While I feel I’ve always had the capacity for polyfidelity, I’m not sure I possessed the emotional maturity in my 20s or 30s to be a healthy, contributing partner. As it was, I struggled to be a healthy wife. I had a lot of baggage I needed to deal with before I knew how to love without resorting to manipulation; before I understood what it really meant to give of myself.
So I feel fortunate that my exploration of poly comes at a time in my life when I’m more precise about my own wants, needs, and limits, and where I grasp what it takes to sustain healthy relationships. Having faced my own darkness, doubts, and fears, I am more aware of the struggles of others, and I’m more intuitive in my responses when I sense a battle taking place.
I’m fortunate I can experience the way romantic/sexual energy from one relationship feeds the others; how having a pleasant coffee date with someone new makes me even hornier for my husband when I get home. I appreciate knowing my husband and boyfriend are beneficiaries of my relationships, and not just in the realm of sex.
Being poly opened my eyes to many other joys; the joy of sharing in each other’s spiritual life, hobbies, and the relaxed fun of a movie and dinner. In experiencing these slices of life from another’s perspective, I’ve found renewed energy in my marriage. It’s like we’ve become newlyweds again…everything is new and playful…it’s become MORE.
Being poly allows me to create a community with a culture of trust. Given everything happening in the world, it’s crucial to have people around us who help us feel safe, people around whom we can be vulnerable, people who offer space for emotional rest – because we all know how exhausting it is being strong. In this community, there is positive intent, there is acceptance, transparency, and equanimity. Each person is benefactor and beneficiary.
When we stop to think about it, people are what life is about. Loving each other, helping each other grow, lifting each other up when we fall. So, how is it we become trapped in this mindset of love as a limited resource? How do we not see that loving others (however many others that may be) helps us? The more love we give, the more we have. There is no simpler truth than that.
Yes, it is work. We all have times when we’re tired or down, but the beauty of community is that we don’t face those times alone. My boyfriend can be support for me during a rough spell in addition to my husband, and they can simultaneously provide support for, and receive support from, each other. We become increasingly capable of taking care of others this way.
I have grown as a person through polyfidelity. My understanding of others has been broadened. I appreciate more the things that make each person unique, just as I discover how much more we have in common. When I meet a potential partner for the first time, and we hit things off, I know that if nothing romantic comes of it, I will have made a good friend, because I’ve learned what being a good friend looks like.
Being poly helped me realize the most valuable thing I bring into this world isn’t knowledge or skill. It’s my capacity for love.