Husband and wife Manny, 28, and DeAnna, 27, Rivas have a pretty unusual home life! The polyamorous couple live in Florida with their two children – as well as their live-in girlfriend Melissa James, 20.
Manny explains how the decision to turn their marriage into an open relationship came about:
‘The decision to start the relationship, to open the relationship was DeAnna’s. At first when she wanted to do it I wasn’t really keen on it, so when she first asked me I said ‘no, we’re not doing that. Our relationship is good, I’m happy, you’re happy – that could just destroy things.’’
But DeAnna was determined that they needed another person to complete their marriage.
‘So I went through a stage where I was very depressed. I wouldn’t get out of bed and I was very sad and Manny wasn’t able to help me in that area. He’s very manly; he’s not very in touch with his emotions. He just didn’t know how to comfort me, you know, as a woman would or like a mother or sister or something like that. I always felt we had room in our relationship for someone else, because I felt like I had something missing.’
As she was so insistent, Manny finally relented.
‘A couple of years after that she asked me again, finally I was like, ‘you know what we will give it a shot, let’s give it a shot’.
‘Thought never crossed my mind of being with another woman – let alone having two wives!’
After experimenting with another woman, the couple were introduced to Melissa. DeAnna explains: ‘When we found Melissa it clicked. She was so amazing, it’s what we wanted and it all fell into place.’
‘I couldn’t go back to monogamy’
‘She’s my twin flame and I wouldn’t be the same woman without her. And I don’t think you’d be the same man without her.’
Controversially, the couple made the decision to move Melissa into their home and introduce them to their two kids. As Manny and DeAnna both work, Melissa is now the main caregiver for their children.
Manny explains, ‘We try to be real open with our kids and let them know what’s going on. We don’t want to really hide anything from them.’
But DeAnna is quick to point out that although they’re honest with their children at home, the threesome have taught them not to be so honest about the situation when they’re at school.
‘As far as the kids facing discrimination at school we already educate our daughter in knowing that she doesn’t really need to talk about having two mums. Because we already know that she would be bullied about it. Unfortunately in the world that we grew up in and that we live in now, out children have to say that she has one mummy and she has an aunt that’s very close to her mummy.’
One of the biggest questions surrounding a polyamorous union is the sexual side of the relationship – so how do they make it work?
DeAnna says, ‘We all share a king-sized bed. Sexually, it’s very interesting. We’ve opened up our marriage, our relationship and our bedroom. We do everything. It helps having children as it kind of alleviates. Somebody needs to be watching the kids whilst the other two can have fun!’
Despite the sexual advantages, the trio admits that jealousy can creep into the relationship, especially between the two women.
DeAnna says: ‘One of the only bad things about our polyamorous relationship is the jealousy. And I think it’s just that we’re jealous of each other. Not in a bad way, but I’m envious of you because you’re so young and beautiful and never had babies.’
Melissa adds, ‘I’m envious of you because you’re mom, you’re beautiful, you’ve got it going on, you’re older.’
Ultimately, the trio are fully committed to each other and are even hoping to cement their relationship by getting ‘married’. The marriage won’t be legally recognised, but that won’t hold them back.
DeAnna says, ‘We will change her last name or have a ceremony – whatever it takes to make her a Rivas! And then we’re going to go from there because this is our life.’
‘It’s OK to have two loves. It’s OK to love two people. They’re completely different in every aspect. I have to have both of them to be happy. You’ve got to find what makes you happy and stick to it.’