Today someone asked if I still loved Jon, since I was with Winston all day, and was talking about my upcoming vacation with Kai. It was the silliest question I’ve gotten recently, though definitely not the first time I’ve heard it.
Of course I still love my husband Jon. I also love my partner Kai, and my boyfriend Winston. They’re wonderful, and I couldn’t live without them. But people still wonder what my life is like with them.
I know, I know. It seems SO DIFFERENT you guys. But it’s really not. I go to work, and Winston often takes the metro in when he wants to visit. Jon comes home and the three of us cook dinner and clean up together. We watch TV, or just talk, or just hang out. I skype with Kai on a regular basis, and visit him often.
Kai and I have been on and off in our relationship for 10 years. We have been best friends and lovers and partners. He’s amazing. And he fits in my life in such a way that I would literally feel as though I lost a piece of myself if I ever lost him.
Jon came into my life a bit later. We had an amazing love and relationship that was quite normative and monogamous for almost 3 years. Before we were engaged, we realized we were both poly, but we wanted to get some time with each other in our solo marriage before opening our relationship up.
That lasted about 6 months, before we both realized we were trying so hard to fit our idea on how to have a perfect marriage, that we were destroying our perfect marriage.
Winston is a newer relationship. He was in an open relationship with a long-time girlfriend. They have since split, and he’s still trying to figure himself out. I really care about him and I’m hoping that our relationship lasts for some time. Things with him are still new and exciting. I really love his company, and I can’t wait for him to meet Kai.
We fight. We have deep discussions. We feel jealous from time to time. We get annoyed from time to time, but we love each other. We are all free to see whomever we want, whenever we want, without prior approval from a panel of judges. Our relationships with other people are our own, the only rule is open honesty.
We have seen each other through depression and anxiety, through cancer, through health scares, through relationship drama and money issues. We aren’t all curled up at night in a giant poly pile, and often only share a bed if the spare bed is taken, which is rarely. I have individual relationships with each of my boys. Kai doesn’t date me *and* Jon. Nor does Winston. I am coupled individually with each of them. The only difference is who am I going to to be curled up with that night!
We have date nights. We have time alone and alone with each other. We don’t have sex together, and I’m pretty sure I couldn’t beg or pout my way into bed with two much less all three of them at the same time.
We are open with each other. We are open with our partners about the future, and our expectations for relationships. I’m not going to lie, sometimes it’s hard. Sometimes managing the time, money, and the energy can be totally exhausting. But I love them.
Our life is surprisingly boring, surprisingly simple, surprisingly normal. We have relationships that come and go just like anyone else. But we make sure that we handle those other relationships openly and honestly.
If a time should come that any of these relationships end, I’m certain that we would get through it together. I can lean on my boys for anything, just like you lean on your partners for anything.
A lot of people ask me when I decided to be poly. I never decided this. I always bounced around with serial monogamy or casual non-monogamy. I hurt a lot of people before I realized who I was and what I was looking for. That’s not a good thing, and I’m ashamed of it.
Going into monogamous relationships were terrifying for me before. I was anxious and depressed. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to be happy with them, and that I’d end up hurting them. My depression and anxiety have almost completely cleared up since I’ve come out.
I think it takes a specific type of person to do this whole poly thing. I don’t think that everyone is polyamorous or non monogamous. I think it probably works much like the Kinsey Scale in that there are different definitions of monogamy and non-monogamy. My relationships are both emotionally and sexually open.
For all the bickering, and the normal concerns about time and budget management, we are happy. We spend quality time with each other going to museums, the beach, the movies, bowling, or even just a nice dinner out. We make sure that we take time for ourselves in addition to spending time with our partners. I think that is really important.
It definitely takes a lot of work and energy to maintain more than one physical and emotional relationship. I feel that any relationships whether romantic, physical, familial, or platonic take a lot of work and energy to maintain. But I have never been happier or more at peace than I am with them.