The Poly Side of Life


The Poly Side of LifeLast night I attended a Holiday Party thrown by Guy and his misses. There are a lot of thoughts and feelings that I would like to unpack, though they seem to be fading quickly as fatigue overwhelms me. I had not drunk that much in a couple of weeks and the mix of alcohol and medication has made my stomach rather unhappy today. But it was a wonderful party – well worth the aftereffects.

Earlier in the week, I came down with the flu. The first year that I can remember, not getting the flu shot and it hit me. I had spent the rest of the week in bed – canceling appointments and dates – hoping that I would not spread the flu to those I care most about. So by the morning of the party, I was more than ready to be back to the world of the living.

Unfortunately, Hubby picked that day to have his first kidney stone. Yes I know, I should be sympathetic, after all I have had numerous stones – even having lithotripsy, so I do know the excruciating pain that can accompany them. I felt bad that he was in pain. I felt bad that he had to take himself to the clinic and later the hospital to get a CT scan, but someone needed to be home with the kids. I felt guilty for not simply worrying whether he would be ok (I knew he would be), but for also wondering if he would get home and be able to watch the kids so that I could attend the festivities.

But it all worked out in the end. He was no longer in pain when he returned home and seemed fine with me going out – after all the kids had already been fed and would only be up for another hour. He would be able to take meds if necessary and relax with the computer or tv.

I am not sure how to describe the party. The last “vanilla” party of theirs I attended, I was still getting to know people and Guy had been busy for most of it. This time I knew a lot of their friends and even counted some of them as my own. It was interesting to sit down next to someone and ask the usual party question, “So how do you know Guy and Misses?” And get answers anywhere from “oh they were our first swinger couple” to “we live a couple of doors down.”

I have always tried to be fairly vague in answering such questions when attending events with or hosted by a significant other that was not Hubby. Last night was no exception, until Guy started bringing people over to where I was and would introduce them to me as “And this is my girlfriend, Zoe. She is awesome.” I was quite taken aback. At one point, I had wondered if he hadn’t had a little too much to drink, but having seen him intoxicated before, this was not it. He actually told his friends, his sister, the world, that I was awesome! I spent the evening beaming.

Perhaps this doesn’t seem so note worthy, after all he has told me that he loves me. But it has been my experience that while I allow my boyfriends into my world – my friends and family, I have had little reciprocity. I remember numerous parties where I would be prepped ahead of time on what was “appropriate” to talk about (no Hubby, no kids, no poly) and what was “appropriate” in terms of behavior (no initiating any kind of public display of affection, not constantly hanging around). While looking back at it now, I wonder how I dealt with the feelings of shame – perhaps by going out as a couple primarily alone or with people who were more of my friends than his.

It was extremely late when I finally hit the pillow. After most people had left or found a place to crash, I sat down on the couch trying to figure out how to move the pillows with my mind so I could lie down. (Did I mention the copious amounts of alcohol in my system?) Guy pushed them on the floor with his hands (why didn’t I think of that?) and lay down with his head in my lap. I looked down at him as I ran my nails over his scalp. I have no idea how much time elapsed before I shifted to lay down on top of him. Nor how much longer until he took me upstairs to his bed. I assume he figured that sleeping with his wife in bed would be more comfortable for me than sleeping on the couch or with someone else. I didn’t have the will to argue. I slipped into a t-shirt of his and beneath the covers until daylight (and the dogs) woke me.

Everyone had gone by that time and Guy came in to join us. I remember chatting with Guy and his wife as I lie between them. I remember petting their dogs. I must have fallen asleep at some point and cuddling up to Guy because the next thing I remember, she was gone and he was extracting himself from my embrace telling me that I could lay for awhile before getting up to help clean up. It seemed so perfectly natural – a combination of comfort, love and trust. I have found another family. I have found another home.


Zoe first described herself as "bad at monogamy" until about five years ago when she and her husband discovered the term that actually described her: polyamorous. Since then they have opened their family to other partners. Zoe is currently juggling relationships with her husband, their two kids, her husband's girlfriend, and a slew of friends/loves that she calls her tribal poly family. She can be reached on facebook or on twitter @ZoeHanis

Leave A Reply