“Non-traditional.” A popular catch-all phrase that seems, in common usage, to mean anything that differs from the mainstream. It also describes a large portion of my life — my love life, specifically.
My upbringing was entirely unremarkable, and certainly included nothing of this sort. I was first introduced to such alternative relationships in college when a female friend of mine and I knowingly decided to share the same boyfriend. No, not a threesome, just going out with the same guy.
It was partially a matter of convenience, and partially the fact that we were close friends. We both liked him very much, didn’t want to fight over him, and he wasn’t anxious to choose between us. As this was my first intimate relationship and it became polyamorous, it is hardly surprising that I ended up in a polygamist marriage.
My first husband was Alan.
We fell together like a couple of old shoes, somehow instantly comfortable with each other. We had similar opinions about plural relationships, and neither of us was averse to the idea.
Around a year and a half after we were married, we met Eric. He and I were instantly attracted to each other and, as Alan had no objection, we began getting to know each other better.
Over time, I found myself falling in love with Eric. Alan certainly wasn’t blind to this, so we all got together to discuss it. This turned out to be one of the most important conversations of my life, and led to an increase in my family.
Alan and Eric let me make the sleeping arrangements, and I worked to make sure I spent time with both of them.