by Michelle Montoro
My husband and I practice consensual non monogamy. We have been doing so for nearly three years. And for the first year and a half, we kept it pretty quiet.
But it started feeling very much like living in a closet, hiding away something that brings us so much joy. And quite frankly, it was exhausting.
Recently, we decided to share our story publicly.
However, when we began speaking openly about the nature of our relationship, we found ourselves very often met with dismay, confusion, and disapproval by the majority of people whom we know. Only a small percentage of our friends and family accept our non traditional lifestyle.
So I felt the need to offer an explanation in an attempt to clarify some of the misconceptions about non monogamy. Specifically about the way in which we practice non monogamy.
But let me begin with how this came about for us.
We have a very happy and successful marriage (our 10th anniversary is in just a few months). We communicate better than any other couple we have ever met. We never argue. In fact, we very rarely even disagree. We laugh and we love and we raise our children together in an environment that is filled with compassion, acceptance, and understanding. We show affection often and we are intimate with each other as often as any couple with two young children can be.
For the first 8 years of our relationship, we were completely monogamous. But we often had discussions about the idea of exploring non monogamy. My husband has a job that separates us often, the longest time period being two years. During those two years, he was able to visit me about once a month, but I was raising our very young children by myself and honestly was just too tired to provide the intimacy that he needed then.
So we discussed the idea of an open marriage during that period, but we never fully committed to it or pursued it. However, the seed had been planted.