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How To Enjoy a Polyamorous Marriage Like Boy Meets World’s Mr. Feeny

How to enjoy a polyamorous marriage in relation to Boy Meets World is not the kind of blog post I would have ever imagined writing when I was a kid back in 1993 watching Boy Meets World on TV. Among the show’s memorable characters was the beloved high school teacher and next-door neighbor, Mr. Feeny.

The role was played by William Daniels, who started acting in the 1950s and has appeared in classic films like The Graduate, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and 1776, but the role most people don’t even realize they know him from is as the voice of KITT on Knight Rider. Anyway, his acting credits notwithstanding, Williams has found himself in the news this week after the release of an autobiography (Middle of The Rainbow) by his equally acclaimed actor/wife, Bonnie Bartlett Daniels. Among the many topics broached in the new book is the fact that the two of them spend the first couple of decades of their 72-year marriage in an open relationship.

How to Enjoy a Polyamorous Marriage or Open Marriage

Open marriage has been a popular topic lately among some of my clients, so I wanted to take a little time to talk about how to enjoy a polyamorous marriage. If it is something you are looking for, it has to be a mutual decision between you and your partner, and you need to make sure that you keep the lines of communication open. Even then, it can take a toll on the relationship.

Here’s what Bartlett Daniels recounted in the book:

“I guess it was a little bit of an open marriage at first, but that was very painful,” Bartlett Daniels said of the early years of her marriage. “It was a time when people were doing that. It was at a time in New York when there was a lot of sex and a lot of people doing all kinds of things, you know – very free.”

“I don’t know if there was a lack of commitment a little bit, and that’s not good. So, there was a lot of pain connected with any transgression, with any extramarital thing.”

In talking to clients over the years, if you don’t take time to consider your partner’s feelings while you are indulging in the benefits of an open relationship, it is very easy for resentment to creep in and create a wedge between spouses. In fact, I’ve even seen many people who had proposed an open marriage to their partner get very jealous when that partner then actually does sleep with another individual.

What Is the Best Way to Handle a Polyamorous Marriage?

The first thing I’d do in trying to enjoy a polyamorous marriage is lay down the ground rules. I think some of the best rules I’ve seen were put out a few years ago by Woman’s Health Magazine.

  • Set Sex Boundaries – Agree on what actions are out of bounds.
  • Set Emotional Boundaries – How much of a relationship is OK to have with another partner?
  • Establish Who it’s Cool To Hook Up With – Is anyone on a forbidden list?
  • Set Limits On How Much Time Is Ok To Spend With Other Partners
  • Set Rules For How The Two Of You Will Discuss Your Other Relationships

Tips to Enjoy a Polyamorous Marriage

If you’ve read this far and are still interested, here’s my final tip for you today to enjoy a polyamorous marriage. The best dating apps for people in open relationships.

  1. OKCupid – OKC has been around for almost 20 years, but it is the only mainstream dating site that starts out its sign-up process by asking you if you want a monogamous or non-monogamous relationship. You won’t find any other dating site in the world with such a large database of people who are looking for alternative relationships. Also, the app has thousands of personality questions you can compare with other members to gauge compatibility.
  2. Feeld – While OKC has a lot of people who are looking for open relationships, Feeld was designed specifically for people who are looking for something extra in their relationship and for the people who want to be that something extra.

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