Non-Monogamy & My New Marriage: What I Learned (& Where I Stand)

(Note: This is the third installment in my non-monogamy series. Read the first & second.)

I sat curled onto Jonathan’s lap, tears clouding my vision as waves of emotion washed over me. I couldn’t stop sobbing.

“Why are you crying, honey?” Jonathan consoled me softly.

I kept insisting that I didn’t know what was wrong, that I was just glad to be home, that it was such a long day. But I did know. I was confused. Terribly, gut-wrenchingly, mindfucked & confused.

I can’t even begin to describe the perplexity I felt when trying to pursue another knowing my husband was at home. Consenting to all of this, of course, but still at home. It was the most disorienting situation I had ever been in, & throughout the date I could feel myself trying to squirm my way out of it, either by running or retreating.

But I kept repeating to myself, Feel this fear; feel this disorientation. Lean into it. If this is what you want, Ev’Yan, you must lean into it.

It started when I sat in the sun at the coffeeshop waiting for her to arrive & I began playing with my wedding band. Through this habitual act, an immediate surge of guilt coursed through my veins, igniting my whole body in condemnation.

In that moment, I wrestled with taking it off & slipping it into my pocket, but that decision seemed silly. This wasn’t an affair. On the contrary it was one of the most purest forms of fidelity I’ve ever experienced. There was no real reason to take off my wedding band.

So I left it on. But I found myself hyperconscious of its presence around my finger. It seemed to weigh a little more.

And I kept talking about him. How wonderful he is, how much history he & I had, how deeply & completely I loved him. I wasn’t trying to bring him up, of course; I was only making conversation, but I see now that it was rather awkward & tasteless of me.

And how exactly was she supposed to respond to my gushing? I believe at one point she said, “I hope I have what you have some day.” I winced at that.

As much as I tried I couldn’t help it.

I couldn’t stop myself from speaking about my partner. He is an integral part of me. I am a significant part of him.

I managed to speak all of this sentiment to Jonathan amidst sniffles & sobs. And he listened quietly, every so often brushing a tear from my cheek with his middle finger.

I told him how incredibly vulnerable I  had felt all day; how awkward it was to try to woo someone apart from him.

“This was a first time for you,” he said gently. “You’ve never done anything like this before & it involves a lot of complex emotions & moral challenges. It’s important to go slow. . .”

And that’s where I am currently: taking it slow while wrestling with the mindfucks.

My curiosities are still present, but they’ve taken a backseat to the uncomfortable realities non-monogamy briefly exposed me to. And then there are the moral challenges, those tricky little facets of open love that beg of me to let go of social norms & fall into an alluring alternative companionship. It takes work & diligence to sort through.

With my mind’s eye, I can see non-monogamy working for Jonathan & I. I can see us maintaining an intimate, lasting friendship with our lovers. I can see us swapping stories & secrets & spit. I can see us growing close & closer, together immeshing lifestyles & beliefs & preferences.

It would be a bit messy, perhaps even a little complicated, but the idea of it being a shared experience — with level-headed & like-minded adults, no less — ignites optimism with me.

It’s possible.

But I do question my desires. I question them because while they are harmless, they have been formed from a wanting that can be easily mistaken by something else: a desire for female friendship; a desire to access my fluid sexuality; a desire to dive deeper into sexual awakening; a desire to actualize a very specific fetish. . .

It’s all very complicated.

So where does that leave me?

I’m open.

I’ve put myself out there. I’ve joined dating websites & put my best face forward to be judged amongst gorgeous bisexuals with free-spirits & the capacity to love beyond borders. I’ve flirted with cuties at the grocery store, pushing carts full of organic oranges & lemons. I’ve made myself available, to people & to the Universe.

And in my availability, there has only been wisdom attained, not physical experiences. And that is OK; that is enough.

I will focus on the already joyous things in my life & bask  in the completion of my marriage.

And he & I will continue to have heart-to-hearts on this matter. We will continue to hypothesize & wander around minds around the idea of opening up our marriage. We will continue to point out attractive people, & play with our deepest fantasies & lusts. We will continue to grow & explore & make space for potential friends, partners, & lovers.

We know that if it’s meant to be, it will be.

But we’re open.

Apart from that, one of the greatest lessons I learned from this experiment was this:

Don’t get your sugar & produce at the same store.

While it may seem sensible, it creates a bit of awkwardness when the girl you used to date bags your groceries.



If you’re curious about non-monogamy, check out these books:

Sex At Dawn
The Ethical Slut
Opening Up

And the best polyamory/non-monogamy site I’ve seen:

© 2018 Ev'Yan Whitney. All rights reserved.