.... there is nothing more terrifying than feeling like you're not strong enough to go out on a limb and attempt something that might actually improve your life. Better to yell, "Freak!" at those who are trying. And then everyone doing the yelling -- unhappy, cheating, or just plain judgmental -- feel themselves in the "right" and thus in the clear.
I have another theory about why so many people react so negatively to the idea of polyamory. What if their own spouse should find the idea of polyamory appealing, especially in light of increasing acceptance of this alternative to monogamy? How will they be able to continue to enjoy the illusion of security that monogamy creates? They LIKE having a sense of ownership of their spouse. It makes them feel secure. And if they feel jealous of their spouse's appreciation of another, society says they are entirely justified in crying foul.
Thank goodness there are rules about these things, right? Polyamory is particularly troubling to those who need rules that everyone is expected to following in order to feel safe. Trouble is, one person's sense of security is another person's cage, and a cage is no place to conduct a relationship.
Some say that the potential for upsetting the emotional teacart is evidence enough that polyamory is a bad idea. I see it as evidence that the time is coming when society will re-examine its extreme expectations around love, commitment, possessiveness, and sexual and emotional exclusivity. It seems to me that possessiveness and ownership of one’s spouse is self-serving and therefore more about love of self and avoiding uncomfortable feelings than it is about love for another.
It's true that polyamory demands a lot of self-examination, self-awareness and communication to work. It's also true that jealousy in even agreed-upon polyamorous relationships sometimes occurs. It's a part of being human, a part of our emotional make-up just as much is our apparent desire to pair bond but non-exclusively. The difference for polyamorists is that we own our jealous feelings, avoid casting blame, and we learn together how to effectively resolve jealous feelings instead of allowing them to derail the relationship.
Polyamory isn’t for everyone, true, and monogamy is a legitimate choice. It’s just not the only one. As long as the people who are together agree to the same choice, it’s all good.