Polyamorous literature is full of touching stories of how opening a marriage rekindled a deep and abiding love between the original couple and deepen their relationship.
You think I’m gonna sneer, ain’tcha?
Nope. I’m not. I think many of those stories are quite true and are wonderful tales to tell. I do want to point out a serious problem with these stories. People mistakenly think that opening the relationship was the solution rather than a side effect to other things that couple probably did before opening the relationship.
Plenty of poly people have been guilty of this one. I’ve seen it once or twice among people who were very proud of their emotional maturity, too.
But if you’re bored, if things are tepid between you and your mate, if you’re feeling stifled…
Adding more people is not magically going to help your original relationship.
Oh, polyamory may be the way to go, it really might. But you want to settle the issues between yourself and your mate first! If you don’t want to do it for yourselves, dear Lord, at least think of the people you’ll be getting involved with! Presumably you’re thinking that if you open your relationship you might actually love the people you’re getting involved with. Do you want to drop them in the middle of an unpleasant mess?
Worse, are you really okay with using a person as a band-aid for your original relationship? (I’ll pay you the compliment of assuming not).
So, how’s those communication skills? How are you guys connecting? Do you feel okay with being vulnerable with your mate?
If things are a little blah between you, and you’re willing to do this work first, yes yes yes, you’re going to find a wonderful re-connection and rekindling. It won’t be polyamory that did it, though, but a mutual willingness to open up, communicate and be vulnerable.
And yes, that’ll help the poly part, too.
Just, make sure you get these things in the right order!
5 thoughts on “Relationship Broken, Add More People”
I agree completely. We did both, in *almost* the right order. We talked first about wanting to do something different/more exciting; then we read and talked and went to discussion groups about poly for a couple of years; then we jumped into poly (uh oh); and *then* we found sanity in the form of HAI (Human Awareness Institute workshops); then we continued poly and have survived – phew!
> How are you guys connecting? Do you
> feel okay with being vulnerable with
> your mate?
A rule that’s recently gotten stuck in my mind is, “If you’re afraid to say it, that means you need to say it.” (This from Marcia Baczynski, co-creator of the Cuddle Party (TM) and active in the NYC poly scene.)
I guess this goes with, “Life rewards those who move in the direction of greatest courage.” (From Franklin.)
Possible future column suggestion, this is….
I could not agree more. So many people accuse me of being in a failed primary relationship and cite that as the cause of my “needing” a secondary one. What people who don’t know us fail to understand is that we had to be extra strong and extra ready and so on in order for us to “successfully” be polyamorous. When people ask me how to begin to open their relationship the first thing I say is, “Very carefully.” The second thing I say is, “With more communication than you ever imagined humanly possible.”
And I love those quotes Alan M.!
Author of “Open: Love, Sex, and Life in a Open Marriage”
>>> It won’t be polyamory that did it, though, but a mutual willingness to open up, communicate and be vulnerable.>>>
Seems like the same thing to me. If you don’t discover polyamory, then you won’t open up, and you will still be closed in monogamy.
Not in the least, Jonathan!
You don’t think monogamous people ever decide for other reasons to work on their relationships and improve their communication.
Perhaps this is part of the disconnect. While polyamory is my own personal preference as a relationship form, I do not for one second believe that ANY particular relationship form is an “ideal” one — except in the sense of what works for the person.