How our family came to be (part 2/2) – with an unexpected ending

No, it’s not a joke this time. Our time together as a triad has come to an end, but I am by no means monogamous now! I drafted today’s post quite a while ago, but when I started it, I had no idea the story would end with Aidan and I parting ways. But life is funny. It never turns out how you expect, you know? Here’s part two – the final chapter – of our story.

Aidan and I were very vague acquaintances online – he’d seen some of my artwork, and we’d crossed paths in various gaming communities. I’m not sure if it was a subconscious decision – or just coincidence – that around the time Ash and I decided we were polyamorous, Aidan and I started talking on Skype. A lot.

At the time, we lived on opposite ends of the state, so we began to video chat every day. We started to fall for each other very quickly. What came next was so perfect it seemed to come straight out of a romantic comedy. Aidan and I finally confessed our love for one another – and that very night, Ash came home and told me he had a job offer in Hobart. Where AIDAN LIVED!

It was almost too good to be true, but thankfully there was no big catch. Aidan and I started going on dates, and around the same time, Ash and Aidan started talking to each other. Having so many interests in common, they immediately became close friends. I was so happy I couldn’t even describe it. The two people I loved got along like a house on fire, and wanted to spend time together, both alone and with me. That’s when I realised this could really work. Having that respect for each other made communication and dealing with jealousy super smooth. A good foundation for a new poly family.

Not long after that, Aidan asked me out and we became an official polyamorous triad. I expected some awkwardness at first, but there was hardly any. We all settled into our new roles pretty comfortably. The honeymoon stage left us all glowing with happiness.

Like it does with every relationship, the NRE slowly wore off. But that was when we started seeing the relationship realistically, and we were all still happy with it. And that’s how it stayed for a long time.

On paper, the relationship was perfect. But there was an issue that kept coming up, and got more serious as time went on. And that was, that Aidan and I were just too similar. We are both passionate about our views and made them heard. We are both stubborn, and let little things get to us. The result was a lot of petty fights.

The relationship started out strong, and those fights didn’t bother us at first. But after three years together, I noticed some of those fights were stemming from deeper issues. And because we both have inflated egos, neither of us wanted to admit that we were wrong. When our emotional minds got in the way of our rationality, it became hard to communicate and we got into petty habits like getting jealous, stretching the truth and expecting each to read the other’s mind. These were all things I was aware I’d done in the past, and thought I’d overcome. But I guess being polyamorous doesn’t make you perfect, and it doesn’t stop your emotions from getting in the way.

Aidan was prepared to work on things and see if they got better, but I didn’t feel the same. I felt like if we continued, it might be better in the short term, but things would just revert back to being crap. And so I was the one who initiated the break up. That’s something I’ve never done before, and hoped never to do. It made things harder for Aidan, which played on my conscience a lot.

It’s now been about a month since we officially split. Things have started looking up for both of us. I feel like a weight’s been lifted off my shoulders, and I feel better about my decision now that the dust has settled. Things have been a little tense between us, but I think we can continue to be good friends in the long term.

Ash and I are still together and there haven’t been any issues between us throught the whole ordeal. In fact, Ash has been a godsend in that he’s been able to mediate and help us to keep the fights from getting too bad. That’s just one more benefit to polyamory- Aidan’s had a close friend and I’ve had a loving partner to help us through the split.

So, that’s the lowdown. It’s not that polyamory doesn’t work; I wouldn’t even say it’s not for me. It’s just a chapter in my life that ended in an unexpected way. But it’s made me grow as a person – cliché, but true. I’ve learned a lot about myself I couldn’t have ever learned in monogamy. And I think I can speak for Aidan when I say he has, too.

Polyamory is still part of who I am – having only one partner doesn’t make me any less poly than being single makes you less hetero or homosexual. And for that reason I plan to continue posting on TTND, but perhaps a little less often. See you around!

-Emma

How our family came to be (part 1/2)

It’s been a little over a year and I still haven’t written an entry about how Ash, Aidan and I came to be a polyamorous triad. Time to fix that!

Ash and I have been together since 2008. We were pretty young when we started going out, so we had that idealistic view of a future together – the white picket fence, the dog, the 2.5 kids, you get the idea. Back then, I would have said you were crazy if you told me I’d have another boyfriend 5 years later.

But, being young and having practically no other romantic/sexual encounters other than Ash made me think about what it would be like to date other people. Not that I was bored with Ash- far from it in fact. I was just curious about how different people had different things to offer in a relationship. I remember one day, Ash and I took a long walk on the beach and I opened up to him about this curiosity. To my surprise, Ash was very understanding about everything and didn’t immediately jump to the conclusion that I wanted to break up, as I’d thought he might do. In fact, he told me that he was open to the idea of me experimenting with other people, and didn’t see himself getting jealous.

So, I went ahead and experimented. There were a couple of short-term flings, mostly sexual in nature, but they were a little messy. I didn’t really know what I wanted from them, and neither of the two guys I was with knew how to deal with jealousy. Mistakes were made. We moved on.

All through this I was very aware of Ash’s feelings. I continuously asked him if he was okay with it, and was surprised every time he said yes. I’d lived in a society that told me no man could ever watch his girl get with someone else and not be overcome by jealousy. And here Ash was, genuinely okay with what I was doing. It blew my mind, to be honest.

It wasn’t until a couple of years later when I really started to discover what non-monogamy meant to me. The first lightbulb moment was when I first heard the word ‘polyamory’. I was listening to Triple J on the radio. The Hack program that night was talking about ‘strange love’, and polyamory was one of the topics. I listened intently as I learned what polyamory was, and heard some of the stories people were sharing. Everything just… clicked. I’d never understood something on such a very deep level. I downloaded the podcast and listened to it about four or five times over the next few days. I started to do some heavy research, scouring the web for anything polyamory related. A whole other world started to open up before me.

I had another lightbulb moment when I found this article on jealousy (I plan to make a more in depth blog entry about this article at a later date). When I read this, everything – again – just made so much sense to me and I felt like I was really starting to understand how polyamory could work in a practical sense. I shared my findings with Ash, and he enthusiastically agreed to give it a try.

Now, I didn’t go out looking for another partner, even though we’d both decided we were polyamorous. We were happy with our relationship as it was, and we both had work and study to keep us busy. We just sort of mutually agreed that it could work if some else were to join our family.

Enter Aidan.

Stay tuned for part 2!

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-Emma

Emotional support and polyamory

So far most of my blog posts have been lighthearted stories or resources, with some sarcasm thrown in to disguise my lack of writing skills. But today I’m going to write about something a little different, and a lot more personal to me. Like many women, I have pretty low self esteem when it comes to body image. Combine that with an unhealthy relationship with food and you get an eating disorder.

Being in a polyamorus relationship makes my issues both easier and harder to deal with at times. On one hand, I have two men constantly telling me how beautiful and wonderful I am. But on the other hand, I sometimes have thoughts like “with the way I look, I don’t deserve having two amazing partners.”

The great thing about being polyamorous is that you have twice (or three or four times) as much support. Between the two guys and Aidan’s backward-ass work hours, I have 24 hour access to someone who I can cuddle or talk to about personal stuff. But the best part is that each of the guys have their own way of supporting me. Ash will make cute faces, say silly things to make me laugh, and play games with me to take my mind of things. Aidan will have deep conversations with me and help me get to the core of what’s bothering me. He’ll stay level-headed when my emotional side gets the best of me and offer me practical solutions. Thanks to my two lovely boys, I get the best of both worlds.

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‘Till next time!

-Emma

The inner workings of a poly family

Today I’m going to write a little about us, and how our relationship works. And the first thing I’ll say, is that it works. That seems to be the hardest part for people to get their heads around when they learn about the concept of polyamory. But as we’ve learned, when you look outside the boundaries of what’s acceptable, you find new ways of living and loving.

I won’t go too deep into our history, because I’m saving that for another post. But I will say that none of us went out seeking this lifestyle. Our relationships shifted and evolved as we got closer to one another, and over time, we became a family.

It all makes perfect sense to us, but I will try my best to break it down and explain it for everyone else. I will be using some terms from the poly glossary I posted yesterday, so you can go look them up if you want to know the exact context I’m using them in.

First and foremost, we are polyamorus. We all accept that people have the ability to love more than one person. I love both Aidan and Ashley, and it doesn’t get any more complex than that for us. We are what’s known as a V triad, since Aidan and Ash aren’t involved with each other romantically/sexually. They are, however, best friends and treat each other like brothers. I think their dynamic is what allows this relationship to work the way it does. Without that mutual friendship and respect, they mightn’t be able communicate as well as they do, overcome jealousy or even try to get along at all. Honestly, I don’t think I could be dating two people who weren’t at least casual friends.

My relationship with each of the boys brings out different sides of me. Because they are different people, they each fulfill things for me that the other can’t in a relationship. That includes elements that are sexual, emotional and general personality-wise. Both the guys realise that they can’t be everything I could possibly ever want/need (they’re only human after all), so they encourage each other to make me happy in ways they know only the other can.

And then of course there’s the dynamic between the three of us when we’re all together. Being in a group naturally makes us a bit louder and a bit more silly. So we often do fun activities, like going out on dates, seeing movies, or staying home and playing games together. The boys often gang up on me and tease me, which I think is because they know they can’t get away with it when there’s only one of them! But of course it’s all in good fun, and I’m sure I can speak for all of us when I say that I’m always at my happiest when we’re all together.

I could write so much more, but this post is getting a bit long now. So I’ll probably write more posts later to add to it and explore more aspects of our relationship dynamics.

Thanks for reading!

-Emma

Obligatory introduction post

Ash, Emma and Aidan

It’s been less than a day since this blog went live and we’ve already got some followers! That can mean one of two things: either there are a lot more bored people hanging around WordPress than I originally thought, or my vague first post was a lot more interesting than I originally thought. Either way, huzzah!

I thought it was about time to introduce the stars of the show, so you’ll know who you’re reading about. Our triad consists of one female (me, Emma), and two males (Ashley and Aidan). I am dating Ash and Aidan simultaneously, while the boys have a sort of sibling relationship with each other. Between the three of us we have a lot of different interests, but the main thing we all love is games (video games, board games, card games… you get the idea). I suppose you could call us geeks, which is okay with us!

Despite being the female of the group, I’m sure the boys would agree with me when I say I am the one who wears the pants. Of course, that doesn’t mean I get my way all the time. Just most of the time. I’m a 21 year old university student majoring in painting, and as such I love everything creative.

Aidan is a lot like me in the way we think, our views of the world, and our personalities. We are also both extremely stubborn. That means we are always either passionately agreeing with one another or passionately arguing with one another. Aidan is a baker and loves to cook, meaning Ash and I have our own personal chef (and boy is he a good one!). Unfortunately working in a bakery means he has weird shifts like 7pm through to 3am, but we usually still find a good chunk of time each week where we’re all free to hang out.

Ashley is the quiet one of the group. He avoids confrontation and often plays the mediator between Aidan and myself. He’s a bookworm and works as a librarian. However there’s another side of him that people only tend to see when they become closer to him, and that’s how excitable he gets when it comes to his hobbies. In that respect, he’s really a kid at heart!

A lot of people ask us what our relationship is like, and really the answer is we are your typical disfunctional family. We do things that normal couples do, only as a three. We go to the movies, bicker over who’s turn it is to take out the garbage, come together in the evenings to share a meal, and of course look after and support one another.

I plan on writing more about how our relationship works in another post, as well as how we all met and became a family. I’m hoping to write a post a day, though I’m rarely that consistent with anything. It will also depend on my study load; generally, the more uni work I have, the more time I spend procrastinating.

Bye for now!

-Emma