Loving More Than One

Polyamory as it relates to my life and written from my perspective only. MY thoughts, feelings and opinions.

Why I Chose To Complicate My Life

on November 15, 2009

IZI0003278_VeerPosted in one of my yahoo groups by Lynelle Wilcox

A friend who know that 7 years ago or so, I re-negotiated my 13 year happy monogamous marriage to act on my love of another person asked me to share about why I’d choose such a complication for my life.

I’d already shared about the aspects of love being a multiplication thing; not a division thing; how more-love has enriched my life; how it’s created so many opportunities for valuable discussions and ponderings with my kids and other teens, and many other things that I consider valuable about my choice, in spite of the complications it also brings.

In thinking about what more I could say, it occurred to me that my almost 20 year platonic friendship wit this girl really explains it all and I’ve pasted my words to her below because it clicked even more that this is “it” for me…

About polyamory…to me, it’s an epitome of what you and I have been doing as friends for years. We were/are best friends, yet we each also have other best friends. We’re not using the word “best” as a quantity; we’re using it to describe the quality, level, depth of closeness we feel with/about each other.

Sometimes we speak daily; other times life’s ebb and flow have us not speak for a year or more, as we each pursue and address interests, jobs, other friendships, marriage issues, parenting responsibilities, new hobbies, life’s complications.

Sometimes those things draw us in closer for extra communication; other times those things take so much of out time and focus that our communication wanes for a short or long while.

But through it all, whether we speak often or rarely, there’s an overall mutual happy-ness, joy, and support of the other people you have in your life, the things they offer to you, and support of the other things you are doing in life, even when those things don’t include me.

When I hear that you have an awesome new group of girlfriends, it’s not with any feeling of being replaced; it’s with a feeling of wow! How cool! Would I like them too?

There’s no sense of “but do *they* remember your wedding? Do they know your early struggles and huge success in building a circle of like-minded homeschoolers? Do they gush like I do? Do they make amazing fruit and veggie platter like we did?”

Neither is there a sense of comparison or diminishing…i.e. “Well maybe they play great music, but I bet they can’t cook like we do. And I bet they don’t have kid conversations like you and I have with our kids. And I bet they aren’t really respectful involved parents if they work a lot. And if they’re that pretty, they’re probably superficial material people; why would you want that?”

Instead, there’s an awareness that I add something to your life AND they add things too. In some cases, they add more of the same or similar things that I do; in other cases, they add something entirely different. Even if there were cases where I found things not to like about your new friends, I’d be choosing to focus on their good points, what they give you and what you appreciate about them, as opposed to focusing on the theoretical bad things. (Unless I sensed actual risk/danger, in which case I’d share my concerns and then support you making your own decision.)

But generally, in spite of details I might or might not like, I see that they add joy to your life; they add local support that geography prevents me from giving since I moved away; they give you a “village” that enables you to have your daughter safe and happy while you deal with life’s shit that happens sometimes; and they add music!

I can be so please and happy that you’ve been able to enrich your life in ways that go beyond me. Whether or not I’d like any or your new friends, whether or not I understand what you see in them, I see that they’ve been there for you, grown with you, helped you grow, done things with you, and given things to you that I might or might not have been able to do on my own. And even if I could have done those things, you have the luxury and benefit of having different flavors of people and different styles to add to the intricacy and depth of the life tapestry you weave. I can give you me; but I can’t give you that depth and intricacy. Those things take more than one best friend.

To me, this is the epitome of friendship. Deep love and support of a loved one’s pursuit of happy-ness and people and thing that enrich his/her life in addition to me.

If that’s what we give each other as platonic best friends, I want to give that and more to the best friend(s) I feel romantically connected to…the person/people I want to build a life and future with.

I do this not just because it’s a way to be with D and R. And it’s not just what I’m doing with R. It’s what I’m doing with *you*.

I value deeply how we run our friendship. It’s how I run each of my friendships. So it almost seemed inevitable that at some point, I’d do that more in my romantic relationships, since ideally, my romantic love are best-friends to me. At some point, I realized this isn’t just what I’m doing. It’s who I am. That awareness is becoming deeper and deeper. What I’ve done with you as my best friend for almost 20 years..? that’s who I am. Beyond just-you.

Note…”this is who I am” doesn’t mean I have no choice in the matter. I’ve heard people use those words in ways that felt like excuses not to change or compromise or consider another person’s views or feelings.

I believe I always choose who to be, how I behave, and what I act on. Based on believing that the way I’ve run my friendships is reflective of a core part of me that I value, and based on D’s willingness re-negotiate our marriage, I’m choosing to act on more-love. Yes, this is who I am; but I could and would have chosen not to act on more-love if D had not been hugely generous and flexible to work with me to re-negotiate our marriage, because honoring existing commitments that are still enriching is also who I am. I am extremely lucky to have his support in the best-friend more-love aspects of “this is who I am”.

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