Blog of a Former Unicorn
Well, since my ambiguously titled blog got moved to general discussion when the conversation turned, I guess I'll begin again with clearer intentions. :D
I am reserving this space to talk about myself and my journey. I do welcome comments and I don't mind if they get sidetracked. If they do become topics worthy of having their own thread, that's great. But I'd still like to keep this space for my own needs. :p
(From the introduction thread)
The impetus for being here is that the last week or so has been a whirlwind of love and openness with my husband of two years, as I tentatively broached the subject of Polyamory and he declared himself not only supportive of my nature but cautiously interested in learning more himself. He hadn't really dated before we met, and I was shocked (in a good way) to hear him admit that he would be interested in the possibility of exploring relationships with other women.
Since I had entered into this relationship with a mono contract, I never considered the possibility that my relationship with my husband could be done in a poly context, and so this is all very new to me. I have a lot of feelings to sort out, and of course he and I have much to discuss. I am intensely committed to my relationship with my husband, and we are both very happy with the growth and ever-improving communication that our partnership is yielding. We are planning for children in a year or so, and I think it's a real blessing that this conversation came up sooner rather than later.
While we don't have any plans to jump into this without thinking, I will certainly be open to what comes my way. I have sorely missed having a close female companion in my life for six or seven years, and I have a very close male friend whom I hold a deep and abiding love for. My husband has known these things for a while but I somehow felt my discussions with him were lacking something, despite my best efforts to explain myself, but our recent discussions have really put these things into context for him, and for that I am extremely happy.
Again, I am very happy to be here, and to share and learn along this journey.
(From the Personal Summaries page)
I'm a married, 27 year old bisexual female living in Wasilla, Alaska, and I'd say I'm somewhat new to the concept of conscious, conscientious polyamory, though I'm no stranger to it in practice.
From my earliest relationships, I was saddened by the pressure to be a serial monogamist, and I made a nominal effort to conform to this largely because it was what was expected, and I had no idea that there could be anything else. I was constantly and consistently guilty of emotional affairs, though I never felt guilty about them, and I tried to be honest about my feelings to the people I was with. My candidness usually bought me a lot of forgiveness, but it wasn't an easy path by any means.
I usually found myself entangled in multiple ongoing relationships that from the outside must have seemed horribly complex, but from the inside seemed perfectly normal. I just assumed that I had loose morals, chalked it up to being young, and figured I'd be over it by the time I met someone I really wanted to spend the rest of my life with. It never really bothered me, since it seemed like I had the time, energy, and most importantly the love necessary to sustain these various relationships, and I didn't feel like I was lying to any of the people in them.
Over the next few years, I found myself as the unicorn in two different, loving marriages.
The first happened when I had just moved back to England, through an organization I met a woman who invited me to hang out some time. We really hit it off, and her husband was taciturn, but had a wicked sense of humor, and I was hooked and completely stoked that I made such a great pair of friends.
I was highly amused when I showed up at their house a few weeks later and they admitted to plotting to get me into their bed. I had wondered if this was the case, and when I indicated that I would be up for that, they laid out their ground rules (which mostly limited the quality of the alone time I had with the husband) and I agreed that it sounded like an interesting and fun arrangement. I was growing very close to the wife in any case, and what had begun as something jokingly physical, grew into something happy and honest and very fulfilling.
I viewed the next year and a half as a magically blissful time in my existence, but when the pair found out they were pregnant, I was shut out of their lives, with the explanation that they needed to focus on one another while they came to terms with this new and exciting change.
Needless to say, my head understood, but my heart did not, and I didn't want to admit to myself that I was hurt. In hindsight, it's clear that I went into mourning for what I had lost so abruptly. I didn't even see them again until the baby was born, and though we were still willing to offer our friendship and love, that closeness that made things special was gone.
I moved to California for a guy I fell for, and we made a damn good go of it, but I was reacting badly to some medication that made me an emotional train wreck and the relationship was not strong enough to survive this. I was propositioned by an adorable female coworker of mine, who made it clear from the get go that she liked me and she wanted me to meet her husband. I was too amused at her forwardness to turn her invitation down.
Thus began the most emotionally complete, stable, loving relationship that I'd ever been in. I had never expected the first triad, and the fact that I found love and happiness in the unusual arrangement felt like a happy accident. Finding this second one and knowing what could come of it truly felt like a miracle to me. From nearly the first moment I came to the house, I was welcomed with open arms by the young wife, the much older husband, and even his two mostly-grown boys. There weren't the restrictions that were placed on me in the first triad, and I reveled in the emotional connections that I built, together and separately.
I have never known so much love in a house before, and it was a wonderful place to put the pieces of myself back together. It became clear over the next six months that this beautiful relationship was the only thing keeping me in California, and despite their urging that I move into their spare room when my lease was up, I decided to move back to England. I don't know what I was afraid of, but the economy was terrible even before the country's economy tanked and when I was laid off of yet another job I could not in good conscience become a dependent of this wonderful family.
If I mourned the loss of the first relationship, I was truly adrift at the loss of this second one--and by my own hand--and to be honest I miss them to this day.
And then I met my husband.
(From Exploring the Myths)
Mr. Unicorn and I have been slowly discussing the changes that a poly view would bring (is bringing?) into our lives. I've been so surprised by his openness and willingness to learn. I directed him to the xeromag discussions in case he was interested in reading on his own, and he has been reading and bringing up topics that concern him, or points of view he finds interesting.
We hadn't discussed much about the shape that other relationships could take, but I was relieved when I heard him say, "I don't like the idea of us having secret people on the side. If it happens, I want them to be known to both of us, someone who can come over and everyone's okay with that."
I assured him that having people who had nothing to do with the other important parts of my life was not appealing to me, and that the sense of community and family were a very big part of what I was looking for. Isolated relationships would just feel like a failure and a distraction to the sorts of things I am interested in building.
I also pointed out that we needn't be the best of friends with one another's partners, simply that we would be able to find things to relate to them. I said that I would love to be able to cook special meals with his potential SOs, and enjoy having them over for the weekend, or maybe longer.
I brought up the example of my friend (sticking with the theme, we'll call him Griffin), whom Mr. Unicorn is a little uncomfortable with, but likes well enough to, in his words, "find interesting things to speak about whenever we get together." I told Mr. Unicorn that my ideal is that this would be the baseline for how we should see each other's SOs, and hopefully on better terms than this.
Griffin is a whole other issue altogether, as I've had feelings for him since at least a year before I even met my husband. We met by going on a few dates, slept together a few times, were caught up how accidentally awesome we found one another, and then he dropped off the face of the planet. I was sad, but I accepted this. Six months later, he called and said that he really missed me and that he hoped we could still be friends. How to answer was not even a question for me, and we've had a deep, emotionally complex relationship ever since.
We are both prone to dropping off the face of the earth, and so we lose contact pretty regularly as either he or I are in a cocoon phase. Our friendship hasn't suffered from these weeks, or even months that we don't talk. Somehow, it's simply understood to be the nature of the beast and Griffin and I pick back up where we left off as if no time had passed at all.
I met Mr. Unicorn during one of these cocoon phases, and I didn't see Griffin again until well after my relationship was established. I told Griffin it didn't change anything about our friendship on my side, and I told Mr. Unicorn I'd quit sleeping over cause it implied things that weren't going on. Things went on as before and I was very happy that I had these two great people in my life.
About a year later, I had my first real emotional crush with a responsible, professional, highly competent older man at my job. He was moving, and I confessed my feelings right before he left. He admitted that he felt similarly, and was just awed by my competence and energy from our first shift together, and it sent me on a huge emotional dive as I was hearing the sort of things this man was saying about me, and how I felt like I had none of that personal admiration from my own man.
In a very bad emotional place, I sat poor Mr. Unicorn down for a talk and expressed the things that I needed that we hadn't been addressing, and confessed about my crush. We were trying to be good communicators, but neither of us had the emotional maturity or the experience to really deal with some of the issues at hand relating to responsibility and support and sharing. I decided I really needed some time alone to think about things, and so, unsatisfactorily, I broke it off. Aaaand the month of December was a sad, sad, horrible, lonely month for the both of us.
I spent much of this time with Griffin, who listened patiently as I poured out my frustration and my dissatisfaction, my anger and my sadness. I cried, and he held me, and just listened. I am so grateful for his support.
On New Year's Eve, Mr. Unicorn and I found that we were both alone, and spent the entire night talking about what we'd learned about ourselves and what we wanted from the relationship. It was a real turning point, and we came away clearer in our expectations, and very committed to better communication and openness that have been the defining characteristics of our relationship to this day.
In the months before Mr. Unicorn proposed, I was having to make the decision of whether or not he was The One. Whether or not I could be committed to him without directing my energies elsewhere. I didn't want to lose him, and I knew I wanted him to be forever, and I was under the impression that it was an all or nothing decision.
I was fighting undiagnosed anemia during this time, and I wasn't sleeping well, and you know what chronic lack of sleep does to a person. I was withdrawing into myself, paring down anything that wasn't entirely essential to my daily functioning and my love for this man who I was sharing my life with.
I didn't really know what to do with myself for a while after I realized that I wanted my time with Mr. Unicorn to be forever. I had very deep and emotionally complex relationships elsewhere at the time, and I cut them ruthlessly from my life because I didn't know what else to do. For my entire adult life, being social, connecting with people, personal power, joyous physical activity, sexuality, and creativity were all rolled into one, and I pushed every single one of these things away because I couldn't figure out how to separate them.
Yeah, I know, not healthy at all.
The problem became that I felt isolated because I had walled up so much of myself, which made me rather inaccessible to my husband as well. I lost a lot of who I was for quite some time and I am very thankful to Mr. Unicorn for being so supportive while I have been going through the process of finding myself again.
Griffin was the only person I couldn't bear to give up in this personal witch hunt, and it paid off for me. It was conversations with him that sparked my interest in looking at the question of my sexuality again.
When I was finally ready to deal with all that mess I was ignoring, part of the solution happened to be that various forms of internet roleplay were a safe outlet for those energies that were otherwise inappropriate or overwhelming in the space of our marriage. I've been a much more balanced person and our relationship has improved dramatically since I no longer felt like I have to hold parts of myself at bay. And Mr. Unicorn loves my renewed liveliness, and he reaps the rewards in more ways than one, so he was nothing but encouraging.
The last six months has been a wonderful period of growth and exploration for me as I unpack and evaluate all that crap. Our marriage has grown stronger as I am able to bring more and more to the table. Plus we are growing up a bit, that does help some. I suppose it was only a matter of time before the poly discussion came up.
And come up it has.
We hit our first bump the other night when we were talking about insecurities and fears being best discussed sooner rather than later. I blurted out some rather incomprehensible and contradictory statements about my relationship with Griffin that really hurt Mr. Unicorn's feelings. He told me that he wasn't ready to discuss it outside of theory yet, and that the idea of me involved with Griffin makes him really uncomfortable and he shut down.
After we reconnected emotionally, I spent a lot of time crying because I told Mr. Unicorn that I had signed up for a traditional marriage and I feel like I am going back on that contract. His reply was that he didn't sign up for a traditional marriage, he signed up for a marriage with me. If being poly is part of my identity, then how could he do anything but accept it because he loves me and wants me to be happy.
People, this man is incredible. ;)
The happy side effect is that by voicing my fears and concerns about what Griffin may or may not mean to me, all of a sudden I'm not worried about it anymore. Suddenly I can see past that uncertainty and see that he certainly doesn't fit my criteria for what I want to bring into my life romantically. And that doesn't change anything about the amazing friendship I have built with him. He's a friend, a great friend who I just happen to have been involved with in the past, and I can continue to be his friend without feeling guilty that I'm somehow doing something wrong by being close to him.
It's like five years of worry have been lifted off of me and I'm positively floating.
So I "came out" to my mother yesterday morning over breakfast. She took it in stride, as I suspected she would, and we had a great talk about many different things. I most of the day with her, and it was wonderful to reconnect!
Afterward I went on a "date" with Griffin, the first time I've seen him since I had the poly discussion with Mr. Unicorn. I call it a date, as it was dinner and a movie, but it truly wasn't. I let him know that the conversation came up, and it seems the uncertainty of what we had/wanted/feared has been dismissed, and we can just continue being great friends. It was one of the best times I've had with the guy in over five years of hanging out with him, and I'm sure it's because I'm not conflicted anymore.
I have to say this was not the outcome I had been expecting on that particular front, but I'm incredibly happy with the results!
Another happy outcome of all of this is that I'm feeling happier about my personality and about my body image.
I got to see a friend of Griffin's sister whom I've known since she was jailbait, and we've been cuddly and snuggly in the past, but I've been increasingly reserved with her. Last night when she "announced" herself by giving me a shoulder rub, I turned around and gave her a huge hug and told her how good it was to see her.
I went for a bra fitting yesterday, and it's amazing what a difference a properly-fitted breast harness makes. I have always had A RACK and I had apparently been trying to wear a DDD when I should have been wearing a *cough* G cup, and with the new bras my breasts are now lovely and supported and back to being fun to display instead of being awkward. I took the liberty of putting them on display last night during my date, and I told Griffin that he wins in either case: either he cares and he can admire them and have a great time with me, or he doesn't care and he can have a great time with me. I sure felt like a million bucks, regardless.
And my husband has been reaping the rewards of my happiness all the way around. It's great!
Emotionally, I've been flying very high lately. I've been talking and learning and growing. But I stumbled yesterday. I called into work and sat around at home all day in a real funk. I wrote and thought and explored, but I couldn't put my finger on what was wrong. I just felt off-kilter, out of step with the world.
Having a history of suicidal depression, I'm well versed in the signs and symptoms. It's history that is very much a part of my past, and I'm a mentally healthy and stable individual, but I am still vigilant against the creeping toll that depression can take on your life. I have a pattern of low periods, but I've discovered that much of it is health related: if I am not getting enough sleep I operate under a haze that presents as the malaise of depression if it becomes a chronic sleep deficit.
I was very glad to see my husband when he got home, but we ended up getting into an argument in the car. He blamed me for something that wasn't my fault and I called him on how unfair that was. I wasn't very gracious about it, and he was understandably upset at both my delivery and his own unfairness. It took us a long time to get back on the same page.
I think he's really stressed about money. It's the only subject that he gets like this about, though it bleeds over into other areas of our lives.
I hate my job. Or rather, I hate how the people at my job make me feel. Or rather, I hate the history of miscommunication in my job that results in lingering misunderstanding about intent and capability. It's just a difficult situation, as my gut instincts are screaming at me to leave, and my head is telling me to stay. It's not a comfortable position for me to be in.
These two things are my biggest stressors right now. If I didn't worry so much about my husband worrying so much about money, I'd be willing to make the changes in my own job for my own happiness. And if my husband wasn't so worried about money, he'd be more supportive about my changing jobs. I'm just feeling fortunate to have a job, and a job that pays as well as I do.
I don't know why I'm being so resistant to change here. I am hating to admit to myself that I know how to fix the situation. What needs to happen is simply that I need to get a new job, and I think everything else will find a way to fix itself. I just wish I felt like I had my husband's support.
In any case, it's a relief to have some sort of path before me again. I'm looking forward to probing these problems to see what sort of insecurities, fears, and misconceptions come up. It just feels like I'm on the cusp of another breakthrough, and I'm just itching to get there.
I've been working a temporary job with a floating end date that drives me bonkers, but pays well. On top of that, I interviewed for a job that I really wanted, but due to various things I was not allowed to contact the employer to find out whether or not I got the job. I've been waiting with that uncomfortable uncertainty for two weeks now, and I have kinda talked myself out of wanting the job.
Needless to say, both issues were resolved today within an hour of one another. I was given a blessedly near end date for my current job, and with the other job I was told that I interviewed extremely well and had great qualifications, but they decided to go for someone else because they thought I was too nice. The recruiter and I were flabbergasted and had no idea what she meant, as I'm known for my extremely strong customer service skills, especially in crises and conflict resolution. I was at an interview, for crying out loud: of course I'm going to be nice!
Bad news on both fronts, as that leaves me without a job as of next week, but damn if I am not relieved, and happy to be washing my hands of both situations.
Things are still prickly with Mr. Unicorn and I. We're talking about it, but neither of us really know what the deal is. But we're still happy and laughing between the crabby moments, so I know things will be just fine. :cool:
Yesterday morning I woke up sick, the sort of sick that really only gets better from staying home and sleeping it off. Mr. Unicorn and I were enjoying a nice morning before he had to leave for work, but then he said to me, "You know, sometimes I wake up feeling bad and then I go to work and I feel better. You could try it and see."
I was incredibly hurt. I had struggled with the decision to stay home, and had come to it as something that would be necessary for me to feel better--against my fears that staying home would reflect badly on me, having just gotten my walking date at work. Couple this with the obvious lack of an income that is upcoming and the issue was suddenly about money, not my health and well-being. The passive aggressiveness of his statement really summed up how subtly unsupported I have felt lately, and I told him so. I said all I really wanted to hear was "I'm sorry to hear that you are sick. I hope you feel better today."
We spent some stony minutes in silence, and then he pulled me into a big hug and wouldn't let me go. He repeated the words I wanted to hear with a smile, and continued to hug me well after he should have left for work. I was beaming by the time he left, all of my worries drained away by his display. Just having him take a little bit of time to address my needs like that dissipated all of the prickliness we had been feeling over the last few days.
I slept for the next seven hours and woke up feeling worse. He called on his way home from work, and asked if he could get me anything. I said I wasn't sure if I wanted hot or cold for my throat, so I asked for ice cream and also a hot coffee from the stand down the road. He came home bearing all my gifts, including some throat lozenges, but the best gift was himself.
We run and host a D&D session weekly, and we like to discuss the theory behind what makes a good game, things we can improve in and out of game, and so forth, but the conversations usually wrap themselves up in an hour or so, because he'll start reading to me or get caught up in mechanics and I just start to tune everything out.
Last night we had a huge breakthrough in our communication. Whenever he sensed that I might be drifting, he would stop himself and check in with me, and we were able to get the conversation back on track. We talked around and around ideas that irritated us until we found out the root cause and corrected the misunderstanding. We were able to propose ideas and play around with fleshing them out without losing the other person. Amazingly, we talked for nearly five hours, and then finished our evening by being intimate well into the wee hours.
It was a wonderful occurrence. Very healing after the small rift we had been dealing with. We were both very clear on what we needed and wanted and worked together on achieving our conversational goals. I hope we can continue on that path because I love having those sorts of exploratory conversations with him, whatever the topic.
A friend was over last night who is notorious for being cuddly and having a zero personal space bubble. He's friendly and fun, and I like his company. The funny thing was, since he was there I wanted to be ALL OVER my husband. Like the very presence of someone so touch oriented turned up all of the dials on my need-to-touch generator, and instead of being drawn into my friend's magnet, I just couldn't get enough of touching, hugging, and kissing my husband. I was so happy, but also slightly embarrassed because I didn't want to hang all over my guy while my friend was just sitting there. I wonder if it signals that I need or want more touch in my life. Hmm.
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