British newspaper The guardian beat me to publish the introductory article about poliamory I had been researching for a while now – and it beat me in style, with a really great piece I urge you to read to learn about the biggest elephant in the room.
In fact, you will learn a lot about adult relationships in general, starting with the basic fact that monogamy is just abhorrent from an ethological standpoint. Statistics and vox pops keep repeating the same thing: the real issue is not whether monogamy is dead, but whether the best course of action between spouses is to openly discuss their side relationships or keep them a secret.
Yes, just about everyone lusts also after someone different from their official partner. The difference lies in how they act upon this: most people go for a secret affair, some just brush it off and keep their steadfast commitment, while other pragmatically acknowledge it with their significant other. Hence swingers (“we occasionally meet other couples and have sex with them”) and polyamorists (“we openly maintain parallel steady relationships”) – which embody two different schools of thought and ethic.
The question is obvious: do these lifestyles actually work towards a happy marriage?
Researchers say they do – provided that every involved party fully accepts the arrangement and everyone freely and sincerely communicates with the others. Which isn’t as easy as it sounds, but after all nor is maintaining marital bliss in an ongoing relationship.
The problem generally lies in the fairytale myth that your chosen partner should provide you with everything you may ever need: security, love, support, sex, companionship and much more. This is all very nice and warm, but it just doesn’t correspond to how humans work, especially on the sexual side. As a matter of fact nobody had such delusions before the eighteenth century, when the current notion of adult relationship began to took hold. And just as weirdly, the concept that sex should be the main indicator of the health of any relation is even more recent and odd.
The field of alternative relationships is wide, complex and more than a little unsettling at first, so I am actually very happy that the Guardian did the dirty work for me. Again: read it and enjoy. Then you are very welcome to come back here for comments, and to read future articles on this interesting topic.