Codependency or Polyamory

In a comment on “what’s in a name,” I was asked what my opinion was “on a person that needs more than they ever get from one person? Is it possible to have a deep lovin relationship with two people at the same time?”

What an inspiring and intriguing question! Definitely worth its own blog  🙂

Need more love …?

Stating that you “need more than you can ever get from one person,” touches on something larger – it implies that one person is supposed to be enough.  And certainly marriage and the societal concept of monogamy say that in some socially agreed upon legally binding ways, we must accept one person as “enough.”

So when does monogamous marital bliss slip into something more leeching?

When we say we can’t live without someone or when we describe them as “my everything,” I’d say we lean toward an unhealthy balance that leaves a lot of fertile ground for codependency.

FACT: To be clear, every relationship – even healthy monogamous ones – require solid outside & tangential relationships where each party finds an outlet beyond the primary love relationship.

Stating the obvious?

Maybe it seems obvious but I don’t believe everyone defines commitment and monogamy the same way.  I had a friend who told me that when he and his wife squabbled, any interim contact with a man except her own brother was tantamount to cheating.

I dated someone once that thought he should be my “everything” –meeting all my needs (or striving to).  He even resented my desire for a confident (regardless of gender) because he claimed it indicated his failure at being enough for me.

I regularly hear couples discussing and / or coming to outright arguments over where friends and outside activities fit in their relationship / budding families.  The entire idea of getting a “kitchen pass” is based on this very premise.

These examples make it clear: our definitions of monogamy and loving relationships vary wildly and perhaps require the reminder:

“Every relationship – even healthy monogamous ones – require solid outside & tangential relationships where each party finds outlet beyond the primary love relationship”


Assuming we lean away from enmeshing ourselves with our partner, how far away can we stray before we tip the scales in the other direction?

If not codependence then … polyamory?

Of course, I don’t mean that seriously.  But how do we address our requirement for freedom?  Do we really need to get our needs met from a smorgasbord of friends and acquaintances?  When is my best friend somehow something that encroaches on or threatens my love relationship?

This concept affects so many friendships and love- relationships of all kinds.  Here’s what that might sound like:

  • We’ve always done stuff together but now my best friend has taken up Activity-x without me and has found a new social circle because of it.
  • My friend has a new boyfriend who doesn’t deserve her – I wish she’d break up with him.  That loser is stealing my time.
  • My friend met someone new at work and now she seems to like her company more than mine.
  • Is it fair of me to be resent my husband’s weekly poker night with the guys?  The time he spends conducting raids online with his guild?  What about a Bachelor Party at a topless club?
  • Does my wife seriously need a scrapbooking night?  Her coffee clutch?  Her girls-getaway cruise to Jamaica?
  • What about if my spouse loves to reading alone in the study?  Or plays their instrument in the band at local nightclubs?


In the end, all of this boils down to boundaries.

Yours …

As with most things I blog about, this one ties back to loving yourself.

Boundaries begin with you.  Each of us should love ourselves enough to have our OWN boundaries of what we are and are not willing to sacrifice in the name of love / a relationship.

Sacrificing too much because we didn’t consider our own boundaries (or didn’t consider ourselves WORTH having solid boundaries) lends itself to our victimization.

I was one of these people.  For thirteen years, my “boundaries” gradually got erased and re-drawn closer and closer to my core self until, at the end of a thirteen year marriage, I no longer existed.  I was the very definition of a codependent.

Theirs …

Just as you define your boundaries, your partner(s) have a right to define theirs – and those boundaries are just as important.

Discussing these sets of boundaries and coming to an understanding of what respect and fulfillment means to each of you is critical to both of you finding happiness within the relationship – OR discovering that your happiness lies elsewhere.

So CAN you love two people deeply simultaneously?

I think our hearts are boundless and carry infinite love so yes, simply put I think you can love as many people as you choose to, each of them uniquely, deeply and authentically.

Can you also have romantic sexual relationships with all of them? 

I suppose that will be determined through a series of open honest discussions on boundaries…


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About ExaltedPeacock

Finding cool new things each day to love about me & those around me. Everyone is peacock beautiful. Celebrate it!

6 responses to “Codependency or Polyamory”

  1. HikKik says :

    Thanks for the response Miss P! Very good things to consider here. I don’t understand why sex and love are so tied in our society. Seems arbitrary if you really think about it.

    • ExaltedPeacock says :

      HikKik –
      I think the love exists whether the sex happens or not. The emotion is outside the sexuality.
      And separately there are plenty of people experiencing sex without the love piece as well.
      The two ideas exist separately and independently of one another and I suppose you can choose to live you life like that. 
      But I think the people who mix the two fiind that the pleasure and fulfillment of each expands exponentially with the inclusion of the other

  2. Nuri says :

    I think its possible for a person to love more than one person but only in different unique ways. I say this because no matter how much u may love two people theres always one person that means just a little bit more to them no matter what they say.

    • ExaltedPeacock says :

      Nuri –
      I wholeheartedly disagree with the last half of your assertion.  IMO, you had it right when you said we love each person in different ways. 
      As a mother of two, I can say my love for each of my children is overwhelmingly powerful and yet the flavors of that love is unique to each of them – their personalities, our shared (but different) bonds, their birth order, their gender, and a myriad of other nameless inexplicable things help define that love.  I can however, unequivocally say that I love neither child “just a little bit more.”
      I think your reference to the AMOUNT of love is indicative of the belief that our hearts only hold so much love, that somehow we might run out so we ration it.  Your comment feels a little bit like the natural competitive nature that we assign to things that are in limited supply – where we compare our “share” with that of those around us.  Did my sister get more love than me today?  If my husband still has love for his ex-wife, can he also honestly say he loves me too?
      I personally think there is infinity love in each of our hearts and infinity styles, types and ways to feel and express that love.  And trying to claim or covet someone else’s love is a measure of insecurity that does little to help function positive loving relationships. 
      Your comment seems focused on romantic love so if we hone in on that kind of relationship, can you honestly say that there is only one “I love you” label that you have for those who fill the role of bf/possible future husband?  One that you rip it off the last bf and place on the next one? I doubt that. 
      Instead your love grows into the scope and nature of the relationship that you build with someone, each person you invest in is a seed of love and some have grown into sunflowers while others are still burgeoning seedlings of daffodils or young roses not yet budding. 

      This is the very nature of love- custom fit for each relationship that we have.

      Each unique, each beautiful and real and heartwarming and soul-sailing. 

  3. Nuri says :

    I never thought about the idea of the love a parent has for their children. That just totally made my arguement non exsistent lol

  4. Kelsea says :

    I agree that you can love an endless amount of people each in a different and unique way but just as deeply as any other. However, I believe that when it comes to romantic relationships those needs should be satisfied by one person. I think everyone defines what those needs are differently though and that’s where conflict comes in. Like where your boyfriend felt that you couldn’t talk to others because he had to be your sole confidant – their your idea of what u need or want in a romantic relationship is different than his.

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