I have really enjoyed reading this thread!
Dp and I are considering polyamory of some kind. At first I was *very* resistant to the idea (in my defense, the catalyst for our discussions was Dp having an affair with a man this summer), but with time, I have been feeling more open to the idea.
I have always been very much of the monogamous mindset. I went to college looking for a wife, and wasn't really interested in dating and getting to experience a lot of people before settling down. I just wanted to meet "the one" and get married and have babies. I met Lena pretty much right after I got to college and we moved in together pretty much right away and got a puppy a couple of months later. We decided to wait on the marriage and babies part until I graduated. About two years into our relationship, I met another woman, Kris, and fell in love with her. It felt so confusing to feel in love with two people at the same time. I didn't know that it was possible. I decided that I had to break up with Lena because I must not really be in love with her if I was also in love with Kris. A couple of months later, I broke up with Kris, and was just single for a while. I had never lived alone before since I had gone from living with my parents, to living with Lena, to living with Kris. The solitude was really good for me. I realized that I really was in love with both Lena and Kris, but that in this reality I could not be with both of them. Lena and I ended up getting back together and getting married and having two babies. I again believed that monogamy was the only way to go.
This summer, Lena met a man, Zack, in Alaska and while she hasn't said that she's in love with him (and really she only was with him for 24 hours), she feels a very strong connection with him. She does not want to never see him again, or to have to end things with him. I can understand completely because that is how I felt when I first met Kris. After much talking and processing and thinking and alone time, I believe that I am okay with her continuing to have a relationship with Zack. Because he lives very far away, he will not likely have a relationship with our boys or anything close to that. Although, I would like to get to meet him and know him myself.
The big issue for us is jealousy. Lena and I are both very jealous people, and it is hard for me to see us really getting past that. Because Zack is a man, I am for some reason less jealous of their relationship. But I seriously cannot imagine being okay with her being with another woman. And I cannot imagine Lena being okay with my being with another woman. There just seems to be so much room for hurt and so many unknowns. It doesn't feel very safe to me.
But then sometimes I can imagine it all working out just great, and it seems like the best idea. I feel very torn. It is hard to let go of an idea that has been ingrained since childhood. In a way, it feels like a second "coming out" to me. It was very hard for me to let go of the idea of marrying a man when I first realized I was gay. It took me at least a year to really get comfortable with the idea, and so I am giving myself as much time to try to get comfortable with the idea of not being monogamous. It is difficult because there is so much less societal support for polyamory even than there is for being gay or lesbian. I certainly don't want to talk with my parents or sisters about it (and it was easy for me to come out to them as a lesbian). I have some friends who have been supportive of the idea, but most have been trying to talk me out of it.
In our life, we strive to do things in the most natural way possible. We aren't that close to it in most of the things we do because we live in an apt. building at the moment. But we can't wait until we can really be living off the land and relying less on automobiles and getting back to the earth. Attachment parenting is one of the ways in which I feel like we are really doing things right. We are trusting our natural instincts and parenting the way our ancestors did a loooooooong time ago. And, when I think about it, I realize that monogamy is not the most natural thing itself. I know that it is certainly not natural for males, who definitely seem to have an instinct to spread their seed (though some men seem to be able to supress this very well). I can't see as much instinctual need for women to be polyamorous, but I suppose it could be argued that having more than one partner would better ensure that a woman's children would be fed and provided for. Regardless of the reasoning, I am positive that in the beginning there was no monogamy (just as there was no formula and there were no cribs to let babies cry it out in).
My grandfather lived a poly sort of a life. He identifies as a gay man, but did not come out to himself or to others until after he and my grandmother were married. It was not acceptable in their "circles" to get divorced, and they did love each other, so they remained together. My grandfather would have relationships with men--the longest one lasting 8 years--and my grandmother knew about them and met the men. My grandparents are now in their 80's and are still living together--happily, I believe. But I know that my grandmother feels she lived a very lonely life in some ways. She never went looking for love in other places, but would just wait at home while my grandfather was off with his lovers. I am afraid that this is what will happen with my relationship. I suppose it is different because Lena is not straight, and she is still very much in love with me and feels passion with me, etc. But I still worry.
Anyway. Thanks for starting this thread as it is something I have been thinking about a lot, but never would have had the guts to start a thread about. I hope my train of thought is not too confusing to read!