Chris's article

The year 2020 is showing us how quickly the world around us can crumble. 

Our political machines are being tested to their limits, a pandemic is revealing a terrifying aversion to discomfort even when it’s for safety, and centuries of racial injustice are coming to a head in streets around the world. Of course, with so many major issues we’re facing head-on, personal relationships are being tested as well. People are being blocked on social media at alarming rates and disparate feelings about current events are causing folks to choose a side while vehemently rejecting all others. One could say the year 2020 was the year ‘social harmony’ was dealt its final blows. Where we end up after all of this is a mystery. There are forces trying to maintain the status quo and insisting the pandemic is being blown out of proportion, racial injustice is already improving so just be patient, and politics have always been dirty. On the other hand many insist that it’s simply respectful to protect yourself and others by wearing a mask and isolating, there should be no peace until we have racial justice, and it’s high time we address the dirty politicians and corporate interests that have hijacked governments around the world. No matter where you stand on or between these issues your beliefs are being challenged today. What if someone you love holds strong opinions that are in complete opposition to yours? How do you reconcile two polar opposite belief and value systems? When might it be time to walk away, if ever?

It’s normal to have disagreements with someone you love. To expect anyone to agree with everything you think is absurd. Often we’re able to use a little humor to smooth over our differences and maintain healthy relationships. That’s not so easy when opposing attitudes about a deadly pandemic can literally lead to becoming infected. Poly families need to discuss where they stand concerning their overall health and what risks are acceptable to everyone involved. If you’ve recently become a sister wife or are pursuing being a sister wife watch for the ways your family of interest handles decisions that affect the whole family. Getting away from a poorly managed family is easier to do before you’re too deeply involved. Same goes for anyone new to a polyamorous situation. True love means not putting you at risks you’re not comfortable taking. Once you’re already involved you might have to keep a little distance from a lover that isn’t willing to ensure your safety. If two in your family are serious about masks, social distancing, and isolating when necessary, but one or more are out partying like it’s 2019 there is no shame in avoiding contact while a deadly virus is spreading like wildfire. It doesn’t have to be a breakup. True love can operate via video messaging and chats if it means respecting safety boundaries. If a lover isn’t willing to make it work, and keep you feeling safe, it might be time to reconsider the title of ‘lover’ for this person.

Issues involving social justice are a bit more complicated. If a member of your polyamorous or polygamous family is part of a group facing the injustice there is only one answer to how to proceed. You let them take the lead. Listen to them, support them, protect them, and do the things you can to help correct the injustice. If someone in your family feels passionate about issues concerning social injustice don’t dismiss their attempts to share their passion. If they are in opposition to any group struggling for justice it gets a little hairy. You have to ask a few questions. What are their core beliefs on race and where do they come from? Are they actually racist? If yes, this is a problem. Or, do they just not grasp the struggle of certain groups of people due to a lack of exposure? There are a lot of viewpoints to come from on this issue and it’s important to make sure your loved ones do not come from a position rooted in racism or hate. If they do, and refuse to investigate their feelings with a heart open to change, it’s time to start asking more questions. Would you be willing to defend their beliefs or actions? Are you willing to earn the reputation of either condoning or supporting these beliefs or actions? Is the situation safe or is this person militant in the opposition of another group of people? If you can’t calm them or keep them from aggression the only healthy option is to get away. If it’s all armchair politics it can be safe enough to simply push them to change, but don’t stick around for someone you know is crazy for fear of being alone.

So then we come to general politics. Politics and religion are two things we should never talk about, right? Well, if you are looking for a new sister wife, or are a woman looking for a polygamous family, you certainly need to discuss these things. General polyamorous dating can be a bit more open to opposing religious and political views, but polygamy dating often requires more cohesion in order to build a harmonious family. Your best bet is to not shy away from religion and politics when looking for possible long term intimacy. You don’t want to get involved with someone that will require you to renounce your personal values in order to validate the way they and/or their family have always done things. Is it okay for a devout atheist to date a devout Christian? It could be. Is it healthy? Very likely not. The sense of camaraderie needed for healthy relationships would be hard to muster. 

However, many people have lighter religious beliefs and are perfectly capable of dating outside of their personal faith. Religion is only being mentioned this much because it has a big part in shaping political views. Politics and religion in the poly and polygamy dating world can be awkward, but don’t shy away from them. If you’ve found yourself with someone you love, but cannot stand their views, there are other ways to satisfy your personal needs. Find groups that share your beliefs. Get involved in your community to help bring positive change. Spend more time with lovers that share more in common. If you can’t do these things because one lover makes it difficult, it’s time to reconsider the relationship.

Perfect harmony is a lovely concept and it’s pursuit is noble, but it can only be a journey rather than a destination. We will never have a world of perfection and our relationships will always face struggles. 

Some from within and some from the outside world's interference. Having a polygamous family or a polyamorous group to lean on is a true blessing when life and situations get tough. Molding your group or family into one of harmony is an unending effort that might require a few difficult choices along the way. No matter how much you may love a person, if they are affecting your life, or your family's life, in negative ways you cannot stand by and watch everything you’ve built fall apart. People evolve and sometimes into someone you no longer recognize. If efforts to pull them back from the abyss are unsuccessful your poly family has to protect itself. Don’t be insensitive, don’t be unforgiving, and don’t give up too easily, but especially don’t leave rotted fruit to spoil everything it touches.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc:

Growing old is bittersweet. Not everyone gets the opportunity and it comes with difficulties you once couldn’t even imagine. The old phrase “I’m not as good as I once was,” comes to mind. On the other hand, the years of experience provides invaluable wisdom you can share with those willing to slow down and listen. You’ve loved, you’ve lost, and were able to persist. As polyamory becomes more common it’s inevitable future elderly generations will face evolving needs and expectations based on their intimate relationships with multiple partners. An abundance of love will certainly provide for a happy life, but can lead to circumstances that will need pre-planning along with intellectual and emotional preparation. Life is complicated enough for two people sharing life. Add multiple partners in the mix and potential complications grow exponentially.

Preparing for the loss of a loved one when you have multiple partners means finding the right amount of space and the right amount of support for everyone surviving. If the entire plural relationship functions as one family it’s wonderful to lean on each other, but vital to be prepared to accept the different ways in which people grieve. Leaning on your lover is a good thing. Trying to be your lovers therapist, or them being your therapist, is a very bad thing. Grief counseling needs to be a completely unrestrained and open process where any qualms or resentments can come out and be discussed with no risk of creating issues with surviving lovers. If you are a sister wife, maybe you felt your husband neglected you while he looked for a new sister wife, and you have a weird sense of relief now that she is gone. Maybe you were the new sister wife and felt like an intruder because the sister wife that passed never seemed to really embrace you. People can live with feelings like this and maintain a healthy life and relationships, but when unresolved feelings go to a grave they can haunt you. Many plural relationships have little imperfections you may need help forgiving in yourself or someone you love.

Death is not the only challenge for aging polyamorous people. Poly and polygamy dating don’t always lead to a legal marriage, or marriage at all. When laws are set against your plural relationship it can be difficult to guarantee everyone involved can grow old together and enjoy the rights and protections monogamous people simply expect. Too often, when a woman becomes a sister wife, she will have relatives that refuse to recognize her family as valid and they’ll be willing to ‘prove’ their point legally if given the opportunity. If there is discord in the relationship two people with a legal marriage contract can cause great harm to others involved, but without any legal ties to the relationship. 

Countless gay people have lost everything when a lover died historically because the family of the deceased could swoop in and use the courts to keep their relatives money and property. Legalizing gay marriage changed the lives of millions for the better. No movement to legalize plural marriage seems to be gaining any steam which means polyamorous people are left at a higher risk of having the carpet pulled from under them. 

There are even situations where poly people, especially polygamists, can get into legal trouble due to the nature of the family they’re building. 

Granted, there are some bad apples in the polygamy world, but most poly minded people are living harmless and productive lives. It’s important to investigate laws in your region then take the necessary legal steps to ensure your poly family is protected. It will make growing old together a far less scary process.

When you’ve organized your poly life and family and begin to grow older the unique challenges that stem from plural relationships will be sure to arise. Imagine a busy husband deciding he wants to seek a new sister wife while the three he already has can’t imagine enduring the process of growing their family again. Think of three lovers that have always chosen to live separately then two of them decide to live together while the third remains in their own place. As we get older the option of living alone can easily be removed. There has to be an openness to change. On top of all of these scenarios is the fact that polyamorous people are able to date potential new lovers no matter how old they and their partners are becoming. Some can see this as refusing to ever settle into a more peaceful life, but the truth is that polyamory is natural right along with the desire for human connection. Meeting new people and experiencing new energy can keep you younger, healthier, and happier in the long run. Never letting go of, and always respecting, the polyamorous nature of your love life and partners is the only way to maintain a life full of love and joy.

Aging doesn’t have to be a scary process, though there will be scary moments as our bodies ache and wear down. If you have been blessed by choosing a polyamorous or polygamous life remember that you’ve given yourself the gift of a life so full of love you sometimes can’t even handle all of it. A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring the security and well-being of any family, especially an alternative family. 

Choosing to be a sister wife, or to join any type of polyamorous family, can be the best choice you’ve ever made if approached with logic and care. Don’t fool yourself into thinking everything will always work out fine. You and the people you love deserve as many guarantees in life as you can find. Never let go of the light that started your poly life by placing nefarious limits on yourself or lover. Keep your open mind and heart that will allow your relationship to exist and evolve organically. 

You’ll find as you get older that the more you try to force something that isn’t going to work, the more frustrating and difficult to let go it will become. Be patient with yourself and others, especially lovers, and let the aging process carry you gently to a peaceful end.

Published By: Christopher Alesich 

Matchmakers, Inc:

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