I have to say that my husband did not appear to be the most reasonable person when it came to us. See what I did there? Instead of saying he wasn’t reasonable I have to admit that the way things are now he must have already had some predisposition to it I only had so much influence on how it could turn out.
He has a very old world sentiment that I love about him but it was in stark contrast to my ‘liberal female of the west’ opinions. Surely the twenty years in age might appear to have been an issue but it wasn’t just age. In fact his maturity and his experiences with the opposite sex had both positive and negative impacts on how we would come to define our relationship. I might have been younger in years but came with my own set of circumstances; I had some sexual experience too. I took his life experience to mean he would be more aware and supportive of the ones I have yet to do – but he had a choice to be a part of them or not.
He was trying to explain to me ‘how women are’ one time; I being very unimpressed with his gender bias could only look at him with empathy. “I do not know what sort of women you have been involved with in the past but that isn’t me” and I set myself for a rather tall order: now I had to prove I was nothing like ‘all women’.
Before the threesomes, before the attempts at swinging, before he even entertained the idea of trying poly with me – we had to get the ‘us’ straight – just because I had group sex before I met him did not ensure all would go well when we set out to do it. The first year was hard, I never felt so isolated and sometimes I felt insulted by the things he said ‘poly is nothing more than an excuse to sleep with whoever you want when you want’ but I had to put the hurt aside and pay close attention to what he was saying because it exposed what he was feeling. These are easy to overlook with hurt feelings, a quick temper and stubborn resolve. Not easy on a man when his woman is poly, he is not, because it feels wrong: it feels wrong doesn’t mean it is but can’t ignore it either.
It would have been ignorant for me to assume that because he was ‘easy going’ with sexual norms and had a kinky side to him that our two ways of doing things would just come naturally. My previous poly relationship of 14 years was NOTHING like this one and sometimes I wondered just what it is I was doing here. I felt as though D, my husband, was so cool with ‘what could happen’ and the things we set out to do together before we got married and after it all felt rather constricting to me: I don’t believe in marriage but he did and giving him that was important enough but surely he is not about to play the ‘obey your husband’ card?! I will not have my sexuality define by a man let alone by their standards even if we were married.
My husband and I are both highly intelligent people and very stubborn: a discussion on a potential threesome can easily turn into a three hour discussion on male and female biology and sexuality. Throw some anthropology in there and you have yourself a normal conversation at the Chateau. What is important is that sexuality is self-identifying – each of us with our own sexuality trying to mingle the two together – and this sometimes became personal. It can be difficult to talk about sex with your partner and not have it become personal. I would hurt his feelings or he mine and we each went into our trenches in a defensive maneuver, ready to blow everything up with grenades in hand, in order to not give up the battle: it felt as though the only way things would be resolved was if we were to sign a treaty.
The second year was so much better. I think the fact that I instituted, or rather suggested, a few rules which I use successfully with other people helped but I also had to tailor them to D: he often took my silence for the ‘silent treatment’ when in fact I used the time to choose my words carefully so we did not declare war. I can use big words with big meaning and he knows what they mean and yes I had to admit sometimes I got a bur up my butt and it was about winning. I like to win, but I also take great pleasure in turning my opponent to dust, spreading them around and doing a naked victory dance in their ashes. This is not a productive tactic with D but it was helpful in my career.
The next movement in our dance was to put theory into action. Gut wrenching at times but once the event was over, because we had a more solid foundation, we both felt nothing but relief. After our first threesome we sat on the couch reflecting on what the big deal was. For some men the process is what is exciting, the idea of it, watching videos and I did not deny my husband that but it was best I not assume he was prepared for extra cock in the house.
Early in our relationship, a way he chose to compromise with my poly’ness, was the whole swinging thing. You can tell by my tone I hold no affection for the endeavor. The rules gave him confidence, we would only play with other people together and in the same room, there was no ‘love’ involved but the other people were more work than it was rewarding: we now had to deal with disappointment. It is not my husband’s fault I was always the youngest in the room, that for whatever reason the husband of a couple was always more willing than the wife and to not hold that against your partner – well it had an impact and try as you might, mixing others in the bedroom wasn’t fulfilling at all. I often felt more sexually frustrated after the fact and my husband wasn’t always able to meet that desire. That put more pressure on him and it became dangerously close to resentment.
I thought ‘if he would just let me be what I am it will all work out, he will see’ but the reality that the cost could have been ‘us’ was a risk he did not want to take. I was living a whole year of monogamy, which included swinging, and it wasn’t working. I came very close to justifying an affair, when he was away at work, though it is something I have never done nor wanted too and it would devastate him on a level I cannot fully appreciate. I felt silly for even thinking that relationships end because of the sexual element but then realized it is quite common. I am however convinced of my own superiority (the world would be a better place if everyone just did what I told them too) and felt I had to at least try before giving up. He was going to have to give me some credit and try things my way: I had to be a positive example.
I was this when he met me, and he was that when I met him. I felt that I was misled in his forward thinking when in fact there was good chance I misread him all along and he might have made a few assumptions about me as well; just because he had x lovers in his past, some of questionable morals, does not mean he married them or loved them. By getting married, to which I agreed after an 8 month negotiation, he was in his own way setting me above others. I just saw numbers, sex and wrongfully assume that he would get where I am coming from: sex is just sex. Meeting someone that says she fucks other men can at first seem really cool until you are the one that falls in love with her and she is still fucking other men: he honest believed that I was only doing so because I had not met the right guy yet. My poor husband with all of his little ideas about women was now met with a woman that did what she said and meant it.
He quickly came to know that if he said ‘I want to watch you fuck another guy’ that by weeks end I would have invited someone over. He now had to be CLEAR with fantasy and reality and I had to know how to see the difference and ask for clarification. I think of the couples, females and males that we have involved sexually together and I feel a sense of accomplishment: if it wasn’t for us actually talking and listening to each other, having set ourselves up well before hand, things really could have gotten messy but we managed. Maybe it is just luck, maybe I am too stubborn to have not had this work, but I often feel I am the most fortunate one to have always met the man with the right qualities to love me as I am but I could not have done any of it had I not been me first.