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-   -   Life is funny (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=9676)

bitterborn 05-08-2011 03:43 AM

Life is funny
If you haven't figured it out by now this may be a shock to you.... We are all products of our enviroment, we bring with us ill conceived values and our personal warped sense of right and wrong. These were "taught" or showed or we experienced life in such a way that we came to expect what normal is. M (my wife) and I both had what could be called a difficult childhood. As a result our normal was that love and sex were absolutely two different things, both could be good but when mixed could be disasterous. Neither of us expected monogamy from the other or wanted it for ourselves. In the 12 years we have been together we have had an open relationship.

All relationships have ups and downs and we have managed to take that to the extreme both up and down, our relationship is very good and has grown way beyond what either of us could have imagined in the beginning. When we got married we had only 3 vows. 1. Be open and honest, even if it hurts the other's feelings. 2. Never run out of coffee. 3. (we cant remember the 3rd :)

Recently she fell in love, fell hard. "R" was just to be a quickie, a one or two time thing, get her rocks off and move on. Not her usual type at all. But something clicked, something fell into place and she and he were hooked. It's been good for her, it's been better for us. Remember vow 1 of open and honest, that has changed from complete transparency to discussing emotions and fear, from knowing everything to complete trust and acceptance.

We have changed in the last couple of months, amazingly another love (not another fuck) has brought us closer, has taught us both that love and sex can be together, and that love is not just reserved for two. We are learning more about each other and letting go of assumptions about each other that we have held for over a decade.

That is enough for now... and for those that are wondering.... We NEVER run out of coffee.

Erin 05-08-2011 05:27 AM

Takes a brave man to set jealousy aside... kudos!

Masquerade78 05-08-2011 08:18 AM

Thank you
Reading that made me well up, because it renews my faith that it can work. I'm at the outset of something right now and there are several paths that we can take but what I want is what you describe and I just hope hope hope it could work. Thank you x

bitterborn 05-08-2011 12:55 PM


Originally Posted by Erin (Post 80450)
Takes a brave man to set jealousy aside... kudos!

Wow, I probably don't deserve the title of brave. There have been things that I, us and US have had to work through, jealousy is definitely one of those. I initially was jealous/envious and dealing with lots of emotions, she had her own troubles trying to juggle things to be "equal" to both of us and trying not to hurt anyone, he was blown away that I aware of the relationship from day one and was not screaming at him.

This is a beautiful path with scenic overlooks and grand landscapes. But that path is a long hike, with steep hills, muddy crossings, mosquitoes and a hot sun. Trust me the destination is worth it and when you arrive you realize the experience of the journey made it that much better.

Sorry got distracted with a metaphor. Back to jealousy. This is what I have learned.

-She isn't mine. She has never been my possession, I don't own her. She has chosen to spend the last 12 years with me and she chooses to spend the rest of our lives together. The feeling of "it's my turn now", watching the clock, and sense of ownership is akin to a child refusing to share toys and either crying or lashing out at others when another child is playing with them.

-She is an individual, she is not half of me. We absolutely make a great team. But she is my equal not my alter ego. We have always had differences and will continue to do so. A long time ago we learned to accept that. R is not someone I would have picked for her or for us. She didn't choose to fall in love with him. The cliche of love is blind is so true. By the same token love opens your eyes. I have become friends with R and realize what an amazing man he is. I have also seen M with new eyes. After 12 years we take for granted our partners, we have firm assumptions about how they are, some of the little things that they do you find that they have always done because they thought you liked it, you settle into patterns of behaviour and communication. Now, thanks to being part of a relationship that includes her, I am seeing her through new eyes and again marveling at what a beautiful, amazing and loving person she is. Yes she is different with him, but you know what, she's different with me too.

-Open and honest... We have always been open and honest. Everything has been transparent since we met.... Sort of. Our emails and texts were always available to the other, passwords are known, nothing hidden. We shied away from discussing painful emotions, our learned defensive mechanisms helped there, I tend to hold them inside until they grow to the point where I can't deal with them and either explode or go into a depressive funk, she tends to ignore or run from them. This relationship has forced both of us to sit and talk. There have been tearful times, there has been anger, there has been pain. They have been needed, they have fortified the vow of "open and honest, even if it hurts the other's feelings" They have brought us closer together which is something I didn't think was possible.

-Open and honest PART 2. Redefining with trust and confidentiality. Oops complete transparency ain't gonna work. R is her partner not mine. You know this was actually the hardest thing for me, it took accepting that their love for each other, their relationship was as authentic and as genuine as mine and M's was. Forget the term equal, I know I have her till death, I know theirs is brilliant in it's newness and the excitement is intense. But both of the relationships are genuine. In my relationship with M I expect a level of confidentiality, I expect she won't share with others things that would embarass or humiliate me, I trust that she will delicately handle all of my fears, shortcomings, secrets and failures. Their relationship deserves the same trust and confidentiality as ours. I don't have the right to read all thier texts, she shouldn't have to tell me everything, what happens in their bed is their business. I would be furious at her if she shared all about me with someone else. How can I ask her to do to them what I wouldn't tolerate? Their love deserves the same things, the same privacy, the same trust, the same confidentiality, if I don't give that to them I can't ask for it in return.

I could go on.... and probably will. But I am really missing spell and grammar check.

Magdalena 05-08-2011 08:12 PM

Bah forget spell check and grammar, I really like what you have to say, and the way you say it! :)

bitterborn 05-08-2011 10:59 PM

Very well Mag....

Let's own up to reality. People in general are kinda disgusting, they leak from all the strangest places in the worst possible way, they shed in the bed and when they aren't doing that their hair clogs up the shower drain, their breath in the morning makes small animals run from the room, sometimes their bodies make the weirdest noises during sex or when they first get up in the morning. They have moles, scars, and hair growing where there should be none. They say things they shouldn't in public and are generally not fit to be seen out with others. They hate the way they look, pictures of themselves and the way their voice sounds. They aren't satisfied with themselves, refuse to believe anyone else should be and as a result are particularly insecure. They get sick, they cry for no reason, they are growing old and afraid of dying.

Well except my wife of course, she is perfect :). But that paragraph above fits me pretty well. She has dealt with all of that and more and somehow still loves me, somehow still finds me sexy and attractive

Does this mean love is blind, or does this mean that love can overcome reality? Or does this mean that love is more than attraction, more than a physical response to hormones and excitement? Can one really love me or you even though we are human, even though we are less than perfect?

I have yet to come across a good definition for love, at one time I thought it was a willingless to sacrifice for another, if that is the best definition, then being a part of a poly relationship would definitely fit. But love or at least the love I am part of refuses to be defined. There are parts that are fairy tale, there are parts that are dirty, there are parts that are unmentionable, the largest part is acceptance. The accepting me for who I am, accepting her for who she is, and now R for who he is and loving whoever even though they aren't perfect or even who we want them to be is what makes it work.

Acceptance, like love isn't easy. Accept me, accept us. Accept without trying to force change, accept that we all will grow, accept that we will all change on our own, accept the dissapointment, accept the surprises, occasionally accept the tender little things that take your breath away and make you have to decide if you want to cry with joy or laugh till you cry.

Accept that your significant other feels that way about their significant other..... That will redefine your own love.

Magdalena 05-09-2011 05:48 PM

Wow Bitter! I believe you are the first to put into words what my heart already knows, but not able to reach the keyboard as eloquently as you. I am on my own journey of figuring out what love is and how to handle this relationship with my husband and the others that have come into our life.

Thank you, thank you Sir! Please write more!!!


bitterborn 05-10-2011 01:50 AM


This is starting to become a conversation between us with lots of voyeurs. :) No problem though, writing has always been a way for me to work through my feelings and emotions and the thought of others watching does add some zing.

For now let's stay with love, I can't speak for others but it is definitely possible for me to love more than one person. It's been proven to me time and time again. It took a long time for it to blow me away, sweep me off my feet and show me that my heart was capable of way more than should be possible.

September 20th, 1990 at about one in the morning, I was standing in a sterile hallway looking through a window. On the other side of the glass was a newborn, wisps of red hair, god I was in love, I was smitten. I actually stood and stared, silent tears of love and joy, losing all feeling in my legs, thoughts of his mother were nowhere in sight. Love, complete, painful, overwhelming, incapable of coping love. I actually loved his mother more at that point, for bringing him into our lives. So proud of him, wanting to scream at the top of my lungs, to show him off.

Then the little shit opened his left eye and for the second time in my life I rediscovered true blue. All of the emotions I felt looking at that sleeping baby just minutes before were multiplied. I didn't just have silent tears of joy, I sobbed uncontrollably as my life turned upside down and every thing I thought I knew about love and committment was shown to be absolute lies. I stood in that hall unaware of time, unaware of hunger, unaware of anything but him for hours. Hoping just hoping that he would open that eye again so I could see the inner him, hoping he would see me too.

Life changing. That new love. Learning that love can be truly unconditional. Learning that love can be whole and complete, even before the other is aware, even if the other is never aware. It deepened my love for others. It made his mother and I more in love for a while.

That was half my life ago. A lot of water has passed under that bridge in the time that has passed. His and my love has been the longest healthy relationship I have had. His mother and I are no longer together, that was painful, and that was neccesary. But our love was separate from my love for his mother, and that is a lesson that I needed to learn as well.

That was half my life ago. Even today as I write this those same emotions are overwhelming, there are tears in my eyes, and I am falling all over again as I relive that experience. Even today I love that person (now a grown man), I love him unconditionally, regardless if he makes decisions I don't agree with, regardless if he doesn't call me for months at a time. I am intensely proud of him, I am grateful he keeps me in his life.

I didn't feel that same level of emotions again until I realized I was already in love with M. And then I was again shaken and learning that everything I thought I knew was again rendered obsolete. M and I were not supposed to work, we were both married to other people at the time, we both had children, neither of our spouses would understand. I was her boss's boss. What a recipe for disaster. Somehow we made it...

And... I love her unconditionally, I love her when she makes decisions I don't agree with, I love her when she overdraws the checking account, I love her even when she frustrates me so much I get angry. Damn I love her ! And you know what, she had children when I fell for her, little people that she loves with all that she is, at least as much as I love my son. Those people, those children, those humans she will love all of her life, who she will love even when they are less than perfect. Those people are part of her, those people are part of what makes her, her.

TO LOVE HER! TO ACCEPT HER! I must accept, I must love those that she loves. Those children, those people, this other man that she loves, they are part of her. Even when I don't like what they have done or can agree with their decisions, even when they hurt or throw barbs or say things they can never take back. I love them for who they are, I love them for being part of my greatest love ever.

And that love for her I have, I rediscover it when I see the joy in her eyes when a child finally sends her a message, I rediscover it when I hear laughter mixed with tears because her heart can't decide if it should fly or break, I rediscover it when I hear her tell her other significant other that she loves him and means it with all her being. I rediscover it partly because when she says it to him she holds my hand and squeezes it, her soul bared to me in her own blue eyes, that soul screaming her love for me and for the third in my life I rediscover true blue. And I realize that once again everything I thought I knew about love and committment was an absolute lie and that I am capable of more love than a single person can contain and once again the love for another person strengthens the love I already experience.

But.... that's just me... I can't speak for others....

Masquerade78 05-10-2011 05:26 AM

Once again, thank you - yes I'm a voyeur in your conversation, welcoming both the male perspective, but also the intensity of your feelings.

This is all so positive, but also the fact that you openly acknowledge that there are peaks and troughs that just form the make-up of the whole situation.

It's all very encouraging x

bitterborn 05-10-2011 11:35 AM

Mag, Masq and M my wife....

There seems to be a lot of M's. M read the last post yesterday and commented something to the effect that I left out a lot about the other people in my life I love, I left out a lot pain, I really only talked about loving others through people I already love.

I was talking about those scenic overlooks and ignoring the muddy crossing with mosquitoes. I was focusing on the positive, wrapped up in my current beauty it is easy to ignore the negatives.

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder". <-some poet
"Love is a willingness to sacrifice for another. <- Bitterborn

Those two quotes, actually the feelings behind them can be dangerous when combined. These emotions we play with and casually praise here are very powerful, they are easy to abuse, they can hurt.

I am so very me, as messed up as any of you reading this. I have done absolutely stupid things because I thought someone loved me. I have lowered my sense of right and wrong. I have accepted complete humiliation in the name of love. I have changed myself into something that even I can't tolerate. I have been so desperate for love that I was capable of doing anything, absolutely anything to keep that love. While I was doing it, it was beautiful.... it was my eye's beholding it after all and obviously I was willing to sacrifice for it. Yeah, I've been there, so have most of you. Love may be beautiful but it isn't always pretty, love may heal but it can hurt.

Love for me at this point in my life must include acceptance both ways. No change required. Our current relationship with R has that. I doubt that I could be involved with it or enjoy it without it.

Back to M's observation of yesterday's post. I have loved others. A very big one was another M but we will go by her middle initial of V since there are a lot of M's around here. M and I were at a very low part in our relationship a few years ago, we were lacking in communication, professionally we had goals that fought each other, our schedules conflicted. We were headed to the room mate status. Two people that just happened to live at the same address. Looking back there were tons of reaching out from both sides, but neither one of could see it then.

As wonderful as our relationship is now, it was as terrible then. I felt very alone then, and I spent a lot of time alone. V and I found a common basis in Ayn Rand, writing and words, we fell in love, it wasn't a perfect love, strangely we never physically met, but it was real love, we spent a lot of time on the phone, online, we explored each other. I Loved her, it was a beautiful love.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, M found that what V and I had was beautiful too, she looked and saw that V was giving me what she wasn't at that time. M truly loves me, M was willing to sacrifice for another because she loves me. M began to push me away, to make our relationship more painful, more unbearable. M knew that I would be happier with V, that my life would be better with this witty, beautiful, younger woman who I connected so well with. M loved me enough even at that point that she wanted to give me what would make me happy even at the cost of her own sanity.

Pain, agony, tears, screams, fights, yells, loss of trust, intentional wounding.... all love too............

One afternoon, screaming through her tears, so emotionally and physically exhausted she could barely stand, she kicked me out, told me to go live with V, she was freeing me. She was making herself the bad guy so that I could leave and go find my happiness.

That was a long afternoon. I was very angry at her for belittling M's and my love, I could not live without her, a choice was forced on me, M or V. Life with or without M, losing the part of me that I can't breathe without, losing the part of me that was currently fufilling me and providing me with beauty.

I don't think either of was rational at that point. Love ain't always pretty. I put a gun in her hand, placed her finger on the trigger and pointed it at my chest. "Till death do us part" that's another beautifully ugly quote. But that was the only way I was willing to leave M.

Obviously I didn't go to V and M didn't shoot. V and I went painfully separate ways. It was a ugly moment and beautiful in it's own way. It was a turning point that headed us back to healing and making our relationship what it is today. It was most definitely not a healthy Poly relationship and part of that was that our relationship wasn't healthy when a third entered the picture.

Today I still deeply love V, I am not "in love" with her, we don't interact, I still find her beautiful. Today M and I are deeply "in love", I find her more beautiful and thankfully we interact at a much greater level.

Today M has lots of regret for that time in our lives, and now that R is part of us, she realizes what V could have been. It's another thing that we have now been able to sit down and discuss, those painful emotions we used to avoid were brought back out.

Yeah... it's not an easy journey, be careful to hold the other's hand, you don't want them falling off the cliff or getting lost on the way...

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