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A Husband, Three Kids and Two Boyfriends???

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What would you do if you found out that the mom you shared carpool duties with was a dominatrix at night? Or what if that cute couple next door wasn't really a couple--but a threesome or a foursome? How would you react?

Well, you better get used to it, because all across America, in sleepy suburbs just like yours, moms are hiding secrets. In Part 3 of momlogic's "Secrets in the Suburbs" series, we pierce the veil of secrecy surrounding the mysterious and often secret world of polyamory.


Meet Robyn. She's a 44-year-old mom of three and a polyamorist who's currently involved in loving, intimate relationships with three men. And she's open to more, time permitting.

ML: What is polyamory?
Robyn: Polyamory is a romantic relationship with more than one person. It is usually a committed relationship, but polyamory can come in all forms. One form is called polyfidelity, it means that there is a committed relationship between the people, and they are sexually faithful with each other. There can be three people in the relationship or more.

ML: What kind of a polyamorist are you?
Robyn: I am a more open polyamorist. I have a primary partner, Jesus, and we live together with my three kids. He has another partner in Michigan, and I have two other partners who I am in long distance relationships with. One is in New York, and the other one is really long distance -- he's in another country. But I'm not tied down to those three people. I always try to remain open. Right now my life is very busy, but that doesn't mean that if I met someone who I was intrigued by that I wouldn't make time for him.

ML: Do you have sex with his other partner as well?
Robyn: No. I know her and I like her, but I am not sexually involved with her. And Jesus is not sexually involved with my lovers right now. But they do know each other.

ML: How long have you been with Jesus and your other lovers?
Robyn: I met Jesus in 2005 and have only been with him for three years, but he is my primary partner who I live with. I met one of my lovers in 2003 so I have been with him for five years. He also has a primary partner, and he has several other lovers -- he's a very busy guy.

ML: How long have you been polyamorous?
Robyn: I have always been non-monogamous, and when I was 24 years old I came to terms with myself and realized that I would always be that way. I realized that I would never be monogamous, and I was sick of trying to be. I was sick of falling in love with two people and having to choose between them. I didn't want to lie, and I didn't want to cheat, and I knew that if I kept trying to be monogamous that's what I would end up doing. At the time it was a difficult decision. There were no support groups for this sort of thing back then. I didn't know about polyamory -- the term might not have even existed back then. I felt very alone, and it was very challenging. But I knew I had to be true to who I was.

ML: Have you ever been married, and if so, was your husband polyamourous?
Robyn: I was married for 18 years. My husband and I were dating, and we both felt the same way about not wanting to promise sexual fidelity. We decided to get married and have an open marriage. We had no idea how to do it, and we made a lot of mistakes. We started with a don't ask don't tell policy, and for me that didn't work. I didn't want to lie to him about where I was going or what I was doing, and I couldn't get him to ask me. So for a long while I just didn't date anyone else at all. But then we eventually decided to really open up our marriage and we started being open about who we were seeing and when.

ML: Have you ever been in a relationship with two other people?
Robyn: I was in a triad relationship about 6-7 years ago. It was with my husband at the time and another woman. I had been with my husband for a long time, and we were always non-monogamous and then polyamorous. Toward the end of the marriage he brought another woman into our relationship and the three of us got involved. I was very surprised because I am not normally attracted to women, but I was attracted to her. But then he split and she and I remained in a partnership. We were not "sexual" with each other but were very intimate and romantic.

ML: Do you have kids?
Robyn: Yes. I have three children. David is the oldest, he's 21. My son Morgan is 17, and my youngest is a girl, Rico, and she's 12.

ML: Are they aware of your lifestyle?
Robyn: Yes, they are. The kids know that we have romantic relationships with other people, but they are not privy to the details of my private sex life and what goes on in the bedroom.

ML: How do they feel about it?
Robyn: To them it's kind of normal. They have been raised in this family their whole lives. My husband and I really opened up our marriage (and started openly seeing other people and having them visit the house etc.) when my oldest son, David, was 10, and when it became an issue when I would had a boyfriend come over to the house. So I talked to my oldest about it and he was like "OK, cool mom." Some people try to hide being polyamorous from their kids, but outside of custody cases, kids are aware of what is going on. They can sense that one or both parents are seeing other people, or maybe they sense that something is wrong. But if you just tell them what's really happening, then they feel secure (not like someone is having an affair and it's going to tear apart the family) and then they feel like they can trust you and talk to you about it.

ML: Are the older boys polyamorous?
Robyn: My oldest, David, considers himself polyamorous. Morgan doesn't seem too interested either way. And my little girl is obviously still too young to really know, but knowing that she's a lot like me, she probably will be.

ML: Do you or Jesus ever get jealous of the others secondary partners?
Robyn: Jesus does not have a big challenge with it. He is awesome about how he handles things. I on the other hand sometimes have a problem with it, and I have to talk myself through it. I have a handle on the fact that jealousy comes from insecurity, and it's something that I will occasionally have to deal with. But I know that polyamory is the right thing for me, and there is no way that I would ever want to be monogamous.

ML: What's the whole point of polyamory, sex with lots of people?
Robyn: If all I wanted to do was have sex, then I would just be a swinger. The point of polyamory is to be able to experience love and affection, and I just happen to have more than one partner to do that with. It also keeps life interesting.

ML: Do you ever worry that Jesus might leave you for another one of these women?
Robyn: Not really. It's the same as you wonder in any relationship. If Jesus wasn't happy, then I wouldn't want to be with him. I know that Jesus is with me because he wants to be. We have so much good communication so there is almost less concern.

ML: Do your secondary partners spend time at your home?
Robyn: Yes. Jesus and I have separate bedrooms, and sometimes our other partners will come over and spend the night. We all have dinner together with the kids, it's really nice.

ML: What do you say to people who criticize you for your lifestyle?
: I haven't had a lot of criticism. When I was with my husband sometimes people would say, "What about your wedding vows?" And my reaction is, you don't know what my vows were. Or people will say, "You're going against God." Well, whose god are you talking about? It's funny because what I've found is that the people who criticize the most are the ones who cheat.

next: Moms Are Talking About...
28 comments so far | Post a comment now
MEM June 27, 2008, 6:36 PM

Wow! I wish I could be in a relationship like this one. I am married for 16 years with 3 children and have a secret lover that I am VERY in love with and have been every since I’ve been about 15 years old. I love to share love with him and have wild passionate sex whenever we can. I love to with my husband also and have more love with him because of the bond we have with being parents. The only problem is my husband would divorce me in a second if he knew, he just doesn’t understand!

Anonymous June 28, 2008, 1:11 AM

I find it interesting that this person can make a mockery out of marriage, yet millions are against committed couples who happen to be gay getting married. Little backwards, in my opinion.

mamajean June 28, 2008, 10:39 AM

I really don’t believe that we were wired to have just one mate in life. America is the only country that seems to uphold the crazy idea of monogamy. I’ve been married for 20 years, have two kids and a husband who loves me. Yet I’ve been having affairs for the last years, and I’ve never felt more fulfilled.

Carol Myers June 29, 2008, 4:42 PM

I can see having relationships with other people. Sometimes one person just doesn’t fullfill all your needs and Im not just talking about sexually. Im in a relationship now with my ex husband and I love him but he isn’t very affectionate. It would be nice to have someone who is affectionate to fullfill that need.

Kelley June 30, 2008, 12:20 AM

I am completely APALLED to see so many people acting as if this lifestyle is something to be celebrated. If your husband isn’t meeting your needs, then the TWO of you need to discuss and work on your relationship. What a disgusting, self-centered, lazy culture we have become. Instead of WORKING HARD on our marriages, which is often a long and difficult road, we just seek out others to fufill what we think we’re “missing.” What a pathetic lesson we’re sending our children. I want to puke each time I hear another woman, ESPECIALLY another mother telling me how “fufilled” she is by her affairs. I’m a pretty active Christian, but I must admit, I’ve never bought into the notion that homosexual marriage makes a mockery of the institution of marriage. Seems to me us heterosexuals are doing a pretty good job of it. Here’s a clue, if you want to date someone else, DON’T GET MARRIED.

Randy June 30, 2008, 1:40 PM

I am poly and an advocated for the community in my area. Kelly misunderstands in that most people in a Poly lifestyle are not seeking to “fulfill” missing parts of their relationship. In fact I tend to discourage people who want to become poly for that reason. Poly tends to only work well for people who’s relationships are strong and well established. Poly is about the idea that love is infinite. Just because you love someone, are married to them and have had a strong committed relationship does not mean that there is not room in your heart for other love. The relationships that my wife and I have with other people do not add or detract from our relationship with each other. The analogy I use is a couple who have a child. When they have their first child both parents can fully love them without loosing any love for each other because love is infinite. If they have a second child they can love them to the fullest without having to take anything away from their first child or each other.
As to some of the other comments I just have to say that affairs are never a good idea. Poly is all about communication. Neither of us would ever see someone that the other did not approve of and we would never do anything in secret. Sneaking around only leads to pain and hard feelings.

Andi June 30, 2008, 8:16 PM

I am a married woman and a mother who has a long-term, happy relationship outside my marriage. Everything is out in the open, no one is lied to, and nobody is getting hurt. My husband and I negotiated our “rules” before we got married, and our wedding vows didn’t mention sexual or romantic fidelity (so there’s no issue of “broken” vows.) We’ve been together for 11 years, so obviously it’s working!

My one issue with this article is that it mentions “secrecy” *three times* in the first paragraph. A lot of people are totally up-front about being polyamorous or having open relationships, so there’s no issue of “What if the neighbors found out?” Many people are “out” to their friends and families, and while it sometimes takes some explanation, most people accept it once they see that it’s working for everyone involved.

Sierra July 1, 2008, 2:06 PM

It’s so great to see an article like this in a publication directed to moms.

I’ve been poly my whole life, and I’ve always been out about it, but it’s hard in “mom settings”. People assume that marriage kids=monogamy; many of them have never even heard of polyamory.

I just got back from a camping trip with my husband, my boyfriend and all seven of our kids (my husband and I have three, my boyfriend has four). We had a great trip; the kids played together non-stop. My boyfriend even took the baby and gave my husband and I a rare two hours alone together.

The kids have known each other all their lives and are great friends, and we share a family bond that helps us all be better parents and partners.

I see monogamous couples thriving all the time, but I can’t imagine how they do it. Being poly seems so essential to the success of my marriage/family.

I’m surprised by the venom expressed in some of these comments. I’ve never experienced that kind of harsh judgement from anyone who’s met me and my family. I deeply believe that having more loving adults in children’s lives only enhances them. Stable loving homes are what kids need, no matter how many adults they share them with.

dan July 1, 2008, 2:13 PM

Kelly writes that she is “appalled”. Well I’m appalled that she knows nothing of the history of the ceromony called marriage, she has not researched her Bible in the original languages to find out that most every King, ruler, and Leader in Israel from Abraham to Solomon had more than one wife. Nowhere was this criticized by their God. Today why can’t women also have more than one relationship, be it sexual or otherwise? It is only biased,ignorant religious leaders that disapprove and I suggest she read the book “Divine Sex” by Philo Thelos, (available from Amazon) This minister, an expert in original biblical languages and exegesis, would highly disagree with you about marriage and its implications.
My wife and I have lived a polyamorous life for years and it is the best thing that we have. Yes, it’s not for everyone but neither is monogamous marriage as over 50% fail. Why dictate to humans how they should live. It seems that is what too much of religion today desires to do.
Let humans choose in this area not religion or government.

Warren July 1, 2008, 7:04 PM

Very interesting article. I’m also part of a polyamorous family - My common law wife and I have been together for 13 years, and polyamorous for 12 of those years. She’s been seeing her OSO (Other Significant Other) for about 4 years, and he moved in with us about 1 year ago just before our daughter was born.

We will be raising our daughter with each of the three of us playing equal parental roles - She’ll know that I’m her bio-father only for medical reasons.

After 11 months of raising a daughter with 3 adults - I’m not sure how monogamous parents cope - and I really don’t envy single parents.

We are about to move into a larger house so there’s enough room for 3 adults and a baby. In fact, I should get back to packing!

James July 27, 2008, 7:56 PM

I just started seeing my first second girlfriend a few weeks ago, and it’s been a learning experience. My first girlfriend is very poly, which helps greatly, but I’ve been the expert to my new girlfriend, and I’m still learning the practicalities myself!

There was a fun comedy of misunderstanding early on as I first strove to make clear during her flirting that I had a girlfriend I wasn’t leaving, and then to make clear that that didn’t mean I was unavailable. The former is easy to bring up in conversation, but the latter took some effort.

While the two haven’t met yet due to distances, It was a magic moment when I had the chance to say “I love you” on the phone to one, then kiss the other who’s listening nearby, and mean them both.

Some people seem to have a hard time grasping the difference between poly and cheating, but my new GF doesn’t. She dumped her previous BF for cheating and lying about it, and tells me how relaxing it is to be with someone who’s careful and serious about promises. They aren’t the usual ones, so I have to think about them more and describe them clearly.

Scott July 29, 2008, 1:39 PM

I am not a mom, but I am married to one. So I hope that means my opinion counts for something ;)

Now our life has been a pretty rough ride. We’ve had to deal with extensive medical issues, the fact that some of my kids are autistic, a job lay off, having to move several times, financial problems, and more.

We have been together almost a decade. And in all of that time, the pillar of stability in our life has been our relationship. No matter how hard things have gotten, we’ve had that to fall back on. We’ve been there in sickness and in health and all of that. There have been a few times when the stress got so bad that one of us was ready to call it quits. But our love and our marriage meant so much to us that we worked it out. It’s the cornerstone of our lives, and the backbone of what keeps us going.

And that relationship has been open from day one.

I WILL celebrate my marriage, and my wife, and all of the things that make our marriage stronger and better. That includes the partners and friends and lovers that we have been involved with, who have helped us be better people, helped us through bad times and helped make our marriage even stronger.

And if that is a ‘mockery of the institution of marriage’, then there is something seriously wrong with that institution.

Trina September 17, 2008, 1:43 PM

I guess everyone has their own opinon…mine is that i guess i love my husband so much that i couldn’t imagine being with anyone else….there is something about our relationship that is so precious and sweet and perfect. he is the only person i need to be loved by.

dahliadelight September 23, 2008, 10:40 AM

Great story! Thank you Robyn for being willing to speak out on it!

Kelley who commented above if any thing Robyn said makes you think her relationships aren’t hard work then you are wrong. It’s even harder. You don’t get to bring someone into your family without it being a fit with multiple people. This is a relationship. It’s beyond friendship. You can add friends and they leave at the end of the day/evening. In polyamory they often stay and are emotional people with feelings who you care about and you care for. In life you rarely “lose” friends but in America when a love relationship is over we often throw it out like an old sock to the trash heap. I have had issue with this for my life span yet know it is what my parents understand. In truth I no longer throw away love relationships. They just move to a holding spot like good wine to ripen and mature until we are ready to open them and appreciate them.

I have had three marriages. I am now in a committed relationship with my sons father. Bless his heart he realized I was not able to remain committed on the same level and has been open and accepting of my outside relationships. Without that I would be out of another relationship.

We’ve been blessed with several that have been invaluable and supportive through things our families weren’t. The key is that like Robyn I have RELATIONSHIPS so all the naysayers if you can only handle one BLESS you but I cant. I am finally (like Robyn) not required to choose. Like MEM who comments first I am dearly in love with one of my lovers but bonded to my spouse through our child and I am soooo glad for my child that I don’t have to choose.

Marc December 4, 2008, 2:13 PM

I’m not knocking the lifestyle, but it’s not for my wife and me. Can’t help but wonder if you have to be a little gay/bi to have another man in your home? Do you make your wife shower and brush her teeth before making out if she was just with another guy? Not knocking gays either (I live in San Francisco). Just curious.

Bekah December 9, 2008, 4:29 PM

I’m not surprised to see the venemous comments by some, but they do sadden me. I’m polyamorous, as well, and my primary partner and I are getting married when we’ve saved up enough money for a beautiful ceremony. We plan to spend the rest of our lives together, and he OOES fulfill me. But we love others, too, and what Kelly seems to be saying is that if we love other people, and love is a gift, there’s something wrong with us for being blessed. Umm, what?! Love is the greatest gift of all! Who cares if we have other life partners? We all plan on raising children together. What’s the worse than can happen, a parent is always home to be with the children and give them a wonderful, loving home? How awful!

I’ve always found those that have an issue with poly are those most likely to either cheat or remain in an unhappy marriage just b/c “they should”. I find more strength in my partnerships, where we’re together b/c we WANT to be, than in those that are together b/c they HAVE to be. I don’t knock your lifestyle, Kelly. Give me the same respect if you’re capable of respect.

Shannie January 24, 2009, 2:38 PM

Its easy to criticize if you don’t know trhe situation. I am married for 18 years and have had a boyfriend of sorts for the past 2 years. Hubby and I have 2 adopted boys and I am currently pregnant (hubby and I can’t conceive together). I am pregnant by my boyfriend. My hubby is aware of this, is not happy about it but has accepted the pregnancy. I love my hubby, but I am in love with my boyfriend. I got married at the age of 21 after dating for 3 years. I was young and really should have waited. I met my boyfriend a few years ago but nothing happened between us until 2 years ago. I don’t want to leave my hubby, but he deserves someone who will be with him and him only. The issue of our kids comes up and I don’t want to keep them from experiencing us as a family. Its a hard choice to make, but I’m not getting any younger.

Anonymous April 21, 2009, 10:46 AM


Treasa July 15, 2009, 2:48 PM

I have been poly for 5 years. My first and only significant partner was the one who introduced me to the idea (he’s been poly for over 10 years). I had always held the belief that there was more than one person you could truly love, but being from a very conservative family I thought the first one you met was it. To be honest, I was extremely excited to find that there were other options for that. I can’t say yet that I have another significant partner, but I’ve definitely been searching. My SO and I have both had individual relationships, but we’ve also had mutual relationships (I’m BI). I feel that the most fulfilling ones have been the relationships where we all got along and communication was strongest, but we’ve not had the fortune to find a long-term partner yet. I’ve felt that being poly has only strengthened my inner self, and most definitely my inter-personal skills. As for hope, I need no hope. I know that one day we will have the complex, but thoroughly supportive family we want, and as with monogamy: dating is dating- it doesn’t always work out the way you might want it to.

Thank you for this article, thank you for being open minded, and most of all, thank you for allowing comments, so that we can all share and increase awareness and hopefully encourage acceptance!

Aamir March 3, 2010, 1:29 AM

Its sad to see, how people react to other who have different opinions and way to life. I am in a happy relationship with a married couple for last 2 years and i think polyamory for wife is here to stay.

There are many benefits to polyamory for wives.

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