They go out, they have dinner together, they are married, but not to each other.
“My relationship with you right now is one where we are completely open with our partners about what’s going on, and we kind of meet and we hang out,” the man says. “That’s what we might call like, kitchen-table poly.”
Since high school and college, the woman says she was never inclined to only be with one person. She remembers wanting to date whomever she wanted, and believes, in terms of evolution, people weren’t necessarily meant to stay with one partner for long. After being married for a while, she recalls having a conversation with her husband about how she missed connecting with other people.
“I didn’t really think that I would ever get married, and then I just met this wonderful person,” the woman says. “But then I remember having a conversation with my husband, and saying I really just miss connecting with other people in more intimate and even romantic ways.”
At first, her husband wasn’t pleased with the idea.
“I just said, ‘I don’t want to break up,’ and I love him and I don’t want to break up with him,” the woman says.
But much to her surprise years later, it was he who revisited the idea of an open marriage.
“He started bringing up this conversation again, and he started asking me if I would still be interested in something like an open marriage, an open relationship,” the woman says. “I was thrilled because I really thought that it would be something impossible for him.”
The man – her partner, not her husband – explains that after making the decision with his wife to be polyamorous, they wrote up a contract with rules. But over time, they both eventually broke those rules.
“It would be pretty funny because she would get home and she would be like, ‘Hey, so I did this thing,’ and I would be like, ‘Yeah, I had been wanting to do that, too,’ and there would just like be this relief of like, good, we can move past that,” he says.
He says more than in a monogamous relationship, jealousy becomes an issue in polyamorous relationships because each person has to own their behavior outside of the relationship and work through any problems that arise as a result, instead of pushing them aside. The woman says it was the foundation of trust she and her husband built over many years of marriage that now allows them to have an open relationship.
“Of course there may be times when I feel insecure because one of his partners has some aspect of their personality or their appearance that I don’t have, but I know that we are not trying to replace each other,” she says. “That is absolutely not the goal.”
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Written by Acacia Coronado.