Pick any romantic comedy. Go ahead. I'll wait.
Got it? Good.
Now, imagine the chaos and horror should your boyfriend meet your husband and both of them realize they're having a relationship with you . . . at the same time! There would be tears and recriminations, anger and possibly violence, as well as the overwhelming demand that you pick one and only one of them to spend the rest of your life loving.
I didn't have to think of a romantic comedy to imagine that scenario. I have already met my wife's boyfriend*. There was no screaming, no chest thumping, no macho posturing, no crying and no demands to choose. Instead, we shook hands, asked how each other was and I then asked if they'd had a good time on their trip out of town.
Admittedly, it wasn't perfectly easy to do. It took a while for my wife to get over the idea that I shouldn't ever meet her partner*. Even though she was the one who initiated our move from monogamy to polyamory, Os seemingly had a lot more hangups about the idea of me meeting her lover* than I did.
While I'm not a mindreader (nor do I play one on TV), I know what you're thinking right now. Stop picking at it and it will go away. Yes, the other thing also. How could I meet my wife's paramour* without being blinded by jealousy, without roaring into action to protect what's mine, to fight to keep her and get rid of the interloper? Am I not a man? Am I some sort of wimp who lets other dudes walk all over him?
Each of those answers are all tied together, really. I wasn't jealous because I'd done a lot of research, a lot of reading and a lot of thinking about the nature of romantic love. I'd come to realize that (and I think I'm paraphrasing someone here. If you know, shoot me a note in the comments and I'll give credit) love is about appreciation, not possession. That is, my wife is her own person, just as I am. As such, she is in charge of who she loves, who she does not and how she chooses to express those feelings. Just as I am responsible for my own feelings.
Through a very difficult process of Do-It-Yourself Psychic Rebuilding(TM), I began to understand that each individual owns only themselves. I express my love for the women in my life how I choose to express it, in a way that will bring the greatest love to me and to them. They are free to respond in whatever way they choose.
I also came to realize this important thing: Men can and should be more than emotionally stunted rage monsters with jealousy issues and sexual entitlement. When faced with something we don't understand, it's okay for a man to admit it, to step aside for study and contemplation, to cry when sad, to ask for help, to not see force as the answer to every problem. In other words, to do, feel and express the very emotions that our culture says cannot be seen in a real man. That, however, is a whole other story.
I need to get back on track here. I think I've managed to go a little off the track. Let's see. . .
Right. All that up there? Yeah, still important, though I'd like you to thin of it as background information for a while, something to keep in mind as I move forward. In other words, I told you that so I could tell you this.
The best way to think about polyamory is through the lens of economics. Next week, we're getting out the bow ties and talking about the laws of supply and demand.
Until then, be good to yourselves.