Poly Love and Nosy Neighbors

May 2 | By Chris

Picture the perfect house with a white picket fence in one of the best neighborhoods your town has to offer. The lawn is well manicured, trees are full and green, and the whole place simply looks like a dream. Now imagine your poly family making this perfect place your home. Maybe you’re a polygamist family with a man and three sister wives. Maybe a polyamorous group with three men and two women. Whatever your polyamorous arrangement might be, everything is going beautifully and it seems you couldn’t be happier. Now imagine a neighbor walking by giving you nothing but side eye and you have no clue why. You wave and smile and they only pick up the pace to get away. It can be easy to slough it off. Chalk it up to the people’s occasional strange behaviors. Most often these things are harmless but the ill effects of judgy neighbors can accumulate or even become a hindrance to your well-being. In some cases it can become dangerous.  


Face it. When some people hear the terms polygamy or polyamory they cringe. Most well-adjusted adults can have their opinion and keep it to themselves but just one nimby (not in my back yard) can make your life a living hell. Some people simply cannot mind their own business and find pleasure in torturing others. Living a lifestyle outside of societal ‘norms’ brings about situations that are difficult and learning to handle them with grace is crucial. 


Decide how much of your life, and what aspects, you wish to keep private and keep it that way with the public. You don’t have to discuss anything with anyone unless you want to. There are many factors to consider. While many of those factors are personal, don’t neglect to consider factors beyond your control as well. Consider the region you live in and the social expectations that make up the local ‘norms.’ Are the people in your area very aggressive about enforcing their views? What religious ideologies are the most widespread and how strict are they? Four people in a poly household can exist anywhere they’d like but they can be far more open about their situation in Los Angeles as opposed to Jackson, Mississippi. A man can be looking for a sister wife anywhere he lives but in many areas he needs to keep fairly private about it or risk being ostracized by his community. Get over the idea that everyone can just live as they want and expect the world to deal with it. 


The world will, in fact, deal with it, but in that dealing you could lose your job, friends, opportunities, or even your life in extreme cases. You cannot constantly be showing all your cards if you expect to compete! This is not suggesting for anyone to live a lie, but some things are nobody else’s business. Especially things people can, and will, use against you. People interested in polygamous and polyamorous dating need to be smart about it. If you live in an area that makes you feel like your only choice is to live a lie the best option is to move away, but of course not everyone can do that. Whether you decide to move or stay put there are ways to help assure your future can withstand a horrible neighbor. 


Know your rights and responsibilities. Laws surrounding plural relationships can be tricky and a nimby will not hesitate to tie you up in legal problems if they don’t want a polygamist or poly family on their block. Knowing your state and local codes concerning marriage and cohabitation will give you the tools to ensure your family, or group, can present itself in a legal way. 


Find, and support, your allies. Finding other polygamist families or polyamorous people in your community will build a support network you can all rely on. Beyond polygamy and polyamory there are other marginalized groups you can befriend. Gay and lesbian people have learned to handle plenty of criticism for their personal relationships. They make great allies when times get tough. 


Be a good neighbor. You cannot expect others to extend any respect to you if you refuse to treat them with general respect. Sign the social contract to be generally friendly and try, at least, to never personally make anyone have a bad day. Just do it! Be a nice person. It will come back to you in positive ways. Someday, being a nice person will come naturally (if you hate the idea of it). Either way… it’s worth it. 


Choose battles wisely. Nobody can go through life constantly battling. Some people will never like you and some situations will never work out the way you’d prefer. Accepting disappointment and moving along is a tough lesson everyone has to learn eventually. There are battles worth fighting. Make sure you save your energy for the important things. 


Refuse Other People’s Bullshit. You and your poly partners will have enough of your own dramas in life. A nimby neighbor, most often, should be the least of them. Rolling your eyes at a neighbor trying to marginalize you is a great way to remove the nasty energy they send your way. Don’t find joy in knowing they have their own problems, find the humanity in it. We’re all only human and anyone trying to harm others, in any way, is not a very happy human. Pity them. 


Finding sister wives and building a family is a joy many people will never get to experience. Enjoying dinners and dates with polyamorous lovers while nurturing a loving group of companions is a beautiful thing. Not everyone feels the same things are beautiful in this world and they never will. Protect your home and your loved ones by showing others compassion. Showing the world your joy is the best weapon against those that will wish you harm. Never forget that your love and life is your business. Nimby’s aren’t worth your energy.









Published By: Christopher Alesich

Matchmakers, Inc: Sisterwives.com

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