We have recently entered into our first real poly relationship. Within a few weeks we had brought her completely into our lives and our home. The experience over the past couple of months has been a very interesting insight into ourselves, what we want from poly and who we are to each other.
Today she posted a writing about being our third and some of the words she wrote caused a few things to click in my head.
One of the questions I often struggle with is why do I allow my husband (of almost 13 years) to have relationships outside of our marriage, when I do not (yet) have the same freedoms? If I am not going to be allowed to pursue and engage in external relationships freely, why do I allow him too? Why don’t I tell him that if I can’t, he can’t?
NOTE: What I mean by freedoms as spoken of here is that he is free to seek out, find, pursue and develop relationships with other people (of any sex and/or role) in any way he wishes online or in real life. There are very, very few restrictions. That might be friendships, fuck buddies, romantic, fun and flirty, D/s, Top/bottom, etc. He has complete freedom to speak with them, message with them, text, date, etc., everything is open to negotiation and communication. He also has the freedom to share his experiences with me (and I genuinely enjoy when he does) or to keep them more private. *
I don’t always have a good explanation for why I do that. I try to piece it together and always come up short of an actual explanation that makes any sense. I usually end up saying that it would just go against who I am at my core, to not allow him those freedoms. Which it would, but I know there is more to it than that.
Today it clicked and now, not only do I know why but I can properly express it.
Let me start by saying that I love my husband. I adore him. I respect him. I need him. Even after all these years together, I never tire of him. I am never bored. I crave his touch, I crave his kiss, his company. I love playing with him, praying with him, planning with him, dreaming, scheming, and everything inbetweening, with him. He is my soul mate, I have never doubted this. I can’t go a day without hearing his laugh and there is no one anywhere that I want to share my life with more than I do him.
It goes so much deeper than sex or play. We agree on the big things in life that really matter. We agree on our faith, our spiritual beliefs, how to raise our kids, how to manage our money, how to keep our home, the proper order of husband and wife within the home, what to do on a lazy Saturday, where to go on date night, what kind of vacations to take, what to do in our leisure time, the kind of drama to avoid, what kind of house to live in, and the list goes on and on like this. These are the things that make our relationship strong enough to maintain it’s core, our dedication to each other no matter who else is brought into our lives or in what way. The sex between us is incredible, but it is way way way more than the sex that keeps me steadfastly by his side.
People who know us at all know that we are as in love today as we were 13 years ago. I love to hear people describe our relationship as our girlfriend did in her writing today.
I recognize and accept joyously that the relationship they have with me is never going to be as important as the relationship they have with each other. They are married and have been for a long time, but more importantly, they are deeply in love and deeply committed to each other. She still looks at him as though he were the most handsome man she’s ever met, and as far as he is concerned, the sun rises and sets in her eyes. They live for each other, and even when things are not so great, they manage to work through it and come out stronger. Their relationship is a beautiful thing to watch and to be a part of, and I would never forgive myself if I came between them.
Clearly I am his primary and he is mine and nothing and no one can change that. We have something really, truly amazing. I’m very sure that neither of us takes this for granted.
I follow that by saying that the one thing this journey of ours has taught me about myself more than any other thing, is that I am not a monogamous person. I never have been, but I didn’t know that non-monogamy / poly was a thing until a few years ago. The more I learn about it, the more sense my life, my needs, my social butterflying, makes.
An excerpt from “The Ethical Slut” sums this up so perfectly for me.
We see ourselves as people who are committed to finding a place of sanity with sex and relationships, and to freeing ourselves to enjoy sex and sexual love in as many ways as may fit for each of us. We may not always know what fits without trying it on, so we tend to be curious and adventurous. When we see someone who intrigues us, we like to feel free to respond, and, as we explore our response, to discover whatever is special about this new, fascinating person. We like relating to people and are quite gregarious, enjoying the company of different kinds of people and reveling in how our differences expand our horizons and offer us new ways to be ourselves.
I totally get this! I love getting to know new people. I am so social and this is an excellent description of why I am. It’s not that I need someone else (besides my husband) to provide me with something he can’t. It’s not about that for me. It is about exploring connections, having all of the experiences, living life to it’s fullest. I am at my happiest, at my most sun-shiniest when I am with people. I like the way people stimulate my mind, my senses, my curiosity. I like exploring chemistry when I feel it and seeing where it will go.
Putting both of these things together in my head this morning, what I have come up with is this…
I allow him the freedoms I do, because I no longer know how to live any other way and because I know that I am his absolute and unquestionable number one. No matter who he cares about, who he loves, who he plays with, flirts with, fucks, or dates… I am his soul mate. I am his life, his sanctuary, his safe place, his calm in the storm, his best cheerleader, I am his. Just as he is mine. He is my number 1, my soul mate, my life, my strength, my security, my safe place, my harbor in any storm, my biggest fan, my most avid supporter.
It is this absolute security for me that allows me to give him the freedoms to explore any adventure he wants to explore, in any way he wants to explore it. It is more vital to me than breath that the people I love LIVE their lives. Living in such a way that leaves them the most satisfied, the happiest, the most fulfilled.
Another paragraph that our girlfriend wrote in her post explained this well and helped it to click inside my head.
(I want) someone who is my thick-and-thin love, where it doesn’t matter how many people either of us plays with, fucks, or even has tertiary relationships with, I will always be their number one girl, and they will always be my where my heart and loyalty truly lie. I don’t care if he plays with others, because I certainly plan to do the same, but I MUST be number 1.
To me, one of the greatest things about being poly is that we (poly folk) get to have our adventures and still have our safe place. It’s more fantastic than having cake and eating it too 😉 (unless it’s that red velvet cake from the other night… that was pretty delicious cake) LOL 😛