Todays blog is brought to you by a combination of me offering up various topics to write about and my bff telling me what to start with.
As she and I talk about a variety of things, I realize how common it is for me to say stuff and have to stop and explain what I mean. I have noticed that within the polyamorous world, that there are all sorts of words and phrases that are used that are not used in the monogamous relationships. Now, she is wildly open-minded, so I am lucky in that sense. She also reads. A lot. So many of the things she has read about, but reading about things and hearing them from a friend who actually experiences them can be two different things. So, let’s jump in.
When I first took the dive into a polyamorous relationship, I was grateful to have the person that my hubby was with be open with me and answer all of my questions. I would spend hours talking to her and texting her any time I had a question. If I read something, I’d pass it along and ask her opinion on it. She was amazing and would open up her life and experiences to me however she could.
One of the things that I remember asking about first was “how am I supposed to act with people my hubby is dating and/or fucking?” “There is no prescribed way to deal with it. Whatever works best for you and for him is how you’re supposed to act.”
One of the things that I appreciated the most when learning about poly, is that there is no one right way to live poly. Every poly relationship that I learn about looks different from the other…and none of them are ‘wrong’. With monogamous relationships, society tells us what to do. What to expect. What the cookie cutter should look like. With polyamory, it doesn’t look at what society says works…it looks at what works for those involved in the relationship.
The first time I heard the term kitchen table polyamory, I thought it was going to be some kink-fetish thing. Not exactly. Kitchen Table Polyamory (KTP): A style of polyamorous relationship in which the interrelationship of a network, and the integration of multiple romantic relationships into one life or group, is prioritized. Close relationships between metamours and/or telemours are strongly encouraged or required. The name comes from the notion that all members of a network “can sit around the kitchen table in their PJs, drinking coffee”.
Having been in polyamory for a few years now, I am learning more and more of what I like and what I appreciate about my relationships – both past and present and what is comfortable for me.
Right now the relationship that I have with Jake is amazing…and partly because the relationship that I have with his wife and his family. We very much have a KTP relationship. His wife and I are friends and will often get together to talk, have coffee, or take the kids to the park. My daughter babysits for their youngest child. My younger child and their older child are the same age and get along fantastically. All four of us have a friendship, but we aren’t all in a relationship. We make it a priority that we practice KTP. We make sure that we all talk. If Jake’s wife is having uncertainty, then we talk. If I’m feeling weird, we talk.
But then on the opposite side of the coin is my husband’s partners. I’ve met his partners – had coffee or a meal with all of them. But I don’t feel the need to be KTP with them. I know how to get ahold of them if I ever need to, but I don’t want to be friends with them. At least not right now. Part of the reason is that the last time I became friends with one of my husbands partners, it was Jackie. I know it’s not the same, but it’s something that I’m working on in therapy.
Polyamory can be hard. There is no prescribed notion of what it should be or shouldn’t be. What it looks like today for me may not be the way it looks for me tomorrow or the next day. It’s ever changing for me right now.
Side note: I’m not sure that this is what I wanted this blog to be about… sometimes that happens with blogs…you start writing and it comes out. Maybe I’ll relook at it at some point. Maybe not.