Daily Archives: April 28, 2008

Should You Have a Group Marriage?

Should you have a group marriage or multi-adult household?


Surprised? Really, there’s no reason to be. I do not consider group living The Ideal Way to Live. Oh, yes, it can suit people and and there are many that love it, but that does not mean that I think for a second it would suggest that it is ideal for everyone. It isn’t.

Consider very carefully what it is you do want out of a relationship before you get started with this. For instance, you might decide, especially after careful consideration, that monogamy is the most fulfilling life path you can have. I am not anti-monogamy by any means. I am not in favor of monogamy being considered the only path, merely a path that might work well. One of the most respected members of a group marriage discussion group in which I participate is monogamous. He is deeply in love with his wife, does not want a romantic relationship with anyone else, but joined the list out of curiosity to see what we nutcases were up to. He knows in his heart that monogamy is the happiest and most fulfilling choice for him. What makes him unique is that he understands that while what makes him happiest is something society generally sanctions, it is not necessarily the One True Way.

When deciding if you want a group household, it’s probably a good idea to analyze why you want it.

So, what do you expect to get out of it?

Hot sex?

Reality check: Yes, the sex is nice. Don’t forget about real life! While people do have sex, they also have to wash dishes, take out the trash, rear children, do laundry, pay bills and earn a living. A group household will have just as much difficulty making time for each other as any married couple. Just like in a monogamous marriage, you’re going to get time alone with your love about as often as you can manage to make that time.

Unconditional love?

Reality check: Just because you live with someone, don’t expect it. Polyamorous households have about the same quality of love as monogamous marriages – it can range from wonderful to truly hideous.

Instant Support System?

Reality check: In a good poly household, yes, you’re going to have a somewhat wider “instant support system”. Depending on where you live and the attitude of the community to group marriage in general, though, you may be on your own outside of your household. This is not a way of life that people are used to. Many people disapprove of it pretty strongly. Many of these people will be your very own blood. Be prepared for that. You may wind up feeling a bit isolated. In fact, watch for this, because it can be a warning sign for other trouble. You know, one of the abuse warning signs: If you’re encouraged to drop most former associations, that’s a check mark about whether or not you’re in a terribly unhealthy relationship.

Okay, so you’ve decided this is really what you want.So how do you form such a relationship?

If you do not presently have a partner/spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend, you’re cool. Go date polyamorous people. Get to know them. Laugh, have water balloon fights, go play Frisbee in the park with them, heckle bad movies together and have a good time. Relationships of various sorts may form, and chances are good you’ll at least make some close friends. While not all polyamorous people want group marriages, some do. You might meet some people who you love deeply and with whom you want to form a marriage.

Oh? How do you find polyamorous people? That’s easy. Go on the Internet, and join every discussion group you see even vaguely related to group relationships. Be sure to explain how good you are in bed and how your life is unfulfilling because you have so much love to give people. Make sure discussions revolve around sex. Use the expression Hot Bi Babe a lot. This is sure to attract polyamorous people. Be sure to point out to anyone who has a discussion on the list about anything other than sex that they not sex positive. (Not really! This won’t make you any friends at all. It’s just a reality that you do see this from time to time).

In reality, meeting people who are polyamorous, much less people interested in polyamorous group households, can be difficult. They don’t not wear signs, and many keep mighty quiet about our lives. Even more of us have been burned so many times by people that we get suspicious. If you do want to meet poly people, the Internet is a good resource to start with. There are hundreds of polyamorous discussion groups out there – many of the specific to local areas. There are regular conventions, camping events, and get togethers in most urban areas. Rural living is somewhat more problematic for this. But, among these people might be people who are also interested in forming a group household.

The problem here is that just because someone is looking to form a multi-adult household does not necessarily mean that this person is going to be compatible with you. It’s one interest out of thousands possible. Someone who was into Country music and did not like children, thought Renaissance Faires were for idiots who never got over playing dress-up, and was a member of Greenpeace would be about as poor a match as is possible for me. I do not care how hot looking or intelligent the person was, this Just Wouldn’t Work.

Compatibility does make forming a group household somewhat more difficult. Finding two people who are compatible enough to be together to form a marriage can be hard enough. Trying to add to that and you can find yourself in a nightmare. Patience is a good idea if you don’t want to have your life blow up in your face.

So, what kind of things do you look for when looking for people that would be good spice for a group household?

That’s a hard question, really. You do want team players. You want people who can approach something without an agenda. You want to make sure YOU don’t have an agenda, or are bogged down by expectations. You want love and I am NOT talking New Relationship Energy here. That newly in love feeling rocks, dunnit? It also melts your damned brain, and that’s a bad basis for deciding to form a household. Don’t do it. The stupid, it BURNS.

When you do form a multi-adult household, you do want a plan. You want to outline things in the most unromantic fashion possible. You want to outline finances, you wanna talk kids. You want to talk about household duties. I know we poly people love to just go with the flow and there’s no-one so easy to trust as someone you’ve just fallen in love with. That’s your biology and procreative urge speaking, and our technological society is pretty removed from rearing infants in the jungle and trying to save them from saber toothed tigers. Check it out with your present reality.

A good way to do this is to look at the situation. If someone came to YOU and said that they were about to do what you are doing, what would you say? If you would whack said person upside the head with a newspaper, rethink.

I hope I’m not being a downer here, but any relationship blow up can be nasty, and even if you’re entering into things with great caution, you can get burned. Even so, it’s a good idea to unhook your heart from your brain long enough to examine what you’re doing.

You might even find that this has created a lovely and fulfilling part of your whole life.