Many Loves….say what?

I must say that as a Black woman of a certain age, I was never a big fan of Lauren Hill’s music, she had a few songs I really dug but honestly I was more an Erykah Badu gal. That said I have always found Ms. Hill’s personal life far more fascinating as far as the choices she seems to have made. Yet it seems her personal life is what causes fans and former fans to scratch their heads and frankly I think it’s because the way Ms. Hill lives her life makes us uncomfortable because for many of us when it comes to sex and love…well, we are running around believing in happily ever after. Never mind the fact that for the vast majority of us there will never be a happily ever after with one singular love partner yet we continue to believe it will happen.

Ms. Hill has five kids with Rohan Marley and it appears from reports around the twitterverse and interwebz that she is expecting baby number 6. There is nothing wrong with having a big family if you have the means to handle it. But most folks are hung up on the fact that Rohan is legally married to another woman. Now considering that Ms. Hill is a huge ass star despite the fact she has been a bit reclusive in recent years it’s safe to say that Rohan’s wife obviously knows about Ms. Hill and however they have worked out their relationship it must be working for all since Ms. Hill keeps having Rohan’s babies.

Well, folks there are words for this type of relationship, granted since I don’t personally know Hill or Marley I have to speculate but it would appear to me that they are in some type of polyamorous relationship. Polyamory or poly for short means many loves; it can also be described as consensual, ethical, non-monogamy. Now I know most of y’all are going what the…. See, most of us practice monogamy, or at least that is our intent. Yet life happens, so often one relationship ends and we move on to the next one, in essence practicing serial monogamy. Swearing or planning that each time we will be with this person forever, yet in a time when half of all marriages end in divorce it’s safe to say that monogamy is hard to do for most of us.

Oh, we have the best of intentions in most cases, but life happens, people change and because of how we are conditioned from childhood on, we believe that it simply is not possible to love more than one person at a time. Never mind if you have more than one kid, you love them all, baby #2 or #3 doesn’t take away from the first one or two. Instead we find our heart has more than enough love to accommodate all our kids. Yet when it comes to our personal love relationships we feel the heart can only one at a time. For some folks that may be very true but for poly folks, they believe it’s possible to have multiple loves; they also seem to lack the desire to have ownership of their partners that is typical in most monogamous relationships. Let’s face it; we like to think of our partners as our man or our woman. If that is your man, then he can’t be her man, never mind that the rates of adultery in this country clearly show that the chances are high that our man or woman may at some point be another’s but as long as we don’t talk about it or acknowledge it, it somehow feels better than being upfront and intentional.

If you ask the average American their thoughts on polyamorous relationships, you will be met with raised eyebrows and folks saying “that’s crazy, that’s disgusting”…I know because I used to be one of those people. Mostly because I thought such people had to be depraved then again that was my own small mindedness coming through. Yet is it any better to end up in a situation where you are cheating on a partner rather than being upfront to your current partner about your feelings and intent and seeing if you can come up with a mutually agreeable solution that works for all? Oh, I know many will say if I ever feel that way I will get a divorce. Part of my evolving thoughts on this has to do with having seen a slew of friends leave fundamentally solid relationships and end up miserable. In one case a friend now wishes she had explored a poly way of being rather than breaking up her family and the ensuing tensions. Having gone through a divorce, I can say it’s a lot easier said than done.

Now I have one friend who had a long term affair before leaving her now ex partner and in the end while she is happily with the new man, the former partner makes for a rather unpleasant person to parent with…can’t say I blame him. If I learned I had been cheated on for years, there is not much you could ever say to me. Personally I would have preferred to have known, I admit my views are different and that’s fine. I will also say that not all extra relationships involve actually being sexually intimate. We are living in a time and day where emotional affairs are on the rise, as we spend more time at the office rather than home, we often see more of our workmates than life partners and sometimes feelings happen. How many people will honestly acknowledge those feelings for their suite-mate? In many cases never but the partner at home often senses something yet we deny our feelings instead engaging in an unintentional level of deceit that sometimes has grave consequences.

Back to Ms. Hill why are we so bothered when folks choose to love and live outside the prescribed box? In the end whether or not someone has 1-2 partners, does it really matter to us? It appears that polyamorous relationships are becoming more common according to this piece though most folks who practice these types of relationships, fear coming out and dealing with the reactions of others, so there are no true figures. As far as Ms. Hill, I say congrats on the new life and figure as long as she can take care of her babies what she does is none of my business.

11 thoughts on “Many Loves….say what?

  1. Interesting topic, and that most people skeet around. I have always been one acknowledge the possibility of more than one love at a time. In fact I have cousins who were born of the same father and two different mothers, in total the were 12 children from these unions, all around the same ages, most favoring their father. My great uncle loved one woman and got the other pregnant, married her, but always loved the first woman. He became established went to Arkansas and brought his love back, built them both house around the corner from each other. They knew of one another, the kids stayed at both homes and developed with siblings. I would love to report that the lived happily ever after…but not the case because as you have indicated many our society only recognize monogamy as opposed polyamorous. I remember my great-grandmother and her sisters (uncles mother) keeping this relationship on the hush! Like us kids couldn’t figure it out. Everything seemed to be going and my aunt seemed to that her husbaan

  2. Everything seemed to going ok and my aunt was ok with her second family until he died and hell broke loose. It turned that both women hated the other and they both felt betrayed, all those years. Sadly, the kids, of course sided with their mothers and to this day they don’t speak to one another. I should note that in the end my uncle validated the wife who became pregnant by leaving his estate..and nothing to the love of his life. Before he died another cousin interviewed him for the family reunion and family tree book and said on tape that his love was also his wife….what an uproar at the family reunion when my cousin listed both women as his wife. Both women cried hysterically and them and their kids left…my poor cousin was trying to be nice. Moral to this story as I see it is, first is it possible for all the loves to accept the other(s) and how do those involved increase the resiliency of the offspring from these relationships, to lessen the negative impact of societal scorn or family scorn. I know that I am capable of loving more than one man…I’ve been, it was tough. Now mind you, I am not a “hooker” didn’t have sex with both, just serious passion. Yet, innately I knew I could not commit to both men even if they agreed to the polyamorous relationship. For the past 21 years I have loved and committed to one. Funny you talk of social media, because out of the blue I googled the other love and found him, contacted him, and desired him. He responded the same as our younger years and even more impassioned, though he is married. For a few days my head swam. Yet this time I felt wrong, I even told my husband who pissed…he trusts my word and I told him that all contact would end he believed me…it did and for a while I felt really scandalous…and wrong. So do I still have, as the late Tina Marie would sing, “fire and desire” not really. Do I want to in love with more than one man, not really. All though I know Miss Hills business is not mine’s I wonder is he truly satisfied living a polyamorous relationship or how committed this man is to either woman.

  3. I think those types of situations are a lot more common that most realize yet because of the societal taboo we never talk about them. In the case of your uncle, it would have been better for all I am sure if both women and sets of kids could have been acknowledged publically/legally.

    By the way you are better than me, I can’t type on my iPad thus I rarely use it. Takes too long to type. 🙂

  4. this just makes me sad. like, those aren’t the only two choices, are they? i’m not judging anyone who can pull off a polyamorous life, but i just know i couldn’t do it.

    but my choices look bleak- life happens, you’re probably going to get divorced or being polyamorous. boo.

  5. I was never really a fan of Ms. Hill either. Not without the Fugees. I am more of Badu fan too. Twins! It so funny how it’s more acceptable to be a cheater than to openly acknowledge that you love to people at the same time. I don’t believe the hype and I don’t care. What I do is my business. Granted, I am never running for public office either.

  6. Growing up Muslim, I saw polygamy quite a bit as a child and into my teen years. I don’t need all the fingers of one hand to count the number of cases where it seemed to be working well, but then … there weren’t many two person marriages that worked well either. Any relationship is about as solid as the people involved are honest, respectful, and caring for each other. So-called monogamous folks don’t have it all figured out. If people spent as much time on their own relationships as they did judging other people’s we probably would be in a much better situation as a society!

  7. Well, you know how I feel about it. More and more I’m baffled by how people force feed themselves into monogamy and prefer dishonesty rather than openness and honesty.

    What I always come down to is this: Is it possible for me to love both of my daughters equally without taking away from the other? Does my love for one in any way lessen my love for the other? No way. It might change it, but there’s not a chance anything is diminished. Why people think it’s different for “romantic” love I just don’t understand.

    I haven’t been commenting, but I’ve been enjoying your posts, Ms. Maine. 🙂

  8. I completely agree with you. I think we as a society spend far too much time judging one another’s choices. And every single one of us is doing it from inside a glass house. I’ve been in an emotional affair. I’ve been dangerously close to accepting the role of “the other woman.” I am not proud of either of these things. If they have figured out a way in which everyone is getting satisfaction from the relationship congrats to them! That is more than most of us have been able to figure out.

  9. I can be for it as long as the woman can have the multiple men. All too often, it’s the men who get to have as many women as they want…and the women are left to share one man.
    How many men are knowingly sharing one woman…or would?
    In countries that practice it, it’s always the man who gets to pollenate as many flowers as he chose.

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