Amy Gahran, “Stepping Off the Relationship Escalator: Uncommon Love and Life”

In my own life, I’ve maintained a very close relationship with my former spouse. Taken in its entirety, this is the most significant and enduring intimate relationship of my life, having lasted nearly three decades as of this writing.

After our divorce nearly a decade ago, my former spouse and I remained close and visited often. Since then, sometimes he has shared my home, as a guest or temporary housemate. Also, all along we’ve shared our vacation cabin, where we stay together several times a year. (In fact, that’s where I’m writing this right now, as he’s grilling up dinner.)

Throughout our relationship, he and I have always remained in daily contact, and we are each other’s go-to support person for big news, changes and challenges. Currently, our homes are fairly close so we hang out a few times a week. We’re still very affectionate and cuddly, although no longer sexual or romantic with each other.

Indeed, getting unmarried is what allowed us to preserve and nurture all these wonderful parts of our relationship. Being married, even in a poly marriage, never really suited us well. It created too much friction and pressure, and led us to chafe at each other. Our aftership has proved to be the most peaceful and mutually fulfilling phase of our entire relationship.