Eli and Mikey knew their marriage was missing something, they just didn’t know what… until they met Alida. Here is the story of how this throuple's friendship turned into an unconventional relationship.
Meet Mikey & Eli
Looking back, the story of this unusual throuple was an unexpected one. "We weren't actually looking for a poly relationship, but we just knew that as a group, we wanted to be together," Mikey mused.
Let’s rewind back to the beginning of this story: when Eli and Mikey Titus first met. The pair were in their early 20s, and both lived in Oregon, where Mikey worked as a health services coordinator and Eli as a technician. Their mutual attraction led to a relationship - and to a very unpredictable love story.
To Be Young & in Love
As is the case with some youthful relationships, Mikey and Eli bounced between heightened feelings of love and passion, as well as periods of tension and conflict. Unfortunately, the pair found themselves fighting and making up more than they would have liked.
"Being in a relationship since we were basically kids meant that we'd done things we weren't proud of," Mikey elaborated. "We'd do dumb things young kids do when they're trying to figure out how to be adults - argue, break up, and spending money we didn't have."
A New Addition
Many relationships experienced their ups and downs, and Eli and Mikey managed to survive it all with their love for one another intact. So they did what many couples do - they got hitched! The two became Mr. and Mrs. Titus, and they soon welcomed a new family member into the fold.
Mikey gave birth to their first child, a boy name Linkoln, and for that initial period, the new parents were overjoyed. Sadly, this period didn't last as long as they would have liked. And their relationship took a turn for the worst - again. Something wasn't working. But they couldn't figure out what that was.
Alida Enters The Picture
As months passed, the feeling that they were missing something began to weigh on Mikey and Eli’s relationship. They still loved each other and wanted to keep their marriage together, particularly for the sake of their young son. But how could it work if they weren’t happy?
The duo had no idea that someone was about to enter their lives and change everything. That person was Alida, an insurance rep who had recently gone through a rough divorce with her ex-husband and had gained custody of her two children, Maddox and Lennox.
The First Meeting
With two children and a full-time job on her plate, Alida was looking for an opportunity to take a much-needed break. So she decided to get tickets to Oregon’s Friend Fest 2018, a five-day camping festival with live music and plenty of activities - as well as the opportunity to meet new people.
This is where she first met Eli and Mikey, who had been together for ten years at this point. "We were at a camping event," Alida said. "Her [Mikey] and Eli walked up and introduced themselves." The trio got along like a house on fire. They were extremely compatible, and not just as friends…
Eli Had Doubts
Over the course of that first day, the trio noticed undeniable chemistry - particularly between Alida and Mikey. "It was just an instant connection, and we wanted to be around each other," Alida recalled. Soon, romantic feelings began to blossom between the two of them.
While Mikey was ok with this, Eli wasn't sure about getting involved himself. "It was more of a slow burn with Eli," she further confirmed. "He was around, but he was more reserved and watched how things were going. It took time for us to get to know each other."
Becoming a Triad
Over time, the three adults began to edge closer to the idea of a polyamorous relationship. None of them had ever been in a relationship with more than one person at a time, and it took a bit of getting used to. Mikey and Alida fell into it naturally. And over time Eli had warmed up to it too.
They were officially together - in what they called a 'triad.' "We don't call ourselves a threesome. We're not a throuple," Alida explained. "Threesome sounds like it's all about sex, and a throuple to us sounds almost like a joke," Mikey chimed in. "Like, 'Oh, look at that couple.' Triad just sounds strong."
Three Times The Love
For many people, the idea of a three-way relationship might seem strange. And though it was originally a foreign concept to Eli, Mikey, and Alida, it seemed clear that fate had brought the three of them together at that festival. And now, it had given them an avenue to explore a new type of relationship.
"Polyamory means 'many loves,' so we believe that the more love, the better," Mikey elaborated. "Within your family, you don't just love your mom or your dad, so why should we restrict ourselves to one love in our romantic relationships if there's a connection there with someone?"
Of course, the beginning of such a different kind of relationship was bound to come with its own set of obstacles. And naturally, an extra person in the mix added a whole other layer of emotions and complications. One of the biggest issues, in the beginning, was jealousy.
Alida, especially, had to deal with her fair share of it. "My jealousy, in the beginning, came from the longevity of their relationship and trying to figure out, 'Well, where do I fit into this?'" she continued, "And realizing that it wasn't a 'Where do I fit into this,' but now 'What are we creating as the three of us?'"
True Learning Experience
Thankfully, her envy of Mikey and Eli's past relationship didn't last long. Over time she understood that their relationship together was unique, and her partners were no longer a unit of two - they loved her too! "We don't have a lot of jealousy in the relationship," she acknowledged.
"We recognize that there are four relationships within our triad - those with each and also as a whole. We do everything we can to avoid couples' privilege," Mikey said. "We check in with each other on a regular basis. It's a constant learning experience."
Second Chance at Love
As we mentioned above, Eli and Mikey’s relationship had been on the rocks prior to their polyamorous relationship. But this new partner had given them an extra drive to be better partners to each other - and to her. “When we met Alida, something felt different,” they shared.
"We felt this need to be better," Mikey continued. "We've been able to work through some things and create a stronger connection between us all. Alida has brought a different perspective and understanding." While they've been able to work on their internal problems, the external obstacles were another story.
Unfortunately, their families weren't all as open-minded to the idea. Alida's mom, Mary, initially disapproved of the unusual relationship. "When she used the term polyamorous, I was confused and pretty afraid of what that meant for her and her kids," Mary later admitted.
Mary was understandably concerned about how her grandchildren would feel about this new dynamic. "When I told my mom, she wasn't not open to it; she just didn't understand," Alida said. "We had just come out of a divorce; she was just concerned." But in Mary's own words, she was "fearful."
Mental Health Concerns
While there had been earlier signs of her daughter's polygamous leanings, the news of the relationship was still a shock to Mary. "I sort of got an inkling of her proclivity for having multiple partners before her divorce," she said. "I was really taken aback by it."
The mother and grandmother-of-two elaborated further on her feelings, saying, "I became really fearful and afraid for my grandkids. I kind of thought she was unhinged, truthfully. I was just like, 'Oh no, the divorce really like did her in.'" It was going to take work to get her used to the idea.
Meeting the Parents
Despite her concerns, Mary had a close relationship with her daughter and was doing the best she could to accept the news. "As she continued on in her relationship with Eli and Mikey, I tried a lot harder to understand what was going on," she said. And that meant finally meeting Mikey and Eli.
The pair were understandably nervous. "When I met Alida's mom for the first time, I felt like a 14-year-old boy meeting his girlfriend's parents for the first time," Mikey said. Eli agreed, adding, "There's always a little bit of anxiety when you meet someone's parents for the first time."
Acceptance At Last
After spending some time getting to know her daughter's two partners, Mary began to ease into the idea of their polyamorous relationship. She genuinely liked Mikey and Eli, which made things easier. "I am very happy for her being happy, and I want her to thrive," Mary said.
She continued, saying that "It seems to me like she really understands what she's doing." As wonderful as this development was, Mary was just one person. They still had to tell Eli and Mikey's individual families, as well as all of their children. What could go wrong?
Coming Clean to The Kids
As their relationship went on, they knew it was time to start sharing the news with more people in their lives. But they were also fully prepared for pushback. "We live in the pacific northwest, so 'weird' is a regular occurrence here, but even still, people say, 'I couldn't do that,' or 'It's just a phase,'" Mikey said.
The triad also came clean to their three kids. "The children are aware that our family is special. As the eldest, Linkoln was aware of 'normal' relationships, but we talked with him openly and honestly," they elaborated. "We encourage our kids to be themselves no matter what others think."
A Combined Household
And, of course, like any other "normal" relationship, the triad reached a point where they knew they wanted to combine their lives more fully. After all, their three children, Maddox, Lennox, and Lincoln, all knew about their relationship, and the children had all gotten to know one another and their parents' new partner(s).
They were starting to bond more fully as a family, slowly forming into a tightly-knit unit. It just made sense to make these changes more final. And so, in November 2018, the three partners officially combined households and moved in together, just four months into their relationship.
Good News, Bad News
Though the children were largely accepting of their new living situation, it did have its downsides. After all, an extra parent means an extra pair of eyes, which Linkoln quickly discovered. "Linkoln has had a friend ask if it was a good or bad thing to have three parents," said Mikey.
"He said it's only bad if he's in trouble," she laughed. Thankfully, that was the only significant drawback he could really think of. After all, an extra parent also meant extra care and support. But now that we know the kids were fine with the relationship, what about Eli and Mikey’s parents?
The Other Grandparents Weigh In
After breaking the news to Alida’s mother, Mary, and getting their three children used to the new relationship, Mikey and Eli knew it was time to break the news to their families. Though Mary had come around quickly, they were nervous and unsure about their own parents.
Fortunately, the pair had nothing to worry about. "Our families are amazingly supportive. We don't think our moms truly understand but as long as we're happy, they are," Alida said. "We host family get-togethers and continue working on the bonds between our families."
Facing Public Opinion
Over time, the triad had put plenty of work into harmoniously integrating their new relationship into the lives of their loved ones, and the wider community. Naturally, there were ups and downs. Their families were supportive, their friends were a mixed bag of support and disapproval. But that wasn’t all…
They even found themselves facing the scrutiny of total strangers. "We get a lot of looks, a lot of weird faces or confusion," Alida said. "I just wish that we could be seen and people wouldn't take a second glance or it to be awkward or weird." Unfortunately, that was just the beginning.
Are The Kids Alright?
Eli, Mikey, and Alida had quickly become accustomed to judgemental looks from strangers. They chose to ignore it and were proud enough of their relationship that they even took to social media to document their polygamy journey. But that just led to a lot of strange feedback from strangers online.
"On Instagram, we get a lot of, 'Lucky him,' or 'How do I get involved?' or 'How do I convince my wife to do this?'" Mikey admitted. "The worst comments are that we're destroying our kids, that we're teaching our kids horrible values and morals." And that wasn't all that online trolls had in store.
Gold Digger Accusations
Of course, it was the accusations involving their children that stung the most. "Sometimes, it feels that looks could kill," Mikey said. But those weren't the only hurtful criticisms that users threw at them. For example, many people were convinced that Mikey and Alida were simply gold-diggers.
Both online and in public, the triad would hear strange whispers and accusations against them. "We hear people say, 'He must have money,' or 'Eli is the man,' all the time. It makes it seem as if our relationship is dependent on him, which of course, it's not," she continued.
Stop Centering Men
Another thing they had to struggle with, particularly for Mikey and Alida, was the idea that Eli (as the man) was the center of their relationship. It was frustrating to see so many people assume that the triad only existed because they both wanted to be with Eli - and they publicly spoke out against it.
"The polyamorous community needs to stop devaluing and invalidating love between bi women in FFM triads. It's biphobic to go, 'Wow, what a lucky guy!'" reads one post on their page. "It ignores the fact that the man is not the only one who is loved by two people. Stop centering men in triads."
Nothing But Pride
From the beginning of their relationship, the triad had to accept that disdain and disapproval of their love were everywhere. Though it was hard to hear strangers devalue them and even drag their three children into the criticism, they had learned to overcome the hate together.
Despite the negative feedback and lack of understanding, they never tried to hide their love from the world. They even openly showed their romantic affection for each other. "We are not ashamed of our relationship. We hold hands; we give kisses, we cuddle," Mikey claimed.
While some may wonder how they stayed so strong in the face of animosity, it's largely because of the enormous advantages they enjoyed as a triad. "There are a lot of advantages of being in a polyamorous relationship," Alida gushed. And she wasn't just talking about bedroom activities.
There were considerable practical advantages, too, including sharing clothes, sharing chores, childcare, and splitting the rent between three people. "We're able to get a lot done in a very short amount of time," Mikey elaborated. "And on the cold nights, you know, three people, you're warm," Eli joked.
Time Will Tell
So far, so good. The triad had weathered the storm of public criticism and come out stronger and happier with a healthy three-way relationship intact. But the point still stands that this was the first polyamorous relationship that either Mikey, Eli, or Alida had ever experienced. Would it last?
Well, it's still smooth sailing so far! In July 2021, the triad celebrated their three-year anniversary in a very appropriate way: they went camping! "We met camping in 2018, so for our anniversary, we spend time together in the woods somewhere," they explained.
Is Marriage On The Cards?
Eli, Mikey, and Alida had been dealing with skeptics and naysayers ever since they made their relationship public. But the more backlash they received, and the longer they stayed together, the more convinced they all were that their love was the real deal. It had even saved Mikey and Eli’s bond with each other!
So when Eli and Mikey popped the big question to Alida, it just made sense. "We would love to get married, but at this time, that's not legal in Oregon," she shared. "We're hoping that by raising awareness, we might be able to change the rights and be legally married by the state one day."
Becoming Mrs. Titus #2
An official marriage between the three may not yet be legal in their state, but that hasn’t stopped the triad from making their relationship official in other ways. For Eli and Mikey especially, it was important that Alida had more recognition as the third and equal part of their relationship.
So they began planning the next milestone in their relationship, sharing this post on Instagram: "Even tho we do plan on having a ceremony to celebrate our love... at some point... and since we aren't able to legally get married... For Christmas, [Alida] went and got her last name legally changed. She is now officially a Titus!"
"Like Everyone Else"
Even if they received online hate and seemingly never-ending stares and whispers from strangers in their community, the three lovers insist that they are "just like everyone else. We all want to grow old together - raise our kids, buy a home, travel, retire, and drive Eli crazy until the end," Alida said.
"Our relationship requires a lot of communication, dedication, self-reflection, and compromise," she added. "It isn't always easy, but it is always worth it. We are a team, and we believe that each of us are equally important... One day, we'd like being in a polyamorous triad to be more widely accepted."
The Adventure Continues
Over the course of three years, Mike and Eli went from being a conventional couple who were struggling to a thriving triad. And all it took was one special person to enter their lives and reinvigorate their love. The triad couldn’t be happier, and their journey through polygamy isn’t ending anytime soon.
"The idea of loving multiple people throughout your lifetime isn't new," Alida said. "It's been happening for generations over generations, and so I think this is just redefining that." To keep track of their adventures in educating people on the realities of polygamous relationships, follow them on Instagram @teamtriadtribe.