Could you be friends with someone in a group marriage?

Let’s say you make a new acquaintaince at work, “Dorian.” The two of you hit of all, sharing interests, complementary senses of humor, and so forth, and soon become fast friends. The two of you are working on a project together that could benefit your career quite a bit, and consequently you’re willing to put in some off-hours time on it. Dorian’s house is a lot closer to work than yours, and has better internet and other such ameneties that y’all will need, so you ask if it’s okay for y’all to work there rather than at your place. After a moment’s hesitation, Dorian leaves briefly to make a phone call and returns with the news that that is okay.

At Dorian’s house you meet three people: Reid, Dorian’s spouse; Chris, Dorian’s best friend; and Reyes, Chris’s spouse. It’s a duplex; Chris and Reyes apparently share the other half of it, you assume, though you don’t ask. You like the three of them as much as you like Dorian, but wonder if the feeling’s mutual; they seem a little nervous at having you in the house. But that doesn’t last long, and soon you’re comfortable with all three. Over the next couple of weeks you spend a good number of evenings at Dorian’s house, working on your shared project. Sometimes only one of the other three is there; sometimes two; sometimes all three. Chris and Reyes are both as likely to be there as Reid. They all give you and Dorian plenty of space while y’all are working.

The project is successful and earns both you and Dorian promotions. By the time it’s over, you consider Dorian a lot more than a work friend. But this causes a dilemma. One night you’re at the movies when you see two people ahead of you in line in an indolent but unquestionably romantic posture. They look familar; they look like Chris and Reid. They don’t appear to see you, and you don’t draw attention to yourself; you just watch as they snuggle and kiss.

The next day, after a lot of deliberation, you decide you owe it to Dorian to share what you saw. Hearing your story, Dorian laughs and says: “I appreciate what you were doing here, buddy, I really do. You’re a good friend. But you don’t have to worry about anything. Last night was date night for Chris & Reid, just like tonight is date night for me and Reyes. I’m not married just to Reid: I’m married to all three. We’re faithful within the group, so it’s impossible for us to cheat in the way you’re describing; it would only be cheating if, like, one of us slept with you. Reid & I are godparents to Chris & Reyes’ son, and if anybody gets pregnant in the future we’ll raise the kids together. I know it’s not legally binding, but it’s what works for us. We didn’t tell you before because we didn’t want to freak you out. But we hope it’s cool, because we all like you. Anyway–now that you know, do you want to come out to dinner with us Saturday? We’re celebrating the promotion, and that’s as much your accomplishment as mine. It’ll just be grown-ups.”

You are free on the night in question. Do you accept? Are you willing to be friends with the group? Do you dial back your friendship with Dorian to work only? Why do you make the decision you do?

Sure, what’s the problem? Everybody’s an adult, nobody’s being deceived. With those standards met, other people’s sex and romance isn’t my concern.

Already am. I don’t find it weird at all, and sometimes I get quite envious when I see just how much they all love one another. Like spark240 said, as long as everyone is consenting adults, it shouldn’t matter.

I wouldn’t have a problem with it. As long as they didn’t feel like I’d eventually need to marry into the group to maintain the friendship or something, I don’t know why their relationships would have anything to do with me.

Count me in with the group that’s okay with it. What they do, how their social life works, what goes on in their house is up to them. It might be a bit odd at first, but I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it.

I’m friends with three different groups of people who are in poly relationships.

Like Omega, I’m not sure what the question is if their relationship doesn’t affect you.

Yes, I have been invited to “share” an evening within their Poly-dom and have declined – but that hasn’t affected the friendships whatsoever.

I’d be willing to be friends with them. Being friends doesn’t mean sleeping with them. I wouldn’t cheat on my husband like that. But being friends is fine.

They chose that lifestyle and who am I to judge? It’s what works for them and I’m not going to stop being friends with people I genuinely like just because they’re all sleeping with each other. I’d say it’s similar to (though not the same as) choosing not to be friends with someone who is gay or a transsexual or something. These people in the plural marriage have fallen in love with each other and feel the need to be with each other. I’m not going to judge them or say they’re not worthy of my friendship because of their sexual proclivities. If I were to say that I didn’t want to be their friend, I’d really be saying I’m not worthy of their friendship, because I’m too close minded.

These people are nice, warm and open people. I’d say be their friend.

To be clear, the OP describes a closed, polyfidelity relationship. They’re not going to invite anyone to “share.”

people in poly relationships do it in a fashion that fits them, very customized. some have well defined limits, rules and process to follow when dealing with people in relationships and in outing (which would affect friendships or having guests over in the case of live-in poly). live-in is different from an occasional primary/secondary poly style.

you can be friends with one or more it seems like. also seems that they have put a lot of care, thought and negotiation into developing what seems to be a successful poly life. the right people doing poly in a style that fits them can be healthy, productive, life-giving.

they have selectively let you know details of their relationship.

Of course I’d accept. I’ve know a few people like that; it didn’t bother me.

If I were friendly with them prior to learning about their lives, why wouldn’t I continue being their friend? I might be a little bit jealous, though.

Personally, I suspect that an arrangement like that wouldn’t work for the vast majority of people: Human irrationality would cause it to fall apart. But if they’re willing to try to make it work, that’s their business, not mine, and I wish them well. And it has no relevance whatsoever to my relationship with any of them.

And what’s with “Carol” in one of the poll choices?

I can’t see any reason at all why I wouldn’t be friends with them. Hell, I’ve been in a poly relationship myself, so it’d be a bit hypocritical, but even if it weren’t for that, their relationship simply wouldn’t enter my mind as a reason not to continue the friendship.

Well, sure. But saying it wouldn’t work for the vast majority of people implies that it [might] work for a small minority.

But it’s your duty as an American to be judgmental and nosy! I am reporting you to Glenn Beck. :wink:

It’s a *Scrubs *reference.

Sure I would. I’m in Boston not Mayberry, and as long as everyone is following the rules to their own little game, I have no stake in it, moral or otherwise. Dorian seems like a cool guy, and anyway it seems like we’ve got a good working relationship, something I’ve learned to treasure. I’d socialize with the lot of them.

Now where’s my fucking cake?

Who says Dorian’s a guy?

More importantly, would you answer change if you lived in a more conservative locale? Memphis, say, rather than Mayberry?

I don’t have any fucking cake. I have never baked any pastry that possessed motility, much less genitalia, and (Athena willing) I never shall.

I don’t disapprove of poly in principle. But open marriage yes. Group no. If A and B want to bring C into their relationship, okay. But a three-way marriage?

I believe such arrangements are naturally going to be fluid, and when you try to set them in stone, there are going to be dominance issues. That would (eventually) alienate me, whether Person I Knew was the dominant or the passive one.

The complexities of their romantic relationships wouldn’t bother me a whit. If I liked them all I’d be friends with them all.

Common sense? It’s a man’s name.

And Reid isn’t?

Anyway,here’s at least one female Dorian.