Thinking Outside "the Monogamy Box" 

Many thanks for your coverage of Jenny Block and Tristan Taormino's new books on polyamorous relationships ("MA©nage Your Time," Arts & Culture, July 16). I've read both books, and both authors have done a fine job capturing just what it is that is happening in our culture today and why it comes to the desire for more relationship options.

While defenders of traditional marriage focus on the gay marriage debate and consider homosexual unions to be the fly in the marriage ointment, the truth is that clearly monogamy hasn't worked for a significant segment of the population for a long time now. Many people despair at the price they pay if they are dissatisfied with their marriages. They love their spouses, but something is missing.

By society's standards, in order resolve this dilemma, people are compelled to throw out the entire relationship and marriage, split up the home and the kids and basically start over in hopes of finding it all in yet another single person. A lot of people are realizing just how difficult it is to be all things to one person over the long term. More and more individuals and couples are finding the courage to think outside the monogamy box, and they are forming healthy, loving families in a different way.

Polyamory certainly is not for everyone, and it is not better than monogamy. As Block says, monogamy is a fine option, so long as it's an intentional choice and not a reflexive one. Others choose polyamory as something that works better for them. It allows them to live a life more authentic to who they are, and when practiced honestly, openly, and nonpossessively as it should and must be to work, cheating and all of the betrayal and heartbreak it represents becomes a thing of the past. In its place is a greater abundance of love, affection, support and relationship satisfaction than few ever imagine is possible.

Anita Wagner

Washington, D.C.

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