Poly on the Rocks

Mar 6 '2019, 6:57 PM | By Chris

A new season of Seeking Sister Wife has kicked off and the drama has taken no time to start. There are very different approaches to courting a potential new sister wife and some very differing ideas about boundaries. Negative reactions to your man talking to another woman begs to question how does a sister wife expect him to find new sister wives. Jealousy is difficult but where does it fit in a polygamist family? How can you find a new sister wife if the boundaries don’t allow for the development of a new relationship?

Accusing your partner of essentially cheating when affection develops in another of their relationships is completely in opposition to being a polygamist or in a polyamorous relationship. A sister wife cannot expect a man to only have eyes for her and it’s ludicrous to demand standards that will prevent other relationships from developing. What’s the point of being a polygamist if you don’t want your partner to have other relationships and potentially grow the family? Why would you claim to be polyamorous if you don’t want to allow your partner to show affection to anyone but you? 

None of this is to suggest you shouldn’t have boundaries, but when your boundaries essentially push for monogamy you should stop pretending to be poly. It’s unseemly (or worse) to claim you are polygamous or polyamorous, if you’re not, then corner a lover into a life they don’t desire. It’s absolutely possible to ‘cheat’ if you’re polyamorous but setting standards that guarantee your partner eventually ‘cheats’ is cruel. A polygamous family is the same. Standards are important but futile if they only ensure failure. Cheating also doesn’t have to be the end of a relationship.

‘Cheating’ is a tough situation in any relationship. It’s even more difficult and confusing among polygamous families or in polyamorous relationships. The key to coping with cheating is to consider the intent. Monogamous relationships are black and white where the answer to sex with or dating other people is just no. If a polygamous family wants to grow they have to allow for finding new sister wives which means dating other women. If polyamorous people are truly polyamorous they have to allow their partners to express affection with others and not interfere with new relationships. 

If you’re poly partner or spouse is frequently sexting or staying over with a new partner it can feel  heartbreaking. Sharing your established love life with someone new is not always easy. However, getting angry with your partner for doing these things is not necessarily fair. Have you discussed your boundaries with them? Are they outwardly trying to hurt you, or do they even know their behavior upsets you? Do you know your own boundaries?

If you’re uncertain of your own boundaries it’s vital that you spend time considering them. You can save your relationship, and a ton of heartache, if you have set clear expectations with your partners. If your standards basically don’t allow your partners to date or spend time developing other relationships you need to reconsider your entire attachment to your partner. Are you really polyamorous? Or do you really want to be part of a polygamist family? 

If the answer to either question is yes… you have to embrace the lifestyle. If the jealousy is too much to handle sometimes you have to find coping mechanisms to keep it out of your mind. Tell your partner the things you simply can’t handle and create some basic rules you both follow to ensure your relationship stays healthy. 

Don’t be naive. Boundaries will be pushed. When boundaries get pushed be careful to address the situation reasonably. Keep an open mind and don’t forget the love you share with your partner. If the intent was cruel and your partner completely disregarded your feelings you might have a real problem. Some people cannot be trusted, or believe your feelings are nonsensical, and you have to decide if you can handle a partner that refuses to follow any rules. Maybe you also don’t really like rules. In the long run, you don’t want your partner afraid of always telling the truth. At times boundaries have to be be elastic to keep them from breaking. It cannot be stressed enough that intent is the only relevant factor when it comes to cheating in the poly world. 

Seeking Sister Wife is exploring these topics incredibly well this season. The differing approaches to what is perceived as cheating are very interesting. I can’t help but feel one of the situations is revealing a person that isn’t truly comfortable being a polygamist. Another approach is proving to be compassionate and understanding of the inevitability of imperfection. The polyamorous and polygamous world have unique struggles but the payoff can be a life full of love. Nobody is perfect but that doesn’t mean you can’t allow for a little fun. Isn’t that largely why we fall in love? It’s fun. Keep it that way.    

Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc - Sisterwives.com


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