When Polyamory Hurts…But You Can’t Let Go

Sway Montgomery
3 min readNov 30, 2023

“Your eyes are my favorite,” my boyfriend says.

It was an unexpected handful of words spelled out to me on a time restricted Snapchat. The combination of syllables and letters stopped me cold and my eyes immediately welled up.

Words are hard for him. So hard that it’s forced us apart. But it’s Snapchat. They will be gone tomorrow.

A lot has happened in the past two weeks, though I would tell you it’s been at least a month since our last break up. We’ve had so many, and none last. The most recent break was because of his inability to say to me the way he feels, and he knows that’s something I need. I’ve tried my damnedest to not need it. I just don’t know how. In a different, committed, monogamous relationship, I think I could overlook it, but to be in an “extra” relationship, to me, words matter. “I want to see you. I want to be with you. I miss you.” Those get me through the times when I wonder if I’m important to him. I hate to wonder, and maybe I’m the flawed one. Maybe if I was just more confident in myself I would know, versus always second guessing.

But I’m me.

We went for two weeks with the most limited contact. Just a short hello or something about a football game once or twice. And then Monday he walked in to my poker game. I knew he’d be there, but I didn’t know how it would immediately pull the air out of the room, how my heart would clinch.

He smiled. He tried to tease me, make more jokes than we typically do. We text flirted a bit that night, for the first time in a very long time.

“Leave your window open, I’ll crawl in,” he says.

My husband was leaving the next day for London, where he will be staying with his new girlfriend for the week. Yes, I think I’m okay. It’s a lot to take in, giving him the chance to explore polyamory himself for the first time…especially for such a long time. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, because it does. At the same time however, I know how good it feels to be loved by someone extra. I want him to have that.

Doesn’t mean it feels good, though.

So my boyfriend knew he was leaving. Hence the open window comment.

No need, I say. Come in through my bedroom door. It’s open.

The next day, we met for awhile, something we never really do. It was soft. Sweet. Lots of talking, looking each other in the…

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Sway Montgomery

I was a baker, a cookbook author, a follower of the rules. Now I am following my passion for sharing and exploring all the rules I should have been breaking.