This September I will be marrying my wonderful, amazing, beautiful girlfriend Kristin. This post, however, is not about how we met or fell in love (you can read our story here). This is a simple post to give you a little insight into our polyam life. Because for some reason it astounds and confuses people that I could love and make a lifelong commitment to her while maintaining my commitment to my husband, Ethan.
First, I want to say that I love her as deeply as I have ever loved. She makes me swoon; she makes me giggle. She comforts me when I am low, as I attempt to do for her. She is a fantastic partner. And she loves me. And I will always feel lucky as hell that she does. I also love Ethan; he too is an amazing partner. We've been together almost two decades. He is so deeply imbeded in my heart that I can't imagine life without him. I can't imagine life without either of them, honestly. And by some miracle, they seem to feel the same about me.
We all live together: Kristin, Ethan, me, and our kids. We have a fairly normal day-to-day life, just with three adults. We take turns cooking dinner and doing the dishes. We draw straws to see who needs to make the kids take showers. We clean litter boxes, take out the trash, mow the lawn. They both go to normal "nine-to-five" jobs and I write and do the daytime mom thing. On some nights we have family dinners and other nights we let the kids eat downstairs in the "kid cave" while the adults eat in front of some TV show, like Hell’s Kitchen or Loki.
Love is infinite, as I've said. Time, however, is a limited resource—time, attention, and energy can all be difficult to manage in any relationship. In a polyam relationship, everything is magnified. It takes conscious effort and—I'm going to be honest—it isn't always easy. Communication between all of us is key to making sure we are all getting our needs met and feeling seen. We work to balance our schedules so that I have time alone with each of them. And although Kristin and Ethan don’t have a romantic relationship, they have time together too (usually while I’m at hockey). Their relationship is special in a different way (something I will not define for them). And the work it takes to maintain all these relationships is worth it; what we have is wonderful. Our lives are full of love, support, and caring.
This fall, Kristin and I will be getting married. It will not be a legal wedding. But neither were any gay weddings not all that long ago in this country. We are committing to each other in front of family and friends. There will be flowers, food, drinks, music… and I have the prettiest wedding dress. But most important of all, I will get to share my feelings for Kristin with those people in my life closest to us.
So that's it. This is how my life works as a polyamorous individual with two committed partners. This way of living and loving is not for everybody, I know. But it works for us; we’re all on board. I hope those who care about us can be happy for us.