Defending the Raven

Bisexual. Married. Man. Open. Read On.

The More Things Change; The More They Stay the Same, Part II

I realize that Part I of this story was very long. I know that no one has posted a comment, but I do appreciate those of you who I know better for emailing me. I hope that the length didn’t deter others from reading.

I’m going to take a pause in the action because it’s important for me to stop and talk about the aftermath of the weekend and my feelings on it. I suppose it’s also an open commentary on open relationships.

When SR and I embarked on the journey of accepting each other’s bi-ness and opening our marriage up to other people it also opened a whole new world of people and interactions. We have met a lot of people who have completely open marriages or have specific rules they go by. We have even met some people who have polyamorous relationships. We have approached all these interactions with open minds and trying not to judge because we know that from our own experience you have to find what works best for your individual relationship.

We’ve never had a completely open marriage where all the options were available. We’ve had what I would call a “window ajar” open marriage. Any fully intimate interactions that we have with other people are done together. We are open enough for us to each have separate nights out alone where there might be some casual fooling around, but anything more would be for just between us. We’re even open enough to be able to handle those same type of actions in front of each other.

However, in the last couple months SR has slightly opened the door in some conversations. She’s mentioned that while she wasn’t completely comfortable with it she could understand and probably accept if I was out one night and met someone and wanted to hook up with them. Since I have this blog I do meet people online and I also have mentioned various websites I troll for fun that have led to me meeting people online. So I do have some casual flirtations with people online. Some of these people are potential people that the both of us could meet with, but not always.

SR made it clear that the random, casual hook-up was something she could be ok with as opposed to someone I had gotten to know over im or email because in the latter instance it started to border on something more personal. I can understand her concern over a more potentially emotional connection if there had been some getting to know each other online over the course of weeks or months.

This development felt good because in a way it opened a door that I was worried I might have fucked up and banged down. In a way it was a relief and actually made the want to make it happen less. This surprised me because I thought that if given the green light I’d jump right on it, but I didn’t. I think there was some relief for SR in that as well. I think it was also a statement on the place where we were together. We were really good.

After that we had also had a conversation about polyamory. At the time SR had mentioned that the idea intrigued her and that she could see us being friends to a point with someone where it could be something like that. Someone we could be good friends with as well as being intimate with. The part that surprised me most was her comment about it being someone we could be with alone or together.

We were talking more openly about things which was good and we had drawn a dotted line in the sand. It was there, but that was it. And to be clear that line was for both of us, but she knows that I’ve always been more open and comfortable with the idea of her being with someone alone. Yes, my own selfish, it would then have to be quid pro quo, reasons might be in the mix, but truly I am much more comfortable with the idea in general.

The thing is though that the Long Island experience was the first time I/we crossed the line. It was the first test of being in a more open relationship. And well we failed miserably. I didn’t handle it right at all. I didn’t pay enough attention to how SR was feeling and did lose her in the mix of the evening’s dynamics. In her case she realized that she really couldn’t handle it. That her line was back at us only doing things together. That it just wasn’t her or what she wanted. The most amazing thing for me was that she didn’t put the blame on me when I certainly had my own faults in what happened.

I wish the test had been smoother. That I had checked in with her better and that she had said no she couldn’t handle it. Or even had said yes and then changed her mind after. That would have been fine. But the fact that is was so fucked up made it harder. It brought up one of those painful conversations. The big “us” conversations. Fact is we hadn’t had one of those in a while and we had actually been feeling really good about things in terms of us. The best indication of that was how open we’d gotten in talking about things.

But the big conversations are good. You sometimes have to take a couple steps back in the process and the journey (which is a constant). That was this.

What this experience did for us was solidify where we are. That we are going to have the kind of marriage that is open to a point. It’s open to a point where there can be plenty of flirting and playfulness, but when it comes to more intimate/sexual matters with others those are reserved for us together. I do think that there are possibilities for one-offs for each of us when it comes to people we both know as a couple, but those would be special cases that would have to be handled individually.

I had a conversation with our friend R (of J&R) about the weekend. He had wanted to hear about my experience with Joey (he’s possibly pervier than I), but it also went into more. J&R have a pretty wide open relationship (That isn’t to say we haven’t heard about there own issues with it and how it sometimes hasn’t gone as smoothly as it should). I think they do push for us to be as open as them. I think it probably does come from a good place, but there is a push. He made the comment that this might not be good for me because I am the more open person of the two of us, and that I would probably end up feeling super frustrated. But the fact of the matter is I really don’t. I actually feel better knowing where we stand; what “things” are for us. Sure I would have been more comfortable with the dotted line situation, but even that wasn’t perfect because I know there was a reluctance on SR’s part in that. In a way I felt like she was doing it for me.

I suppose the reason I titled these posts the way I did was because not much has really changed. Where we ended up was where we have always been since the beginning. However, there were some changes. We had both experienced what a more open relationship would feel like. And maybe it played out the way that it did because it wasn’t handled right, but fact of the matter is that is probably how it would happen anyway.

The thing I find most interesting is that because we are so open about things, especially when they are discussed in a big way we can settle back into “us” very easily. So easily that this past Saturday was the exact opposite of the Long Island weekend. It was an evening where everything played perfectly for us.

Sorry for the cliffhanger, but I told you upfront this would be a trilogy.

; ; ; ;

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April 13, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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