How often do you walk around at work, or at the mall, or anywhere, and wonder if the people around you feel as lucky as you do? Is the person in the car next to you at the stoplight a swinger? Is the teller at the bank a polyamorist? How lucky are we, the few, the different, who have opened up our minds, our hearts and our bodies to let in more than the average man (or woman)? Sometimes I feel like I'm walking on Cloud 9. For a long time, all I could think about was how lucky I felt. Ark is an amazing husband, everything anyone could ever want in a man and a life mate. He spoils me with footrubs, still buys me flowers, and best of all, he loves and accepts me for who I am. That's what love is about, isn't it? Taking someone for everything they are; the good, the bad and the ugly. So when I go off into a foggy bog of guilt for loving someone besides him, when I apologize and tell him I wish I could be “normal” all he says is that he loves me and he just wants me to be happy. I'm doing my very best to keep him happy, too, because I really do love him and feel so honored and lucky to have him forever.
So, if I have this awesome, amazing husband, you might ask, why do I feel the need to find love elsewhere? This is a difficult question for me to answer. Everyone is raised differently. My mom always used to tell my sister and I that it didn't matter who or what we brought home, as long as they made us happy, she would accept them into the family. It was just the three of us for most of my life, with the constant revolving door of steady and not-so-steady men my mom dated.
It seems that such an atmosphere, growing up and looking up to my mom, has instilled in my sister and I the same unquenchable appetite for love and a seemingly bottomless supply of affection. But from the shuffle of men, I got the need for stability (I have never had a short-term relationship) whereas my sister has a need for change (and she has never had a long-term one). I was asked recently if I have a problem with commitment and at first I said no, but then I thought about it. “Yes,” I said, “I think I do. I commit to too many people.”
But fortunately for me, or unfortunately for Ark, I am an honest creature. Sometimes bluntly so. So I would never be a cheater, or at least I wouldn't be very good at it. I am deeply affected by NRE (New Relationship Energy) and when I'm happy I just want to share my happiness with everyone. So, instead of keeping my love a secret and sneaking around behind my husband's back to be with this woman, I chose the path less traveled and told him about it. I say this may be unfortunate because my monogamous husband does have trouble understanding the situation sometimes. We're new at this so at the worst of times he feels jealous and insecure. I've told Ark that he has nothing to worry about, I love him, and I still want to be by his side for the rest of my life. But I understand I'm seeing things differently than he is. As of today, we are still more happy than unhappy, and Ark and Kitten get along famously.
So when I have to explain why I'm polyamorous to someone, I'm still mostly at a loss. I am poly because I am poly. I don't feel right in a normal monogamous relationship. But at the same time I don't want to lie and cheat. It's not that different from swinging, people who want to explore things outside of their relationship, only in my case my husband doesn't have the same urge as I do. I wonder, are there couples where only half swings? My hopes are that Ark might grow to see the benefits of polyamory, maybe he'll meet a nice girl… maybe I'll like the girl, too! But I'm really happy just with my Ark and my Kitten right now, so I'm going to keep loving both of them hard until we get to that point.
I hope that as my experience grows and as we overcome hurdles in this, I can write articles that will help a nervous poly feel confident. Nothing good comes easy and no one is blessed freely. Keeping one relationship is hard work, and keeping more than one is twice that (or three times, or four, you get the picture). Some people won't be able to understand that you can and do love more than one person… without the amount of love for anyone lessening. I have told Ark, “My love is not a pie. My love for you is not less now that I also love Kitten. I love her -in addition- to loving you.”
What's this post about, anyway? It looks like I went off on a tangent but really, I have a point. My point is that I feel extremely blessed and lucky that my husband is even taking these steps with me. That even though sometimes he's afraid, and sometimes I feel guilty and sometimes I wonder if things would be better if I -could- lie and cheat… I'm glad I didn't. I am so glad I am honest and so appreciative for all the happy times I have because of it. At the beginning, when I was learning about polyamory via google, I read many articles about people who went through relationships and marriages before coming to terms with their poly nature. I know my relationship with Ark is strong enough to make it through this, and I hope it will make it stronger, make it evolve.
Yes, there are couples were only one half swings. I am in a relationship with a man that is in an open marriage. She doesn't swing. We do. Just thought I would throw that out there. 🙂