I actually just discovered this part of the forum, and I figured that it would be an excellent outlet to get everything out.
My introduction to polyamory. I knew during my early teen years that being with just one person never quite felt complete. I chalked it up to being in a period of discovery and just experimenting with who I was. I never put a name on it, as I was unsure of what it was until I was older. My teen years were when I knew monogamy would never be my cup of tisane. I was honest with the people I dated, and it worked for the most part.
I met my husband [Matt] in June of 1999. I was 18. A couple of months from turning 19. We were friends before anything else. I told Matt I was non-monogamous. He had a lot of questions, and he spent quite a bit of time deciding whether or not this was something he could handle. He was upfront in stating that there was no way he would be okay with me being involved with another man and that he would leave if that was my choice. That was never even an option for me.
A few months before Matt and I became an official couple, I met my girlfriend [Si]. The two relationships became "official" within months of each other. Matt and I became official in May 2000, and Si and I became official in June. Matt and Si were never really around each other. At that point, Matt was in his residency and we were enjoying our new relationship (honeymoon phase), so a friendship with Si never formed. I think this is why he never experienced compersion. They were cordial if they saw one another, but that was it.
Matt proposed to me in 2001. We tied the knot in February of 2002. We knew that having children was far off because of school obligations on my end and a residency on his. As the years passed, things were fine. The relationships were separate. Matt and I were communicating openly and honestly. Our relationship was great. I found myself falling more in love with him every year. The talks of expanding our family started on our sixth wedding anniversary in Feb. 2008. I conceived in March and found out about my pregnancy shortly thereafter. We were all over the moon with excitement. In all of this excitement, Matt and I never stopped to talk about my girlfriend's involvement or what level of say she would have. I assumed that my hubby would be okay with her being part of appointments, being in labour and delivery with us, and being there in those first few months of bonding with the baby after her birth. (Fast forward to 2013 and he was only being accommodating and being mindful of my relationship and feelings. He was actually not okay with any of this. More on that in a bit.)
In December 2011, I found out I was expecting again. It was a difficult pregnancy. I had to have open fetal surgery in April of 2012, and I was placed on bedrest the remainder of the pregnancy. During that time, Matt and Si formed a friendship, and they were both highly supportive. After almost 12 years of her being in our lives, they bonded. Our son was born five weeks before his due date. I had been forewarned that I probably would not make it to full-term due to the surgery. He was healthy. Once again, we adapted to being second-time parents and made sure that our daughter was getting attention and love.
In early December, Matt and Si became romantically involved. I was happy for them. Compersion was present You would think all was peachy keen, right? Si expressed interest in having a child of her own, and that did not sit right with me. Eventually, they had an extensive discussion, and it was decided that they would do everything they could to prevent it. My husband came to me in mid-January, and he informed me that they physical side of their relationship had stopped. He felt guilty about being intimate with her and even asked for my forgiveness. Matt had told Si about his feelings, and they agreed to establish intimacy in other ways. At the same time, we all started travelling, so we spent quite a bit of time apart for the remainder of January and some of February. Matt talked to me in February, and he said that there were some things we needed to talk about. I could sense the distance between them. Matt really tried to stay in the relationship and work through his feelings.
All throughout that, he kept telling me that he needed time with just me due to us being apart and due to Si being around a lot more than usual. I tuned that out because I had all of my "family" together in one place, and I was happy. Matt? He was living in poly hell.
I was in San Francisco from the 11-16 of February. Matt flew there to surprise me. All was going well. We had some alone time, and we made sure to have dates. On the evening of the 13th, close to midnight, Si arrived to surprise me, and it turned sour. Matt was rather irritated because he wanted to be alone with me and our children. Nothing wrong with family time. Naturally, I was happy to see her. Matt avoided her the entire time we were around her. The flight home on the 16th was quiet. We returned to work on the 18th. Life went back to normal as it was before.
A week later, Matt came to me once again. "Si has been here a little too much for my liking. Can we talk to her and let her know that we need time alone?" I agreed. She was hurt, and I was mad at Matt for hurting her and basically making her feel like she was not welcome. She stayed away and gave us the space and time alone.
Matt left on the 28th of February. I had accrued holiday time that needed to be used, so the children and I joined him. We flew out on 1 March. He was in a medical conference during the days there, but we made a special point to have lunch every day, dinner dates, and do activities with our children during the evening. Things were calm that entire week. We returned home on the morning of 7 March. (Matt posted on 5 March.)
When we returned home, Si was there. Matt ended the relationship and explained why. Si seemed to understand it and respect it. She asked Matt if there was anything else he needed to get off his chest. Matt responded that there was and he hoped that she would not get offended by what was about to be said. Matt went on to tell her the laundry list of things. To say the least, she did not take any of it well. I tried to calm them down, but it was just back and forth until she yelled out that she did not want to move to Australia in a few months. That was when Matt informed her that it really did not matter because she was not part of the family, and our lives would not stop because of her wants. She left after that.
Matt and I started counselling on that same day. Si was supposed to be part of it, but she opted not to show up. I know the argument cut her deeply, so i respected her need for space and time to collect her own thoughts. In the process of therapy, things have been revealed with each session. Matt never experienced compersion for my relationship with Si. It was implied that he never actually even took note of the relationship. Matt is in a nesting state where his ideals of raising children consist of the societal norm. A mum and a dad. Matt gave up his monogamous beliefs to stay with me, and I never acknowledged what that entailed. That was part of who he was and still is. Just as polyamory is part of me.
Matt was displaced due to my relationship. He started feeling undermined and like his say regarding our children and things pertaining to our marriage were of minimal importance because Si did have something like veto-power. As a result of all that resentment, he was seriously contemplating a divorce and custody dispute. On the 10 March, Matt left to regroup and sort out his thoughts. Things were beyond tense and painful. We were not on speaking terms. He was sleeping in another bedroom. Our daughter started asking questions and taking notice. We knew that our behaviour was unhealthy for our children, so we had to take time apart.
Matt and I are still attending counselling. We had one yesterday. We are actually talking every day and texting now. It has been 15 days since his argument with Si, and things have calmed down a hell of a lot. He is still adamant about having no relationship and nothing more than a professional relationship with her. I respect that. We are working on our marriage. I finally heard what he had been saying all this time. I have apologised for taking him for granted and tuning out his needs. He actually sounds like he wants to return home. He is encouraging me to take some time away, too. I might.
Si and I are still together right now. We had a lunch date today and a dinner date the other night. I have not really been into physical intimacy these days, so we have been establishing intimacy in other ways. She is upset because we are moving in June, so that our daughter can start school in July. She feels like I am leaving her, and like I told her, we have to do what is best for our children and what they need. They need a good education. I was always firm in my decision to not raise children in London, and I refuse to change that now. It just so happens that the school we loved and our daughter loved was in another country. We started working on the research required to move last year. She is looking forward to moving, making new friends, and starting a new school. Our relationship will be a long-distance one. Si knew of our plans as they were being discussed, and she did not voice opinions about moving until after our daughter had been accepted and after we started the process of transferring careers, looking at real estate, and everything else. Initially, I was toiling between the two, but in the end, I realised that I have to do what is best for our children and for my family.
I do hope that the counselling helps and that both relationships will ultimately be stronger. It felt great to get all of this off my chest. Follow our path and we all shall see how it all ends. :)
It was a really good weekend. Matt came home on Friday night, and it was one of the best surprises. He was not due back until the 31st, so when he walked in, I just sat there like he was a mirage. When it finally hit me, I ran into his arms and just held on. I missed that. We talked that night, and we spent the weekend in the Swiss Alps. My parents had already asked to spend the weekend with the children, so we decided to spend some time in a place that holds a lot of special memories.
We talked and hit the slopes. It was nice to start rebuilding our bond and to actually talk without getting upset with one another. I was genuinely happy to be around him. I enjoyed hearing him laughing and knowing that those 13 days away helped him tremendously. We established intimacy. I enjoyed just being in his arms and talking openly and honestly. We came to a few compromises. I now know and understand what some of his hard limits are. We are still going to continue the counselling sessions. They have actually proven to be effective. The one thing Matt needs is for Si to not really be around him. He needs space, and he needs for us to respect the fact that he wishes to have no contact outside of a professional setting.
The other big issue we agreed on was the move in June. We are going ahead with the plans. Princess is due to start in July, and we are finalising arrangements now and securing back-up plans if needed. We are just calling this a trial period/extended holiday with the option to make it permanent.
Si is upset with me because we are moving and going ahead with the plans that have been ongoing for the past year. I am none too thrilled with her attitude considering this move is not just for my princess' education. It is part of my dream. I have always said that when I completed my fellowship, I wanted to relocate. I always wanted to establish the second half of my career in another location, and my DH agreed which is why we looked at schools elsewhere. Si knew this, so it was not a secret. I have always supported her in everything she has ever aspired to do, so for the support to be lacking and for her to have an attitude about me wanting a better future for the children, myself, and the family as a whole is truly upsetting. I cannot make her be happy for me or to even support me on my future endeavours.
In addition to being upset about the move, she was in her feelings about the fact that I spent the entire weekend with my DH. Si and I had no plans, and the last time we talked, she was going to be elsewhere with some of her friends. I was prepared to spend the weekend alone, so when Matt came home, I jumped at the chance for us to talk and to spend some one-on-one time together after being apart. When she feels like talking, I trust that she will come to me.
I realise that this move is upsetting, but her almost refusal to support me is actually pushing me away.
Basically things are going great with my marriage, but my relationship is at an interesting point. DH has been good about listening and offering solutions to help my relationship with Si. I am happy with how our marriage is going. I think we are off to a good start.
It is the wee hours of the morning, and I woke up out of nowhere. I have some pretty heavy thoughts on my mind. Matt and our children are sleeping peacefully, so now is the ideal time to air out my thoughts.
I recently stepped back in to the church, and I am calling this a period of discovery. Rediscovering who I am, what I aspire to be, and just improving myself.
Recently, I have started feeling guilty about being polyamorous. I feel guilty about only being able to give my husband some of my time and for not always being there with him in the morning. I feel guilty about not giving my children the chance to experience the societal norm of just having a loving mum and dad. I feel guilty about my husband having to sacrifice his beliefs in order to be with me. I feel like that was entirely too much to ask of him. What did hubby get in return? Displaced and like he was not even home in his own home. I feel guilty about in essence breaking my vows. I feel selfish for getting married and still desiring something more. I feel like that was wrong of me and extremely inconsiderate. I feel guilty for hurting him and everything that has happened.
I am just trying to wrap my head around this sudden guilt. Could this be a result of almost losing my husband and realising that our marriage almost ended because of me being polyamorous? Why do I feel selfish? Why did I ever think one person was just not enough? I have to figure out where all of this is coming from. It is not because of the church. We have not discussed anything of this magnitude.
I have always battled with my religious beliefs, my morals, and the way I live. There are days where I question what has this really done but cause problems and enable me to be happy? It has not enhanced my marriage, but it did almost cause it to end. It is not making me 110% happy because I am feeling guilty and wondering if this is just wrong and selfish of me. Who died and gave me the right to be involved with two people at the same time? Who gave me the right to break my vows and ask my husband to compromise his beliefs so that I could live the way I wanted to? These thoughts are making me feel like ugh.
I have to figure out the root of this issue and chip away at it until the image becomes clearer. Until then, I am a work in progress and struggling to understand where these feelings are coming from. I seriously need to figure out what is going on with me.
Matt and I had a lunch date. We just kind of talked about our respective mornings/early afternoons. Crazy busy on both ends, but we decided to set time apart to grab lunch. We were making plans for this weekend. We have a dinner party to attend tonight with some of his colleagues. It should be interesting. It will be at LouLou's, so I am excited. I get to get dolled up and glammed up for an evening. Plus, it benefits one of our most favourite charities. I could do without this weather, though. :)
Tomorrow, we are spending the day with the children. Our daughter is picking the places, so who knows where we will end up? I am all for it and excited.
I have not been around Si since Sunday night. I have reached out every day this week. Yet, something is always up. I do not want to believe that she is unhappy about the fact that we are working on our marriage, but her attitude has done nothing to disprove that. I find myself pulling away from her and retreating. Her attitude lately combined with my guilt and everything else has lead me to gravitate towards Matt. I cannot correct what I am unaware of. Moping, pouting, sulking, bitching...all of these things are happening, but she is not telling me what the problem is. I cannot decode her like some message written in clear ink on a piece of white paper. I am uncertain of what my future is with her. If I am reaching out and trying to spend time with her, trying to find out what is really wrong, and even asking Matt for different approaches, I am doing all that I can on my end. I am still praying for the best, but something has to give.
Back to work it is.
Try to remind yourself-people do change as they grow.
What was "ok" to her when it was an ephemeral possibility in the future, may not be ok when it's a reality now. (the move).
That doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. But it may explain that she needs to do some personal inventory work and decide what she is willing to do or isn't willing to do to keep the relationship.
Also-just as Matt needed time alone to work on figuring that out; she may need it too.
Lots of things going on but it sounds like you are also getting some much needed progress in the family too.
I definitely agree with that. I urge her to figure what it is that she wants. Admittedly, I toiled between two things. In the end, I realised what was best for my family and for myself career wise at least. It was a hard decision. It seemed so distant before, but June is right around the corner. That possibility is now a firm reality, so I suspect that it will take some time for that to sink in. I always knew there was a tiny chance of it becoming an LDR. I always wondered what if she decides not to move? I had to prepare myself for that and make adjustments. Si can have all the time she needs. I reached out to show that I cared about her feelings answer thoughts, but I am not trying to push her into talking to me. Right now, the future of our relationship is suspended in mid-air.
There is quite a bit going on around me, but I am eerily calm and thinking straight. It helps to get all of these thoughts out. :)
My relationship with Si has ended. 12 years. All good things must come to an end.
I am actually okay right now. I have no choice but to pick up the pieces and go forward. This is what feels right. I love her, but I had to let her go. Naturally she took it hard. All I could do was apologise. I am deeply sorry that it had to end. I have to work on me and find myself. I no longer feel like me. Everything I was is not who is standing here now. My decision to end it has caught everyone off-guard. I cannot change everything about myself, but I do have to improve and change. Pinning or shifting the blame on my screw ups is only the icing of the cake. Would we have problems as a mono couple? Sure. All couples have problems. This set of problems is unique. Could that other person be a job or social life or anything? Possibly. I am the reason my hubby ended up displaced. I got complacent and was so secure in my marriage that I figured tending to her needs and caving to her wants was the right thing to do. I took my husband for granted. He put up with this, and how did I repay him? I put somebody before him and tuned him out. I was selfish. I am putting all of my energy towards working on me and our marriage. For the first time since the first year of our relationship, it will be two of us. Will I be able to handle that? I believe so. Just aa someone can quench their thirst, I can control my feelings. There is no rule that says I must go seek something or someone new. I have the capacity to love more than one, but I do not have to act on it. I do not get the whole suppression argument. I know what had to be done. I am committed to this new chapter. I hope that Si and I can be friends.
I Despise Labels
I am in control of my future. I looked within myself and figured out what type of relationship I want and how do I want to maintain my happiness. I only want to be with my Matt. We are working on something different. A relationship where it is just two now. I never ID'ed as poly. I practised it, but it did not define me. Society was determined to affix a label to me. I will not be identifying as mono either. I am me. Nothing more. I view poly as an orientation like lesbian or bisexual. A woman can marry a man or a woman, and there is no rule that says she will automatically want to be with both at some point. She may have urges, but it is possible for her to be happy with just that man or that woman. Only she knows what she wants out of that marriage and how she wants to live. That is me. I do not want more than one relationship anymore. There is nothing my hubby is lacking. There was never anything that Si could do that he could not. I never had some rainbow filled idea of romance and what-not. I cherish the time we had, and I will love her always. I just do not wish to be romantically linked anymore. Poly is not what I would call my nature. I was never "wired." I can be attracted to someone, but I do not have to be with them. They may not be a good fit for me. I am doing this because it feels right. I cannot deny what is in my heart or what now feels natural.
My breakup has sent shockwaves across the circles and legions of our loved ones. I do not believe I will be suppressing my urges or being someone other than me. I have simply chosen to approach my marriage a certain way now. I would much rather give time and energy to creating what I want now than taking time away from my husband and crossing my fingers that it will all work out. This is what needs my attention. This is where my heart lies. This is where the path of life has guided me. I want to be a better wife, be more attentive, be a better listener, and do this right. I have to improve and not make mistakes again. I am giving my marriage the chance it never had, and I am living my life and making this relationship the way I want to enhance my happiness. For that, I owe no explanations. :)
Easter was great. I spent the day with family in Scotland. Absolutely beautiful. We needed a change of scenery.
Matt and I are still adjusting to the new normal. Being home for dinner every night? Waking up together? Talking while he's in the shower and I'm sitting on the vanity? Rebuilding our bond? Establishing intimacy again? Rekindling that flame? Major perks. I am experiencing an unusual level of happiness. I am focused on what I do have instead what I might not have or may want in the future. I have a loving, supportive husband in Matt, a career that I love, and two beautiful children. I am more than happy with all of that.
Si and I have not talked. At some point we will, but it has to be in her time. All in all, the end made me humble and appreciative.
Holding tight. I'm home where I belong where there was always love waiting for me.
Just wanted to let you know I am rooting for you. I am sure this change in your dynamic, from poly to mono, needs just as much adjusting to, as it would if you'd been mono all along and were now opening up to poly. But I agree with you that there is no need for labels! Live each day as if it were your last, meaning make the most of it, and of being there for each other. As long as you both refrain from punishing yourselves and each other, and keep looking at your patterns of thinking and behaving, I think you will find much healing in this new place. I wish you both the best in renewing your commitments to each other. Step into your new adventure with wonder and respect. It is a metamorphosis. Love, love, love to you and Matt!
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