New and Confused.
I guess I will just jump in here with both feet. I am Matt and I am a Polly. It took me a while to figure out exactly how to classify myself as I had never heard the term Polyarmory until a few weeks ago.
I guess my true feelings about love and relationships really started to manifest during the end of a 13 year mono relationship. My partner at the time felt hurt and jealous that I could be involved in a loving relationship with someone other then her. Needless to say it was a rough break up for us both as we both connected deeply with each other.
After the break up I started dating again which lead to some very awkward and emotionally painful situations. I discovered about myself if I did not truly love the person I was with I had no desire or interest in a sexual relationship. With out a connection it just felt like throw away sex.. I guess if that is your thing that is fine but I found myself being very hurt after these encounters.
So sort of getting to my current situation the players in this little pocket of life other then myself would be Erika and Jill. I have know Erika going on 7 years now. She was hired at my work place, at that time we were just work acquaintances. After some time I would say we developed a "Pals" type of relationship, we would be at the same parties, hang out together, and just enjoy one anothers company. Jill was one of Erika's close friends going on 9 years. I knew of Jill by name and seeing her once in a while but did not start getting to know her until after being pals with Erika for about 3 years. We would all hang out with others in our various circles and it was not for some time after my unpleasent dating encounters I realized I had feelings for Jill. I asked Erika not so much permisson but what she thought about the whole thing. She said Jill and I would make a great couple and to ask her out. I did just that, and things were awesome! Jill and I developed a deep and emotional bond, she completes me as I do her.
Almost in the present.. So things were great. Jill and I moved in together, and Erika remained one of our closest friends. Erika went out of state to continue her education. Would talk on the phone and all see each other on holidays. She went through some various relationships and such while at school, then something odd happened that I really did not understand. One of our mutual friends cut her out of his life. This obviously hurt her very much. Jill and I helped the best we could but she would not directly talk about what happend.
Well it turns out Erika was involved in a Polly relationship that ended very bad for all partys involved. There was a lack of communication that lead to all the normal problems that go along with that. The other couple made a choice to remove Erika out of their life if they wanted to contiune to say together.
Ok welcome to the near future! Erika came home after being laid off from her first job out of finishing school due to the economy. Homecoming was not glorious she was depressed and upset. We pretty much went back to peas and carrots again with the 3 of us hanging out as per norm. Then one night after watching a movie on the couch Jill went to the bedroom to sleep as Erika and I would normally be up for hours watching movies or playing cards. While laying on the couch together she made a move on me. We both looked into each others eyes and knew this felt right. We both love each other and care a great deal for each other as we both do with Jill.
The next morning was not weird or awkward.. everything felt right. We all ate eggs and carried on with the day. After Erika left I wanted to bring Jill up to speed with the past nights events. She was fine and understood with no problems, I love her, she loves me, and we both love Erika. Jill is mono and reminded me of that, she likes snuggling and the actual act of sleeping together (closing your eyes and going ZZZZZ). For making love Jill is straight and mono and has no problem with what Erika and I do together but does not want to know any details.
Last week Erika went through another rough patch with family issues. While talking with her I got the whole story of her previous Polly relationship. Erika is afraid this will end as her previous polly relationship did and she will loose two of her best friends. The Genie is out of the bottle with our current relationship as trying to pretend the whole thing did not happen has been emotionally damaging to the three of us. Jill is a little confused and hurt as she does not like seeing Erika hurt. I am trying to maintain but I am not doing to great as it hurts me to see them upset as well as these are two people I love very much.
I know there are no answers to this situation other then the 3 of us to continue to talk and be very open with each other. Just some what difficult as I have no one else to talk to about this.
it sounds like you have potential for a beautiful thing. What concerns me about your story is Erika. It sounds like she is going through some rough transitions in life right now and is searching for some support and comfort. You are giving her that, but it sounds like there might be some confusion possibly between support and comfort and a life long partner. She could very well be on the rebound with you. Proving to herself her worth by getting involved with your after her break up and the down fall of the school/work situation... looking to you to make her strong, rather than within herself... perhaps she even thought that the only way she was worthy of love was to offer herself to you for more intimacy rather than finding what she needed from within. Maybe she wanted that warm fuzzy feeling of love with someone she trusted and that was it... hard to say.
The thing with love and sex I find is that it is like heroin. It makes you feel good. One feels really crappy and like there is no end to the crappy and so they get in a situation where by they feel pleasure in order to feel joy again. That isn't a bad thing, but something to be aware of and very careful not to misinterpret.
I have an ex girlfriend who is a huge part of my life and we are very close. We ended our relationship a number of years ago because she is not poly and was struggling to be with me. We have a solid friendship/family bond and I continue to love her dearly. To me she is still someone I am in love with, but to her I am not.
There was a time where she dated and eventually lived with a woman that cheated on her and treated her very badly. She moved out with nothing to start again and was badly damaged by this woman. She hasn't been with someone since and that was three years ago.
During a time after she moved elsewhere, got some belongings again and carried on, there was a lull before making her own plans and readjusting her goals for the future. She was confused and betrayed and her self esteem was low. She needed love and nurturing. I would go and visit her in her city during this time and we would sleep together in the same bed and I would lavish her with as much love as I could muster. We have always been snugglers... there was one night that we became closer than usual and out of both of our confusion between supportive love and nurturing and sexual love we began going down a path that would mean huge changes in our lives. Fortunately we stopped before having sex.
I am so grateful that we didn't have sex and re-establish that kind of bond. Sex for me is the biggest bond. There is nothing casual or friendly or nurturing in the way that she needed... it is something I do that is completely vulnerable and is my sacred temple. Nurturing love is for me to give to others, it comes from a different place. There are only a select few that I am willing to share my vulnerable give and take sexuality with... her and I have, but to share that with her and her with me in that moment was inappropriate and a detriment to what I was trying to accomplish and what she needed to receive from me... she feels the same way, it would mean a tidal wave of emotions that were not appropriate for that time in our lives. Who knows the changes that she would of made to accommodate the new re-kindled energy between us at a time when she should of been concentrating on herself and her future.... derailing her from the path that was best for both of us.
I wonder if some of this story relates to yours...
if it does... now what? What do you do now that you have crossed that line? I think if I were in your position I would be backing right off and be a pillar of strength for her while she gets back on her feet. I would be strong in my integrity and firm in my conviction that you will always be her loving friend and that you are also a loving boyfriend to Jill and that when she has her life on track and is feeling her OWN strength, rather than relying on yours, that there might be a chance to have a happy, healthy "vee" poly relationship develop, but for now you will simply be a strong friend.
I think if I were in your shoes I would do this because I really do love her and want her in my life for a very long time... rather than try and force that love into a hole that doesn't fit at the moment simply because I want it to work.
Redpepper, wow I am not really sure where to begin. I guess thank you is a good start... I have been re-reading and thinking about your reply for the last day.
You have given me some options I did not even consider that really do make a lot of sense.
I can relate very much to the situation with your friend. The only exceptions being Erika and I were never physically involved in the past, and I wish I had your resolve. Neither one of regrets what happened but taking a time out to talk about what were going to be getting into would have been a better option.
I have already taken your advice and have decided to be the friend she needs at this moment in time. I could not really read her last night when I told her I just wanted to cuddle with Jill and her. It was not like she was disappointed.. or hurt.. maybe melancholy could describe it?
Thank you once again for the advice. Erika is someone Jill and I love and do want to be part of our lives for a very long time.
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