New post...at the beginning.
The year my husband and became poly (or open) was 2010. We had been married ten years. We had an 8 year old son. The switch came quickly and seemingly easily. It probably was something always at the back of our minds. When we married, we made an agreement that we would be able to spend large times apart: traveling or with other platonic friends. The summer I was pregnant, for example, my father’s wife had died and I spent two months with him across the country. Later, my husband would go spend 6 weeks at a writing conference. But there was flip side to this; because of my intense experiences with loss at an early age (first boyfriend died when I was 18, sister died when I was 22, parents divorced at age six, a short stay in an orphanage..etc) all this added up to me having “abanodonment” issue.s. My husband, an aspergery, introvert had trouble making deep relationships. I was controlling. We went with the flow. All this made from kind of an unhealthy co-dependent relationship where I felt like he was too dependent on me emotionally and for friendship and he probably thought that I was too controlling. It felt good for awhile to have false security with someone where I could pick what we did and where we went without much protest. I lived in terror of letting go because I felt that if I did, disaster would come crashing in. My husband did his part by being passive and forgetful and spacy.
We had a child and this complicated things. Our child was 100 planned. Despite getting a little hassle from the medical establishment or incredibly rude comments of surprise from strangers because I had cerebral palsy, the pregnancy was easy andthis I gave natural childbirth. At the birth, and after was were I think our relationship began to switch. My husband really cared for me throughout the pregnancy and he was seminal in the birth. I had very very bad post-partum depression and he did his best to take up the slack.
But, first a step backward. As much as we tried and tried, my husband and I never had a sex life that worked on a regular basis. He was very interested in S &M. Although we played a couple of times, this didn’t interest me at all. Sinnce his early 20’s my husband always had difficulty getting and erection. I had my own sexual issues which I didn’t quite begin to unpack until recently. First, I had had so few orgams in my life, I could remember exactly who they were with and when. These had only been from intercourse and accidental. I did have these with my husband about three times. Each time with him I felt horrible after and started crying.
Sex became that big thing between us. I did everything I could to avoid it. When I saw that the opportunity for sex was coming – ie. my son took off to a play date – I would clam up and become uncomfortable. It was always the opposite of what I felt sex should be : organic, happy, and relaxing. Once we began having sex, it would often be good and satisfiying. Although I very rarely had an orgasm, I had always found sex incredibly hot and arousing and satisfying. But, with my husband, it was just a matter of getting there. I examined all the causes for my emotions. We lived in a high stress place and were often busy. The “caretaking” roles I felt for my husband and son made me feel decidedly unsexy. My husband was not attentive in the ways I wanted him to be: i.e. bringing home little (or big) usrprises, calling from work, planning dates and so on. He was attentive in other ways. He was my best friend and always ready to have a chat and help me sort out arguments with friends. He made dinner most nights. He was the best father possible. And he was totally behind my writing career and disability activism. He viewed my disability as a strength and part of my identity; in ways that so few understood. There were 1000 ways we fit together and 1000 ways we didn’t. My sexual attraction to my husband had never been that strong. His for me had been. On top of this, as he had trouble getting an erection and that mI wantedade me feel less and less sex. I bought a book called ‘hot monogamy” we tried dates, scheduling, and it all remained difficult.
The beginning of poly.
So, in 2010, we were in the place where we spent our summers near my in-laws. I had a vivarant poetry community there and gave a reading every year. It was this year after I gave a reading,. My husband was tired and grumpy so he went home. My son and I went to dinner with the poets. During this dinner, I began to notice that one of the young poets was flrting with me. He was flirting pretty openly right in front of our friends. I wasn’t expecting it at all. At the end of dinner, he passed me a note asking me to come visit at a bar where he worked. Well, the short version is he did have a crush on me. This was a few days before his 28th birthday. I had recently turned 41.
I told my husband that this was going on. I told him that it was something wanted to go after. He quickly OKed it. I never really spoke to him about his thought process, but he probably figured “this is a kid who lives 2000 miles from us and we are leaving in a week.” My husband desired something too. He desired to go to S/M clubs and explore that world. At this point, he did not want a relationship or intercourse. I had dated someone in my 20s who went to a dominatix. He ended up marrying and yet maintained the relationship with his Dom. For whatever reason, I had never seen these two situations at odds. For me, S/M wasn’t necessarily void of sexuality but it seemed so different to the sex I shared with my husband. I can’t quite explain it.
Well, with my boyfriend, we had one night together that was one of my best nights, ever. Talking and fucking and drinking well into the morning. We had sex about seven times. Tho still no orgasm for me! Then, I went home and had sex with my husband two or three times. I was physically and emotionally completely drained and even a little ill (and still had to contend with the 8 year old!).
My beau was also starting a relationship with someone his age and the next week was a mess. But, finally, we went home and started to sort things out,.
My husband started to go to munches and S/M clubs. I can’t speak for him, but he told me that he found the situation at first sexy, but then frustrating because he wasn’t going with anyone. He wasn’t meeting people. He stuck with it for awhile. He met some cool friends who ran a rope-tying class and would go to their parties. I was tempted to go too- the women running the class where transgender public school teachers! But, I never went.
Things with my “boyfriend” were frought. The relationship was more romantic than sexual. We spent (minimum) 2-3 hours a day talking on the phone, Gchat, or texting. We were in constant communication. We shared things with were writing and reading and gossip in the poetry world. We talked extensively about women he was dating and his relationships and our mutual friends. We never had phone sex or skype sex. We argued constantly about what our relationship was and wasn’t. Because I was older, I was primarily the listener and asdvisor. He had never really been in a long-term relationship. He didn’t want to be my boyfriend. He wanted something traditional. But, still we were CRAZY for each other. Like teenagers. We made visits to each other four or five times over a year and a half and these were some of my best and worst times. We would do poetry things together and drink and have great sex. But, we would also fight about what we “were”. In retrospect, I provbably did put pressure on him to stay with me. But I was so crazy about him.
I drove my husband and friends crazy because it was all that I could think about or talk about. It was also all tied up with my writing. I also later found out that I was in early menopause! So, my hormones being a mess added to the situation. Well, things went from bad to worse. I was dragging my family out there for the summer and everyone involved was fucking miserable.
Meanwhile, my husband started to really want some kind of a relationship with someone in the SM community. After first, I was really threatened by this. We talked a lot about whether he should just hire a dom. We talked about variations. I just need time to adjust to situations (usually) and he decided he wanted a more intense relationship with sex(ie a girlfriend) so he went on OK Cupid.