Humans are a funny species. We concoct a myriad of rules and regulations (outside of common sense and morality) that we expect everyone around us to conform too and then judge or condemn when people choose to buck the system.
I have harped on this before and will do so again; as long as you are not harming yourself or others in any way, what you do with your life and time is your business. Simple as. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same open mind set as I do and so, rumour mills abound.
I have been with my husband for almost 8 years, married for almost 6. He is my best friend and my proverbial punching bag, my co-conspirator and my voice of reason, my life partner and my best friend. Those who know us well will know that we have, as a couple, endured a considerable amount of trouble and strife and here we are stronger than ever; husband and wife. We love each other a great deal and for this reason, want only what makes each other happy – no matter what that may be.
I spent a lifetime growing up absolutely adamant that I did not want to get married. Failed relationships and single parenthood led me down a path of expectant failure and not having had the best of examples, marriage for me was just another relationship status on Facebook – NOT one that I ever envisioned myself updating. Then I met my husband and within 3 months we were living together, pregnant with our daughter and talking about the future, wedding and marriage included. Suddenly, I had met this person – the right person – who would grow to be my figurative partner in crime and life crutch and he showed me that marriage was something that could and would work – here we are.
One of my biggest gripes with the idea of marriage (not in a religious sense as I am not of a Christian faith) was the prospect of staying with and being with only one person for the rest of my life. Sexual aspect aside, a marriage is a promise to spend the remainder of one’s living days with only one other human being at your side. Sure, you have children and close family and even closer friends but the idea is that you will remain wholly intimate on a mental, spiritual and physical level with the only soul you choose; perfectly acceptable for some, a tad more difficult for others.
I remember back to a time, sitting with my best friend and she had turned to me and said ‘How are you only going to have ONE person for the rest of your life?’. This question may be insulting to some but she knew me well enough (better than anyone actually) to know that this question intended no judgement, instead she was really questioning how I had come to accept that for the better part of 50 years plus, I could be with only one individual. No matter how amazing and well suited he is.
Different aspects of people and their attractive qualities awaken different parts of who we are as a person, mentally and physically. This is what my husband was and still is for me, his personality and demeanour are beautiful attractions and are what make me love him wholeheartedly. He also happens to be an excellent father, strong provider and a voice of reason, all of these qualities are what draws me to him and our marriage and why I am certain that we will be married for a long time still, if not forever. However, we as a couple arrived at a point a few years ago which led us down an unfamiliar and less societally acceptable path; a path which would see us live in a most secretive way for the longest time, until now.
Let me be clear, my relationship is and continues to be my business however I am certain that there are others out there that may be feeling the same way or living the same way. That may feel judged and ridiculed for a lifestyle that they choose to live because it doesn’t confirm to societies definition of normal or acceptable. I repeat – if it does not harm you or ANYONE else then it is your business and whom you choose to tell / share with, is your choice. No one on this planet has the right to judge you for your personal preference and choices and for this reason you should do what makes you happy. That is all that matters.
I never thought I could meet someone like my husband, who I would get along with so well and would share so many things in common with. I definitely never thought that I could meet a second person who I shared a whole other side of common traits with and whom I got along with just as well. I can assure you, I never in my wildest dreams imagined I would be in the position that I am in now.
I am the pivot in a polyamorous vee.
To be more specific, I am in a MFM (Male / Female (me) / Male) polyamorous triad and my marriage is open.
Let me start by saying that I am not a part of a sexual cult and don’t dance naked beneath the moon sacrificing squirrels and other small woodland creatures. I am not a sexual deviant and do not spend my time dancing along the line of legality. I am a woman who has a husband and a relationship with that husband. I am a woman who has a boyfriend and a relationship with that boyfriend. These two relationships are perfectly normal, perfectly day-to-day and comfortable and do not interlink. That said, my husband and my boyfriend have a friendship and a mutual interest – me. It makes it easier that they get along, they banter and they have learned (along with me) to live in this relationship in a way that works best for all of us, as well as for the children who have come to accept my boyfriend as a very important part of their lives.
This may be extremely difficult for people to understand and I can assure you, it is even more difficult to explain without making one of us sound like a victim. My immediately close friends have an awareness of my relationship status, which I find extremely important because it is nice to have someone to talk to about the ‘situation’ (as it has been so fondly named). It almost isn’t a choice as much as it is one, as much as anyone has complete control of what they feel and for whom they feel it. I choose to keep two, long-term, committed relationships and share my life with two people instead of one. Two people who I love dearly and cherish all the same, two people who deserve to be equally as celebrated and openly adored by me… so this is it, my love letter to my vee.
I had reached a point in my marriage which is referred to I believe as a ‘5 year itch’. I was fulfilled in every possible way and yet I still felt like something was missing despite having an amazing life and having come huge leaps and bounds to get to where we were as individuals and as a couple and a family. I had met my boyfriend around this time and was taken aback by how quickly and deeply I fell for him despite being married and having ‘it all’. I was open and honest with my husband about my feelings for my now boyfriend and we sat down and talked a great deal about where we were in life, where we wanted to be and what we expected from each other and our marriage. It was later my husband (he will admit this) that suggested the idea of an open marriage and potentially seeing where a relationship with other people could or would lead.
It is a scary and almost final conversation to have. Part of me felt like I was being given permission to ‘cheat’ on my husband and another part of me felt like I was being given an excuse to end the marriage, which I really didn’t want to do. The prospect of being with my husband as well as someone else was daunting and not very appealing at the time – neither was the idea that he too would be with someone else and I wasn’t sure that I would be able to handle the jealousy (which, to be fair, I didn’t handle very well in the beginning). One could be easily swayed into believing it was a trick offer and I would be damned if I did and damned if I didn’t but I did and damned I wasn’t.
The other side of the coin was the worry that my boyfriend, then friend, would even go for this idea. Would he be open to sharing me with someone? I knew how he felt about me and I knew that he wasn’t looking for anything too serious so how would we navigate this idea of an open relationship? Fortunately, he wasn’t interested in ever getting married (again) or having children of his own. He was rather fond of the idea of a girlfriend without all of the hassle and responsibilities and later, this blossomed into more than just friends with relationship benefits. 7 months after we started seeing each other, he finally admitted that he wanted to make things official and I couldn’t have been happier, though I sometimes wonder if my husband was a little happier for me than I was for myself!
Here we are, almost two years later and we have settled into a familiar, family routine, which works for all 3 of us as well as the children. My boyfriend and I have been officially together for a little over a year now as boyfriend and girlfriend and my husband and I are approaching our 6th wedding anniversary. It is most unconventional, most societally abnormal and yet perfect for us in every way. While we do have an open relationship, it is fair to say that the triad is pretty much closed. My husband, after dabbling a little in the dating world has decided that I am the only woman for him and my boyfriend, after spending many years playing the field (he is going to love that statement) has decided that I too am the only one for him. And me? I have decided that my hands are pretty full with two men who absolutely love and adore me and so I am not open to any more relationships or interactions. This is our V, our triad and it works for us.
When I have come out and told people about our situation, many questions will pop into their heads, which most are comfortable enough with me to ask and I am more than happy to answer. This works for us and I am not ashamed of our choice, of our relationship arrangements. In fact, there is so much love to go around and at any time we are all a support for each other. It is important to me that people understand that this is not about fetish or sexual needs or desires; it is not about being ‘freaky’ or greedy. There are no victims and this is complete consensual, ethical non-monogamy. We have no secrets, there is nothing shady or sneaky about either relationship and many (if not all) decisions are made as a triad.
The crux of it is, I fell in love with two people and these two people love me enough to share me with the other. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.
In the spirit of honesty, I have mustered up some questions that I think I would ask after reading to this point but feel free to give me a shout if you would like to ask anything else. Please do not contact me to tell me I am going to hell or run a pseudo brothel, it isn’t something I haven’t heard before.
Why is it a Vee and not a Triangle?
There is a super simple and easy answer for this. I am the point of a V, the common denominator. My husband and my boyfriend do not have a romantic relationship, do not participate in threesomes (yes, I get asked this a lot, as does my boyfriend), do not sleep in the same bed or see each other naked. Their relationship is more along the lines of best mates or brothers and there is no desire to be intimate with each other, nor do I have a desire for them to be intimate.
Is your husband really okay with this?
Yes. Yes he is.
I can see why it is difficult to believe and would love for him to write something as a follow up to this post so you can see his views from his perspective but I am certain that he will tell you he wants only the best for me. He wants me to be happy and he will do anything for me that said, he is not forsaking his own happiness. He likes my boyfriend, thinks he is a great guy and great for me and between us we have such an open and honest relationship. My husband is not a victim here, he does not suffer in any way and if anything would admit to enjoying a break from my nagging when I am visiting my boyfriend or nagging him instead.
Polyamory or Polygamy?
There is a difference and here is the best way to describe it taken from lovingwithoutboundaries.com
Polygamy – the practice of having more than one wife or husband at the same time. It is based on “marriage”; “polygyny” is a man being married to multiple women while “polyandry” is a woman being married to multiple men.
Polyamory – the practice, state or ability of having more than one loving relationship at the same time, with the full knowledge and consent of all partners involved; the relationships may be sexual or may not be sexual – the focus is mainly on “love” which is why the word “amore” or “love” is the root of the word – so literal translation is “many loves”. Note that the word “marriage” is not used in the above definition of polyamory, nor is organised religion associated with polyamory.
What about the children?
Up until recently, my daughters were mostly unaware of the situation. My boyfriend visits regularly (every second weekend and more) and spends time with us a family. We do family activities, days out, beach days or sometimes we just stay in and watch TV and play PS4, like normal families do (Newsflash: We are a normal family, lol). My boyfriend is a complete part of our family and gets involved in homework with the girls, chores and creature time. I chose to explain it a little more to my oldest daughter who, when I told her the truth, told me she already knew and she didn’t really care – teenagers, go figure. She looks at it as having 3 dads (her real dad still lives overseas) and treats him as she would treat any other adult in my life (relationship or otherwise). No, they didn’t choose this scenario so it is important for all of us to make sure we have time that is separate but more often than not, when we are all separated we don’t feel like the family unit that we are. My boyfriend loves the girls as if they were his own and he would do anything for them.
So do you have rules?
In order for this to work, there definitely has to be rules in place. We don’t necessarily have a written book of rules but we have verbal rules that we have sat and discussed together. We have rules as a triad and rules as individual relationships but these are mostly common sense and are just out of respect to the other parties. These relationships are different and at different stages so there are rules in place to navigate that respectfully and as sensitively as possible. We are all very respectful of each other and are very open and honest, that being the most important rule of all. Communication is key and it is vitally important to talk to one another if someone has an issue or something to discuss – not always easy but imperative. I have one rule that I need to enforce to keep me happy and that is that they are not allowed to discuss the relationship that they have with me between each other, without me actually being present. My one and only enforced rule.
Ok, so what about intimacy?
What about it? I am not comparing the ‘coming out’ experience but I liken this question to a homosexual person coming out of the closet. Do you ask heterosexual people about their sex lives? Not likely, so why would you then ask a homosexual person? I feel somewhat similar about this question in a polyamorous environment as well. I don’t ask my heterosexual, monogamous friends about their intimacy or sex life so why would it be acceptable to ask a non-monogamous person the same question? All you need to know is that it isn’t together (all 3) and it isn’t anyone’s business. Simples.
But aren’t you having your cake and eating it too?
Maybe? It was never intentional. I met a second partner and cared deeply for that person almost instantaneously. In the same respect, my boyfriend did not anticipate a polyamorous relationship with a married woman and my husband did not anticipate his wife would have a boyfriend. This is not something that we have years of experience with and the relationships are evolving with time. I am admittedly spoilt and am most definitely not starved of attention. I am extremely grateful for who and what I have and the secure and loving environment that both men have given me by working together instead of against each other. I do not take these relationships for granted and do my best to always give both of them the attention they deserve, it isn’t always easy and none of this comes with a handbook but we are a team and we move forward in that way. My best friend tells me that I am a greedy b1tch because she has none and I have two and whilst we joke about it, I am certain some people on the outside of the situation may see it this way. This is not a relationship or partnership born of greed but instead it has been born of love and deep human connection, a connection which some won’t even know in a lifetime and I have been blessed with it twice.
Surely your husband or your boyfriend must get jealous?
While this is probably a question best answered by one or both of them, the straight up honest answer is YES. Of course there is some jealousy and we are continuously navigating this as the circumstances change and the relationship evolves. I don’t see my boyfriend as often as I see my husband (generally every second weekend) and so when he is here, he is very affectionate – he is affectionate by nature – and this may be somewhat jealousy evoking for my husband. In the same way my boyfriend will get jealous if we are perhaps visiting with people who don’t know our situation and my husband is allowed to show affection with me but he can’t. Either way, if either of them get affection then they’re lucky because I am not the most tactile of people! In the early days, my husband had dabbled with chatting to a few women online and going out on his own meeting people and making new friends. I was very jealous at this point and the thought of my husband kissing another girl used to make me very upset but it was all very new then and I just didn’t know how to handle the feelings. Jealousy will tell you one sure thing, when you feel jealous you know there is a reason to be in a relationship. Healthy jealousy is born of love and we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t feel it.
How do you get this right? This wouldn’t work for me.
The beauty of polyamory is that it is a personal lifestyle choice. While it doesn’t work for you, it definitely does work for us and while you may not understand our situation, we aren’t going to change because people don’t accept that which they do not understand. We have had to spend a lot of time in hiding because we didn’t expect people to accept our choices and instead we believed (and to some degree still do) that most people are just going to judge us, are going to accuse us of living a lifestyle of vile excess. I see nothing wrong with monogamy and think that it is great if you have found the one person for you, I won’t judge you for not wanting to try polyamory and accept that this is not something for everyone.
I truly believe that being Polyamorous has made me a better person, a better mother, a better spouse and a better partner. I have never had a more open and honest relationship with anyone as I do now with both my husband and my boyfriend and I have the added advantage of constantly being surrounded by my best friends who have nothing but my best interests and the best interests of my children at heart.
We are hoping to move into a bigger home in the near future (less commuting between towns) and settle down as a family once and for all. Creatures, kids and triad.
This is how my life was meant to be, now if Facebook would just allow me to update my status to ‘In a polyamorous relationship with xxx and xxx’ that would be great!
I found Franklin Veaux’s website https://www.morethantwo.com/ extremely helpful and explanatory in all things polyamory so head on over there if you would like to know more.
I came across an article by Angi Becker Stevens regarding her boyfriend and her husband and their polyamorous V which I completely identified with as well. https://www.alternet.org/what-its-have-husband-and-boyfriend-same-time