Recently, I read a post regarding Muslim women in Britain that are willing and volunteering to “share” their husbands. More specifically, becoming a second or third wife. Reading this article, inspired me to share my own experience in a poly, or multi-partner, relationship.
For those that are unaware, polyamory, polygamy, bigamy, and polygyny are all similar, but do not mean the same thing. Polyamory means “Many loves”, whereas polygamy means “many wives.” Bigamy and Polygyny both relate to polygamy and not necessarily polyamory.
Polyamory, many loves, without marriage, is a lifestyle that I have experience with.
In the article, those that were interviewed were asked a series of questions, in particular, the benefits and detriments of being in a multi-party relationship.
Primarily, one of the biggest obstacles to overcome in such a relationship is learning how to cope with outsiders that do not agree with your lifestyle choices. Unless you are one of those people that truly and genuinely do not care at all about what others think about you and your actions, it is something that does come into play. I hear on a regular basis: Oh, he doesn’t treat you right. or He doesn’t really care about you. I disagree on both counts. Not once in the years that I have been a participant, both as a secondary and a primary partner, have I ever felt mistreated, or as though I was not cared about or for.
I realized I was polyamorous, or more specifically biamorous when I found myself in an intimate relationship with both a man and a woman simultaneously. I discovered that I had the capacity, and ability to love both parties very deeply and sincerely, and the way the schedules worked, I was able to spend a fair and equal amount of my time with both people. Having this experience alone was an integral part of my “survival” in the poly world. All parties involved were content and satisfied and at that time, it was “the best thing ever!”
However, when I progressed into a serious relationship with my male partner, I found the problems began to escalate. He was also polyamorous, and indulged the need to be with multiple women on a regular basis. Prior to our relationship becoming “serious”, I did not notice the amount of time that was spent on other people.
And… this leads into the largest obstacle in a multi-partner relationship: jealousy.
Now, had I been raised with the understanding that one person cannot be everything to another, this may not be such an obstacle, but as it may seem, I was not. I was raised with “traditional” values, that intimacy is only to be between two people for the entirety of the relationship. As a woman, I am supposed to be completely satisfied with everything I am given, and I am to be everything the man needs.
This is an unrealistic expectation. Humans are not built like bricks, they are built like puzzle pieces. We don’t match up with every other person perfectly, we fall into awkward spaces, that in the end fit together.
As a man, my partner has different needs than I do. He has a need for sexual and mental variety, which is something that, as one person, I will not be able to provide. Logically, this should not be an emotional conflict, but because emotions usually do not coincide with logic, it is. I often find myself feeling “less than worthy” because I am unable to meet every need of my partner. On most occasions, I am filled with jealousy because I see the other women as “better”, whether that be beauty, intelligence, life experience, or any combination thereof.
There are several ways to cope with jealousy. I have found that talking about the jealousy helps, but an even more successful topic, is to make sure that when he is out of the house with another partner, I am too. This prevents me from sitting home, obsessing over what he might be doing with the other person.
But, aside from the jealousy factor, and occasionally, finding myself without a date, a multi-partner relationship fits my circumstances well.
I am convinced that the time that my partner and I spend away from each other, makes us fonder of one another, and has a significant impact on our lack of disagreements. “Personal space,” helps eliminate the frustrations that arise from being in close proximity to one another all the time. Multiple partners gives us the much needed ‘alone time’ that many couples neglect.
The greatest benefits of a multi-partner relationship? I am not forced to attend events I don’t want to go to ;). As the primary partner, I have first choice, but I also have the freedom of saying no, knowing full well, that he will have someone else to go with. It leads to fewer, (notice I said fewer, not ‘it eliminates’) sacrifices that I have to make, which in turn leads to a more satisfying relationship.
All in all, I can assume that there are benefits to both a traditional and nontraditional relationship, but I wouldn’t trade.
Here is the original article : –>http://www.newstatesman.com/lifestyle/religion/2013/04/what-kind-woman-willing-share-her-husband