For most of her life, Mary Crumpton from Manchester in the UK only knew of monogamous relationships. She did her best to fit into that mold. However, she struggled with developing feelings for other people. When she discovered polyamorous relationships, they opened up her world. Now, she has a husband, fiancee, and two boyfriends – and they are all happy together.
Mary Crumpton’s Polyamorous Relationships
According to Manchester Evening News, 44-year-old Mary Crumpton, the former teacher turned therapist began her journey with polyamorous relationships at the age of 29. This after she spent her young adult years in monogamous relationships and was even in a monogamous marriage. Unfortunately, she struggled with developing feelings for other people and then feeling immensely guilty. She felt as though she simply didn’t love her husband enough, and the marriage eventually came to an end.
When she was married, she fully intended to be with her husband for life. Polyamory didn’t even cross her mind because it was not something she was aware of. After her marriage fell apart, she eventually began another monogamous relationship with someone else. It was during this relationship that she discovered polygamy.
“The idea that loving more than one person might not make me a terrible human being only dawned on me when, at a pub, I bumped into a person who had more than one partner. I had never come across it before, or the term ‘polyamory’ which means ‘more-than-one love’. I was quite shocked, and curious about how it all worked for them.”Mary Crumpton – Manchester Evening News
A Curious Couple
Her partner was with her when they met the polyamorous person and was also interested in this different way of having relationships. A couple of years later, they decided to give it a try. Each of them had a friend with who they were close but were interested in exploring those relationships further. Mary took to polyamory immediately.
“I quickly realized that I had been ‘wired up’ this way probably all my life – loving more than one person now seems like the most natural thing in the world to me, and I can’t imagine being any other way,” she explained. “For me, it is all about love. Of course, some of my relationships have been sexual, but sex is not the driving force for me.”Mary Crumpton – Manchester Evening News
Though she and her original polyamorous partner are no longer together, they remained friends, and both continued living this way. She is now married while also being “engaged” to another man and having two other boyfriends.
“I have a partner, John, 53, who I have been with since 2011, and who I am planning to ‘marry’ this year. We can’t legally marry, but we are having a full wedding-style commitment ceremony at Chorlton Unitarian church in May.”Mary Crumpton – Manchester Evening News
She, her husband, and her fiance (all of whom are straight) all live together. Each is quite happy with the arrangement. With each of her partners, she shares different things. For example, one partner she enjoys watching soccer games with while another she attends Church with every Sunday. Each relationship brings them different things.
All Healthy Relationships
The best part, she says, is that she doesn’t have to rely on one person to supply all of her needs. She says that while jealousy can still arise, there is less because everyone is free to have the relationships they want, as long as there is clear communication.
“In many ways, I have found that being in open relationships has forced me to communicate much better. I am very honest and open with my partners about my feelings and needs, in a way that I didn’t have the courage to be in previous monogamous relationships. So I think I have grown as a person, and have better and stronger relationships now.” she explained.Mary Crumpton – Manchester Evening News
Mary also made it clear that she is not suggesting that polyamorous relationships are better than monogamous ones. All of this that she has achieved can be done within the confines of monogamy as well. She has simply found what works for her and has found people who share those same viewpoints.
What Defines A Polyamorous Relationship?
According to Healthline, polyamory means more than one love or relationship. Another way of looking at it is consensual non-monogamy. As with everything, however, it is not so back and white. The structure of each polyamorous relationship will be different.
Polyamorous relationships can be hierarchical, where there is a primary partner and the secondary, etc. They can also exist where everyone is equal. Relationships can all be separate, or the partners can be involved with each other. It is up to those in the relationship to determine what it looks like. Sometimes it includes sex, sometimes it doesn’t. The way the participants engage in sex, too, can look different.
Polyamorous relationships and open relationships are not the same things. Medical News Today points out that open relationships are more about sex, whereas polygamy is more about love and emotional connection. Again, this is not cut and dry.
“An open relationship allows its partners to pursue non-serious sexual and romantic relationships with people outside the relationship. However, open relationships share with monogamous relationships the obligation to not pursue any serious romantic relationships with other people,” explained Jim, who is in a polyamorous relationship.Source: Medical News Today
Let People Love The Way They Want To
Polygamy works really well for many people. For them, it helps them build happier, healthier relationships. Of course, it is not for everyone. It is up to you to decide what works for you and no one else. If you want to be in a polyamorous relationship, you can do so. If monogamy is better for you, then seek that out. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that you are in a relationship that supports you and meets your needs – both emotionally and physically.
Keep Reading: I’m Demisexual. Here’s What I Want You To Know.
- “‘I have a husband, fiancé and two boyfriends. And we’re all fine with that’.” Manchester Evening News. Katie Butler. April 8, 2018.
- “It isn’t the same thing as cheating.” Healthline. Maisha Johnson. March 14, 2019.
- “Polyamory: Beyond the confines of monogamous love.” Medical News Today. Maria Cohut, Ph.D. July 26, 2019