What Polyamory Has Taught Me

by Tim Ellerbe II 2 years ago in dating

Real Love

What Polyamory Has Taught Me

I have been married twice and divorced twice. Why is that? I could go on about who was at fault. Was it me or them? But I won’t go there. Plus I’m relatively sure I’ve done that in another story. But one thing I can say with certainty is that there was little to no trust in either marriage. As a touring musician, it would have made a lot of sense to marry women who had no problem with having an entertainer for a spouse. I should have considered that, but instead, I was blinded by the booty. Or rather, booties. So anyway, due to that lack of trust and honesty in the marriages, I rarely if ever felt okay with being my authentic self in the relationships.

As I take a look at the state of relationships in America, something becomes alarmingly clear. Couples are struggling because of lack of trust, insecurity and such. Couples can have mindblowing sex for hours, but switch over to utter shyness when talking graphically about what happened while in bed. They can use all manner of dirty words in bed, but at the breakfast table, not even make eye contact when sex talk comes up. Why is that? I decided I needed answers.

As an entertainer, I have friends across many cultural lines and ideologies. There are belly dancers, Wiccans, Christians, swingers, strippers, porn stars, and polyamorous couples. I also know a few musicians like me LOL. Of all my friends, I noticed that my poly friends seemed consistently happy and content with their mates and lifestyles. I asked questions and found out that the main glue of their relationships was not sex, as many imagine, but TRUST. How so? In Polyamorous relationships, everything is on the table. Everything. Who sees who and when and for how long. What is off limits and what is acceptable. Since everything is discussed, there is little room for distrust or other problems. If one wants to go sleep with someone, they let their mate know and if their mate is not cool with it, then it doesn’t happen. Again, I point out their focus on trust. One breaks the rules and the relationship suffers for sure, but since it is still a relationship, and trust is on the table from the start, there are few instances of this.

By comparison, many monogamous couples do not have this level of trust in their relationships or marriages. Ironically, monogamous couples in America typically start their relationship with sex and only later try to deal with things like trust. Or even getting to actually know the person they just went to bed with. It’s a recipe for disaster. Moving forward, one may have a fetish or desire they do not feel comfortable discussing with their mate. Or the mate makes it clear that such talk is unacceptable. So one or the other does not feel comfortable expressing themselves. And that is very dangerous. Why? Because if someone comes along who actually listens to your mate, then your mate may get drawn away by them. I do not need to address the level of affairs in America. And let me be clear, that type of conversation does not need to always be something sexual. It can be about your mate’s desire to be an artist or even to run for president. But you make them feel they cannot speak their heart. It is no wonder there are so many heterosexual monogamous coupled breakups and divorces. Perhaps this type of openness is not the main reason for those splits, but the percentage is certainly high.

Humans tend to want everyone to see things their way, to have everyone understand their point of view. In a relationship that can be a bad thing if there is no compromise. Life is not always about us. It is also about our mates, our children, our coworkers, and on and on. Some may feel polyamorous couples are immoral and that is a matter of your beliefs. But they still possess things that are to be admired. Trust, honesty, freedom to be themselves without judgment. And those are all admirable and are certainly things I want in my own relationship.

No one has a right to demand or require another to be less than they are. Our mates deserve that trust and honesty to be completely themselves. That is liberating. Perhaps what they want is only to talk about their thoughts so they can be free of the burden of keeping it all a secret. Probably for most of their lives. How cruel is it not to let them be that free? As polyamory goes, everything is discussed, which leaves plenty of room for the aforementioned happiness. The genuine smiles and laughter and handholding. I could go on, but you get the picture.

I can admit to being guilty of following the crowd as a practitioner of monogamy. Early on, it was my way or no way. Later I learned to hear the voice of whomever I was with and to just be supportive of them. I am much better at that now, but still have much to learn. My Poly friends are inspirational and influential. I am grateful for their example of trust and honesty. For me, a heterosexual with a monogamous mindset, I expect to have a mate who is quite free to be herself. If she does not, then telling her I love her is pointless. Think about it.

How does it work?
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Tim Ellerbe II

I am a Musician, Author and Artist. Find out more on my website timellerbe.com

See all posts by Tim Ellerbe II