The Guardian: "A moment that changed me: turning my back on monogamy"
Today The Guardian online posts a poly story in its "A moment that changed me" series. It's another in the paper's many positive looks at the polyamory phenomenon over the years (the last one). This matters; the Guardian's site was reportedly the world's second most popular newspaper website as of early 2016.
A moment that changed me: turning my back on monogamy
Brought up believing in romantic exclusivity, relationships caused me crippling jealousy. Then my husband and I embraced polyamory.
‘Polyamorous people are not born with non-monogamous attitudes — some of us have to work at it’. The author and her husband. Photo: Stephanie Munro
By Stephanie Munro
...About two years ago Andrew and I found polyamory becoming part of our collective consciousness in a way that is hard to explain. We are incredibly alike and often come to the same conclusions independently. ...
...But there was one sticking point: I felt sick whenever I imagined him with anybody else. And you do have to imagine these things, it’s how you prepare for big changes. ...
...I bought a couple of books about polyamory and I tried my best to get through them, though I found the sanctimony hard to swallow and gave up within a couple of chapters. I was, however, completely absorbed by a passage on jealousy. After all, polyamorous people are not all born with non-monogamous attitudes — some of us have to work at it. In order to stop feeling threatened by others and unlearn the commandment to love one person and only one person, I had to finally understand that there is no spoon. I had to reject the construct altogether and trust in love.
When I was growing up I believed that I would meet somebody special, The One, and that we would be so in love that we wouldn’t need anything from anybody else. ... I can still invoke the sense of panic I felt when I discovered texts or emails from a partner to other women. It was like something had been taken from me, I had nothing to hold on to and no ground beneath my feet. It all stemmed from the fear that if someone else attracted the attentions of the person I loved, then it was all over.
Put simply, non-monogamy is about changing your perceptions. The reality, of course, is less simple: altering how you see something that has felt so important and true for so long is hard work. ... We stayed up late, talking for hours about exactly what we would want. ...
...Opening up your relationship is a complete remodelling of partnership and of fidelity. ... Escaping jealousy and embracing polyamory is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. When I finally let go of monogamy, I realised I had so much more room for love and compassion. Not just for others, but for my husband, and for myself.
Stephanie Munro is a freelance writer working for the Guardian’s online community team.
Read her whole story (September 15, 2017).