You do realize that I wrote this OP for you, right? Why do you imagine that you know more than me about something that is a major part of my life that you only know about from the outside? Besides being literally one of the definitions of Mansplaining, it’s just laughable. The fact that you asked if cheated counted just goes to show how little you actually know about this subject. The fact that you assumed we all lived together communally is another indication of how little you actually know about polyamory.

How old are you? Most people who are openly poly are Millenials. Us middle-aged folks have to keep it to ourselves to prevent being subjected to the judgemental opinions of people like you. And just because you don’t know something has no bearing on how true it is. There are several Medium publications dedicated to poly life and I know of many, many people who are living happy and fulfilling poly existences.

One of my male partners is married, my other male partner has a live-in girlfriend, my female partner is divorced and has no interest in ever again being in a situation where a man thinks he can tell her what to do. If they ever decide that this just isn’t working, it won’t be because the structure is bad. The structure is ideal — we all get stability but also variety; an abundance of love, friendship, connection, and sex. For those of us who have committed relationships, it adds to them.

“Polyamory is an expansive outlook on love and sexual attachment, meaning that there is no assumption that one connection takes anything away from the others. In fact, it’s typically the opposite, where the increased levels of communication and honesty help partners to feel closer to each other even as they expand their attachments to include other people.”

This is what everyone in healthy poly relationships has to say, and if they aren’t healthy, it’s because someone is bringing too much monogamy mindset to the table. Poly is about being responsible for your self and your own emotions, being honest and communicating openly about what you want and need, treating partners like individuals rather than someone who owes you something and expressing love and affection in a variety of ways, including through sex.

We have the relationships that we have co-created together. They work great because we are the ones who decide what the components are, how often we talk or see each other, how these relationships fit in with the rest of our lives. You are trying to overlay monogamy mindset overtop of a relationship system that is entirely different.

I’ve been with Nat (who is married) for nearly 5 years. We’ve been with Tamara for close to 3 years, and we just met Lane less than a year ago, but all of these relationships are going strong and making us all very happy.

I understand that this rattles your patriarchal notions about relationships, but polyamory is a world apart from that. And how does it affect you anyway — oh, right…. it doesn’t!

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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