Parents in a four-way relationship open up about ‘polyfamory’

When Alysia Rodgers, 34, and her husband, Tyler, 35, met Sean Hartless, 46, and his wife, Taya, 28, from Oregon, they had no idea what the term polyamory was

Two couples who fell in love and started a four-way relationship are candidly opening up about their experiences with ‘polyfamory’ – a practice that sees them all living under the same roof in a romantic quad while caring for their kids together. 

When Alysia Rodgers, 34, and her husband, Tyler, 35, met Sean Hartless, 46, and his wife, Taya, 28, from Oregon, they had no idea what the term polyamory – the name given when a person has one or more partners at the same time – was, but when feelings flourished, the couples were more than ready to embrace polyfamory. 

Speaking to Today, the couples detailed how they went from friends to lovers and eventually moved into a house together to raise their children. 

When Alysia Rodgers, 34, and her husband, Tyler, 35, met Sean Hartless, 46, and his wife, Taya, 28, from Oregon, they had no idea what the term polyamory was 

But when feelings flourished, the couples were more than ready to embrace polyamory - the idea that sees multiple partners living under the same house and caring for their children

But when feelings flourished, the couples were more than ready to embrace polyamory – the idea that sees multiple partners living under the same house and caring for their children

Speaking to Today , the couples detailed how they went from friends to lovers and eventually moved into a house together to raise their children

Speaking to Today , the couples detailed how they went from friends to lovers and eventually moved into a house together to raise their children

A new way of parenting? What is a polyfamory 

  • Polyfamory is a twist on polyamory and sees multiple partners living under the same roof and caring for their children together. 
  • When moving in with Sean and Taya, Alysia and Tyler already had two children. 
  • They raised the children all together and then added two more kids into the mix – with Taya birthing one and Alysia birthing another. 
  • The couples have no idea who the biological fathers of their 22-month-old and 15-month-old are.
  • Sean noted that while their lifestyle is becoming more common, shows like Sister Wives – which portray one person married to multiple partners – have created negative associations with polyamorous families. 
  • Sean added that unlike the people in the popular TV series, him, Tyler, Alysia, and Taya, were all working to becoming ‘equals.’

Shortly after meeting, Sean and Taya were making the two-hour commute to see Alysia and Tyler. 

Growing more and more tired of the long hours spent driving to see each other, they all decided to move into a new house together in 2020 and went from polyamory to polyfamory. 

Tyler and Alysia had two children, now seven and eight, and noted that explaining their new lifestyle to their kids was ‘really easy.’ 

Tyler noted that both their children knew their mom ‘had a boyfriend’ and their dad ‘had a girlfriend,’ he added that him and Alysia told their kids they should treat Sean and Taya ‘like parents.’ 

Since moving in together, the polyfamory has added two more children into the mix. 

Alysia birthed one child while Taya birthed the other, but the couple didn’t ‘regulate the biology,’ meaning that none of the parents know who the biological fathers of their 22-month-old and 15-month-old are. 

They explained that genetics didn’t matter because they are ‘all equal parents to all of the children and it’s not up for debate or discussion.’ 

And although strangers may question their lifestyle, Tyler noted that having ‘four sets of adult hands to work on things’ helps tremendously and added that it’s ‘very rare’ to have that ‘kind of help.’ 

Alysia, Tyler and Sean work full time, while Taya stays at home with the children. 

Sean said that knowing that the kids were always with at least one of them is a ‘big sigh of relief.’ 

And because their lifestyle, the noted that their children get to learn important lessons about family dynamics and will always understand that their children know all of their parents will always ‘love and support them no matter what.’ 

Tyler and Alysia had two children, now seven and eight, and noted that explaining their new lifestyle to their kids was 'really easy'

Tyler and Alysia had two children, now seven and eight, and noted that explaining their new lifestyle to their kids was ‘really easy’

Since moving in together, the polyfamory has added two more children into the mix

Since moving in together, the polyfamory has added two more children into the mix

Alysia birthed one child while Taya birthed the other, but none of the parents know who the biological fathers of their 22-month-old and 15-month-old are

Alysia birthed one child while Taya birthed the other, but none of the parents know who the biological fathers of their 22-month-old and 15-month-old are

And while the couple is grateful they have each other to help with the children, they explained that sometimes their different parenting styles clash. 

Sean noted he tends to be more ‘harsh’ with the children and added that he is still ‘learning’ how to change his [parenting style and is having ‘conversations’ about ‘gentle parenting.’

Despite the obstacles – including times of jealousy, hate and judgment from strangers, and not being fully accepted by their family members – Tyler, Alysia, Sean and Taya, note that the pros outweigh the cons, especially when their children can have multiple adults who love them in their home. 

Polyamorous relationships have become popular in recent years. 

A 2021 study of 3,438 single adults discovered that one in six participants ‘wanted to be polyamorous.’ 

One in nine have been in a polyamorous relationship at some point, and one in 15  said they ‘knew someone who was or is polyamorous.’ 

Sean noted that while their lifestyle is becoming more common, shows like Sister Wives – which portray one person married to multiple partners – have created negative associations with polyamorous families. 

Sean added that unlike the people in the popular TV series, him, Tyler, Alysia, and Taya, were all working to becoming ‘equals.’  



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