"The life of a blended family". Our Poly Life is written by any one of a poly-fi quad. Each month they will share with readers about issues they face as a blended and committed poly family with nine children still at home. You can read more about them at their website; Our Poly Life.

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

The Sticky Stuff

When our quad first came together there was an obvious need among us for knowledge. We were on a quest for more information. We had jumped headlong into a situation and lifestyle we knew very little about. We needed guidance and support. We wanted to connect with other quads, to learn from them, to get a heads up on the trials we might encounter. We found very little directed at cross coupled quads or blended families, which is (all labels aside) what we consider ourselves.

We decided that if we couldn’t find other "voices" to learn from and network with, then we would do our best to be a resource and help create a network. We began our website, Our Poly Life, with the hopes that in time it would grow to be a resource for others with interests in polyamory; most specifically cross coupled blended poly-fi quads. We realized very quickly the greatest information we could share was our life - all of it - the ups and downs, the ins and outs, the good, the bad, the ugly, and the amazing of our life as a quad. Thus began our blog. We realized the ability to reach others as comments and replies began tricking into our site.

A few weeks ago we were asked to contribute a column to Polyamorous Percolations. Our quad is thrilled with the prospect of being able to reach out further into the poly community. In the spirit of transparency, our writings will be dedicated to giving you a little peek inside the daily life of a committed poly-fi quad fully blended under one roof with nine children still at home. Each month we’ll try to bring you into an aspect of our passage along the path to a committed and life long polyamorous marriage.

You might wonder who we are. And what might we offer you dear reader? How does one, much less four, begin to introduce themselves to an unknown population? What terms do we use to create an image of who we really are and how this gift of polyamory changed our lives? Our stories are written in more detail on our site, so we’ll direct you there for the full story. Our family was born of two solid 15 plus year marriages, ten strong willed children, one kindred 7 year friendship, four willing souls, and one incredible journey. Yet the question of our identity remains. Allow us to introduce ourselves… Who we are depends on the situation in which you find us. To the poly world we are known as Temptress, Fix, Goddess, and Mr. Big. To our 10 children, we are simply Mom and Dad.

The Our Poly Life quad is a team of love, each member having our various strengths and weaknesses. We are blessed that our personalities play off of each other in synchronistic harmony; each of us an integral part of what makes our family work. Legal marriages pair Temptress with Fix and Goddess with Big. But it is Goddess and Fix you will find maintaining the domestic end of life and child nurturing; while it is Temptress and Big who frolic in the world of business.

Big has no real knowledge of tools or interest in matters of homecare or maintenance. Fix does this job well and enjoys it immensely. Temptress has no patience for the finer details of domesticality. It is Goddess who you will find gleefully piecing together thirteen matching outfits required for Easter pictures. On Saturday mornings as Big and Temptress catch extra sleep as non-morning people do, it is Goddess and Fix who are making homemade pancakes and farm style breakfasts for the youngsters. It is Big and Temptress who will dance the night away and live it up a little as Goddess and Fix turn in early and enjoy the quiet moments.

We each play off of each other so effortlessly, as a team, as co-parents, and as friends. We are an (almost) well oiled machine. We challenge you to find 4 people, 2 marriages, or 10 kids more suited to the blending of lives and families. The way we compliment each other still amazes us. So are our lives together perfect? Not hardly. There is a sticky side; a side that tends to bring out the not so pretty part of each of our personalities. As a partnership of four we are ideal. As a marriage of four we still have a flaw. Several actually. But most challenges are usually brought to the surface by one basic hindrance - Inequality.

We are closeted to the outside world. Only our parents and few trusted friends are "in the know." To everyone else the four of us are just very close friends. Because of this closeting Big and Temptress spend their work days immersed in the company of clients and co-workers as business partners, carefully avoiding any actions, words or glances that could offer up any cause for speculation. For example, they just left a company convention that was, in short, torturous. Our workers endured three 14+ hour days sitting snuggly side by side trying to be sure they looked the part of "just friends".

We left home thinking of the fun we would have during our week in an exciting locale far from home. The rude awakening became apparent at the airport before we even left our home state. We realized that co-workers were not only in the same air terminal, but on the same flight. Operation "Duck and Cover" had begun.

Thankfully, we were smart enough to reserve our hotel several miles from where the convention package was booked for our company. So as Big and Temptress spent their days as business associates, Goddess and Fix spent their days sightseeing, pool lounging, and generally enjoying time as two people free to act as any vacationing couple would. Temptress and Big have had times to act in this manner and it was long overdue for Goddess and Fix, but this fact made the situation no easier for Big and Temptress. Ahh, the inequality of life presents itself once again.

Although the convention was enjoyed and much was learned, the longing to be free to love openly was strongly apparent and its nagging caused some not so nice retorts and several stinging remarks to spring forth. Comments such as, "Must be nice to lounge all day at the pool (sarcastic smirk attached)". It’s not that anything was begrudged Fix and Goddess, merely the desire to share such an opportunity began to take root in the place where resentment is bred.

Inequality has caused more issues for our quad than any other. Who gets time with whom, and how much? We’re not just talking about intimate time either. Its more about the time spent enjoying each other’s company, time spent in conversation, time to just enjoy staring into each other’s eyes.

We hope as the days, weeks, and months wear on the hard issues become fewer and more insignificant. We hope to continue to learn and grow in love because we know what we have is special and worth wading thru the ugly stuff for. It is our wish that as you follow us, whether through this column or our blog and site, that you see us evolve. And through this evolution, perhaps you will be able to gain some insight into the daily struggles and triumphs of living life as a blended poly family. We would love to hear from the working quads in the poly community, so please feel free to contact us.

~~ Temptress and Goddess; July 15, 2006

The Poly Quad are contributing writers as well as members of this online Community. They can be contacted via the email addresses listed in the Contact our Writers section, or through our message board Forums.


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