A ménage à trois is the French term describing a relationship or domestic arrangement in which three people, often a married couple and another lover, share a sexual relationship, although the relationship might or might not involve all three persons having sexual relations with each other. The French phrase literally translates as "household of three".
Two weeks ago, a member of the Yahoogroup that I am subscribed to, posted a message regarding three persons in a relationship.
"Can a person fall in love with 2 different people at the same time? If he chooses both and gives both his very best, will that make him unfaithful to either one? :-("
The next reply to the post was someone admitting to having two boyfriends and both of them know the existence of the other.
Almost immediately, the replies came fast and furious. The type of responses given were not unexpected, like:
How can one love more than one person? If you say you love one for different needs, different personalities, thats a bit bias, isn't it? If you can do that, would you like it do be done onto you?
A sign of being "in love" with someone is that you are able to be 100% monogamous and faithful to that person and do not even give a second thought to bringing a third (or fourth or fifth) party into the equation or worse still looking outside the relationship for SO CALLED "specific needs" to be fulfilled. If the above is not the case then just please face the fact that you are not really "in love" with the person.
If you can't decide who you are most in love with, or you think you are equally in love with two persons, then, you are most in love with YOURSELF!
After that, there were views which state said that it was OK to them, as long as the people involved are fair to each other but still they cannot really accept it. There were more opposing than agreeing on this kind of arrangement.
Personally, I understand that most initial reactions would be what a selfish bastard that person is. How greedy! What a jerk!
Could it be because of our exposure to things such as a husband having a mistress with the long-suffering wife ignored or husbands taking in more than one wife? Of the latter, there are numerous Chinese serials depicting how the wives are unhappy and compete with each other for the husband's attention.
In both instances, we usually pity the wives and blame the husband. Very seldom that the household are in harmony and both wives get along well with each other with the husband showering equal care and love.
In a gay threesome, wouldn't you expect it to be different? All and each of the three persons are capable of loving the other two, unlike a one-man-two-woman arrangement. It is quite unlikely and almost unfathomable, though not impossible, that the two women would have a lesbian affair.
True, it would be difficult to maintain such an arrangement. There are TWO persons feelings and needs to take care off, thus more difficult to manage.
Though from another point of view, one could also say that one person has two other people taking care of his needs and who wouldn't like that?
Ultimately, the giving and taking would amount be the same.
Of course, there is also the concern of what if two of the three like each other more and start to ignore or worse still, ditch the third? What if the other two are spending more time with each other and the third feels neglected and even a little jealous?
But really, how is this any different from a two person relationship? Even in such a relationship, one person might still feel slighted by the other like not spending enough time together, for whatever reason such as work or hanging out with his other friends? There is also the common occurrence of one's partner cheating with another person.
Some have commented that such arrangements are acceptable as why be bounded by traditional norms, either through centuries of practice, religion or simply because it is "not done" and "frowned upon".
To me, it seems to imply that it is as if anything goes in the gay community; as if whatever the heterosexuals are doing and we're doing it differently, we should be accepting of it. Afterall, we are all for diversity, aren't we?
I am rather uncomfortable with such a train of thought. It is as if we're accepting something for the sake of diversity, as long as it not too overboard. Heck, even if it's too overboard, it's OK coz we're gay!
Personally, I believe it is something acceptable because hey, it works for them! If three people really love amongst themselves and can managed comfortably in a ménage à trois, well, good for them! Why not do it just because no one else you know is in a similar position?
As someone correctly pointed out, monogamous relationship aren't that great either. It is fraught with problems and issues. With three persons, the disagreements may tripled or quadrupled exponentially, by with three heads, who knows, it may be solvable.
In addition, is our capacity to love so limited and only to one person at any one time? That we can't love two different people at one time?
Someone else pointed out that we do love different people at different times in our lives i.e. from one relationship to another.
What if we love two at one time? Must the option be always choose one or the other?
Of course, not everyone can manage such a complex arrangement. I don't even know how do you start one!
Would it be like, "X, this is Z. Z, this is X. I love the both of you equally and I don't think I can choose one over the other, let's see whether the both of you can work something out."
Many are readily to admit that coping with one other half is already difficult, but with two, no thanks man!
Fair enough. I would concur too.
It is already taking up a lot of time to date, placate, support, watch movies, withstand the mood swings, understand, listen, care for, make decisions together, compromise with, etc our partner, what more partners.
But somehow, a lot of people still think of it as "main kayu tiga" (unfaithful or affair). How can something be unfaithful which implies dishonesty and cheating, when all three know about each other and everything is in the open?
The variables are more, certainly. Hence, it would take three very committed, open-minded, wonderful listeners and communicators and whatever other characters that are possibly more in supply than the rest of us, to make such an arrangement doable, feasable and manageable.
Or maybe it's simply loads and loads of luck!
As for myself, I would say that it is not something suitable for me. One person is enough, unless I have the hands of fate serve me another person who loves me a lot and who happens to love my current partner too.
That would be something to be decided if and when it happens, as it is rather unlikely and remote.
Perhaps it has nothing to do with love at all.
Perhaps the formula that makes it work is simpler and it's just three persons enjoying each other's company so much and they can have romantic feelings for each other.