We were at the library the other day looking through their fabulous selection of movies (no I am not being sarcastic, they really do have great movies there) and found an interesting documentary-Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family by Susan Kaplan. This documentary follows 2 gay men who have been together for 5 years and decide they would like to have a woman in the relationship. Yes, a woman in the relationship with both of them making 3 people in the “couple”. To make a long documentary short, they meet a girl named Samantha, a pretty East-Indian American who agrees to the idea, they get “married” and even decide to have 2 kids. At one point for about 2 years they didn’t even know who the biological father was. They were together for 12 years this way: sleeping in the same bed, working together, confusing their families and raising 2 kids. Until finally (and not surprisingly) one of the men decide he is no longer wanting to live this way and leaves.
This documentary was filmed over the course of about 8 years and really doesn’t go very deep into the obvious questions: their sex life, their true feelings about living this way, their areas of unhappiness, ect. That is until one of the men walks out and leaves the 2 of them with 2 babies. Suddenly the whole charade or experiment suddenly becomes agonizingly clear to all of them how unhappy they really are. They are finally real with each other and say what they have all been thinking for a long time, that none of them were actually happy, content or fulfilled. They all felt like they were sacrificing so much with very little in return. Especially Samantha, who to me, seemed like a baby machine to these 2 gay men. They obviously loved her as a friend, but with no real intimacy with either of them.
From the beginning of the documentary you can tell the role of each person: Sam- the charismatic, charming and manipulative one who pushes his insecure boyfriend, Steven, into bringing a woman in their relationship. Sam had a horrible childhood where no one took care of him and tries to build a new, faux family around himself with the disguise of a “relationship”. Samantha was a young girl who took the whole “experimenting in college” and turned it into a lifestyle for 12 years. The only real glue of the relationship is Sam, and he admits that if this 3-some relationship falls apart he may have a mental breakdown.
Looking inside this post-modern family made me really think about being honest with yourself and drawing boundaries. It also made me realize how doing and being things for other people can destroy your life and even make you look like a fool. These poor 3 people were shattered by this relationship, and I feel like it is because they could not say no to the instigator- Sam. The one who was an addict surrounded by co- dependent people who could not say no. Pretty amazing thing to see. It also makes you think about when our society as a whole will draw specific lines concerning what a marriage is and isn’t. If you ever have a chance to see Three of Hearts, I really recommend it, but watch it with an attitude to learn and remember- we all have our own blind areas, their’s is just easier to see.