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Thursday, August 14, 2014

SL Letter of the Day: Happy Anniversary

Posted by on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 at 2:00 PM

As a long time reader of yours, I've been gleefully awaiting this day for three years. You see, I am the unicorn part of a poly triad, and today marks the three year anniversary for myself, my husband, and my wife—we aren't legally married, of course, but our commitment ceremony was beautiful nonetheless. The two of them are legally married, and were together almost a decade before I even entered the picture, yet all of us still are in our 20s. And yes, Dan, both my wife and I are bisexual! We three have a house together, cats together, and generally our lives are set out so that we will be together till we each die. Not gonna lie, you're completely right that polyamorous relationships are hard. But we have gone through communication mishaps, a "normal" amount of jealousy-related drama, ongoing and sometimes shifting D/s dynamics, relocations, job and school upsets, and the sudden obligation, due to unforeseen circumstances, of taking care of two young children full-time for the foreseeable future. To top it all off, I will also soon celebrate a second anniversary with my satellite partner, my bf. We have weathered all of this, though, and are all a family, still going strong.

So, Dan, it's with a certain degree of smugness that I ask: will you wish us a happy three year anniversary?

Totally Reached It, Ability Doubter

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

You're doubtless referencing this asshole remark of mine:

Savage, a long-partnered gay man who coined the word "monogamish" for his somewhat open relationship, used to snark at polys. He famously remarked that he'd been to poly multi-marriage ceremonies but never to a poly third-anniversary party. That prompted many long-term polyfamilies to speak up as counterexamples, jumping up and down to try to catch his attention.

You're not the first poly triad to let me know that they've made it to their leather anniversary, TRIAD, but I'm thrilled to hear from you nonetheless. Congrats and best wishes to you, your wife, and your husband. (And here's hoping you haven't jinxed things with that "we will be together till we each die" line. I wouldn't risk saying that about my marriage and we've been together 20 years!) But... technically speaking... my snark still stands, TRIAD: I have been to a few poly weddings but I've never been to a poly third-anniversary party. Still. I know they happen—yours is happening—but somehow I never seem to rate an invitation. Was it something I said?

UPDATE: TRIAD writes...

Well of course you're invited to our party! In all seriousness, thanks!

 

Comments (32) RSS

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Helenka (also a Canuck) 1
Where does TRIAD get her energy from? A husband, a wife AND a ::giggles at the euphemism:: "satellite partner"? Wow.
Posted by Helenka (also a Canuck) on August 14, 2014 at 2:54 PM · Report this
Doctor Memory 2
I know one 4-way relationship (I'd say "quad", but frankly that sounds like something that you'd ride over sand dunes while drunk) that's been together for 10+ years, but they are rather rare birds.
Posted by Doctor Memory http://blahg.blank.org on August 14, 2014 at 3:02 PM · Report this
Lissa 3
See now I feel bad. I've been with my two guys for 7 years, and had I known that you wanted to come to a party I, enormous Fan Girl that I am, totally would have invited you. But what about next year?
2015 will be my husband's 18th anniversary with his girlfriend and her 25th with her husband, as well as our ( me and the Husband) leather wedding anniversary and I guess my (according to Hallmark) pottery anniversary with the Boyfriend.

I admit the invitations will be complicated.

But hey! Free cake!
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 3:14 PM · Report this
mkyorai 4
@3 that's lovely and amazing that you're able to make it work, even if I feel like I need a diagram just to know who is what to whom. But I'm glad it works for all of you and I hope you can announce equal or greater happiness a decade from now.
Posted by mkyorai on August 14, 2014 at 3:40 PM · Report this
5
I've never been to anyone's third anniversary party. Who the hell has third anniversary parties?
Posted by Levislade http://ballofwax.org on August 14, 2014 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Lissa 6
@4: Thank you! We are very lucky to have each other, even if the logistics can get nutty.
@5: Well if we do end up having one next year you are welcome to come. :)
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 3:58 PM · Report this
7
@1 and @4, my understanding, from people who identify as poly, is that for many people it's simpler to have the relationships they want rather than to try to restrict themselves to just one. So when you say "how do they find the energy," or "how do they make it work," try to understand that for them, it's easier to follow their nature than to fight it.

Presumably each pair get less time one-on-one than they would without the poly aspects, but for introverts that time alone to recharge may be a benefit. Or maybe they all hang out together, and find that as satisfying as the one-on-one time that monogamous couples expect.
Posted by EricaP on August 14, 2014 at 4:08 PM · Report this
8
Except when, as @6, poly is apparently a lot of work but worth it.

Takes all kinds!
Posted by EricaP on August 14, 2014 at 4:09 PM · Report this
9
What's a "unicorn"?
Posted by t5tchick on August 14, 2014 at 4:13 PM · Report this
Lissa 10
@9: an unattached (usually) woman willing to be the third partner to an already established couple.
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM · Report this
11
The update at the end of this post originally contained the location of TRIAD's party and I was extremely amused to see that it was a bar within walking distance of my house, that I have been to many times, in a small city thousands of miles away from Seattle :)
Posted by fsb on August 14, 2014 at 4:20 PM · Report this
12
Happy Anniversary, Triad. And Lissa, not really sure how your story works, got a little lost- but happy coming anniversaries to you guys too..
Posted by LavaGirl on August 14, 2014 at 4:29 PM · Report this
Lissa 13
@8: Actually it's more like you described it in your post @7 for us. We have a date night schedule routine pretty established, but since I'm the one who drives to the different homes it can get nutty for me. I have to do a lot of packing. :)
But! Since I can finally sell my condo, my husband and I will be moving in together for real instead of me staying there half the week and the other half split between my house and the Boyfriend's house, and that will be MUCH better. We'll still have our own rooms for recharging and such though.
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 4:30 PM · Report this
Lissa 14
@12: Thank you! It looks so confusing when you write it down I know. :)
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 4:34 PM · Report this
15
I'm with comment 5... I know various poly relationships that have lasted more than three years, but I've never been invited to anyone's (poly, monogamous, monagamish, whatever) third anniversary party. I generally think anniversaries are more private things to be celebrated by the people in the relationship, not reasons to invite friends over. I mean, if you want to celebrate some big milestone now and then, there's nothing wrong with that. And some people like any excuse for a party. But among people I know, mostly it's just not done. So, I've been invited to several weddings, but never a third anniversary party.
Posted by uncreative on August 14, 2014 at 4:37 PM · Report this
nocutename 16
@Lissa: I tip my hat to you! It sounds infinitely complicated to me, but it seems to work for all of you. Happy Anniversaries to you and your husband, you and your boyfriend, your husband and his girlfriend and his girlfriend and her husband. (If only your boyfriend and your husband's girlfriend's husband were boyfriends, the loop would be closed and I would feel more complete somehow!)

Posted by nocutename on August 14, 2014 at 5:33 PM · Report this
Lissa 17
@16: It does kind of sound like a Virginia Reel I know, but it's pretty simple if you think of it in a line.
There's Boyfriend, Me, my Husband, his Girlfriend and her Husband.
I know another Polycule and they all live together and are co parenting teenagers. That seems much more complicated to me. The bathroom logistics alone!
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 5:59 PM · Report this
nocutename 18
@Lissa: "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover." Please tell me that's your favorite movie.
Posted by nocutename on August 14, 2014 at 6:55 PM · Report this
Lissa 19
It's in my queue, but I'm afraid to watch it! I mostly want to see the costumes. They're supposed to be amazing.
Posted by Lissa on August 14, 2014 at 7:22 PM · Report this
undead ayn rand 20
Grats on all of that, Lissa! I'm always impressed when people can do poly right, and you must wake up very early in the morning :)
Posted by undead ayn rand on August 14, 2014 at 7:35 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 21
@ 19, everything about that movie is amazing. It's not an easy viewing, but it's worth your while.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 14, 2014 at 7:54 PM · Report this
22
I saw the film a couple of years ago during a special screening in a theatre. I think less than half of the piblic made it to the end ;)
Posted by Catpants on August 14, 2014 at 11:44 PM · Report this
23
[non-HA]

Nothing against polygons in and of themselves, but if they are co-parenting, I really hope it is with the enthusiastic consent of the teens involved. Two parents nearly killed me. A third would have done, and I shudder to think of the dread of being subject to the authority of five.
Posted by vennominon on August 15, 2014 at 6:04 AM · Report this
24
That crap is hard, do these folks work full time? How do they find the time to develop deep relationships with each other? Husband,Wife,Boyfriend?! People are gonna be neglected but I guess if the other person is preoccupied with other people there can be some method to the madness...whatever floats your boat.
Posted by Tantuddy on August 15, 2014 at 6:08 AM · Report this
25
I work an average of 50 hours a week and have two blissfully happy relationships - one of 14 years and one of three -- as of next month! It can and does work for some. :)
Posted by quinkygirl on August 15, 2014 at 6:43 AM · Report this
26
@24 people manage multiple deep relationships all the time - they're called children. Relationships with your kids are of course not romantic, but require equivalent amounts of physical and emotional energy as romantic ones. And while having kids might diminish parental one on one time, it doesn't necessarily diminish the relationship as a whole.
Posted by pb1230 on August 15, 2014 at 7:39 AM · Report this
27
In other words, while people acknowledge that being married and having a couple of kids is certainly a lot of work, they also acknowledge that despite the work, it can still be a rewarding dynamic.
Posted by pb1230 on August 15, 2014 at 7:45 AM · Report this
28
Is "satellite partner" really the term-of-art in the community? I hope he has someone with whom he is primary, because between your description of the situation and that term, it sure sounds like he is pretty peripheral to you.

For all I know he may like it that way. It's just that "satellite" carries a connotation that he is "in orbit" around you -- though you quite clearly don't consider yourself in orbit around the marriage to which you are a third -- at which point the word "smugness" takes on a certain significance.
Posted by avast2006 on August 15, 2014 at 10:06 AM · Report this
Lissa 29
@23: There is a lot of communication between the adults as far as rules of the house for the sake of clarity and bio parents have the last word. The teens are also kept in the loop, so they don't feel disenfranchised. So, lots of communication for everyone! It seems to be working pretty well with the exception of predictable teen bathroom hogging.
Posted by Lissa on August 15, 2014 at 10:47 AM · Report this
Lissa 30
@24: As with all relationships you have to be mindful and engaged. For my polycule we have established date nights, and we talk/text with each other most every day. Right now we have separate homes, (girlfriend and her husband live together, but the rest of us each have our own place), but that will be changing as my husband and I will be moving in together in the next month. We'll see how that changes the logistics and dynamics.
Since I've been the one splitting my living space three ways, I'll be THRILLED to no longer have to have three blow dryers, or to have to pack every week. :)
Posted by Lissa on August 15, 2014 at 11:15 AM · Report this
31
To anyone who finds love in any configuration, Congrats!
Posted by kwodell on August 15, 2014 at 12:04 PM · Report this
32
Dan, I personally know more than one poly trio who has invited you to their anniversary party. Maybe these things keep getting lost in the mail.
Posted by saccade on August 17, 2014 at 6:53 PM · Report this

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