Arguments against

poly6

New member
What are all of the arguments against polyamory that you've heard in your time and what would be your rebuttal.
 

MsChristy

New member
Obviously people will always think you are cheating on one of your partners or that you are being unfaithful. I always make it clear that all involved are aware of what is going on and ok with it.

I am sure if I ever told my parents (which I am never going to do), they would tell me I am sinning.
 

Emmy37

New member
1) Are the kids OK with it?
Yup, they love her as much as we do.

2) Am I OK with it?
Yup, I'm more than OK with it. I've never been happier in life than I am now.

3) How do you share your husband...I could never do that....I'm way too needy in a relationship.
It's good that you recognize you couldn't do it. I advise you never try it.
 

KC43

New member
I'm obviously not MsChristie, but on the subject of parents finding out or not...

Not all people in a polyamorous relationship share a household. Hubby and I are legally married and live together with my daughters from my first marriage. He and I were monogamous for 5 years before we chose to open our marriage, and then I met Guy and we moved to a polyamorous V.

But Guy doesn't live with us. He doesn't even live *near* us. So anyone who comes to visit isn't going to find out in any way that we have a polyamorous situation. In fact, my 16-year-old doesn't even know, and she lives with me.

I've encountered the "you're cheating on your husband" reaction--ironically, the people who have said that to me are swingers who have multiple *sexual* partners, but apparently consider me a cheater because I'm in love with Guy.

The other one is "Why did you bother get married if you were going to have sex with other men?" Um... because marriage isn't all about sex, it's about having a life with someone. And I'm too high-maintenance for one man to manage a life with on his own. (That last sentence is complete wise-assery, but I did say it to a nosy woman who used to be a friend of mine until she started asking questions like that and telling other friends I'm a bully and a gold-digger for "forcing" Hubby to live this way. In reality, all of it, from opening the marriage to Guy and me transitioning from friends-with-benefits to actual lovers with the emphasis on *love*, was Hubby's suggestion, based on what he perceived would benefit me that I didn't dare to ask for.)
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
I'm sure I won't be able to remember *all* of the arguments against polyamory I've ever heard, but I'll list as many of them as I can remember at this time.

  • Polyamory is a sin. It displeases God.
  • God made us to be paired off as man-woman couples.
  • People who practice polyamory will go to Hell.
  • Polyamory is an unhealthy relationship practice.
  • Since people are naturally jealous, polyamory is impractical and unworkable.
  • Polyamory is misogynistic; it's designed to indulge men's irresponsible urge to have a harem.
  • People practice polyamory because they can't handle commitment.
  • Polyamory is just a fancy word for cheating.
  • Polyamory violates the sacred marital vows.
  • Polyamorists are sex addicts.
  • Polyamorous people are naturally selfish, and like to use the cool-sounding word "polyamory" to make themselves seem noble.
  • People pretend like they're practicing polyamory to help their kids, when the truth is, they're just being selfish.
  • Polyamory is a cruel dynamic to introduce to your struggling monogamous spouse.
  • People practice polyamory to run away from their marital problems.
  • Polyamory destroys families.
  • Polyamory is bad for the kids.
  • Polyamory is an awful example to set for your children.
  • Polyamorists force their partners and their poly ideals onto their children.
  • People spring polyamory on their kids when the kids are teens, completely turning their lives upside-down.
  • Polyamorists out themselves and their kids to the world, resulting in the kids getting bullied at school.
  • Polyamorists homeschool their kids instead of letting them have a normal upbringing.
  • Children do best in a home with their natural parents, one father and one mother.
  • Kids don't want an extra mommy or an extra daddy.
  • You permanently damage your kids each time a new poly partner cycles into and out of their lives.
  • Your time, energy, and resources are finite. So adding an extra partner means somebody will have to pay for it -- most likely your spouse and/or your kids.
My rebuttals:

  • Re: polyamory is a sin. It displeases God ... unproven. God hasn't said that to us in person, and you can't prove that the Bible is the word of God. (In fact I'd expect polyamorous ideals to be pleasing to God.)
  • Re: God made us to be paired off as man-woman couples ... unproven. Same reasons as above argument. (In fact no one would have gay or poly inclinations if that argument were true.)
  • Re: people who practice polyamory will go to Hell ... unproven. Same reasons as above argument. (In fact we shouldn't expect Hell to exist in a cosmos governed by a loving God.)
  • Re: polyamory is an unhealthy relationship practice ... unproven. Not yet adequately tested. My observation is that some poly relationships are carried out well, while others are carried out poorly.
  • Re: since people are naturally jealous, polyamory is impractical and unworkable ... unproven. Not yet adequately tested. My observation is that many people learn to manage their jealousies quite well. Some people even seem to be immune to jealousy.
  • Re: polyamory is misogynistic; it's designed to indulge men's irresponsible urge to have a harem ... unproven. What evidence we have actually indicates that polyamory was primarily invented by women, for women.
  • Re: people practice polyamory because they can't handle commitment ... first of all, commitment doesn't necessarily mean "til death do us part." Secondly, many polyamorists do stay together (especially in groups of three) for life.
  • Re: polyamory is just a fancy word for cheating ... only if cheating includes arrangements that have the full knowledge and consent of all participants.
  • Re: polyamory violates the sacred marital vows ... a couple can have a traditional wedding, then agree later that they want to revise the vows they made to each other.
  • Re: polyamorists are sex addicts ... unproven. My observation is that most polyamorists are getting about the same amount of sex as most monogamists.
  • Re: polyamorous people are naturally selfish, and like to use the cool-sounding word "polyamory" to make themselves seem noble ... some selfish people do use the word "polyamory" as an excuse. But I know many polyamorists who really are noble.
  • Re: people pretend like they're practicing polyamory to help their kids, when the truth is, they're just being selfish ... unproven. In fact I've never heard a polyamorist cite the kids as his/her main reason for practicing polyamory, although many polyamorists do believe that it's good for the kids.
  • Re: polyamory is a cruel dynamic to introduce to your struggling monogamous spouse ... it can be in some cases, and polyamory is not for everyone. But sometimes it has to do with whether the polyamorous spouse makes due efforts to meet the needs of the monogamous spouse.
  • Re: people practice polyamory to run away from their marital problems ... some do, yes, and when they do, it causes all kinds of problems. Common poly wisdom urges us to tend to our original relationship and not just throw ourselves into a new relationship.
  • Re: polyamory destroys families ... it can if it's done poorly, but I've just as often seen polyamory save families.
  • Re: polyamory is bad for the kids ... it can be especially if it's done poorly, but I've just as often seen polyamory benefit the kids.
  • Re: polyamory is an awful example to set for your children ... it is if it's done poorly, but I've just as often seen it serve as a good example for the kids.
  • Re: polyamorists force their partners and their poly ideals onto their children ... some do and they shouldn't. Most I know of give their kids an age-appropriate level of autonomy.
  • Re: people spring polyamory on their kids when the kids are teens, completely turning their lives upside-down ... some do, but I've heard of polyamory introduced to the kids at any age (about equally often) from toddler to adult.
  • Re: polyamorists out themselves and their kids to the world, resulting in the kids getting bullied at school ... some do and they shouldn't. They should let the kids have a say in that. I've also observed, though, that lots of kids do just fine at school even when their classmates know.
  • Re: polyamorists homeschool their kids instead of letting them have a normal upbringing ... some polyamorists homeschool, but plenty of others send their kids to public school. Of those that homeschool, I've only heard good reports, including efforts to give the kids opportunities to socialize with other kids from other families.
  • Re: children do best in a home with their natural parents, one father and one mother ... unproven. In fact, considerable evidence exists that kids raised by a same-sex couple virtually always do well, and the majority of poly kids I know of do well also.
  • Re: kids don't want an extra mommy or an extra daddy ... sometimes true and the kids should have the say as to whether they relate to an additional adult as an additional parent. But that doesn't invalidate polyamory.
  • Re: you permanently damage your kids each time a new poly partner cycles into and out of their lives ... first, it depends on how well the kids get to know each partner. Second, most kids have schoolteachers, friends, babysitters, grandparents, etc., that cycle in and out of their lives. Third, many poly units are poly-fi and remain quite stable over the years.
  • Re: your time, energy, and resources are finite. So adding an extra partner means somebody will have to pay for it -- most likely your spouse and/or your kids ... absolutely true and one of the reasons why poly isn't right for everyone. Those who do practice poly need to manage their time considerately and wisely. But I know of many poly people who do just that.
No doubt I'll think of more arguments against poly but I won't torture you with a longer list. :)

There are many reasons why polyamory can go badly (just as there are many reasons why monogamy can go badly). At the top of the list, probably, is the failure to productively communicate. Dishonesty, a lack of empathy, and failure to practice safe sex are a few other common downfalls for polyamory. But, that's one of the reasons forums like Polyamory.com exist: to help polyamorists avoid the pitfalls. And many polyamorists do avoid the pitfalls. Of those that don't, many come out alright in the end in spite of all that.
 

PolyinPractice

New member
I've heard the same ones over and over, and they're all stupid.

1) Isn't it cheating?
No.

2) Don't you feel jealous?
No.

3) Isn't poly immoral?
Why?

4) Doesn't it hurt the children?
Extended families and village communities that raised children never hurt them. Why would this?
 

mischa

New member
  • Since people are naturally jealous, polyamory is impractical and unworkable.

"Since people are naturally aggressive, getting along / absence of violence is unachievable."

That's an analogy to how the argument looks to me. Naturally, some people are more prone to some emotions, but ultimately managing one's emotions is not only workable, but necessary and convenient. It's ultimately your decision whether desiring / loving multiple people, or jealousy, is something you want to encourage or restrain. It's not set on stone.

- - -

And there is no god so any argument involving god makes no sense to me...

"Some people even seem to be immune to jealousy."

I am one of those, particularly in the love department.
 
Last edited:

Vinccenzo

New member
I've only come up against one argument that I couldn't quite dispute.

It takes effort to build a healthy relationship with even just one partner. The effort involved in building a healthy relationship with more than one partner can cause instability for all involved. How can you have children and put them through the potential unheaval all this might reap? Its not fair to them seeing as they have no power to leave the situation should things get ugly.
I still don't know how to answer that one other than by adhering to a heavy primary/secondary model till children become adults.
 

MsChristy

New member
How do you hide this from your parents? Don't they ever come to visit or anything?

Actually, no, my parents have never visited me. They live over 500 miles away and my mom has had extensive health problems. That being said, even if I lived in the same town as them, they still would not know. My parents are conservative Christians that believe in traditional family values. I love my parents, and while they do know we don't see eye to eye on some things, I honestly worry they would stop communicating with me if they found out.

My other partner also does not live with us, he lives in a different state. While my husband and I will eventually move to his town, I still do not see my parents finding out.

In a perfect world, yeah, I would be able to be out. But at this time I still want to have a relationship with my folks.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re (from Vinccenzo):
"It takes effort to build a healthy relationship with even just one partner. The effort involved in building a healthy relationship with more than one partner can cause instability for all involved."

And the effort involved in building a healthy relationship with one partner can also cause instability for all involved.

The argument assumes that for each added partner, the odds are (greatly) increased that the overall relationship structure will topple. And while everyone has some saturation point (of maximum number of partners they can maintain), the fact is that I know many polycules (my own included) that are doing just fine, including many healthy polycules that are (successfully) raising kids. Admittedly I do also know of some cases where poly wasn't good for anyone in the family, kids or adults, but that's why I say polyamory isn't for everyone.

The thing to consider is whether it's best for children to have the least possible saturation in the adults that raise them; that is, as few partners as possible. But if that were true, then single-parent households would do better than dual-partner households because hey, one less partner = more stability = less chance of things going wrong.

Re:
"How can you have children and put them through the potential unheaval all this might reap? It's not fair to them seeing as they have no power to leave the situation should things get ugly."

No child has power to leave the situation should things get ugly, no matter how (few or) many adults are raising them. My childhood sucked, yet my parents were not only monogamous but also hard-working, God-fearing disciplinarians. From what I've seen, there's just as many crappy monogamous families as there are crappy polyamorous families. In my case, my parents made each other miserable which made them ill-equipped (emotionally) to handle their kids. Everyone would have been happier if they would have divorced (much sooner than they did).

The thing to consider is what the parents are gaining by living polyamorously. If polyamory is increasing the happiness of all the adults, then it stands to reason that they'll be better equipped (emotionally) to handle their kids. Since some adults crave a polyamorous life, it stands to reason that the whole family will benefit if they pursue that life -- provided everyone is consenting of course.
 

poly6

New member
I understand that completely. While mine aren't exactly the extremely religious and conservative type(they are religious but I don't think it's that bad) I still feel that they would have problems with it that probably aren't(at least for the most part) related to religion
 

nycindie

Active member
Personally, I've never let any family members' opinions affect how I live my life, and if any relatives get all judgmental on me or dump on me for whatever reason, I just stop contacting them. If they want to stay in touch and have a relationship with me, they need to show respect for me as an autonomous person. I have never understood when grown adults are afraid of their parents' wrath or judgment. Just because someone is related to me by blood doesn't mean they get to dominate me or subject me to their crappy behavior. My mother is deceased now, but there were periods when I refused to talk to her for months at a time, until she stopped relating to me as a child. The people who raised me were no longer in a parental role when I moved out to live on my own. In fact, I think we should all start calling our birth parents by their given names as soon as we can. They are just people.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Re:
"Just because someone is related to me by blood doesn't mean they get to dominate me or subject me to their crappy behavior."

I totally agree, and have made efforts to live by that philosophy myself. My biomom finally gets it, I think (and my stepdad always did get it). My biodad and stepmom, not so much. [shrug] Oh well, it's not the end of the world.

Re:
"I think we should all start calling our birth parents by their given names as soon as we can. They are just people."

Ha -- if only I could get my parents to see that. I call them by their given names. They persist in calling themselves Mom and Dad. Sigh. Parents today.
 

KerryRen

New member
I've only come up against one argument that I couldn't quite dispute.

It takes effort to build a healthy relationship with even just one partner. The effort involved in building a healthy relationship with more than one partner can cause instability for all involved. How can you have children and put them through the potential unheaval all this might reap? Its not fair to them seeing as they have no power to leave the situation should things get ugly.
I still don't know how to answer that one other than by adhering to a heavy primary/secondary model till children become adults.

It's not a bad argument, as it goes. But it completely misses the fact that monogamous relationships -- particularly serial monogamy -- can and do also create upheaval in childrens' lives. Parents in general can and do create upheaval in their children's lives simply by moving, forcing their children to adapt to new people and often a new culture. But no one questions the morality of moving, which is usually done for the parents' benefits, not the children. The parents may decide to follow a particular religion system suddenly, and then require their entire household to convert and conform -- but we do not question that.

Children have no power to leave any any of these situations. They have very little power at all, except what they can manipulate out of the social dynamic. If the argument boils down to "for the children's sake", perhaps the better point is to address the powerlessness of children. Else we should require everyone to freeze in their work/home/religion/relationship situation the moment they have children, if the idea is to prevent upheaval and disruption. (which has been tried from time to time, I think, but not ended well).
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
That's a good rebuttal also.
 

RichardInTN

Member
Even though I don't consider poly to be cheating (and I would defend/argue that "consensual non-monogamy" is not "cheating" anyway)... that's the only one that I can personally see that couldn't ALSO exist in monogamous relationships.

I looked at kdt's long as crap list... and found an argument in monogamy along each issue he brought up (except, as I said, the "cheating" one).
 

poly6

New member
Well no I don't. But not all parents are the same. I'm not saying anyone should hide it but for me personally in the future...... I'm not so sure or certain. In truth their disapproval would be disheartening but wouldn't stop me.
 
Top