A married couple in the United States has revealed how they invited another woman into their relationship after meeting her on Facebook, with the throuple now living in the same home together with their five children.
Florida couple Stephanie Alicea, 31, and Hector Alicea, 30, met as teenagers in 2008. They married in 2010 and went on to have two children: 12-year-old Zoey and Gabby, 5.
But after 10 years of marriage the couple decided they had too much love to share to keep things just between the two of them, making a mutual decision to find a third person to add to the mix.
Believing that restricting their relationship to just the two of them was selfish, they began searching on Facebook for a suitable third partner who was interested in polyamory.
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Stephanie and Hector came across the profile of 30-year-old receptionist Carissa Barclay, also from Florida, who said she was open to the idea of being a part of a throuple.
After a two-hour initial meet up in Starbucks, the trio knew that the chemistry was there for something beautiful to flourish.
“We met online after we matched on Facebook Dating,” Carissa said. “We met for coffee at Starbucks for two hours but it felt like minutes. The conversation just flowed and the chemistry was definitely there.
Within a short few months, all three had fallen deeply in love with each other and Carissa and her three children – Gavin, 9, Sawyer, 6, and Hayden, 3, moved in with Stephanie and Hector.
While most of the family has adjusted well to the new living situation Stephanie and Hector’s eldest daughter Zoey has struggled a bit.
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“They like having more brothers and sisters – there is always someone to play with. They do get annoyed with each other occasionally, but what siblings don’t?” Hector said.
“The hardest part has been our oldest adjusting to having three parents.
“Preteens and adjusting don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.”
The throuple have been inseparable ever since – although Carissa admits that joining a 10-year marriage does have its challenges because of Stephanie and Hector’s long history.
All three admit that jealousy has arisen in their relationship, however, credit their good communication skills in making it not be a big issue.
“I think we are all pretty good about talking about our feelings when they arise including jealousy,” Hector said.
“We aren’t immune to it; we just work through it.
“Great communication is vital in a throuple relationship.”
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But unfortunately not everyone accepts their relationship, with Hector’s mum unhappy with him living with two women while Stephanie has had to cut ties with some of her extended family who disagree with polyamory.
“Stephanie has had to let go of a couple family members. It’s sad but it’s their choice,” Carissa said.
“My parents are coming to terms with it and my brother really couldn’t care less.
“My friends are definitely happy for me. They know I’ve had some pretty toxic relationships and they are thrilled to see me treated so well.”
Thankfully the worst they get from strangers on the street are bemused glances however they have been trolled online for sharing their lifestyle.
“When we’re all out together, people look at us with confusion and curiosity mixed with a little amusement – sometimes approval, sometimes displeasure, but mostly just a lack of understanding,” Carissa said.
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“We have had a few vomit emojis on our posts of me and Steph kissing which has been disappointing but most people have been supportive, so I hope that continues.”
The throuple hope that by sharing their story it will lead to more understanding that polyamory isn’t about being “automatically promiscuous”.
“Polyamory to us is having the capacity to love more than one person in an intimate and very real way,” Carissa said.
“We are all equal partners, equal lovers, and have fidelity within the triad.”
“We want people to understand that our relationship is not like the depictions of polyamory in the media,” Hector said.
“We are a closed triad meaning we are not seeking additional partners and not having relationships outside of the triad.
“This isn’t about sex – we aren’t swingers although there’s nothing wrong with that.
“Our relationship is real, it’s valid and it’s our normal.”
Originally published as High school sweethearts become ‘throuple’