Finding Our Way in Relationships: Dating or Marriage? Polyamory or Monogamy?

I was thirty-one before I got married. As I walked down the aisle of the little chapel in Yosemite on my wedding day, I wore the wedding gown I designed when I was only eight years old. My father didn’t “give me away.” He had disowned me years before. So, my fiancee and I walked down the aisle arm in arm. As he read the vows he had written, my soon-to-be husband began to cry. Needless to say, I was deeply moved by his depth of sincerity and love.

But when we got home I soon realized that he was no longer himself. In fact our marriage ceremony had somehow transformed each of us into our same sex parents. And his dad was NOT someone I wanted to be married to. For that matter, I most certainly did not want to be like my mother. 

And yet, here we were living out the fate so common to so many couples: that of reenacting all the things we learned about love from watching our parents relate to each other as we matured. Unhappy with that path, my husband and I embarked upon a journey of personal growth that transformed our lives and our love.

Part of our process involved couple’s counseling and soon we learned that we had choice. We didn’t have to duplicate what those who came before us did. We could chart our own course and design a relationship better suited to our needs and desires.

My husband and I would eventually experiment with having an “open relationship.” That actually led to our having a mostly monogamous marriage. I like to joke that the surest road to monogamy is to give each other permission to have sex outside of the marriage. Somehow, for some of us, that simply removes the allure.

Fourteen years later, when we divorced, I started dating several men simultaneously, including believe it or not, my ex-husband. They all knew about each other. I was at this point calling myself polyamorous. I enjoyed the freedom and yet I longed for something more intimate and connected.

When I fell in love for the second time in my life, I was ready to be faithful. However, since my new partner had a wife, the situation was a bit fraught. So, of course, I had a heart to heart with his wife.

But rather than tell you about it here, I would prefer to share more about it in this podcast. 

Is there something about your love life that feels uniquely you? If so, I would love to hear about it. Just post a comment at the bottom of this page.

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