And so I begin,
I suppose I've always seen open relationships as a valid option, at least since my middle school years when I started looking at this sort of thing. I grew up on a military base, and there were all sorts of things going on behind closed doors that didn't quite measure up to the recruitment posters. I guess "normal" got a bit skewed.
When I first set out on my own, I had the good fortune to fall in with a fantastic crowd of freaky poly burner types who showed me that the "friends that fornicate" club I'd developed in high school need not be a phase out of which one is expected to grow.
Somehow I managed to fall into relatively monogamous relationships for a bit. Both were never set up that way, but just happened into it. With my husband, even though he'd never been in an open relationship, we both knew at some point that would be a thing. He's not had a wide range of relationships, and I think it's utterly absurd to expect to be the 5th and last person.....anyway.
Even in our wedding vows we kept out the "and forsaking all others" bit, it's just that we were both in school, and then working, and scarcely had time to think, let alone date multiple people. After we got married and a year of him working and going to school (again) full time went by, I came to the realization that I'd been putting off opening things up because i didn't want to stress him, but it was making me stressed not getting to play with anyone (he's doing lots of homework, no cuddle time, I'm a cuddle monkey, etc) and so not getting attention was making me stressed, which was stressing him more....long story short, for a smart person I realized I was being really dumb, and any short term awkwardness would be far outweighed by the benefits.
So, I screwed my courage to the sticking place, and thus far, have not failed. We've had some rough moments, but are really good about talking things through. I joke that it's been as effective as marriage therapy, but much cheaper and with sex! I've got a husband, an 'other man' and a friend that I've known longer than the others put together and then some, who affectionately calls himself "stunt cock."
I've recently come to realize that what I've really wanted all along is a house with maybe a quad of equals and a passel of kids. I'd love to have another husband and wife, and be able to have babies with both men. (I'm not advertising for applicants, btw) The idea of living in a moderately rural area with a large garden, some animals and a house full of rational grownups makes me feel warm and fuzzy. I also realized that I've been deliberately not seeking that because I didn't feel I deserved/could get it so I sought what I felt was 'reasonable'. I came to these realizations in observing the way I play chess, of all things.
So now I'm going for broke. I'm not rushing things, I'm keeping in mind that there are other players here and everyone needs to be respected and their needs honored, but I'm at least admitting to myself what I want, and working with that goal in mind while trying to be present in this moment as well. It's a delicate journey, I fuck up from time to time, but I think we're getting the hang of it. People are becoming comfortable in new and surprising ways, and I've almost found myself the "poly married lady who knows" among my friends as a lot of them are just starting to try this out. It really is a beautiful thing to see people deliberately own bits of who they are again, and they inspire me to do the same.
I'm joining here in hopes of being among some like minded folk, and sharing what I know with those who ask as well as learning from those who are where I'd like to be.