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Polyamory

3catsI recently had "love without limits" Deborah M Anapol’s book about polyamory returned .  The irony is it was returned by an ex-lover who is now monogamous – guess the book really did a good job :-).

Over to Ms Anapol:

This book is addressed to the millions of men and women who are
"failing" at traditional relationships and who feel guilty, isolated
and ashamed. It is addressed to the increasing numbers of single people
who are sacrificing family for freedom. It is addressed to the
thousands of intrepid souls who have matured beyond blind acceptance of
monogamy as the only legitimate form of sexualove and who are
pioneering new relationship territory.

Our culture desperately needs a new set of sexual ethics. We need a
middle ground between the free love/do your own thing doctrine of the
Sexual Revolution and outmoded lifelong monogamy. We need realistic
guidelines that incorporate the highest wisdom from all of the divrse
culturesthat comprise today’s global village.

Another pattern I began to notice is that, after about four years of exclusive cittment to one partner, I would grow increasingly restless and dissatisfied.  At first I thought the solution was to find a new and better partner. After several of these four year cycles, I realised I was just repeating the first stages of relationship over and over.  Most of the long-term marriages I’d observed in my parents generation seemed to go on autopilot after a few years, an alternative that didn’t appeal at all.  Nevertheless I suspected genuine intimacy could continue to unfold over many decades.  In order to find out what was possible later on in a partnership I realised I would have to find a way to sustain intimate realtionships over time.

I knew that my real self wanted ot give and receive unconditional love.  I’d experienced this kind of total acceptance only outside the arena of marriage, in a few specail friendships and in the context of psychotherapy and spiritual teaching.  Next to this kind of genuine intimacy, most romantic liasons seemed like protection rackets.  I knew I was capable of loving more than one person at atime so I assumed others must be, too.  But strangely enough it never occured to me that polyamory could coincide with marriage.  So I decided that I was through with marriage and set off on a quest for sustainable intimacy.

It’s been an amazing journey! It took me many years and one more marriage and divorce to realise that the secret to keeping any intimate connection alive is simply to be wholly authentic in every moment and to practice radical honesty. I’ve learned that relationships based on truth, self responsibility, and unconditional love can take many forms, but even small withholds will gradually erode any relationship.  I’ve learned that it is indeed possible to love more than one person over many years.  I call this lovestyle responsible nonmonogamy or polyamory.

I’ve found polyamory sometimes challenging and it has caused the ending of a number of promising relationships.  However I find the alternative of repression or lying even more distasteful.  So while I won’t say I’ll never be monogamous I do have a strongly polyamorous nature.

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