He explains that historically the nuclear family where children grow up living together with only their parents, is a new phenomena. Also in society today, many children grow up with more adults they see as parents, including step dads- and moms. According to Torgrim the underlining difference is that in a polyamorous family they all live together.
– They say it takes a village to raise a child, we have our own little village.
Monogamy tried and tested;
– I am still monogamous in the sense I am only married to one person, which is what the word means but people now a days use it in a way that isn't its true meaning. In the terms of are we sexually and romantically monogamous in an exclusive sense I am not anymore.
After many years of marriage their interests as a couple changed causing them to diverge in a way. It was either lose a part of their identity or allow each other to explore these aspects with others. For this couple the choice was simple, to continue to love each other while also dating and loving others.
-We don't live in the 1950s anymore
He described how initially he did not see himself and his wife as polyamorous, but as time went by they realized it wasn’t just exploring sex with others they were experiencing, they were sharing stronger emotional attachments. It would be artificial to say that it was just sex. Over time they accepted having emotional attachments to other people. According to Torgrim his wife had considered them polyamorous for a lengthier time then he did as he stressed over labels.
– I joke with people that I am monogamous because I am married to one person, but polyamorous because I love more than one and multisexual because I do not need to be deeply in love with someone to have a sexual relationship with them
For Torgrim one of his pet peeve misconceptions about polyamory is that society assumes they have difficulties committing to others. He describes an analogy he likes to use when it comes to love; Love is not like a bathtub where there is only room for two people, and if someone else gets in someone needs to get out, he rather sees love as a swimming pool, as long as everyone acts accordingly and respectively.
– Love is not a scarce resource,love that is shared is multiplied
For Torgrim, commitment is not the biggest issue at hand for polyamorous relationships it is time, he jokingly states that the most important rule for poly couples is to have the app google calendar. Torgrim explains how society is often quick to judge couples no matter what, there are expectations that are placed on each couple, that often people don’t meet and when this happens it is seen as different and a problem.
– It’s like an escalator or stair and when it comes to relationships we are expected to move up a level or people assume something is wrong.
Preventing sensationalism of polyamory
When it comes to being a parent, Torgrim and his family must worry about issues that those in monogamous parent families may not have to deal with. Will his child be the victim of prejudice and bullying if it is found out that his parents are polyamorous? Particularly from the other parents and even teachers.
– It was this way for gay people as well but over time people accepted it. It is a goal for polyamory to become boring to people, so they won't feel the need to argue about it, it's just how we live. Torgrim
He believes one of the most common misconceptions is thinking that polyamorous people have problems with commitment, saying it couldn't be further from the truth – we commit so much to so many people. For Torgrim one important step to change opinion is when media and advertising start showing relations between three or more people in a way that is not comic relief or failing relationships. He details the importance in society of the couple and monormativity and how this is perpetrated regularly by the media where you never see an ad with three people.
Torgrim describes one special moment of understanding where his family felt accepted without any questioning.
– The midwife wrote all three of our names on the crib without us asking, we teared up a bit after this.
According to Torgrim, the poly community is working to influence politicians and bureaucrats to be more inclusive and less mono normative. With issues like wills and housing contracts there is little to no information provided for poly people.
- We need to take care of each other, because the government doesn't do it for us, the way they do it is for monogamous couples.