Love Squared: Giving My Heart to Two Men. ~ Mandy Fox

Via elephant journal
on Jan 17, 2013
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Photo: Andrew Turner
Photo: Andrew Turner

I don’t believe that the grass will be greener on the other side.

When I was 18, a friend of mine asked me if I thought you could love two people at once. Back then, so young and inexperienced, I replied with a very quick and adamant, no.

As if.

Almost 30 years later, I’m not so sure I would answer the same way. I’ve learned quite a few things since then. Yeah, stuff has gone down, stuff that I used to think would never happen to me, stuff I deemed irresponsible or weak, stuff that I now know is far more commonplace than I ever imagined.

Love, lust, instant animal attraction—whatever you want to call it—sometimes shows up at the most inopportune times. When it does come along however, you know it. The experience is undeniable. It’s like slowly sinking into a warm bath, or flying across the universe or having fireworks explode inside your belly.

It’s like magic.

You meet that special someone, and it’s déjà vu. You feel as if you’ve known that person forever. You just want to touch them, talk to them and be near them. You can’t get enough. It’s exactly how I felt when I met my husband.

But here’s the kicker—sometimes this sort of thing happens more than once in a lifetime.

How do I know? Easy. Because it happened to me.

Almost 15 years exactly from the day I said my wedding vows, out of nowhere, I experienced that love/lust thing all over again—only this time it was with a different man and I was still married.

Oddly enough, I was quite happy with my husband. Sure, we’d had our ups and downs by that point. We’d been together a long time and so it was to be expected. But you know that old saying: I was married, not dead. I was also human—a social, sexual being—and I was tempted, really tempted.

My connection to this other man was strong, immediate and blissfully over-powering. It was all I wanted, all I could think about. It made me high, but it put me in a tough spot. For the longest time after, the whole predicament gave me a complex.

I worried that there was something terribly wrong with me. I wasn’t fitting in with society’s norms.

Sure, I loved my husband, but I wanted desperately to be with this other man.

I worried that I had turned into one of those people who could never be satisfied, the kind of person who was always searching—addicted to love, possibly to sex. I saw myself as the star of some trashy television show. For a few years there, I lost a lot of sleep.

I contemplated cheating, but deep down, I knew I couldn’t. I am a terrible liar, and it would eat me up inside. I’d inevitably end up spilling my guts anyway.

There was the alternative of forgetting about this guy, and getting back to my old life, my life before I met him. But if you’ve ever been in love, you know how impossible that would be, especially since he was still around. I mean, he hadn’t left the country or anything. I knew where to find him.

So what did I do? I did what I do about everything else that causes me grief.

I told my husband.

He is my best friend, after all. We’ve always been honest with each other, but this was taking it to a whole new level. It’s one thing to say that you think Brad Pitt is cute and quite another to tell your partner that you want to have sex—like seriously have sex—with another man.

What would he say? How would he react? Would he ask me for a divorce? Luckily, he didn’t hate me after. And so it was: My idea of soul mates had changed dramatically. Can you say “two for one?”

Over the past few years, right alongside my own emotional/sexual awakening, I’ve noticed that there has been a definite trend in society to embrace one’s non-monogamous tendencies. The topic is all over mainstream media, and I’ve been watching, trying to figure stuff out.

Shows like PolyamoryBig Love and Sister Wives are just a few examples. Then you have movies like Sarah Polley’s Take This Waltz whose plot mimics my dilemma almost exactly.

Obviously, media reflects the thoughts of society at large. It must to a certain extent, as someone has to be thinking these things. Personally, I believe that people are tired of hiding their true feelings when it comes to this issue. They just want to be themselves. They want to be free. And I don’t mean free to go sleep with whomever they please; I mean free to think and say how they really feel.

According to Christopher Ryan, psychologist, teacher and the co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality“Few mainstream therapists would contemplate trying to persuade a gay man or woman to ‘grow up, get real, and stop being gay.’ But most insist that long-term sexual monogamy is ‘normal,’ while the curiosity and novelty-seeking inherent in human sexuality are signs of pathology.”

We can say whatever we’d like about what is “normal” or “not normal,” but the truth comes out in how we act.

Most—while we may pair-bond for a while—don’t necessarily pair-bond exclusively for our entire lives. We just don’t, and I think we need to face this fact head-on.

For me, this means accepting my thoughts and desires. What it doesn’t mean however, is that I think it’s okay to go out and sleep around without giving thought or concern for the other people in my life. I figure that if I act out of respect and love for my partner and my family, then I can’t go wrong. That’s how I try to approach every decision that I make, whether it’s romance and sex-related or not.

These days, I don’t try to pretend to be someone I’m not. I just try to be honest. Yes, sometimes jealousy can make things a little messy, but my husband and I have managed to work through it. I don’t rub my thoughts and feelings in his face. I just don’t lie.

Also, whatever I hold true for myself, I hold true for him as well. That should go without saying—what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Furthermore, I don’t believe that the grass will be greener on the other side.

The grass won’t be greener; it’ll be the same. It may look greener at first, but it wouldn’t take long before I started seeing some weeds. People really aren’t that different.

True, there are some exceptions, but it is my general opinion that relationships are what you make them. The grass is greener where you water it. And I water mine. But sometimes—just sometimes—I’d like to go for a hike in the country (wink, wink).

Through all of this soul-searching, I’ve come to the conclusion that there is absolutely nothing wrong with me. I’ve met so many other people who have experienced this same sort of dilemma that it would be impossible for these “errant” feelings of mine to make me a bad person. We’d all be bad people if that were the case, and that just wouldn’t make sense.

But what it really comes down to is action, right? How do I handle this situation? What do I do?

Well, that’s where I’m partially stumped. Yes, I try to act out of love and kindness for those closest to me, but that doesn’t make “man number two” go away.

Since I met him though, I’ve been busy. I have a life, and I have priorities— namely my children, my husband, my family and my own sense of well-being. All that stuff comes first.

I guess the short answer is that I haven’t done anything yet. Day-to-day, I barely have time to sit down for a cup of tea.

Maybe in a few years from now, when the kids are grown and on their own, things will be different. Maybe they won’t.

Whatever happens though, I will love my husband, and he’ll always be a main part of my life.

Unfortunately, there are no definitive answers, no black and white. If it feels right, at the right time, in the right setting—if all the lights are green—then maybe I’ll indulge my passions. If it doesn’t, or they aren’t, then I won’t. So far, it hasn’t.

Do I still think about man number two? Of course. Would I like to see him? Hell yes. Do I? No. A person can’t have everything they want. I’d like to go on a $10,000 shopping spree to New York City too, but that’s not going to happen any time soon either.

I have two, almost three children in university. Tuition is crazy expensive these days. Sometimes you just have to wait for stuff. And sometimes, you’ll never get what you want. But you can dream. And there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.


Mandy Fox head shotAmanda Fox is creator of TheFurFiles—a blog in which she talks candidly about life, love, marriage, kids, cats and sex. She also writes literary erotica, and has had short stories published in Maxim Jakubowski’s The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 9, Violet Blue’s Sweet Love and Cole Riley’s Too Much Boogie: Erotic Remixes of the Dirty Blues. She has self-published her own erotic novel entitled The Albatross and the Mermaid and a collection of erotic short stories entitled The Realest Thing: Stories of Love, Hunger and Obsession. She enjoys fitness, music, movies, fashion, architecture and animals. You can find her under her blog persona “Fern DeVilliers” on TwitterFacebook and StumbleUpon, and as herself on Pinterest.





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Ed: Bryonie Wise


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33 Responses to “Love Squared: Giving My Heart to Two Men. ~ Mandy Fox”

  1. iamwarriorintraining says:

    …but there are some of us that did walk on that other greener grass and they got lost 🙂 it's a tough one

  2. Lee says:

    So candid and honest. Beautiful and brave.

  3. Thanks for such a wonderful and honest article. I know few women who haven't been faced with this- and you captured how much you love your husband perfectly. It's a dilemma and a very personal choice.

  4. What an incredibly brave thing to do, and probably the one real answer if you want to preserve the sacredness of the marriage. It does us no good to hide the truth from our spouse when that truth is secretly driving a wedge between us. We might have saved the other person some bad feelings, but we've damaged the intimacy. I guess everyone has to come to their own decision, and some counselors say it is best to never tell about things like this because it is "selfish" to burden the other person, but relationships, especially a marriage relationship, is a burden sometimes. You's shown that one can be honest and in that way maintain integrity and respect. I admire you.

  5. […] Love Squared: Giving My Heart To Two Men […]

  6. Being true to ourselves is what sets us free most of all.
    But never at the cost of another, and not when we love so deeply …
    Your honesty is what has seen you thro it all.
    Great article, raw and sincere.

  7. TheFurFiles says:

    So true. It is a really tough one.

  8. Deni says:

    Bare bones honesty on something I think many of us can relate to. It's a tough choice whether to reveal our true heart to those we care about most. Some can handle it with grace, others not so much. Sometimes it's better to let the heart hold that secret. I know I'll never act on my feelings out of love and respect for my husband. In the meantime, I cherish the love and friendship of both the men dear to my heart.

  9. Brigitte says:

    Wow. All I can say is this is beautiful… well done… life is not black and white…

    In the past few years I have been that other person… the other person a man is completely in love with… I have not nor will I indulge their passions sexually while they are committed to another… but I can say emotionally and physically we are connected – drawn to each other… it's a tough position for me to be in as well… as we get older… you don't meet these situations everyday… they are a rare occurrence where the draw is so strong… mentally, physically, emotionally…

    I have to let go… cant count on this man to be with me at any point. It's tough for me to forget about him. I know he thinks about me… I know he wants to be with me… but the draw of his children and wife is just too much for him…

    The sad part is… he did leave her… he told her he was in love with me.. but, she threatened to ruin him if he left… irony is… they met while having an affair …

    I can say with my heart I did not cross the line with this man… emotionally yes… physically no… did I want to? Yes. But there comes a time in your life where you have to protect your heart and soul from physically bonding with someone you most likely will never be with….

    It's hard for me to say goodbye.

  10. Lara says:

    why should we have to just "make due" without living the way we want? Many people enjoy ethically, non-monogamous relationships. Why should we have to bury a side of ourselves? Sure it is not for everyone and maybe not right at every time in life but it sounds l ike she is settling for second best here.

  11. gracefully50 says:

    Wow! Powerful stuff! Brutally honest and brave as hell.

  12. A Dog With Fleas says:

    You definitely took a brave step explaining your feeliings to your husband and I applaud you for your honesty. Sometimes in life things happen that we don't look for; like having feelings for someone else. Your honesty with yourself and your husband is refreshing and like you said "We are humans" and as such, we sometimes cannot control how we end up feeling for someone. Great post!

  13. Kelly says:

    You are awesome. I like you more and more and more the more you writ, the more I read. It's funny… I connect, I get you with my "grown up" head. And because I am probably smack dab between your age and that of your kids I also think I'd like to be like you when I grow up. You are A+. Thank you for this piece.

  14. fitness_fox says:

    Thanks Chloe for the kind words. I take some of my bravery from you!

  15. fitness_fox says:

    It's so hard. You never want to hurt anyone, but you want to be true to yourself. If I didn't tell my husband this, it would have torn me up inside.

  16. fitness_fox says:

    I feel the same on every level. So hard to let go or say good-bye. I don't think you ever truly do. 🙂

  17. fitness_fox says:

    I am as selfish as the next person. I certainly don't ever want to make due. But my priorities just don't allow for this right now. Maybe if certain parts of the situation were different. Someday, we'll see…. 🙂

  18. fitness_fox says:

    A person can never control how they feel, but they can control how they act.

  19. fitness_fox says:

    Hugs Kelly. I heart you!

  20. Lara says:

    It is not "selfish" to be true to your self.

  21. Sheri says:

    ".. but it is my general opinion that relationships are what you make them. The grass is greener where you water it. And I water mine. But sometimes—just sometimes—I’d like to go for a hike in the country"

    "So what did I do? I did what I do about everything else that causes me grief.

    I told my husband.
    He is my best friend, after all."

    Hi Amanda – I appreciate your honesty and the value you place on being honest with your husband, your best friend. You sculpted the journey of your thoughts so well into the written word.
    The grass is greener where you water…love that…had me smile.

    thank you

  22. fitness_fox says:

    True, but I would not say I am settling for second best. I just don't know how it would work right now. That doesn't mean it won't work in the future. 😉

  23. fitness_fox says:

    Glad you liked it Sheri. Now I'm off to water my grass right now. It's been a long day. 😉

  24. fitness_fox says:

    Thanks my Sisters!

  25. fitness_fox says:

    It is a dilemma for sure but I knew I wasn't alone in feeling this way. Glad you liked it Virginia! 🙂

  26. Bran.... says:

    Amanda, Thank you for writing this. It is like you have taken the words right out of my head and heart! There are many times I wondered what was wrong with me. Was I really in love with two men or just simply lust with man number two. Reading this was like therapy. And like you I have been completely honest with my husband. There was the occasional jealousy but over the years he has no issues. He knows where I am rooted and that all he cares about. I am just so grateful that you wrote this, it means a lot to me that others have felt this way too!

  27. fitness_fox says:

    So glad we could connect! It sure makes it easier to know that you are not alone. 🙂

  28. icosahedron82 says:

    So true! Its nice to read about that which makes us all human. This article is why I spend so much time watering grass and other various lawn care maintenance.

  29. Redpill says:

    You can't control how you feel, and the grass grows where you water it. But grass also doesn't grow where you salt it. A good relationship with your spouse, I think, dictates that you salt the earth where the feelings for the other person are growing.

  30. fitness_fox says:

    Perhaps, but very hard to do. You can concentrate your life in certain areas, but you never truly forget.

  31. […] There is no criteria for falling in love. When we open to another it doesn’t matter who they are—rich, spiritual, good looking, old, young or even nice. Open to your fellow humans unilaterally and notice your actual impulses as a radical act of trust. […]

  32. […] I made friends easily, I integrated into whatever scene I found myself in and I always had a suitor (or two) in the periphery; I was never a boy scout, but I believed in […]