Ethical cheating: Inside look at the polyamorous lifestyle - KCTV5

Ethical cheating: Inside look at the polyamorous lifestyle

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Liz and Garrett have been together for nine years.

The Kansas City area couple has been married for more than seven years. They say their relationship is strong but something is missing. That something, they say, is another woman.

“If somebody told me four years ago that I’m going to be looking for another woman to share my husband with, I’d be like, 'OK, what are you smoking'" Liz jokes.

KCTV5 is not identifying the couple by their last name.

Liz and Garrett’s polyamorous lifestyle is in the minority but not as much as you may think. New York University estimates five percent of American relationships practice some form of “consensual non-monogamy.”

“It wasn’t like we went out looking for this. It kind of fell into our lap,” Garrett explains.

A few years ago Liz and Garrett had a friend. She spent a lot of time with them and soon the three found themselves in a romantic relationship. When that part of the relationship ended, the couple realized they missed her and wanted a similar relationship with someone else.

“We’re not looking for somebody to have threesomes with and one night stands. Yes, sex would be a part of the relationship, the way it is for a marriage, but that’s not the primary thing,” Liz explains.

Liz and Garrett are on the dating site Open Minded.  The site launched in April and promotes polyamory, which means being romantically involved with more than one person at the same time. It does not promote polygamy.

“We like to call it, ethical cheating,” said Brook Urick, a spokesperson for the Las Vegas-based site. “There are so many people who are in relationships who are unhappy. They’re cheating and being adulterous. It would be lot easier if they were just in an open relationship and be honest about what they want with their partner.”

About 40 couples in the Kansas City area have signed up along with 70 single men and 60 single women.

Urick adds, “I think the public doesn’t understand polyamory. People are very vanilla. Very modest.”

Dr. Doug Greenens, a psychiatrist in Johnson County, said there is no evidence that supports monogamy as a healthier way to maintain an adult relationship.

He warns the biggest problem that couples can face is jealousy.

“Seeing someone that you love and care about share their time with another person can very easily cause jealous, which as we know, is a destructive emotion," he said.

Liz and Garrett say even if they never find their third person that they are perfectly happy with their marriage.

“Having a third person was just more fulfilling. There’s nothing lacking in our relationship but if you can get more, why not?” asks Liz.

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