Open Marriage Benefit: A Three-Parent Household


Open Marriage Benefit: A Three-Parent Household
Jenny Block discusses the benefits of an extra partner during the bad economy.

Sometimes I forget things. I don't mean my keys or why I went into the kitchen, although I forget those too. I mean I forget bigger things. I forget to be thankful, to marvel, to bask in my life and the people I live it with.

This economy has driven my husband out on the road. He's working as a consultant. He leaves on Sunday afternoons and comes home on Friday nights.


When he was home, he did the grocery shopping and the cooking. He got our daughter up and out to school in the morning and off to bed at night. Now I'm alone. I'm a single parent. I am drowning, working 10-hour days and trying to keep the house from falling down around my ears and the kid from starving or flunking or just plain hating me. Except somehow I am actually afloat despite how my mind imagines it some days. Read: Busy Woman's Wish List: A Man Wife

The truth is, I'm only partially a single parent. Aside from a husband, I also have a girlfriend. I knew I was lucky to have her in my life because of the love and support and sheer giddiness in being together. What I was not conscious of was just how lucky we all were to have three parents, three adults, three spouses really, to pitch in when things were less than stellar. Read: Portrait Of An Open Marriage

I forget how lucky I am, how good I have it despite the difficulties.

The economy has forced me to do some corporate writing alongside my "real" work which means deadlines and company politics and stress. Combine that with a spouse who is in town for less than 48 hours a week and who wants (and needs) to do little more than rest during that time and you're likely headed for the looney bin—or worse. But because I am in an open marriage, a polyamorous relationship, a polyfidelitous vee, I am not alone—at all.

I forget that this lifestyle isn't just about love or sex. It is also strangely practical despite people finding it so very unusual. Open Marriage: One Man's Surprising Take

My girlfriend doesn't take my daughter to the doctor or register her for school or keep up with the home warranty or schedule the exterminator, she does however help me cook and clean and grocery shop. She does do spelling words with my daughter and help her grow crystals for her science fair project. She is a third parent, a third person, a third spouse.

I forget life wasn't always so isolated. Families weren't always mom and dad and 2.5 kids and a dog. It has always taken a village.