When One Husband Isn’t Enough, Some Women Get a Backup

husband swapMom of two Louisa Leontiades is talking about that time she felt "trapped" in her marriage so she took on an extra husband and wife. You'll be stunned to know things got complicated from there. But seriously -- when we heard her whole story we had to wonder, does she actually have the right idea?


I almost feel like we need a diagram to explain Leontiades' love life. But in a nutshell, here's what happened. 

1. Leontiades marries first husband, Gilles.

2. She has an affair, but she still loves her husband.

3. Feeling trapped in her conventional marriage, she and Gilles invite another married couple, Elaina and Morton, to live with them as a foursome.

4. The foursome doesn't work out, so Leontiades divorces Gilles and separates from Elaina and Morton.

5. But actually she keeps Morton as a boyfriend.

6. And then she marries Morton. (Oh yeah, and Gilles marries Elaina.)

7. But Leontiades is feeling penned in again, so she takes up another boyfriend, Christopher, with Morton's consent.

8. Leontiades and Morton have two children together and are satisfied (for the moment) with this polyamorous arrangement with Christoper.

Are you still following? Wow, it's a good thing Leontiades has been able to find so many understanding men!

She tells the story of her experience with polyamory in a memoir, The Husband Swap: A True Story of Unconventional Love. As you can imagine, this lifestyle has its challenges. Leontiades admits she's struggled with jealousy and low confidence at times. And it's interesting that in her second try with polyamory, there's no second woman, just two men (as far as I can tell).

More from The Stir: Polyamory 101: What the Curious Need to Know

Again, I'm stunned that she's found these two very understanding men who are willing to -- okay, I'll put it in cave man terms -- "share" her. There may be plenty of men out there who feel entitled to more than one woman, but it's not so common for them to extend the same right to women. 

Another thing I'm surprised by is how she finds the time for both guys. With two kids? And probably a career as well? It's hard enough for most moms to find enough time and energy to feed one romantic and sexual relationship, let alone two.

I imagine she must be getting different things from each man. And that's the part I do get. A common frustration women have with marriage is that we want it to be everything for us. We want that marriage to answer all of our needs. It's not a realistic expectation for everyone.

"I had the Disney dream," Leontiades says. "I wanted to meet that one true love and have the happily ever after. 'But there's not much spoken about what happens after the happily ever after."

And so there you go. You meet another Prince Charming, and another, and another. That's one woman's solution to the boredom that can come with marriage. I wonder what would happen if the idea really caught on.

Do you ever feel like you could use a backup husband?


Image via ITV


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