Wednesday, 19 September 2012

How Not to Open a Marriage (or 14 Steps to Opening a Monogamous Relationship, part two)

In my last post I described how hubby and I made the initial steps to opening our monogamous marriage. In this one I describe the ever so complicated steps of meeting a guy, wanting to fuck him, and somehow ending up with a boyfriend. Sound complicated? It was a million times worse. To say this relationship could be the subject of twenty posts is an understatement. I have a diary of it, 30,000 words at least! Crazy times. But, for now, I’m focusing on them through the somewhat less chaotic gaze of Anita Wagner’s 14 Steps to Opening a Monogamous Relationship; the first 8 were discussed here.

Having fairly successfully progressed along the path to polyamory, I was merrily enjoying a little freedom. Nothing too crazy, just flirting and snuggling and maybe even the odd non-sexy kiss, but definitely more than your “average” mono couple would normally accept. One weekend I went to a festival and spent some time enjoying my new found freedom. Then I met James. This guy was gorgeous. If you could describe the appearance of my perfect guy, it would have been him. Needless to say I did nothing, no snuggles, no cuddling, no little kisses, nada. I told him I was poly (such a good girl, I was so up front) and we exchanged email addresses. We lived about 6 hours apart from each other so I didn’t expect anything to happen. Within a couple of days we were exchanging internet porn, after a few more days we were writing porn for each other. Yep, this guy shared all my filthy fetishes. HEAVEN! After less than a week I realized I couldn’t carry on like this and I needed to chat to hubby about it. We hadn’t made any rules about internet sex and I didn’t want to do more without permission.

So, what is the ninth stage in Wagner’s 14 steps?

“make a date to talk (with your partner) again and to make a plan as to how it (a poly relationship) might go initially. Put it in writing. NOTE: It is vastly preferable to take these steps BEFORE you meet and develop an interest in a new love”


Way to screw up the plan! I had two choices. The first was to ask Nic and hope he would be ok with everything. The second was to forget the new guy and return to the plan. I was convinced that this new guy was an ideal way to “break hubby in” to me having a more long-term and more physically intimate relationship with another person. There was distance. It really was (at that time) just about getting extra kicks to masturbate with. It was safe. For good or for ill, I decided to ignore the plan and speak to Nic. To his amazing credit, Nic had very few doubts. He mulled it over for a few days, he told me to play while he was at work to see how it felt to come home to me knowing what I had done. He was not only fine with it, but he had enormous amounts of compersion.

During the weeks of online play time, I practiced the 10th step in Wagner’s plan: thinking about Nic’s self-esteem, his confidence, and any sense of abandonment he might express. I continued to reassure him how much I needed, loved, and wanted him. We continued spending more, not less time together. All in all it was going well, or so I thought. While I was talking to Nic about my internet play-partner, Nic wasn’t talking to me about the situation. In hindsight this was a giant red flag of doomy doom doom! Isn’t hindsight wonderful?

From this point on, nothing went according to the 14-step plan. I should have made baby steps. I should have asked for permission to speak with James on the phone, to Skype with him, to meet him for coffee, for dinner, for a movie. I should have done all of those things. Instead I developed a fairly intense D/s dynamic with James. I worked from home and while Nic was at the office during the days (about 11 hours), James would control my whole day. It was wonderful, but probably not wise given the situation. Then something happened. For work, I had to travel to the town where James lived. The coincidence was too cool to miss. I asked Nic if I could have a real life BDSM session with James. All I could see was the opportunity to have a proper, intense anal-play and spanking experience. More than this, the guy was also into piss-play, one of my favorite fetishes (none of my previous partners were ever interested, how sad for me). I just wanted to be pissed on. Was this New Relationship Energy? No. I’ve experienced that and for me it feels a whole lot like love, for about three months, then it goes away again. At the time I was incredibly attached to James as his pet, but I had yet to build an emotional attachment to him outside of that dynamic. I really just wanted to be his sex-slave.

Perhaps understandably, Nic was uncomfortable with the D/s dynamic, but he learnt that it was helpful for me to get through an insanely difficult period in my work. As for meeting up, Nic reacted with an immediate “no way.” Had I been more patient I would have taken him at his word there and then. But he quickly turned his “no” to a “maybe” and that was enough for me to open the discussion further. We never fought about it. We never argued or raised our voices. We sometimes cried. We told each other we loved each other. We even went on holiday (and had a great time). We laughed. Mainly we talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. We negotiated. We went from “no meeting” to “meeting with hand holding and cuddles” to “overnight with spanking, piss-play, but no oral, anal or vaginal sex with anything other than toys.” The reasons were odd. Nic didn’t want me to have “a date” with James. This would have been romantic. But, he understood that the D/s dynamic Nic and I had built online was very different to romance so he became more comfortable with that as an idea. (In hindsight I should have seen the red flags here. Nic had always been fine with the emotional relationships I developed, but not the physical ones. This was surely a sign he wasn’t thinking clearly about the situation or learning how to work with, and not against, his feelings.) Every time he had major doubts I offered to cancel the whole thing. Every single time he said “no, if it has to happen, this is as good a time as any.”

Nic and I both had doubts. We both ignored them. I did spend the night with James. I had a truly astounding time. How Nic was when I was away is his story to tell, but it is a horrible story and one which will make me feel sad to the end of my days. Needless to say, the experience upon my return was truly unpleasant. We had a difficult couple of weeks. It seems that Nic, despite his natural compersion (which he also felt when I spent the night with James), had never been comfortable with the relationship. He never expressed his feelings though, for fear of upsetting me. He just let me have my online relationship while secretly disliking it and feeling increasingly abandoned. This only came out in the poly therapist's room. I was a little heartbroken to hear it. The poly therapist helped a lot. The answer, of course, was honesty with ourselves and communication with ourselves and each other. Rules to live by!

I saw James a couple more times after that, but we never did more than kiss and cuddle in person. We skyped a few times and spoke on the phone. We continued to email throughout the days. Nic became more comfortable with the situation and almost came to meet James with me on one occasion. We expressed ourselves much clearer and I drew back physically from James. All the while I was becoming more emotionally attached to him. Nic was fine with this. I guess he had become used to me having a “boyfriend” and talking about him. Nic would even ask how James was doing. It was amazing really, how it all worked so well at the end. It was the end though. The physical distance between James and myself and our growing emotional attachment, partly fuelled by the loss/transformation of the intense D/s dynamic, made it more difficult for us to stay together. Five months later and James and I have broken up, fairly acrimoniously.

I would love both of the guys to write their stories for this blog, perhaps Nic will one day, but James certainly won’t. As for hubby and I? We have become stronger through our mistakes. By diverting from the clearly laid out path we were easily able to see where we made things more difficult for ourselves than they needed to be. Nic had not been honest with himself or communicated everything with me. I lacked patience in my enthusiasm for kinky times with a super lovely guy. My judgment had been clouded.

But … to go back to the “should” I used earlier. There probably are no “shoulds.” As our poly therapist helped us realize, there are no rights and wrongs, only actions and consequences. It is impossible to know where Nic and I would be had we followed the path exactly. Now we are stronger, wiser, and happier because of our experiences and improved self-awareness and communication. Having said that, we have returned to Anita Wagner’s “14 Steps to Opening a Monogamous Relationship,” re-joining the plan at step 9. We will be making baby steps and at each stage in any new relationship I will ask for permission and make sure Nic is as comfortable as possible with the situation before progressing. In short, we will be listening to our instincts and those “doubts” a little more wisely. We are ready for the next relationship, if and when it comes along. I’m not looking, although if I meet someone I won’t be complaining, especially if they have spanking, filth and arse fetishes.

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