AniseMama is a wife in a poly-fi triad with Darune and Kitten. B-Boy is her 9-year-old son, and they are all expecting a baby in March through Kitten and Darune! AniseMama is Pagan, Darune is agnostic, and Kitten is Pentecostal Christian, so there are all sorts of fun times in the Nuthouse that is their home!

Previous editions of this column can be found in the Monthly Columns Archives.

The Absolute Worst Way to Start a Poly Relationship

Iíve spent the last few days debating how to start this column. I have a lot to say about poly relationships, from the joys of dealing with different spiritualities (Iím pagan, Darune, the husband, is agnostic, and Kitten, the girlfriend, is Christian, charismatic, Pentecostal even!), raising a child, living in the poly closet, dealing with family questions (youíre staying with him even though he got her pregnant???), dealing with that ugly green-eyed monster, living in a house with a slob (me), a neat-freak (Kitten), and a lazy-butt (Darune), dealing with a girlfriends pregnancy, while at the same time dealing with my own inability to have more childrenÖ Oh, yikes! I think Iíve got enough topics to last me awhile!

I decided to begin by writing about how my poly relationship started, and admitting that it was perhaps one of the WORST ways possible to start a poly relationship. Iíd been aware of, and interested in, the poly lifestyle for a very, very long time. My introduction to the idea came through Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein. Yes, I know, you are all shocked. Such things have never been heard of before! I was in college when I first read it, and it was an eye opener. Iíd been pagan for several years (in the closet, my family is conservative Christian, sort of), and my sexuality was fluid. I adored sex with men, with women, with men and women at the same time (still one of my favorites), with myself, I couldnít get enough (still canít!) So the idea of relationships in which everyone happily shared everyone else was a dream for me. You mean I could have a boyfriend AND a girlfriend, and they could know about each other, and LIKE each other? WOW!

Finding someone else with similar views was a bit on the difficult side. I kept ending up with cheaters. Now, my definition of cheating revolves not around the sex or the type of relationship involved, but on whether or not the person is being HONEST with me about their other relationships. If you are open with me, honest that you are with someone else as well, Iím okay with it. I have insecurities, I have jealousies, but I deal with them much better when I know the truth. So, if you lie to me about being with someone else, then you are cheating on me. Even if you arenít having sex with them. Because if you lie to me about seeing someone, how can I ever know what is really going on?

In 2001 I began dating Darune (real names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent). We got married in October of 2001, after just 5 months of dating. Now, I know that seems a bit rushed, but we had actually known each other for 10 years, had gone to high school together, and had dated for a very short while when I was in college. We were madly in love when we first married (NRE, gotta love it).

From the start of our relationship it was open. I am not a one person gal, and he is not a one person guy. We accepted that in each other. And it worked for us. I think that is perhaps one of the biggest reasons we got married, that total acceptance that we had of one another. We loved each other warts and all. For the first year of our marriage, we were pretty much focused on each other, on work, on my son, who was four at the time, and on the various things going on in our lives.

Our first shared experience was with another woman. It was short, one night, but incredible. Darune smiled for six months afterwards, and I glowed watching him with her. Itís so incredible seeing him with another woman, watching her surprise as she finds out this average guy is AMAZING in bed. Whenever we are together with someone else, even if Iím not actually participating, he looks at me, and touches me, and I love it.

I wonít go into the details of all of the encounters weíve had. Darune has had three girlfriends (including Kitten), and the first two failed because they were not poly. No matter what problems we have had, and there have been plenty, we pledged our lives to one another. The previous girlfriends could not accept it, and could not handle the idea of sharing. It ended up reaching the point of them telling him, ďLeave your wife, or Iím breaking up with you,Ē and he always walked away from them because of it.

We were always open and honest with each other about those relationships. I have a great deal of insecurity stemming from childhood abuse, and body image issues, and have to deal with that on a regular basis. When I was jealous, or feeling neglected, I let him know, and he worked on those things that he was doing that didnít help. Weíve learned a LOT about NRE over the years, and heís a sucker for it.

Everything changed when Kitten came back into our lives. I say back because she had gone to high school with us as well. And there was heavy history between here and Darune. They had dated, he had been her first EVERYTHING. Kiss, date, sex, you name it. But she was married, we were married, and at first I thought nothing would ever come of the attraction I felt for her. She and her husband were devoutly Christian, attending an independent Pentecostal church. She was the keyboardist for the worship band!

Then she left her husband. She didnít have a choice, he was becoming physically abusive. It wasnít severe, but he was starting to throw things at her, and she was not going to stay to find out if it would get worse. She moved in with us. I explicitly gave her and my husband permission to begin a relationship. And they did.

Now, let me pause here and explain something. My ideal poly relationship was an equal triad, or even a quad, in which I was able to be not just with my husband, but with the woman as well. I am more gay than I am straight, but my husband is the love of my life. Heís my rock, and has been there for me through many very tough times in my life.

I never thought Kitten would have anything to do with a sexual relationship with me. Then one day I blew up. I was going through issues with my family trying to take my son from me based on my religious choices, I was going through health issues that were beginning to become debilitating at times, and my insecurities were rearing their big ugly heads. I blew up at Darune. While he and Kitten had dated before, they were still going through NRE because it had been four years since theyíd even seen each other. I was struggling with wanting her, at times more than I wanted him, and I didnít see the relationship ever turning into what I though I wanted.

The blow up started because he had asked the both of us to be in a threesome with him. We tried it, and she got up and left the room. After we got dressed, I read my journals to him, and Kitten sat back and listened. After one particular entry she got up and walked away. In it, Iíd said that I wanted a completely open triad where three of us could be together, but that I didnít think she could ever be that third for us, because of her Christian background preventing her from being with a woman. After a few minutes, she came back in tears and admitted that she had left the room not because of me, but because Darune was turning her off. She had wanted to be with me, and didnít think Iíd want her! (See where communication is key?) Well, letís just say we didnít get much sleep that night. Even after Darune fell asleep her and I stayed up giggling all night long!

Over the next few months all three of us were locked in NRE. Then it came crashing down. We moved to a new house, and my old insecurities started creeping in. Darune and I were having trouble because of work. We werenít able to spend a lot of time together. He worked during the day, and I babysat in the evenings. So he spent most of his time with her, and I had a very hard time dealing with that. I asked them both for some time of monogamy between him and I, time for us to reconnect, and they agreed.

Thatís when it all went down hill. Looking back, I know what mistakes I made, and how I would handle it differently. After several months, I discovered that they had not kept there end of the bargain, and that he had been telling her that he was going to leave me to be with her, and was telling me that they were not together and that we were working on things. It blew up on my birthday, with her moving out, and packing his things to try and get him to move out as well. He didnít. Once again, his commitment to our marriage, however troubled it was, won out.

Over the next few months, it was very uneasy between us. I didnít trust him. I didnít talk to her. I dealt with my family, my health, and I was going to college full time as well. I tired to push her out of my mind, to push the idea of the poly relationship that I wanted out of my mind. It didnít work.

And then, I was blown away again. In May of this year, Darune suddenly announced that he was moving out. He didnít say where, or why, just that heíd been unhappy for a long time and couldnít take it anymore. For two weeks, I tried to come to some sort of acceptance that my marriage was over. I knew where he was, I knew why heíd left, and I honestly didnít think heíd be back. Two weeks later he shocked me when he called to say that he was coming home.

We talked. After she moved out, I had not forbid him from seeing her, and had in fact encouraged him to. I knew that he loved her, and that wasnít going to change. All I had asked was that he be honest with me. He had difficulty with that though. He knew that it hurt me at times for them to be together, and thought that it would be easier if I didnít know. The problem is that I always know. He lied to avoid hurting me, and hurt me more in the process.

He realized that he did still want our marriage, he did still want to be with me, and he finally admitted to me that he wanted to still be with her as well. I already knew that, but needed to hear him be honest with me. And I admitted to him that I still wanted her as well. This shocked him. He had assumed that because I asked for that time with just him and I that it meant I didnít want her at all.

It was at that point that she and I began talking again. She wanted the poly relationship too. We all did. But communication was terrible, particularly on my part because when Iím hurting, I tend to retreat and close myself off. We agreed that we needed to be honest with each other, and that it was worth it to work through all of our issues together.

Then, we found out she was pregnant. And that it is likely that I will never be able to have children again. This is a whole new issue for us to have to deal with, but we now know that all of us want to deal with it. She does not want to marry him. She wants to be with both of us. He wants to be with both of us. I want to be with both of them. So, here we are trying to figure out how to make this work again.

She currently lives with her brother, whose wife is now expecting their third child, so there isnít much room for her. We are moving in a couple of months, and are working out the arrangements for that. A single house, or two apartments, we havenít entirely decided yet.

So, thatís a bit of our story. From cheating and lies, to sorting through everything together, thatís where we are.

AniseMama is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. She can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

AniseMama ; August 07, 2007

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