“Nothing was wrong with my and Cameron’s marriage. Nothing needed to be fixed. No one was bored or restless. We had met at the age of 8, been best friends through high school, and married for 10 years. Three kids and a business later, enter Naomi.
Naomi was a single mother of three. She had moved from London to Denver to our tiny town in Washington State and was all at sea. After a lonely year of trying (and failing) to make friends, she signed her kids up for soccer. Enter us.
Cameron had been to the doctor that morning for the first time in 7 years. Naomi’s ex-husband was that doctor. When they all showed up for soccer in the evening, no one expected life to change much, but it was the start of something magical.
It was instant chemistry. The three of us stayed an hour after soccer that night, and immediately soccer became a highlight of the week. We all looked forward to standing, watching the kids play, and getting to know each other. Pretty soon, we were spending all our time together, hikes and play dates with the kids, and long late nights in the kitchen, with wine and music and learning everything about each other. Months of falling in love, sitting on the counter, laughing and telling stories.
It was Naomi’s 32 birthday and the three of us went out on the town. We ate and drank and laughed. Five shots of tequila later, Naomi puked through three rooms of our house and was pretty sure she was not going to be invited back. But a change of clothes and some water later, she and I were snuggled up in bed. I held her and whispered, ‘We belong together, the three of us. We are a perfect fit,’ then I kissed her. She had never been kissed like that before in her life. It was soft and deep and gentle and safe. Cameron jumped in bed and that was our first three-way spooning cuddle!
The next morning was slightly awkward. Naomi left to pick up her kids and I was left to confess I had kissed someone else. Naomi was left wondering if she would ever see us again. Cameron laughed and texted Naomi, ‘I heard you’ve been making out with my wife.’ Naomi texted back, ‘Haha! Yep. And I’d really love to do it again.’
A few days later was Halloween, and after Trick-or-Treating and getting the kids to bed, we were all three making out on the sofa, which moved to the bed.
In the weeks and months following, we were trying to navigate a relationship dynamic we had never even heard of. We were trying to write a story we had never read, and with six combined kids, the stakes were high.
Sometimes, it all seemed too complicated and in January, Cameron and I told Naomi we couldn’t see her anymore. It was a rough month for all of us. We were shells of ourselves. We all felt empty and like this piece of us was missing. We were in love, but it was too scary to admit it. The implications of what that meant for our lives and the lives of those around us seemed far complicated.
Naomi and I had never been with, let alone in love with, a woman before. We live in a small town, so we knew people had already begun to talk and rumors were spreading. It all seemed too big and scary. What was bigger and scarier though, was living without each other. We tried it and it ruined us. We realized we belonged together. We couldn’t be whole and happy without each other.
Slowly, we started texting again, then going on walks again, then going out for drinks again, and then dinner. Slowly, we started laughing again, singing again, and living again. We have tried living without each other. It didn’t work. We knew we were better together.
We started researching Polyamory. Reading books, following pages. Seeing there were people in ‘unconventional’ relationships who seemed to make it work, so we started dating. We talked about what that would look like forever, how important it was we all felt equal and valued and heard. We made something great.
We didn’t involve our collective six children until we were sure we were in it for the long run and could make it work. The kids were the easiest part. Kids are uncomplicated. They accepted us with open arms. They accepted each other with open hearts. Our family doesn’t look like their friends’ but they are loved and cared for and celebrated and happy.
We often say, ‘The most interesting thing about us is that we are very boring.’ We have a ‘normal’ family. We play board games, go for hikes, make dinner, do dishes, and so much laundry! Also, we have an overwhelming amount of love!
Most people who hear about our ‘alternative lifestyle’ are curious but unbothered. Some celebrate us and see how happy and full our lives are. Some people care a lot. Some people have refused to sit with us at events, shunned us, or tried to get us fired. People often think Cameron is manipulating us into a life we don’t want, that I would do anything to ‘keep my man,’ and Naomi is a brazen mistress. We have lost lifelong friends, as well as family, who cannot understand. Though sometimes it hurts, we know what we have is good and so full of love, it blocks out most of the criticism and hate.
None of us currently have any interest in any other partners but if we did, it would be a conversation. We have learned love is not a thing with boundaries and limitations. We have learned as humans, our capacity to love is bigger than society dictates. We don’t have any ‘rules’ or guidelines.
We have had some people, who we thought would be happy for us, react strongly. We have lost people we loved along the way and sometimes that is painful. We have had people try to create a wedge between us. It doesn’t feel good to be told over and over, ‘It will be over in a year’ but our happiness and the happiness of our kids means other peoples’ negativity largely does not affect too much. We know we are ‘breaking the rules’ but though the ‘rules’ work for many people, we have found joy and love outside of them. Some people who reacted badly and strongly at first have come to see how happy and stable our family is and have come to accept and love us all, and that is always so encouraging!
Instagram has also been so bolstering for us. We have found so much love and support, it has blown us away. When ‘the world’ has shunned us or treated us like pariahs, Instagram has been there to offer support, encouragement, and love from across the globe.
We love to receive messages from other polyamorous families asking for advice or thanking us for being space in our community, or wondering how to navigate family life and community and kids. Our advice is always: you can never have too much communication. Always tell your partners how you are feeling, and be prepared for plenty of emotions. Also, no matter what you expected life to be like, always welcome more love into your life. Don’t be afraid of deviating from the expected ‘path’ because there is so much there, it’s magic.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by MacKenzie, Naomi, and Cameron. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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