do open marriages workBy Sarah P. 

Polyamorists claim open marriages are a good solution for the continued happiness of long-term happy marriages.  But do open marriages work?

We have heard a lot from them recently—those people who practice polyamory. The movement, which was made popular in the 1970’s, is now rearing its ugly, leering head and wandering eyes again.

Unfortunately, there are people out there who actually subscribe to this lifestyle. Believe it or not, I have a younger female cousin who has always practiced it and I have heard a lot about it from her.

Let me state up front that I am biased against open marriages. Personally, I do not believe a polyamorous lifestyle is emotionally healthy, physically healthy, or something in which I would ever be interested. Still, I wanted to explore the concept and consider whether such relationships are viable.

So, first and foremost, let me present what I believe is a good enough definition of polyamory from the Polyamory Society:

Polyamory is the non-possessive, honest, responsible, and ethical philosophy and practice of loving multiple people simultaneously. Polyamory emphasizes consciously choosing how many partners one wishes to be involved with rather than accepting social norms which dictate loving only one person at a time. Polyamory is an umbrella term which integrates traditional multi-partner relationship terms with more evolved egalitarian terms. Polyamory embraces sexual equality and all sexual orientations toward an expanded circle of spousal intimacy and love.” (1)

What motivates people in relationships or actual marriages to practice polyamory or open marriages?

I have read on several sites promoting polyamory that monogamy is just not a viable concept and never has been. But, they are not the only ones who say it. This has also been the mantra of (mainly male) evolutionary psychologists for a number of years.

Polyamorists and evolutionary psychologists have cited boredom, the need for variety, a ‘better’ gene pool, and the feelings of ‘suffocation’ that are caused by long-term monogamous relationships. They also generally believe polyamory is a win-win for everyone involved since it involves following agreed upon rules, egalitarianism, and openness in communication.

They believe no one needs to have affairs since affairs are based on lying, sneaking around, and breach of trust. They believe polyamory is the perfect solution because a type of controlled and equal infidelity is now permitted. They also believe polyamorists are highly moral and evolved because they are open about their infidelity. Finally, they generally strengthen their argument by citing infidelity and divorce statistics to demonstrate that monogamy is not a viable system.

Neil GaimanThe Faces of Polyamory: Who knew your friendly, neighborhood children’s book author practiced an open marriage? Amanda Palmer and her husband Neil Gaiman. Neil is famous for children’s books and a film called Coraline. He is also the author of the Sandman series. Neil, if you want to continue to write children’s books, I would stop giving interviews to the likes of The Guardian discussing your polyamory.

Polyamory/Open Marriage for the Benefit of Men

As a woman, the first thing I suspect about polyamory is that it is a big, old excuse by some men so that they can have sexual relationships with as many women as possible while feeling morally superior about their behavior. Obviously, these men believe that the little incident of gender between their legs is so incredibly special that it must be shared with all!

Ahh… but let’s look at what polyamorists say for themselves. Apparently, in polyamory, each couple has strict rules they abide by, or at least they pretend to abide by them. If polyamory principles were followed to a T, then it truly could be egalitarian if a woman were allowed to get hers. However, because jealousy occurs and is part of human nature for a very good reason, polyamory can be very lopsided.

I will provide the example of a relative. She claims she is bi-sexual and says she has known that all of her life. (Huh?) Most of her relationships involve one man and two women.

This relative who is actually attractive enough and incredibly book smart, believes polyamory is the perfect situation. I might be inclined to take her words for it, but I have also noticed that as soon as she started living this way, she started using illicit substances. (I would like to state that said illicit substances are practically legal in her state now, but that does not matter.) One wonders if a lifestyle were so perfect, why does one have to deaden one’s brain in the process. Me thinks it might be about trying to silence the conscience.

See also  You Don't Have to Play the Affair Game

two girls and a manI found an interesting blog by a woman where she talked openly about some of the challenges of polyamory. The first thing that caught my eye was her description of an argument that she had with the husband of another woman. (Apparently, she was one of the people who participated in their relationship—I wonder if she was the Wednesday or the Friday girl…).

The arrangement this married couple had was this: their marriage was open and they could sleep with whomever they wanted. However, the man had the additional rule that his wife could only sleep with women, even though the wife was not apparently bi-sexual. So, it turned out the wife ended up in the middle of threesomes or possibly with other women (trying hard to be bisexual) while her husband was off having sex with another woman or women. (2)

The female author of the blog argued with him extensively for several reasons. Here is my takeaway from what I read:

A) The blog author rightly believed the husband’s viewpoint and rules for his wife were inherently sexist. It created a situation where he could have his cake and eat it too.

B) The husband admitted that he believed if two women had sex it wasn’t really sex because sex involved ‘thing A being inserted into slot B’. So, the author noted that he doubly illustrated that what he was really doing was cheating in the guise of calling it polyamory and therefore labeling infidelity as an OK thing to do.

C) He took none of his wife’s needs into account because he was too focused on having sex with other women.

D) Even though his wife was heterosexual, he told her male appendages were strictly off limits.

E) He did not want to own up to all of this because he was having too much fun, even though it meant harming his wife.

get out of jail freeI am getting the eerie feeling like I have heard all this before. Could polyamory be the cheater’s new get out of jail free card?

This author also had a gripe about another polyamorous relationship in which she was engaged. She liked the man with whom a new budding relationship was growing. But, unfortunately, her new man wanted to control her and she was feeling it.

Her answer to her new controlling lover was this:

Things that I do with my body, mind, or emotions are not things that I do TO YOU. They can affect you (which is why I’m so adamant about building friendly, or at least civil, metamour relations), but they are not done TO YOU. They are not about you. They are things that are happening to me. And you have no right to control those things or cry victimization when you don’t like what happens to me. Manipulation, intimidation, and control are, in fact, the wrong ways to do polyamory.”(2) 

Translation: she is calling out yet another man who wants to sleep with whomever he wants, but she is supposed to be with him alone.

The author of the blog is pointing out the reality of how polyamory works. Even though true polyamory is egalitarian, men do not really want egalitarian polyamory. Most men are drawn to it to have their cake and eat it too. Thus they refuse to follow the egalitarian rules of true polyamory where a woman also sleeps with as many men as she chooses.

How ironic is it that a philosophy that is supposed to have feminist leanings actually ends up being a patriarchal tool where a man gets his harem and a woman gets to wait in line?

The idea that this is a viable solution to the ‘issues’ of monogamy becomes ludicrous because it is taking us backwards. It ends up benefitting men while sexually suppressing and harming the woman. (And this doesn’t even take into account the HARM such an arrangement is doing to children).

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This is the point where I will judge open marriages—when children are involved. Any way you slice it, there is no way keeping these things from children. Children are far too smart for that and such arrangements cause emotional trauma. Anyway you cut it or try to wrap it up in philosophy to confuse people, polyamory is harmful.

What Is the Success Rate of Open Marriages?

Steve Brody, Ph.D., a psychologist in Cambria, California, explains that less than 1 percent of married people are in open marriages. Some research suggests that open marriage has a 92 percent failure rate.” (3) So not only do very few people engage in open/polyamorous marriages, 92% of those marriages fail. That’s double the current divorce rate for monogamous, heterosexual marriages.

So, the very alternative to monogamy actually creates a guaranteed failure. After all, if someone came up to you and said: “Hey, I just found this awesome stock and I believe it will make you a millionaire overnight. But, the only downside is, there is a 92% chance of failure based on past performance. And you could lose all your money. But, don’t worry about that – Are you in?” Anyone who has two brain cells to rub together is going to walk the other way and realize such a proposal is crazy, that is if they want to secure their financial future. These are odds anyone in their right mind will not take. To that end, how can polyamory be a solution to the failure of marriages when polyamory pretty much guarantees a fail? Where is the success in that?

The Really Bad

The thing that is most alarming element to me is the potential for STDs. Many people believe condoms make everything safe. But, even condoms do not prevent the HPV virus and genital warts.

What is scarier is that the most dangerous HPV virus is the one that never manifests itself as a physical wart, but rather as fast growing and invasive cervical cancer. Cheaters: if you are reading this, know this—wrapping that rascal does not prevent one of the most dangerous diseases to women. So, don’t fool yourself. There is no such thing as harmless infidelity.

Last month, I read about Joey Feek passing away from cervical cancer. I took an interest in this story for a couple of reasons. The first was because she was from a small town near where I lived in the Midwest. She was younger than me but we probably knew people in common. But, the main reason was because she died a full 8 months after her diagnosis of cervical cancer. Joey was married and she is her husband had a beautiful, little girl.

I knew from speaking with my husband that this type of cervical cancer that Joey had is always due to the kind of HPV that doesn’t show signs (i.e. genital warts). Seeing her in photos with her infant daughter made me want to scream out about the seeming unfairness in this world. (God rest this beautiful woman’s soul and I pray that her daughter feels her mom’s loving presence all around her).

Healthy Joey with her Husband Rory

Joey and Rory


Joey with her infant daughter weeks before her death

Joey with daughter


I asked for my husband to read the stories about Joey’s cancer and to tell me what he thought. He confirmed (from the stories) that he felt this was definitely the virulent form of HPV and he was shocked that it was not caught in time. (This was especially true because often high profile individuals have excellent healthcare. It’s not right, but it’s the way it is).

My husband said that this type of HPV generally doesn’t lay dormant in the body for many years as some other less dangerous strains do. He said that this type of HPV manifests itself soon after being contracted (not years later).

Since Joey was married, my husband scratched his head. He said that if a couple is monogamous for any length of time, this type of thing generally does not happen. But, he also said anything is possible and it could have just been one of those things. She or her husband could have contracted it from partners before they married. Therefore, I am not here to imply that there was infidelity in their marriage and I would never want to imply that. It’s just a terribly tragic story and I am so sorry for the family’s loss.

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But, what it did bring home to me is that there is no such thing as harmless infidelity and that often women suffer from the sins of their husbands. As I said before, even if a cheating husband were to wear a condom, he could unknowingly bring a very silent cancer into his wife’s life. He could be signing his wife’s death certificate just because he was so selfish that he had to have an affair.

Thus, I wanted to bring up a painful topic, but I bring it up because I care about you. If you know your husband has had a physical affair, I want you to pay close attention to your health. I recommend getting a pap exam at least once a year. I also recommend having your physician run full STD panels from time to time, especially if you suspect your husband has gone back to the other woman or is seeing a new one.

This is the primary reason I hate affairs so much!! — it’s not just that the betrayed has to deal with the absolute nuclear devastation that affairs bring—but the betrayed also must now be concerned about STDs.

The betrayed will never be really sure if she will be the unlucky one who gets cervical cancer. After all, HPV is present in the entire sexually active population. (One exception is when 2 virgins marry each other and stay faithful. The other exception is when a husband and wife who were sexually active with others before marriage have been monogamous for at least seven years and the woman has had a clean pap exam for all seven of those years. The HPV virus usually sloughs off in these cases unless the wife has a compromised immune system).

So, please, please, please pay attention to your health both for yourself and for all of those wonderful people who love you! Even though you don’t know me, do it for me too because I do care what happens to you.

In summary, I believe the newfound interest in polyamory and open marriages is just another way to allow men to deposit sperm anywhere they want without a further thought about who they harm.

Under no circumstance do I believe open marriages and affairs are harmless, especially because of the STD component that occurs with both. In fact, the more open the marriage, the higher the chance someone gets a deadly STD.

But, affairs are the worse of the two because the spouse who was betrayed never gave their consent. Further, if the betrayed spouse is a woman, she could be the one who loses her life due to a husband’s affair.I have a no tolerance policy for infidelity and I do not believe it can be excused. Sure, there are always reasons and situations that made the affair possible, but that does not mean it was the right thing to do.

Do not ever allow your unfaithful partner make you believe it was something you did. There is always choice. Even in today’s modern society with medical advances, there are always harmful consequences when it comes to infidelity. 

Does this article ring true for you? Have you ever had a STD scare due to a spouse’s affair?

Polyamorists are so open minded, it looks like their brains fell out! Here are some anonymous quotes from polyamorists:

“No one person can ever meet all of your needs – and this is ok.”

“Sleeping with multiple partners is awesome.”

“Most monogamous people will try to shield each other from the emotional challenges of life.”

“Deep friendships provide a space to talk through tools and plans for resolving conflict inside your romantic relationship. For me, these friendships also have a sexual component.”

“Love is not a finite resource. Physical intimacy is not the boundary of long term commitment.”



Author Unknown. (n.d.) What Is Polyamory? Retrieved April 5, 2016, from

Joreth. (009, February 4). Ranty Lessons By Joreth. Retrieved from

Salmansohn, K. (2010, March 23). Do Open Marriages Work? Retrieved from


    23 replies to "Do Open Marriages Work?"

    • Alice

      Marriage takes a lot of work and energy…I can’t really see how a marriage can be successful if you are diverting your energy into side relationships.

      • Sarah P.

        Hi Alice,

        That is so true!

      • Stefan

        This article contains anecdotes of men who obviously abused the notion of an open relationship in order to get away with cheating while still controlling their wives. I agree that this is sexist and not egalitarian. However, may I remind you that the traditional monogamous marriage is not very egalitarian either. 50 years ago the husband still owned his wife in the sense that rape in a marriage was legal, just to mention one example. So maybe the issue is not so much polyamory but rather people abusing the notion. As far as STD’s go, people engaging in polyamory do actually not suffer from more infections than the average person because there is more awareness of the risks. Also, serial monogamists often have more sexual partners than people in stable polyamorous relationships. Finally, the high failure rate of open marriages can easily be explained by the fact that marriages are often opened up as a last resort in a failing relationship. Another issue is that sometimes one partner is pushed into opening up the relationship without really being convinced by that concept.

    • Rachel

      Absolutely not!!!!!
      This is what my ex wanted. Seriously if your heart is not with me alone, Good-bye!

      • Sarah P.

        No kidding. I am always surprised when women participate in these relationships!

    • Kate

      The part that bothers me about all this polyamory stuff is that it subscribes to USING other people for your own self-gratification. People are not objects to be used – they have feelings that are to be respected. People who are involved sexually tend to get involved emotionally as well. And then people get hurt. Seems to me you’re playing with fire.

      Also, I have read on other blogs that there is a big pervasive problem within the polyamory world called OPP – One Penis Problem. SURPRISE! Men say they subscribe to the polyamorous lifestyle, but then get upset when the women sleep with other men. I’ve also noticed that people who identify as polyamorists just use it as a way to skip from one romance to the next. They’re not interested in relationships – just the easy, fun & exciting romance part. Once things settle down to real life hard work, they’re out.

      • Sarah P.

        One Penis Problem — that is really funny and so true!

        I agree 100% that polyamory does objectify the women involved. I don’t know for a fact, but I would suspect the men who practice polyamory would meet the clinical criteria for narcissism. Narcissists see people as objects and lots of sex with different people offers an unlimited supply of ‘narcissistic feed’.

    • exercisegrace

      I definitely have had to deal with STD issues. My husband’s whore did not disclose to him that she has HPV until late into their affair. During their affair I had quite a few urinary tract and a couple of vaginal infections. My doctor even asked me once if I had a new partner. I laughed and told him my husband and I had been together since high school. We were each others’ first and only, so there was no way. I guess that was the start of me paddling my boat down that river called denial. I developed endometriosis and had to have two surgeries, the second of which was a complete hysterectomy. My doctor now thinks it was my body’s reaction to being exposed to the HPV and foreign bacteria. It took my husband a year past d-day to admit that he KNEW she had HPV. His crappy defense was that I had gone to my doctor and been tested for everything under the sun. Medically, he thought I had it covered and he was afraid to tell me early on for fear I would leave him.

      According to my doctor, HPV is the WORST STD you can get. There is no treatment and certain types can cause cancer of the cervix, throat and who knows where else. Further, it is spread even if you use condoms. The virus can lie dormant in your body for years, so just getting checked and having a negative test once means little. There is a specific DNA test for the HPV you can have done to see if you carry one of the cancer-causing strains.

      This has made healing and moving forward difficult. Every time I have a checkup, the pain and anger return. Risking someone’s very life for the thrill of an affair with some whore? Intolerable.

      • Rachel

        Exercise Grace,
        I’m so sorry to hear all that you’ve had to deal with . These are our bodies that those pieces of trash invaded.
        I understand your anger returning when you have a checkup. Stay strong.

    • Tabs


      You should’ve put this post in this week’s blog, Taming the Incredible Hulk. I was exposed other health irritants. They’re not as harmful as HPV, but chronic and very irritating. I think about what my CH did for the “thrill of the affair” and the anger just starts building. Yup, mean and green.

      • Strengthrequired

        Tabs, eg, I was just thinking the same thing today. For some reason today, I started thinking about all the things my ch did during his affair, starting thinking about how We moved away, and my ch and I stayed a week or two, every week apart , for so long after we moved, and I know he must have thought I was stupid or something, but I know deep down that he was with the ow and her family when he wasn’t with us, of course he denied, denied, denied, but I don’t believe him for a second. I remember one night, he came home not long after we moved, and he was talking in his car, on the car hands free, and I could hear her plain as day, tell him that she loved him.
        When he came inside, I was shaking, and as I mentioned to him what I heard, my legs gave out from beneath me, i remember so much, how he lied to my face, trying to tell me it was the radio. That’s how stupid he thought I was, yet there a was on the floor unable to get up, with my heart breaking more and more.
        I even know that before we moved back down to our home we moved from, he was still seeing her, of course he denies that too, but deep down I know it’s another lie, that he will not confess to, most probably in fear of me leaving.
        Every time I think of these things, I feel myself getting angry. It sickens me that he has done this to us, and with a cousin none the less.
        Trust has not returned much at all, when it comes to me and him, too many lies makes it hard to trust, you couple it with those haunting thoughts that like to surface every now and then, it makes it even harder.
        Hugs to the both of you

    • Tabs

      Don’t you wish they would just confess to what we already know. I know, for a fact, that my CH took the OW to “lover’s point”. Remember the blog about looking on cell phones and PCs. Well, the cell phone never lies… just my CH, who refuses to admit he took her there. I’ve told my CH where I found the info, but he says the phone is wrong. The more he denies, the more upset i get.

    • Aaron

      Have you considered reading actual scientific literature? The sources you cite are 1 informational page that gives raw definitions, and two openly anti-polyamory opinion pieces. Perhaps you should go to studies by the NIH, or the US Census Bureau, or peer reviewed articles such as the ones I will note here…

      “Only 1% of marriages are open.” – Actually, it’s closer to 5% with 20-30% of people in the USA having engaged in it.

      “Some research suggests that open marriage has a 92% failure rate.” – Research by whom? Reputable sources and studies show the divorce rate of non-monogamous marriages is statistically identical to monogamous marriages. In fact, the only statistical deviation between the two is that communication and happiness within a marriage are self-reported to be much higher in non-monogamous marriages.

      There are plenty of reasons to object to non-monogamy, from religious to personal, but your entire article is objectively dishonest.

      Haupert, M.L., Gesselman, A.N., Moors, A.C., Fisher, H.E., and Garcia, J.R. (2017). Prevalence of experiences with consensual nonmonogamous relationships: Findings from two national samples of single Americans. Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 43(5), 424-440.

      Moors, A. C. (2017). Has the American public’s interest in information related to relationships beyond “the couple” increased over time? Journal of Sex Research, 54(6), 677-684.

      Rubin, J. D., Moors, A. C., Matsick, J. L., Ziegler, A., & Conley, T. D. (2014). On the margins: Considering diversity among consensually non-monogamous relationships. Journal fur Psychologie, 22, 19–37.

      Van de Mortel, T. F. (2008). Faking it: social desirability response bias in self-report research. Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing, The, 25(4), 40.

      Levine, E. C., Herbenick, D., Martinez, O., Fu, T. C., & Dodge, B. (2018). Open Relationships, Nonconsensual Nonmonogamy, and Monogamy Among U.S. Adults: Findings from the 2012 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(5), 1439–1450.

      Fairbrother, N., Hart, T. A., & Fairbrother, M. (2019). Open Relationship Prevalence, Characteristics, and Correlates in a Nationally Representative Sample of Canadian Adults. Journal of Sex Research, 0(00), 1–10.

      Moors, A. C. (2017). Has the American public’s interest in information related to relationships beyond “the couple” increased over time?. The Journal of Sex Research, 54(6), 677-684.

      • Roy

        Most of the studies you cite are extremely biased due to methodological issues and researcher biases. These issues are covered in detail in the study below:

        Rubel, Alicia & Bogaert, Anthony. (2014). Consensual Nonmonogamy: Psychological Well-Being and Relationship Quality Correlates. Journal of sex research. 52. 1-22. 10.1080/00224499.2014.942722.

        If you look at the heading “Methodological Issues”, it becomes clear that self reported happiness is actually lower in non-monogamous relationships compared to monogamous relationships due to self enhancement biases in responses from non-monogamous people. Here’s more research debunking the claims made by non-monogamous people:

        Forrest Hangen, Dev Crasta & Ronald D. Rogge (2020) Delineating the Boundaries Between Nonmonogamy and Infidelity: Bringing Consent Back Into Definitions of Consensual Nonmonogamy With Latent Profile Analysis, The Journal of Sex Research, 57:4, 438-457, DOI: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1669133

        “Thus, the LPA results revealed that over two thirds of the nonmonogamous relationships in the sample fell into one of these final two groups in which desires for EDSA are in conflict with desires for monogamy in one or both partners.”

        “Thus, we believe that the classes that emerged in our analyses likely exist within any population of swinging, polyamory, or open/CNM relationships.”

        Levine, E. C., Herbenick, D., Martinez, O., Fu, T. C., & Dodge, B. (2018). Open Relationships, Nonconsensual Nonmonogamy, and Monogamy Among U.S. Adults: Findings from the 2012 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 47(5), 1439–1450.

        “On average, participants monogamous partnerships rated their overall happiness in primary relationships between “happy” (4 out of 7) and “very happy” (5 out of 7; M = 4.45, SD = 1.68), whereas open and NCNM participants rated their overall happiness in primary relationships between “a little unhappy” (3 out of 7) and “happy” (M = 3.99, SD = 1.51; M = 3.71, SD = 1.28; respectively). ”

        “Both open relationship and NCNM participants reported lower overall happiness in primary relationships than monogamous participants (ab = − 0.47, 95% CI = − 0.87 to − 0.07, p < .05 for open relationships; ab = − 0.69, 95% CI = − 0.98 to − 0.40, p < .001 for NCNM). The same was true for sexual satisfaction (ab = − 0.48, 95% CI = − 0.89 to − 0.08, p < .05 for open relationships; ab = − 0.55, 95% CI = − 0.90 to − 0.21, p < .01 for NCNM)."

        Conley, T. D., Matsick, J. L., Moors, A. C., & Ziegler, A. (2017). Investigation of Consensually Nonmonogamous Relationships: Theories, Methods, and New Directions. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(2), 205–232.

        "People in open relationships generally reported somewhat poorer relational functioning than monogamous individuals. Individuals in open relationships were significantly less satisfied and less committed to their relationship than their monogamous counterparts. Moreover, they reported lower levels of passionate love."

        The above study was criticized for poor sampling, self report biases and unwarranted assumptions, yet despite these criticisms, it found that non-monogamous relationships did worse than monogamous ones:

        This is a census based sample of 11,500 people from 28 European countries that shows lower satisfaction in non-monogamous relationships compared to monogamous relationships. A census sample is the best type of sample to use in research as described below:

        Killeen, Eric. (2022). Consensual Non-Monogamy and Relationship Satisfaction. Canadian Journal of Family and Youth / Le Journal Canadien de Famille et de la Jeunesse. 14. 92-102. 10.29173/cjfy29825.

        From the conclusions:

        "On the whole, the evidence is mixed as to whether non-monogamous relationships confer greater happiness upon their members than do monogamous ones. In many ways, there are too many complicating factors (demographically, psychologically, socially, etc.) to simply answer the question decisively one way or the other."

        Hence, it is more likely that people in non-monogamous relationships have higher divorce rates due to lower relationship and sexual satisfaction, even when ignoring self enhancement biases from non-monogamous responses and other confounding variables and biases that plagues non-monogamy research

        • Aaron

          I appreciate you bringing actual studies to the table, it allows us to have a discussion. Perhaps you should give the OP some pointers… 🙂

          I looked at the first three studies you cited in detail, and it’s fairly clear that despite the pieces you quote that reference some specific challenges, the overall conclusion of all three of those studies is exactly the opposite the claim made by the author and yourself. Please forgive the method of citation, I am posting with my phone. These are all from the conclusions.

          Hangen: “Taken together, these findings begin to suggest that the Open-CNM relationships in the current sample were notably healthy, robust and long-lived.”

          Conley: “Summary
          We can draw some conclusions on the basis of the current study and prior research on CNM and monogamous relationships. It appears that many beliefs that the lay public hold about the quality of CNM relationships are unfounded. CNM relationships generally have equally positive relational outcomes as monogamous relationships, though this is qualified by the type of CNM, with polyamorous relationships generally being associated with more positive outcomes and open relationships being associated with more negative outcomes than monogamous relationships. All types of CNM had averages above the midpoint of relational adjustment measures. CNM individuals with two partners are generally happy with their primary partners, responding more positively to them than to their secondary partners.”

          Rubel: “Thus, we can conclude that the view that con-sensual nonmonogamy is harmful to psychological well-being or to relationship adjustment is not supported by the extant literature”

    • cass

      polyamory is not cheating and cheating is not polyamory. If two people agree on fair terms thats also not cheating.

      the examples you claim are polyamory, are not actually polyamory.. They are cheaters looking for an excuse.
      Actual polyamory has the consent of ALL people involved.

      • Don't Put Up With It

        Most of the people whom I’ve seen who go into the polyamory bullshit do so because they’re already cheating or want to. They’re seeing someone ALREADY or have someone in mind. You can be married or single but you can’t be BOTH. Marriage, as someone said above – or any real partnership – requires energy and intensity – you have to focus on each other. That is the POINT of having a marriage/relationship. You cannot do that with multiple people, you’re just fooling yourself, or you’re incredibly shallow. Maybe very shallow people can make this work because they don’t really care or need a truly intimate relationship. You can only make that with ONE PERSON. That’s just the way it is. The more people you add, by necessity, the less energy and focus is on each person, the less intense & serious the relationship is. Polyamory has been tried in different times and societies and it never works because people crave that one on one relationship that you can’t have with multiples. Monogamy is the only thing that is soul satisfying. Whenever I read about a polyamorous lifestyle… almost always ends in failure. ‘Well, it was a learning experience” or some such bullshit, but it’s always in the past, LOL. These relationships just don’t last and they certainly are not anything to build a society on or raise children in.

        And YES, I AM being judgmental because I not only do not believe this works….I think it’s harmful and I think it a bunch of lies that are one of the many ways marriage is actually undermined routinely in our society. This ends up hurting or confusing more people than it ever helps or enriches.

        • I Am Polyamorous

          It’s an orientation, not a lifestyle. It’s actually harmful to be judgmental and NOT support people. As someone who attempted suicide because I thought I was a bad person for loving differently, I have the experience to say that you are simply a hateful person who is contributing to people’s mental health issues and suicides.

          • Tess

            “It’s actually harmful to be judgmental and not support people.” I can make a judgement without being judgmental. I can allow someone to be who they chose to be without supporting decisions that I think are mentally/emotionally harmful. You are being just as judgmental as the person you accused of being judgmental. You can’t blame your suicide attempt on other people’s opinions. That was a personal choice you made in an attempt to handle the cognitive dissonance you were experiencing.

    • Frank

      Can someone explain to me why a husband would agree to a polyamorous relationship? I believe that because of the male ego, the wife will have far more success in finding a partner whilst the man will often struggle. Then tell me why I should work as hard as I do if someone else gets all the advantages of love, emotional connection and sex but contributes nothing financially? Why should I pay the mortgage, utilities, groceries, and the house maintenance just to provide a place for her to do laundry and crash between relationships? When people are in a polyamorous relationship with whom do they think they will spend their golden years? Who will they depend upon in sickness, the marital partner or maybe someone with whom they have a stronger emotional connection?
      Are the children (if any) being denied time with their mother if I’m watching them most nights while she is out dating? Every story I’ve read, every prayer recited, every tuck in and good night kiss is special to me, am I being silly about those things thinking they are important? I guess how much time spent with the husband and maybe the children is sufficient.
      Whom will the Holiday’s and birthdays be celebrated with? I would die a thousand deaths if my polyamorous wife brought her guy(s) to the festivities especially if my mother was at that party.
      Finally, if a large portion of the marriages end in divorce so why not divorce immediately and then see one another as you would see other partners? That way everyone would be on the same level playing field. After all it is said that love in not finite so maybe there would be enough love to keep the couple together without all that legal stuff. That way if either former spouse finds a new partner and wishes to be exclusive they can go forward without complications.

      • Aaron

        It hasn’t actually worked out that way for me, and I suspect many poly-men would agree.

        Truth is, if you are only looking for sex / casual, then the woman will always have more options. She can, at any given moment, go online and find someone to hook up with in five minutes or less. It’s easy for a woman of any age and any appearance to find hook up / casual sex. However, if all you are looking for is sex it’s a LOT easier and less threatening to just be a swinger. That way, there are plenty of “options” for both the man and the wife. There is no reason to complicate your life by looking for relationships.

        On the other hand, if you are looking to build multiple romantic relationships, to fall in love and have commitment in a non-monogamous framework it is usually the man who finds the most success. My ex could (and did) have sex with dozens or even hundreds of people, it was very easy. And for a while I found myself feeling quite envious. But what she couldn’t find, whether having sex or not, was a man who was willing to be committed to a woman who was already committed to someone else emotionally. Whereas I found it much EASIER to find women who were interested in committing to me, BECAUSE I was already committed to another woman.

        There are a lot of explanations for this, which I will leave to you to dig into rather than make this already long post into a dissertation. However, the adage that “women control sex, but men control relationships” is magnified in a poly situation. The real issue is that poly men such as myself will wind up with more than one wife / partner, which necessarily leaves other men sharing a single sexual partner.

        Noteably, I found that though I was in a sexual and romantic relationship with three or four different individuals at any given time, I would actually have sex with a SMALLER number of people total than my single or married counterparts over time (say five to ten years). Yes, I was with four people at once but those four people would be the same four people for many years, rather than being with a series of people for a month or two. The same four over 12 months, as opposed to a different person every 2 months…

    • I Am Polyamorous

      This article is admitted to be biased. You then state all of your opinions based on stigmas and stereotypes rather than anything realistic. It’s clear that you went into this “research” (if you can even call it that) with a closed mind. Your only piece of “factual” evidence came from CNN, which is already a questionable source. Worse, though, they do not cite their own research on the information provided.

      As someone who enjoys research, I will always verify source after source, note where the information is coming from, and note the website identities as well (.org is more reliable than .com, and .edu is more reliable than .org, and .gov can be equal to, below, or above reliability to .edu, based on the topic. .com is the lowest form of accuracy. I’m not saying to ignore all .com s, but if you acknowledge them, take them with a grain of salt UNLESS the cite is about discussion and you are communicating with actual people who have experienced something and don’t relate things to stigmas and stereotypes).

      All that said, you are completely wrong about what polyamory is because these citations you have were given years ago, much like this pathetic blog you created. In addition to that, polyamorous people have been trying to get the definition changed for a while because the current definition is wrong since it excludes various orientations that do not fit the definition mold perfectly.

      Non-monogamy is the umbrella term, not polyamory.

      Polyamory is a relationship orientation.

      A relationship orientation is how much love a person is able to give and to how many people.

      Polyamory simply means having the ability to love multiple people at the same time and not being able to choose between them.

      Other relationship orientations are ambiamory and monoamory.

      Monoamory means being incapable of loving more than one person at a time.

      Ambiamory means being able to choose between loving one person at a time or multiple people at a time.

      As the name “orientation” suggests, relationship orientations are not a choice. We are born that way. Everyone has a relationship orientation. Even ambiamorous people who choose between monogamy and non-monogamy don’t really choose to be ambiamorous. That would be like saying bisexuals choose to be bisexual just because they can choose between genders. No, they didn’t choose to be bisexual, just like An ambiamorous person doesn’t choose to be ambiamorous.

      We don’t choose who we fall in love with, so we don’t choose how many people we fall in love with either.

      People may say that “Well, maybe you don’t choose who you fall in love with, but you can choose which person of those you fell in love with to spend the rest of your life with.” If you find yourself saying that, you’re probably ambiamorous. Ambiamorous people have the ability to fall in love with one person at a time or many people at a time, so naturally, if they want to fit in with society, they could be content in choosing only one of the people they fell in love with.

      If you find yourself saying, “It’s impossible to love more than one person at a time,” it’s not because it’s actually impossible to love multiple people at once; it’s because it’s impossible for YOU to love people at once because you are monoamorous.

      If you find yourself avoiding dating or hating any monogamous relationship you get into and it’s not because of the person you’re dating, and you recognize that you love differently, fall for multiple people at a time, and you’re very indecisive about who to pick, you are probably polyamorous. Although most polyamorous people just know that there’s something different about them, even if they don’t have a name for it.

      Telling an actual polyamorous person to choose one partner is like telling them to choose which of their children they love more, which parent they care more about, or which friend they should keep while discarding the rest. It doesn’t work.

      So no, we don’t just choose to be in a relationship that will cause people to hate us. That’s stupid. We are who we are, not by choice.

    • Bud Thespud

      “Some research suggests that open marriage has a 92 percent failure rate.”

      Nope, that’s an oft repeated internet myth. There is absolutely zero research saying couples in open marriages divorce at that rate.

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