I think there is often an over emphasis on the sexual aspects of poly. In my situation I still have a deep love for Hank (my former husband of twenty five years). Hank is my great love and continues to be my great love even though we are no longer romantic. I consider this an “emotional poly” situation.
Hank and I converted our home into a duplex and moved in our partners because we recognized that we could not maintain these relationships unless they were integrated into our lives. Both O and Valerie were frustrated by the limitations of dates two times a week. O wanted a domestic partner, and he made it clear if this was not possible with me, he would eventually move on.
Also, it was challenging to be away from our kids two nights a week on our date nights with O and Valerie. Hank and I wanted a home with our kids and new partners. I read a quote by Margaret Mead just before Hank and I opened our marriage. “Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.” Although open marriage is assumed to be rife with instability, Mead’s sentiment encapsulates my main motivation to open my marriage. I wanted to keep my family intact while satisfy my desire for a new lover. I wanted to live outside of the box, in a supportive expanded family with more adults to share their strengths. This is what we have created.
The development of our polyamorous lifestyle has been very family focused. Bringing our partners “in house” so to speak felt like progress in terms of making a community in which we could share time with our children and our mutual partners. This allowed for more family unity. It also more complexities in terms of sharing time, people and space. But overall it has been well worth the effort of making it work.