Word selection and nuance are super important in managing open relationship communication. One simple example has been wrestling with the difference between jealousy and envy. Another, more recent revelation, has been the difference between equal and balanced.
One of the most important aspects in our open marriage is that neither Jeannie nor I are looking for partners to replace each other. Instead we’re looking for partners that supplement or compliment our relationship while fulfilling some individual needs or desires. For example, Jeannie likes some aspects of impact play, but not all the same ones that I enjoy. Therefore, my partnering with Justina to play with canes, for example, complimented my relationship with Jeannie. It allowed me to satisfy a craving I cannot satisfy with Jeannie while taking nothing away from Jeannie and me.
This, is balance. This is what open relationships should seek.
Continue reading Equal or Balanced
This has been a busy and productive time for Viktor and me as we spent the past several months committed to ourselves and to our marriage. And, while things are great now, it took a long time to get that way.
In early November, we each broke up with our respective partners. Those first few days were rough for both of us, having cut off all contact with Justina and Alex. As we joked, it was an elimination diet as we went through the symptoms of withdrawal.
As we struggled to deal with our break-ups, there were times when we thought we were on the brink of divorce — not because we wanted to, but we wondered if we were really still on the same page. Did we both want the same things going forward? And if so, what were they?
Continue reading On the Same Page
When we first opened up our marriage, I never considered the possibility of either of us falling in love. I know that to many this might seem preposterous (if not simply naïve), but I had a very narrow view of love. To me, love fell into three different, and distinct, categories: familial love (love for parents, siblings, children and other family connections); friendship love (I will watch your cat for you when you travel even though I don’t really like cats) and romantic love (the all-consuming, heart, body, mind and soulmate love that I have for Viktor).
Continue reading 50 Shades of Love
Consequently, when Viktor first told me that he was in love with Justina, I was devastated because I couldn’t understand how his love for her fit into one of my categories without eclipsing his love for me. This obviously wasn’t familial love; they were having sex so it went far beyond friendship love; so it must be romantic love and thus, a replacement for the love he had for me. I tried to wrap my head around it and to make sense of how these two things could co-exist simultaneously: Viktor’s love for Justina and Viktor’s love for Jeannie. I repeatedly failed and it continued to eat at me, causing significant pain, confusion and loss.
When Jeannie and I took the plunge to open our marriage, we were pretty well versed in the risks. This is why we discussed this topic for about four years before finally taking action. I’ve also said since opening up that “getting through the challenges will only make us closer” many, many times. Generally, I’ve been right. Jeannie and I both still feel this way, too.
But what happens when the challenges mount and begin to break down your core trust and security? What happens when your struggles aren’t clear, and things continue to build up before you can make corrections? And what happens if you find yourself doubting, not just being open, but the core relationship with your spouse? Even letting the word divorce sneak into the conversation?
Whether COVID related or not, this is what has happened and it has resulted in us questioning everything. Read on for the story…
Continue reading The Risks
I enjoy flirting. I enjoy playful conversation and texts. I enjoy when a kiss is just a kiss. My point is that sex isn’t my endgame. If I meet a sexy person who is a potential partner, I relish in the chase; in the playfulness of each discussion and each encounter; in the not knowing where this might be going. By appreciating this person in this way, I’m never disappointed because whether we end up friends or lovers, I feel as though I’ve come out ahead.
This is not new for me, to some extent I’ve always behaved this way. Even when I was younger and sex was definitely meant to be the endgame, I was still happy if I made a new friend along that journey. The difference when I was younger was that I was not at all confident. So you can imagine how most flirtations ended.
There’s a fine line between confident and cocky
Continue reading Confidence & Courting
With May’s arrival, Viktor and I celebrated our second polyversary with a quiet night at home (of course, it is still a pandemic after all) and a rope scene (our first in months). While it is hard to believe that another full year has passed, I’m not going to lie – this was a tough year.
Last May found me in high spirits ticking off a long list of amazing accomplishments from our first year in an open marriage. I was thrilled with how much our marriage had been strengthened and with how far I had traversed in my sexual awakening, overcoming so much sexual shutdown and shame. Viktor and I were in a fabulous place and we were poised for another great year.
Well, it wasn’t the year that either of us anticipated, that’s for certain. And, although I don’t relish the pain and suffering that I (and we) endured, I am not sure that I would change anything.
Continue reading Polyversary Number 2
About six months ago there was a pretty seismic shift in the open/poly lifestyle that Jeannie and I were exploring. This shift focused around what it means to be IN LOVE with someone else. Nuances and semantics around the phrase “in love” became the story of the day. It was often distracting from the true topic(s) at hand, yet we did work through it and we’re truly in a better place about our various relationships these days.
Regardless of being in a better place, Jeannie and I continued struggling over the (VERY) minor issue of terms and definitions. We still didn’t have a common language to explain what “in love” meant to each of us. Then Jeannie can upon this article: “Love Vs. In Love: Which Is Better?“. While we take issue with the title (one is not inherently better) this was the first time there was science highlighted to explain the difference. This brought us to an interesting conclusion.
Continue reading What Is Love? What About IN Love?
So here we are going into week six of social distancing. Like everyone else, we have had our share of good days and bad days, neutral days and a few “I am so fucking over this” days. Through it all, we have continued to nurture various relationships, including our own. And, while in some cases this is easier done than in others, we are committed to building connections in their various forms and functions.
Along these lines, my relationship with Alex continues to blossom. We text each other multiple times a day, often sexy texts, sometimes silly ones and always communication that bring us closer together. It has been amazing to see how we are building a deep emotional connection, while sustaining the intense chemistry we first felt at our initial meeting – all through technology. We have weekly video chats that include physical intimacy that, while virtual, is also very real and authentic. I have struggled with trying to name, define or quantify our relationship, but have given up, realizing that labels do not matter; what we know that we feel for each other does.
Continue reading Love, Lust and Potential Loss in the Time of Coronavirus
I only just posted yesterday about having a difficult week and feeling so lonely even though I’m not at all alone. In that post I noted how difficult it has been to be away from Justina even though Jeannie and I are truly thriving together. These two opposing feelings are clearly not mutually exclusive, yet it has been difficult for me to reconcile this. Then along comes a post on Poly.Land, just hours after my thoughts, that explains this all quite well. It’s like Page was listening to me – or reading my blog, too!
It boils down to a couple of key points:
- Nonconsensual Long Distance Relationships
- Love Languages
Continue reading Love Languages in Isolation
Traditionally, at weddings, one of the bride’s parents might be heard to quip, “I am not losing a daughter, I am gaining a son.”* In polyamory, the corollary might be, “I am not losing a partner, I am gaining a metamour.” In fact, depending on one’s current situation, they might be gaining metamours (plural).
For those unfamiliar with this term, your metamour is your partner’s partner. At the moment, I have three metamours – two with whom I have close connections and one whom I haven’t met yet. The two most prominent metamours in my orbit are Justina and Wendy. It has been interesting to see how these relationships have developed with time and how they have been helpful for me as I navigate the polyverse. [NB: If you are just joining us, Justina is Viktor’s girlfriend and Wendy is Cooper’s primary and nesting partner.]
Continue reading The More the Merrier — My Myriad of Metamours