Inside a polyamorous relationship
Stuff.co.nz 1 May 2013
…… Apart from his wife, I’m the only woman Mick’s ever been with. They started dating at 18, and have been together nearly 15 years. They arrived at polyamory because she didn’t want to have the kind of sex he liked, and vice versa. Despite this difference of opinion, they shared too much – and needed one another too much – to simply divorce. They had a child together and a life that worked. Both read the book The Ethical Slut and decided that including other loves would help their marriage rather than harm it.
Mick and I saw each other almost every weekend after that first date. We talk online almost every day. There are times when I think I’d like more, though not necessarily from him. If I were to have someone in my life I lived with or saw every day, he would almost certainly be another man.
Part of our arrangement requires some suspension of disbelief. While I know that we probably won’t stay together forever, I find it hard to imagine my life without him. We navigate this boundary through a heady mix of affection, humour and some denial. Denial comes in handy. It lets me enjoy our time together – a day, a weekend, a few hours – without sadness or worry or doubt. Those feelings come later, when I’m alone, or when I wish I wasn’t.
I sometimes envy Mick’s wife, though not in ways most people imagine. They share an intimacy that lacks the physical dimension I have with him. Her particular sexual interests lay more in the direction of things kids do in junior high, or in S&M that Mick has no interest in pursuing.
I envy her for waking up with him every day. I envy her for her official status.