I casually mentioned in my last post that my husband and I had a conversation around the concept of "sharing". By the request of a commenter, I've decided to explain the how and why this talk happened. Plainly speaking, I wanted to know how Od felt about monogamy. We hadn't clearly defined our rules. Ever. Like so many things with us, monogamy has been an unspoken understanding.
Something I've learned from years of reading blogs, listening to pod casts, and having discussions with other people is that "cheating" is a relative term. Like most people who set out to be married for a long time I just assumed that my marriage partner would be my only partner. So far, so good. Uh...sort of.
There was that one little time when I kinda almost cheated. But we're way past that now. Od knows about it because in a soul baring conversation I told him all about it. He understood and even went so far as to apologize for leaving me unhappy for so long. We healed. But now that we're healed, are our rules the same as they were before we started exploring our sexuality? I assumed our unspoken agreement was still in effect. There's a good reason for that saying they have about assumptions.
I think. I think a lot. My thoughts jump from topic to topic inside my head as I go about my business. One night back in January I had the idea of "sharing" on my mind. Can't recall why, but it was there. Most likely I was mulling over a setback in our relationship and wondering when things would settle, or if they would settle, and exactly what that meant. After trying so many new things for the last year it's apparent that some ideas aren't sticking and I'm having a hard time coming to terms with that fact. What I mean to say is that my husband is not as submissive as I'd like him to be but I still find myself desiring an outlet for my dominant needs. So here I am washing dishes while Od is at the kitchen table on his laptop. Inside my head I'm questioning the possibility of getting what I want, while knowing it most likely won't be from him. All sorts of what if scenarios run through my head. None of them match up with my wedding vows and this unspoken understanding we have about monogamy. Suddenly I have a need to know, in his own words, how highly he values the concept. So I ask.
"How do you feel about sharing?"
Confused look. "About sharing what?"
Confused look continues. "What do you mean? Explain it to me."
"With other people. In regards to monogamy."
"Oh. Well. Hmm." Long pause with his eyes searching the ceiling. "I can think of a handful of situations where that might happen."
It's my turn to look confused, because I expected to drop the question on him and give him the required week or two he needs to come back with a reply. "Really?!? You've thought about that? In what ways?"
And then he goes on to describe 4 different ways in which that might be possible. All of them incorporate a third party to the mix, and I can't help but be excited that he seems to understand my wishes. All 4 scenarios include another man. As surprised as I was that he had a ready made response, I couldn't help but acknowledge that my ideas were just a little different than his. Do I share them? Do I drop it for now, happy with the fact that he's not opposed? I go for it.
"Okay. I like those ideas. What about something different?"
"Different how, like swapping?"
"No, not really. Different as in...a situation where you might not be directly involved. Sort of.....*deep breath*...sortoflikeahallpass."
"Like a hall pass?"
"Yes. A hall pass."
He thinks. Thinks some more. I hold my breath as my eyebrows climb my forehead.
More thinking. More breath holding. I try not to do that nervous laughing/smiling thing I do.
Finally he answers. "I guess so. It really depends."
I know where his mind is leading him. "You mean the who, the where, being safe and smart, and all that?"
"Yes." He seems relieved that for a change that I'm not rolling my eyes at his need for safety rules.
"Okay, I get that. So you're not saying no?" I ask him incredulously.
"No. I'm not."
I smile at him and shake my head in wonder, knowing that I've used my limit of pushing boundaries this evening. Pleasantly surprised and content with our conversation I kiss him and tell him I love him.
It seems we have a new understanding.