How do I handle wanting to marry both of my partners?

how do you handle having two partners and wanting to marry both of them?

If you’re in America, plural marriage is still illegal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t address that desire in other ways.

What is it that you want, specifically? Do you want your union and commitment to be recognized by your friends and family? Do you want to live together, sharing a home and finances and domestic duties? Do you want to throw a big party celebrating your relationship?

Identify what you want, what “wanting to marry” really means to you. Journal. Daydream. Make pinterest boards. Whatever. And then, set about making those dreams come true. It might take some unconventional work, some legal consults, some research, and some creativity - but once you figure out what you want, get out there and get after it!

Can a triad marry?

In America, no, a triad cannot marry legally. In many states, it is illegal under bigamy laws to be legally married to one person and to “live as if married” with another person. Each state has its own laws regarding this, and if you are planning to hold a “commitment ceremony,” seek benefits like health insurance and child custody, or otherwise enter the legal maze of plural marriage, my recommendation is to find a lawyer in your area that specializes in this.

For more, check out “Legal Stuff” category of Polyamory On Purpose to see a breakdown of the bigamy/plural marriage laws in each state. The Legal page on the Poly Families website also has lots of resources for triads and other poly folks looking to marry.

I’ve been in a poly relationship for over four years. He’s my only partner(I’m not interested in dating anyone else) and is married, I currently live with them. I’ve recently been experiencing that need/want to get married, but I can’t. It’s selfish, but I find it unfair that she gets a lot of marital benefits that I’ll never get. Any tips?

First off, never say never! This is a perfect example of why we poly folk need to fight for marriage equality. All the benefits that come with marriage - health insurance, child custody, hospital visitation rights, weddings - are denied to polyamorous people, and that sucks.

But as for your current situation, that sounds rough, and I’m sorry. As with all problems in polyamory, my main piece of advice would be open communication. Tell your partner that you’ve been feeling this sadness and desire for marriage. Maybe there are some things you two could do together, or relationship dynamics that can chang, to help you feel better.

On a more serious level, there may be some things you two can do to establish your commitment to each other. The laws differ between states, and in some places it is illegal to “live as if married” with more than one person - but you two might want to talk to a lawyer together about what options you have. There’s nothing stopping you two from staging a proposal (side note: I’m a huge sucker for proposals but could do without weddings), having a party to celebrate your love, taking photos together, going on a honeymoon trip, wearing each other’s rings, things like that.

You may also be able to get a joint bank account and share each other’s names without getting legally married. Of course, I am not a lawyer, and it would definitely be best to find an LGTBQ-friendly lawyer to hash some of this out so you can keep yourself safe.