2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWhen the nurse from the breast clinic called and said those three words no one ever wants to hear – ‘we found something’ – my first thought was how much I love my kids, and how I might not get to see them grow up. Unexpectedly, my next thought was, ‘I need to book a bungee jump.’ Life is short, and suddenly I didn’t know how much time I had left, so what was I waiting for? It was time to live my life my way.
At the time, in 2017, I was living as a wife and mother in the leafy suburbs of north London with my husband, Mike. We’d had three girls, including twins, in the space of two years, and although I loved them all, I had started questioning the status quo. When I looked in the mirror, I saw someone who was defined by her roles as a wife and mother. I was restless and frustrated, and felt like I’d completely lost myself.
So one night, a few days after the call from the clinic, I drew up a bucket list of the things I’ve always wanted to do: pose for a nude photo, do a bungee jump, learn to pole-dance, go to Nepal… Many of the items were about reconnecting with my body – feeling that fire inside – which was one of the main things I felt I’d lost. Women are programmed to accept our bodies belong to other people, from regular gynaecological check-ups to being poked and prodded during pregnancy, and I wanted to reclaim mine.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appSix months later, I got the all-clear. But meanwhile, my sexuality had been reawakened, and the balance between my sex drive and Mike’s, who I adore, had changed. Women often feel ashamed to admit they want more sex than their partners, because people automatically assume they’re just not trying hard enough. But I wasn’t unhappy with what I already had, I just wanted more.
Until then, I’d never really thought about monogamy, I just bought into it because that’s the society we live in. But I realised it wasn’t something I truly believed in. I wanted to be honest with Mike, so I brought up the subject of taking charge of my sexuality.
2020欧洲杯体育足彩外围appWe were lying in bed watching Netflix when I mustered up the courage to tell him how I was feeling. I asked him to pause the TV so we could talk, and asked how he would feel about an open marriage – and he was amazing. He listened to what I had to say and agreed to try it, as long as we took baby steps. Since then, it’s been an ongoing conversation. We agreed on total honesty and checking in with each other on a regular basis – which means I tell him about my adventures, and we often laugh about them.
An open marriage isn’t something that Mike’s chosen to embrace himself, even though I’m happy for him to; while for me, it’s a bit like coming off a diet – the moment you can have whatever you want, you become a lot more picky.
So far there haven’t been any issues, but I’m aware that could change. We’ll just have to work it out as we go along. If anything, the decision to have an open marriage has brought us closer. The moment I was able to tell my husband, ‘I want to have sex with other men,’ there was nothing we couldn’t say to each other. I also plan on being totally honest about it with my girls when they’re older. I want them to know they’re not bound by any stereotype – that there are other options. I hope one day they’ll say, ‘Mum was flawed, but you know what? She was herself.’
‘’ by Tova Leigh is out on Tuesday (Watkins, £14.99)