Your right it is much easier to post them on here. The only demographics I ask for are your gender and age.
1. Who is all inclusive of your polyamorous group?
My husband, our girlfriend, tentative second female lover/girlfriend.
2. How many partners do you have that you live with?
3. How long have you been together?
Husband and I together for five and a half years, married for two. Girlfriend together since October of last year. Tentative second female lover/girlfriend has been friends with my husband for a decade, we've been hanging out for a couple of months now.
4. Did you start out in a monogamous relationship and then change to Polyamorous relationship? Why?
My now husband was my secondary partner before. We became each other's primaries, and were monogamous for about three years before opening the relationship up again. Neither of us identify as monogamous people, although we are happy with our relationship and sexual connection when it is just the two of us - sometimes relationships unfold out of crushes/falling in love, other times it's sexual adventurism that usually unfolds into relationship (as we tend to have sex with people that we really like as people.) Both of us have always sought out additional love interests in our lives - it was the basis of our union in the beginning.
5. Who has the most decision-making power and why is that specific person in the group given that power?
Everyone has input, and I usually execute said decisions. For example - if we're having a night away in the city, I'll do research and put forward some hotel/dinner/show options and see if there is a preference. If so, I'll make choices based on the group's collective happiness, if not, I'll make decisions based on what I think everyone will enjoy the most. I'm hyper organized and efficient at navigating planning larger events (like our trip to Vegas) so I'll do most of the legwork and sort out the details. My partners are not detail orientated, and are very happy to "go along for the ride" with restaurants that I choose. When we're menu planning, or buying a board game or choosing a pub we all make decisions. Sometimes we pass off all decision making to our girlfriend, as she doesn't often have that kind of ability in her life - we'll deposit money in her account so that she can pick up everything that she'd like to for an evening of fun.
6. Do you share bank accounts?
I have my own bank account with the mortgage for my house attached to it. My husband and I have a joint account with a mortgage for our recreational property attached to it. Sometimes I transfer money into my account from his account for household bills, and "rent" (I keep track of how much of his "rent" hits the principle balance of the mortgage so that I know how much he has financially contributed to the overall amount owing. This was my original set up with him to keep things financially equitable when we weren't yet married, and I have continued doing this. My mindset was - if we ever split up, he should receive that money back. I made this pledge to both him, and my parents to ensure that things would stay fair even if things got tricky.) At present, our girlfriends and us do not share an account, and she is very particular about our involvement in her financial life (ie- we can take her out for dinner, but are not allowed to put money in her account if we know that she is broke).
7. What are the gender dynamics of your relationship i.e. do you stick to the same gender roles as do those in monogamous relationships?
I make more money than my husband, so I support a larger portion of household bills and expenses. I also manage bills and money in general, as it's an area of personal interest and expertisse. My husband does the vast majority of cooking as he is home before I am most working days, and we both contribute to cleaning and maintaining our home. He often does "blue jobs" like mowing the lawn or washing the cars. I often do "pink jobs" like cleaning the bathroom. We have an agreement in place that if one of us is working outside, the other will work inside, etc. This way we can maintain the inside and outside of our home in the same time period and be done the entire roster of work all at once. To put my two cents in: I don't think that gender roles are defined in monogamous relationships anymore; I think that the '50's model of doing things is steadily breaking down in many households.
8. How does money affect your choice in who is going to be accepted in the group?
It doesn't. We have dated both affluent and poor people. Money has nothing to do with loving someone.
9. When you go out how do you determine if you take everyone or just one person? How does that determine the budget of the evening?
At present we only date together. This means that we're very likely to splurge, as nobody is being excluded.
10. Other than sharing bank accounts or budgeting how do you guys handle the money issues in your relationship?
We talk about goals that we want to set and make them happen. Ie - my husband needed a new vehicle, so he did research on the kinds of vehicles that would best suit his work/personal needs. We went and test drove, and purchased a vehicle. I negotiated financing and interest rates, and we both went to town on the payments - when paying bills I focused much of our disposable income on the vehicle payments, clearing it in 18 months instead of the proposed 6 year repayment schedule. If I ever see his bank account is overdrawn, I fill it up again. We buy what we like, when we like and tighten our belts if we have to deal with an unexpected expense; we are affluent, and don't have to worry to much, but if we have a collective financial goal we commit to it and make it happen. Up until we met my husband made great money, but did not manage it wisely - since we joined financial forces he has started a retirement savings plan, acquired a vehicle and is now jointly involved in two pieces of property.
11. Do you talk about money issues in the relationship?
Absolutely. My husband and I talk a lot about money. Our girlfriend and us have talked about money as well - she was raised in near poverty, and has issues around the flippant way that we deal with our disposable income. We have talked about how and why that affects her, and had some excellent communication around that. She is adament about our involvement in her financial life being limited to joint activities, although we have talked about potential futures in which we would help her acquire a car or have her live with us.... very fuzzy though, as this is a long way off/if ever. We had also talked about splitting the rent on a larger place for her together, but as the future of our relationship is uncertain have taken a step back from that for now.
12. How satisfied/happy are you with regards to the current money situation in your relationship? If you are not happy, how would you change it?
Extremely happy. Having two decent incomes makes life a lot of fun for us to live. Having low mortgage payments and reliable vehicles makes life a lot of fun for us to live. At times I wish that our GF would allow us to help her more - it wouldn't make a big difference in our financial life, and would do our hearts good to see her with some extra disposable income. I can understand that she doesn't want that kind of power dynamic though, and respect it, even though I don't see it as a power dynamic.
Again thank you so much for your participation this means a great deal for me and will definitely help with my research paper.