Hello, internet. This is a post from my Patreon, which you can find at https://patreon.com/carlykaxt. This is not the first time I’ve shared an old post from my Patreon (apparently Quality of Emotion, Part 1 caused a little bit of a stir in the small town gossip circles), and it will not be the last. A few disclaimers before we get into it.
- This post is from January 17, 2020. After my Quality of Emotion post first came out at the end of 2019, a few people messaged me asking questions about the mechanics of polyamory. Obviously there was interest so I decided to kind of get into the specifics of how that whole situation came about. This post, as you can see, is from well over a year ago! And before the world’s longest fucking year at that so, much like my last Patreon post, is not reflective of how I feel now or even really relevant to the life I’m currently living. It was suggested to me that, “I hope you plan to time-release some of these, as a drip feed, to let them know what they’re missing sometime.” So here we are. To that person’s credit, my engagement stats were great on my last Patreon post I put on here.
- Like I said on my last post: The person this post primarily deals with no longer interacts with me! Please leave them alone if you figure out who I’m talking about. They seem to have a nice, stable, healthy life now and they don’t deserve you harassing them. Tbh, way back in the day when I wrote a different post about them, they asked me not to write about them on this blog but uh well, this is my blog. I can write about whatever I want, lmao.
As a little addendum to this: if you don’t like what I’ve written here, no one is forcing you to read it. I try my best to be respectful and change names and leave out any major personal details unless they relate directly to me. However, if the teacher calling me “the next Columbine” couldn’t censor me, I really doubt anyone else is going to be successful in trying.
- If you enjoy this post, there’s plenty more where this came from at https://patreon.com/carlykaxt. I have five posts related to polyamory, several of which are available at the $1 tier. The $5 tier unlocks all of my writing, and higher tiers get cool bonus goodies like monthly worksheets, stickers, and a copy of my upcoming booklet.
Alright, that’s enough of that. Enjoy the post.
Non-monogamy; or, how it was being married but dating other people at the same time
About a year ago, I had a husband and a boyfriend. They both knew about one another and I felt like the luckiest woman in the world. Except for when my husband went out on a date with another woman. That day I decided to see what the barrel of a 9mm handgun tasted like.
I’m not really here to explain polyamory so if you’re not clear on what this kind of relationship looks like, I highly recommend checking out Psychology.com‘s series on it here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/polyamory. Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, I’ll borrow a snippet from their little breakdown in case you don’t feel like clicking off of this post.
Polyamory is the practice of having multiple intimate relationships, whether sexual or just romantic, with the full knowledge and consent of all parties involved.
Psychology.com on Polyamory
So now that we all know what exactly we’re talking about, I want to discuss the actual experience of it. I touched on it briefly in my last Patreon post, “Quality of Emotion, part 1”. As you may or may not recall, my darling husband allowed me to date a man we’ll call Ash. The reality of how that came to be is much messier than that simple sentence, however.
I’m not proud to say that I have a long history of infidelity. I could probably write a whole post all about the different times I crumbled at the touch of a lover other than my committed partner and have it be longer than most things I post online. It’s not that I want to hurt the person that I’m with or that I love them any less; I’ve spent pretty much my entire romantic life loving more than one person at a time. It’s just the way I’m wired.
Ash was no different. Although our social circles had brushed against one another a few times previously, (he once told me he remembered the first time we met – I was wearing black and blue striped thigh-highs connected to a garter belt and a plaid, pleated skirt which was truly Carly at Peak Hotness), we didn’t properly meet until a little over two years ago. At the time, I was trying to fuck his cousin who I had fooled around with and idealized to the point of no recognition as I tend to do: this was Libra. Libra agreed to hang out with me one night and I was all riled up about it until he asked if he could invite his cousin. Although I really wanted to tell him “no”, he told me that he had just gotten out of jail recently and didn’t have any sober friends to hang out with. I couldn’t say “no” to that, especially as a sucker who loves a good redemption arc. So Ash and Libra picked me up and we went to the beach. I resented Ash for cockblocking me and the two of them together were lowkey insufferable, prattling on about metal and other music I didn’t care much for. He did help us score some weed though so my opinion of him by the end of the night was slightly improved.
This became a bit of a pattern. Pretty much every time I hung out with Libra, he brought Ash. I’m not sure if it was a conscious way of cockblocking me or if he just thought we’d get along well enough to hang out with both of us at the same time, but I started inadvertently spending more and more time with Ash. At first, I found him absolutely infuriating. He was offensive, not at all sensitive, and so clearly into the “thug” lifestyle. I thought it was a weird act he put on but after a while, I realized that the kid had slung drugs for so long that it just was a part of who he was at this point. So instead of tiptoeing around him and the terminology I didn’t understand, I started shooting back at him. What the fuck is a c-note? You do realize what you just said is fucking problematic, right? That’s funny coming from a guy who doesn’t even have a driver’s license.
Suddenly, hanging out with Ash became a lot more fun. I found myself rapidly forgetting about Libra and looking forward to verbally sparring with Ash. The more I got to know him, the more I realized that beneath the tough-guy exterior he was quick as a whip and funnier than hell. The first time I saw him play guitar, I should have realized any shred of my early disdain was laughably stupid. I could tell by the way he looked at me that he wanted it, too, but my heart was torn. I didn’t want to hurt Nicholas again.
During this time in our lives, Nicholas was gone every night working security. I’ve never been good at being alone at night. Ash was practically nocturnal so he didn’t mind keeping me company. One night, after Libra left, it was just him and me. I was playing Breath of the Wild, he was sitting next to me on the couch, and I’m pretty sure it was me who made the first move. It was small, simple, and posed an easy question: are you interested? I reached over and wove my fingers through his. We held hands as I somehow played Breath of the Wild one-handed. My heart was racing the entire time.
It escalated from there. Any night that he could come over, he did. We’d laugh and make out and I’d force him to either watch me play video games or make him play video games. I remember persuading him to play Doki Doki Literature Club and I watched him literally all night. He probably thought he was going to get some. In the beginning, it was pretty PG-13. I had some delusion that maybe it could stay this way and it would be so inconsequential I wouldn’t have to tell Nicholas. One night, though, it reached the breaking point.
The downside of most of our relationship is that we were perpetually high and frequently drunk. This was the case for the first night we had sex. We decided to leave a party that was just down the street from my place but we couldn’t wait until we made it back. It was fucking January, snow on the ground, the moon our only illumination. Yet I couldn’t wait, I couldn’t resist, I wanted him right now. I knew a spot and I would have him there. So I grabbed his hand and ducked behind the house I’d lived in when I first moved to Michigan, weaving in between trees until we reached a small plateau just shy of the top of the water tower hill I’d broken my leg on sledding. This time, when I laid in the snow, my cries would be of pleasure instead of pain.
This continued for some time before I knew I had to tell my husband what was going on. I was at work when I mentally decided I couldn’t keep it from him any longer. We had talked about potentially having an open marriage and gone in circles about the subject, which led me to the conclusion that the only way I could be free to do what I pleased was to ask him for a divorce. I didn’t really want to do this – not only was I still madly in love with my husband, but there were deeper issues at play. At this point in my life, I was working a job that was making me literally suicidal, feeling horrifically trapped by my home life where I was the primary caretaker of my disabled mother, never having left the house that I lived in while I graduated high school, and abusing substances daily to attempt to numb my dissatisfaction. My marriage felt like the only thing I had any control over and as a highkey control freak, that meant that I needed to exert this control in order to bring some sense of peace into my life. Everything else seemed impossible to change so I would sacrifice my marriage of five years if that’s what it took to keep myself from soaking a tampon with vodka and rapidly blacking out my way to the grave.
On my way home, I was practicing what I would say to him. It was snowing heavily and our car struggled to find traction. Turning left onto the one and only busy street in our town, I suddenly saw a white car going straight within the haze of snow and attempted to stop. I was too slow. I just barely bumped the back end of their car. At first, the woman I hit was angry, but all I could do was cry. As we waited for the police, I apologized and said I was on my way home to ask my husband for a divorce. She didn’t know what to say. We both went back into our cars to wait. After the police took our information and gave us the incident number, I made it the rest of the way home. As soon as I walked through the door, I was crying. Nicholas knew immediately something was very wrong.
I choked out the words, “I want a divorce,” and began to sob uncontrollably. In the five years we’d been together, I had seen him cry twice before this night. This third time wrenched my heart worse than any pain I’d ever experienced. We collapsed onto the floor, clutching each other. On our knees, we tried to make sense of what I’d done, what was happening, what I needed. Once I revealed that I didn’t actually want a divorce, he asked me what it was I really wanted. Although it was not pretty, and certainly not his first choice, Nicholas agreed to let me date Ash. In return, he could date whomever he pleased as well. He began pursuing a girl we’ll call Lisa.
At first, it all seemed to have worked out for the best. I recall a pleasant evening where Nicholas, Ash, and I all sat together on the couch and talked openly about our feelings. The reality is that this wasn’t our first foray into opening our marriage – the fall previous to this, we had asked a mutual friend to be our girlfriend. I’ve since learned now that such women are called unicorns and she was certainly no exception to this magical description. The experience of having a partner we didn’t share, however, was rather different. I had to be very conscious of how I split my time now, and hypersensitive to the needs of each partner. Nicholas would always know when I was with Ash, where we were, and vaguely what we were doing. I didn’t give him the nitty-gritty unless he asked for it. It was wonderful for a little while but two things happened pretty quickly after one another – one event I covered in a video, aptly titled My Worst Mistake and the second, I’ve never written about. I don’t even really want to write about it now, to be honest with you. I will give you a vague, brief summary of the second event: Ash broke my trust, lied about it, and in turn broke my heart. I got shit faced about it, listened to Crybaby by Demi Lovato on repeat on my amplifier, laid on the kitchen floor in the fetal position, and cried until I felt like my throat was going to bleed – all while my husband watched on his work break! Yay!!
Then, of course, there was the incident that occurred when Nicholas went out with Lisa. Once, by the way. Versus my God only knows how many times with Ash. Despite knowing intellectually that he still loved me and his interest in this woman was no threat to our love, the jealousy made me irrational and scared and depressed. I took his 9mm handgun out into the woods, planning to put an end to my suffering so he could be happy with her. My delusions were violently out of control. Ash ended up responding and so I picked him up, confessing what I was thinking about doing before he got back to me. We went back to my house so I could put the gun away but before I did, I pointed the gun squarely at Ash. This is the one and only time I’ve ever seen Ash truly angry, and rightfully so. What a fucking psychotic thing to do! I don’t even remember what I said or why I did it, other than to get a rise out of him. To see how far I could push him before he pushed back. To stir something else up to distract me from the self-loathing and terror eating away at my insides as my husband spent time with another woman. Suddenly I had a taste of what he must feel when I was gone. I’ll never forget this feeling.
Even though our relationship only spanned a few months, so much happened in that small span of time. I’m realizing now that it would take me all day to recount all the highs and lows of this time in my life. Our trip out of state where all expectations I had suddenly shattered relentlessly, dancing for him at the bar until an ex of his harassed us, the hotel we got downtown featuring a bed we spent a lot of time in but none of it sleeping, tearing my hamstring trying to do the splits… I could go on and on. Some I’ve omitted for his privacy. Ash is anything but boring and despite his flaws, he was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. Polyamory or no, I would have been a borderline, suicidal mess either way. These two men gave me the support and encouragement to finally change my life and eventually get out of the unhappy reality I had found myself in.
If there’s anything you take away from this, I would hope that it’d be a bit more of an open mind about polyamory and open relationships. They’re like every other kind of relationship, featuring their own pros and cons. Nicholas and I’s bond was strengthened by this experience and my appreciation for him now is higher than it’s ever been because I realize how a partnership like ours is quite rare. It’s easy to take something you’ve had for so long for granted.
Simultaneously, this experience made me realize that it’s unrealistic to expect one person to be able to fulfill literally all of your needs and interests. Ash inspired and pushed me in ways Nicholas never will. He understood parts of me Nicholas simply can’t. And as much as I hate how I hurt my husband throughout this experience, I am grateful we were able to come out of it stronger like a broken bone whose calcification serves as greater reinforcement.
I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to openly love two people at once, even though I wasn’t open about it with the world at the time. Someday, maybe it won’t be such a taboo to date outside of marriage. Until then, I’ll do what I can to normalize this experience. Hopefully someday it won’t be such an emotional undertaking. Without slowly undoing the assumed monogamy of our culture, though, we won’t ever be able to move in that direction.
ps from present day Carly –
I actually mention how this period of time in my life was the catalyst for getting to where I’m at now in the video I released this past weekend over at https://youtube.com/carlykaxt. If you’re curious, go check out my video “Healing vs. Hustling”. Otherwise, for more of my unfiltered writing, you know where to go c; Become a Patron!