This is twelfth in a series of interviews with everyday people who are living a poly lifestyle (either polyamorous or polysexual), from their individual perspectives. They were each given a series of questions, and asked to pick several questions that they would like to answer from their personal experience.
This twelfth interview is with a female musician in her mid-30s that I met through my blog. She is married, ethically non-monogamous, and lives in Michigan in the United States in a non-traditional marriage with an older man (20 years older) and participates in a triad. She uses an online persona to connect with other ethically non-monogamous people to explore this world without fear of discovery. I hope that you enjoy her interview.
Q: What lead you to ethical non-monogamy?
A: My husband and I started out just using fantasy in our bedroom involving another man. Then I met our third, even though he and my husband had been in a band together for a year before that. I realized right away that he had a serious crush on my husband. I brought up the idea of maybe bringing him in to our bedroom. One thing led to another and it really happened. Afterwards, we realized that we might be able to make us three instead of two.
Q: What’s the most challenging thing in your relationship(s)?
A: Right now it’s about time. We have to “steal” time away to be the three of us. Our third’s husband has some health issues, and the added stress of having his husband away for long periods of time doesn’t help his issues. Sounds kind of normal! Meaning, what kinds of things cause married people to break up, not spending enough time together and forgetting what made them so special. Making a relationship work with three people is just as difficult and rewarding.
Q: What’s the one thing that you wish you’d known before you got into it?
A: That I could be jealous. I have never been a jealous person before, and I find it disorienting and unpleasant when it crops up now.
Q: If you care to share, can you describe some of your relationship structures? (eg. do you consider yourself polyamorous? Polysexual? Open relationships or closed?)
A: We have a semi-closed triad with a gay man, a straight man who is sexually attracted to only one man, and a straight woman. Our third is in a long term partnership with his husband. So, we’re semi-closed. None of us, including our third’s husband, is interested in pursuing other poly relationships.
Q: Have you “come out” to your family and friends and if so, how did that go? Do you recommend it?
A: I came out to my sister who doesn’t really care. We have a small group of mutual friends who seem to suspect, but no one says anything. Our third’s husband knows that my husband and our third are involved and doesn’t want to know any more. Would I recommend it? Well, that’s really up to other people. What I yearn for more than anything is a flesh and blood person who understands this relationship type rather than people knowing that I am involved with two men. I would like to be able to feel comfortable saying, “Oh, you should see the way my two husbands gang up on me when I’m being silly and try to make me laugh hysterically.” Or just listen when I get confused about every day relationship problems. That connection is what I would recommend for others…not acceptance from those that may not understand.
Q: If polyamorous, do you find it is more like a relationship choice, or more a statement about who you are inside? (like being gay for example) What one thing (or things) did you learn along your ethical non-monogamy journey that really helped you?
A: The labels are not important. My husband and I are involved with a gay man who participates in ALL aspects of what our life is right now. We refer to him as our Unicorn because he loves both of us romantically and sexually. That’s quite rare I am finding. (Our third wanted me to say for him “Unicorns really DO exist!”)
Q: How do you handle when jealousy or insecurity issues come up (either with yourself or your partners)?
A: Communication. Then some more communication, and then more communication on top of that. It can get quite uncomfortable expressing those feelings to others, but if you don’t acknowledge it in the first place, then it eats you up and spoils the wonderful life that you are experiencing. We recently had an email exchange concerning our individual jealousies, and it was awkward to write it out and see it “on paper” for everyone to witness. But once it was out there and everyone said their piece, we all felt the peace that comes with confession.
Q: What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of living an ethical non-monogamous lifestyle?
A: I have two best friends. I have two people who love me for who I am. I have two people who I love just as strongly in return. It sometimes becomes overwhelming and brings tears to my eyes that I am so lucky; that we three are so lucky. My husband and I have become better people as a result of this other man.
Q: What advice do you have for anyone considering an alternative relationship? –Have you ever tried to have a relationship with a monogamous person? If so, how did that go?
A: I have only ever had monogamous romantic/sexual relationships. My husband and I were together for thirteen years before our trip down the yellow brick road. It was and is a rewarding marriage. We didn’t enter into this poly world because we were lacking. Quite the opposite, we had so much and could give away without depleting what we are as a couple. You can’t grow in love without giving it away first.
Q: When you have issues or problems with your lifestyle, where do you normally turn for answers, or what has helped you get past it?
A: We turn to each other. Either all together or separately. We all have different perspectives on life and that has helped with our difficulties greatly.
Q: How has being in a poly relationship improved your communication skills?
A: My husband says that it has made him listen more. I’ve noticed that our third, who is quick to avoid difficult conversations, is more at ease now than when we first got together. I have noticed for myself that I need to not be so quick to react and stop and think. My husband and I have always had a very open communication relationship, but this poly life requires more from us than we realized. We can’t assume that we “know” each other’s minds anymore. We are in uncharted territory, and you can’t predict the other person’s next move like you could before. It’s almost as if we are newly married and getting to learn each other all over again.
Q: Is there any other thoughts that you would like to share that I did not ask?
A: Our long term plan is to eventually move in together and own a small bar in Florida while being semi-retired. My husband is 55; our third is 41; and I am 35. We hope to make this happen in ten years…this always makes us smile to talk about and plan for the dream.
Thank you so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to write this interview for me. Conducting the interviews is so rewarding, and I think the poly community really enjoys hearing from different perspectives how this poly thing can work. If anyone in the community who is currently in a poly relationship of some sort would like to be interviewed by me for this blog, please hit me up the via the contact link here on “Loving Without Boundaries.”
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
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