13th Feb2014

St. Juan and Marie

by St. Juan and Marie

Who are St. Juan and Marie?

This is us. This is our story, in less than a 1,00 words ;D

For the most part, we are your normal, average married couple. Happily married 17 years, two kids, two full time jobs, house in the suburbs, and Cleaveresque family portraits all over our walls. No one would ever suspect our “alternative lifestyle” activities.  Actually, we only have one family member (my sister) that is aware of what happens when we go out with “friends”. For the most part, I’m pretty sure she’s done hearing the details, throwing it aside as a piece of our life she just can’t comprehend, just like the rest of the general monogamous population.

Our open marriage fails to fit in the square box given to us so many years ago. We technically only identified with being open for the last couple of years. During the summer of 2007, we started dipping our toes into the swinging community and enjoyed fully diving in during March of 2011. Yes, we took it slow, up until that point. Then we got caught up in a whirlwind fucking frenzy.

Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe our experiences.  Even mediocre encounters gave us new perspectives and different ways to define our wants and needs. Despite the fun we were having, not everything was rainbows and butterflies.

My sister has asked why we do this if it’s not always fun or the least bit stressful. For me, I have lots of reasons. The most important being the personal development and self-realization it has created within me. My marriage has reaped the benefits because it has caused a complete and utter revaluation of trust, security, and reliance on each other.

What really threw a kink into our perceived reality of swinging was a couple that actually became very good friends with us. Things progressed with them to a place I had no business being. At that point, what I didn’t understand was swinging could be anything you make of it. One person’s definition of it doesn’t necessarily have to match up with another’s. Not realizing we could modify and adjust how we managed our relationships with others, I shamed myself for actually developing feelings for another man, but I will refrain from rambling and stay focused. That is another blog topic entirely.

My inherit nature has always been to shut down and not share when things get too difficult, because if you ignore it, it will just go away, right? Apparently, not so! My husband actually wanted me to talk about things and tell him how I was feeling about all the new and exciting changes that were happening in our relationship. I know, this is kind of a chick thing, but we role reverse A LOT in our relationship.

It was right around this point I thought it would be a good idea to try out single dating (which again is another blog all in itself), but we weren’t communicating properly so it turned out to be quite a challenge for us. So much that I realized we needed help. If we were going to “open up” like this I needed to do some serious personal work and we needed to learn to communicate differently with each other. Our old ways weren’t working with this new relationship format.

A couple of years of ago, a friend of my referred a family/marriage counselor to me for a girlfriend and her husband. I kept the number in my phone. Was it for “just in case” or perhaps because I’m lazy and I never clean out my phone? I don’t know, but it was still there. My girlfriend wasn’t impressed because she claimed the counselor was too unconventional and “different”. Those who go against the grain always impress me, so I called her to set up a phone appointment. It was the best decision I’ve made in long while. She took us in that very evening and for almost two years has been our relationship coach. There are no guidelines, no rule book, no user manual for this open lifestyle and I’m not very good at figuring things out on my own.

We’re in a good place right now. At this time, we stick to couple-couple play. Our time together is limited as is, so we use the weekends to reconnect and hangout with old friends and new couples. Separate room play is not an option, as I feel it blurs the lines for us way too much. We are very go-with-the-flow, laid back sort of folk. We want to have fun and enjoy our friends in any given situation.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s OK to actually like someone you’re fucking. A mental/quasi-emotional connection doesn’t scare me away like it initially did. In fact, I prefer that. I’ve come a long way, and I’m proud of that. We’ve got issues, and that is normal, not shameful. I want to share with others about our marriage and how we manage our friends with benefits relationships. Although I would like to converse with others about our experiences, sometimes I really just need to get things off my chest, out of my mind, and on to metaphorical paper. Apparently, I’m game for all kinds of therapy.