This was my post in the introductions section:
My name's pulliman. I'm married quite happily. We've been through a lot of changes, none stronger than what is going on right now. But to get to that point, I'll give a brief history of how we got here.
I probably realized in high school that I actually consistently fell in love with other women. Sure, I had a girlfriend but I'd... flirt... and fall for... and feel something about other women. I tried to hide it. I tried shaming myself out of it. I tried to stop doing it. But it just kind of regularly happened. When my wife and I broke up (the first time...), we stayed close friends. She was the "consistently present other woman" during my next few relationships, until she and I realized that we weren't going to separate, and maybe this was our true love, and we got married and everything would change, right? Nope. I still fell for other people.
These other relationships weren't sexual - and then suddenly, one was. Unethical. I cheated. It caused all sorts of heartbreak and difficulty, but we managed to create a stronger marriage from it... also, I stayed with my other partner. Surprisingly, my wife, WI, helped me: she recognized that losing my relationship would take away from her the person that she knew I was and wanted to be. It was a bit of a deal with the devil: each of us dancing on a line of wanting something (monogamy or relationship) while not wanting to take away something (happiness...) as well.
At the time, we had no words for any of this. My other partner, EL, and I tried our best, first in total isolation. Then we found some books (Ethical Slut was relatively new) and online groups (monopoly and polymono, because each of our spouses was monogamous and we were learning there WAS something called polyamory). Slowly, we fell into a pattern of rarely seeing each other, with strong rules about how often we could see each other, and hobbled along. Deal with the devil and all that. Nobody was leaving anybody, and our spouses slowly began to trust us again, and we learned a LOT more about our selves, about each other, and about our marriages. In a way, it's a success. I'm still with EL, more than a decade in. We're in a long distance relationship, and the love we feel is still incredibly strong. Sometimes we feel like we deserve an award for keeping a LDR going for a decade...
Over the years, I've fallen for other women, and my wife and I negotiated ways in which I could talk about this so that I wouldn't, you know, cheat again. It remained hard for my wife, who wanted to deny that I was poly, and wanted me to fit into her mono world. Sometimes it was harder than others. A recent friendship, AM, kept growing and growing, though, and it felt different. I was really open about it with WI, and she was unhappily dreading where it would go. After many many months of conversation in which she warmed to the idea of AM being a good person, AM contacted WI and they started talking. It was clear that AM and I had attraction for each other - their friendship began through their remarkably blunt discussion of it and what everyone's intentions were.
Something clicked with them. They became close friends. Deep talks, a sense of safety and honesty. AM was the first person WI really talked to about the "other relationship" in our life. AM's reaction was calm and relaxed. She was poly, too, having some past experience with multiple boyfriends or being one of multiple girlfriends. Her conversations with WI helped WI see me in a different way, building off the changes from a decade of trusting EL and me.
And slowly, they started to be more than close friends. There was a light first kiss. Later they kissed again. And I was happy. We wanted to explore further. We ended up going from three way kissing to an intense threesome (all of our first) one night. It felt like the world shifted. They had a date in which they ended up making out on the couch. Both consider themselves straight, but ... just not for each other. They had a walk in which they acted like silly teenagers, hiding in the bushes.
With her own experience happening, WI talked to me about my relationship with AM - and said she understood me and supported me. She stopped fighting my polyamory and started accepting that I really could love more than one person - in part, because she was falling in love herself and it was strengthening her connection to me. EL, watching from afar, thought it was great and was really supportive of what we were doing, though she said it was like watching someone win the lottery. WI and AM explored their friendship further - recognizing there was more to explore, beyond friendship. AM and I found the right time, and became lovers. There were more threesomes throughout all this - each better than the last (how can that be, when each was transcendent?!). WI opened up about non-monogamy and her desires with AM and with me. AM and WI had a date (all of last night) and made love without me - a kind of test for them, since they really do feel mostly straight and yet can't stop kissing each other.
We seem to be moving toward a triad relationship, where I continue to have a LDR with EL, as well. But it seems a pretty closed situation - WI and AM are just not interested in dating other women, and WI isn't interested in other men, either. Maybe AM will be open again someday, she says, but right now, she's as content as any of us. I feel sated and sexy and happy. We're still a bit in the stages of NRE, sure, but we're trying to be sensible about our decisions together. Hey, my marriage just opened up, my previously vehemently monogamous wife is suddenly dating someone - my lover! It's pretty crazy and we're feeling... safe. Maybe that's the biggest emotion - safety in the face of really big change.
Based on jobs, the town we live in, and more, we are including AM in our lives as a really close friend. WI and I have kids, and AM has kids, and none know, other than that we spend a lot of time together. AM is ever more welcome to walk in the door - when our kids aren't around, she gets a kiss from both of us, before we keep cooking together or whatever the case may be. We do recognize that we're going to get caught doing this, someday. We don't really care, all that much. It feels like the right thing for us to be doing.
In other words, we're not out. Our triad isn't witnessed, but the individual couples within it are strongly witnessed and supported by each third person. We have a few outside people who know (EL, for example, or AM's old poly boyfriend whom she hasn't seen in about 10 years, but they talk every now and then). So far, that sates our need to be recognized...
And of course, I'm sharing with pseudonyms here. Thanks for reading...