They say that sharing is caring, but can that really be said when you’re dividing your attention between four different men? For Mary Crumpton, the answer is yes. As far as the 44-year-old is concerned, her life is perfectly “normal” and sharing is all part of the fun.
Crumpton, who lives in the town of Chorlton-cum-Hardy (yes, it’s a real place) in Manchester, England, is not shy when it comes to discussing her unconventional living arrangements – despite the fact that it’s illegal to be married to more than one man in the UK.
Talking openly about her unusual relationship, Mary told The Manchester Evening News how she began to embrace polygamy when she was 29-years-old.
Here Mary explains how it all began:
“I was brought up in quite a traditional home. I had boyfriends and was monogamous. Having more than one partner never crossed my mind. In my twenties I got married and settled down in Chorlton fully intending to be with my husband for life.”
“At the time I didn’t really question having just one partner. It was normal. I did sometimes have feelings for other people, but I felt guilty about doing so and just took it as a sign that I didn’t love my husband enough. When the marriage didn’t work out, I met someone else, and started a monogamous relationship with him.”
The situation was very confusing, but suddenly Mary began to realize what it was that she wanted…
“The idea that loving more than one person might not make me a terrible human being only dawned on me when, at a pub, I bumped into a person who had more than one partner. I had never come across it before, or the term ‘polyamory’ which means ‘more-than-one love’. I was quite shocked, and curious about how it all worked for them.”
“My partner was with me when I met the polyamorous person, and he was curious about it too. At the time neither of us considered it for ourselves, but I think the seed had been planted.”
It was this moment that changed everything for Mary.
“A couple of years later, in 2003, I suggested to him that perhaps we might try an open relationship. I was interested to explore the possibility of allowing myself to love more than one person. I think for him it was more about the thought of more than one sexual partner. We were both curious to see how it could work for us.”
“I took to it immediately. I had a friend that I was already close to and that friendship drifted very naturally into something more. My partner had a similar experience with a friend of his. It was a revelation to me. I quickly realised that I had been ‘wired up’ this way probably all my life – loving more than one person now seems like the most natural thing in the world to me and I can’t imagine being any other way.”
“For me, it is all about love. Of course, some of my relationships have been sexual, but sex is not the driving force for me. I am no longer with the partner that I first explored polyamory with, though he and I remain close friends, and he has continued to be polyamorous.”
Mary’s life dramatically changed after this huge life event…
“I married one of the people I first dated polyamorously. My husband, Tim, who is 43, and I got together in 2004 and were married in 2013 at Manchester Museum under the Tyrannosaurus Rex.”
“I have a partner, John, 53, who I have been with since 2011, and who I am planning to ‘marry’ this year. We can’t legally marry, but we are having a full wedding-style commitment ceremony at Chorlton Unitarian church in May. John has been living with me and my husband in our house in Chorlton since 2015. He has a flat a few streets away from my house and I usually stay over at his place once or twice a week, and sometimes he stays at mine. “