Funny thing about blogging is sometimes you sit down and your topic is already there and you start writing only to get half way through the post to realize that something else is speaking to you. I am having one of those days.
I hesitate to write about this because the few times I have put it out there, I have had readers ask me, what’s up? Well nothing is up other than just a continual learning process. Yesterday Good Morning America did a piece on what they called the Modern Family, it features one woman, a gal by the name of Jaiya Ma and her two male partners and they have a child. I actually came across this family a few months ago for a project I was researching, and frankly found them to be rather interesting.
I grew up in a typical family, one Mom, one Dad and a brother, nothing spectacular. Though I suppose if you factor in that my Dad is a minister with Baptist roots, I have had to reevaluate many ideas I once held dear. I will just leave it at that. That said, the older I get, as I have said before more than half of my married friends are either divorced or in the process of divorcing. Hell, I have been divorced! Gone are the days for most of us when we stay in unhappy unions, but I must admit in my unofficial opinion, I do wonder maybe marriage and family as we once knew it needs to be reevaluated.
Now most of us laugh and joke about the idea of having another partner or our partner having another partner, but truth be told, jealousy and the idea of ownership of our partner keeps that from happening. Sure it’s great to ponder the idea of a spare wife/husband …someone to assist with all that tedious shit. But in reality, the idea of our partner being intimate with another makes our blood run cold. We are pretty much indoctrinated to believe that love means 2 loving humans and that is it, never mind the reality that the chances are high that at some point you or someone you know will be sharing a partner, it will just be done with deceit and shame. Today’s modern marriage puts a lot of pressure on us to be someone else’s everything, I mean when you are married, you are supposed to get all your financial, emotional, mental, and sexual needs met by one person. Heaven help you if you decide to have kids! Two people are supposed to be not only each other’s everything but with many of us no longer having a village to truly support us, we are now the kids everything too. That’s a lot to have on one person’s plate.
I almost wonder if the so-called increase in polyamorous relationships is a backlash against what at times feels like plain old insanity. It is not easy being a family in these tough times! In my case we are 1100 miles away from family and frankly even if I were closer to what remains of my family, I can’t say they would be super helpful. After almost a decade in Maine, I have cobbled together a mini village, but it is still hard.
No, I think we all know it’s hard and that’s why when we hear about a family that is walking outside the circle society tells us we must be in, it triggers strong emotions in us. Generally I find when I am bothered on any level by how someone else is living, it’s a sign I need to need check in with myself. When we see a loving unit managing their lives and doing it with joy, why does it bother us? Much like gay marriage, if it’s not your thing, don’t slam it, just don’t do it. As for the kid…well I can’t imagine the adults are doing anything inappropriate in front of the kid. Kids are resilient and if they are raised respectfully and with love, I can’t imagine it has or will have much bearing on the kid which partner Mom is having sex with that night. The old kids’ argument is the same one that the anti-gay marriage folks have used for years and as we saw from this young man, it’s not an issue.
So in the end, while I can’t say a poly way of being will ever be my thing, since at the moment the logistics of managing one man, two kids and a job are hard enough, I will say I admire those who are able to make that choice and who can make it work.