Anonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.
We received this submission in response to a previous Anonymous Mom who was attempting a polyamorous marriage.
A wonderful sex and love therapist once told me that there is a spectrum of monogamy to polyamory, from the most fidelity driven two-person couples to the individuals so dedicated to multiple partners that their personal lives ring of debauchery. Then there are those of us who fall somewhere in the middle, dedicated and committed yes, but also driven to love more than one.
In what I’d call the middle, somewhere between newly married lovebirds with eyes only for each other and swingers at an orgy, is the idea of ethical non-monogamy or, polyamory. The idea that the human heart is capable of love and devotion to more than one partner. There is not one soulmate who fulfills you so completely that your emotional, physical and all other relationship needs are met, but that meeting all these needs could take more than one person — and that’s OK. In fact, it’s down right beautiful. The cornerstone of this kind of love is communication. Open, honest, and by all means frequent communication, but first, you need to get there.
I was raised in a nuclear family that consisted of my parents, my sister, myself and God. My father liked to post scripture on the fridge and lecture my sister and I about settling down with a good Christian man who could provide for us. From my teenage days one of my main interest was chasing boys. I liked men, I still like men. The look of them, the smell of them, the way their shirts button on the opposite side and when they sit down they always look so damn comfortable. Despite my desire to surround myself with the male of the species, my parents’ tutelage stuck in my head: Find a nice man. Settle down.
I also wanted badly to be a mother, perhaps due to natural mothering instinct or to try to be a better one than my own. But the outcome was the same. I needed to get married and have babies.
My husband and I met when we were 18, all naive and young and adorable. We fell in love quickly and married shortly after finishing college. We married under the strict and fast rules of monogamy and the church. Thou shall forsake all others, one woman one man, and so on, but the times would change.