Polyamorous Mom: I Have An Extramarital Relationship But My Husband Is Dating

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threescompanyI’m a full-time working mother of three children, married to a wonderful man while dating others. This column chronicles our challenges, boundaries, and successes in a polyamorous marriage. 

In my little world of polyamory, none of us went into this knowing exactly what kind of secondary or tertiary relationship we wanted. But we knew we felt the ability to connect with multiple people. We are all looking for something in our personal relationships that enhances ourselves while not detracting from each other.  For us, this is one of the biggest parts of navigating polyamory.

“Dating is dating whether you’re poly or not, and it sucks.”

Allan, my husband, and I are sitting outside for a moment discussing our chosen lifestyle and where it’s going for us.  While my journey started with my feelings for Jim, my boyfriend, and subsequent discussions with Allan, his started with agreeing, and then my friend Jane.

Jane is another woman in an open relationship I could turn to and confide in, and when she heard Allan was dating she asked for his number.  Part of being poly means such a situation is not strange or weird and doesn’t strike jealousy into the hearts of women or men.  I set them up, and they connected — but casually.  Jane was Allan’s first foray into the dating world since he and I had hooked up at the nubile age of eighteen.  Allan had not dated at all, never mind had other lovers before me.  While they parted ways as friends, Allan figured out that casual sex isn’t his thing. Like me, he would prefer a deeper connection with additional partners. Thus, his sojourn began.

Shortly after we decided to be poly, Allan set up a profile on the popular dating site OKCupid and started looking for women.  He got plenty of feedback for being good looking and charming but struggled to make a real connection.  First, there was a woman who was interested in learning more about our lifestyle but couldn’t get past the common questions:

“You’re wife really doesn’t mind?”  Nope, she’s with her boyfriend right now.

“You’re really ok with her sleeping with other men?” Maybe not at first, but uh…yup, I know she’s still with me.

I won’t say he didn’t get frustrated, like Allan said himself dating is dating whether you’re poly or not.  He met one woman he thought he was doing well with until their date was flat out boring for them, and that fizzled.  Another was a married poly woman who, after some intense conversation and flirtatious courtship, Allan learned  that her husband was only comfortable with her dating other women and not men.  Love is a battlefield and all, but when dedicated to having more than one love, you put yourself through it with an eye on the eventual outcome. That outcome can be like what Jim and I have and what Allan is searching for.

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