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PolyNovice 03-23-2013 02:53 AM

Wanted this intro to be a little shorter but . . . . ya know :D
 
Hey everybody! I am a 36 year old mother of two boys, Monkey (13) and Toad (10). I was married for 12 years to K, the best ex-husband any girl could possibly ask for. The marriage was poisonous, but now that we are apart, we are best friends. We've been separate since May of 2010, and at that point I moved in with my best friend (L) and her fiance'.

Let me rewind a bit. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2005 or so, L met a cool guy (J) on a blogging site. We both became friends with him, and eventually his wife (A) as well. (This is beginning to look like alphabet soup) We remained friends online for several years, but for me contact was more sporadic. L is much better with socializing than I am so she remained my primary point of contact for A & J.

Through L, I learned that A & J had split at roughly the same time I left K. The first 6 months of my separation were a whirlwind of preparing for L's destination wedding. We got the news that A would be coming to the wedding, so we would be meeting her in person for the first time. We joked a lot about how A and I would hook up and have naughty girly time. (She identifies as MOSTLY lesbian, I identify as bisexual, but more toward the lesbian end of that spectrum)

We met, sparks flew, naughty girly times were had, and then we all had to go back to our real lives. I really expected it to be a one night stand with a good friend, but the universe apparently had other plans for us. I fell for her, hard, and she for me. We maintained a long distance relationship for about 8 months, during which time she was able to come visit me only once. (We live about 800 miles apart). I couldn't take the long distance thing at that time. I had been newly diagnosed with depression (which has since been re-diagnosed as bipolar disorder), and when the long distance thing got to be too much for me, I shut down. And I'm talking I shut down to the point where to her it must have felt like I fell off the planet. I quit responding to texts, quit answering phone calls, no contact whatsoever. I didn't even give her the courtesy of breaking up with her. Just completely cut off contact. Yep. I really was that big of an asshole. We were both miserable. I did eventually send her a letter apologizing for my behavior, hoping against hope that we could remain friends. We did, but it was painful. We still loved each other but we also both knew that I was in no shape to be in any kind of relationship at that point. Calls were few and far between.

Meanwhile, J moved back in with her (complex reasons for that, I'm trying really hard to keep this short, not working out so well). Partially for financial and medical reasons but also as her occasional boyfriend. Time passed, things changed, I moved into my own place, I acquired a female FWB (S) (geez, I'm gonna run out of letters soon), L left her husband and she and her sister (R) moved in with me. A started making plans to come visit our family of friends for her birthday in October of 2012.

As that deadline started approaching, I discovered a few things about myself. A has always identified as poly while I have not. I discovered that I was still in love with her and that it didn't bother me at all that J was still in her life. And while I am not completely out of the woods as far as my bipolar disorder is concerned, I am in a much better head space now than I was back when I abandoned her. I already knew that she was still in love with me as well as J, so for her birthday, my gift to her was a night in an amazing bed and breakfast. As soon as she arrived, I knew that this was the woman I am meant to be with. She was here for 5 days, and they were amazing. Her last night in town was her birthday and that night at the bed and breakfast was beautiful. We started making plans for her to move her family here. She will be here in about two months.

I am approaching this deadline with a little more trepidation. I am ridiculously excited to have her in my life physically, but the situation is not ideal. I know that it will be a difficult transition for everyone involved. Thus my reason for searching out this forum. I know that I am going to need support and advice to get through this with as little pain as possible. I know that issues will come up, and I trust that we are all mature and open enough to work through that, but this is an entirely new circumstance for me. I am not a natural poly. I love her no matter what package she comes in, and for right now I have no jealousy issues. BUT how will I feel when she is physically here and so is J? How will I react to seeing them together? Knowing something and seeing it are two different things. And yes, these are all things that we have discussed, and will continue to do so, but I don't want to overburden her with my fears at this time. J had massive brain surgery three days ago, and she is stressed and exhausted. I'm a little late to the game as far as doing research on this lifestyle, considering I need to be ready in two months, but I want to make sure that I am doing everything I can to be ready.

I'm sure there are more things I need to discuss, but this is already a ridiculously long intro. Any advice for noobs is appreciated. I have been reading threads on this site for a few days, and I am terribly impressed with the level of support, compassion and friendship that is evident. I hope to make some good friends here :D

Love and light to all,
PolyNovice

kdt26417 03-23-2013 08:42 PM

Hello PolyNovice,
Welcome to our forum.

You have the right idea in considering that seeing something in practice could be tougher than knowing something in theory, although it is also possible that A and J will move in and you'll find that you have no problems at all, and if so, that's great.

Privacy could be an issue. There may be times when you need to "retreat into your cave" sometimes and detox, so it could be helpful if you have your own space for that. It is also unknown if J's brain surgery will affect his mood or behavior in any way.

Mostly I just suggest to continue reading threads here, and post if you have any thoughts, questions, or concerns. Bipolar can be a tough nut to crack (I know that by experience), so you will probably have to deal with that and its effects in a new environment.

I am sure you will make some good friends here, this is a good site to visit. Glad to have you aboard.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.

SchrodingersCat 03-24-2013 12:36 AM

Wait, are A&J moving in WITH you, or just nearby? I interpreted "moving her family here" as "this city" but it appears Kevin interpreted it as "my house."

I personally recommend never making a long distance move straight into a live-in relationship. It takes time for people to adjust to just seeing each other more regularly, and putting everyone under one roof can add a lot of stress.

Compound that with J's medical problems (massive brain surgery is never a small matter) and your mental health issues (my mother and girlfriend are both BP, so I know how much strain that can put on even the healthiest of relationships), and it's a recipe for trouble.

But for all that, you sound like a reasonable person with her head on straight. Play it by ear, you might surprise yourself. Above all, communicate the shit out of everything, and don't be afraid to let yourself have your feelings. Some of them you might just deal on your own - BP often causes sensitivity to things people do unintentionally. My gf and I were actually talking about that last night. Apparently she's been hurt by me tons of times where I did absolutely nothing wrong, but her BP just made her react to something in a different way. For her, that means every time her feelings get hurt, she has to analyse them and try to figure out whether the person actually did something wrong or is it just in her head? And sometimes she'll decide that it was just in her head, but that she still needs to communicate it, but with emphasis on "this is my thing, but I just wanted you to know."

kdt26417 03-24-2013 01:17 AM

Re:
Quote:

"Wait, are A&J moving in WITH you, or just nearby? I interpreted 'moving her family here' as 'this city' but it appears Kevin interpreted it as 'my house.'"
Oops, that was an accidental assumption on my part.

Yes, merely moving closer together (in the same city) would probably be a lot easier and simpler than immediately all moving into the same domicile. What are your plans, and are they very flexible?

PolyNovice 03-27-2013 12:37 PM

Thanks for welcome!
 
I already feel at home here :D

Yes, due to financial reasons, they will be moving into my home directly. As I said, I know the situation is not ideal. I would definitely like a more laid back, less stressful adjustment period, but unfortunately, it is not to be. We're going hard and fast with this one.

That's part of the reason I joined this forum, actually. Going into this situation as a novice, I already know that there will be issues that will need to be worked through. Compound that with the fact that there will be no adjustment period, and everything gets accelerated. Things that we could take slowly if they lived nearby will move a lot faster in the same house. That's why I would like to be as prepared as possible, to learn what are some typical newbie problems and at least be ready for them, to be able to spot them as soon as possible and be able to start working through them rather than letting them fester or get blindsided by something I hadn't even considered.

60 days to cram as much poly prep as I can into my head :D

Love and light,
PolyNovice

SchrodingersCat 03-27-2013 03:42 PM

I strongly suggest finding a way to live in separate homes.

You were all scraping by before, and if this doesn't work out, you'll all have to figure out a way to scrape by afterwards.

The pressure of being "stuck" in that situation can put too much strain on the relationships and make it impossible to cope. No one will have anywhere to go if someone needs space.

No one can afford the rent all alone? Get roommates. Different roommates in different apartments.

It's hard enough learning to cohabit with someone when you've had a smooth relationship and everything is hunky-dory from the get-go. It's hard enough to learn to have a poly relationships when you have your own homes to get away. Throw those together and you're asking for trouble.

kdt26417 03-27-2013 06:00 PM

It sounds like you'll be facing at least three rather unrelated challenges:
  • sharing a domicile,
  • dealing with bipolar, or its remnants,
  • learning to live polyamorously, up close and personal.
Any one of those things could be a make-or-break challenge all by itself, so combine all three and things could get pretty complicated. So yes if you can figure out any way to get separate domiciles, do so.

In the meantime, check out our Golden Nuggets board to help get yourself up to speed on major poly issues. Explore this site in general, as much as you can. Post your thoughts and questions to get additional feedback.

I hope all goes well, and that Polyamory.com can help.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.

JaneQSmythe 03-28-2013 03:32 AM

For the record...while I agree with the "go slow, don't live together right away" advise that is given...

Nonetheless, sometimes the "jump in, feet first" approach actually does work out...I was practically living with MrS for 6 mos before I ever acknowledged that we were BF/GF and not just FWBs (I had a dorm room, he had an apartment...I stayed approximately 3 days out of those 6 mos at "my" place). We tease Dude about being a "U-Haul Lesbian" as he had practically moved in (he could still go back to his grandmother's house...but didn't) before we were even "together" (and moved in "officially" shortly after that). Maybe just a a back-up plan is enough insurance?

This may be a function of the particular brand of "introvert" that I am...and that MrS only gives his "stamp of approval" to notions that he is willing to go "all the way" with...and that Dude is a guy who takes "big bites"* out of life knowing that they could gloriously take off...or crash (he just needs to try and see what happens).

So, yes, in an ideal world people would have the option to take baby-steps... and some of us would still plunge right in.

JaneQ

*
“Take big bites. Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

“Everything in excess! To enjoy the flavor of life, take big bites. Moderation is for monks.”
― Robert A. Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

SchrodingersCat 03-29-2013 08:58 PM

That's true. Everything that's a "bad idea" in general has worked out for quite a few people, somewhere at some time.

I always vehemently caution against couples moving in together until they've dated for a while. But I say that tongue-in-cheek, since my husband basically came to spend the night one time, and just never left. We barely went "on a date" before we were pretty much living together. So for everything that is, in general, a terrible idea, there is someone who has done it not only successfully, but with virtually no problems.

Still doesn't mean I'm going to recommend people start living together before dating. By and large, it doesn't work.


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