A polyamorous ‘thruple’ are opening up about their relationship to prove that three isn’t a crowd.
Alexia Shrout lives with her two husbands, Doug Shrout, and Jacob Shrout-Mchaffie and their three children in Maumee, Ohio.
Alexia told BTV: “A lot of males when they find out that I have two husbands, they always say: ‘do you want a third?’ Technically it’s called Polyandry, a woman with two husbands.”
Alexia, who works as a professional body piercer, was in an open relationship with Doug when she met Jacob.
She said: “Me and Jake were actually best friend for three years and then we started having feelings for each other. Me and Doug had dated a couple other women before Jake came along and we broke up with them."
Realising she was falling for Jake, Alexia confided in her husband.
Alexia said: “Doug was like: ‘all right as long as you still love me fully then let's see if we can make this work’ - that’s how it got started.”
Despite all sleeping in the same bed - Doug and Jacob are both straight, and are not intimate with one another.
Doug said: “While we have another male in our relationship there is no sexual desire from me towards him." Jacob added: "I love him to death so I don’t necessarily have to feel like I need to have sex with him to show him love."
Doug and Alexia have been together fifteen years, opening up their relationship to Jake eight years ago; and in July 2016 the trio had a ceremony to mark their commitment to one another.
Alexia said: “We had a binding ceremony July 16th, 2016. One hundred family and friends came and supported us. It was a wedding without the legal marriage certificate.
When Jake decided to join our family we had a family meeting and discussed with the kids our situation. The only thing that has not been discussed with our kids is our intimacy behind closed doors."
The thruple are together raising their three children, Skyler, 14, Donovan, 11 and their one-year-old baby girl Tegan.
The two sons are biologically Doug’s, however the triad have not disclosed the biological father of their daughter.
Alexia said: "We don't want any favouritism. We want all of our children and dads to be equal. Our kids were older when Jake came into our lives. So they just call Jake by his first name. Doug is their biological father so obviously he is called Dad.
"Tegan will be calling both of them Dad. They were both there in the delivery room while I was giving birth.”
Skyler said: "I got three parents, I don’t really think of my step-dad as my full on dad but that’s it.” Donovan added: "I just think of them like a normal family.”
Alexia, Doug and Jacob’s friends and family support them but this hasn’t always been the case.
Alexia said: "It was a little tough; some family members obviously were not on board.”
Jacob added: "Most of the time it was really hard for my mum to accept it right away. She honestly thought that it was going to fail."
"My dad thought that this was a joke and he was like, 'Oh he will come back’. They are just so old-school you know."
The family are also aware that their unique situation could cause problems for the children. Doug, 33, told Barcroft TV: "Sometimes I think about what their friends may think or you know if they get any type of teasing or anything like that in school because of our relationship.”
The triad want to highlight that every polyamorous relationship is different, and for them - three isn’t a crowd.
Alexia said: "Every single polyandrous relationship is set up differently, so each person has different rules, different boundaries.”
Doug said: "When you have the people that are with you as long as we have been together, I mean honestly we always ask where that person’s at. Where’s Doug at? Where’s Alexia at? When are they going to get home? So is three a crowd? It’s not a crowd for us, it’s comfortable."