and we found an online community for guidance. Tom and I love each other more than we ever have today.
So… I’m sort of embarrassed to ask… but is this just one big orgy? You don’t have to answer this.
Hahaha! I’m glad you asked! Yes, that can happen. But that can happen in any relationship, can’t it? At least here, it happens without jealousy and regrets.
That being said, it’s not a common practice of ours. I like keeping these relationships separate. Chad and I love to golf and watch movies. Tom and I love to travel. I have my own interests with each of these men. And dates typically end with a one-on-one bedroom encounter.
Is this similar swinging?
No. Swinging occurs when you swap partners with another couple. Sarah (Tom’s girlfriend) has a boyfriend. I have never been with her boyfriend, nor would I want to.
Okay, I still can’t believe that there’s not jealousy.
Jealousy does rear it’s ugly head from time to time. But we talk and talk until it’s resolved. And Tom and I both understand that if either of us wants to stop this lifestyle at anytime, we can, and the other will have to fine with it. It’s one of those, “it was fun while it lasted” type of things.
What do you think main-stream society thinks of this type of relationship?
Oh, I’m sure they think it’s sick, and that we’re a bunch of sex-crazed people. But the truth of the matter is, none of us believe that one person was designed to be your soul mate. If you are committed to a small group of people, and everyone loves and respects each other, what’s the problem?
So what do you think? Do you think it’s possible to be committed to more than one person at a time?