Dirty Laundry

It was a cool December night in Waikoloa. Jason and I had just put both the kids to bed. The condo still needed to be cleaned, toys picked up, dishes to be done, etc. We dragged our tired feet across the tile floor, past the kitchen sink, past the infant toys on the rug and arrived to our bedroom. Exhausted from the long day, we sat at the foot of our neatly made bed and stared at the floor. He knew I wanted to talk, but he didn’t know what about. I knew that this topic was risky and I was afraid that even bringing it up might change his mind about marrying me. We were to be married in just less than a month. This is where our first discussion of an open relationship began.

Two weeks before this night marked one month to our wedding date. I never put much thought into marriage, period. I was surrounded by a nasty divorce for majority of my childhood. I spent most of my energy on that instead of being the girl who fantasized about a white dress or engagement ring. But for those two weeks, and as the date came closer to my wedding, for some reason, the only thing I could think about was, “one person? for the rest of my life?” I’ve never been good with restrictions. Which is probably why I’m overweight since I can never seem to restrict myself on carbs or sugar, ha.

I started to think about the past, about the guys I wanted to date, but didn’t. The reoccurring statement was always in my head, “…but, I’m not done yet.” I had no doubt in my mind, that I wanted to be with Jason for the rest of my life. I love him on an emotional level, on a mental level, on a humorous level,  and so many other levels.

Our relationship thrives on being open and honest with each other. We both believe that it is better to speak the harsh truth rather than to tell a pleasant lie. The harsh truth? Even though our souls are so in sync, our sex drives weren’t. We would fight about it often, more than anything else. We even got doctors involved, but we received no help from them. Which lead me to asking for an open relationship. I was afraid that he was going to think his future wife was a slut, or that he might even think little of himself. I was afraid he would back out of marrying me. I put all that on the table. How could I marry someone I couldn’t even be honest with? I’m going to do it.

I began.
“I want you to know, that I put a lot of thought into this. So please don’t think that this is some random idea I’m pulling out of my ass. It is something I really want and something I have not been able to stop thinking about for weeks. I’ve even been doing research on it. Please understand that this is not easy for me to ask but…. I was wondering….
if you would be willing to try an open relationship?”

I nervously look at him, waiting for his response. It didn’t take long:

“NO.”

Followed by some words I don’t remember because I honestly started tuning him out.

I wasn’t completely discouraged, a little but not completely. I wasn’t expecting him to say “Oh! Sure, Baby! That sounds like a great idea!” I knew I would have some convincing to do.

We talked for over an hour and hadn’t resolved the issue. So we slept on it. I brought it up a few times, to make sure he was thinking about it as much as I was and to show him I was serious about this. I learned that he was afraid of losing me. “What if you find someone better? What if you leave me for someone else?” I had to reassure him how safe and secure I felt with him. The safety and security we had, came with the experiences we went through as a couple and as individuals while dating/being engaged. No one else can re-live those experiences with me, but him. It goes silent for a moment….

“Do you have someone in mind?” he asks. Now… we’re getting somewhere.

I did have someone in mind. A little over a decade ago, I would see this particular boy at all the same parties I would go to. We had lots of mutual friends but had never been formally introduced. I was physically attracted to him, but never made a move because the opportunity never presented itself clearly enough for me to do so. Fast forward about 12 years or so, to present time. “Do you have someone in mind?” he asks again. “I do.”

Surprisingly, Jason eventually agreed to the open relationship. I was ecstatic. I thanked him and fell in love with him even more in that very moment. A man who honestly and truthfully embraces me for who I am. A man who does not want to put restrictions on me. A man who ultimately wants to see me happy. As I re-read those last three sentences, I am fully aware that the “daddy issues” are starting to become clear.

My entire life I have been controlled, restricted and was never really allowed to do what I wanted. It was extremely abusive & I’m still paying for it today. Literally, because therapy is expensive. I have recently detached from those people and I am still figuring out who I am as I put myself through different experiences.

It has been almost ten months now, in an open relationship. I have dated three men in that time span. The first, was the boy I used to see at parties as a teenager. I messaged him directly, on Instagram. I was up front about everything. I let him know, I’m about to be married, but this is what I’m looking for, Jason’s cool with it. Game?

He agreed and we dated for eight to nine months on and off. Jason also had been talking to a few other girls. He started a little after I did. I do admit to feeling jealous at first. Jason was so cool with me dating other men. So why couldn’t I be okay with him dating other women? The feeling of jealousy passed in about 3 or 4 days. To be honest, I actually got a glimpse of my “competition” and I instantly became less worried. I realize that makes me sound cocky. But it was the mentality we both needed to make this work. We needed 100% trust that no matter what, we were the primary couple, and no one else would come before. No one else ever has.

So far, there have been some bumps in the road. We had to establish rules along the way, it is a learning experience after all. Here are just a few of examples of the agreements:

  • First and foremost, no sleeping with other people in our house. Our home is our safe space and the only place we have to ourselves and we both want to keep it that way.
  • Second, honesty with all parties. We were to tell each other where we were going, with who and when we can be expected home. This was more for safety reasons.
  • Family first. We do not choose our dates over our children or our spouse. Dates are secondary, family is always first.

There are some other rules, that I feel don’t need to be published. But if you have questions, I am an open book.

Eventually, both Jason & I were back on Tinder. Where we first met. We knew that would be risky. We live on an Island that isn’t really full with the most open minded people. We refrained from telling our family and friends about our new found “relationship status”. However, I did join a support group online. It was a support group I found on Facebook for mothers which consisted of thousands of other moms and even some dads. I had been a lurker for majority of my membership, until one day, I decided to ask the group “Any other moms out there in open relationships?” My notifications went crazy. Turns out, of the 147,000 people in this group, there were LOTS of people (in the mainland) who are/were in open relationships/marriages. Some of them for over a decade. There’s an entire community out there, that I had no idea about. I made a few online friends and met new people who offered great advice and shared their stories.

But of course, there were the ones who felt the need to shame me. They brought religion into it and called me names. There was one I’ll never forget “I feel bad for your kids, they’re going to be fucked up because of your poor decision making.” Of course, admin removed these people from the group, but not before I responded to that comment. “Do your kids watch you fuck? No? Guess what? Mines don’t either. What goes on in my sex life is my business and stays behind closed doors. So why would this be any different?”

Things were getting intense. But as more bumps appeared in the road, it only reassured me that I knew what I was doing and what I was getting myself into.

There was even a time when my very best friend came to me because she found out Jason was dating other women. She came to me in such sadness, expecting to break my heart because she knows how much I love Jason. She was one of the first people I had to confess to. “I know.” I told her. It was so admirable that she would tell me the truth like that, knowing it would hurt me. I love her more for doing so.

If anything, this open relationship has helped me realize that I made the right choice marrying Jason. It has also opened up new conversation for my friends and some of my close family.

There are so many other areas to hit when talking about my open relationship. But I really just wanted to start with the beginning. I wanted to share MY experience with polyamory. Also I would like to make this clear, I don’t disagree with people who are monogamous. After being in monogamous relationships for majority of my dating life, I understand. I get it and if that’s your path, I support it. If you’d like more information on Monogamy vs. Polyamory I strongly suggest watching this video:

Writing this out for people to see is the equivalent to me opening my heart to the world. You may ask questions about how my heart functions or why I believe in certain things. But I ask that you do so with an open mind. I am not putting myself out there to be attacked or to start an argument.

My only goal here was to share a story.

Thank you,
Ari

One Comment Add yours

  1. Lilinoe Heaukulani says:

    This was a such a great read!
    Since getting engaged, I am obsessed with hearing different perspectives on marriage. Learning what works for some and what doesn’t for others is weirdly calming to me. I loved hearing the reason behind Jason’s initial “No” and I loved loved LOVED his reason for changing his mind to “Yes!”
    I hope you write more!

    Like

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