You know the story: Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy invites another girl into their bed, and girl is strangely ok with it, because she has her own lesbian lover on the side anyway.

Wait, what?

Welcome to polyamory, the strange perversion of what love in marriage looks like. On Showtime’s Polyamory: Married & Dating, married couple Michael and Kamala talk about their open marriage, and why monogamy “just doesn’t work for them.”

"Monogamy can be a really beautiful agreement between people when they're deeply in love and they don't have desire for another," Kamala says. "But most people in our society are just monogamous because their vows said 'I will forsake all others.'"

Um, yeah, that’s kind of the point.

So what does their situation look like? Michael and Kamala have been married for 12 years, and have a six-year-old son together. Six months ago, they invited Michael’s 27-year-old girlfriend Rachel to come live with them. They have previously shared their home with another couple, and Kamala has maintained an affair with another woman for the past two years.

The threesome loves to do yoga, have tantric sex together, and they collectively raise Michael and Kamala’s son. They claim that polyamory is the answer to our “divorce woes.”

Talk about out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Half of all marriages end in divorce, so the best way to combat that statistic is to eradicate the stability of marriage between committed partners?

Agree or not, at least gay and polygamous marriages show some sort of committed union between adults -- promises to stay together for life. Of course promises get broken, but how can you raise children in such chaos that no promise is ever even made, let alone attempted to be lived?

Kids with gay parents or more than one mom will have some stuff to overcome, even if for no other reason than it’s not the societal norm -- but at least they know where they belong. When parents are committed, the child’s home life is stable. But what happens when Dad’s girlfriend, who is acting as a surrogate mother, decides it’s time for her to move on? I can only imagine the psychological damage to a child who has to live with a revolving door of his parents’ various love interests.

Families with gay or polygamous parents have something these polyamorous people don’t -- commitment. Their families may look different, but at least they are loyal to each other, and especially to their children.

Do you think open marriages are a viable alternative to divorce?

 

Image via Robert Ashworth/Flickr