First and foremost because they are not mine. I don’t own them. And I try not to possess them. But it’s more than just a lofty philosophical ideal. I have lots of reasons for wanting “my” men to have other lovers, and most of them are selfish 🙂
When They’re Happy, I’m Happy
You know that saying about a happy wife makes a happy life? The reverse is also true. A man’s happiness can add to the happiness of the woman (or women) in his life.
It’s the main reason I pushed Brad into polyamory the moment I discovered it. He was miserable, and it made me miserable. He was working like a slave to provide for a child he didn’t ask for and a woman who represented the nail in the coffin to his sexual freedom. He resented it big time. He fantasized about leaving us and traveling the world. He avoided eye contact with me when he came home for his dinner break and avoided touching me when he finally came home for the night, between midnight and 2 am.
I don’t know how many nights I lay awake waiting for him, hoping he’d come at least put his arm around me. I was as bored with him as he was with me, but after spending all day in isolation with a 2-year-old, I was just anxious to connect with an another adult. But most nights – I found out later – he found the virtual world of women on the computer more alluring than me.
New Relationship Energy
Since we opened our relationship a little over a year ago, I’ve witnessed the light come back into Brad’s eyes each time he meets a new woman. Whether it’s a woman he imagines he could spend a good chunk of his life with or a “casual” one-time encounter, it’s an amazing feeling for both of us. It’s like he’s alive again, and his new-found energy rubs off and makes me feel more alive.
After his first couple of encounters, he was afraid to show me that light – as afraid as I was to show him mine after I first started connecting with Ben. While the first two women were strictly no-strings-attached sex, I had hopes that he would connect with the third woman, Erin, on more levels. She is smart, beautiful, sassy, sarcastic, witty and passionate about a lot of the same issues I am. He was glowing after his first date with her, but had an almost pained expression after his second. I knew he’d had a great time with her, but somehow I think his conditioning left him feeling guilty about it. He said he felt weird about spending the night with her, especially with me in the next room.
I know the feeling. I felt it both times I left town to spend the night with Clark – like I needed to rush back the next morning to make sure I hadn’t lost my family, my security. And I felt it even more the first few times I spent the night in Ben’s room. Uneasiness, dizziness… like the world was spinning too fast under my feet. I couldn’t even sleep those first few nights in Ben’s bed. I tossed and turned, not wanting to abandon Ben, but wanting to go make sure my beloved boyfriend and baby were still where I left them, safe and sound.
But three months into my sexual relationship with Ben, things are starting to feel easier, more natural. I sometimes crawl into his bed just to cuddle, without having sex, and end up sleeping soundly the whole night. I feel more comfortable hugging him and showing him physical affection in front of Brad now, and I can see it’s not as scary or threatening to Brad as it once was.
Sharing the Love
I’m exceedingly happy and rarely feel lonely anymore. I have more love in my life than I know what to do with sometimes. When Brad needs space, I spend time with Ben. When Ben needs space, I go back to Brad. When they both need space, I talk to Clark or one of my many other new poly friends online. I also have several local men I’ve been trying to find time to make first dates with. I never thought I’d say this, but for the first time in my life I’m so not-lonely that I sometimes crave alone time.
And when you have more love in your life than you know what to do with, what can you do other than share it? Nothing has made me happier than sharing a person I love with another person I love.
I’ve made a great new female friend online – I’ll call her Kate – who’s also a writer. She temporarily lives on the other side of the world, but I already know I’ll meet her in person someday. After reading her story, I felt compelled to share it with Clark, who I knew would appreciate it, and to suggest them to each other as Facebook friends. As I suspected, they hit it off right away, and we’ve all three been chatting together ever since. They are both solo-poly at the moment and since I don’t have as much time as I’d like to talk to either of them, it makes me feel good that they have each other to talk to.
As far as Ben and Brad are concerned, I wish I could grant all of my female friends they’re interested in to them. I know it doesn’t work that way, and they have to figure those things out for themselves, but I can’t think of anything that would make me happier than to see them happy with other people.
After I dragged it out of him the other night, Ben admitted he’d been feeling lonely. For a split second, I felt insecure and hurt by the idea that I wasn’t “enough” for him. In my mind, he and I had been having amazing sex and Brad, one of his best friends, was always a room or two away, so what was the problem? How could he feel lonely?
Of course those were idiotic and illogical thoughts. Of course he was lonely. One woman and one man are not a tribe. Brad and I do not provide the vast array of human personality and perspective one needs to feel balanced. Ben misses one of his other best friends who moved out of state recently, and perhaps most of all, he misses his former girlfriend of 5 years (I’ll call her Marlena).
Ben’s Great Love
Ben and Marlena are still friends – in fact, they are still like family – but Ben has never given up hope of romance reigniting between them. Brad and I are also friends with Marlena and her current life partner (we’ll call him Joseph). I’ve always admired and looked up to Marlena and Joseph, since before I even met them. To be honest, Marlena’s Facebook posts and are part of what inspired me to move to Asheville. I secretly hoped one day I could be part of her tribe. I honestly didn’t mean to fall for one of “her” men, but in retrospect, it seems fitting.
Every time the five of us have gotten together in the last three months, there’s an exciting tension in the air. I can’t help but watch Ben and Marlena’s every interaction, trying to read her body language for clues.
I spent Christmas with her, while Ben was out of town. It was the first time I’d seen her since Ben and I started having sex. I told Ben I was positive she still loved him, I could tell by the look in her eyes. He thought I was crazy, but there’s a knowing look women can give each other that transmits more information telepathically than can ever be translated into language. It was a look that said we now shared something special. It started off as a scanning of each other, to make sure we were still friends and not enemies, but over the course of the evening, it became a look of trust and understanding. I felt like she understood I wasn’t trying to take anything from her.
Ever since, I’ve been determined to help reunite them. The meddler that I am, I sent her a message telling her how much Ben still loves her and how much pain he’s still in from losing her, three years after she left him for Joseph. She said she didn’t know what to do, and indicated her feelings were complex.
Brad, Clark and Kate have warned me to stay out of it, but I can’t help but feel a vested interest in them. I imagine seeing their reunion would feel like watching the climax of a great romantic movie. I know he holds her on a pedestal, whose heights I could never reach, and I’m at peace with that. As twisted as it might sound, I feel grateful just to have a little part in the plot of their epic love story.
Not sure where I’m going with all this, so I guess I’ll end it here for now. The basic message I’m trying to convey is that we have nothing to lose by sharing our lovers, and we might just have everything to gain.