Loving and Understanding ... Part I
Thankyou to anyone that sent me greetings when I signed up.
This will be my first post and attempt to express what I am feeling.
I have read some threads of this forum suggested by the woman I love and adore; on this forum she is known as FlameKat.
I will try to keep this post to a reasonable size; but tend to ramble. So I will apologize in advance for its length. Also I have always had a very precise perception regarding the realm of love and relationships; so I again will apologize in advance, should I refer to anything insensitively ... I mean no offence.
I know FlameKat has given some back story on our relationship and herself. So I thought I would start out by giving some sense of who I am ... or at least how I perceive myself.
I am in my thirties; I have one son, 8 years of age and recently got through a divorce to a woman that I was with for ten years. I have always guided myself in life with what I feel is a strong morale compass. Honor, Loyalty, Truth, Compassion and Understanding are at the heart of what makes me ... me. Most consider me easy going & approachable to share their views, problems or opinions. I would generally agree with that assessment; except as of late I feel that I have not had the understanding I should with the person in my life that matters the most ... My beloved FlameKat.
Emerging out of my previous relationship I feel that I was putting duty and responsibility before my own feelings. I was not happy for a very long time and allowed myself to fullfill a selfish desire to be needed by someone who could never love themself. If wasnt until I caught a glimpse of what used to make me feel good that I realized I wasnt doing anyone any favors being accepting the misery I was in. As understanding as I may be towards most things; I have a bad tendancy to take things very personally and care a great deal about what others think of me .. to the extent of torturing myself internally. In regards to relationships and love I suppose in as simple a way as I can put it; I have a very fairytale point of view. The whole 'Knight in Shining Armor' stereotype likely fits the best ... (before anyone starts throwing stones at me)...that said I in no way feel that women need to be rescued and certainly don't think that about FlameKat. Her strength and limitless resilliance are two of the things that I love so much about her and in truth ... when we first met; she saved me. During my divorce I made one of the weakest & cowardly choices of my life ... I had become weary of caring about everyone else and feeling no love in return. It was after I came back from the brink that I met FlameKat; she helped me find myself again and think in ways I had never considered. Gods I love her so much. Just to finish off the statement I made about 'The Knight in Shining Armor' .. the aspect of that perspective that I appreciate is that of 'The One True Love'; the love that knows no limits or boundaries.
I'll add a couple of other notes about myself that may be of merit in understanding me. First I have very low self-esteem (one would hope in recognizing that I could do something about it .. lol), which was made worse in past relationships; when I would get upstaged by some other guy who was more confident and be left in the dust by the girl I was with. Second, (and I recognize this is likely attributed to my first point) is that I have a very low opinion of most guys in regards to how they treat women. That said I am not naive to the fact that there are unscrupulous women in the world to; but I tend to have a harder time trusting guys.
So when faced with the statement from the woman that I love and trust so much; 'that there are no boundaries between her and my closest friend; emotional, mental or physical .... and then later that she is in love with him too.' .... I was to say the least in shock. She immediately reassured me how much she loves me and that her feelings had not lessened any for me. I struggled so hard to remain understanding; while she struggled with trying to understand this new discovery in herself. We were both frightened what would happen; but have continued each day in the midst of pain and anger to stay focused on figuring this out.
When I met FlameKat; I almost immediately felt something different; something timeless. There were other guys vying for her attention at the time and even though I was on the other side of the world ... I knew she was as devoted to me as I was her; that mutual devotion has only grown stronger.
As I mentioned previously; I had moments in the past that other guys ha swooped in as it were .... but even knowing just how amazing and attractive she is to others ... I recognized that I never felt anxiety regarding our the stability of our relationship. When my friend T started communicating with FlameKat regularly I started to have a sense that something was different. FlameKat and I always discuss everything ... sometimes it takes a few days to work up to; but generally we get an immediate sense when something was off with one another. I think this empathy flourished because we are so far apart and have to rely on talking through anything and everything ... this has made us stronger as a whole. My concerns that I expressed to FlameKat when I first felt uneasy was that I felt my friend T was getting too attached and did not even consider her feelings growing for him.
... Continued Part II
Loving and Understandinf Part II
As time went on I kept mentioning my difficulties as they would arise; but tried to stay calm and trusted that FlameKat would discuss with me if she felt anything was getting out of hand. During this time there was also elevated stress while we prepared for the court litigation to gain approval for Flamekat and her children to move to Canada. I did start to notice that Flamekat was more distant during this time and there were a few moments that I would wake during the night and she would have left the webcam going. I would see her smiling and laughing while chatting to someone; I'd type into the chat window let her know I woke up and after talking for a bit; found that she was talking with T. I started waking more and more in the middle of the night; and to feel that FlameKat would be sad/distant during her time online with me and appear happier when chatting with T. I struggled not to let my insecurities get the better of me and continued to try and express how this was making me feel to FlameKat. Part of what made feeling this way so difficult is that there are no two people I trust more in the world than FlameKat and T. I found two sides of myself fighting back and forth several times. I didn't really hurt or feel my trust was broken until FlameKat told me that she mentioned to T my anxiety with the how much they were chatting. This upset me because there were already moments that had arisen that she could not share with me what they talked about because they were personal to me. When she told him that it felt like there was no consideration for what I tell her in confidence ... that telling him this would have caused friction between T and myself.
After that T did because more distant from me; which upset me more because I knew the frequency he was in contact with FlameKat. I was hurting on many levels; especially that my friend of 25 years could not talk to me and could share so much with my girlfirend ... even after saying himself it was wrong that he spoke with FlameKat more than he did me ... that is even considering the added difficulties to communicate to her. With the time difference FlameKat and I have to make accomodations to be able to stay in touch daily; when T started communicating regularly; he would do so not to inturrupt my time with FlameKat... so would be chatting from midnight to 7am frequently. The fact he could put this effort in and avoid my attempts to reach him ... hurt more than I realize even now.
Then with no real answers to FlameKat's or my questions; T called me and after trying to convince him not to ... he decided that he couldn't speak with either of us anymore.... but wished us both all the happiness....
Since then FlameKat and I have been having many difficult discussions; trying to figure out what happened; sort out how we feel and try to understand one another. We have become the stronger for it ... I do know in my heart we can work through anything together ... she fills my heart, fires my soul and I thought the sun & moon were unmatched in power, before the first time I looked into her eyes. Sorry if I made anyone gag ... lol
Since this all began with T things have been very emotional and its been tough for both of us. One of the things that has caused me to make things more difficult is that I view giving ones heart to an individual; that gift being unique and not to be duplicated. I can understand loving many individuals and the ability to fall in love with more than one individual; but if someone were to become to close to me in an attempt to be romantic when I have given my heart to someone already ... I would make it clear to that person to stop and if they wouldnt ... I would cut off communication completely. In the past FlameKat had responded on her own accord just as I mentioned above; with a friend that was interested in more with her despite her relationship with me. Because of that previous moment I suppose it made it even harder to comprehend what happened with T.
- I know that I love FlameKat and she loves me, and not any less than before
- I know that we both love all our children deeply and know that everything we need to acheive to bring our family together is worth every effort.
- I know that we want to be together forever
- I know that still have the trust, faith and devotion to one another we always have
- Because I know all that ... I know the biggest hurdle I will eventually overcome is the insecurities in my own mind ... the are demons as it were that I have avoided looking at until now ... because now I have someone worth facing them for.
- I know that I have a lot of anger and feelings of betrayal towards T that I still have to work through; and I know that they are likely not warrented ... but they are there.
- I know do know have difficulty with FlameKat loving others and am understanding more each day the idea of loving more than one this deeply.
- I know that I will likely never be able to accept FlameKat giving or receiving physical flirtation with others or more intimate physical expressions ... the pain would be too great; but I know that we respect each enough to respect that boundary if it is approached.
- I know that both myself and FlameKat have many things to learn about ourselves and are still healing from the damage our previous relationships caused. If these moments arise in the future we will have learned more by then.
Together Forever My Love
I'm sorry for any pain I've put you through these past few months
I hope this was an ok attempt at laying how I feel on the table
There is nothing I will not face by your side
It, as usual honey, is an amazing expression of how you feel.
Step by step, we will get to wherever this path leads us. As long as we are both flexible and willing, and I know we are :D Our strength lays in just how much we do love each other... and our belief that the love we share is worth every battle, every drama, every last drop of effort to protect, while at the same time creating that safe place for us both to truly discover who we are, and to celebrate each other as whole people.
There were a few points you made that we will need to discuss... not necessarily because I disagree per se, but simply that we need further discussion for me to understand fully. I will need time to figure out exactly what they are, as right now after reading - there is simply a vague dis-ease, I will have to go over it with a fine tooth comb before I spot what really bothers me.
LOL - I will stop before I start rambling :p
Thank you so much sweetheart, I know this was beyond difficult to put yourself out here in public, and as always... your written word has helped me immeasurably...
Thank you for sharing your story with us, WaterWolf. I'm a new member on this group and just went through a somewhat similar experience, when my wife wanted to add another person to our marriage and turn our mono relationship into a poly vee. I felt hurt, betrayed, jealous, angry... all of the above, and I didn't see any end in sight.
My first step was to understand what it means to be poly in the first place. Did lots of research and reading articles on the web, and joined various support groups. Some of them that were particularly useful to me were:
You may have read through many or most of these links already. I found them all to be very useful in my journey to understand how someone could love more than one person at a time, and what it meant to me as the mono in the relationship. They helped me feel happy for my wife (compersion), but didn't in themselves help me get through my jealousy.
To get over my jealousy, I had to deeply explore all of my emotions, recognize that I can't change my wife (who recently discovered she's bi and poly... that's who she honestly is), but I do have power over my own life. If I couldn't handle being in a poly relationship, then I could get a divorce. I had to feel comfortable with that option, that it wouldn't be a personal failure but rather a recognition of incompatible lifestyles, and we would have remained best friends. On the other hand, if I ended up liking the poly relationship (as I did), then we could even consider growing it more over time. Either way, I had to make sure that I didn't stay in the relationship simply because I felt obligated, but rather made my choice willingly.
The paper "14 Steps to Opening a Monogamous Relationship" gives a lot of sound advice on how to first establish a poly relationship. I wish we followed it ourselves. We kind of botched the process, took everything too fast, and lots of mistakes were made. Fortunately for us, all three of us continually talked through everything. Communicate, communicate, communicate... without that, it wouldn't have worked out, and I would have remained very jealous and upset at the OSO.
Two very sound pieces of advise in this article were:
I think that's really all I can say on the topic. Honestly, I'm so new to being poly that I'm barely qualified to comment on it yet. But I can definitely feel for you, and I hope and pray that you'll work through all your emotions with FlameKat and build a better, stronger relationship together in the process. Just keep talking with each other, as you are right now.
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