It’s scary to a lot of people

Honey’s response to my ‘Happy Anniversary’ post prompted this one, because I know she’s not the only reader who had that reaction, or something similar.  Honey said, in part, that her first reaction to my post was fear.

“Reading your post brought up a lot of feelings for me around possessiveness and jealousy. How have you and your partner dealt with these issues or do they even exist?”

Honey, hope you don’t think I’m picking on you, your reaction is pretty common and I’d like to address it.  Interesting isn’t it, how hearing about someone else’s alternative lifestyle calls your own into question somehow?  I won’t beat that horse, I’m sure the point is made.  Thing is, I’ve been where you are, Honey, and I remember what my reactions very well.

During the 15 years my wife and I have been together, we’ve become aware of friends who were in open relationships.  I can remember reacting with a bit of titillation as well as fear to that information.  Titillation because, I mean, do I have to explain that?  Fear because it worried me that my wife might get ideas and the thought that she might want to carry on with other people scared the crap out of me.  My wife has always been more inclined toward open relationships anyway, so how much encouragement would she need before proposing that we go in that direction? Anyway that’s what my reactions were like, pretty much what Honey describes in her comment.

As I said in my initial response to Honey’s comment, we’ve gotten this reaction from our RL friends, too.  More than once, a friend has gone home with this new information and gotten the following response from their spouse/partner “Well, I don’t want to do that.”  Those exact words, from multiple people.  Wow.  Isn’t that kinda interesting? As if by disclosing the nature of our relationship, we’re somehow recommending it to our friends.  And that’s not the case at all.  I’m only advocating that people do what they need to do to be happy.  Some people do that in monogamous relationships, some do it single, some do it poly and I’m sure there’s gotta be some variations I’ve missed.

Even though my wife would have happily been in an open relationship long before now, she didn’t because she respected my need for monogamy.  So what changed?  My high school sweetheart came back into my life and rocked my world.  I became aware that I loved both of them.  I wanted to remain with my wife and family and I also wanted to have a relationship with the wonderful woman that my high school girlfriend had become.  That was my impetus for making this change.  And, yes, it does occur to me that I was fine with monogamy until it became restrictive to me.  Yeah, I’m dealing with the hypocrisy of that, it’s a process.  I mean, shit, even now, in the midst of being involved with two women, I still sometimes react with jealousy and possessiveness with regard to my wife’s or girlfriend’s other involvements.  As I said, it’s a process.

Honey also made a statement indicating she worries that queer couples can’t maintain long term relationships without some kind of major change.  While that’s probably true, it doesn’t mean they’ll all end up in open marriages.

I’m seriously not picking on Honey.  I really do appreciate her honesty and willingness to communicate with me about her reactions.  And I didn’t write this whole thing using her as an example without first making sure she wouldn’t feel unfairly picked on.  I say that because I don’t want other readers to feel like I’m going to jump on them if they express disagreement, fear, disbelief or whatever, in reaction to what I post here.  I may be poly, but I’m really a nice person, really 😉

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