I appreciated hearing your story and am glad that you figured out what was best for you and your relationship. My experience with something at least a little bit similar is entirely different. It was in polyamory that my husband and I found are truest, best selves as individuals and where our relationship as a couple truly bloomed — although it was already very good before that.
Maybe the reason that we had such a positive experience is that we were in a deeply connected and sexually adventurous place in our 20+ year relationship when we opened up for the purposes of continuing to enhance that. It doesn’t mean that there weren’t any bumps along the way, because there certainly were, but mostly that was a by-product of deprogramming ourselves from societal demands and expectations. Eventually we learned how to stop living by other people’s rules and to truly co-create a relationship that works for us (and the other people that we are involved with).
The Healing Power of Sexual Liberty
How public nudity and multiple partners gave me back to myself
“Starting to be sexually involved with women and with more than one other person at a time further disrupted old notions of the ingrained roles of coupling. Delving deeper into polyamory (which is about more than just sex) has brought so much growth to us individuals and as a couple. It’s forced us to talk about things that most couples never discuss and to get clearer about what our wants and needs are, as well as our boundaries. Instead of simply doing what we’ve been told by society, we have had to discover what works for us and to create our own roadmaps. This has taken a fair amount of intention and work, particularly when I found myself deeply in love with another man, but ultimately it has taken us on a journey to have healthier, less possessive, less co-dependent relationships, with each other and with other people.”
You get to live life your way, but your headline is a bit chauvinistic, I have to say. Some people have great monogamous relationships, but a lot of people don’t. It’s a relationship paradigm that has some built in hierarchy and quite often things like possessiveness are considered right and natural.
We’ve been non-monogamous for about 5 years after being monogamously married for more than 20. As someone who has been on both sides of that fence, my take on the situation is that monogamy fosters jealousy. You have one shot at a mate and no-one else better come into your territory. And society feeds the idea that jealousy is a healthy part of love. One woman told me that she thought the opposite of jealousy was indifference. I’ve got to tell you that I am no longer jealous about anyone my husband loves or fucks. And I am also definitely not indifferent to him. I still adore him; I still want him; I still crave his attention and love. And none of that is diminished by whom else he fucks or loves. Plenty of eggs; plenty of baskets.
Not all polyamorous people are doing their personal work, but a lot of them are. Ethical non-monogamy is a lifestyle that encourages honesty, integrity, self-responsibility, and good communication. It encourages working on yourself and your relationships more fully than monogamy does — at least as a relationship system. Results amongst humans may vary.
As Joe Duncan says, “One of the most interesting aspects, for me, of living a long-term polyamorous relationship, one which fosters multiple deep, caring, loving, emotional connections with multiple people, is that there is always an additional set of eyes watching; this curbs the power struggle in my experiences with poly.”
My Polyamory Doesn’t Invalidate Your Monogamy
How Different Relationships Styles Work for Different People
I’ve found polyamory to be incredibly healing and personally empowering. I’ve learned a lot about myself and have deepened my relationship with my husband, as well as learned to share my life with other people too, and it’s brought me a lot of pleasure and joy. Absolutely, do what works for you, but realize that the people involved are more of what’s at issue than the relationship systems themselves and that polyamory can be very egalitarian, healthy, and satisfying.