As more and more people in our circle of friends become aware of ‘what we’re up to’, I’m continually astounded by their sheer lack of surprise. Not one single person has raised an eyebrow. Are our friends super accepting and open minded or did they already think we were up to this? I suspect a little from column A and a little from column B.
Still, there’s always that momentary hesitance a second before you tell someone, a flick of the eyes to J – should we or shouldn’t we? We don’t force it into conversation but, if it naturally comes up (usually when someone asks when we’re getting married), we try to be honest. Lots of friends know now and so does J’s older sister and my only sister. My sister said the same thing as one of J’s brothers: “If anyone was going to make this work, it would be you two”. Not sure what this says about us, but I’m taking it as a compliment.
J’s sister is seeing a married man so it was a more interesting exchange. Hers is definitely not a poly type situation; the wife either doesn’t know about it or is putting up with it – not happily – while the husband sneaks around, even though it’s been going on for maybe seven or eight years now. She has a child with him. He’s bought her a house. He spends one night a week with them (just to see her, not their son). The husband also had another child with his wife about three years into their time together.
It’s all kinds of fucked up but I think she saw an opportunity to draw comparisons between her situation and ours. She’s copped a lot of flack for her decision to stay with him and perhaps thought she’d find some solidarity. The whole family is quite disapproving and, while a lot of her friends feel the same way, he’s rich and pays for things so a few of them are able to swallow their discontent (either for the benefits or because they think it makes her happy, maybe it does). J didn’t have the heart to point out to her how different things are for us.
I won’t be dragged off on a tangent though, this wasn’t the point I was making today. What I really wanted to focus on was the resistance I still feel to being open about it despite how easy it’s been to ‘come out’. It’s not that I’m ashamed to talk about it yet some tiny part of me must be because it’s always a struggle to say the words (unless I’m tipsy/drunk/high and then they just floooooowwww right on out).
And then you have the other part of me that just wants to shock people by talking about it. Yes, I like to be a rebel who doesn’t conform to other’s rules. I want to shout it from the rooftops, even if I pause awkwardly for a second or two first.