• Thu, Nov 14 - 11:00 am ET

Polyamorous Mom: I Don’t Feel Weird Removing My Wedding Ring When I’m With My Boyfriend

200432721-001

Wedding rings:  The symbol of marriage, love, faith, and commitment to couples everywhere.  When I think about wedding rings, I almost immediately think of exclusivity.  The wedding ring is the universal symbol of ‘your mine and I’m yours’ and signals to other people that you’re ‘taken’.  But in my and my spouse case, we are not “taken” in that sense but love as free agents.  My wedding ring does not say “I belong to this man” but rather “I’ve made a commitment to this man”.  Being polyamorous has redefined what this traditional symbol means to us, and if there’s a time when we don’t display it at all.

When my spouse and I married 10 years ago, we selected wedding bands and had them inscribed with a bible verse about love and devotion.  I think we both saw them as a symbol of our love and commitment, as well as a clear sign that we were now off limits to others.  The shift from this happened for me gradually.  I remember the first time I was aware of the oddity of the second part.  I was at a music concert with my boyfriend when a young woman with her own boyfriend asked me who I was there with while the guys were off getting food.  I halted to answer, with the gold bands on my left hand it seemed an odd thing to say “my boyfriend” but I also wasn’t going to lie and say “my husband” because that felt wrong.  I faltered and replied “my friend” which probably didn’t seem any less odd, given Jim and I act like love sick teenagers around each other.  At the time, it didn’t occur to me to take them off even though Jim doesn’t wear his.  Allan had given them to me, I was still and wanted to be married to him, but I also felt some sense of wanting to be able to represent my life in a clear way.

Months later, Allan had a similar experience where he questioned his own band.  He had been talking with an attractive musician on a dating site and was going on their first date, her with the knowledge of his being a married man.  Allan asked me if he should take his ring off and I told him it was totally up to him.  Would that make him more comfortable, not having the reminder right in plain sight that he IS married?  While we are ok with being poly, it’s still not socially acceptable and can raise unwanted questions. Allan decided not to wear it and subsequently left it off whenever he and his new girlfriend went out.

This got me thinking, did I need to leave mine on while I was with Jim? Would it make it easier for him to be able to say “my girlfriend” and me “my boyfriend” when we were out together?  Jim doesn’t wear one at all as it was lost years ago, so with us both bare fingered it would set social situations at ease. While my wedding rings still denote to me that I love Allan and I am his spouse, they don’t mean that I am his and his alone.  We cast off that idea from our lives already which it made it easier to remove it from some bands of metal. While my wedding rings are symbolic of a commitment, I also really like to wear a turquoise ring Jim bought me this summer. Both pieces of jewelry make me think about the men I love, and that is my main reason for wearing them.

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • candyvines

    My husband and I are monogamous, but I don’t “belong” to him.

    • chickadee

      Yeah, no. Our rings are a symbol of the commitment we’ve made to each other and our relationship, not a symbol of “mine!”

    • Gangle

      Yep, I thought the same thing. I don’t belong to anybody, except myself. And I don’t EVER want to own my husband. That sounds horrible to me. My husband doesn’t wear jewellery so he does not have a band. I wear a band, but often I take it off for work or if I am doing something messy.

    • whiteroses

      This. You can’t own another human being- that’s called slavery.
      If I take off my wedding ring, that doesn’t make me any less married. So it stands to reason that my rings are an outward symbol of an inward commitment. We belong WITH each other- not TO each other. There’s a huge difference.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I didnt mean to imply otherwise, but that perhaps I did not want the outward symbol

    • http://ichasekids.com/ Litterboxjen

      If someone were to ever suggest I ‘belong’ to my husband, or he ‘belongs’ to me, I think I’d clock that person. My cats belong to me – I brought them in the relationship – and some of my possessions belong to me, but that’s about it. Our kid doesn’t even belong to us, we just created her.

      My husband rarely if ever wears his ring, and I take mine off just as much as I wear it. Doesn’t make us any less committed to one another, either.

  • candyvines

    “Whether we are together with our partners, or apart with our rings off in a drawer, we share a bond of love and commitment and nothing, especially not the placement of jewelry, changes that.”

    Isn’t this true of any ring? It’s a symbol, that is all.

    Also, I’ve been trying very hard to read this column with an open mind, and to not be judgmental. Really truly. But I’m having such a difficult time wrapping my mind around going on a double date with your spouse when he is not the one you’re with on said date.

    Edited for clarity

    • JLH1986

      I think it would be hard for me to turn off that relationship. I think I would still be looking to see if my husband (and boyfriend) had the “I’m over this” look or the “I’m bored” look. I think it would be hard for me to say “His GF is in charge of figuring out his looks tonight”. But I would be with my BF so I should be looking for HIS cues…but I’d probably end up looking at both and then be wiped from trying to keep up. lol

    • DatNanny

      Lol, I think of the same thing. This is why monogamy is for me. My partner, who knows me inside out as I know him, both of us knowing each other’s cues and looking out for each other even in a crowd of people. I think I would find polyamory very, deeply, lonely. A gaggle of partners wouldn’t make me feel fulfilled like having one profound and complete connection with my partner does.

    • JLH1986

      I’ve only ever had strong feelings for one person (at a time) romantically, but I know I tend to behave that way with friends. but I have hubs to say Oh Friendsy over there doesn’t look like she’s having fun, lets go see what’s going on. Whereas in this situation would that be appropriate? or would I stomp on the gf’s toes? or make the hubby mad? or make the bf mad? The logistics of it are hard for me.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      id imagine, Jim and I would go see whats going on. and id say “allan, if you and holly feeling like leavign thats cool. or we can all go do something else” Everyone is really considerate of each other. (well, hopefully holly..i have not met her yet)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      thats just one of the differences of being mono or poly. someone once said to me, but if he walks in the room with both you and his wife how do you know which one of you hes thinking about? Well, I dont think about it. it doesnt even occur to me. He’ll pat her on the leg, maybe 15 mins later smile at me. I’ll great him with a kiss when he gets to my house (no tongues lol) and later in the evening give my spouse a hug. We are all agreed not to be overly physical in front of each other, but besides that its not strange for us because its what we all want.
      And yes, if we went to the party and Allan was having a bad time, he could leave with Holly.

    • JLH1986

      I assumed as much based on what you’ve written in the past. I’m a control freak and worrier so I would really have to work at getting out of my head and focus on whomever I was with that evening. But I also can see how a double date like that could be fun because you have your own little party going in.

    • Andrea

      I think the whole thing sounds so outrageously complicated that it makes me tired to even think about it. I need a nap now.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      andrea i make you sleepy every week ;)

    • Andrea

      I know! I don’t know where you find the time and energy for this! I am only managing ONE man, only TWO kids, and 1 job and I am always hurried and tired. You manage TWO (three?) men, THREE kids, and 1 job?? HOW?

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Magic!! No really, im an EXTREMELY social person. i dont require alone time, or down time. im pretty much go go go every minute. the kids are home, im out and about with them or playing something, its night time and they are asleep im out with Jim or playing a game or something with Allan.
      Work drives me crazy…I sit at a desk all day and get super antsy. Im also VERY luck to work a regular 830-5 job with no overtime and only a 20 minute commute. i never work weekends or holidays or bring work home. if i had a more intense job, this might be harder. Im either rely high energy, or i have ADD.

    • moonie27

      a lot of people see a ring as very important; more than just a symbol. I knew construction workers who wear a ring even though it’s super dangerous to wear one on the job because it is THAT important to their spouses. The decision to take your ring off can be momentous to people, even if to others it doesn’t matter all that much.

    • Kelly

      They must work for really shitty companies with abysmal standards. If a ring is considered a safety hazard, they’d get fired for wearing it if the company cared about safety at all.

    • moonie27

      It was fairly prevalent where I grew up, in many of the companies, and i knew a lot of blue-collar workers. It was advised you took the ring off (and explained in depth) but they weren’t going to force it, especially in the smaller companies. The big ones were more strict, IIRC.

  • chickadee

    I guess that as long as you and your husband are fine with the other removing the wedding band, there won’t be any issues. I think the idea of going on a double-date with your boyfriend and your husband and his girlfriend, as candyvines mentions, is a more thought-provoking topic than wearing a piece of jewelry or not…!

    • Polyamorous Mom

      those plans got cancelled! I’ll write a piece on it when it happens :)

    • Fondue

      I’m definitely interested in hearing about the dynamics on a double-date like that.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      will do :_ hopefully we get to have one soon!

  • StealthGent

    I kept trying to find a way of saying that I actually, really get this as someone in a lifestyle BDSM relationship with the role of collars and piercings, but it kept coming out in-eloquent and kind of creepy.

    But the short version is that as someone who also has to remove important jewelry that is dear to our relationship in the name of not raising questions. I get it, and some of the emotions involved.

  • Asmit

    *you’re

  • mojo

    I’ve been trying to keep an open mind as well, but I can’t help but feel that these individuals should not be married. Go ahead and love as many people as you want, but the whole point of marriage is to commit yourself to another person, to pledge your love to that ONE person. If you lack the self-restraint to keep from falling for other people (which by the way doesn’t make unique, most people feel that but not everyone acts on it), then don’t be married. I also think it’s foolish to believe your children won’t be negatively affected by this.

    • Rachel Sea

      Ask a hundred people what is the “whole point of marriage” and you’ll get 50 different answers. It’s no one’s business how two people structure their relationship, as long as they are both consenting adults.

    • CP414

      the author of these articles is making her business a topic of discussion each time she posts an article detailing her private life. She must want some opinion because it seems these articles are becoming much more frequent on this site.

    • Rachel Sea

      Right, she’s inviting discussion, she’s not saying she needs us to define her relationship. We all have opinions about what she has to say, but claiming that her relationship is wrong because it doesn’t fit one person’s narrow definition of marriage is just mistaken.

    • Amanda Lee

      That’s the thing Rachel, CP414 is allowed to thing that poly mom’s relationship(s..?) is wrong. You can’t tell people not to judge your lifestyle when you are putting everything on the table. Would we really be this judgmental in person? No way because we wouldn’t know the intimate details of her life. Is CP414 doing anything other than stating his/her opinion? No.. so there is really no room for PC crap here.

    • Rachel Sea

      It’s not PC crap, it’s life. Millions of people claim that I’m not really in a marriage because I’m not with a man, or because I work outside the home, or whatever. I’m not saying she shouldn’t judge, because we all judge, I’m saying that her definition of marriage is so narrow that it is factually incorrect.

    • Amanda Lee

      How did I KNOW that this was going to get brought up? That’s the thing, people can think whatever they want. People are allowed to think gay marriage is wrong, women working is wrong, etc etc. You are entitled to your own opinion. People can and will continue to judge other people. As long the judgey person doesn’t act on those opinions, whether it’s verbal or physical, they can say and think whatever the eff they want. Is CP414 or I calling poly mom a slut or a whore or saying she’s going to hell? No, we aren’t.

    • Rachel Sea

      When a person says that “whole point of marriage is…” they are not making an opinion statement, they are making a statement of fact. Her fact was wrong, I rebutted. That’s all.

      The only person talking about thoughts being “allowed” is you.

    • Amanda Lee

      I’m pretty sure there is no way to say it is fact, Rachel. Just because it’s a statement does not make it true. To mojo, the whole point of marriage is committing oneself to another person. Therefore, if they don’t, mojo doesn’t think they should be married. How hard is that to understand. I think you purposely look for things to get upset about so I’m done.

    • fivebyfive

      Perhaps the author could supply a list of the things we are or aren’t allowed to say in the comments?

    • Fondue

      I don’t think she posts because she wants your opinion or validation of her relationship. I think she was given the chance to write about a concept that is completely foreign to most people. Some of us find it interesting, others don’t. That’s fine. I also think it’s fine to have conversations or respectful debates about her choices, but again, I don’t think your opinion, or mine for that matter, is of any consequence to her.

    • GenerikErik

      Exactly! I’ve found these posts very informative although I don’t think I would want to go this route or would deal with it well at all if my spouse wanted to. I’m empathetic with Poly-mom’s choices and hope she continues to post.

    • blh

      Marriage is about commitment. There’s really no way around it. That is the pont of being married. Unless you’re just marrying someone for money or something like that I guess.

    • Rachel Sea

      People do marry for money, or security, or because they’re afraid of being alone, or because they don’t want to break up, or because they want spousal benefits, or because it’s expected, or because they “have to”…

      Commitment can mean different things to different people. Dating other people does not automatically mean they aren’t committed to each other, especially if, to them, monogamy is not a condition of commitment.

      And like with all marriages, things change. The thing you want when you get married might not be what you want 5 or 10 years later. IF they are not as committed to each other as they were on their wedding day, should they automatically and instantly divorce, or might there be value in trying something that keeps them together, and, by their definitions, faithful?

    • Karen

      On the contrary. How two people conduct their marriage affects their children and society. Take a look at what Jayde is saying in one of Polymom’s other articles, about growing up in a polyamorous household. Now multiply that by thousands. Now throw in all the other ways people no longer value marriage and continue to multiply all those people and all the ways their actions–the actions of consenting adults–are affecting the next generation that they’re raising. Yes, that eventually does become other people’s business because when enough people do these things to the next generation, it affects all of us.

    • Kat

      I think you are confusing not valuing your children with not valuing marriage. The former in no way automatically flows from the latter. From what I can tell from her post and comments, Jayde has selfish parents. Selfish parents come in every flavour.

    • GenerikErik

      The problem in Jayde’s scenario is that the adults were behaving carelessly and without regard to their child’s interests. PDA at the school would be weird no matter what he marital arrangements. It had nothing to do with being poly; it had to do with being poly and in your face to your kid’s teacher.

  • TwentiSomething Mom

    Yea, I’ve been trying to keep an open mind as well but I think I’m over these poly articles. Like yea, we get it you have a bf and a husband. Does wearing your ring or not really make a difference?

    • CP414

      Agreed. My views on marriage and my own marriage is much more traditional than the author’s but that aside these article are getting kinda old. It seems like they are now just being written for the sake of writing them.

  • KB

    “My wedding ring does not say “I belong to this man” but rather “I’ve made a commitment to this man”.”

    So, what exactly IS the commitment you’ve made to your husband (and vice versa)? This is my biggest issue with you, Polyamorous Mom (not just you, really — it’s married polyamorous couples in general). Why did you get married at all?

    Please don’t think I’m being judgey. I don’t agree with your lifestyle, but I respect the fact that you are an adult making your own choices and owning it. I’m truly just curious about marriage’s role in polyamory….I can’t reconcile marriage and polyamory in my mind.

    • Jane

      I will be watching for an answer too. I am also curious. My guess, and I do hope she’ll respond to your question, is that they were married with traditional ideals and values in mind, and it was only after some time had passed she started yearning for more partners. If memory serves, she is the one who introduced the topic to her husband? If you ask her why she stays married, I suspect she’ll ask “why not” in response to you, because in her mind the arrangement is satisfying to all involved and not as traumatic for the kids as divorce would be.
      But even that answer doesn’t address the “what exactly is the committment you’ve made to your husband and vice versa” question. My answer assumes they entered into the marriage with a different set of values in mind and heart. So what are they committed to now? I can’t even begin to guess what the answer would be to that.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Yes you are right at the what we first married/made a committment to. What is my committment now? To raise our children together, to stay together when things get tough, to be there for each other through family crisis and health issues. I care about these things with Jim, but if something huge happens he would tell Diana and then me, because she is his wife. There are somethings were i wouldnt split hairs, i could have plans with one man and the other one is suddenly i nthe hospital, I’d go to the hospital regardless of which man it was. But for the boat load of lifes issues, my partner in them is my husband Allan. He knows me better than anyone else, and can always talk me down from being angry or help me through and issue. Jim fills other needs for me(not just sexual), but its Allan who is my life partner.

    • Falcongirl

      So just curious and feel free to tell me to pound sand if this is none of my business :)

      What if your boyfriend wanted to marry you, leave his current wife, and marry you? Yes I know, not likely to happen, but just wondering. Do you ever “hope” for that? From the articles it seems like there is a bigger connection with Jim, he seems to get the most attention of your writing, I can’t help but interpret that as a deeper connection or maybe he satisfies a need for your life right now.

      I’d love for you to write an article about the future, like how do you see yourself retiring, who will you spend time with, travel with, grand babies? What do you think the next 30 years will look like? Do you talk about these things all together (all 4 of you)? How does long term play into your poly life style? Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us :)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I’d be prefectly happy to answer :) Well for starters I would be very very suprised if Jim ever left his wife, even after 25 years he is very passionate about her. But that aside, if he were available no I wouldn’t leave Allan…I wouldn’t do it to Allan or our kids. While Jim and I have a nice relaitonship, we are compatible in many ways, we are not compatible as life partners like each of us are with our own spouse. A large part of that is my having children and his not, some of it may being the age difference, or financial differences, but we are both married for reasons and wants that wouldnt work out between the two of us.
      Side not and useless info, lol, when a person tries to “Steal” a poly spouse its called being a cowgirl or cowboy

    • moonie27

      Marriage is about more than sexual exclusivity, though. It’s about a family, about supporting each other, about working together for the best goals of your family.

      You can have a boyfriend or other lovers without having a marriage commitment with them.

      Also, the myriad of legal issues! Legally, it’s better to be married if you want to be each other’s “emergency contact.”

    • KB

      Yeah, believe it or not, I understand marriage is more than sexual exclusivity — to me, the emotional exclusivity is far more important than practically anything else. That’s what I still don’t understand about marriage and polyamory. When my husband and I got married, we made vows to forsake all others. Period. Not to forsake all others unless one or both of us decided we wanted relationships with others while still being married. That totally goes against what marriage means to me. I guess if you have a more liberal idea of what marriage should be, that’s between you and your husband.

    • moonie27

      But…you don’t really have emotional exclusivity in most marriages. Most people have friends and family that they have emotional relationships with; i.e., someone could probably count on their spouse, their mom, or their best friend to comfort them if they were crying.

      You, I would guess, have emotional relationships with others that are “non-spouse relations.” They’re probably quite different relationships, because you have “emotional spouse relationship” and “emotional non-spouse relationship” defined for yourself, even though they most likely share similar components. But the distinction is there, in depth or intensity or expectations or a hundred different things.

      Polymom has these definitions too, I bet; they’re just different from most people’s definitions because they include sex and romance in both spouse and non-spouse relationships. But the inclusion of sex and romance doesn’t mean that the relationships become the same emotionally or of equal importance.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      “I guess if you have a more liberal idea of what marriage should be, that’s between you and your husband.”

      I kind of feel like you answered your own question here.

      “Marriage” really, truly, does not mean the same thing to everyone. “Getting married” isn’t even the same for everyone. Not everyone takes the “traditional” vows when they get married. In a lot of places (such as here in PA), there is no ceremony required at all. You just grab a couple of witnesses and then mail in your paperwork, and a week or so later you have your fully-legal marriage license.

      And as mentioned above, there are many practical legal reasons to get married. From a purely legal standpoint, marriage is not about love. It’s just a civil process by which two people declare themselves to be a family unit.

    • Kat

      ‘To me’ are the key words there. I totally share your approach to marriage. But I’m able to separate what’s wrong for me versus what I think is wrong, period. FWIW, your last sentence suggests that you are too.

    • Allen

      Why not get married? I think it’s up to individual couples to decide what marriage means to them. And I don’t think I have to be monogamous in order to be deeply committed to someone.

      Personally, the main benefit I see in marriage is legal. I don’t feel like I need to marry someone to make a commitment to them, but marriage is necessary for a lot of legal benefits, and if I had a serious, lifelong partner, I would want to make sure that we were legally seen as a family–whether we slept with other people or not.

  • Amanda Lee

    Like others, I’ve really really tried to be open to this. I just can’t. I don’t understand it, can’t empathize with it, and can’t help but be Miss Judgey McJudge. ESPECIALLY after reading that heartbreaking article written earlier by the Polyamorous parents’ kid. I feel horrible for her. :(

    • lissa

      Ditto. Another (soon to be former) reader of these articles, for the same reasons. I want to read one more, though. An article of polymom’s reaction to anonkids situation. Not being a jerk, btw, I’m really interested to know.

    • Amanda Lee

      Me too. I hope she reads the article with a grain of salt. I’m not saying her kids are going to be damaged, but I don’t want her to think it’s going to be all easy sailing either.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I felt badly for her. We didnt get a lot of backstory, but it doesnt sound like her parents took her needs much into consideration

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Im going to write a response to it

    • GenerikErik

      Yes! As I read that article, I was imagining your response. The horrid way the parents acted was about the parents choosing to inflict their agenda on their kid and everyone around her. It wouldn’t matter if the message was “We’re poly and proud!” or “We want to tell you about the wonders of Amway!” in either case it wasn’t the message it was the propriety of the venue. I was at a parent teacher conference this past week where a fellow dad was very invested in telling everyone in the dining hall, where the conferences were held that history is bunk, including the kid’s history teacher. It was selfish beyond words. Luckily the kids weren’t present.

    • Allen

      I feel like there are a lot of extenuating circumstances in the Anonymous Kid article. Not that growing up in a poly family isn’t going to have challenges, in general. But I think there’s a lot parents can do simply by being realistic and having empathy for their kids, which it sounds like the parents in the other article are really failing at.

      I’m a bit uncomfortable with the idea that poly families just shouldn’t reproduce, because there’s risk of disagreement or exclusions any time parents are nontraditional or belong to minority groups. I’m interested in possibly adopting an older child someday, but I am aware that being queer and trans might make that difficult, and that it’s possible that some older children might not be comfortable with it. But I don’t think that it means I should never consider it or give it a try, or that I’d made a bad parent just because I’m not “normal.”

  • Fondue

    If you don’t like the articles, then don’t read them. I’m happiliy married and I can’t wrap my head around what it would be like either, but that’s why I’m reading: to understand, to learn more. Not to learn more in the sense that I’m considering this lifestyle, but just for the sake of learning about others.

    • Amanda Lee

      But where’s the fun in that?

    • Amanda Lee

      If you post about a controversial topic, you’re going to have controversial comments. Telling someone “if you don’t like it, don’t read it”? Really?

  • Guest

    Am I the only one that noticed the throw away comment regarding another sexual partner? So she has a husband, a boyfriend, and a “friend with benefits”? I certainly hope that you are using the best birth control ever, or else you are going to have a serious Maury situation on your hands. On another note, how on earth does a woman with 3 romantic relationships and a full time job have any time for her kids? There are literally not enough hours in a week. You are not giving your children the full amount of time and attention they deserve. Put it away and focus on someone else’s needs instead of your own.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I dont have a romantic relationship with my friend, we made out once and we talk alot. thats it. We dont spend more time together, because we both have lives, kids, and other partners. Im actually with my children a lot more often than any man, probably only less than i am at work.

    • Kat

      Aw seriously now? Unclutch your pearls and relax. You have no idea how Polymom’s lifestyle affects her children. None of us do. Personally, I can imagine ways in which a poly lifestyle could be negative for kids. I can imagine ways in which a strict religious upbringing could be negative for kids. I can imagine ways in which having a CEO for a parent could be negative for kids. The whole ‘won’t somebody think of the children’ line of commentary feels like a fig leaf for what amounts to ‘I just don’t like it and so it’s wrong’.

  • Polyamorous Mom

    update: Allan and I have decided not to wear them at all.

    • Fondue

      Why?

    • Polyamorous Mom

      We decided it was silly to be taking them on and off when the point was we didnt feel the need to “display” that we are married because we are poly, we feel more comfortable socially without them. So if we want just momentos of each other we’ll get some inexpensive right hand rings, like i happen to wear one from Jim on my right index finger

    • Fondue

      Why not just wear the rings you exchanged with one another during your wedding instead of getting new ones for your other hand? Is it the ring itself, or is it the finger it’s worn on that makes you feel uncomfortable?
      How do others in the poly community deal with the wedding ring issue?

    • Polyamorous Mom

      its the finger its worn on, if it fit my right hand i would but it doesnt.

      Its all differnet, Jim and Diana dont wear rings. Some of my other friends are very surprised that we dont.

    • SA

      Maybe it is the vows associated with the wedding band?

    • Polyamorous Mom

      well, i still believe in alot of the vows. unless there was something in there about “foresaking all others” obviously not that one.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      Seems to be something that varies between couples/groups. Heck, I know plenty of _monogamous_ married couples who don’t bother wearing rings. The symbol doesn’t mean the same thing (or even anything at all) to everyone.

    • Bishop Black

      My husband and I haven’t worn rings in years, because we don’t see any point.

  • jsterling93

    My husband and I have had this talk. It is strange. I am not dating but I often don’t wear my rings because I forget them. My husband however does date and he always wears his on dates. It is strange to me that he would want to wear them on a date but he prefers it that way.

  • Kelly

    The reason that you got a negative reaction from other polyamorous people is because taking off your wedding ring is a huge red flag. Lots of things that you write about in these articles are huge red flags that say this lifestyle is very wrong for you and your husband and it will all end badly.

    People who have been in the lifestyle for a decent amount of time have seen it happen plenty of times and don’t want to be in the middle of it. My husband and I would avoid the hell out of you. We have no desire to see a marriage implode.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      care to explain? and we have no issues with any of our poly friends

    • Kelly

      I’ve explained it to you several times on previous articles. It’s a waste of time. You just don’t see it because you don’t want to see it, which is sad. The need to take of your ring is simply another huge red flag that says you aren’t really comfortable with this.

      I don’t know why you feel the need to tell me about your friends. I didn’t mention them. You said you visit a forum where other poly people said taking off your ring is not a good thing. That’s because they’ve been around the block a few times. They’ve seen marriages just like yours go down the tubes over and over and over again. It happens all the time.

      If your marriage lasts another 10 years, let me know. I’ll buy you a drink after I get over the shock.

    • KB

      Kelly, I’m really curious to get another viewpoint on this because I’m still struggling to understand….maybe you can give me your thoughts.

      Why are you married if you’re polyamorous?

      (Again, not trying to be judgey — just trying to wrap my head around this.)

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Ok…i dont recall another poly person commenting on any of mt articles and saying I was doing something wrong. I do recall this on the first few articles, not written by me. Im just curious what you are referring to.

    • Betty Jean

      I think the easiest way to conceptualize the red flag is this – poly is about being able to love two (or more) people simultaneously, knowing that the love of one does not decrease the love for another. That ring symbolizes your love and relationship with your husband. When you remove it because of being with the other guy, the message you’re sending, symbolically, is that they can’t co-exist… That to be with your boyfriend, your marriage must be lessened or hidden (or at least the reminder can’t be there). That you’re removing it every time you go out because some stranger may ask a question that is awkward for 30 seconds seems like an excuse. Are you afraid your bf would resent the constant reminder of your marriage? If so then you should question whether that’s a safe relationship for you… Whether everyone is really ok with poly.

  • Izzy

    I’m getting annoyed with so many of the comments sounding the same “I’m not trying to judge, but I LOOOOOVE my husband so much I couldn’t do this.” Well guess what, the same can be said for a lot of couples, but that’s not the case for everyone. I think a poly lifestyle is far preferable to the hurt and pain and dishonesty of cheating, which is, whether you ladies like it or not, more common that you would like, whether it is physical or emotional cheating.

    • candyvines

      Fair enough, but I don’t think being poly is the only option to avoid dishonesty and cheating. Lots of couples have open relationships and sleep with other people. Also, there is no guarantee of honesty just because you’ve set different parameters than most. I can’t speak for the group, but my hangups with it are more about looking for a deep, romantic, lasting relationship outside the marriage. No one here is saying she shouldn’t be allowed to do this.

  • Justme

    My husband never wears his wedding band. When I coached and taught PE, neither did I. But despite our naked ring fingers, we were (and are!) still very much married.

  • JonieUnderwood

    But Your fiancee may be upset when you are remove my wedding rings .
    In now-a-days there is not value for the remove the rings and Love .
    http://maxburncambogiamexicosite.com/

  • Simone

    Nyah nyah, I’m so unique and special! I don’t CARE about those outdated social trappings! I’m a free spirit, goddammit, so I must tell everyone about my amazing freedom from these silly social norms!!!!!

    Sigh, I don’t care if you want to be a furry or poly or celibate or any old thing. Do what you like.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      I have to say, I dont really get these comments. Lots of people write about their lives, I happen to be one of them. i dont think Im any more special than the next person, bu choose to write about one part of my life that some people (who enjoy reading this column) find interesting,

  • Momma425

    I can’t even imagine having to watch my husband be at a party with another woman. I would be so jealous- I would punch a b*tch! And he would do the same if I went to a party with another man. I guess it’s a good thing he and I are together and have the same monogamous beliefs.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      And I’m happy for you guys :)

    • Bishop Black

      Always easier to blame the other party. Jealous that your spouse is out with someone else? Punch the someone else. I can’t imagine being so upset at someone else when it was really my spouse I was mad at.

  • Alicia Kiner

    My husband has only worn his wedding ring a handful of times since the day we got married. His work doesn’t allow jewelry of any kind for safety reasons, so it’s just easier for him to never wear it. Because of this, we’ve actually gotten some nasty looks when we’ve been out and holding hands while I was wearing my rings. I know what people were thinking, and at first it bothered me. It doesn’t anymore. I love my husband, we know the truth. You and your men know the truth, whether you have jewelry on or not. People in general aren’t going to understand your relationship dynamics. But as long as the two of you are comfortable in the way your marriage is working, the jewelry is just an accessory, it’s a symbol, a token. It says so right in the wedding vows.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      See, I find it amazing that people even notice whether a couple out and about is wearing wedding rings. I’m only very vaguely aware of the existence of wedding rings.

    • Alicia Kiner

      Mostly when I’ve noticed people noticing, it’s when we’re out at restaurants, holding hands on the table. So it’s kind of on display. But I do see your point. I don’t ordinarily go walking around staring at people’s hands to see if they’re married. And I’m fully aware that some of it was just me being over-sensitive, which is how I got over it.

  • blh

    You’re fucking another guy. At this point wearing your ring or not is a moot point.

  • MarcusFenix

    So, you start your story about having these rings which denote, and were inscribed, with ideals of love and devotion. Then, you break them because you want to “represent your life in a clear way”. It took only months, according to the account, to get to that position.

    Difference of opinion between me and the author, but….ideals of commitment, only to break them for convenience or pleasure doesn’t sound terribly committed to me. You state directly that you consider yourself married to your spouse and love him, but your comments included this:

    “given Jim and I act like love sick teenagers around each other.”

    Clearly, this Jim is getting the better end of the deal. You didn’t describe your actual husband in such language. Seems to me, the commitment between you and Allen is for legal and financial convenience while Jim gets the more emotional benefits.

    There cannot be two skies. I heard this a long while ago, and I find it rings true, especially when dealing with commitment. Just my 2 cents.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      If she and her husband do act lovesick around each other, it wouldn’t really be relevant to this article. No one would think anything of seeing them act lovey-dovey in front of others while wearing their rings, whereas it’s a different story when she’s with Jim.

      Regarding the rest, I think this really falls into the category of “You either believe that ‘commitment’ requires emotional/sexual exclusivity, or you don’t.” I happen to fall into the latter.

    • MarcusFenix

      Except it would be…she clearly didn’t mention it or anything like it. To me, it shows the bias towards one partner versus another. To believe that married couples don’t act that way together, in any other real situation, is sort of silly and clearly not based in reality.

      I just believe that when you make a commitment to someone, your commitment starts there. When you extend a commitment to another person, you now have 2 sets of items to honor. Like any other line of thinking where multiple commitments come into play (consider business for example), eventually….someone gets the short end of the stick because you can’t be everywhere at once, doing everything at once. Eventually, you can’t keep multiple commitments to both people, no matter how well thought out it might be.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      “To believe that married couples don’t act that way together, in any other real situation, is sort of silly and clearly not based in reality.”

      I didn’t make the case that married couples don’t act that way together. I pointed out that this article is about whether to wear her wedding ring while out with Jim, not about whether to wear the wedding ring while out with Allan. If PolyMom and Allan were being super lovey while they were both wearing their rings, it would not bring up uncomfortable (or just plain tiring) questions from others. Therefore, I see that as being not relevant to the subject of this article. It’s a different subject, so why would it be mentioned here?

    • MarcusFenix

      Though I dislike having to repeat myself, I stated that it wasn’t present in the article. My point, which really wasn’t obtuse, is that by description, one person gets treated differently than another. Certainly, the affection she feels towards man #2 would have been expressed had it been done so for man #1. Certainly, that’s plain enough.

      That, in the context of my statement, was something I noticed about the article and made a comment about. It’s the same subject…especially since we’re talking about commitments and treatment of each person. Why wouldn’t it be mentioned…unless it’s just not that way from the start?

      Unless, one could postulate that they don’t get equal treatment…and thus, unequal levels of commitment.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Jim and I act like lovesick puppies, cause we’ve been together for seven months…Allan and I have been together for 15 years. Maybe some people still act “lovesick” after 15 years, but to me thats really an early stages on relationships feeling. Also, Jim and Allan are VERY different people. Allan and I have a great relationship, its just very grounded in reality. Our “lovedovey” ness is mroe like….he goes to take his shirt off i nthe morning and i go “god damn your hot!!” but that wasnt relevant to this article :)

  • halez

    I just don’t understand at all. None of this makes any sense. If you are married to Allan, why wouldn’t you wear your wedding ring? You and your husband choose not to wear your rings when you’re with other people, because it is an inconvenient reminder that you actually are married? But you’re open and okay with your lifestyle? It just seems full of contradictions. I think you and Jim should divorce your spouses and marry each other, and just be done with it.

    • http://www.benwhoski.com/ Benwhoski

      I don’t think it’s about it being an inconvenient reminder that she’s married. It’s just inconvenient to have time with Jim interrupted with social awkwardness from others.

      In my own experience, I am not uncomfortable or ashamed of my own poly relationship, but I am selective regarding with whom I discuss it. Even when totally okay with the lifestyle, sometimes the questioning and outright judgement some people respond with gets exhausting and unpleasant. Sometimes, you just want to spend your time enjoying a night out with your partner, and not spend it on explaining or defending your relationship to others.

  • Richard Vandiamondsworth

    Why do you folks get married at all? Is it hotter to joint-file taxes with at least one partner?

    • Polyamorous Mom

      Yes. taxes really get me going.

  • Jyss

    This would be difficult for me. While I respect your choices and am glad they make you happy, I am definitely uncomfortable with the idea of my husband having sex with another person. Not only does it technically open you up to the chance of disease (even if safe sex is discussed, it may not happen EVERY time. How long after you and Husband were together did you stop using condoms?), but honestly, I kind of feel like if i or he were having an emotional and sexual connection and relationship with another person, that we may no longer come first for each other, or be “enough” for each other.

    I actually feel like swinging or having threesomes would be far less invasive in a marriage. Sharing, but only as a sexual release. It’s actually the emotional component that I am most uncomfortable with.

    • Polyamorous Mom

      we used condoms once we had other BC and were monogamous, when you arent its a much bigger thing. But anyway, fair assessment :) Its not for everyone. a good friend of mine swings, and doesnt see how we can do the emotional side of it, but for us it suits our relationship.

  • RM

    Uhm, my ring doesn’t mean I ‘belong’ to my man.

    I gave these articles a chance, but they’ve got real ‘special snowflake’ syndrome. Speaking as if the ‘redefined’ traditional marriage. And really, if you’re married and committed to your husband, why would you take off your ring during a date?! So you don’t scare the new guy off?