Making Love & Losing Friends – Biases Against Polyamory

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Bias Against PolyamoryI don't understand why some people react so violently towards polyamory (or consensual non-monogamy). We aren't asking them to live the same way we live, and we are happy and we aren't hurting anybody. What's the big deal?

We're fortunate enough to have only lost one couple who we were friends with, due to our personal choice to practice polyamory. The guy in that couple, we'll call him Mickey, was my husband's friend first, as a lot of our friends often are (I am not a social creature). Mickey, his girlfriend (Minnie, to keep with the theme), and Ark and I used to see each other at least once a week. We had a regular weekly “game night” and then we'd often go out and do other things together, like prowl around downtown at night or make runs to Krispy Kreme for hot doughnuts. We were “couple friends” and, because we had such a good friendship with them, we came out to them first.

It went well, or so we thought. Mickey had a lot of questions, but Minnie didn't talk about it much at all. They'd both already heard me talking about Kitten a lot, since I was around them often enough, so they at least had an idea about who she was. However, because they were such good friends, they also saw Ark at his worst of times.

Mickey became an instigator. He would say to Ark things like, “You need to put a stop to that. She's just taking advantage of you because you're a nice guy. She's going to leave you for that other woman.” It didn't help matters at all, on either side. Ark didn't want to tell me to just quit, because he could see how happy I was, being able to live the way I was—in love with two people. He also didn't want to continue with an open marriage because he was truly worried I would leave him. He had doubts that he was good enough for me and wondered what he was failing to do that would cause me to look elsewhere for a relationship.

It's very hard to explain to someone that you still love them just as much as you ever did, and that you will never love them any less, even if you love someone else at the same time. Ark needed friends who supported his choice, and even if Mickey thought he was doing “the right thing” by trying to plant the seeds of doubt in Ark's head, he was not being a good friend to us as a couple. This was a choice we agreed upon together, and the issues we had were things we were working with each other to overcome.

I really don't understand how people can think that they have any right to step into another person's relationship and decide what is best for that couple. As I realized with time that Mickey was no longer texting, asking to hook up to go do something or even keeping up with the regularly scheduled get-togethers, I sent him a text message asking him what was up.

Actually, I said, “What's the matter, don't like me anymore cause I have a girlfriend? ”

Which, to me, was playful and appropriate, but it was also what I feared. His response was lengthy and yes, it was true, they'd decided not to be friends with us anymore because we were no longer the model couple that they thought we'd been all along. Never mind that we're the same people, and we're open and honest with each other and we're doing what we feel is right for us as a couple. They didn't like that I had a girlfriend (at the time, Ark didn't have one). Mickey said, “I do miss you guys. We can still hang out. But not until you break it off with her.”

Deciding that my relationship with Kitten was not worth breaking off just because someone else felt it was inappropriate, I just stopped texting Mickey. I figured that if someone was going to be bigoted enough to “unfriend” us just because we were choosing to open our relationship, then that person wasn't worthy of being our friend.

The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth. But as time's gone by, and as my close friends and select relatives have discovered our relationship, the general consensus has been “Are you guys happy?” And we say, yes, we are happy. “Then as long as you're doing what makes you happy and your relationship's okay, you can do whatever you want.”

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mad culinary scientist. curious voyeur. aimless wanderer. geek, nerd, procrastinator. panromantic polyamorous pagan. bdsm switch. refuses to adhere to any of your silly preconceptions.

2 Comments

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    I cannot understand why so many people think that because they live monogamously, everyone else should conform to that standard. Is it because they feel threatened? Insecure? Does polyamory reveal areas of trouble in their relationships? Are they jealous that they cannot love more than one at a time? All of the above? It sickens me.

    People who want to force others to live according to their own personal standards rather than adjust their own attitudes to be open, supportive, and accepting of differences are simply intolerant and narrow-minded bigots who have no place in a progressive, compassionate society.

    /rant

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