Right. In June last year, I started having an affair. That wasn't the intention at the time, of course. It was supposed to be a one-off. And then a two-off. And then we were never supposed to see each other again. And then we were going to be in the same space and just behave ourselves. So, y'know, we slept together again. And then we stopped pretending. And then we got caught, which brings us up to January.
I suspect anyone who doesn't already know, but who's actually met him, has an inkling of a suspicion that the man in question is Tom Beard. If you've never heard of him before, pertinent things to note are: he lives in Wellington so we don't see each other very often, and he's polyamorous. Um. And a Dom.
Anyway, I don't want to go into too much detail but the last six weeks or so have been pretty horrendous. Karl seriously thought about leaving me, and who'd have blamed him? Once we'd made a decision to stay together, and to go to counselling, we had to decide what to do about my relationship with Tom. Because here's the thing that might surprise you if you do know him: Tom and I love each other. Again, not what anyone expected, it just happened. Neither of us said it until we thought we were over forever, that I'd never be allowed to see him again.
Not, as it turned out, what happened. Rather than forbid me, and then spend the rest of our lives jealously checking up on me all the time, Karl decided to see if he could cope with Tom and I having a publicly-acknowledged relationship. So. Karl and I are partners. Tom and I are lovers. Tom and I will see each other a few times a year, in Wellington. What we have been doing, basically, except now everyone knows about it and I don't have to try to hide the extensive bruising I come home with.
I figure people will have some questions. Let me try to answer them before they're asked, in my usual style.
Q/ So, your partner, quite whipped then?
A/ Anyone showing less than the deepest respect for my partner and the depth of his love for me can expect to be imminently stabbed in the face by me. If you can't get your head around it, at least keep your fucking mouth shut.
Q/ Are you sure you've really thought this through? I mean, it's not going to be easy, is it?
A/ All three of us have actually been in poly relationships before. I'm thinking we all have more of an idea of what we're getting into than most of our observers do.
Q/ So, Emma, if you'll sleep with him, you'll sleep with me, right?
A/ Short answer? No. Long answer? It's like that no, except I snort-laugh for about three minutes as well.
Q/ So, that means Tom's In a Relationship, right, and unavailable?
A/ See above. Except the laughter goes on for longer, and at some point I start crying, probably just before I slide under the table.
Q/ This is hardly going to last, is it?
A/ You mean, unlike all monogamous relationships, which last forever? The simple answer is, I don't know. Also, we've really only just started this. You want me to be thinking about the end all the time?
Q/ You really are a selfish, self-centred little bitch, aren't you?
A/ I'm a bisexual polyamorous sub bitch. For eighteen years I lived in a monogamous vanilla relationship, and I thought everything was fine. Until, y'know, my daughter started school-refusing, my city fell apart in a series of earthquakes, and my mother died a lingering death from cancer. Karl understands why this started. He's really the only person whose judgement of my actions matters.
Q/ You must have had help, carrying this out and covering it up, right?
A/ The only people who have ANY responsibility for our affair are me and Tom, alright? Alright.
Q/ Wait, if I'm reading this right, he HITS you? Seriously? Are you insane?
A/ If I ask nicely. Or I'm bad. Or we both really really feel like it. Also collars me, cuffs me, feeds me... The dodgier you find this, the more detail I'll give you, okay?
Feel free to add any other questions or comments you have in, well, the comments. This might well be the only place I give any answers. Just bear in mind that I'm pretty fucking happy about this, and we're all trying to make it work. You know what I say about harshing my buzz.