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Ask Michael Q&A: Polyamorous relationships, having your cake and eating it too?

"Having your cake and eating it too?"
"Having your cake and eating it too?"
Photo by: Michael Schuessler

Hi Michael,

I was in a brief polyamorous relationship until a few weeks ago. He was a good friend of my husband’s and mine for several years. Tom and I were always very close, and I was very honest to my husband about my growing feelings toward him. So he gave me permission, and I gave him the option of finding a lover for himself.

It was great for a few weeks. I felt ultra-sexy and loved and desired. All my sexual needs were being met.
Things turned ugly when the woman my husband desired wanted to stay friends. Then, he became jealous of my affair with Tom, and became excessively, unbearably, moody.
Tom took the hint, deciding to try to make his marriage work again and to put his friendship with my husband back on an even keel.

Even though I knew I would get hurt, I don't think I was quite prepared for the feelings of loss and resentment. After all, he was our best friend. I feel like I've been used and thrown away, and unfortunately my husband seems happier now, while I'm miserable. But we're still the world's best communicators and I'm grateful for his open mind and for sticking by me while I recover from the loss of my lover. It's like having your cake and eating it too, but the repercussions are devastating.
By the way, we are still friends with Tom, who tells me he still cares about me and never wanted to hurt me.

Thinking about him makes me seethe with anger. Have to go now. Can’t stop crying.

Melissa Canard



Sounds to me like this had more to do with small time open affairs than being polyamorous. As you mentioned above Tom decided to respect your husbands wish and went back to make his marriage work.

There in lies the problem, I was under the assumption, being somewhat familiar with Polyamory relationships, that all relationships work on all sides? In practice, polyamorous relationships are highly varied and individualized. Ideally they are built upon values of trust, loyalty, negotiation, and compersion, as well as rejection of jealousy, possessiveness, and restrictive cultural standards. Such relationships are often more fluid than the traditional "dating-and-marriage" model of long-term relationships, and the participants in a polyamorous relationship may not have preconceptions as to its duration. Also sex is not the primary focus.

That being said to be truly polyamorous you have to have shared love and compassion for all of your partners!
If it's one-sided naturally there will be feelings of resentment, pain and jealously. Having your cake and eat it to, needs to be acceptable for all parties involved.

When a polyamorous relationship disintegrates it shouldn't be about making the relationship with your original partner stronger now that the new relationship has failed and has dissolved. The original relationship should have been strong, fulfilling and on track, with No regrets in the first place. That way when you move on or they move on, or others are brought into the mix, jealousy has no place and will not raise its ugly head. (There is no place for Ego’s in the Lovemaking process, whatever level that love is on)

Personally I'm not sure how these types of relationships work at all. It seems to be that there is always someone that feels that they are lacking certain aspects within their relationship and feel they need to search out others to make themselves whole. (Wholeness comes from within first, or you are just projecting your ideals upon another and setting yourself up for failure.) If there is truly communication within a relationship then the areas that are lacking can and should be resolved first.It also would also seem very difficult as far as STD's, are concerned, because you have one partner with another partner, and down the line; basically a Huge tree of people you are indirectly sleeping with. (I would find it really hard to trust a partner of a partners, partner…)

Melissa, my dear one, I applaud the communication you have with your partner, but he obviously is not ready to allow you to be emotionally and romantically involved with another especially a close friend. You both need to work on clarifying what each of you Really want out of an additional partner.

Maybe a type of Swinger relationship might work better for you and your partner all the way around, no strings attached, no feelings hurt. :) It sounds like that is what, on some levels, is happening anyway. Your friend was unhappy in his relationship at home, rather than working on that he chose to embrace deeper levels with you. I wonder if his wife was really privy to the true level of your connections? Again I think it's easier to set up boundaries and bring a third into the mix, on purely physical levels (If that’s what is lacking). Rather than becoming emotionally involved with the person you bring in. Bringing a close friend into the mix is never a good idea, it opens the door up to all kinds of doubt and mistrust into the original relationship, but that's just my take. (Now, women as a whole, not necessarily all women, need that emotional bond before they get physical with someone. Men on the other hand can get physical first and then the feelings start to get emotional...)

I wouldn't take it personally. I think this was an experiment that just didn't pan out the way you thought it would. I do not think Polyamorous was necessarily the thought the men were thinking of either. More like having their physical needs met by someone else, without the guilt of a straight out affair. Eating the cake but enjoying different flavors. (wink) I only say this because sex seems to be the underlying theme here. (All your sexual needs were met and when his were not, things went south)

Keep the communication going! Think of it this way, you and your partner can and will achieve everything you need right at home. But only if you truly communicate, listen and strive to understand each other. Do this first, then if you desire the need of another lover to fill in the gaps, and/or show you how important your original lover really is… there will be no shame or guilt, just an wonderful addition to that which you will already possess and enjoy!

-Michael Schuessler-
“Changing The World One Orgasm ~ At A Time”™

Michael Schuessler, author of the sex and sensuality classic, "The Holy G-Rail" Please visit his web site, to see all the different forms of Michaels works of creativity.

If you have any questions, in the sensual or sexual arena of life please E-mail me. (Use an alias if you'd like to keep your privacy).

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