Agreeing to an open relationship and welcoming another woman into the relationship turned out to be two different things.
I have always been a jealous person: my man is mine, not to share, only for me. Now that does not work so well in an open relationship, does it?
In an open relationship you are required to be allowing of each others’ desires. You need to let your partner have experiences that they are wanting so that you can both grow and learn as individuals and as a couple.
Yes, I agree to all of this. I am so on board with all of this.
Being in an open relationship does have challenges however, and getting through jealousy is a big one for me.
We have had many experiences with men, my freemate being bisexual. He has had experiences on his own with men and I adapted to letting go of my jealous feelings. I have had experiences with men on my own and I know he struggled through his own strong emotions.
What we had not experienced was for him to go off with a woman on his own.
Why? Mainly we were both fearful of how I was going to react. I am a powerful force of emotion and we needed to get ourselves ready for what might transpire.
So I started to prepare myself in advance.
I would imagine what it would be like, him going off one night. How would I feel? Could I do it? It seemed to feel only mildly uncomfortable.
Together we would meet women at events or when we went out. We wanted to connect with someone we both liked. As soon as he would become flirtatious, however I would back off immediately. I would insist it was time to go or I would become silent and then a wrath of anger afterwards.
“Breathe, breathe”. I would tell myself. “You want this. You have agreed to this. You don’t seem to have any problem being flirtatious with other men as he stands nearby.”
I worked on calming myself, allowing for a connection to take place, including myself instead of backing off. I began to enjoy being around other women who seemed to have a deeper interest in both of us.
It got easier and I got stronger.
When the time eventually came, I felt ready. I felt I could handle it.
We met a lovely woman who was very keen and open to explore. We were both attracted to her beauty, her energy, her loving personality. I decided to make it happen, contacting her myself.
“Would you be interested in connecting with us on a more intimate level?” The response did not take long. She said absolutely.
We met her at a bar a few nights later. We were all nervous but the conversation flowed. After a few hours, once again I took the lead, “Let’s go to your apartment.” They both looked at me. “OK”.
She surprised us. Her energy and sexual hunger far exceeded our expectations. When we left that night, neither of us really knew what hit us.
He wanted to see her on his own a few days later. I conceded. While he was with her, I attended a super intense yoga class to keep my mind away from the event. It helped, but not completely. Waiting for him after, I could feel my stomach starting to burn up, I found it hard to breathe, fear and anger were building up inside. When we connected, I was a mess. He assured me and consoled me. I slowly started to calm down.
We met her again as a couple, thinking that might be easier for me. It was, sort of. I watched her and him together, kissing, looking at one another. But him going off again on his own after that, almost took me over the edge.
Why can’t I do this? What am I so scared of? Every word he illustrated to me about their encounter, every message in her emails and text haunted me. I screamed and cried at the same time, curling up in a corner trying to hide from the pain in my body, usually a burning inside my chest and stomach and the swirling pain in my head: is she better than me, does he like her more, are they falling in love, am I going to be left out?
I reached out to all my supportive friends. They consoled me and gave me healing advice. I called “the woman” and confessed my discomfort. She was kind, loving and wanted me to feel OK with what was happening. She said she would do whatever I wanted to help me feel better. All this managed to settle me down.
Fortunately for me, this woman found someone else with who she wanted to pursue a monogamous relationship. I felt a great sense of release on one hand and sadness on another. I wish I could have embraced the experience. Part of me did enjoy it immensely. Part of me loved seeing him excited by her and the new experience.
My freemate was not happy. He did really like her. It had taken us a long time to find someone as special as she was. Possibly the feelings of intensity on both our parts were also due to the fact that she was our first single, female connection.
Would I do it again? … Yes. It is an emotional exploration and I hope that me diving right into the fear that I hold, will bring a release that will eventually transcend my insecurities. We will see.
Photo: Flickr/Jaap Joris