Maya is the hingepoint in a MFM V-triad that currently maintains a long-distance-relationship element. Her partners are Zuke, to whom she's legally married and in a relationship with for a total of 13 years and Kai, whom she's known for 18 years and in a relationship with for about 1.5 years. Maya and Zuke have 3 children and Kai has 2 from a previous marriage. With the ups, downs, distance and juggling -- this is Maya's Mayhem.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

Thoughts from a non poly

Editor's Note: This month's column is written by Maya's Sister. This is her perspective of Maya's involvement in a polyfidelitous triad.

When my sibling told me that she was in love with two men, not interested in a divorce or separation from her husband, not interested in breaking up her family, and yes, interested in having two husbands I was, to say the least, skeptical of her choice and at most, in quiet shock at the very thought. Now, Iím not talking shocked as in "Iíll never accept this" but rather "Oh My God, her husband must really be treating her badly! Iíve got to get to the bottom of this!!"

Having known her husband for 13 years it just didnít seem to fit that heíd treat her poorly. Yes, he does sometimes lack in the romance department (he is a man after all) but where could this sudden lifestyle change be coming from? And polyamorous relationshipsÖ? "Huh? What is that?" I had to ask my sister. I had heard, of course, of polygamy but this didnít seem to be polygamy as I knew it. This was utterly foreign. Our conversations went something like: "Your husband is agreeing to allow another man to live with you, and heís not uncomfortable with the two of you having sexual relations?"

ĒOh My God!Ē, "Her husband is really going off the deep end" and "What the hell is going on?" were my responses.

Now, letís go back a bit in time just to get a feel for a little history between my sister and me. We grew up in a strictly religious, fundamental Christian home. However, over the years we rejected religion as we knew it, literally taking the same journey together, even though there was a 3 year age difference and several states between us. We, without planning, read and experienced things almost always at the same time, as though we were somehow connected mentally. Now this might seem as though itís purely coincidental, but when you take into account that we live 1000+ miles apart and only see each other once or twice a year briefly, the chances begin to slim for it being coincidence. Also in parallel were our personal lives. We somehow traveled down the same paths in behaviors and lovers. It always seemed as though we were learning the exact same lessons at exactly the same time. We would only realize later, after comparing experiences, that we were experiencing almost the exact same thing. And, as silly as it may sound, my sister could call me at two oíclock in the afternoon on a Sunday, tell me that she had worked in her garden all morning, had finally gotten her plants in the ground, and I could repeat the exact thing back to her. I would have also planted my plants that morning and was so glad to mark that off of my "to do" list. These are all simple examples, but this recurring dual-experience theme has gone on for more than a decade. It becomes hard to find any coincidence at all and much easier to just say we are mentally wired together somehow.

Now, I donít know if everyone has someone that they understand so well, that is their best friend, that loves them unconditionally, but I wouldnít replace that connection with anything in the world. It is somehow higher and more sacred than anything else to me. Having never judged each other, always supported each other, no matter how crazy the situation would sound, still I wasnít expecting this one. This one was "WOW!!"

It took some adjustment period, mostly in my feelings towards her husband. The strangest thing to me was that, upon analysis I realized I had "allowed" him into our family a long time ago. Thatís a big one for me. Many years previous I had quit thinking of him as my Ďsisterís husbandí. He was now just Ďpart of the familyí. Sometimes annoying, sometimes quirky, sometimes so brilliant, but always loved and accepted -- thatís a family member in my book. Once brought into the inner circle, theyíre in the sacred keep. Theyíre untouchable. Youíll protect them from the lions and smack anyone that says a bad word about them (keeping in mind that only you can criticize them). Well, when you have only a few adult members in your "family" and then a dynamic in the family unit changes so dramatically, you do take a step or two back to really assess the situation. You pull out the tape measure, check the foundation, knock on the walls, and troubleshoot the entire family. That was the first three months. My sister would laugh when I would tell her, "Iím digesting, just give me some time to digest". My overly analytical mind would dissect this new situation over and over trying to figure it out. I can be slow, when something so different is planted in my mind. Itís a process. Itís almost scientific. Ask a question or two, get an answer, think about that for 3 weeks, rule out some things, come to a conclusion. Move on to new questions, need more information, information received, more to think about. It goes around in the mind this way for a while, but does start to settle in as the idea becomes less and less foreign.

As time marches on, suddenly I look back and realize Iíve known for over a year. One day I find the very idea entering my mind of this different situation seems totally random and I search my mind in a curious manner, looking for that old feeling of apprehension at the thought but not finding it. I realize that I have truly accepted it. Iím no longer worried about the decision. Iím not scared that something bad will happen, or that the second husband will hurt the family somehow. I feel confident that my sister can and will handle this new life. And happiest of all, I realize that this is a choice she made to be happy. I smile at the thought of her being happy. This person I am connected to, Öthatís all I wanted for her.

I know that it will take years to know the 2nd husband the way I know the first. To join this family takes a while, but once youíre a member you are in the sacred group. And you are protected and loved.

Maya is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Maya; August 30, 2006

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