A Letter to the Man Who Shares the Woman I Love
This essay is a companion to my love’s Letter To The Woman Whose Man I’m Sleeping With. Both letters were inspired by the exquisitely vulnerable essay “A Letter To The Women Who Sleep With My Man” by Wilrieke Sophia.
Dear Brother –
I am in joy. I am also scared.
First, thank you.
Thank you for showing up in her life in the way that you have. You’ll be exchanging eye gazes, sweet energy, laughter, meals, and touch with her. I know this will bring her joy. And her joy is my joy. I know it’s hard to believe, but the freedom for her to explore with you is evidence of my unconditional love for her.
To me, true love means wishing for my beloved to be fulfilled in every possible way, even if that fulfillment comes with some emotional work for me.
You see, we men have existed in a double standard narrative for thousands of years. Men have been mostly respected (or at least tolerated) for having more than one lover. Women have been slut-shamed, punished, and even murdered in some countries for loving more than one.
There is a revolution of this narrative taking place and we can join this wave of change together.
Brother, you are something I can never be. You are other. You are her novelty, her adventure. You are not me. When she shares her life story with you (the story I know oh so well) she will have the chance to be mirrored back with a new
And that feels amazing for me to know.
To try to take this experience away from her would be to exercise a conditional love, a selfish love. If exploring new love can bring her immense joy, then who am I to interfere? Conventional love is conditional love. It says… “I love you, except for this one condition: I will not share you for as long as you are with me.”
So I choose unconventional love, which says… “I love you unconditionally, therefore, your joy is my joy, even if that joy does not come from me.”
If you are reading this, then you likely have shown up in my life as a true brother, open-hearted and caring. She wouldn’t have it any other way. You honor the roots she and I have intertwined and the commitments we have made
to each other. Like us, you’ve done the work to transcend most of your conditioned insecurities.
You’ve aligned yourself with the idea that our core human needs (certainty, love, significance, variety, growth and service) are served by the ideal that we all have the capacity to love more than one, if we do so in a conscious way.
She is a divine feminine goddess. She is beautiful inside and out. She lights up any room she walks into. Her heart is enormous. She is committed to her own personal growth and to leaving this world better than she found it.
She is a woman that I am sworn to protect, yet one that I do not possess.
Despite my patriarchal conditioning, keeping all of her goodness to myself would be a sin. I have chosen the path less traveled in that I honor her freedom to radiate out love and take in love, to be seen for all the good that she is, by other than just me. This freedom means more mirrors to mirror back, which leads to more growth, more healing, and more service for her to experience. All of this makes me happy to imagine.
Still, I am scared.
The little boy in me is scared of being abandoned. The high school kid who was dumped by his girlfriend for the star soccer player right before Prom. And the man who lost two big loves to other men on this road less traveled. This is my wounding.
I am keenly aware that there are many wounded men out there who have not been able to show up for women in the ways they need to flourish. I am afraid that someone new may upset all the healing work we’ve done together, or worse, re-wound her. While I don’t know you well (yet) and only time will tell, I trust that everything will unfold the way it’s meant to unfold. I also trust in her judgment.
I persist with this love-style because it remains my deepest truth. I push forward with the faith that there are others out there (hopefully you) who share in our freedom to love more than one for life. Others who no longer wish to exist in a competitive landscape of disposable relationships or a “zero-sum game” where one’s gain is often another’s loss.
Brother, we are not adversaries, nor are we competing for the heart of this woman. You know this. Her heart belongs to no one but her. This goddess, with her free will, gets to choose how to share her space and her time. If you are ever confused, scared, or not fully expressed, please know that you’re in good company. It will always be my intention to uphold a safe container that is full of heart-centered, open, peaceful communication for everyone involved.
So I thank you for the joy. I thank you for coming into her (and my) world, and I ask that we see each other, love each other, and build our brotherhood from our common ground… this beautiful soul. While nothing is expected from you, I do wish to know you, learn from you, and share with you. I look forward to playing together, creating together and exploring all possibilities in friendship.
AND thank you for scaring me.
Thank you for allowing me to do the work I still need to do. I am human and am still shedding the discomforts that we’ve all been conditioned to carry for many generations. It is my mission to release these discomforts and I am grateful to have you (and her) on this journey with me. Thank you in advance for being patient and for being gentle with me.
Treat her well, brother. She is worthy of and will expect nothing but excellent care, high-quality love, and mindful communication. One benefit of our love-style is that no one gets to settle for mediocrity or complacency. We all are motivated to grow each day and show up as the best versions of ourselves.
Lastly, please remember this: your joy is also my joy. Genuinely.