I have spent some time considering the creation of this post. While a social networking friend seemed intrigued by the subject, my beloved L cautioned me with connecting personal and professional lives. After much careful thought, I am now laying all the cards on the table.
I am in a polyamorous triad. I'll explain what that means for those unfamiliar with this language.
Regular readers of this blog may have noticed I sometimes use the term "beloveds" in the plural rather than the singular.
I am in a loving, committed relationship with two women. I have two beloveds.
To provide a bit of discretion, I will refer to them as "L" and "A."
We do not try to hide our relationship, because to do so would be to suggest there is something wrong with loving more than one person at a time. I have three children and L has one child. We have discussed our relationship status openly with them. The children are young, so there is a different level of understanding for each of them dependent on age. We chose to explain our relationship to them in age appropriate language and we made clear that most people do not choose to live like this.
Although the conversation with our children took place a few months ago, I think they are still adjusting to the idea. My youngest daughter, in a very loud and public way communicated to a few people after soccer practice that "my dad has two girlfriends."
Our strategy with the children is to act like this relationship is not an oddity, and it is simply one way to do things.
This same daughter was telling a friend at school that she has three moms and two dads (my ex-wife and my two beloveds, me and L's ex-husband). While I thought this was wonderful (after all, as L reminded me recently, it takes a village to raise a child) my ex-wife frowned upon my daughter's understanding of the situation. She fears that we are confusing the children.
I have the utmost confidence that our children will grow up loved by many parental role models and will learn that there are many ways to do things in life. We are rooted in a place of love, honesty and open communication in our relationship. How can that be confusing?
We live in a state where same sex couples have the right to get married. Yet to some people, the idea of a poly relationship is nearly inconceivable. The church we attend, more specifically the Unitarian Universalist Society we attend is proud to perform marriage ceremonies for same sex couples. Yet L, A and I feel some bit of anxiety of being accepted even in our own spiritual community. Even so, I will not hide the nature of our relationship. I will not be ashamed for the deep love I feel for L and A, or the deep love the feel for me and each other. I will not apologize that our relationship configuration does not fit within the mold of societal norms. Yes, we have our relationship challenges, but who doesn't?
We entered into this relationship with many discussions, with love in our hearts and the consciousness of present moment awareness. We hold no secrets in our relationship and we talk about everything.
Maybe we are part of forming a new paradigm. We may never see full acceptance in our lifetime. Estimates a few years ago were that acceptance of poly relationships may be 20-30 years behind the acceptance of same sex relationships, and there is still a lot of resistance to same sex relationships.
Here in Iowa, the state Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage. Because of that fact, in the last election three Supreme Court justices were voted off the bench. A sad day for the civil rights of my gay and lesbian friends and a sad day for Iowa politics. I remember distinctly a candle of sorrow shared by a judge in our Society after the election. He explained that part of the oath a judge takes is to do their duty without fear. He became emotional when he talked about the judges removed from the bench because they fulfilled their oath and did their duty without fear, and they lost their jobs because of it.
Now there is a campaign to overturn that decision legalizing same sex marriage in Iowa. I have written letters to my local representatives asking them to uphold the decision. This truly is a civil rights issue. How can we, in good faith, say that some people have rights and some people do not? How can my family configuration ever be truly accepted?
I now pose a question that I presented to a grad class I took in Instructional Psychology: when is love wrong?
Someone pointed out when there was an adult involved with a minor...so I clarified, between consenting adults, when is love wrong?
This group of intelligent, vibrant grad students could not answer my question.
I believe (that between consenting adults) love is NEVER wrong.
I expect this post might generate some heated discussion. I welcome comments and questions as always, but at least now you know where I'm at...all the cards are on the table.