Hi, I'm GreenMom (Green). I'm going to do my best to tell you all a bit about myself while still remaining moderately vague. Even though I am 99% sure that no one else involved in my life is here, I am still paranoid. Written words, posted, that cannot be taken back, that could come back to haunt me. I figure it will simply help me to post things as fair and balanced as possible, even when I have a bad day. Though to be fair, the person I am most likely to "attack" in posts is myself.
I'm married (Derrick) with two young kiddos (Elmo & Dora). I also have a relationship with my boyfriend (Marty), who is married (Kitty) with a young kiddo (Thomas). Derrick tells me in poly parlance this set up is called an "N", since Marty and I are the only ones who "cross over" between the two marriages romantically or sexually.
Our families live in different towns about 45 minutes apart. We all balance jobs, child care, and our own pursuits. In other words, we are all extremely busy people. Time is a challenge, especially for me, as I am pretty demanding and tend to want to get as much time as possible with those I care about. Not necessarily a bad trait, but I have to give myself a reality check every so often.
Before I write about where I am currently, I'm going to give an overview of my history with poly, so help you better understand where I am coming from.
I was a bit of a late bloomer compared to some in that my first serious relationship didn't happen til I was 20. I fell into it hard and fast, we moved in together within a few months of our first date, and got engaged not too long after. Life happened, and we ended up long distance, due to where my job was, and where his school was. During the course of this, I asked his permission to date women, giving the reason that because I was bisexual, and I had never dated a woman, I wanted to experience that. He agreed, and I had a very brief (like... less than a month) fling with a local woman, which ended badly and turned me off of women. I then met a man. I asked, and received, permission to explore that, though I know fiance was not thrilled about it. He showed me how thrilled he was by sleeping with one person I had specifically requested that he not (due to disease concerns), and things got kinda weird between us then. I'm not going into further details but we did not end well.
I continued my relationship with the other man I had been seeing. He had another woman he also saw, in a LDR situation (we were LDR as well). That ended and for a good while we were each others' "only". Then he met someone, and ended what we had so he could be with her.
Then came my now husband, Derrick. I held myself pretty reserved our first couple dates. Our third date, months having passed between each date during which we kept in touch other ways, we launched feet first into a committed relationship. Three months after that, we were living together. I had known he was poly, and frankly at that point, I wanted nothing to do with poly anymore, since I hadn't really had any positive poly experiences. That was why I resisted dating him at first. After we added sex into the mix on our third date, I told him the next morning that we could go back to being friends, but I just didn't think I could do poly again. He told me he would date only me, so we moved forward, and have been together for coming up on six years now.
Something I've been up front about with all my boyfriends/girlfriends is the fact that D/s and BDSM are a very important part of my life. I'm not really big into the local community, but it is a large part of how I am naturally in relationships. I'm a switch, and I'm happiest when I can express both "sides" of that. Derrick was very up front about the fact that he is strictly dominant, and for a few years, I was okay with that. Then I started getting very resentful of the fact that he wouldn't switch and let me be the dominant sometimes. He encouraged me to find another partner with whom I could express that side of myself. I fought that suggestion hard for a couple years. That would be poly. Gasp!
Finally I met a girl (another LDR), and was able to start exploring that side of myself again. This burned out within a few months, but gave me just enough of a taste that I couldn't suppress that side of myself happily anymore. Summer of 2011 I started seriously looking for a submissive female play partner. I had convinced myself as well that I would keep this casual, more of a friends situation, just friends who are also play partners at time.
I hadn't really had much luck, and then at a BDSM event we attended in November? December? after we watched a really intense scene that included a very talented person wielding floggers, I asked Derrick - "if I had the opportunity to play with someone like that, just for the experience not for anything more, would that be cool?" Derrick, "Why wouldn't it be?" Green - "Well, he's male. I have permission to play with women." Derrick - "That was your rule, not mine. Gender doesn't make a difference to me."
That conversation really opened up my eyes and made me think. I decided, why not, and broadened my search to include males. Mid-december I began talking to Marty. We began dating in January, I immediately stopped my search, and overall life has been good.
Need to take a break from writing, but I will add more later.
So, my present situation... the first month especially, I boggled at how amazingly well everything was going. Derrick was thrilled at how happy I was to have found not only an outlet for my dominant side but such a compatible person. Everyone got along well from the get-go - the adults and the kids. NRE was definitely in overdrive.
Then real life started getting in the way. Job schedules changed. Other obligations surfaced. Scheduling started to really become a bitch, especially scheduling one on one time, so it seemed like the NRE buzz went away very quickly. It's hard to indulge the "yay yummy new boyfriend want to glom" impulse when a preschooler is crawling on you and Yo Gabba Gabba is playing on the TV. I also struggle with being romantic/physically affectionate in front of Kitty, even though I know on the logical level she does not mind, because part of me keeps waiting for her to get mad and want me to get off her husband.
I recognize I look at a lot of things in a very monogamous manner. It's all that I know. As I've said to Derrick plenty of times, the only reason I was willing to actively be poly was because I had a specific need (to express my domme side) that he could not fulfill. Maybe not the best reason to be poly, but I've always been up front about that. I failed pretty miserably in my "i'll keep it casual" theory, which didn't surprise my husband at all. I don't do casual. I jump in to the deep end right away, I get into the physical fast, I let feelings develop.
But my monogamy-filter, as I've started calling it, is causing me frustration. I get to see Marty once, maybe twice, a week. Due to transportation and other logistical issues, the grand majority of our dates are at his home, or at least in his town. The vast majority being at his home means we are spending time not only with each other, but with Kitty and Thomas. Sometimes I take Elmo along as well. Very rarely, Derrick and Dora come along too.
I've been struggling with the fact that I know I have needs and wants not being met, but I also know it's my fault -- I'm not speaking up about what things frustrate me. I can't expect anyone to read my mind. Why don't I speak up? I'm scared that if I express what I want - or even how I feel - I'll be dumped. Nothing Marty has said or done has given me that feeling - I have created this negative mindset myself. So I am spending this time journaling, and working on determining what is it exactly that I need, what is it that I want, and what is fair/realistic for me to ask for.
I'm fortunate in that Derrick is always willing and happy to listen to me talk about things and tries to help me sort through things. I've also been fortunate in that I've been able to have a couple frank one on one talks with Kitty to assure myself of where she stands on things. The only one I've been chicken to talk to as frankly is Marty.
Part of it, I think, is that I am accustomed to the person I am dating being as excited, or moreso, than I am. And I am not saying that isn't the case. But due to the nature of the situation (kids, etc) I don't think this can go the way I am used to a new relationship going. I am trying to keep in mind that I have never started a relationship since having kids. I've never dated someone who has a kid. There are a lot of firsts in this situation which means direct comparisons to situations from my past may not be terribly fair.
So, tomorrow I will be sitting down with pen and paper and making a list of things that I need, a list of things I want, and then coming up with ideas those things can be accomplished. Or, determining if I am being incredibly unrealistic in my desires.
More to come. Bedtime now.
Our first month or so of dating was fantastic in every way. We got together twice a week - Wednesday evenings we hung out with Kitty and Thomas, Sundays we had the day to ourselves. A couple times on Saturdays we had "family days" that also included Derrick, Dora and Elmo. Good stuff! Pretty good communication between dates too, which helps for me a lot since given the drive time, I can't just "stop by", things have to be planned so much.
Then life started encroaching and shifting the fun NRE off to the side. Work conferences, work schedule changes, visitations for Dora, etc etc. Scheduling has gotten to be pretty tricky - particularly scheduling any one on one time - which has made things frustrating at times. The logistics are a challenge at time.
I've recognized through long conversations with Derrick and some of my good friends, that some of what I am frustrated by, I have to let go. Some things are simply beyond my power to control. For example, this is my first relationship that has started since I had kids, and the first time I have dated someone with kids. OF COURSE that will impact things. That is not something that can really be changed, aside from trying to find a good balance of kid free dates as well as kid inclusive dates.
Something else I haven't been very strong with is communication. I know, I know - bad Green. This was pointed out first by Derrick, and then by Marty. Marty was actually pretty sweet about it. You see, I have worked out in my mind that if I dare to speak up about anything - if I express that I would like things different, etc - I will then be "too much work" and not worth dating. Marty basically told me the opposite is more true - if I "suffer in silence" and make him guess, that is the too much work option.
I also realized that in holding back on conversations due to fear, and in moderating my behavior so much due to fear, I am doing everyone a disservice in that I am not being authentically "me". So that is changing. I also realized I may be trying too hard to not rock the boat, and giving off the appearance that I just don't care. That is changing too.
Starting tonight. We are getting together for a couple hours for his bday. It will include Kitty and Thomas (unless he is asleep), at least peripherally, and that is fine, as it is his birthday. I'm going to do my best tonight to not let fear or doubt keep me from being me, while still obviously behaving in an appropriate fashion.
Last night went well. We spent a couple hours watching movies along with Kitty and Thomas. Then we ran a couple errands - maybe not the world's most romantic activity but I actually enjoy it as I feel it's a little way we can share part of each other's lives. We also had some interesting conversations while out and about that continued after we got back to his place and enjoyed some snuggle-and-talk time before I had to head home.
I'm glad I was able to spend some time with him for his birthday and I look forward to our next time together, Wednesday. We will hopefully be going out for coffee, conversation, and board games at a local coffee place or restaurant.
I'm feeling more confident about communicating my wants and needs, moreso feeling I have the RIGHT to communicate my wants and needs. I think this is a very good thing. :)
This sounds like such a healthy situation, with your husband totally helping you to be open with communication. I know what you mean about the monogamy filter, I have one too! Lol. I also find it near impossible to keep things casual, sex means emotions which mean, for me, I want to keep that person around!
Thanks for your reply, trescool. :) It's nice to know I'm not the only one with a "monogamy filter", heh.
Last night went differently than I expected, but in a good way! Wednesday is my "usual" day to go see Marty. I found out he was expecting one or two of his friends to come by for a belated birthday celebration. Four friends ended up coming over - one whom I had met before, and three I hadn't. All very nice people. It was fun being in a social setting, and I was really happy to see Marty so happy that his friends were able to come together and do something with him for his birthday. Good stuff!
We have a kiddo play date set up for Sunday, to get our sons together. They haven't gotten to do that for a couple weeks and they have both been incessantly asking for the other. It's so cute how much they enjoy playing with each other and heartwarming to see how well they get along.
So currently, in true GreenMom fashion, I'm stressing myself out with undo anxiety about a date I want to propose. I'd like to go out for dinner Saturday night, and then spend the night with him at my place. He hasn't been to my place since late February - logistically speaking, it's much harder to arrange. My mother, who lives with us (and is not yet aware of the poly relationship) will be out of town, so it's a rare opportunity to spend some time with him in my space. I'm on pins and needles just considering asking - I have it in my head that I'm going to be rejected - either because he won't want to go out, won't want to be away from his own home for the night (he gets guilty feelings, even though Kitty has made it clear she is quite okay with it), etc.
So I am working on stopping the negative thinking and just preparing to ask. I wish I wasn't such a coward about such things. I'm just really bad at speaking up about my own wants at times. I feel selfish, and bad, and like I should just go along with what is easiest for everyone. But this is something that is important to me so I need to speak up.
Get it over with an ask him! Sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the more chance there will be that he can't do it. But keep in mind, if he says "no," that doesn't necessarily mean it's a rejection of you, but could mean he feels weird about getting away.
You can just say it casually and relaxed: "I was thinking, my mother's going to be out of town next weekend and I would love it if you could stay over Saturday night."
Or, make up a little invitation on paper and give it to him. That might be a fun way to ask.
Or talk to him about it with his wife there so she can chime in and say, "Go Marty, I'll be fine!"
nycindie - I got over it, I asked him, and we are on for Saturday night. :)
It's funny you mention asking him with Kitty there, as that was my original plan, but with all the folks showing up unexpectedly Weds night, I didn't have the opportunity.
I am getting better at communicating and that is a good, good thing!
So, we had a pretty good weekend. Saturday evening, Marty and his son came over. The kids were all thrilled to get the time to play together. Once kiddos were down for the night Derrick, Marty and I all watched some netflix until we started passing out. Marty and I got some one on one time of the physical variety which for me (I scored a 12 on that love languages test for physical touch, heh) is very important and was very needed. The next day, we all had breakfast, and we took all the kids to the zoo. Lots of fun. Afterwards, Elmo & I took Marty & Thomas back to their house, the boys played a while, we had supper, and went home.
I'm a bit frustrated because I continue to feel that we pretty much skipped over the fun crazy NRE phase and dove right into the old married couple phase without actually being married or having been together for that long. I love spending time with him taking the kids places, watch movies, playing games, talking, etc, but I am just having trouble wrapping my head around how to deepen the bond. I WANT that crazy exciting I-can't-keep-my-hands-off-you phase. I know things have to be more circumspect that I am used to because this is my first new relationship since having kids, and I've never dated someone with a child. But even little things like holding hands in the car, a quick kiss as we pass in the kitchen, etc, would be nice for touch-aholic me.
So to that end, instead of whining about it here (well, more than I have), or getting all angsty and convinced Marty doesn't like me/isn't attracted to me/etc, I'm going to actually start doing these things instead of waiting for him to do so.
Instead of getting upset a the realities of life and the fact its just not feasible for us to spend more time in person one on one, I'm going to look at the fact that we actually do get quite a bit of time together given our work schedules and everything else, and I am going to find ways we can get some periods of non-kiddo time so we can speak and grow as a couple, while still getting lots of the family time which we both enjoy.
I also have to admit that I'm having more trouble than usual bouncing back from this years SAD. I had a vacation in March which was supposed to be awesome (with hubby) and ended up being hugely dramatic and negative (not between hubby and I, but with others along). We've also had a lot of extra appointments for my special needs daughter and I've been overwhelmed by all of that. As a result I've stopped working out, I've been eating crappy food -- of COURSE my mood is suffering. So I am making a more concerted effort to make time for those things, which are important too.
I have felt strained with Derrick since the aftermath of our trip, and I need to talk with him about that and see if I can resolve it. I've been giving a lot of thought lately to what marriage means to me and wondering if it is time for me to redefine marriage - more than I have already, since by becoming poly, I have already changed what marriage had meant to me.
OK, enough ramblings for now. Here is an e-cookie for anyone who got this far. ;)
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