Alysia Rodgers, 34, and her husband, Tyler, didn’t think about opening up their relationship until they met Sean, 46, and his wife. “We didn’t even know what polyamory was,” admits Alysia. From 2020, the couples decided to live together and create a polyamorous family. They talk about what life in an open relationship looks like on a daily basis, in which they raise children together on Instagram.
“Mom has a boy and dad has a girl”
Tyler and Alysia were already parents when they met Sean and his partner. Explaining the family’s new life situation to the children turned out to be “really easy”, according to the man.
“Our kids already knew we were dating Sean and Taya. We told them, ‘You know Mom has a boyfriend and Dad has a girlfriend and we’re going to move in together. We’re all going to be a big family, they’re going to help us, so treat them like you do. you treat us – that is, as your parents'”.
The couple lived under one roof, and soon more children were born. “I had one and Taya had another,” says Alysia. “We didn’t do DNA testing.” This means that women do not know who the biological fathers of their 22-month-old and 15-month-old children are.
“We are all the same parents to all our children and that is not up for debate or discussion,” says Alysia. “We’re not trying to hide it from the kids. If they want to know who their fathers are, we’ll do DNA testing. At this point in their lives, it doesn’t matter.”
The number of polyamorous relationships is growing
Polyamorous relationships have become increasingly popular in recent years. One 2021 study of 438 unmarried American adults found that one in six “would like to be in a polyamorous relationship”; one in nine has already been in an open relationship and one in 15 said they “know someone who has been or is in a polyamorous relationship.”
“People are often wrong polyamorous relationship with polygamy. We are all equal in our relationship Sean adds.
The 34-year-old agrees Jennifer, who lives in Virginia with her husband Daniel, her partner Ty Simpson, and their two children. Jennifer and Daniel grew up in conservative, evangelical homes where, as Jennifer says, “if you fell in love with someone, you had to get married.” The couple got engaged when they were 19, married a year later, and soon had children. “I don’t even think I’ve ever heard the word ‘polyamory’ before,” says Jennifer. “I didn’t know anyone who was in a non-monogamous relationship. I didn’t think there was such a thing.”
When Jennifer turned 27, she told Daniel that she would like to engage in sexual and romantic relationships with others. “We started reading books about polyamory, meeting people who lived in open relationships. We slowly opened up to new experiences. Daniel started dating people faster than me,” Jennifer admits with a laugh. In 2018, the woman met Ty, who moved in with them two years later. “At first I had a problem with one thing, I felt I was taking something important away from Daniel and the children. Now I know we have our roles to play and at the end of the day our main goal is to ensure that the children are raised to be kind and loving people “
Living in a polyamorous family has more advantages
Both families confess that living under one roof has both good and bad sides. “We have four pairs of adult hands to work with,” says Tyler. “I think very few people have that kind of help.” Alysia, Tyler and Sean work full-time while Taya stays at home with the children. “Knowing that children are always cared for by at least one parent is a huge relief,” admits Sean, adding that living in an open relationship shows children that “relationships don’t have to be a certain way” and that how they choose to live will be “100 percent their choice” and parents “will love and support them no matter what.”
Jennifer says she enjoys her sons learning “autonomy” and challenging traditional gender roles. “Everything we do at home is a collaborative effort,” he explains. “The children realize that everyone contributes and has an important role to play. I hope this develops a mindset of mutual aid and community as they grow up.”
Of course, living in a polyamorous family comes with its own challenges. One of them is planning. “Every week we plan everything on our calendars, we don’t want any of us to feel left out or left out.” Combining different parenting methods can also be difficult. “I’m more strict,” Sean explains. “They’re more permissive and gentle. Children are constantly changing. I think if you stick to one parenting style it won’t work.”
Despite many challenges – including the inevitable moments of jealousy and not being completely accepted by those closest to them – both families believe that living in a polyamorous relationship is definitely more of a plus. “At the end of the day, we’re just like any other monogamous family,” says Tyler. “Being a parent is about so much more than just biology and that’s what we’re all about.”
They live in a polyamorous relationship. “I’m jealous by nature, but I fight these instincts”
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