WHEN ONE LOVER IS NOT ENOUGH (Continued)
Lindsay's 10-year-marriage ended after the pair tried polyamory and her husband left her for another woman. But she she says it put her "firmly on the poly path" and she would never again commit to just one man.
When Lindsay's husband first suggested opening their marriage, she thought "it sounded a bit strange".
A few years later, aged in her early 50s, she had another look. "I said: 'I'm not really sure that I'm happy about you going out with other people, but I'd quite like to'. He said that was fine. He had this desire to imagine me with someone else."
Her first attempt was too casual and she got bored. Soon though, she started seeing a married man. They went on dates and weekends away.
The experience was "mind blowing". "I said: 'it's great, I've got one person to talk about this with, and another to talk about that. This is just too good to be true'."
She felt it was unfair on her husband, so she said he could meet others too.
Before she knew it, he was getting serious with another woman. "I was in a bit of a sulk. I wasn't happy about it."
Two months later, he told her he was moving in with his girlfriend. She was devastated. "If you're poly, the last thing you expect is for someone to leave you . . . Why would they leave you, when they can have both?"
She went through months of "bloody hell".
Now, she's settled. "I don't have a partner and I couldn't care less either, but I don't think I could go and commit to one person ever again."
"It seems blatantly obvious that one person will never be everything for me. They can never do everything, or be everything, or fulfil everything."
Hamish and his wife have an open marriage. They both date other people, although he says it is easier for women than men. They have both had to work through jealousy but he says they gain happiness from each other being happy.
Hamish, aged in his 30s, first read about polyamorous relationships in a book when he was 10, but he never thought it was possible.
About eight years ago, his wife of eight years admitted to him, eyes brimming with guilt, that while he was at work, she had been visiting Internet sex chatrooms. "I said 'that's cool', I was fine by that."
The pair, who have a young son, came to an understanding. At first they were limited to Internet contact with others, but no one in the southern hemisphere. Over time, they have progressed, slowly, as his wife has grown more comfortable.
He says his wife was motivated by sex drive. "I'm less sexual than she is. I don't have her level of drive. For me, it's part of a bigger picture."
Her first involvement was hard. "Intellectually I was OK with it, but emotionally I was really tripping out."
He has read extensively on the subject, knows the pitfalls, and has worked through his jealousy.
"Now, I'll come home from work and they've been having sex. Her boyfriend is still there. We sit in the bedroom and have a chat."
The pair have always focused on being fair.
He says it is not a lifestyle for the faint hearted. "If I had to give advice to people getting involved with it, to quote my favourite book: Don't.
"That said, I think the rewards are huge. In our case, I think it's been excellent."
ZACHARY, MARY AND ANNA
Mary, Anna and Zachary live in a menage a trois. Mary and Anna are both bisexual and the three of them plan a commitment ceremony later this year.
When people first learn Zachary has two "wives", he can tell what most of them think.
"You can see their brain ticking over - they think it's a total sex fest 24/7".
Zachary, Mary and Anna have lived together for a year, and they say the benefits extend way beyond sex. "It feels weird when we don't have three of us," Anna says.
Their sunny Wellington house has a woman's touch – or women's touch. One of the girls, who snores, sleeps in one room, the other two share the other. But there's a fair bit of bed hopping.
They all agree there were plenty of teething problems.
"It's not smooth sailing by any means," Zachary said. "We had to do lots and lots of talking."
Now, their relationship seems very relaxed. They talk in unison and laugh a lot. They work hard at being egalitarian in their affections. If they hug one, they hug the other.
They plan a commitment ceremony soon and joke about finding a third wife, or second husband.
They rewards, they say, are immense.
"For me, because I'm bisexual, I'd always go from wanting a man to wanting a woman to wanting a man," Anna says. "This situation balances me out."
They say there is extra strength and support in their group. "Every woman needs a wife," Mary jokes.
Zachary adds: "The best thing for me is if Mary wants to go shopping, Anna can take her . . . That really is every man's dream."
Two's company, but three's allowed!
Last edited by Kiwibigluv; 08-02-2010 at 12:09 PM.