Ask Amy Schooled This Mom Who Wanted Her Son To Stop Being Polyamorous

Ask Amy Schooled This Mom Who Wanted Her Son To Stop Being Polyamorous

Polyamory in the news!

We’re constantly scanning the news for polyamorous content, and we hope you are too. And while polyamory is slowly gaining acceptance and traction in mainstream media, the reality of the situation is that there is still a lot of negative commentary (or no commentary at all) around the subject.

Which is why we felt compelled to reply to an Ask Amy column we recently came across.

Non-monogamy is still so scary and unfamiliar to some people that upon discovering that her son and daughter-in-law are polyamorous, a confused mom wrote to Amy asking for advice on ‘coping’ with their relationship dynamic.

Dear Amy,

My son and his wife have been married for almost 10 years. Recently, his wife explained to me that they are polyamorous. I did not really know what this was. She explained it and said that she wants to be honest with everyone. I was in total shock.

After they left, I thought about what she’d told me. I love them both. I want them to be happy. They were married in her church, and I do not understand this.

I want to be a part of their lives, but I do not know that I can cope with them bringing other intimate partners to our family gatherings, which is one of the things she says she would like to do.

I don’t know anyone who has experienced this. How can I keep my relationship with my son? My daughter-in-law wants open and honest acceptance. She says they have the right to live their lives the way they want to. But do I have any rights to what I am feeling about all of this?

I am in shock and trying to process this. Your advice?

— Confused Mom

Amy explained what being polyamorous is and handed the question off to a specialist –– a researcher we are huge fans of named Dr. Elisabeth Sheff –– who suggested various polyamorous resources and ways for the mother to acclimate to the recent discovery.

Although Amy isn’t necessarily an endorser of polyamorous people, we’d like to commend her for supporting other relationship dynamics regardless of her own preferences. These neutral discussions ultimately validate polyamory — and this, our friends, is the goal! As we always say, polyamory, like monogamy, isn’t for everyone. But both can, and should, exist side by side without more stigma than the next.


“Acceptance doesn’t have to be all or nothing, and I suggest that you all take smaller steps of getting to know each other at first,” advised Dr. Elisabeth Sheff, who specializes in researching and discussing non-traditional families.

“At the same time, educate yourself on consensual nonmonogamy by reading and asking your son and his wife questions about their lives. There are literally hundreds of websites and social media pages devoted to polyamory and even more for other forms of CNM (consensual nonmonogamy).”

So, in conclusion, thank you “confused mom,” for looking for answers instead of recoiling into prejudice when confronted with the news, and thank you, Amy Dickinson, for providing expert resources despite your personal opinions. We look forward to continuing the non-monogamous conversation with you all.

What is Polyamory?

Polyamory, or consensual nonmonogamy, is the practice of having multiple intimate relationships, whether sexual or just romantic, with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved. Polyamory is generally not gender-specific; anyone can have multiple partners of any gender.

Read More: What The &#*@ Is Ethical Non-Monogamy?

Do you have stories about your polyamorous journey?

We would love to hear from you, let’s connect on social media and share our journey and stories as we work together to normalize non-monogamy!

The #open team

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