The gods must be crazy
I've got a thread over in the poly relationships forum, but I just discovered this section and I think I'd prefer to tell my story here.
My husband Q and I have been together for 7 years, married 5. He was my first, well, everything, sexually, beyond second base.:o When I get interested in something, I research the hell out of it, which lead me to the Sex is Fun podcast, which led me to Poly Weekly. I listened to at least a hundred of those, not with the intent of being poly, but because I was interested and I love the open communication. I told Q then that I would be open to talking about opening our relationship. Neither of us had anyone we were interested in, but we agreed that we'd talk about it if someone came up.
He's only been with a handful of women, and only two PiV. He has a son with that ex. My stepson (Loki) lives with us and has since shortly after our wedding.
The emotions of being a stepparent can be very similar to the ones dealt with in a polyship. You have to share your SO's time and resources, you don't necessarily like the person(s) you have to share with, etc. There can be jealousy, envy, feelings of neglect, etc. We went through all of them. I adore my stepson, but it was HARD to go from a relationship of mostly just the two of us to sharing each other with another person (albeit, a 4-year-old boy).
I truly believe I did a lot of the emotional work that would lead to my being okay with poly then.
Q is a flirt, and always has been. Last week though, he told me that his flirting with our friend Miss M had gone from casual to...with intent? She had pulled him aside and asked him how inappropriate they were being and if she needed to back off. That's when Q told her about our agreement. He said he'd have to talk to me, and they left things there.
When he brought it up with me, I was a bit shocked; after all, it had never actually come up in the 7 years we've been together. I told him that I needed to sort through a bunch of feelings and that I wasn't saying "no," just saying "wait."
He and I texted all day (because, of course he had waited until 30 minutes before I had to be at work to bring it up :rolleyes: ) and I felt...mostly okay with moving things forward, but slowly. Miss M and I texted a bit too. I immediately looked up which books were most recommended, and bought Opening Up that night.
Thursday, I started texting in earnest with Miss M. Neither one of us have done anything like this before, and we both felt better talking about things, though it was, in her words, "new frontiers in awkwardness!" :p I've agreed to loan her Opening Up as soon as Q and I are done with it. She and Q set up a date for last night. It was agreed that there would be no sex (intercourse) among a few other minor agreements. I asked Q to text me to check in, and I brought Ativan to work with me in case I needed it.
Everyone had a lovely night, and I didn't have any feelings that I needed to work through. At the time, anyway! :p She had posted on her Facebook that she had no plans for Easter and didn't want to be alone today, so I impulsively texted her that she was welcome to hang out with us. Eventually she told me that she was afraid of the awkwardness between her and I. I understand that; I was just in a hurry to push through that. I did apologize; it's ironic that I asked her to work at my pace and didn't respect her right to do the same. :o
She and Q are seeing each other tomorrow night again, while Loki is at his grandma's for the night. They've discussed her testing status, and agreed to use condoms with spermicide, and will likely be having sex tomorrow (tonight?). I'm 95% sure I'll be fine. I have asked that he not spend the night. I won't be at work, and I don't want to be alone all night.
That was really long. Welcome to my little drama if you made it through that, and if not, that's okay! I think it helped me to type it out.:D
I've been trying to figure out where our boundaries are with all this. The thought of Q with another woman turns me on, but I understand and respect the fact that Miss M doesn't really want him sharing details with me. I told her that I would ask for as few details as possible while still making me be okay with everything. She agreed, and I think I honored that. All I asked Q is if they kissed and made out.
I really like Miss M, and I hope the awkwardness between us goes away soon. She said she's not ready to hang out with me yet, and I understand. I'm pretty sure we're going to do our first hang out with our bigger group of friends, and with alcohol present to grease the wheels. I'm okay with that, but I want to feel normal now! *temper tantrum*:rolleyes:
Q has a pierced penis, and I've asked that he not use the ring or barbell with her during intercourse. I don't think this will be a forever boundary, but I want to have something that is "ours" while getting used to the idea of another person in his life.
I think those are some reasonable ground rules to start ;) good luck!
My fridge is broken.
Q went to Miss M's tonight and had permission to have sex. I was doing okay, though feeling like shit physically due to a combination of allergies and yard work.
I took a benadryl and went to bed, texting Q the plan. Woke up just before midnight and Q wasn't home. He had been expecting to be home around then. I waited, and finally texted him that I was up and wonderful where he was. Ten minutes later, I texted again, saying that I was freaking out. He finally texted back saying he'd lost track of time and he was on his way home, sorry.
I started crying soon after that. He called and we talked, ok, I cried and he talked. I don't even really know why I'm crying. He's promised to hold me when he gets home which I'm sure will help.
Well, it's morning and we survived the night.
Q got home and did hold me. I'm pretty sure I was crying out of fear and illness. My lungs still feel like they're going to explode. If I hadn't already worked overtime this week, I wouldn't be at work today. That, and I'm sure it's allergies that went into my lungs and not something contagious. The fear was set off because he wasn't home when I expected (we hadn't set a specific time, more of an "around") and then didn't answer my text. I was afraid he didn't want to come home.
Q told me this morning that he felt bad and guilty for making me cry. I asked him to try not to, since he didn't really do anything wrong. He was expecting me to be asleep. Hell, I was expecting me to be asleep! I did ask him to agree to be home at a specific time in the future, at least for now. And pointed out that we've learned not to do new things when I'm this kind of sick! Not to mention the two overnight shifts in a row which completely threw off my sleep schedule. I'm going to talk to my boss about getting off those.
I'm torn over how much to tell Miss M. I don't want her to feel the guilt that Q has been feeling, and knowing her, she probably would.
Maybe just let her know that it was rougher than you thought it'd be, and that you have jointly responded by deciding to set specific "home by x-o'clock" times for a while, but that overall you're doing good, feeling strong and cared for in the marriage, and still looking forward to continuing to explore. Assuming that all actually feels accurate? More detail than that shouldn't be necessary.
Excellent advice, Annabel, thank you. :o
Felt terrible all day; I really hope this isn't going into pneumonia. This kind of sick makes me incredibly emotional, and I was on the verge/in tears often. Got through work without anyone noticing more than I didn't feel good though. That's a plus.
I came home and Q and I made love. It was really nice, and all I could do not to sob through the whole thing. What is wrong with me?! He was amazing, considering that his usual response to tears is to leave in frustration. He did tell me that I was impossible to deal with at that moment. I couldn't exactly argue.:o Ended up doing a breathing treatment and taking a nap. Woke up feeling better, but not good.
Q went to the gym with Miss M, and said he'd be back as soon as they were done. Which, of course, translated into them talking for an hour in the parking lot afterward. We've decided that they'll generally do the gym on the nights he goes to her place anyway, to save me some frustration.
Q asked how often he could go to her place. He told me he wants to be in two places at once <3 . Maybe two or three times a week? I don't know. I don't know if I'm ready for that often, but I think as I feel physically better and spend some time with them this weekend, I might feel differently.
I'm frustrated because I read/skimmed through Opening Up and asked Q to do the same, and he hasn't yet. I even highlighted/dogeared the parts that I really thought were important. I don't want to nag. I just don't want to feel like I'm doing most of the work either.
:) The three of us are hanging out with friends on Friday night, and I think I'll feel better then. I haven't seen Miss M in person since before all this went down.
:) Q and I are communicating better than we ever have. He listens, and doesn't judge (too much!:p) when I'm completely irrational and emotional.
:) I've been keeping the conversational lines open with Miss M, and I think we're doing well too. The awkwardness is getting better.
I've noticed users saying that people tend not to give advice on blogs.
I wanted to put it out there, that if you get through my ramblings and have anything that you think is helpful, please share! I promise to work on not taking it personally, even if it's not what I want to hear.
Blogs are not supposed to be a place for debate and arguing with the OP but advice and feedback are okay, and often freely given. So, you're good to go. But there are so many threads here and only so much time, that sometimes posts won't be answered right away.
Getting to your situation...
To me it sounds like you and Q are in pretty good shape. You are able to talk about hard topics and difficult feelings, and he seems willing to make adjustments for you to be comfortable. Where I do see potential for some problems to possibly crop up is that you seem like you get impatient with yourself, and judge yourself a bit too much. It's like you seem to say, "I should be more okay with this than I am, what's wrong with me? Well, let me walk into the fire so I can feel the heat and pain and get it over with and handle it better." And then you look around at your partner and his new gf, who are in different places, and you say, "Hey, wait, you aren't with me? WTF? What am I doing wrong?"
If I were you, I would tell Q that you are comfortable right now with him seeing Miss M once a week, and that you want him to read Opening Up and talk with you about it before it increases to more often than that. Or you can read it together. Tell him you want him to be happy, but need time to absorb and deal with each step along the way. This is the beginning of making agreements.
I strongly feel that no one should make rules about relationships they are not in, but a partner's needs are important and it's often been said that it is a good idea to go at the pace of the one struggling the most. I think you are wise not to forbid them from having sex. And it's perfectly okay that you are also looking out for you in a few ways (asking for a curfew, and wanting something to be special with the, "No hardware on your dick when you're with her"). Know that these boundaries may eventually need to be relaxed after a time, but you are not being unreasonable now. Time constraints and other obligations that make time management an issue are definitely something that needs to be respected by everyone.
No one needs to rush into anything, whether it is Q getting involved with Miss M, you trying to make yourself feel okay with it, or Miss M becoming a friend of yours. They just started seeing each other and having sex, so it can only be a good thing for them to temper it a bit and not get lost in the euphoria that the hormones bring up. It's only brain chemistry - they don't need to give into it just because they want it. See this site: Your Brain on Sex.
Keep talking, keep looking at your thoughts and feelings, and be aware of old, self-defeating beliefs. You can also tell him about this site and this thread and have him join, read, and add his side of the story so both of you can get guidance and feedback.
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