Cheers Sexy People!
I hate to be bored. So does my husband. We are both Geminis (the sign of the twins), and my friend described us when we were engaged with: The four of you must swing from the same chandelier. Well said!
When we got married, we put the song “Live A Life Less Ordinary With Me” by Carbon Leaf on our wedding CD. That song and concept really spoke to us. We wanted to live an exciting, maybe somewhat unusual life together. We didn’t know exactly what that would look like at the time, but we were ready to explore that together. I thought this blog post could address my (poly) relationship with my husband, and answer a few questions that I have received from readers or friends.
When we decided to embark on an unusual life together, we didn’t at the time realize just HOW unusual our lives would become – some of it voluntary, some not voluntary. Here’s the short list:
We are polyamorous = unusual, minority, stigma
We are infertile = unusual, minority, stigma
I am a pole dancer = unusual, minority, stigma
We don’t have a “traditional” family = unusual, minority, stigma (“where are your children and who is THIS guy living here?” meaning my boyfriend).
Those are just a few of the ways that we are unlike most of society. What we didn’t realize early on was how isolating and “not included” we would feel when you start adding all of that up. We sometimes wonder how to relate to other people while they also wonder how to relate to us. I think that’s partly why we took so much time deliberating if we should “come out” or not. It was kind of “safe” living behind the shelter of the façade that we were just like everybody else. But as time wore on, we couldn’t (and didn’t want to) hide these relationships with these people that we loved who were so important to us. After quietly dealing with our infertility – first with IVF (In-Vitro Fertilization) treatments, then post trauma / grief therapy (I had lost both of my parents to cancer and old age, and then my unborn children to infertility – within several years of each other), I recently decided to take another brave step and “come out” more about our infertility. It has been met with mixed reviews, but I think it is part of our healing. We realized that with both our poly-ness and our infertility, we need to find a community of other people who understand what we are dealing with, some of the emotions that we have, maybe get some ideas about how to move forward. This blog has helped me immensely in so many ways with the polyamorous aspect of our lives. With our infertility, we are very proud and excited to be part of this momentous occasion this coming Friday in NYC, as we will be in attendance for this first-ever documentary on infertility:
Feelings of isolation, sadness and depression are… well let’s face it… they suck to be blunt. So we are actively taking steps to find “our people” and face any struggles we have with whatever tools we can find. Pole dancing has been a very cathartic, therapeutic, enlightening experience for me. It reminds me that I am strong and sexy and womanly (even in my 40s with broken reproductive parts), that if I put my mind to something, I can achieve things that seemed impossible last month or last year, that I love constant improvement, both physically and emotionally. I love personal growth. And it’s human nature to want to surround ourselves with people who have common interests. I have found that my pole sisters give me encouragement and strength, sometimes when I need it most. If I am emotionally struggling with something, sometimes defying gravity for an hour or learning a new pole move reminds me that I can “figure it out” and move past things, slowly solving each puzzle that comes my way.
So without further ado, let me directly answer several questions that I have received about my unusual marriage and household:
Q: Why be married at this point? (in response to my being married and dating, having the ability and permission to fall in love and be intimate with others)
A: I always knew that someday I wanted to be married if I found the right man. This thought did partly stem from my monogamous upbringing. But I had faith that hopefully I would know the “right” man for me when I found him. When I met my husband-to-be, I realized that this was finally someone that I could grow old with, that I could journey through life with, that shared my beliefs on quite a number of things, that we had similar values and goals, that I wanted to create a “family” with (whatever configuration that family ended up being). I also knew since we discussed it that we could design our marriage how WE wanted to, not what society told us it had to look like. Thus we wrote our own vows. They included saying we were committed to each other and vowed to love each other for the rest of our lives, but they did NOT say that we were not allowed to love other people, (thus we were not each other’s “ball and chain” or “one and only.”) We did vow to support each other and be there for each other. Eventually we decided as we went down our journey together that we were polyamorous. I love being married to my husband and serving that relationship WHILE I love my boyfriend and serve that relationship as well. It works for us. And as discussed in some comments a couple posts ago, there are also privileges that married couples can enjoy: such as going on my husband’s better health insurance policy, writing wills / living trusts together and taking care of our assets together is MUCH easier as a married couple. If one of us is incapacitated, the other can make vital health decisions for the other, etc. We opted in to these legal privileges by choice. My boyfriend unfortunately can’t enjoy any of those basic perks with me / us because it is currently illegal.
Q: How does your relationship with your husband work?
A: Well, we’re married and live together and share finances and mortgages and vacations just like any other married couple. We have two cats, a hot tub, some fish, and a lot of DVDs. 🙂 I don’t do his laundry though and he doesn’t do mine – I draw the line there. I don’t like anyone handling my dirty laundry quite literally – that’s not sexy, and maybe I’m a control freak with that one thing. Haha! But as a couple, we are also open to having close friendships, relationships all the way up to intimate lovers with others, and welcome them into our life, carefully and selectively chosen, and with each other’s consent and permission. When describing our marriage, we at first will say “open marriage” in case the recipient has never heard the word polyamory. But really we self identify as polyamorous because to us it is about love, intimacy and close friendship with a chosen few (much less about being polysexual, or “swinging”… not for us anyway). So we schedule dates and handle anything that comes up with good solid communication, we support each other’s endeavors and happiness, and we cheer each other on as any other couple. It’s just that we also cheer each other on with other relationships too. And we work as a team to resolve any bumps along the way that arise – they just might also be some bumps from our polyamorous life.
Q: How do you decide sleeping arrangements? Like… what if someone has a bad day and needs extra attention?
< strong>A: My boyfriend currently lives with my husband and I at our house. He occupies the bedroom downstairs, and we have the master bedroom. My husband and I generally sleep better snuggled up / spooning, whereas my boyfriend generally sleeps better by himself (but still <hearts> cuddling and sleeping in). So on an average week, I might sleep 4-5 nights with my husband, and 2-3 with my boyfriend, partly just based on who has to get up at what time, who is on a date nite and/or having a sleepover, who wants to talk late and who needs a good night’s sleep. To my friend’s question, if someone is having a bad day and needs extra attention, then I might make a quick phone call to the other and explain that and ask to spend extra time with the person in need. I try my best not to break plans with anyone, but at the same time, an emergency with a member of my family is an emergency. Basically, we just act like adults who can use good communication skills, and we work things out pretty easily most of the time. Honestly, it is quite similar to any other intimate relationship, except that I have two loving, committed relationships, so there is simply MORE negotiations, communication and scheduling that goes on. That is why right now, I can only handle two full-on relationships. I also need to make time for my friends, hobbies, extended family, etc… as does any other family really. We all need a balanced life with emotional support systems.
As I was writing this blog post, my husband called to schedule a date with me on our upcoming seven-year anniversary (of our unusual marriage). Hmmm, wonder what he’s planning. Whatever it is, can’t wait, husband ’o’ mine! Let’s continue to live this life less ordinary, shall we? I love you like CRAZY! Thanks for sharing this nutty ride with me! *SMOOCH*
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)