I share my nights between my boys, kiss them both when they walk in from work, and sit in the middle on the couch.
My husband is my life. He is my best friend, my rock, my confidant and an absolutey amazing father to our three children. We were high school sweethearts and spent all of our spare time together. We shared every aspect of our life and I could have never imagined my life with anyone else.
Sexually we were very comfortable, and in our younger years dabbled in the world of swinging. The bond we had enabled us to share ourselves and each other, and trust that our emotions and physical fun could be happily kept separate.
Once the kids were a little older and we were comfortable leaving them with a sitter, we started to re-ignite our social life, and began enjoying our weekends out again.
The mention of visiting a swingers club (where couples swap partners for an evening) had come up a few times, and eventually we decided to take the plunge. We set our rules before we headed in, both extremely nervous, neither knowing what to expect.
The night was fabulous, we met amazing people, loved the friendly relaxed atmosphere and felt more than comfortable ending the night with the intentions we had in mind.
That night pretty much determined our social schedule for the next six months, and we didn’t miss a theme night. Our bond became like nothing we had had before, the days following a night out we would chat endlessly about our experiences and opinions on different couples. We were husband and wife, and best friends. Giving each other tips and tricks, giggling about terrible experiences and appreciating even more what we both had at home.
Then everything changed the night I met Sam. He was older and cheeky and I immediately felt drawn to him. We didn’t spend a lot of time chatting that night, but when we returned a couple of weeks later I secretly felt excited to see that Sam and his partner had attended the club again too.
We talked a lot during the night, and at some point a group of us had discussed attending another club close by, so we all exchanged numbers with the intention of making it a group event.
The next morning I awoke to a text message from Sam, telling me that he thought I was the sexiest woman in the club. I had never had anyone so openly compliment me, I felt proud and filled with excitement. I showed my husband, who had a little giggle, but also questioned how Sam had my number.
One of our rules was no number exchanging with the opposite sex and at the time, although Sam’s partner put my number into a phone, I was unaware it was his phone she was using, not hers. It was a non issue between hubby and I, as we were both aware the exchanges were to plan for the following weekend.
The weekend couldn’t come fast enough, I was extremely attracted to Sam, and was hoping that the opportunity would arise for some fun. We all had an amazing night, and although there were no sexual encounters, I think we all realized we had established a pretty good group. Our “pack” so to speak.
Everyone ended up staying back at our place and the next morning while Sam’s partner cooked breakfast and my husband headed off to work, Sam and I chatted on our own. Our first alcohol free, one-on-one chat. The conversation was so natural, we both spoke of our past, and told each other things we wouldn’t often chat about so soon to new friends. I felt extremely comfortable with him, and I knew he felt the same. I was disappointed when they had to leave that day, but looked forward to the many social events to come.
Over the following weeks my husband and Sam became great friends, they would clown around at the club and I loved every minute the three of us were together. I hadn’t seen my husband click with another male like he did with Sam, and the fact that I also enjoyed his company so much meant it was a win for us both.
Sam and I continued to text, and there was a lot of flirting. Nothing unfaithful, and, at the time, nothing that either of us thought harmful. It was certainly obvious that both Sam and I were extremely eager to experience each other one night at the club, but with the rules my husband and I had in place, it had to happen the right way, I couldn’t just disappear into a room with him one night.
After what felt like months, the night finally came. I had had a little too much alcohol, as had he, but we had a great time. The sexual attraction I had built toward Sam over the weeks had become extremely strong, and I figured like most encounters at the club, once it had happened the sexual tension would ease. Unfortunately this wasn’t the case, and I was left looking forward to the next opportunity to be with him.
My husband started to question if my feelings were possibly starting to go too far, and in the beginning I would answer no, believing in my answer. As time went on, my answer was the same, but my feelings weren’t, and it was something I didn’t want to admit, at risk of losing him as a friend.
Then came the morning I will never forget, well, one of many which would follow over the next few weeks. It was the morning after a group of us had been to the club and stayed together in a hotel. My amazing husband left a condom, and a note for us when he went to work telling us to have fun. I am guessing he also thought it could help to just get Sam out of my system.
I was extremely shocked as this went against all of our rules, and was not something I would expect from him, but we had definitely grown over the months and had become more and more comfortable in different situations.
Sam and I took our time, unlike the hurried rush and awkwardness in the club. We kissed and touched, and connected. Too much. We didn’t even end up following through, as I looked up into his eyes, I saw deep inside him, and I suddenly saw something that he too, had been desperately trying to hide, but for a moment, there it was, and I felt my stable world fall apart.
We both looked at each other, for what felt like eternity, both knowing we had fallen way, way too far. The only words spoken for a very long time were “What are we going to do?” Both of our hearts breaking for the situation at hand.
I still loved my husband, in no way any less than before. He was still my world and the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. But suddenly I felt the same for someone else. Was it possible to love two people? Society says no. At the same time Sam didn’t want me to leave my husband, he loved my husband as a friend and didn’t want to tear our family apart, his feelings came around as unexpectedly as mine did, and he never intended nor wanted to steal me away.
We tried to hide the feelings, and continue to function as friends but were also both eager to spend as much time together as we could. Sam began to call in on the way home from work, or pop in and see me at work. Although I knew my feelings toward him weren’t OK, nothing physical was happening between us during these times, so I tried to kid myself we weren’t doing anything wrong.
It all changed the night Sam called in just before dinner one night when my husband was at work. He asked if we had dinner plans, and suggested we head to the beach and get some takeout.
Myself, Sam, and my three children got in the car, and as we got onto the highway, I felt sick. What was I doing? What were we doing? I suddenly realized that we had made a terrible mistake, and the reality of having to tell my husband another man took his wife and children out for dinner wouldn’t sit too well.
As expected, my husband wasn’t a happy man, and his and Sam’s friendship looked to be coming to an end. It had become obvious to all that we had taken things too far, and become far too close. I felt like someone was slowly ripping my heart out, I wasn’t ready to let Sam go, I couldn’t just turn off the feelings I had. At the same time I wasn’t prepared to leave my husband. I felt suffocated and trapped by my own emotions.
Before the dinner incident, we had already planned a group night a few days later, and although Sam insisted he needed to stay away, and hubby wasn’t overly keen on Sam still coming, I convinced them both to leave the plans as they were, as it would possibly be our last night out as a whole group.
The night was stressful, it was clear I had completely ruined the beautiful friendship between my husband and Sam. Both men kept their distance from each other, and I felt sick trying to juggle my very on-edge husband and my own emotions seeing Sam’s heartache across the room.
The next morning my husband went to work as he aways did, and Sam and I were left at home. He came to lie with me on my bed, and we both cried. We kissed, we held each other, and we cried. “You know we can’t see each other again,” he told me over and over. “We have to end this.” My tears were constant and I just shook my head, over and over, “You can’t just walk out of my life…”
That morning, we slept together without consent from our spouses. For the first time in my life I cried while having sex. We both cried. Our hearts broke as we spent what we thought would be our final moments together. Sam gathered his things, and stood at the door. For both of us, the tears were still relentless.
I don’t know how I made it into my husband’s work, but I had to later in the day. I tried to put on a brave face, and when he asked what was up I told him I was just a little hungover. On the way home, my mind ticked over and over, and being my stubborn self, I completely ignored Sam’s goodbye and dropped some food off to him at his work. I told him I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but it couldn’t end like this, and I needed time. He told me later he was so relieved I turned up that afternoon, as he had never felt anything like he was feeling, and his heart was breaking.
I walked in the door, trying to pretend like it was any other day. My husband had beaten me home, and seemed grumpy. I didn’t think much of it until I went into our room and the first thing I noticed was the condom wrapper on the side table. The condom wrapper from Sam and my encounter earlier that morning.
The next few days are a blur. My husband was devastated, and I was devastated I had hurt my gorgeous caring man so much. How could he possibly believe I still loved him just the same, no less than before, when I would betray him like that. I took a lot of pain killers. A lot of valium. I slept. I cried. I tried to think but I saw no answer, so to stop the thinking I would just wash down the pain killers with more pain killers. I was numb.
At first my husband would come into our room and ask me what I wanted to do. I would struggle through tears to say “I don’t know.” He would come in and check I was still breathing. As the days passed he would come in and touch my back. Come in and cry with me. Hold me.
Although extremely angry at me, he could see this was serious. He knew me, he knew that I was struggling and when my words eventually came, he listened. To this day I don’t know what I did to deserve such an amazing person in my life.
There was a lot of talking. I told him that although the love I felt for Sam right now was almost overwhelming, I wasn’t sure if it was a honeymoon period thing, or long-term. It had been a very long time since I had fallen in love with someone like I had my husband. He invited Sam over, and we all talked and cried together.
Believe it or not, we sat down, three adults, and discussed the situation realistically and with complete honesty. We discussed that if we were to have an open relationship and I was to see Sam a couple of nights a week, it would be fake, because there would be only romantic dates, no kids, no stress, no bad days, he would be getting the good, and very little of the bad.
For me it would be like a romantic getaway two nights a week, and realistically, it wasn’t going to be fair option, because who would get sick of that? But then my husband suggested Sam move in. He moves in, and gets the good and the bad.
My moods, the kids, the washing, dishes, reality. We try a polyamorous relationship, with baby steps, because I was of course his wife, and sharing me with someone else would take a lot of getting used to.
The day came where I felt ready to talk to the kids, and ask them if they were aware of the situation. It was obvious they would have seen Sam and I interact differently than my other male friends or housemates in the past. By this stage they adored him, so that wasn’t my worry, I was more concerned they may have thought I no longer loved their daddy.
I asked them if they knew why Sam lived with us “Because he is lonely and doesn’t want to live on his own” says one, “because he loves us” says the other, “because we love him” pipes #3.. I realized the conversation wasn’t going anywhere fast. I asked them if they understood that I loved Sam. Yes, they understood. I asked them if they understood that I still loved Daddy just as much, and no less than I always have, yes, they did.
And finally the moment that reminded me how beautifully pure and uninfluenced children are by society’s ideas of rights and wrongs, I asked them if it was OK that mommy loved two people, “Of course,” I was told, as if it was a stupid question, “I love you, mommy, and I also love daddy, so I love two people?”
Fast forward to today. I am the happiest I have been in a long time. I have two wonderful men, who are best friends. They are my clowns again, who joke around and quite often gang up on me. They have even been known to pop to the pub and leave me at home. There have been many bumps in the road, but completely worth the effort. Every second person seems to ask us “what if” or “in a year’s time…” and for a very long time we also wasted many days worrying about the “what ifs” of tomorrow.
Not anymore. I share my nights between my boys, kiss them both when they walk in from work, and sit in the middle on the couch. The responsibilities around home are shared, and the kids are happy and extremely loved. We have all grown enormously, and the fantastic dynamic between the three of us has to be seen to be believed. They both offer me different things, and both understand I love them. Today, I couldn’t imagine my life without both of them in it.
Tomorrow? Why worry about tomorrow, when I’m so happy today.
This originally appeared on Debrief Daily. Republished here with permission.