I wanted to ask some advice, as an outsider of all things polygamy.
I know someone in a polyandry relationship, with my housemate. It’s all very confusing and long but I’ll try to break it down and explain what I see (do make yourself a cup of tea before you settle down, it could be a long one).
Myself and my boyfriend (we are completely monogamous) have recently moved in with a friend, who we shall refer to as J.
J is in an open relationship with his friend, L.
L is the girlfriend to another man, P. P is aware of the sharing of his girlfriend but doesn’t like to talk about it, which I would have personally taken as an early sign of uncomfort at the situation, however L is P’s first love (he was 23 when he lost his virginity to her, ’nuff said), and L seems to be very dominating in situations. She likes to talk for everybody, talk over everybody, and literally says because she has autism she can read peoples emotions better than they can themselves, a comment that I found very distasteful and just seemed to be a blow your own trumpet kind of comment. So I think P will never say how he truly feels about the situation, probably because L has convinced him that he feels ok about it, and she’s convinced he’s ok with it because she happily put words in his mouth that suited her, all the while P has to stick it up and shut up. He obviously doesn’t want to lose her and I feel she uses this to her advantage as she knows she can get away with a polyandry relationship when it hurts her partner, but I feel like she hasn’t thought about just how much this could be damaging to him, I feel she’s only selfishly looking out for her own needs. Your blog has definitely made me understand polygamy more, even that there are some benefits to it I suppose, but I feel L is doing it to satisfy her emotional neediness and sexual greediness more than anything else, with a total disregard to anyone else. L is around J’s every other day, and literally gives him no space when she’s not, he’ll be on the phone to her for absolutely hours as soon as he gets in from work, even on his break at work he’ll spend the duration of it on the phone to her. When she can’t get through to him she messages me, the bloody housemate, to go and wake him up because she cant get through to him and he has a doctors appt, etc! The neediness is like nothing I’ve ever seen before, and yet she speaks with such confidence driven know-it-all-ism about things she knows nothing about its enough to want to smack your head against the wall (she confidently stated the other day that it was impossible for baked beans to go off, I mean really?!) I suppose it all boils down to insecurity within herself.
L maintains that J and P are the best of friends, but after living here for 6 months, although they get on very well (forced acceptance in my eyes, again, like it or lump it) the visits used to be all of them together, now it is very much P just coming over to pick up L after a few days away.
J recently struck up a relationship with a girl from work, M. He didn’t tell her about L, not at first, he got intimate with M for a few weeks and then decided to tell her. Now, normally from any outside situation looking in anyone would blame J for stringing M along without telling her straight away, but I actually feel like he didn’t do this maliciously, he’s young and confused, and what male can’t resist 2 women falling at his feet? That sounds really messed up, but if you knew J personally, you’d realise he’s just caught up in it all, he’s emotionally invested himself in 2 people because 2 people like him, without thinking of the bigger picture, I really don’t think he realises how much hurt there is to be had in a relationship like this.
As the love triangle (or square as there are so many now?) continues M and L spent time with J around the house together, and underlying problems became apparent. L feels jealous when J is cuddling up to M, and vice versa, this annoys me in itself as surely L must have a tiny bit of understanding as to how P feels about sharing her. They all agreed to come over to J’s to talk through the problems (L and P live with L’s parents, so they had to do it over ours which meant myself and my boyfriend were banished from downstairs for the night while they talked over their self made emotional black holes), which didn’t actually happen by the way, they all chickened out of talking about how they all really feel and just swept in under the rug so it can continue (imo) and ordered pizza instead. Didn’t bother telling us so we stayed in our room all night.
Last week P proposed to L, they are fiancees, and a little part of me cant help but think he’s done this out of defense, “don’t forget she’s mine” kind of thing, and maybe he feels like it’ll stop when they’re married. I wish I could talk to him about it, but we’ve only had small talk acquaintance style, and if he doesn’t like talking about it to the people who are involved he certainly won’t speak to a stranger.
A part of me wants to send him a coarse horrid message to snap him out of being submissive to such emotional drainage, “Doesn’t it bother you that your wife is fucking another man?!!”, but alas I won’t. That is definitely not my place, no matter how much I can’t understand it. I just don’t get how people cause such underlying pain (looking into partners eyes during lovemaking and imagining them being intimate with someone else) for the sake of a ‘more interesting life’. It just seems so wrong to cause burdens on emotions like that. I can see the appeal, one of my earliest fantasies was to be in a wonderfully sexual polygamous relationship with two men before I even knew what the term for it was. However, emotionally analysing it it’s just messed up.
I see L and M in competition with each other but passively which is very strange to observe, I think I’d rather have 2 people just fight it out in front of me, L is constantly cleaning the house, and will actively point out everything she’s done to J for approval, almost like a “look how better I am than M”.
I suppose I’m also a little angry at J for continuing it, as much as I can see the appeal of two women at once, L is going to get married so there is no real progression there for a meaningful relationship, and M’s a really lovely girl that shouldn’t have been dragged through this mess. Still blaming L for this though, she is definitely the dominant one in every aspect and knows what she is doing. I see J losing his patience with all sides, although I have little sympathy.
Also, thank you Fiona, this blog is amazing, I read through nearly every article. And please excuse me for saying so, but reading through your own posts just made me realise how emotionally submissive to this you were, like you had to cope, deal and accept it as being normal when there’s so much pain and awkwardness there really. But that is only my opinion, and has probably been jaded by the situation I am watching on a daily basis, I would never have found your blog if not for it so I suppose it has brought one good thing. I wish I could make L read all the posts on here!
You’re a wonder woman Fiona, even to the people who don’t understand 🙂