Religion and Sexuality
A Bouquet of Lovers: Strategies for Responsible Open Relationships
Territorial jealousy has no place in a polyamorous agreement. However situational jealousy can arise over issues in the relationship when one or more of the partners is feeling neglected. Obviously the best cure for neglect is to focus attention on what has been neglected; the relationship will prosper when all partners are feeling strong and positive about each other. From that strong and healthy center it becomes possible to extend the love to others.
Consult with the Primary partner before becoming sexually involved with a new long-term Secondary lover. The Primary partner must approve of the new person and feel good about them and not feel threatened by the new relationship. Nothing can break up a relationship faster than bringing in a new person who is hostile or inconsiderate to the other Primary partner. On the other hand, the most precious people in my life are the lovers that my Primary partner has brought home to become our mutual life-long friends.
The check and balance on this rule is how often it is invoked by the same person. If it is used all the time by one person, this is patently unfair and is symptomatic of a problem or need that must be addressed. This can be tricky and once again, if honesty is not impeccably observed, the rule can be abused. If a man has a hard time relating to other men for instance, he can use his alienation to pick apart every other lover his wife proposes on some ground or other, leaving her with no satellite relationship that is acceptable to him. The cure for this is for the person who has the problem relating to the same sex to seek a therapy group for people who want to overcome this alienation.
Different rules may be used to apply to one-night stands or other temporary love affairs. One-night stands are not necessarily frowned upon and can be a memorable experience, but some Primaries choose to not allow any such brief flings as too risky, while others feel that such happenings add spice and are especially welcome during business trips or other enforced separations. The "ask first" rule may be suspended for the duration of the separation.
All new potential lovers are immediately told of any existing Primary relationship so that they genuinely understand the primacy of that existing relationship. None of this hiding your wedding ring business! Satellite lovers have a right to know where they truly stand and must not have any false illusions or hidden agendas of their own. For instance, in a triadic relationship of two women and one man, there is occasionally a solitary satellite lover who wants to "cut that little filly right out of the herd." If satellite lovers are really seeking a monogamous relationship then they will not be satisfied with the role of a long term Secondary relationship, and it is better that they find this out before any damage is done to either side.
If a Secondary becomes destructive to the Primary partnership, one of the Primary partners can ask the other to terminate the threatening Secondary relationship. It is wise to limit this veto to the initial phase of Secondary relationship formation. After a Secondary relationship has existed over a year and a day, any difficulties with the partner's Secondary must be worked out with everyone's cooperation. If you are not all friends by that time, then you are not conducting your relationships in a very cooperative and loving manner. When all is said and done, what we are creating is extended families based on the simple fact that lovers will come through for you more than friends will.
Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart coined the term "polyamory" in this pioneer article, which originally appeared in 1990. She has been a priestess of the Church of All Worlds since 1974, travelling extensively to teach about C.A.W., Paganism, Polyamory, and the Goddess. She currently hosts "Great Goddess Weekend Retreats" in her home in Northern California. For the past 37 years she has been in a happy poly-relationship with her husband, Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, with whom she forms a triad with her dear friend and lover, Julie Epona. Morning Glory and Oberon sell their God and Goddess statues and jewelry through their website Mythic Images