Guest Post: Sick & Wrong? Possibly. Happy? Most Definitely

24 Sep

Today’s guest post comes to us from Jane, a TTTM reader and blogger of Jane’s Infinite Wisdom. To be honest, we don’t know much about Jane other than she has balls of steel. Jane submitted her post to give us a little glimpse into the life less ordinary. Thanks, Jane!

“Don’t be ridiculous. You’ll never get married. You’re one of those people destined for eccentricity, yelling at kids to get off your lawn!”

I don’t remember what I said to my best friend to illicit that response but I do remember it stung enough to be able to recall it nearly 20 years later.

image courtesy of

I think I tried to get married just to spite her. I spent most of my 20’s locked in a relationship even though it didn’t feel right and I lived my life as though I was already a suburban mundane despite the fact that he and I didn’t live together, or near one another for that matter, most of the time. Once the proposal happened and the wedding planning began in earnest though, I freaked out. I ended the relationship over the silliest possible reason and walked away with a sigh of relief. Had texting been available back then, I likely would have been one of *those* people. Fortunately, my moral standing was somewhat upheld in that I was forced to do it by telephone.

I made two more brief attempts at monogamy after that, putting my efforts into what I’d always supposed women who were not lesbians were expected to do: find a man, buy a McMansion in the suburbs, and populate it with miniature versions of me. The only step at which I succeeded in this course of action was to find the men only to find myself bored and restless after 6 months.

At 33, I had a practice run at a mid-life crisis. I broke up with the last man I promised monogamy to, quit the job I’d had for 10 years, cashed out my retirement, and ran away from home…my own home…in the suburbs. I found myself living in a resort town high up in the Rocky Mountains, staring down into the precipice of what my life could become and realizing I had a choice: I could continue to force my square-pegged self through a round hole or start accepting and exploring my alternatives. I chose alternatives.

I discovered that, while I’m not, in theory, opposed to monogamy and commitment, I’m terrified of feeling stuck, confined, claustrophobic. I need the freedom to explore – the world, my sexuality, wine – without having to live up to someone else’s expectations. I learned that expectations are pre-determined resentments and I carry a disclaimer urging my partners to manage their expectations of me as I manage my own of them.

And I’m not alone. I’ve managed to build a community of people around me who, like me, recognize a need in themselves for polyamory even if our reasons aren’t the same. I have my “pretend husband”, who, like me, has no desire for marriage, monogamy, and family but who, like me, appreciates the value of teamwork in daily life.

I’m younger now at 38 than I was at 28. I’m happier and less lonely than I’ve ever been – confident in my own skin, loved beyond measure, and free.

Surprisingly, I’ve not ever gotten the pressure most single women get from family and friends to marry and have babies. Maybe, like my old friend, they all recognized something in me I couldn’t see until I reached my 30’s. I won’t be tied down.


5 Responses to “Guest Post: Sick & Wrong? Possibly. Happy? Most Definitely”

  1. dulcedementia September 24, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    This is a fascinating post. I’m incredibly intrigued by polyamory and would be interested in knowing more. While I am painfully monogamous, I really respect a person who can have a heart big enough to love more than one person at a time.

    • Just Jane September 25, 2010 at 6:53 am #

      The hardest part isn’t having enough heart to love many – the heart has a huge capacity for love. Rather, the hardest part is learning how to effectively manage expectations and how to communicate with more than one person.

  2. twowives September 26, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Marriage should be a meeting of minds and hearts. This notion of one-on-one as the only proper way is not for everyone. But, having two wives is not double, but quadruple the work.

    • Just Jane September 29, 2010 at 4:52 pm #

      Having more than one partner – primary or secondary – is quadruple the work!


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