"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 First Year of Forever"

The year end is always a time for reflection. We spend more time mingling with friends and family, we do a little more socializing, and we take some time to mentally review our lives. With the New Year just around the corner, we know goal setting and resolutions are the next marks on our personal "to do" lists. This is a time for taking inventory of our existence, our accomplishments and disappointments of the past year, and how we want to progress in the future.

On January 1st of 2006, the members of our quad made a very important commitment to each other. We each used different words, coming from different hearts, but the overall message was the same: Love, Respect, Family, Commitment, and Longevity.

This year we have experienced many ups and downs, joys, sorrows, angst, enlightenment… we’ve learned a lot about what works for us and what does not. One of the most important things we’ve discovered is our true vision for our future. And this month, we’ll each be sharing with our readers how far we’ve come in our first year of forever.

The Laundry Goddess writes:

Our quad found its genesis last fall, I was totally taken aback at the depth of feeling that unleashed itself on my heart. Having spent the last (nearly) twenty years guarding my heart and saving it for only one, coming to the realization that I could and did “love more” was revolutionary. The peaks and valleys that came with my poly experience overwhelmed me. And as I reveled in the amazement of the intense emotions and unsettling happiness, I was at times paralyzed as I contemplated the potential of greater loss that accompanied my newfound joy.

Through this first year I have discovered peace like I’ve never known and contentment like I never dreamed. I’ve seen my children accept new siblings and meld into a newly blended family with grace and love. I have determined that not everything has to be done my way, although I still struggle with letting loose my standards on things like kitchen detail and laundry regimens. I’ve come to focus more on the person and less on the task. And above all, if we all still like each other come bedtime, I think we’ve done it right that day.

Mr. Big writes:

Coming from a Christian background there are so many different portions of polyamory that can cause one feelings of doubt and guilt. I’ve had to reevaluate so many of the beliefs I’ve held. And even though I’ve come to a place where poly and Christianity blend comfortably within my own head, I realize that most of the friends I’ve known from my previous world would have a tough time accepting these points. Living a dual life where I am not the same person externally that I am internally has been a very difficult challenge for me.

My other situations have been brought about by the interrelationships of the quad. In identifying my issues of acute jealousy, I realized it was tied to a fear of potentially loosing Goddess, or worse yet, having my relationship with her watered down to a point where we would be almost roommates. Getting the other 3 members of my quad to allow me my definition of hierarchies and understand I need some form of veto has seemed to calm my nerves in the last few months. Additionally with four people, to expect everyone to be attached at the same emotional level is a bit unrealistic. So I’ve discovered that being very open and honest has allowed Temptress and myself to enjoy the relationship we have to continue growing day by day.

Fix writes:

There is so much ripple effect in our quad. Life is so much busier, more complicated, has more responsibility. There is a lot of communication, not living life as two, but four. We are interdependent, having to work in unison to make life work for us. We break new ground everyday, building a family, hoping that it will be solid and strong one day, where nothing can break it.

This first year for me – WOW. So much has changed and I am no where near what I used to be. Since my breakdown I’ve had to rediscover myself. What life once was it is no more. Today is about more understanding of myself, more hope, and making a better person of me. The support of the quad has given me a better feeling about who I am and how I interact with others. Temptress is my strength; my solid foundation. Goddess is the positive force and sees me for who I am. Big is my mentor, showing me a new way of dealing with others and life. Our nine kids give me happiness, and all together it’s called today, it’s called the future.

Temptress writes:

I began this year thinking that my life had become exceptionally wonderful with the addition of two loves and 5 children. I had my mind set that Fix was and would always be my primary focus and that Big and Goddess would be wonderful additions to our marriage and our life together. I was under the impression that Big would be a wonderful friend, whom I could work with, enjoy time with and have a close and loving intimate relationship based, for the most part, on respect and friendship. I believed that Goddess, my truest and dearest friend would continue to be the sister of my heart and the best friend I could have imagined. I believed that Fix and I would grow and move forward in married life in much the same manner as we had spent the previous 15 years.

What I now know to be true is so very different from what I once believed. Goddess is not the sister of my heart…She is the other half of my soul, the light of my life and the person who completes me in a way no one ever has. Fix and I did not grow and move forward. In fact we had to start over from scratch. We take each day as it comes now and try to build on it. Working thru his breakdown and depression has revealed a lot of areas in our marriage that we had been muddling through and covering over hoping in time the damaged area it would repair itself. So we may have 16 years of marriage behind us, but for us this is like being newlyweds and learning about each other all over again. Big was the one who surprised me. Our friendship grew to a place I never expected to find it. I fell deeply in love with him. He became more than my business partner and friend. In fact he has become a part of my heart so deeply entrenched in his own special place, that I wonder how I have moved thru life all this time without him. I no longer see primary/secondary lines. All three of my loves each carry equal weight in my heart and life, no single love is more ahead of another.

The blending of homes has been a challenge. Watching 9 children learn to live and act as siblings has been a pleasure. Combining traditions and creating new ones, celebrating holidays and special outings can be challenging and oh so very heartwarming. That’s not to say we have not had struggles and the occasional sibling war, but overall it is has been a joy to see two families become one. Our first year as a quad and a blended family has been littered with turmoil, hurt, jealousy, fear, anger and feelings of inadequacy. But it has also been filled with the most amazing amount of love, fulfillment, contentment and joy one could imagine. So as we close this, the first chapter of our new lives together, I look forward with hope and anticipation for the many years ahead of us.

The old saying “practice makes perfect” could certainly be our motto. We resolutely acknowledge our human shortcomings, so the quest for excellence within our quad is merely a goalpost. If success is truly about the journey, we still need our eye on the destination to guide each step. And the four of us creating harmony within this intentional family for the remainder of our days certainly looks like an ideal ending to us.

The OPL quad wishes you and your families much peace and contentment in the coming year. Happiest of Holidays to everyone!

Temptress, Fix, The Laundry Goddess, and Mr. Big; December 13 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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