Cheers Sexy People!
A funny thing happened to me on my way home from pole fitness class. An old friend was in town, a friend that I used to have a crush on at different periods of my life, including my former life as a serial monogamist. We had never gotten together in the past because we were never “single and available” at the same time back then. My friend had let me know he was going through a rough time, and I was looking forward to re-connecting with him, giving him a shoulder to lean on, and finding out what was troubling him.
We walked over to a Mexican restaurant across the street where they were doing karaoke night. It was INCREDIBLY LOUD in there, with the karaoke dude screaming songs in Spanish over the music while he was waiting for his next victim to come up and sing. It was quite empty, so one of the female bartenders started singing off-key loudly over the music, to one, two and then three songs. I thought…. REALLY? This is where we’re going to have a sensitive, intimate conversation about troubling stuff? Ha! This is hilarious and annoying at the same time! THIS should be an interesting night.
Turns out his three year old marriage is on the rocks. His wife has been living in an apartment for six months, somewhat estranged from him. They are considering talking to a couples therapist soon, but the jury is still out on that one. Is it even worth it, they wonder? Where has the love gone? They miss each other as they feel they are each other’s best friend. But he doesn’t know if he can forgive her, you see. She cheated on him. She had an “affair” with another man, a man he has never met. How did he find this out? Well, first she revealed to him that she was lying about her finances to him, so he had to deal with that revelation. He had asked her if there was anything else that she was keeping from him or being dishonest about. She said no. Then as time wore on, and their marriage continued to crumble, she revealed that she had been cheating on him with this other man, and had been seeing him for months behind his back. Ouch! Upsetting and hurtful. He was especially upset that she had what he called “an affair of the heart.” (vs. just sex I suppose). So she moved out and they have been trying to figure out what to do ever since. She claims that she is no longer seeing this other man. But she’s not sure if she wants to go through couples therapy or not.
Oh, but the plot thickens. This is only part of the story.
The other part of the story is what I know about my friend – the husband in this equation. I find everything that he is telling me very ironic…. and filled with hypocrisy. Why? Because he and I have gone on dates, per se. This man knows that I am in an open marriage. How does he know this? Well, let’s see. Let’s start with that he, my husband and I all had an MMF threesome about four years ago, while he was dating his later-to-be-wife. When this occurred, I thought, well, he’s not married. If he wants to fool around behind his girlfriend’s back (if that’s what he’s doing), that’s his business — I am being ethical in MY relationship, and that’s all that matters. We had a blast. My husband was participating, so obviously he consented to our threesome fun, so whoop-dee-do, let’s party, fellas! This girl is enjoying her sexual awakening!
After he was married, during another evening out, he informed me that he and his now-wife have a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell sort of arrangement. I ask him what does that mean to them exactly… he says something along the lines of … “well, she doesn’t want to know about it if I fool around with other women, just… don’t talk about it.” Hmmmm, that sounds… fishy… to me. Plus at this point, I have identified as full on polyamorous. So at the end of the night, we kiss, I let him touch my boob <gasp>… it started getting steamier. Then I thought… I just don’t know about this. It feels… wrong. The WIFE didn’t tell me she’s in a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” with my old friend. I think I’m not cool with this. So I say… “I’ve had a great time, but I gotta go.” After all, I have a husband and a boyfriend waiting for me. Do I really need to fool around with my friend who I think may not be acting ethically with his wife? No, I don’t! The next time we meet up, I tell him about my poly blog I’m crafting and text him the link later to check it out. I never hear a word from him about it. Hmmmm.
So fast forward to the loud, obnoxious Mexican restaurant…. So who is lying to who here? His wife lied to him and cheated behind his back. But, but…. so did he…! Also, he tells me he has never informed her of these other women, because, well… “she didn’t want to know about it… and these women didn’t mean anything to me.” Do you see the hypocrisy here? DOINK!!!! I mean… What. The. Fuck! Also, I happen to be one of those women! (I was so glad that I didn’t ever let things go too far, and I listened to my Spidey senses.) So… you don’t know if you can “forgive” her… ? Well, she doesn’t even get the chance to try to forgive you for whatever you’ve done behind her back in this fishy arrangement, because you have not been honest and revealed your shenanigans to her!!! Also, he’s telling this story to a known polyamorist who has a blog about ethical non-monogamy. MORE IRONY! And yes, a part of me hopes he does not read this post. But somehow, I don’t think he will…
Fast forward to last nite…. I am out to dinner with my old time friend, one of the first people I had ever come out to as polyamorous – so she knows my deal and accepts me, and we are having a nice dinner and chat. We are scheming for my big blowout birthday party this spring. Yay! As we are dining, we run into an old friend / colleague of mine. Turns out his second marriage crumbled recently, he’s twice divorced now and he has moved back to the east coast, and he was on a date. Well, hello date! You look an awful lot like his former two wives! I have no idea why his second marriage crumbled and it’s none of my business. But I do know that with his first wife, he cheated on her several times… because one of them was with a friend of mine. That deception behind his first wife’s back couldn’t have helped their marriage. Were there more deceptions? Perhaps…
I have to wonder… if there are people out there in this world who KNOW they are not capable or desiring or even GOOD AT loving only one person for the rest of their life… why don’t they just accept that about themselves, be honest about who they are… and stop lying to both themselves and the people they are in relationships with? Why can’t we just say… hey! I suck at monogamy! I’m NO GOOD at it! And I don’t even like it! (if that’s the case). And then just be ethically non-monogamous! What is so horrible about that? NOTHING! Stop kidding yourselves, I say. Seems simple to me. YES, I know that society makes it hard, because people who are ethically non-monogamous are a minority. But that doesn’t make it impossible, does it?
I found the article I link to below to be a propos to this discussion. Here’s some great excerpts that I think are wonderfully related:
Before I knew of polyamory, I thought I was defective and unfit to be in a relationship. After years of disappointing my partners… I resigned myself to remaining single.
Our nation is one of serial monogamy. Polyamory applies the same concept of loving more than one person in a lifetime, the only difference being that these relationships overlap in the case of polyamory, because life is too short.
So often monogamous couples have mismatched libidos or similar challenges, and have limited options on how to remedy that situation. This adds up to a LOT of people not getting their needs met, which results in a bunch of unfulfilled and unhappy folks. Our brains thrive on novel experiences. It’s natural for that to have a sexual outlet, as sex is such an integral part of our makeup.
Why is it acceptable in our society to love more than one sport with a passion? Read different books? Why is it acceptable to love more than one child? Yet it’s not okay to love more than one person romantically at a time. My friend says, “Love is like an ocean, not a bathtub. One person doesn’t need to get out in order for another to get in.”
…embarking on emotional uncharted territories comes with risk. But it can also reap huge rewards… [a polyamorous person] is living open and honestly in a culture that treats sex as something to be ashamed of. I have huge respect for their authentic approach.
Before you dive in, however, please take note: Regardless of the relationship style, the following traits are desirable for ANY healthy relationship: agreeability, confidence, conscientiousness, and, the trickiest one — being emotionally stable. In order to be emotionally stable, you need to embrace honesty and love yourself and others for who they are.
There’s a lot of talk about the importance of honest communication. Here is what that means: talking to your loved ones about EVERYTHING, including things they might not want to hear. Guess what? You’re not allowed to say, “I married my best friend,” and then keep secrets from them. You should be able to be yourself and share everything with your best friend.
As for our friends and lovers, our love is fluid. They come in town, we love them for the weekend, and then we release them back into the ocean like a message in a bottle. The respect and acceptance is there, and so is the glorious freedom.
Click below to read the full article, if you wish:
What do you think, dear readers? Anyone else have similar anecdotes to share, humorous or not, or thoughts on the topics here? I’d love to hear from you.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
I think that everyone has it in their head that at some point, they can get married and settle down and everything will be just fine… until the moment they discover that they’ve screwed the pooch because they married the ‘wrong’ person, or have learned that being monogamous is much harder than they’ve been told.
I know my ex, when she first started cheating on me (and before we went open and poly) got pretty pissed when I cheated back on her, believing that she was within her rights to cheat on me… but I wasn’t – hypocrisy at its finest, huh? I didn’t exactly get mad because she cheated on me – I got mad because she did it and lied to me about it even though I didn’t believe any of the lies to begin with because, duh, there is a way to tell when your woman has been with someone else.
I read about your friend and the fact that his wife didn’t want to know if he was cheating and I don’t think he was in the wrong for not telling her, as odd as that may seem. I’ve learned, over the years, that if someone feels justified in cheating, they’ll go ahead and do it and with the knowledge that if they can cheat, their partner can cheat, too – but will get really pissed if they do. Should he have told her? Nah, it wouldn’t have served any purpose other than to piss her off and further justify her reason for cheating – it becomes a vicious circle, in my opinion, and one that would only make the situation worse.
I don’t believe that going to therapy is going to do anything other than maybe put a lot of stuff on the table that neither of them want to deal with. I think it’d be better – and if they wanted to stay together – for them to work on an open relationship which as you know would take cheating off the table. I know when my marriage went open, I actually felt better about what was going on; I’d rather know that she was sleeping with other guys, knew who the guys were, and all that stuff, something that was much better than her being ‘out in the street’ and I have no idea what’s going on with her because despite her feelings on things, we still very much loved each other and didn’t want to divorce.
Thank you for contributing here and offering your insights from your own experience, kdaddy23. I really appreciated hearing your perspective. Lies, deception and dishonesty are never fun on the receiving side. But it does seem that there are people sometimes happy to dish it out, eh? I used to be a cheater. But I found it made me feel uneasy and not good about myself. So I stopped.
I don’t know that an open marriage will work for these two. For one, they live with the husband’s parents. And that’s just well… awkward. LOL And also, I’ve mentioned polyamory and open relationships several times to the husband, and he does not ask me any questions about how it works, or do I feel it helps my relationships and such. I think he is just dis-interested. I think this is most likely because he feels pressured to “act monogamous” with his wife, “because that’s what you’re supposed to do.” And maybe in his mind, he can do whatever he wants with his time when he’s away from her. I just don’t see that as healthy for anyone, or can lead to anything good. Time will tell what happens. It’s not for me to decide. But I did observe from the outside in this case. I wish them the best, and hope they can figure out a solution, with as little pain as possible.
Story of my life!
When I was in high school and college I knew I had trouble with monogamy, and there was shame in that. I liked having sex with new people. I thought, “What’s wrong with me?” I also thought “Well, when the right person comes along I won’t have any trouble.”
Then it came time to start my career and find a husband. I thought a lot about what makes a good husband and family. I’ve always been a very practical person when making major life decisions. I found the perfect person to build a home with, who is particularly ill equip to keep me sexually satisfied (though I don’ t know if any one person could do that). My son was born, I got really depressed, I cheated, and I worked out of that to a place I’m at now- a place of accepting myself without shame.
It’s not an easy conclusion to come to- “Monogamy is not for me, and there’s nothing wrong with that”. I wish it were easier for everyone. It’s the shame that kept me cheating, and when I let go of the shame, I was able to start be honest with my husband and open up. But that all has been over a 3 year process. And we’re still working on opening up.
I think it’s a good thing to talk about, though. I hope blogs like yours and mine help get the word out to people that it’s OK to struggle with monogamy. It’s just important to keep working towards self-understanding, honesty and integrity.
P.S.- read all about my journey at atimeofyearning.wordpress.com (“shameless” plug)
I am right there with you. I had alot of shame too, around me not being able to be monogamous and also, my sexuality. I’ve always loved kissing new people that I’m attracted to. And well, when the kissing is good, sex is not too far away from that when it starts to get really steamy! I didn’t get married until I was 37 and had met an open minded man who understood me and my needs as a result. I get to be myself and be free with him. This bird needs to fly! Thanks goodness I realized that about myself over time, and then discovered polyamory and had that AHA! moment. I’m glad you figured things out for yourself too in a way that works for you and your loved ones! I’m so glad for you that you have found a place of accepting yourself without shame. You have a cheerleader in me, that’s for sure! Keep on trucking, and keep on blogging! The more we get the word out, and illustrate other ways to live, the better in my opinion. Self-understanding, honesty and integrity are themes that run through my life that I really enjoy and they help keep me strong, even through rough patches. It’s a foundation I can build on. I hope others can too if that helps them. For me, honesty is the best policy. It’s also easier to keep track of. 🙂
You go, girl!
“Why can’t we just say… hey! I suck at monogamy! I’m NO GOOD at it! And I don’t even like it! (if that’s the case)”
Sometime they themselves don’t want to believe it and sometime they deny it. There are also some who feel obligated to follow the crowd. We are hard programmed to be monogamous. Hopefully situation will change.
I agree, I think that is very true! It takes guts and an open mind to question what we have been taught by society, and to look within to see what we truly are / what we have the capacity to be, and to walk to the beat of our own drummer. Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your thoughts!