So, a couple months ago, I learned about polyamory for the first time when I had a sex dream about X and we reconnected. I had never heard of the word “compersion” or “ethical non-monogamy” before that. I’ve lived a sheltered life and had no idea the world that was out there waiting for me.
Basically within minutes of hearing about it, I wondered why I had never thought about how a lifestyle like that would work for us
Let me give you a little more info on me. Until a couple years before I met hubby, I was a serial monogamist. I monkey-branched from relationship to relationship, never single for long. All my relationships were long-term (as in over a year, up to 8 years) and I was engaged a couple times. I always had a lot of guy friends. In the brief periods in between boyfriends, there was a string of friends with benefits or flirtations or near misses. I was constantly flirting and getting attention from guys I wasn’t dating. If sex is the measure of cheating, I never actually cheated on a boyfriend. If you measure by any other metric, I guess I did cheat on some of them.
After I broke up with the guy before hubby, I made a conscious decision to be single and figure my shit out. I needed to be happy and independent and alone. I was in university and having a great time. I partied, had a great group of friends and among them were some friends with benefits. It was great. I had a few different guys to fill my different needs. I wasn’t tied down or committed to anyone, unless you consider that we were friends, so we were important to each other in that way. We partied and if we ended up in each other’s beds, we did. If we didn’t, we didn’t. It was fun. I got to explore my sexuality at the same time I was exerting my independence and figuring out what I wanted in life.
Those guys were still my friends after hubby and I became a couple. We stayed friends for years. There was never a sexual element to our relationship after hubby because we were, quite literally, friends first. We don’t see each other any more, but they are still special people to me. For the first few years that hubby and I were together, I spent just as much time or more time with my guy friends. We had jokes about how hubby was my husband, another friend was my boyfriend, and another was my work spouse. It was how our life worked and there was no thought that this was strange. In retrospect, it was a whole lot like polyamory without sex.
Over the years, hubby and I talked several times about “opening up” our relationship. We, like most people, focused on the rules and there was always this “just sex, no emotions” detail to it. Well, for me, that wouldn’t work. I’ve only ever had sex with people I already had an emotional connection with. The idea of casual sex never appealed to me.
For years, I would make up elaborate fantasies to be able to have sex with other men in my head. To make it OK for me to have real, meaningful relationships with people that involved super hot sex. In retrospect, it was stifling to my sexuality, but it was the only way I could have fantasies in my alone time without feeling guilty for my cheating thoughts. I never once cheated on hubby. But I had a ton of very strong emotional connections with very hot men in my very hot sexual fantasies on my own. In reality, I also had strong emotional connections to real men.
So, when X told me about polyamory, and multiple simultaneous romantic relationships, and ethical non-monogamy, it was like a light bulb turned on. All of a sudden I understood a huge part of myself. That part that had been screaming to get out for years. That I was refusing to pay attention to due to societal pressures.
I realized that I had compartmentalized that part of me and neglected it for so long. Like all things that we neglect, it made itself known, and once I recognized it and acknowledged it, there was no putting it back in its box.
So much of my life made so much more sense when I thought about polyamory. I talked to hubby, and it made sense to him too. It was an amazingly smooth transition actually, when I think about how it could have gone. Obviously, it was something we wanted and needed in our life. I’m completely aware of how fortunate I am to have such a loving, caring, supportive, open-minded, and all around amazing husband. There’s a good reason we are happily married, and a lot of that has to do with how we accept each other for who we are.
I’m terribly heartbroken at the loss of X in my life. I love him deeply and completely and breaking up with him was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. It would be so much easier for me if I could be angry and hate him. But I’m not and I don’t. I still just want him, and hope that we somehow manage to reconnect again in the future. If we don’t or even if we do, I will never ever forget how grateful I am to him for helping me to recognize such an important part of myself. He’s been instrumental in helping me become a better version of myself, happier, more loving, a better communicator, more confident, and so much more sexually free. In addition to the amazing experience of falling in love and the immense happiness I felt for those short months we were together, he gave me the amazing gift of identifying a very important part of myself, and that gift is priceless.