Is Polyamory a Fidelity Fix for Jerks?

Dear Jamie,

As soon as we got married last year, I started having affairs. They didn’t mean anything. I don’t know, I had no desire to stray until we were actually married. Maybe I felt trapped, or maybe it was just that now being really off limits made it exciting.

Genevieve found out because she saw the light blinking on my mobile as booty call texts came through, when she was up to feed the baby.

At first she wanted a divorce and said the wedding was a big mistake. I was stunned because I thought she loved me and might be more understanding of men’s needs. I promised to be faithful from now on.  She said I promised that already at the wedding and clearly it meant nothing.

After a few weeks though Genevieve said something that blew my mind: we should stay married and look after our daughter, but since I wanted an open marriage, I got it.

She told me that she had taken a lover that week. I didn’t believe her but when I looked on her laptop, I found poly and porn sites and a membership at The idea of her fucking other men is killing me.

Poly sounds fun but I just want her. Please tell me what to do! – Tyler

Dear Tyler,

Tell you what to do? Your wife already told you what to do. What are you asking me for?

All kidding aside, let me just say I don’t even want to respond to this letter. Poly life is not a catchall for cheaters and liars who can’t keep it in their pants. Yes, I write often of empathy towards “men’s needs” but your attitude isn’t one of contrition and inner struggle. You got caught, and that’s what went wrong in your book.

I think Genevieve should pack her bags and meet a great poly man who treats her to the best sexperiences she’s ever imagined. I don’t think you’re cut out for poly life. Poly works both ways, not just an open door for you. Now that you have permission to pursue more partners, it’s not that interesting for you.

The reason I’m bothering to respond at all is because Genevieve’s creative manoeuvre in finding a way to move beyond the betrayal of the family life she signed up for is noteworthy. She is a sexy, smart, savvy woman with steely determination. Bravo to her for calling your bluff, but it’s what this situation says to other couples that interests me most.

Infidelity is a terrible betrayal of trust, but in polyamory we can find a way to prevent that by simply removing the idea that sex with other partners is forbidden and incorporating those natural needs—of men AND women—into our primary relationships. And to couples confronting  a breach in those bonds, polyamory can offer a healing solution that doesn’t mean their dissolving.

Of course you feel jealous now, Tyler, because you’re the one who did something wrong and she is having affairs now to even the score and punish you. I suggest you take your medicine like a man, and then thank your lucky stars that you are going to have your cake and eat it too.

I don’t think you deserve this incredible good fortune, and inside, you don’t either. But you have it, so make the most of it, and don’t fuck it up this time.


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