Marriage. I used to believe in meeting the right person, falling in love, enjoying common interests, marrying, and having children. After two marriages that have failed for different reason, I have a new perspective.
My first marriage failed because the strong person that he knew became mentally ill after the dam released and the symptoms of complex PTSD claimed the mind. My second marriage is still there, yet we live as friends. We just seemed to want different aspects that were missing in each other.
Enter the concept of open marriage. This does not mean cheating or just sleeping around. What it does mean is forming relationships with others who share a common interest. The possibility of intimacy is always there, yet the friendship is more important:
I can now talk to someone about my kids, interests, and all of the silly things in between. I enjoy hearing about their lives and their goals. Sharing childhood memories . Most of them I have not met and may never meet. They are in my life though and my life is fuller now because I have met them.
I want my husband to have the same. I want him to be able to be happy and fulfilled. To be able share his memories and interests with someone.
What I have learned from both marriages is that no one person is able to fulfill all of my needs or even my partners needs. This is not for everyone, yet it lets me have control over my happiness. This is the first time that has happened.
We have rules and boundaries for our open marriage and have assessed the boundaries every few months just to make certain that we are both on the same page. Maybe for some, I am a label, yet for me I feel like my life and my husbands life is better due to this choice.