My husband and I spent the week following the cruise replaying the sexy details and discussing where we felt our journey headed next. Having previously expressed my desire to explore deeper connections, my husband wasn’t surprised when I brought up the idea of us each finding a boyfriend/girlfriend to spend time with privately. I was excited when he divulged that he felt his first connection, or at least a potential and curiosity for one, with a special girl on the cruise. It was relieving and joyful to share in his epiphany. Any fear he may have had about my intrigue surrounding my new male friends seemed to fade away as he empathized with how incredible that sort of connection felt.
J and I began texting every few days and talking on the phone weekly. There was always more to discuss than there was time to. We started from scratch getting to know each other. We traded stories about past experiences and new relationships that were evolving. Our chats were full of laughter. Our mutual love for conversation surrounding sex, love and relationships was obvious. The frequency of our exchanges increased steadily.
My husband noticed my sudden increase in attachment to my phone. He was surprised that J and I could spend more than an hour talking. He checked our phone record to determine exactly how much communication we were having. Discovering that I had sent 88 texts to another man and only 16 to him during the same time period was the first twinge of insecurity my husband experienced. We’ve become quite familiar with these twinges, which I refer to as weebles. Sudden bouts of discomfort caused by jealousy and/or insecurity. I tried explaining that the amount of texts seemed logical as J and I were just getting to know each other. We had lots of ground to cover. Soon after, I caught my husband reading my texts. I flipped out. Feeling distrusted was a foreign feeling. But my over reaction spurred a hesitation in him, as he wondered what I had to hide. Looking back, I don’t blame him for being curious. It’s the first time I had shown such interest in another man. I can imagine the slew of unfamiliar thoughts and feelings that evokes. My husband explained his discomfort with me giving more of my attention to someone else. He needed to feel like he was still and would always be the most important person in my life. That was the first lesson I learned. If I was going to be enthralled and distracted by the excitement of new relationship energy, I had to ensure my husband’s needs weren’t neglected in doing so. It requires a conscious effort on my part to make him feel special. I found that giving doesn’t come as naturally to me as it does to my husband. And that I both required and appreciated honest feedback in order to maintain keen awareness of how I was or wasn’t meeting his needs.
The ego can be a real bitch. He felt like he was competing with J for my attention, adoration, and desire. He admitted that he cringed at my excitement over another man. My instinct was to fight his emotions with logic. What is your fear? Didn’t 16 years of bliss provide enough security to trust that I wasn’t going anywhere? We’ve always considered ourselves lucky. We’re still crazy in love. We’ve endured only two short rough patches in our entire marriage. We enjoy one another’s company above all else. We share laughs and cuddles every day. We support and encourage each other’s goals. Allowing the freedom to maintain our individualities. With understanding and acceptance of our personal weaknesses and struggles. Honesty and communication are at the forefront and push us to grow stronger in the storm of conflict. We make an excellent team. We are dedicated to our marriage and aim to nurture it so that it may always feel like our sanctuary. Why wasn’t that enough?
We seemed to work through that first hurdle with relative ease, or maybe enough time and emotion passed that everything appeared stable and progressive as we accepted this new norm.
My husband texted sporadically with his potential from the cruise. His interest seemed to grow and I envisioned them being a nice match. About six weeks into our long distance friendships, the hubby and I sat down to discuss things. Our perspectives were vastly different. He was finding it difficult to maintain a relationship. He didn’t have the time or energy required to invest in developing a bond. He felt like adding another human being to his already busy schedule was work. His desire to find another woman to “complete his circle” was not great enough for him to make it a priority. He considered a different outlet. His need for sexual variety was important, so maybe having a regular fuck buddy would be a more fitting venture. A woman with whom he could be comfortable and friendly, but with less of a commitment.
I, on the other hand, had become smitten with my friend J. Quite entertained, intrigued, and content with our developing friendship. He was opening up to me. The more I discovered about him, the more I wanted to know. I anxiously anticipated his texts and calls. The conversation never disappointed. I told my husband that I was satisfied inside my little bubble. I believe my exact words were, “I would be happy if you and J were the only two men in my life.” That statement surprised and concerned my husband. It made him uneasy that I was being fulfilled on a higher level, so much so, that the inability to share physical sexual experiences with J (because of our distance) didn’t seem to impact my contentment or desire to continue exploring the friendship. It was more than sex. It was what I had been searching for and exactly what instigated my husband’s anxiety.
It’s interesting now the vast unknowns we couldn’t have anticipated as we considered polyamory. Our speculations circled mainly around fantasy. Hurdles were expected, alongside joy, but the monumental growth and change we would endure as a couple and individuals in the coming months were unforeseeably life altering.