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-   -   Loving without Fear: Cleo's path (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22649)

Cleo 03-27-2012 04:11 PM

Loving without Fear: Cleo's path
 
I've been reading the forums and many of the blogs for weeks.
And now I feel its time to add my story. Hopefully this will be a place where I can write, maybe vent, feel safe to talk about the things that bother me and make me happy.

A little background: my husband and I (I'll call him Ren) started our poly journey 3 years ago. It began as an open marriage where we had (mostly sexual) encounters - first swapping with couples and threesomes, then we dated separately.
It evolved to what seems to be more about love and less about sex - even though sex is still an important part of our 'other' relationships.

He's had a girlfriend since the summer. Lets call her Lou. She has a boyfriend in another city who doesn't know about her relationship with my husband. This bothers me a lot (I've written about this here http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=22245) and this is a source of arguments between me and Ren.

I have 2 lovers.. boyfriends.. I'm thinking about what's the difference.. have to think some more.. One, lets call him MrBrown, I've known for 4 months. The other, lets call him Curlz, since 2 months.

Its a lot to process. I'm learning so much about myself, about what relationships are, what it means to love and be loved. Most of all, I'm learning about what it means to let go of my fears and to really open myself up.

My whole life has been a journey of learning how to open up. It finally started to happen after I turned 40, a couple of years ago. And there's so much more to come.

Cleo 03-27-2012 04:19 PM

about fear
 
I have an amazing amount of love in my life. Yet so much fear of losing it. And therefore, I spend so much time looking for confirmation that yes, they all still love me, Want to be with me.

With Ren, this is almost easy. We've been together for such a long time. The relationship with his girlfriend has elements that bother me. And yes I am sometimes jealous. (She's beautiful. And not like me, at all. For an insecure person like myself - a huge challenge). But still I feel very safe with him, I don't feel like he could leave me any minute. (I know he could. I just don't expect him to).

With my lovers, its different. I haven't known them long enough to have established that kind of trust and faith. When I don't hear from them I worry. This morning on my way to work I had what I can only describe as a alight panic attack about Curlz. He's single, and going through divorce (but was in an open relationship with his wife for a couple of years). All of a sudden I just KNEW for sure that he would meet someone who he would want to be his primary. And I actually KNEW (ha) that he is going to meet her this weekend.

How irrational can I get? So much for loving without fear. I was reassured when he sent me a lovely and loving little text message later today. But I would so much prefer not to have to rely on this reassurance.

Such a long way to go.

nycindie 03-27-2012 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleo (Post 130498)
All of a sudden I just KNEW for sure that he would meet someone who he would want to be his primary. And I actually KNEW (ha) that he is going to meet her this weekend.

How irrational can I get? So much for loving without fear. I was reassured when he sent me a lovely and loving little text message later today. But I would so much prefer not to have to rely on this reassurance.

Heh-heh, I can really relate to this. I wanted to say to you - so what would it really mean if Curlz finds another lover and that person becomes primary for him? That doesn't automatically mean it has to be over with you. And, if he does start having multiple relationships, he may not even choose to classify them according to hierarchies.

Also... loving without fear. I don't think the goal is to try and not have fears, but to keep loving in the face of fear. You know, along the lines of that old classic self-help book by Susan Jeffers: Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.

Good, thought-provoking start for your blog, btw. Thanks for this... and welcome!

Cleo 03-27-2012 05:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 130503)
But I also wanted to say to you - so what would it really mean if Curlz finds another lover and that person becomes primary for him? That doesn't automatically mean it has to be over with you. And, if he does start having multiple relationships, he may not even choose to classify them according to hierarchies.

Also... loving without fear. I don't think the goal is to try and not have fears, but to keep loving in the face of fear.

Yes, that's true. It's very hard not to make assumptions. I sure don't know him well enough to know what he wants or is going to do.

About the fear: to me, fear is something that prevents me from doing the things I want to do.That's the paralyzing, numbing, suffocating effect of fear. So yes you're very right: my fears will never really go away, but I refuse to let them rule my behavior and prevent me from living my best possible life.

When I meet people now, and become close to them, and tell them a bit about my past, they are always completely surprised when I tell them "well, you know, there was a time when I did not want to leave the house because I felt so ugly and undesirable and I was sure everyone would just start to make fun of me when I set one foot out the door."
Then they look at me and see a confident and attractive woman. They don't know that the fears of the 20 year old are still there, to some extent, I just don't let them rule my life anymore.

Cleo 03-29-2012 07:31 AM

Well, Curlz picked up on some of my insecurities and we've been emailing back and forth about this subject: my reluctance to open up completely because I fear that to him, I'm just a transitional thing, while he's getting over a rough divorce, and getting ready for a new primary relationship.

He's a really honest and down to earth guy who would never say things just to reassure me. I know that I have to deal with these things myself.. it's my own head playing tricks on me. But sometimes its just really hard.

I'm seeing him again next week (we live in different cities, and work and living arangements make it difficult to see each other more than once a week) and I'm really looking forward to that.. I also know that when I just see him and can hold him and talk to him, most of my fears will melt away.

************

I met a friend for drinks last night. She's married, but although she and her spouse are a great couple and best friends and will never split up, their relationship has not been sexual for years. They both occasionally have lovers. She was the first person I ever met who told me about living like this, way before my husband and I were talking about opening up our marriage. So I always looked at her as someone with experience, and sort of looked up to her. Last night she made me sad because there seems to be no progress in their situation. Her current lover lives in another country, she says she doesn't have the energy to meet anybody new, and that maybe she should try to make it work with her husband again?
As I was driving home I felt so very grateful for the fact that Ren and I are so close, share so much love, are still physically attracted to each other.. and also grateful that I took, and am still taking, so many bold plunges into unknown depths.
I want to explore so much, and I feel very lucky that I am taking the time and spending the energy on this journey of discoveries. Even though its not always easy.

Cleo 03-30-2012 02:26 PM

thoughts on feeling threatened
 
Had some good talks with Ren about his relationship with Lou and why I feel threatened by some aspects of it. It's interesting that it did not bother me one bit that they went on vacation together (twice) but that it bothers me a lot that she's spending so much time at our house whenever she's in town (her own place is not suitable for sleepovers).
I'm never at the house when she's here (I'm at work, with friends, or with 1 of my lovers) but I know when she's there, and it bothers me. There seem to more signs of her presence after every visit. Little things left behind in different rooms. A bottle of shampoo in the bathroom. Things like that. Those constant reminders.. upset me.

I'm going away for a week pretty soon (by myself) and I've asked Ren not to let her stay over for more than 2 nights in a row. I wanted to say 1 night, but I compromised because I can see how nice that would be, to maybe have a whole day and 2 nights together. He said he will keep this in mind.
Is it wrong of me to want to hear him say: ok, I'll arrange it like that? This way, I feel that he won't commit.. and that if she wants to stay the whole week, he will let her, and he only has to say to me: I tried to do it your way, but it did not work out.

I think I need a promise from him before I leave, or I'll just keep wondering about it..

Cleo 03-30-2012 02:32 PM

how to tell your friend she's not supportive
 
I met my best friend today. She has never met Lou but my friend has heard about her from Ren and has seen her pictures. I was trying to explain some of my fears and worries. When I went home I felt upset, and after thinking about it, I realized I had not felt support from my friend, but rather had felt that she was feeding my fears. She said things like "I don't trust Lou" ( she's never met her!), "I think Ren is in love with here even though he says he isn't" and "lets just hope he won't start to like her more than he likes you".

I know most of this comes from the fact that she's worried about me, about my marriage. But how can I let her know that this is not helping? I'm not looking for someone to go 'let's bash my husbands girlfriend' with. I'm debating wether or not to let her know..

NovemberRain 03-31-2012 06:24 AM

Well, as I was just sayin' on another thread, that's why I hang out here, in these forums. I like being able to talk to people who understand what poly is. And that's it's not about help me bash on spouse's gf.

I have a girlfriend, and I want so much to talk about my NRE and my renewed old love, and she's just not into it. I have speculations about why; but it's not my job to push her. And I have here.


If you want to let her know, I suggest you do it just the way you typed it here:

'Friend, I know most of this comes from the fact that you're worried about me, about my marriage. I need to let you know that this is not helping. I'm not looking for someone to go 'let's bash my husbands girlfriend' with. I'm looking to let go of my fears and grow more love in the world.'

Okay, I put some extra words in there. Take 'em or leave 'em, as you like. :D

KyleKat 03-31-2012 02:12 PM

Is your best friend mono? That sounds like the crap my mono friends say. I usually let them go into it and say what they want to say and sometimes even make jokes about it but I am confident nothing they say would actually happen. Either put a stop to that kind of behavior or remember that it's coming from someone that doesn't understand poly.

It's hard to stop worrying. I get that. Don't let others build your fears.

dingedheart 03-31-2012 03:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cleo (Post 130812)
I met my best friend today. She has never met Lou but my friend has heard about her from Ren and has seen her pictures. I was trying to explain some of my fears and worries..

I wonder if your friend was just mirroring and expanding on things you said. If she has a mono mind set what other way would she look at this. If you came off insecure isn't easy to see how that energy could infect a conversation.

I'd look at what you wanted to hear back from what you said to start the conversation and see if changes could have been made on the front end to get the support you needed.


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