Arguing in a Polyamorous Relationship

Recently, more and more couples are considering polyamory, or at least, more and more people are becoming curious about it and are beginning to question how it differs from monogamy. Aside from the ideals of giant cuddle sessions, group chats, and, yes, the sex, there’s also the fact that polyamourous people have similar relationship issues to monogamous people.

Arguing is a big example of this. I’m in a relatively fluid poly-cule, as in I’m dating someone who’s only dating me, but I’m also dating other people who in turn are also dating other people, some of which I’m with and some I’m not. Everyone is aware of each other’s partners and we all have a (few) group chat(s) where we keep pretty solid communication. We share “good mornings”, funny stories within our daily lives, and we have game nights on Fridays. Recently, however, there was some turbulence in our relationship.

One partner was starting to take instead of give, and expecting the rest of us to just accept that. However, if another partner needed attention or a space to vent, that same OG partner would get upset and complain to only some partners. Or worse, that partner would just ghost all of us and then come back to seek attention for something bothering them in their personal life. 

When in a poly-cule, the biggest rule is (and I cannot emphasize this enough) communication, honesty, and reciprocity. Especially when discussing insecurity in the relationship, feeling under appreciated, or even to back out of the group. When that falters, people stew in their frustrations until it blows up. Sounds familiar to monogamous relationships, right? So how do we deal with those arguments?

We all sat down and went over what happened from everyone’s point of view, and then we analyzed what to do to prevent the problem from recurring. Now, since there are more people involved, our situation is unique in that someone will act as a mediator; in my case, I was the mediator because I wasn’t online when the argument broke out and with that neutral standing, we can all make sure nobody is manipulating the other into giving in.

I was able to keep my cool between the main parties by reminding myself that healthy communication is the most important thing, and that it won’t help the health of a group relationship by immediately taking sides or attacking anyone--even if they are the guilty party. I clearly stated the mistakes made on either end and established some new ground rules that everyone can agree to follow. 

So, if anyone wants to get into a polyamorous relationship, or if anyone is still new at the whole thing, remember, it’s not drastically different from a monogamous relationship, down to the fact that sometimes couples argue. As long as you keep open communication and intend to heal and fix that issue, then you’ll be able to enjoy the benefits of every game night and cuddle pile.