As the Newt Gingrich circus continues, I'm (pleasantly) surprised by some of the excellent discussions on polyamory showing up on fairly well-traveled sites. Though I think Newt is one of the worst examples you could find of responsible, ethical non-monogamy, it turns out that most people do recognize this. And lots of people are coming out of the woodwork to share their own stories.
Our successful open marriage:
We’re largely invisible. When I pick my girlfriend’s daughter up at school, I don’t tell the teachers I’m dating her mom. I just sign the pick-up form and head home.
I see a lot of people in the comments to this article saying "it never works," or "I've never seen it work." I think this quote nails it, though; polyamory is far from mainstream, so most people who practice it keep pretty quiet about it to keep from ruffling any feathers. A lot of the time, you only hear about it when it goes wrong--when things explode in a maelstrom of tears and drama that's pretty hard to ignore. When it's working...we look pretty much anyone else.
How not to do non-monogamy:
Comparing Gingrich to polyamory is like comparing wife-beating to BDSM.
This is the point a lot of the traditional news outlets seem to be missing. Polyamory is about wanting to carry on multiple healthy relationships, whereas it really seems like in Newt's case, he just wanted to jump ship to a new woman without going through all the messy business of a divorce. I could of course be wrong--maybe, in the cold shriveled rock he calls a heart, he truly just wants to be with and care for more than one person. But if that's the case...
There's more on this point in I could teach Newt Gingrich a thing or two about open marriage:
But an essential characteristic of any polyamorous relationship is informed consent; I have no problem with any of my partners telling me that they have a date with someone else, but would have a big problem with finding out that they had one last week with someone new, and didn't tell me.
Carrying on an extramarital affair for six years without your wife's knowledge or consent is pretty bad relationship practice. Almost anyone--even (especially?) most people in open marriages--would tell you that. I would certainly consider it a deal breaker, as would all of my polyamorous friends.
Meanwhile in Crazy Land--I mean, Fox News: Newt Gingrich's three marriages mean he might make a strong president -- really
So, as far as I can tell, judging from the psychological data, we have only one real risk to America from his marital history if Newt Gingrich were to become president: We would need to worry that another nation, perhaps a little younger than ours, would be so taken by Mr. Gingrich that it would seduce him into marrying it and becoming its president.
what is this i don't even
You know what? I give up. I'm all out of snappy comebacks. I'm going back to bed.