I’ve wanted to write about living a polyamorous lifestyle for awhile now. How did I get here? It really isn’t that exciting. My parents divorced when I was 2. Since then my mother was married 3 other times, my father only once. My mother always seemed to “need” a husband. She didn’t know how to be on her own and didn’t want to. She still is married to her 4th husband of 18 years now. He is an alcoholic older man with a form of alcoholic induced dementia and she still stays with him. Anyway – my mom is not an example of how a marriage should work. So I look to my father. He married his second wife when I was 6. They are still together, that is fabulous. As long as you set aside the fact that he actively cheated on her for a good part of their marriage. Then there is me. Had one boyfriend all through high school and although I had much more than my share of sexual experiences before the age of 14, I saved sex until I was “in love”. My 14 year old self fell in love and decided it was time…I was in 9th grade. Kept the same boyfriend through my whole high school career. Married the guy one week after graduation.
Why did I get married? Did I believe in the one and only? Did I believe in “forever”? No. I married out of convenience. I wasn’t ready to end the relationship, the military doesn’t pay for someone that isn’t a spouse so there you have it, we got married. He got married for the two reasons above, however. That didn’t last, 6 months later I was ending the relationship.
During the end to that relationship, I met B. I was 18 years old. I had never experienced a man other than my husband. I knew I wanted to. I also knew there was something inside me that stirred when I thought of women and I wanted to know what that was about. I tried to get my husband to open up to possibilities. I’m sure I didn’t have the tools to be successful at this task, but he was also a close-minded country boy already so set in his ways at a young age. It wasn’t going to work. That isn’t why it ended…but its why it would have ended anyway.
I needed to explore! That is how poly started for me. B planted the seed in my head in our conversations about another way of living. And it really struck me as the way to be. I already saw how marriages operate…you either go through monogamous relationships one after the other..because you know they are not going to last forever, or you just stick with the one and lie to your partner to get what you want. Why can’t you have whoever you want whenever your paths cross instead? Why lie about it? Can’t we all accept we are very sexual creatures capable of a lot of love? That was the thinking that got me to where I was, along with wanting to explore and knowing this was a way to accomplish that without hurting people…and have a steady, solid, loving relationship at the same time. It was great! I was free to see different people after B and I moved in together, he saw people. He would come home and share his adventures with me and I was happy for him. I couldn’t really share my stories with him though, he wasn’t very receptive to knowing what I did with others sexually. But thats ok, he didn’t hold me back either.
B had a vision of life with at least 2 slaves and him leading a household, he always wanted to be self sufficient and enjoy life. I followed that dream with him. I struggled through many different girls he dated. I dated too, but always away from our home. Nearly every girl B dated was in our home on some level. Not necessarily involved with the kids and family life, but they were in my home and their presence was made. B was sheltered from that for the most part. Thats not the point of my post though. I grew alot through all these people in our lives. Each person brought a new set of situations to get through. I learned a lot about myself. I conformed, I changed, I resisted too.
Bridget moved in with us 2 years ago, but she’s been involved for 5 years now. That is still amazing to me that its been so long already. I held back a lot of her involvement for a long time. I reserved certain things for our “family” and other things I thought were ok for her to be involved in. Part of it is my resistance to let go of control, part of it was a protective block I put around my family and part if it was simply not knowing if she would fit long term and not wanting to open that door and have her just leave.
She moved in after our little one was born. I was happy I could go back to work and leave him with someone I trusted so much. It was convenient to have her live with us, it started that way for me. I wasn’t ready for her to live here. I could accept it and work with it but I still wasn’t sure it was the right thing. But after 3 years…it is either going to work or its not so it was worth doing it to figure it out. I found I have become dependent on bridget. We started behaving like a regular married couple for awhile there. It was certainly interesting. I have a wife! Who would have thought. But we are not intimate, so its just an odd relationship in my opinion.
That being the current situation, the only thing that has allowed me to be ok with it, is how much I love her. She is a sister to me mostly and I have enjoyed our relationship immensley. But the poly household concept hasn’t been working for me as much. There are a few reasons I have been able to figure out. One is there are now so many people to constantly worry about and I think I have a capacity issue with that set up. Another is I feel like I gave up parts of my relationship with B because he gave it to her. I never viewed it as a negative thing, but I realize as I look back, that is one thing I would change for sure. I didn’t feel like I fully had B in our relationship. Its not “because” of bridget, it has actually happened all along the way in our poly world but more so with her because its the longest, most integrated relationship he has had outside of me. When I look back, those are definitely two areas I would not want to repeat. I want to know I fully have my partner. I want a simple life and I’m not sure that can ever be accomlished in a poly household. I’m not shutting that off, but its a realization I have come to.
But I’m not monogamous! Of course not, because that would be too easy. I know I don’t want one person forever. And I’m open to other ways of being. Its more about sharing space and my home and complete integration into my life that I am not sure is for me. Being open, loving, and sexual with others is not outside of my reality. I’m sure there are many ways this might play out. I’d like that to include B and bridget in my life in some way, some connection to them. I can’t imagine not having that. I know bridget is completely open to that, I hope B could be happy that way as well. I know he obviously needs more in his life but I hope I can be a piece of it at least.