What a Long Strange Trip its Been.
Well where do I begin? I am 37 years old I have three children and I am currently married. I have just begun to explore (openly anyway, I've thought about it quite a bit in the last few years) the idea of polyamory. It has been difficult and mind boggling at times. The subject constantly invades my thoughts and sometimes I wish there were an off switch, as it becomes frustrating at times.
I guess I should begin with a little history. My husband and I have been married for nearly 7 years. We have had some very rocky roads, but we have a deep love for one another. I think we are both very committed to our lives together and our family. During our marriage however, I have become interested in other men. This has occurred twice, but has never resulted in an actual physical relationship. The first relationship dissolved in order to keep my marriage intact. Once again I have met someone I am interested in. Recently, the gentleman and I have begun to have very serious conversations about actually taking things to the next level. Included in these exchanges we talked about what we wanted to do and explicit photos were exchanged. He is the first person I have openly discussed my desire to explore polyamory with. He was very receptive. He understands that I love my husband and have no intention of leaving my marriage.
Unfortunately, I had not shared any of this with my husband. Of course he found out this was all going on. I fessed up immediately and told him I wanted to consider an alternative lifestyle, an open marriage. This has all occurred in the last month or so and it has been a very difficult time. We are both on a quest to learn all we can. We have ordered and begun reading together “The Ethical Slut” although I am not entirely sure it is what we were looking for, it has been quite informative. Though I am very open to all lifestyles, I myself have been pretty vanilla up until this point. Although when I have been single I have been carefree, and have no regrets or guilt feelings about it. I believe from all the discussions my husband and I have had that he is simply a mono guy. He isn’t interested, at this point anyway, in developing a relationship with another person. I believe with time this may evolve, and that’s okay too.
I am still in contact with the gentleman I spoke of earlier, though we have cooled it down quite a bit. We both feel that it is important for all of us to give this the time, consideration and dialogue needed in order to make it as painless as possible. My husband would be much more comfortable if I cut things off with the gentleman completely until we “figure” this out. I have refused and feel even if it is painful for my husband, I need to be honest. I am unwilling at this point to give the relationship up entirely. Though my feelings for this person have grown and I do care about him, the foundation was a very solid friendship. I love my husband very much and will not act on this unless we are all on the same page. I believe this could take some time and I am grateful for that. I have fears of my own and am more than willing to take this slowly and explore in the healthiest way possible.
I do have some questions. Is it normal for me to question who I am as a person? At this point in my life I have a very strong sense of who I am and what I stand for. Now that I have leveled with my husband, I find myself questioning my choices and decisions. Is there something wrong with me that I would seriously consider this lifestyle? Am I out of my gourd to believe my husband and I could actually strengthen our connection by embarking on something like this? It has really fucked with me and I wonder if anyone else has experienced this kind of doubt? If so did you overcome it and what helped? I do try and remind myself that these beliefs we have in monogamy and traditional relationships are a form of social conditioning. Common sense tells me that monogamy is not really practiced in it’s purest form by the vast majority of the American population. Logically I know all of this, but I can’t escape the doubt and fear I feel when I begin to explore these foreign thoughts and feelings ….
Another concern I have is the fact that my husband did not marry a polyamorous woman, he married a monogamous woman who changed her mind. This was not the hand he was dealt. Is it unfair of me to expect him to explore this with me? He has had a very difficult time with a lot of it, but has been willing to learn. He in fact is the one who found this forum and has encouraged participation in conversations here. This question is a continual concern for me. His happiness is very important to me, but I believe my own happiness is equally important.
Anyway, sorry if I was long winded but I wanted to be thorough. I welcome any and all advice. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this.