The Jane Doe Novel Experiment

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Is Keeping Things “Even” Ruining Your #Poly Relationship?

The last episode I watched of Sister Wives left me shaking my head. The Browns are looking for four homes. Meri has only one child. Because Meri’s not being able to have more children is an emotional subject, I believe everyone bowed out of what was a valid point: Meri doesn’t need a 7 bedroom house when it’s just her and one child.

They concluded that it’s not “fair” for Meri to be faulted for having one kid. To keep it “even” she is entitled to just as big of a home. Whoa! Not to even mention what a waste of money that is, if I could ask poly families to consider one thing, it would be this: Keeping it “even” is not the same as keeping it “fair”.

To illustrate: Suppose my car holds 12 gallons and partner A’s holds 15 gallons, but to keep things “even” partner C insists on giving me 15 gallons, too…exactly where am I suppose to put the extra 3 gallons? Doesn’t it make C look ridiculous instead of loving as he is trying to be? I don’t need it.

Likewise, the other wives are getting bigger houses based on their needs. To give Meri a bigger house would be based on a want. That is not even nor fair. To truly be “even” in that sense, the other wives should have their 7 bedrooms to fulfill their needs and a few bonus rooms to fulfill their wants, because Meri would be using her 7 rooms however she chooses, whereas the other wives’ extra rooms go to the children.

And while I’m on the topic, this applies to gifts as well. I’ve seen too many hurt feelings over keeping presents, “even.” The rule is: If she gets flowers, I get flowers.  If you buy her pearls, I get pearls, etc.

On the surface, that sounds balanced, right? But it can actually introduce subliminal negativity into the group dynamic.

Imagine you walk into the store, see something and think, “Oh! Partner A would love this,” and you take it to the register. How happy do you feel knowing that partner A will love it and you can picture the smile on her face? Now, imagine you’re almost ready to check out and remember, “Oh! I have to get something for Partner B now, too.” Is the same joy there? Or is it replaced by a feeling of, “I have to because if I don’t, B will get upset?” Is that healthy for the group?

Now imagine giving partner A & B their gifts. Partner A opens hers and is really happy. It’s perfect! Clearly brought with her in mind. It’s partner’s B turn to open it. Even if it’s the same gift, the same quality, & she smiles, is she really thinking, “He only got me this because he got her something”? More negativity.

Being “even” doesn’t satisfy the heart because when we receive a gift, we like to feel that the giver gave it out of love, not out of compulsion. The rule of, “if you buy it for one, buy it for the other,” takes away the possibility for either the giver or 2nd receiver to feel that sincerity.

Unless of course, you are dating/married to two or more people who are exactly alike. If so, forget what I said and be grateful you have it so easy!


2 comments on “Is Keeping Things “Even” Ruining Your #Poly Relationship?

  1. dbryantsimmons
    July 20, 2012


  2. the amazon chick
    July 20, 2012

    Well, he better know enough about his partners to know who likes what. Cody seems to be savy enough in that respect. I have no clue what’s going on in his head when it comes to Meri’s housing situation. I think everybody should get what they NEED and some of what they want. If that’s the case then maybe people won’t be so caught up on the particulars of what was given.

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