Lisa and Everett are in their sixties and polyamorous (Picture: SWNS)
Lisa van Sand, 60, and Everett Harlow, 63, have been happily married for 36 years – but they practice ‘kitchen table polyamory’.
Everett defines this as a form of polyamory where each other’s lovers become part of a circle of friends.
He said: ‘I consider some of Lisa’s partners my friends as we genuinely get on. Us guys can talk football and it saves Lisa from hearing about it.’
Although the Florida couple haven’t slept together since 2021, they say emotionally they are a lot closer, and they even pick each other’s outfits for date nights with other people.
Polyamory hasn’t always been something the couple practiced, although they’ve always been open to the addition of other sexual partners to their marriage.
Lisa and Everett have been married for 36 years (picture: Lisa Van Sand / SWNS)
Lisa and Everett met through friends in 1986 and got engaged just two months later – tying the knot in 1987.
After 23 years of being monogamous, Everett revealed in February 2010 that he’d slept with one of their mutual friends after a night out.
Lisa said she was ‘grateful’ Everett had told her, which sparked the couple to explore other options within their marriage.
They had considered swinging but both agreed it would be ‘a step too far’ as they were after ‘real connections’.
But it was only five years ago the pair actually embarked on their polyamorous relationship.
Everett, a woodworker, has since been in five relationships and Lisa has three long-term boyfriends, who all live in different states.
Lisa and Everett with their retrospective polyamorous partners (picture: Lisa Van Sand / SWNS)
Lisa, now a polyamorous coach, said: ‘Our marriage isn’t for everyone, but it certainly works for us.
‘Many married couples live parallel lives but without connections but Everett and love each other but happen to date other people.
‘We’re able to find amazing qualities in other partners that we don’t bring to the table for each other.
‘My husband isn’t a naturally romantic person, so he loves that I’ve found people who treat me romantically.
‘Everett, however, seeks a physical connection as he has a higher sex drive than me.’
Lisa and Everett say emotionally their marriage has gotten stronger (picture: Lisa Van Sand / SWNS)
They’re now ’emotionally closer than ever’. Lisa added: ‘We keep each other in the loop with everything- when I go on dates Everett will even help me choose what to wear.
‘We’re having the time of our lives but at the end of the day, we’ll always choose each other.’
In October 2019 Everett started a relationship with another woman, with Lisa doing the same three months later.
Lisa also joined an online BDSM community, FetLife, where she was able to learn more about boundaries and communication.
Lisa and Everett when they got married (picture: Lisa Van Sand / SWNS)
The couple also consider themselves in a parallel polyamorous relationship, meaning they date other people separately whilst still being married to each other.
Lisa is currently in three different relationships all of which have lasted four years, and she goes for dinner, drinks or to museum exhibits with each of them.
She said: ‘In polyamory, everyone is entitled to be jealous but it’s the person’s responsibility to handle their jealousy.
‘We never had jealousy of each other having partners, but it was making sure that the other partner wasn’t looking for monogamy.
‘Some people have their own opinions about polyamory but that’s their business.
‘I’m not a horny housewife looking to get laid. I’m married to my best friend but also looking for genuine connections and I’ve found them in three different partners.’
Lisa and Everett pick out date night outfits for each other (picture: Lisa Van Sand / SWNS)
But there is a secret to making polyamory work for them, the couple said.
‘We’re 100% transparent to each other with our relationships – it’s the only way we’ve been able to make it work,’ Lisa said.
‘Some people may say we’re just kidding ourselves but me and my husband are closer than we’ve ever been.
‘We communicate better than some monogamous couples do and we’re closer than ever.’
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