Freaks or maybe pioneers?

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.

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.

Call me close minded

I am telling you right now, what I am about to say may be offensive to some, for that I apologize but I really need to say this…Now I consider myself a pretty open minded person. To some degree I have to be, I mean look I am a Black woman who happens to be married to a white guy with biracial kids who lives in Maine of all places. That type of background by its very nature should tell you that I am a pretty open person.

I have all kinds of folks in my life that I call friends ranging from raging Christian fundamentalists, gay and lesbians, pagans….really the whole range but some things, I am sorry I just don’t understand. I have recently run across some folks who consider themselves poly-amorous. In case you are not familiar with that term it means they are in relationships with multiple folks at the same time and everyone is aware of the situation….sorta like modern day swingers.

Now I don’t have a problem with folks who swing, but I am talking folks in families with kids and mutiple partners…maybe its my Christian roots showing but I don’t get that. So if you swing , can you enlighten a sista because honestly the more I hear about this, the more I find myself scratching my head going why?

I will be honest, I have always stated that I think in every relationship there should be one get out of jail card free…practically speaking that means you get one time to stray and I am not talking a full fledged relationship with someone else. I am talking you got drunk, skunky drunk and shit happens. Long as you are honest with me (don’t have me going to the gyno with burning or bumps) then we can work through it.

Now I know you are wondering wtf???? Didn’t she just say she is not down with polyamory? I did but for me what I am talking is a one time you fuck up card. Thankfully neither the Spousal Unit or I have ever called in that card and chances are we never will but I did start our marriage putting it out there because I figure if we are married at least as long as my folks were (31 years) I can forgive one lapse in judgement over a lifetime together. Now I would probably be unpleasant for a bit but it would not be the death of the relationship.

However having a regular girl or boy on the side is a problem and talking about moving that person in…well that is up there with I don’t get it. Maybe its me but logistically how the fuck does that work? Baby, I am with so and so tonight. More importantly how do 3-4 folks engage in a loving relationship all at the same time that presumably is sexual?

See, I feel like if feelings for another ever got that deep than maybe its time to reevaluate the primary relationship, I am sorry but that sort of love triangle seems like recipe for someone snapping and losing their mind. Not to equate myself with God but in the Old Testament of the Bible it says thou shall no other Gods before me and that he is a jealous God. Well I feel like thou shall have no other adult love interest but me for I am a jealous wife….yeah, that sounds bad but as someone who is often pushed to the max emotionally the idea of splitting myself emotionally with two men  sounds like even more work that having one man. KWIM?

Then there is the issue of kids, how does one explain multiple parents? No, I am serious. Even here where I live parents with 2 moms and 2 dads well that’s normal at least in my world, but 2 dads 1 mom or 3 moms and 1 dad…I don’t get it and part of my writing this is not to bash anyone but to honestly say if you have this sort of situationm please tell me how it works because I have just presented all the reasons why I don’t get it.

I mean what woman hasn’t said she wished she had a wife? Got PMS and the ole man is horny, send your co-wife instead, that I get but what happens when I need some love and my co-wife got the love allotment? See, that would be problematic at least for me.

So excuse me if I was crass and offended you but the beauty of blogging is that I get to say what I want and even look for ways to expand my mind….happy Friday.