Mamamia originally published this piece by Sophie Cachia in 2015. We have decided to share it again because of Sophie’s refreshing, contemporary insight into open relationships and sexuality.
Earlier this year, my husband Jaryd and I got married. Before that in 2013, 22-year-old-me and 21-year-old Jaryd became pregnant and welcomed our son Bobby, something we’d wanted to happen for quite a while. We had been together for over three years and just knew from the get-go that we were to spend the rest of our lives together.
The twist is that the year before falling pregnant – in 2012 – Jaryd and I spent it living in separate states and maintained an open relationship.
Let me take you back to how it began.
We were young and so in love. I remember thinking the very first night (or the next morning I should say…) after meeting Jaryd I just knew he was something amazing. I’d turned 20 that very night, and what a birthday it was. Meeting a new guy after a yucky break up months before and we just really hit it off with a bang, so to speak.
Sophie shares the moment she told her husband she was pregnant.
What we quickly learnt about each other is how sexual we both were. Yeah yeah I know what you’re thinking… you were 20-year-olds – what 20-year-olds aren’t sexual?
But Jaryd was different.
He got me.
Not to make myself out to sound like some nymphomaniac or anything, but I had found a guy who could satisfy me in all areas of life, and I did the same to him. We just ‘worked’.
Fast forward nearly 18 months and Jaryd has decided to move to South Australia for a football opportunity. One that I understood was too good to refuse, whilst also acknowledging that my best decision would be to stay in Melbourne and continue my studies. Adelaide was only an hour flight away, and we could make it work. Little did I know that Jaryd had another plan, and it didn’t include me as part of it.
The Young Mummy on Instagram. (Post continues after gallery.)
After what seemed like a week of ‘breaking up’, Jaryd, like all men do, wanted me back. It didn’t go to plan for him when I said no.
We tried a few weeks of being ‘single’ – having no contact with each other – but despite the living arrangements in different states, it appeared we still couldn’t keep away from each other. We both wanted to be single, but we wanted to be together. We would chat about how ‘wrong’ it was that we were both obviously going out and about with friends on the weekend, then fly interstate and spend the weekend in the each others’ bed. How can something so wrong feel so right?
It soon became apparent that this certain arrangement just really worked for us. Whilst I could go out on the weekend for a random pash on the d-floor – or even sometimes find myself waking up in suburbs I’d never even heard of – I could just as easily pick up the phone that afternoon to the love of my life on the other end and chat like nothing had happened. Again, how could something so wrong feel so right? Well, it just did.
We knew how much we loved each other, but what we also understood was that maintaining a monogamous long-distance relationship was not realistic for us. We both entirely understood each others' needs and desires. The most important part of this all was that we were both on the same page the entire time.
Did I sit at home on some nights wondering what Jaryd was up to? Absolutely. Did I have the urge to call him at stupid hours of the morning, or go through his phone when he returned to visit me? Not a chance. I knew what I had signed up for and so did he, so whilst we lived separate lives in a sense, we continued to show each other the utmost respect throughout it. This respect included vowing to never ask each other any questions and we have stuck to, even until now. They say what you don’t know can’t hurt you, and that couldn’t be more true.
Did we have our critics? Absolutely. I sure got some weird looks when I’d go to visit and I’d be introduced by Jaryd to his footy friends as his 'girlfriend'. Some faces were dead giveaways for thoughts like, "But weren’t you hooking up with that blonde chick last week?" These were easy to ignore, when again, I’d most likely been out the week before doing the exact same thing.
My girlfriends would question how the hell I could do it. Not many women would be able to cope with the ‘unknown’. I loved it, as long as he didn’t know about my ‘unknown’ too. I think some people were also jealous of the fact that we truly had the best of both worlds. It must have killed them to see how legitimately in love we could be, but how easily we could flick that switch too.
I never wanted to ‘date’ anyone else. I already had that. I didn’t want to be romantically involved with anyone else, I had that too. I just needed someone to fill that sexual gap that was missing – and it’s as simple as that. Sex is a natural urge for humans and really, sex is just sex. It’s fun and we all enjoy it. But to Jaryd, I always made love.
But we did have our awkward bumps along the way. Out of the whole population of Victoria and South Australia, I just had to sleep with the best friend of one of Jaryd's teammates. So unfortunately, Jaryd heard about something that he didn’t want to at the time. My old mate is also now one of Jaryd’s teammates in Melbourne, and someone who I have to see on a common occurrence. Jaryd quotes, “He’s an absolute legend." Well, it appears we have the same taste my dear.
I also once went to text my best friend Ash from Jaryd's phone, only to nearly send it to the wrong Ash. It appeared Jaryd had become friendly with another ‘Ash’ and I had fallen straight into last weekend’s conversation.
Despite these instances, they didn’t cause too much grief for us, because I repeat again – we both were aware of the circumstances. We were both on the same page, we had both whole hardheartedly agreed to this and hey, nothing in life runs completely smoothly.
My last act of kindness towards Jaryd was when he returned to Melbourne at the end of that year and we resumed our ‘standard’ relationship. He was off to travel Europe solo and join a contiki – so what does any good girlfriend do? She packs condoms in his bag of course. Yes, I packed condoms in my boyfriend’s bag so he could go and shag the entire population of Europe in one month. What’s the point in going all the way there for a Contiki at 20 years old if you can’t do that?
Fast forward three years and we have our baby boy, and are planning a wedding. Looking back on that year all we see are some bloody good memories, a bond that developed stronger than most 20-year-olds, and a bout of chlamydia that we didn’t bother to track down – because that would mean discussing it wouldn’t it?
Having an open relationship will only work if you’re on the same page, and although that ‘page’ might look different to everyone, it would be boring if everyone’s life was the same book wouldn’t it?