A man ended his marriage of 19 years so he could explore polygamy – and is now dating two women at the same time.
Entrepreneur, Shai Fishman, 46, from Pennsylvania, in the US, became unsettled so he and his wife Danielle, 42, tried having an open marriage, The Sun reports.
However, they broke up six years ago as their new way of life wasn’t working out and soon after, Shai became involved with two other women.
Shai was inspired to become one part of a polyamorous triad after watching two TV shows – titled Big Love & Polyamory and Married And Dating – and has since become involved with Lea, 40, and Krissy, 41, who he met on an online dating site.
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Having always struggled with the idea that he was only “permitted” to express romantic affection for one person, Shai realised he wasn’t meeting all of the six core human needs.
“I subscribe to the Tony Robbins philosophy that we can all measure our life fulfilment based on six core human needs that either get met or don’t,” Shai said.
“These are feeling safe, significant, loved, and also having variety, growth and service. While my marriage with Danielle might’ve seemed perfect by other people’s standards, I was only getting the needs of safety, significance, and love.”
It was at that point Shai and Danielle decided to give polyamory a go, but after seven months, Danielle struggled and didn’t want to share the nature of their relationship with their kids.
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MARRIAGE ENDS AFTER OPEN RELATIONSHIP
Now, Shai said he is happy with his current girlfriends, who were both monogamous before he began relationships with them.
The throuple admits to having an open relationship but for the most part, they are committed both emotionally and sexually.
They have even gone on to create an online community – Leveled Up Love – a Facebook group which connects more than 4400 poly-curious people from across the world.
Despite going their separate ways, Danielle now lives in a dwelling on Shai, Lea, and Krissy’s shared property along with her partner and three children.
“We were together for around 19 years and things changed around 13 years into our marriage,” Shai said about his marriage to Danielle.
“I’d always had questions around monogamy and being with one person. Then I saw the shows Big Love & Polyamory and Married and Dating, and read a few books. These gave me a whole new perspective and an appetite to learn more about ethical non-monogamy.
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“Those shows and books led to an intense six-year conversation as it’s something Danielle wasn’t interested in exploring at first. About three years into that conversation, we began to explore the outskirts of polyamory.”
He said that against his wishes, Danielle decided to keep the notion of polyamory a secret from the kids.
“That was a lot of weight hearing questions like ‘where’s mum or dad going,’ without being able to give an honest answer,” Shai explained.
“I would’ve preferred to have let them know in a proper way. Also, the new relationship energy with her partner, Mike, also meant some of our open marriage agreements were broken like our ‘no other partner sleeps over without consent’ rule.
“Danielle was challenged emotionally and she asked for a divorce seven months into our open marriage.”
HOW HE MET HIS GIRLFRIENDS
Shai met Lea and Krissy shortly after this, and said they are all still happily together today.
“I believe Lea had mismatched values with her ex-husband and I think there were also feelings for other people which her marriage didn’t allow her to explore,” Shai said.
“I met Krissy five months after meeting Lea – both on a dating site. They both listed themselves as monogamous and ticked ‘polyamory not for me’ but I don’t let that stop me from connecting. You never know how open-minded someone may be.”
“Our triad dynamics ebb and flow. We have times where we focus on each other and times when we pull back. There’s an overarching commitment to each other as a family,” Shai said.
“There are also times when they have partners – I’d call them connections. Neither of them have had a long-term partner yet. We refer to them as ‘connection-ships’ which is somewhere between a one-off and a committed relationship.”
Shortly following his divorce with Danielle, Shai explained the concept of polyamory to his children who were very accepting.
“I’m very open with the kids now. After we got divorced, I explained the concept of polyamory and alternative relationships and said this is what your dad is,” Shai said.
“It just became their new normal. There are moments when they worry about what their friends might think but everyone’s been nothing but accepting in our neighbourhood.
“In promoting our Facebook community, Leveled Up Love, every so often you get online comments that say what we’re doing is wrong but that’s fine because you’re dealing with the masses.”
This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission