One of the things that drove me batshit crazy was having to explain why I had “two wives,” one I was legally married to and the other in spirit. If I hadn’t already known how most people look at marriage and relationships, I would have been bitch-slapped and with great, devastating effect over what I’ve heard people say about the way we were handling our relationship.
Most – and not surprisingly – didn’t give a fuck about why things were the way they were; they didn’t care to be bothered with the details, thinking that what we were doing was something that “just happened” instead of accepting that the situation we were in had actually begun many years before and at one specific moment in time.
I got so very sick and tired of the blame for this… ungodliness dropped on my head and being cast in the role of some kind of megalomaniac and one that was really full of himself, you know, like I was God’s gift to women or being such an asshole to have conned two women into being my harem and other such bullshit that would, in the early going, would make me want to bury my foot in their asses up to my knee.
If I hadn’t already known that you can explain something to someone in very great detail and the end result would be that you just spent a whole lot of time pretty much talking to yourself, I would have been beyond exasperated at how dense some people can be, that and how slavishly they hold onto to a relationship concept that, we found, looks good on paper but doesn’t always work the way they say it’s supposed to be.
I got so tired of people telling me what we should have done and I really got tired of the many unmarried people who had a lot to say about it. For the married folks giving me a raft of shit about it, good lord… I got so sick and tired listening to them telling me what they wouldn’t have done – but I’d often get a measure of satisfaction when I throw them a fastball and ask, “Did I ask you what you would do?”
It’s really a royal pain in the ass when you tell the truth about something… and no one believes you. Why in the name of all that’s holy did I decide to do this? Well, I didn’t – I just agreed to it because it made sense. Why isn’t one woman enough for you? Well, who said this was the case? Did you hear the part when I said that doing this wasn’t my idea? Did you not hear me when I said that before I agreed with this, I was throwing out everything I could think of that could go wrong like it was confetti? Did you miss the part where I had said, once the conversation started, “I have a bad feeling about this…?”
Oh, dear lord… the looks we’d get whenever we were out and about. People aren’t stupid in that some can really take a look at something and they just know that they’re looking at something that’s more than three people out shopping or whatever; they can sense that we were more than friends and more than good friends. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I “died” with the looks I’d get from both men and women, married or not. I’d see them looking at me and I could tell what they were thinking.
And while there were times I’d get that “you lucky bastard!” look, yeah, more often than not, I’d suffer death by eyeballs. One day, some strange lady actually stopped me and asked, “Why are you doing this to those poor women?”
Wait, what? I started to tell her to mind her own fucking business but that would be rude even for me so I said, “I’m not doing anything they didn’t want me to do and if you don’t believe me, go ask them; trust me, they will tell you.”
The look on her face was priceless; I could see her mind trying to parse this and I could tell she was having a really hard time trying to take what she believed in and equate it to what she had obviously sensed just by looking at us. She started to give me some shit but I cut her off by saying, “Look, just leave it alone; you can say whatever you want to but I can and will tell you that whatever you say, it’s not going to change anything and if you wanna push it, you’re not going to like how I respond to it. Just leave it alone. We’re doing it and we’re happy. Mind your business.”
Explaining it to our families. Believe it or not, that was actually easier than I thought it would be and, of course, I was the one tasked with explaining it. Lucky me, huh? They all said two things: One was, “I hope you know what you’re doing” and the other was, “As long as y’all are happy.” To the first, fuck no – I had no idea what the fuck we were doing but I was working hard to figure it out and, for the other, yeah – we were happy.
Whatever “bad” thoughts our families may have had were left unsaid, not that it would have changed anything for us; we were committed to doing this crazy-assed thing and to the best of our abilities.
Now, some of the people we knew that either figured it out on their own or we told them, they were cool about it and some of them were… “envious” and said that, wow, they wished they could do something like that. Once it was explained to them, they agreed that it made sense for us to pool our resources in this way… and, at least with the guys who knew, yeah – I was the luckiest motherfucker ever born to be able to sleep with – literally and sexually – two women every night.
I’d be “off on the side” and the women would be talking to other women… and you know what they say about your ears burning? My whole body would be engulfed in flames and sometimes I’d look in their direction and all of them would be looking at me in a way that, well, to say it made me feel uncomfortable didn’t begin to cover it. Let me see if I can explain it: When a bunch of women – including the ones you’re involved with – are looking at you with a predatory kind of look and one that says if they could, you’d get shredded by all of them, yeah – it makes you feel some kind of way and not a good one.
One of the girls’ friends said to my face, “I’d trade places with one of them in a heartbeat.” They smiled… and I had a great urge to be somewhere else. Can you imagine what it feels like to hear the ladies laughing and giggling – while looking at you – and you know what they’re talking about?
I got to a point where I’d be aware of the negativity and I’d just ignore it. Someone would ask, “What the fuck is going on with y’all?” and I’d say, “You really don’t want to know…” because I really did get very tired of explaining it. One person we all knew walked up to me and started to ask, “Are the three of you…?” and I cut them off by saying, “Yes, we are, okay? Just leave it alone or, if you really wanna know, go ask one of them.”
As I said earlier, my biggest issue with this was dealing with the perception that I was the reason why this was happening. One woman gave me the impression that she wanted to kick my ass for having the nerve to put together a harem – who the fuck did I think I was?
And very much unlike me, I laid into her; to say I read her the riot act doesn’t even come close to the scathing response I let loose on her. I didn’t cuss… a whole lot but I did climb in her ass about how fucking stupid and ignorant she was for, one, sticking her nose in our business and, for the other, being so obtuse and close-minded to not accept the truth when I said this wasn’t my idea to begin with – I just agreed that it was the best way to proceed and despite any misgivings I had.
Yeah, I hurt her feelings and badly. Yeah, I felt pretty shitty after the fact but she had it coming because one thing I learned is that friendly persuasion is nice… but nastiness gets better results. She said to me, “I hope you burn in hell!”
And I said, “That’s probably a given so I’m not worried about it…” then walked away and feeling all kinds of very sharp implements stabbing me in the back. And I didn’t give a fuck one way or the other. I’d had enough of this crap and no more Mr. Nice Guy. If you didn’t like what we were doing, fuck you – all you can do is not like it. Don’t believe that things went down the way I said they did? Not my problem and you’d be wise not to try to make it my problem or, as I said to one couple, “Do you really want to go there with me about this? Do you?”
The three of us would often sit down and talk about what others were saying about us; sometimes we’d laugh our asses off and sometimes we’d wonder what part of “We’re doing this because we want to” didn’t they understand? I’d sometimes feel some kind of way because the two of them, more often than not, got more positive feedback than I was getting but, okay, yeah – I’m the bad guy here.
One of my friends asked me, “Do you regret it?” And, honestly, I did… but not really. Was this one of the hardest things I’d ever done and the most insane thing I’ve ever been involved in? You bet your ass it was. How was I managing things? Finely so… and not so much. Guys would say how lucky I was and I’d respond by saying, “Is that what you think?” On the one hand, yes – lucky beyond belief… but if you thought it was a picnic dealing with two women with similar, yet very different personalities and all that, you need a wakeup call.
Okay… the sex. Incredible and complicated as fuck – and that’s being nice about it. No less than twice a day, damned near every day. One guy said, “Dude, they gotta be wearing your ass out!” and I said, “You have no idea – you really don’t.” I knew a lot of guys – in particular – were of a mind that having threesome sex with two women is the holy grail of having sex… but without understanding how incredibly difficult it really is. I got humbled, embarrassed; I’d feel inadequate, ineffective and a few other things I have no words for but I didn’t give up trying to do my best with, to, and for two women who had very different thoughts and feelings about sex as well as differing needs. Sounds like fun? Well, honestly, it really was… and not so much when I’d find myself dealing with the expected complaint that one was getting more than the other.
Having sex with them pushed me to my limits and beyond. I recall getting up for work one morning and looking at myself in the mirror… and to say that I look haggard and rough was being nice. In one week alone, I got pushed to the brink of total exhaustion between having sex with one or both of them every day and night to dealing with their ideas of what having sex with each other had to be and look like. As a part of a song goes, “I had complaints but too few to mention…” and I did get complaints and it was always about doing it more… and more. I’m one guy and, by the way, asking for another guy to join us so I could get some help with them was out of the question.
One guy said to me, “You’re living every man’s dream, you know that, don’t you? A lot of guys would kill to have what you have!”
I said, “If they knew what I know, they’d kill themselves trying to avoid it; this ain’t as easy as it sounds.”
I learned so much and a lot of it wasn’t easy to swallow. Mistakes were made and I made more than my fair share of them, too. But even I had to stop kicking my own ass over the mistakes I made when I had to admit and realize that we were doing something that none of us knew how to do; we were just going with the flow of things and while, in my mind, it was implied that there were going to be potholes along the road, they were such that I don’t think any of us could really imagine.
And while we were working on the internal stuff, there was still the external stuff that was still a royal pain in my ass, like people telling me what marriage is supposed to be and refusing to give any thought to the realization that a marriage – any marriage – is only going to be as good as both people are willing to make it and, as such, the way it’s supposed to be just does not come close to covering the ability and need – when it arises – to do whatever you gotta do to make it the best it can possibly be… and even if it looks the like biggest mistake ever.
The thing is… we did it. For a whole lot of years. For better or worse. Maybe even against all odds. Then three became four and while some things got better, some things were just even more complicated and complex. Things went well… and they didn’t. I’d be asked, “Why would you even try this?” and the only answer I could – and would – give was, “Because it had to be tried and done.”
I remember the night it all went down and I was asked, “What… you saying you’re not up to the challenge? That you can’t handle it?” Oh, it’s game on! Was I up to the challenge? Yes… and not so much which is why, today, I say with great conviction that if I knew then what I know now, yeah – I still would have said, “Okay… let’s see what happens!”
Insanely and given all that I experienced in this, I would do it again because there’s something about being a part of something that is much bigger than yourself and your partner. It’s… belonging. It’s being so far out of the box that you can’t see what the box looks like. It’s about an intimacy that goes beyond sex, to love and be loved in ways that few people can imagine and more so when people still tend to believe that being married can only go one way and monogamously so. I learned that monogamy doesn’t work they way they say it should; I learned that it’s very inhibitive and prohibitive and makes you ask questions like, “How are we supposed to (add something here) when they say you’re not supposed to do it, let alone think it?” What happens when two people look at each other and ask about how and what can they do to make their lives better, richer, fuller, exciting, etc., well, that gets to be a problem because what you might be able to do, the rules prohibit it.
Sigh. The internal issues are what they are and inherent in any relationship; you’re gonna get along fabulously and be at each other’s throats over this, that or the other. You learn to deal with them as best you can but, again and still, the royal pain in my ass was other people and being told that we couldn’t do what we were doing and all that other shit. I’d be asked, “Don’t your vows mean anything to you?”
Of course they did and especially the for better or worse part. When I was sitting down and thinking about, one, what the hell did I just get myself into and, two, how was I gonna make this work, I thought about that part and, not for the first time, asked myself why “worse” has to be worse when it’s implied that you’re supposed to do all you can do for your partner? If ya had more better than worse, well, what difference does it make when it comes to the form that “better” winds up taking?
And this kind of stuff is what really had me sitting up at night and wondering what was wrong with everyone else that they couldn’t see that being married, despite what the vows say or not, means doing everything humanly possible to stay together and, yeah, even unto death does us part if that’s the way it goes down. Why was it automatically assumed that I was the bad guy in this since, “duh,” this just had to be my idea and I coerced everyone else into doing it?
And I’d sigh and try to put it in the back of my mind, knowing full well that when the sun rose in the morning – and if it hadn’t already – there would be more of the same shit being tossed our way about doing that which should never be done. Another day of me rolling my eyes to hear someone telling me that they’d rather get divorced than to do some shit like that and even if it meant throwing away a good relationship. Another day of my patience and tolerance being tested by people insisting that I didn’t know what I was doing, how selfish I was, conceited, arrogant and other shit – and shit coming from people who may have known of me… but didn’t know shit about me… or the women who were a part of my life.
Best thing I’ve ever done… and the most insane thing. I loved it. Hated it. It was as much uplifting as it could be depressing at times and, yeah, there were many a day where I wanted to say, “Fuck it – we’re not doing this anymore!” But it was personal and, yeah, a bit of ego because for me to say that meant that I couldn’t handle it, that I wasn’t equal to the challenge presented. I can admit when I can’t do something… but this? This I could do… if I could figure out the optimal way to do it. The good part? I did figure it out. We did make it work for well over twenty years, for better or worse, in sickness and in health until we couldn’t make it work.
Such is life and this experience taught me some shit about life that, perhaps, I wouldn’t have been aware of had I not experienced it. Life really is way too short and short enough that saying, “Fuck the rules!” is better than being at the end of your life and thinking about what might have been or regretting not doing something when you had the chance to do it. It taught me that if/when you love someone, nothing is impossible and everything is negotiable and, really, if you’re not gonna do everything that’s humanly possible to make your relationship the best it can possibly be, what the hell are you doing? Why are you not thinking like this and more so when, at some point, you realize the relationship needs help and more help than the two of you can bring to bear?
Because you’re not supposed to. Ever. For no reason and even if your very survival depends on doing something so out of the box it’s said to be impossible. It reinforced what “being in love” really meant and what it means to be committed – not to the institution but to the person you married and the one you promised to do everything in your power for up to and including trading your life for theirs.
Makes what we did look easy… and it wasn’t. You think just being married is hard? It isn’t… being more than married is. It’s the ultimate relationship, hands down which, oddly enough, a lot of people are “just now” beginning to realize and try their hand at. Works for some and, sadly, is a disaster for others and I think the biggest thing I learned from this is not what you do: It’s how you go about doing it. It’s the thing that I will forever say that you have to be grown up enough and be able to unlearn every damned thing you thought you knew about love, sex, and relationships so you can learn a whole new way of doing it.
And even if you can, one thing remains true: Your relationship is only going to be as good as you, collectively, can make it. Others are going to talk shit to you about it, either behind your back to your face; they’re gonna tell you how wrong you are, how fucked up you are and, yeah, y’all must be out of your ever-loving minds. And you keep your own counsel every step of the way and learn not to let the negative shit you will surely encounter bother you and yours.
Stay the course. Live and love together for as long as you can and the best way you can. Why? Life’s too short and tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone.