I walked down the aisle in 2006 loving Marc and trusting in our forever future. I knew changes would come, difficulties, ups and downs but I never, ever expected to be where I am now.
We got married after two years together. We moved home, had two beautiful children together but, as the baby stages became the preschool stages I felt increasingly unhappy. I began to feel trapped. I would look ahead and see nothing but more of the same. Whilst I had begun to write (a blog and then fiction) and even though I had everything I could ever materially need, I felt increasingly depressed.
A family holiday in 2013 descended into arguments and misery with Marc trying desperately to fix a problem that neither of us knew the true nature of.
My life looked perfect. My life WAS perfect.
What is wrong with you? I kept asking myself. What the hell is wrong with you?
So, I tried harder. I tried gratitude exercises. I tried eating better. I tried exercise. I worked harder and harder but just felt more and more miserable.
Then, I met someone. His names was Cameron. He was someone I wanted even though I knew I shouldn’t. Desperate, I asked anyway.
No, he said, you are married, I won’t meet you.
No one had ever said no to me before.
I asked again.
This time he said: have you thought about an open relationship?
And then, as with the other big change in my adult life (stopping drinking alcohol), it was a book that changed everything.
I owned but had yet to read Meg John Barker’s Rewriting the Rules. On reading, it gave me the vocabulary I needed to have a conversation that I had to have. A conversation that is the second hardest of my life to date. A conversation that involved me telling my husband of nearly ten years that monogamy no longer suited me.
That was in the late Spring of 2015. And, at the time, I thought that that would be enough, that having some freedom would be all I needed. But, along with all the mistakes I had made (and continued to make) came a lot of learning and with that learning I gained a new understanding of relationships and also of myself.
Next, I did something that I had talked about often but never really expected to happen in any truly fundamental way: I changed. Meeting Andrea in January 2016, the experiences we had and the values we shared accelerated that change.
I discovered that I am capable of loving multiple people. I discovered that I very much prefer a particular type of sex. I discovered that these things enable me to truly thrive as a human being.
It was a very messy, very painful journey to here for me. I lied. I hurt the people I cared about the most. I spent more time falling and stumbling than I did walking but I ended up here: in a radical relationship.
It is a place where I value honesty and truth above all else. A place where I am able to forgive myself for the mistakes I have made even if those around me are not able to. A place where I am also able to acknowledge the truth of my sexual and emotional self and to embrace it.
For me, radical relationships (or, if you prefer, non-hierarchical polyamory, non-monogamy or relationship fluidity/anarchy) are not about sex (though I do think great sex can be transformative in many ways) but about connection. They are about letting people flow in and out of your life freely. They are about promoting personal growth and development as well as authenticity, whatever that means for the relationship. They are about commitment to the truth of ourselves, who we are and what we genuinely need to become our best selves rather than the needs that society and culture tells us we have and when we will have them.
They are label-free, authentic relationships that are free to change rather then be trained to follow a certain, socially normative path. They are about bringing more love into the world, more love, more honesty, more trust, more authenticity. And it is because of all of this that we are here, sharing our story with you…
Welcome to NoMo. See you inside.