In the beginning of our relationship, we were monogamous. M wanted to keep me to himself, and I wasn’t able to deal with my significant other having sex or a relationship with someone else. You see, I was just out of an extremely emotionally and physically abusive relationship, and one of the weapons in my ex’s arsenal was cheating.
M and I were both okay with the situation until M introduced me to ”A”, a woman he’d been in and out of an internet romance with for years. It was lust at first conversation. I was smitten. Yet, I had a hard time reconciling being married and having a relationship with someone outside of my marriage. Even when all parties were involved with full knowledge and agreement. Probably the influence of a strict Christian upbringing.
I won’t lie. I still feel like I was pressured into giving polyamory a go. I consented to trying long before I was ready. That’s partly my fault, though. M was willing to wait till I was ready, and didn’t really care if A got tired of waiting. What’s made to be will find a way. Oddly enough, me not being ready had nothing to do with the relationship’s demise. And when it was over, I didn’t chalk it up to polyamory being a shitty gig. Instead, I acknowledged the fact that A just wasn’t the one for us, and went into the next attempt with a more open mind.
Eventually, M and I decided that it was only right, him being the owner, that he be allowed to have sex or a relationship with whoever he wanted, as long as he’s up front about it. By that time, I had begun to understand that it wasn’t about me not fulfilling him, so much as it was about living up to the vow I’d made: that he was in total control, and could do whatever he wanted.
But… what about me?
I had permission to ask permission to sleep with whoever I wanted, but he got to decide. And until recently, we were both okay with that, too. Though I’ll admit, I didn’t take advantage of it, really.
Not too long ago, M and I went through a rather rough patch. When we came out of it, we decided to take polyamory off the table until we got our shit straight. We weren’t actively looking for anyone, anyway, so it’s not like it changed much. And bringing someone else into our already rocky relationship wasn’t the best idea. But we left the door open just in case one or both of us changed our minds.
The other day, M told me he’s not overly fond of the idea of another man having sex with me. He said as he gets older, he’s becoming more territorial. And that at least for now, he wants me to himself. He doesn’t want me to hide my attraction to other men, and if there’s someone I’d like him to consider, I’m still supposed to ask. But more likely than not, the answer will be no. Unless something changes again.
Oddly enough, I’m okay with it. I’m not really interested in chasing other tail. Except, perhaps, another woman. And what’s funny is the yoyoing (for this isn’t the first time he’s changed his mind) doesn’t really bother me. I’m pretty good at rolling with the punches.
It’s still weird, for me, though, being with someone who gets jealous of my interactions with other men. Not the kind of jealousy that sends people into insane rages, mind. Just the healthy kind. Most of my exes puffed up all proud at the idea of some other person wanting me. Being jealous never crossed their mind.
Sometimes it frustrates me. I have a tendency to make assumptions, instead of asking him, and I assume his jealousy is a testament to his ability to trust me. But the other day, we talked it out, and I realized that while he is, sometimes, just as insecure as I am, his fear of losing me to someone else is about his opinion of himself, and not his perception of my loyalty. And even though knowing he trusts me makes me feel a little better about the situation, I still feel like I’m failing him because he doesn’t know he is my world. Which is hard, and sort of depressing. And reminds me that while it’s okay to cruise along on autopilot sometimes, you still have to actively show your partner where he or she stands.
Insightful article. :)