We suffered a little hiccup but seem to be cautiously back in full-swing. Things are still a bit uneven with the pace between us, but we all agreed that we could not go without one another…and so, we persist. One of the biggest mistakes we made was moving too fast. You may hear about that in swinging or poly – that you don’t want to move too quickly. I never really appreciated what that meant or how to avoid it. You read it but what does it actually mean in practice? Between my husband and I, we always talked about each landmark in advance. In that respect, we were not moving too quickly between him and I. By outsider’s perspectives we were blowing through stages at break-neck speed. Because we were comfortable between each other, we kept pushing forward. For example, after we decided to start swinging, we were doing full-swap within a week! We didn’t even have the pretense of doing soft-swap and working up to a full partner exchange.
My husband and I were surprised at how easy it was for us and we took any challenge head on with ease and comfort. There seemed very little that we could do that would disrupt our primary relationship. We negotiated whatever small limits we had. It was easy…too easy. So when we met Brad and Amy, we all jumped in with reckless abandon. We were doing things we committed to never doing – we were breaking boundaries at the speed of light. Even though checks and balances were made between primary partners, it isn’t the same as openly discussing with another couple what your boundaries are. When Brad started pulling back, I knew something was off. Instead of addressing it head-on, we blithely ignored the signs of his reservations. This was our mutual mistake. We knew something was wrong but we wanted to ignore it and pretend it would pass. I also suspect that him and Amy knew knew that something was off, but none of us wanted to try to put the horse back in the barn. Instead of honoring those reservations, instead of stopping to have a conversation about his discomfort, we let it grow until it exploded. Have we recovered? Partially yes, but not without the subtle feeling of loss and the nagging twinge of regret.