On Not Becoming Unhinged, Ctd

by Chris Bodenner

A reader writes:

I’ve noticed the posts about ‘non-monogamy’ with passing interest. Folks are too hung-up on sex, but that’s nothing new. I’ll relate my experience to illustrate behaviors that may be more common than many believe. And I’m curious to know whether other readers might have similar stories.

I’m a ‘straight’ male. When I married my wife many years ago, she was aware of a long-standing relationship I had with another man. (So, does that make me straight or maybe bisexual? Just to clarify, I am strongly attracted to beautiful women, and generally quite intimidated by the thought of sex with most men.) Rather than disapprove, she was intrigued and has always accepted and even encouraged the relationship, to the point where she values my male friend near as much as I do. The understanding and acceptance that she and I reached at an early point in our relationship was an important factor in establishing the trust we needed to agree that marriage was right for the two of us.

As the years have gone by, I’ve heard stories about other men who have started out straight and then began pursuing bisexual, or even exclusively homosexual relationships. At first I wondered how this could happen, but I’ve learned that, for myself, it is completely understandable. Although I still enjoy sex with my wife, it happens less often than in the past. Although sex drives for both of us have waned, her decline has been more obvious, and sex has never been quite as centrally important to her as it has been for me. I suppose I could go look for a trophy wife, but sorry, I’m not that kind of guy – I will never leave my wife, as long as she will have me. Bless her heart.

Today I would say that I prefer sex with my male partner, something that I never imagined in my youth. Although I still find women attractive, I’m pretty sure that my wife is my last female sexual partner. As I look back, I note that when I married, I was immediately cut off from sexual contact with other women. Society militates strongly against adultery, which has probably been good for our marriage. Still, my best friends know about my dual allegiances and understand that they work for the three of us.

So, I’ve achieved something that is quite rare, I think, relationships with two different people that are both quite fulfilling. The key ingredient in both is an understanding between the parties of the kind of support each person can give, and will give in order to survive and thrive in a challenging world. I wish no less for everyone.