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Lemondrop 02-02-2010 07:56 PM

Quad Family
First...I'm calling my husband Easy, my boyfriend Sunday, and my girlfriend Asha. My teenager I'm calling Moose (because he likes to say it, not because he resembles one), my 11yo daughter Monkey, and I'm still working on names for Asha's children.

My quad went en masse to a birthday party this weekend...our children have many of the same friends, so it's not that unusual for us to get invited together. Moose did not attend, but the younger three were there. It was a skating party, and Sunday was having a great time showing the kids how to skate. I love it when he gets to do activities like this, it makes him feel young and that shows in his attitude. Normally he's very mellow, laid back, and it's tough to tell what he's thinking, but when he's skating or biking he's obviously happy.

I very much enjoyed playing mother to Asha's four yo. I openly admit that I liked it when my kids were that young, and while I enjoy their independence now, there's just something about playing with a baby that makes me happy. We walked up and down on the carpeted area and looked at the video games while Asha and Easy socialized with the other parents.

I did feel a little envious of Asha and Easy. They're so comfortable with each other, but I often feel like Sunday just doesn't know what to do with me. He assures me that that isn't true, that he's just very introverted, but I still can't help wishing that he would kiss me or otherwise show affection for me like Easy does for Asha. I pointed out to Sunday that they openly kiss each other hello and goodbye, and I said that I would like that for us. He indicated that he didn't know if he'd feel comfortable with that.

I had a hard time figuring out what was an appropriate level of affection to show for Asha in public. I envy Easy's ability to just be himself and not worry about it. I was briefly entertained when I was giving Asha a back rub and encountered Sunday's hand on her as well...I don't know why I thought that was funny, but I did.

Afterward, we went out to lunch with everyone from the party, and then we split up to run errands. Sometimes being a group of four adults means that more things get done! (Most of the time it doesn't, though. LOL)

LovingRadiance 02-03-2010 05:17 AM

That's awesome Lemondrop!
I know what you mean about public affection, sometimes that "conservative side" bugs me as well! GG has a tendency for behaving more distant in public.

I hope that changes over time.

GroundedSpirit 02-03-2010 04:56 PM


Originally Posted by Lemondrop (Post 21550)
First...I'm calling my husband Easy
I did feel a little envious of Asha and Easy. They're so comfortable with each other, but I often feel like Sunday just doesn't know what to do with me. He assures me that that isn't true, that he's just very introverted, but I still can't help wishing that he would kiss me or otherwise show affection for me like Easy does for Asha. I pointed out to Sunday that they openly kiss each other hello and goodbye, and I said that I would like that for us. He indicated that he didn't know if he'd feel comfortable with that.

Hi Lemondrop, :)

Love your chosen name for your husband. :)

But regarding you & Sunday and public - or general - affection.
I absolutely understand your feelings and desire for more open affection. But I think you have to be a little careful in how you approach this - and your hopes and expectations. There's always a variety of little personality quirks, insecurities, background etc in different people that we might wish were different - or absent. But we love them just the same and and least for me, I've always been a bit cautious about trying to push people out of their comfort zones (imagine that !). I don't want anyone to feel they have to restructure their basic selves to please me. Does that make sense ? Doing that can actually exacerbate the problem, make them more self conscious, more uncomfortable. Maybe that's what you are picking up when you mention Sunday 'doesn't seem to know what to do with you' :)
To use your example, how I might react to that might be along the lines of pointing out their (Asha & Easy) open affection and saying."awwww - isn't that sweet" - and letting it go at that. And don't be hesitant to 'lead the charge' yourself. Grab him & plant one on him ! It's more of a way of expressing your COMFORT with that approach so he knows YOUR position but no pressure for him to adopt it unless he's ready.
Some people - especially guys - just have been programmed to reserve open affection and it takes a while to recognize that programming and see that it's OK to be more openly affectionate. Look out once the floodgates open though :)



Lemondrop 02-09-2010 01:34 AM

GS--Easy chose his own name. :) He likes it, and jokes about being the "easy" in cheap and easy.

As for public affection with Sunday, that would be nice, but in reality I'm trying to negotiate more affection at all. Sunday had serious concerns that he might be monogamous, and his shy nature has essentially meant that he shows very little physical affection for me at all, in public or private. However, he says that he loves me and is committed to making the quad work, so I'm working on both patience and keeping things moving forward.

Asha and I actually talk about this fairly often, and we've discussed me being more aggressive with Sunday, but I'm extremely shy as well, and I can't "read" him so I don't feel comfortable knowing whether I've stepped over a line. I'm trying, I really am. Given how extroverted Asha is, maybe I'm being too worried about stepping over lines.

Lemondrop 02-09-2010 05:00 PM

I've decided to call Asha's children Ocean (8yo girl) and Rockstar (4yo boy).

Most weekends, my family pretty much moves in to Asha and Sunday's house, which is about 30 miles from our house. This weekend, Asha hosted a sleepover for the friends of Ocean and Monkey from our old homeschool co-op. We had a nice evening having dinner with the parents, and I think that Easy and Asha got a little bit of time to hang out with each other. I did accidentally grope one of the other moms when I wasn't paying enough attention to who was standing next to me--I thought she was Asha. Yikes! Then the parents all left and we had five crazy girls running around. We then realized that we had not considered how awkward it might be if one of the girls went to their parents and said, "Why do Lemondrop and Easy sleep in Asha and Sunday's bedroom?". We should have discussed it with the parents before they left, but too late. We decided that one couple would sleep in the bed and one would sleep on the foam mattress in the living room, which was disappointing. But Sunday kissed me goodnight, and I'm pretty sure I grinned like a fool.

In the morning we enjoyed softly falling snow while Easy and Sunday made breakfast. One mother showed up to pick up all of the extra girls, and I made it a point to ask her if she would have a problem if Easy, Sunday, Asha and I slept in the same bed while her daughter was with us. I wasn't too worried because I'd already told her we were poly and she hadn't freaked out, but she said that it wouldn't be a problem and even made a comment about us coming to speak for her son's class on relationship diversity. I thought that was great, though I don't know if we are exactly the epitome of polyamory. So, the next hurdle is talking to the parents who haven't been told that we're poly. I hope it goes well; the father was so touchy-feely with me this weekend that I had to ask Easy to intervene on my behalf, so I'm a little worried that he'll think that poly is just an excuse for him to behave inappropriately. They've been good friends for years, though, and I don't know if perhaps he just doesn't realize that he's making me uncomfortable.

Anyway, in the afternoon we discovered that our car wouldn't start, and after an extreme effort we gave up and spent the night. I think that Easy and Asha got a little more time to hang out while they made dinner and Sunday and I folded laundry. I made sure to tell Sunday how much it meant to me that he had kissed me goodnight before. After dinner, we watched a movie, but Asha was exhausted and so we didn't all pile onto the same couch as usual. I was a little worried that Asha and Easy didn't get their customary cuddle time--they don't see each other during the week, so this is it for them. But I also don't think they have such a high desire to cuddle as I do. Asha also was feeling unsociable and decided she would be happier if she could sleep alone on the couch, so I got to have fun sleeping between the two guys. I really enjoy that. :) In the morning my brother drove up to haul us out. Sunday kissed me again before we left, and to my surprised delight, so did Asha.

I think it was a good weekend overall, around the stress of not being able to get the car to start and Easy missing work. Asha was looking at commitment rings for the quad, since our anniversary is coming up. I'm mostly okay with that, but given how slowly my relationship with Sunday is going sometimes I worry that it's too soon for us. He never says no, and whenever I ask he says he loves me and wants the quad to work, so I hope I can assume that he's okay with everything, but it wouldn't be the first time that he wasn't able to communicate when he had a problem.

Lemondrop 03-02-2010 10:36 PM

It's been two weeks since I've posted...life in general has been awful on the quad front, as far as getting time together. Families have been sick, and busy. I normally see Asha and Sunday often during the week, but lately they've been sick, we've been sick, and various activities for the children have kept us apart. I worry that Easy and Asha haven't had any time together to build their relationship. My natural tendency is to be a bit territorial, so I'm trying very hard not to micromanage the two of them, but still I worry. It's hard to take a deep breath and let go. Okay, now that I've written that, I see that I need to do exactly that. Here's hoping. I guess I'm scared that 1) I'm toxic to their relationship and 2) if their relationship doesn't go well, it will affect my relationship with Asha. I've never had a relationship with a woman before, and I'm kind of unsure how to go about this. Asha sees me as very fragile and skittish, so she's more distant than I would like, I think.

Sunday has been showing just a tiny bit more affection for me, which is good in my eyes. We had a good dinner this last weekend--the only time we were able to get together as a family, sadly. I felt comfortable touching the others, and Sunday seemed to respond well. I wish Asha had responded more, but she's got a lot on her mind right now and perhaps she just didn't feel cuddly. I'm a LOT more physical than she is.

Moose wanted to go to dinner with the family, but got crabby and sullen when the ten o'clock hour passed. It's not unusual for us to be out later than that on a weekend, but he was up late the night before so I guess it could have been lack of sleep. Monkey was also tired and crabby, and both of them behaved poorly, so we had to have a talk with them about appropriate ways to express their feelings. However, I think it went well and I hope it didn't make Asha and Sunday feel slighted. We needed to leave anyway, but when the kids started acting up it might have seemed like we were leaving in response to that.

I meant this to be a look into a quad family trying to blend together, but the families have been fairly seperate the last two weeks.

Lemondrop 04-05-2010 07:48 PM

It's been forever since I posted an update, so I feel like I need to, but I feel so down today that I'm going to try to keep it as unemotional as I can.

About three weeks ago, we attended a school event as a family. Monkey, Ocean, and Rockstar all attend the same school. Easy was very relaxed, putting his arms around both Asha and I, and no one even blinked at us, as far as I could tell. I was envious again, that they can be so affectionate in public. I didn't see Sunday pretty much all night.

The next Monday Asha received a phone call that her aunt had died. Asha's father had just undergone open heart surgery and was scheduled to be released that day in her aunt's care. Asha rushed to fly home because her father couldn't be left alone, and the rest of us scrambled to arrange care for Ocean and Rockstar when they're not in school. It's been difficult for Sunday, and he's spent a lot of time not letting Easy and me help. At least, that's how I feel. I'm frustrated because I promised Asha I would make sure he was taken care of while she's gone, and also because we're supposed to be family, right?

We had plans the following weekend, which Sunday cancelled on. We went to a show with some other friends that we were supposed to go to with Asha. I considered not going to the show at all, but I had already invited these other friends before Asha left, and also this night out was part of an agreement that Easy made to help me get some time away from being a full-time parent. (I'm very bad at taking care of my own needs, and as a result we recently realized I hadn't had a girl's night out in 8 years.) I talked Sunday into going swimming with us on Sunday, and I think he got some good adult time.

This last Saturday was Easy's birthday, which was sad because Asha couldn't be there. We made Sunday go to a meadery with us, and I took some of our female friends to a bath and body store that Asha loves. The original intent had been to take Asha there, and since she wasn't able to come I wanted to postpone, but we had promised to drag these friends there so I took them. However, Asha's been having a miserable time and it just made her more miserable to miss everything, and she felt terribly left out. So on Easter she was upset. Sunday cancelled his Easter plans with my family to spend time alone. I was miserable. I considered breaking up with Sunday. Sunday called in the afternoon and suggested that we come up for dinner. Easy talked me into accepting a gesture of peace. We packed the kids in the car and drove to Sunday's house. We had a weird, stilted dinner. Afterward, I made some suggestions to Sunday about how to make peace with Asha. I suggested backing away from our relationship. When we left there was a hug but no kiss. Easy and I called Asha even though she asked us to leave her alone for a day. I know that was bad of us, but sometimes it's better to take the mad right away than to let it build for longer. We expressed that we all missed her and loved her and that of course we wanted her here. I don't know if it helped her, but she seemed a little better by the end of the conversation. But with Asha that can be deceiving--she can compartmentalize and deal with stuff later, which I can't do.

This morning I met Sunday at school to take their puppy for the day. He seemed okay, but had heard that we had "disobeyed" our instructions and called Asha. No one was surprised. The talk seemed brief, the hug seemed briefer than usual. I can't help feeling stupid for thinking this relationship might actually work out.

Monkey got accepted to a Gifted and Talented program. Ocean tested ahead of her grade level in several areas. I am a proud poly parent.

I told Easy that I loved him and Asha and wouldn't stand in the way of their relationship. I'm depressed and feeling adrift. I'm really sick of living my life in a holding pattern. And I'm going to stop here. Sorry this is not happy. :(

LovingRadiance 04-05-2010 07:54 PM

Oh Lemon,
Don't you know that real is so much more important than happy?
I'm so sorry that you're hurting.
But I'm so glad that you shared the "real" of you with us!

Big hugs!!!

Lemondrop 04-07-2010 05:26 AM

I feel like I'm holding my breath.

Easy and I discussed how my parents' messed up relationship and a couple of extremely bad break-ups may have caused me to try to prematurely end relationships where I don't feel completely secure. We agreed that at the very least I won't do anything drastic until Asha comes home. Monday night, Sunday called me for no reason for the *very first time ever*, which I'm choosing to take as a good sign.

I called Sunday tonight and told him I needed him to be clear if he really wants me to back off. He said he didn't think that was necessary. (Background: we really messed up when we started the quad, and the result was that last summer Asha was seriously considering divorcing Sunday, because of me. After that, Sunday decided that perhaps he couldn't be poly and stopped the physical side of our relationship. Later he said maybe he could handle being poly, and that he did love me, and I've been slowly increasing the amount of affection that I show. But it still feels like one step forward, two steps back.) I defiantly told him I loved him when I hung up.

Thank you, LR. I'm trying really hard to have a positive attitude (and failing).

venusaquarius 04-07-2010 04:55 PM

don't know if this helps or makes it worse, but...
I've been in a quad that is dissolving into I don't know what. It's been wonderful, hard, and ultimately not workable for 3 of the 4 of us, but all relationships have thier own lifespan. I am now wondering what the impact will be on my remaining lover relationship with my secondary, who does not define herself as poly but loves me still. I have learned that I probably can't find one relationship to meet my needs, that I can balance more that one relationship, that I can love more than one person at a time. I know that if my long term primary partner wants to move on, I will eventually want to bond with someone new who hopefully has similar qualities, and I wonder what this will do to my secondary relationship. My next real test is to remind her that I am poly, that I am not going to become mono now that my primary is leaving, and to ask her to stay. I look forward to the future when the pain is not so bad. I hope the same for you.

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