Debunking the Polyamory Myth; Common Misperceptions about Polyamory
- Polyamory means the same thing as cheating, swinging, and open relationships.
Polyamory differs from all of these due to polyamory’s emphasis on honesty, fairness and full consent by everyone involved, and communication. While these can be found in some swinging and open relationships it is not a declared value system as in polyamory.
- People choose polyamory because their relationship is in trouble.
This can be true but not why not why most people are polyamorous. Often folks feel they are born this way or they see it as a way to keep themselves and their lives fulfilling.
- Intimacy is a problem for those that choose polyamory.
Often, polyamorous people are much better at intimacy because this structure does not work if those involved do not have superior relating skills.
- Polyamorous people do not get jealous.
Totally untrue. We all get jealous. Poly folks just feel the best
response is to move closer to the situation than farther away. They
and I also believe you need to use your jealous feelings as a self
growth tool. i.e. What exactly about their relationship is making me
jealous? What aspects of myself that I am not comfortable with have
come up that might be clues to where I need to do some self esteem /
growth work? etc.
- Gay people are not Poly, especially gay men, they are just in naturally promiscuous Not true but also not all open gay relationships (or open straight ones) are poly.
- Polyamorous people view monogamy as wrong.
This is untrue. That said, I think that Poly solutions could offer
much better continuity of relating to others than current solutions such as cheating, divorce and divided homes. etc.
- Polyamory lets you avoid conflict and communication in your primary
Definitely not true, polyamory requires one to communicate and deal with the conflict in a way monogamy does not engender just by it’s structure.
- Polyamory damages children - or as one therapist with 20 years experience said to me at a workshop “if they will do this sick stuff then imagine what they will do to their children.”
It is my experience that children do well when they having loving parents that coordinate their care and are honest, caring communicators - areas polyamory encourages folks to become very good at. Polyamory does not ensure this in any particular individual any more than monogamy does however we do know that the lying and cheating and pain that ensue in many divorces is harmful to children. In my 22 years of practice I have seen far more people damaged by divorce than polyamory. Keep Reading...
by Tracy Deagan LPC-S, LCSW-S
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