Ask Aunt Poly is an advice column. While it is meant to offer genuine, helpful advice, Aunt Poly has no degree in this area, and is not a professional. She will offer her opinions and advice, as well as those of her staff. Please use your own best judgement when considering advice given here. Before submitting any letters to Aunt Poly, please make sure that you read the official disclaimer regarding this advice column.
To read all of the letters that have been submitted in the past, check out the Ask Aunt Poly archives.
Dear Aunt Poly,
I have found myself in a relationship with a married man. He describes himself as Poly, as do I. He explains though, that his wife is not poly and has not told her about us as it will "cause problems". How do I tell him that even though I care about him deeply it bothers me that the core of being poly is CONSENTUAL non-monogamy, and I am not comfortable with her being lied to. It is currently a long distance relationship, so there is no chance of her and I "running into" each other or anything. I am trying to decide if I should continue in the relationship at all, but it is not as easy to just leave as it is to suggest it. I have doubts because I was recently the woman dumped for the new toy and I do not wish that to happen to anyone else, least of all not on my account.
Aunt Poly has complete sympathy for the situation you find yourself in. Being a poly person in a monogamous relationship can be a very difficult position.
Aunt Poly agrees that the core of Poly is consent and your male friends’ position of deceit where his wife is concerned does not speak of Polyamory it screams of cheating.
His statement that alerting his wife to your relationship will “cause problems” brings alarm bells and flashing neon signs with the words “run fast” to mind.
Aunt Poly, being the hip, in the know old woman that she is , is aware of several “poly” folk living monogamously with their spouses who because out of love and respect for them have chosen to live in a way that would bring them no pain. She is also aware of poly folk married to a monogamous spouse who takes no issue with the poly spouse having a significant extra within a closed circle relationship.
If this “relationship” as you call it is currently in the talking and getting to know you phase, Aunt Poly suggests it remains in this phase and goes no further until such a time that your gentleman friends spouse has been clued in and you both have been given the go ahead personally from her.
Since you have unfortunately been placed in the position of losing your spouse in a most painful way. Aunt Poly is very sure that as difficult as this relationship may be to end, you most certainly would make a correct choice where this couple is concerned, because that is how you must see him, they are married, therefore a couple and his actions will affect her, thereby so will yours.
Aunt Poly also asks you to think on this. If this man is willing be deceitful to the woman he has married and pledged his love to, just how honorable and forthright with YOU do you think he will be?
Aunt Poly can be reached here, at her Polyamorous Percolations email address.