Frequently Asked Questions about ethical non-monogamy
Ethical non-monogamy is definitely not immoral - it's called "ethical" and for a good reason. Swinger, polyamory and open relationships are also called consensually non-monogamous - and the answer is hidden in the word: "consensually".
If anybody gets hurt because of someone else's selfishness, anybody lacks the real ability to decide over any question in such a relationship or anybody wants tries to force their interest through the others it's by definition no consensual, thus not ethical, does not belong to our subject.
Flipping the question to the other side: how could anything be immoral that is based on love (or at least on mutual respect), when the feelings of all the people involved must be handled with care, when no decision can be made without the consent of all parties? When the goal is not to take but to give?
If we consider extra-marital affairs (which are not ethical) to be ethically non-monogamous, this number may be in the millions in Hungary. However, even if we only consider the ethical, open, swinger, or polyamorous relationships, this number may still be in the tens of thousands.
The number of ethical non-monogamous relationships worldwide is just as surprising! Did you know that in Russia, for example, several politicians have advocated granting legal recognition to polyamorous marriages? (Source) Or did you know that the Inuit in North America, the Sherpas in Asia, and the Maasai in Africa are polyandrous (have multiple husbands)? (Source) Monogamy is a much less obvious choice if we take the world as a whole.
This type of relationship is not as rare as it seems, it’s just not part of most typical conversations on this subject. There are many people living in such relationship, and the more this is talked about, the more clarity we’ll have in the whole of society when it comes to relationships. Don’t be frightened if you feel this talks to you, you are not alone!
Open relationships only work well in an egalitarian system. In such relationships, men and women have equal rights, which means women are usually better off than in traditional relationships. In open relationships, neither the men nor the women can do anything that would negatively affect the others.
Open relationships are not legitimized extra-marital affairs, just the opposite! They are the highest form of mutual respect and acceptance, where we trust one another well enough to set the other person free, out of the cage of the traditional relationship, hoping that even without the chains, that person will stay with us or will return to us!
If we take a look at Jesus’ words as written in the Gospel of Matthew, we find the following:
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39)
Most Christians consider this commandment to be the core of the correct Christian lifestyle.
If you consider your partner’s feelings as equally important (and definitely not less important) to your own, and you “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Matthew 7:12) then what’s not Christian-like?
Don’t hurt but rather help others! This is the core essence of polyamory, not just of the Bible!
Many people use the possibility of jealousy as a reason against open relationships – as if jealousy weren’t present in traditional monogamous relationships! It is worth noting that jealousy may happen in any relationship, as it is a natural human emotion. However, in open relationships, jealousy is approached differently, not as if it were something impossible to overcome, but more like a guiding force of the relationship. You can read more about that here.
Although every form of open relationship requires high emotional intelligence and great communication skills, two things that give people in such relationships more freedom and happiness than in traditional relationships, it is not for everyone.
Many people find their true happiness in monogamous relationships, and some are genetically more while others are genetically less monogamous. (Source)
Ethical non-monogamy is the future only for those who become happier as a result. Although we do believe that many more people will choose this type of relationship in the future and it will be more common over time than it is today, it will not replace or “force out” monogamous relationships.
Not at all, not in the least! We are against every action that hurts or marginalize others. Open relationships cannot be forced upon anyone – if that happens, then its core philosophy is misused or misinterpreted resulting in a painful and joyless, hopeless relationship!
In order to open a relationship to other people, all parties must be treated as equals, which means no lies, no secret affairs, and definitely no violence can be part of it!
Then don’t do it! There are as many types of open relationships as many people that are having them. There are no rules for open relationships, at least nothing beyond honesty and following ethical behaviours. Nobody can tell you what type of relationship you should have with another person. Nobody can tell you how you should feel or what you should do.
Ethical non-monogamous relationships come with freedom, not expectations. The goal is to make your relationship stronger and more fulfilling than it was before!
The answer is: absolutely yes. What is the worst thing that can happen? More than two people will love and care about the children? Gets more attention?
Naturally, this question is more complex. More people also means more possible breakups, there can be significant issues caused by different parenting philosophies... but at the end the answer is a big green YES.
For more information read Benedict Smith's article about how he grew up in a polyamorous family on Vice or this article about the advantages of growing up in a polyamorous family or this from the Guardian: 'There's zero evidence that it's worse for children': parenting in a polyamorous relationship'.