After the first blissful year, and the months that followed mine and D's wedding, the real intricacies of our inner selves started to come out. There was passionate fighting, great bubbles burst, harsh realities- in other words, the honeymoon was over. Now we would have to really know one another, and know ourselves, if we were to continue.
Oh, how we struggled. I remember one day lying in the bathtub crying because I couldn't reconcile the fact that I am sexually attracted to women with the fact that I'd just married D. When he came home, I told him everything I was feeling, and I was feeling terrible, thinking there was no way for me to be myself and be a good partner for him. He'd known that I was bi from the get-go, and he told me that of course it was okay, just please tell him first if I was attracted to a woman I wanted to get involved with. Ultimately, I rejected his understanding- thinking, "that's all well and good, but it would never work in real life."
I felt I'd made a huge mistake, and would never be able to fully be myself, now that I'd gone and got myself married. I thought the only way to have the kind of love I wanted was to be a free agent, make no promises, no commitments, live alone, and have casual affairs. This was just as vexing a proposition because of course I want intimacy and love, not just sex, of course I want a mental and spiritual connection with a sexual partner. I could see no option that seemed plausible, and I stopped searching for one.
I held this view, as painful as it was and as isolated as it made me, for the next 3 years, until a serious of events rattled me out of my self-made prison and set me on the path I am on today.
D and I passed each other in the halls of our home during that time, sometimes not really speaking for days, sometimes talking for hours and feeling completely unsatisfied because nothing was solved. We tried to make a go at it again and again, always coming down to- what happened to our closeness, our passion, why can't we have good sex anymore?
We agreed again and again that there was love there, too precious to bear losing, and at times had beautiful moments with one another, but they were far too infrequent, and the dark cloud hanging over us that I now recognize for my part as a lack of bravery and self-knowledge prevented us from really getting closer to one another. It was so lonely. I focused on my job and D focused on his band, and this is how it went for far too long.
Eventually I met someone through work (a metal art gallery and school) that I was very fond of. D and I both became good friends with him, but more often he and I would go off together to do metal-related things and spend time alone together. He would show up at the door and say "Hey D! I'm here to steal your wife!" and we would laugh about it, but we all knew what was going on. The friend was dating my boss at the time, which further complicated things, as she and I had always had a very intense boundary-breaking relationship(she is the one who gave me my copy of "The Ethical Slut"!!), and she could see him getting closer to me as they drifted apart in their relationship. Eventually he came to live with us when they broke up, and I stood there with a straight face, up on my high horse, denying to both of them and D that I was being divisive, all the while writing madly in my journal about what I wish I could do with that man. Not proud of this. It cost me my job, among other things last September.
When the friend left for a new life out west, I was devastated by the whole thing. I hadn't figured out what to do about D and I, I had complicated everything with my not-so-secret feelings for my friend, and I had lost my job that I loved and one of the primary people in my life along with it.
D stuck with me, but it was harder than ever.
I believe it was the first week of November when I acted all of this out by getting drunk with a friend of mine and cheating on D. I felt terrible and desperate doing it, but felt so good to be wanted and passionately pursued sexually. i had no romantic feeling for this person. This is another loss I incurred with my dishonesty- he just happened to be there when I was at my breaking point and I have not been able to really be friends with him since.
I told D the next day. I packed up my things and left.
I spent the winter in the beautiful home of a dear friend, where I sat by the fireplace with my hound, day after day, doing my school work and trying to come to terms with all that had happened.
D and I continued to see each other- to go on dates- and he forgave me almost immediately- not that his heart wasn't broken, but he saw the circumstances clearer than I, and in his great love, decided not to punish me, as I was punishing myself, and he could see through the pain I'd caused him and still believe that I loved him.
In April I came home, after once asking if D wanted me to, and him not being ready yet. We talked about everything that had happened, and started opening up true communication with one another. Some hard times came in the form of our beloved dog Jake succumbing to cancer, and I believe that it was the love that we showed each other through that very difficult experience that made the next step possible.
I went with my best friend Justyn to Cape Cod for the 4th of July weekend. I met S and spent a night feeling drawn strongly toward him, but at the same time feeling like I was doing it again-wrecking everything again.
When I got home I told D about S, but not all. I didn't tell him I felt strong emotions for S. I was feeling crazily conflicted, trying to muster up the courage to take the right path, and an argument we were having one night brought all of these things, all of these elements I've laid out here, together in one blinding moment of honesty, love and self-acceptance.
D asked me for the millionth time- "What do you want!!??, Just tell me so I can give it to you!"
I said "You're not going to like it."
He said something like "For christ's sake-what do we have to lose?"
I said "I want to see other people, and still be your wife."
This huge smile came over his face-that's all? He was immediately excited, turned on, eager to hear more about it, and totally accepting.
A lifetime of lies, confusion and self-denial. OVER.
I couldn't even speak. I told him I was done speaking, and we made love.
We have not stopped talking about it since. We have not stopped making love. We reveal more each day, as it all comes clearer and clearer, and I finally have my sweetheart back, and he finally broke my defenses down to their core.
5 years was such a long time to wait for this. I have really been waiting, preparing, all my life, I feel. I feel I needed every experience along the way to bring me to where I am today, and I forgive myself, and I am just grateful for all of it, especially the unquenchable love of D.
I will never feel that who I am is wrong again, and I will never lie to protect someone from myself again, because it's crystal clear to me that this has been the cause of much regrettable, unnecessary hurt imposed on myself and others.
I am free like I've always wanted to be, and never knew how to be. I feel a great responsibility in this. Free=responsibility... such a hard concept for me to grasp. I will never be the same, thank the gods.
To any hardy soul who's reached the end of this tale- thank you for listening. Thank you for helping me to share my love and pain. Thank you for understanding that there are many paths, and that I am one who took many wrong turns before getting straight as a human.
Polyamory is most definitely not about sex to me. It's about accepting myself and allowing love in, unbounded, in all it's infinite forms. It's about the working for the rest of my life to be a better person and have the full, tangled, gorgeous experience of this existence for the rest of my days.
Whew! Time to walk the dog.