My fiance fell in love with another man six months ago. In the time since, they’ve developed a relationship, moved in together, and began sharing a life. I’m there too. We’re still in love and engaged, that hasn’t changed. But everything else has.
It’s been challenging.
We don’t rush into things or make rash decisions. We have a family to think of and our relationship is built on respect and communication. So, when we decided to explore polyamory, we did our research. We stayed up late sharing our hopes and fears. In short: we put in the work.
But there are some things books and research papers can’t teach you. Nobody can tell you how you are going to feel. I assumed it would be difficult to watch them together but, with a few exceptions, it hasn’t been. I’m mostly unbothered when they share affection and intimacy.
No, the biggest challenge for me has been confronting myself. She and I have been emotionally conjoined for over eight years. Obama was still in his first term the last time we spent a night apart. We both work from home, raise our kids together, and even spend most of our recreational time together. I haven’t been alone in a very long time.
Now, even when I’m right beside them, I’m alone a lot. When he’s here, she sleeps in his arms. When the sun comes up, she stays in bed to cuddle and talk to him. She naps in his lap on the couch after lunch. And when he’s gone, even though she’s in the room with me, her mind is often with him.
Most challenging: she gets lost in him. There are times that I see the way she’s looking at him and I know she’s entirely unaware that anything else – including me – exists except the two of them.
Nobody tells you what to do with yourself when this happens. I’ve been forced to develop healthy thought patterns and to consider myself in different contexts. I have to see myself as an independent entity. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure how that works yet.
The polyamory part – loving someone who also loves someone else – isn’t as hard as I thought it might be. We’ve always believed love is magic. Love is our religion. Because of that, we didn’t go out looking for someone to fill a specific role in our relationship. We decided to open our hearts to love.
And it’s been amazing and wonderful watching the two of them fill each other’s vessels. They’re like two flames that burn so intensely it looks like a single inferno.
The real hard part, for me, is knowing I’m on a completely different path. I’m trying to come to terms with who I am as a person and it doesn’t feel anything like a blazing inferno. It feels like I’m cupping a candle in the rain.
Here’s the thing though, without polyamory I wouldn’t even be trying. I’d just be stoking her fire and basking in its glow like I always have. When you make someone else responsible for your happiness, it feels like your life is easier. But it’s not. You’re just doing the emotional equivalent of lip syncing through growth.
Now, just six months since they fell in love, I’m starting to see the possibilities. I’m learning to love and care about myself. Who knows, I might fuck around and become a complete person. The sky’s the limit.
Polyamory isn’t just about meeting new people. It’s been great getting to know myself. I can’t wait to see what happens next.