The very personal definition and everyday experience of Polyamory from our guest author, Vivian

I'm a woman who has been in a polyamorous relationship for five years. In other words, my partners and I embrace polyamory, we share love in a sexual and emotional sense with each other and with other partners and are completely open about it. We have four children and have chosen a primary/secondary relationship because our partners do not cohabit with us. However, they do share some of the responsibilities of child rearing and contribute financially to our household. We all consider ourselves part of one family. Our partners have no desire right now to change the way that the relationship works.

We all share household chores, doing what needs to be done whenever we see something that needs to be taken care of in the home. Both men and women cook, wash dishes, do laundry and clean the cars. We don't have a fixed schedule and this works well for us. We respect each other's boundaries when it comes to letting each other have personal time and are pretty good with sharing bathrooms, our cars and our other possessions.


Polyamory and our finances

I am a very disciplined person when it comes to finances, and prefer to save for a rainy day. We have found it better to set a monthly budget and stick to it. I do a lot of the work in pushing to make sure that this happens and sometimes it can be frustrating, but I think I would experience the same level of frustration even if I had just one partner.
The advantage of polyamory and of having more than one partner when it comes to finances is that there is more money coming into the budget. Our combined income is larger and what we spend is at a level where we have considerably more disposable income than we would if money was only coming from me and my children's father.

We have separate accounts set up for each partner but each person is responsible for specific bills. This works well for us because we sometimes change partners and everyone does not benefit equally all the time from every aspect of the household. Our other partners don't live with us for extended periods so they do not contribute to our mortgage. We also discuss our finances at the end of every month so that we all know where we stand with saving for goals such as the children's education.


Polyamory and raising our children

Many people wonder if having children and polyamory can mix. The answer is, yes it can. Being in a polyamorous relationship presents its own sets of challenges and advantages and those extend to relationships where one of the adults involved has children of their own. Most adults have a strong desire to be good parents and the same is true for people who have multiple partners.

We put our children first in our decisions and decided to be upfront with them about our multi-loving life once we felt that they were old enough. We did this after seeing a few of our friends walk around in fear of being discovered by their children or others in their neighbourhood while living a closeted lifestyle. We didn't want our kids to associate polyamory with shame.

We are active in a poly parenting support group that meets regularly to share ideas. Our children see the same level of affection between us and our partners as we show to each other, that is, we only show what is appropriate for them as children. We benefit by being able to share the burdens of parenting with other people who care just as much about our family as we do.

Our children benefit by knowing that they have responsible adults in their lives who care about them and are there to help them with any issues that they may have. If I am under pressure at work I know that my kids will be able to get help and attention from another caring adult whom they trust. There are more adults available to help with homework, pick up the kids from school and provide an income to help improve our standard of living.

It helps with discipline as well, since our children know that they have to answer to not just two but four adults who have high expectations of them and want the best for them. They also realise that they cannot manipulate us or turn any of us against each other.


Our sexual and emotional life

A close friend recently asked me how I was able to keep up with the sexual demands of having two partners. I replied that I wasn't really having all that much more sex, so it wasn't placing any stress on me physically. I still have to work and be involved in other areas of my life. We each have a healthy sex life and share emotional intimacy and I feel better as a woman, being able to share issues with both of my partners. It allows me to get different perspectives on an issue and different kinds of support. Polyamory, for me, allows me to lighten my emotional load a bit plus I get to share my love and care with more than one person.

(photo credits: ronmacphotos cc 2.0 license)




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