This past year has been one of many ups and downs as we have been incorporating ML, DW's girlfriend into our family. Most of the downs have resulted from outside issues (ML's mom being diagnosed with cancer and treatments now being declined by her, issues with my family, my break-ups).
July was really tough, as my then boyfriend ended our relationship because he could no longer handle the jealousy in his primary relationship. DW observed that this seemed like the hardest break-up because there was nothing "wrong" with our relationship. I think this was a big contributing factor; add it to the fact that I am madly in love with my boyfriend and that this time of year is very difficult for me and, well, it's been a bit rough. We broke up about two weeks before DW and ML celebrated their one year anniversary.
*BUT* here's the success and happiness part...I decided to go ahead and go to the VT poly weekend even though I would be going alone. I got there, and was overwhelmed by emotion at not having my boyfriend there *and* seeing his ex being very physically affectionate with her boyfriend, which was a huge issue in the relationship between she and my boyfriend. Confusing, sorry. I strongly considered leaving but am thankful that something in me chose to stay. Here's an excerpt of what I wrote to the group after the event:
"It's not that my recent experiences have shaken my faith as a whole in polyamory as I am a firm believer in the sustainability of the lovestyle and know it is the right fit for me. It is very atypical of me to avoid interpersonal challenges or to hesitate when forming connections with people but I have been finding myself uncharacteristically hesitant to enter new romantic relationships for fear of the potential emotional pain. I am so thankful for how you all lifted me up this weekend and helped to remind me that while there may be pain, there is far too much beauty in nurturing relationships to let fear win. "
I did meet one or two potential partners, but honestly, that's not the best part. On Sunday, they had a discussion group where we could all discuss topics of interest to us. What I wrote down was "how to celebrate your love's love when you are grieving".
A few people in the group had some wonderful things to say to me, but it was looking over at ML and seeing her smile and nod her head when someone was expressing how I was depriving them of the honor of supporting me, that touched me so deeply. We've had challenges in the past where both of us have filled in meaning for the others' non-verbals that we had no business filling in. In that moment, it all just disappeared. I felt so connected to her. We are doing really well now and really acting as a cohesive unit. She has been coming down on Tuesdays to help us get the kids to their various activities on opposite sides of town and we've just enjoyed being together.
We are finally about to put the garage on that will have a room/in-law type space above it and so we have begun very preliminary talks about having her move in with us. We are actually fortunate that the contractor can't do the building (only the foundation) before the spring (and good for him for having enough work!), so this gives us time to really be thoughtful and make the transition smoothly.
I'm currently 2 hours away from home for my new job (haven't worked outside the home in 10 years!), so she stayed last night to help out and to see if the commute to work was better than she feared.
All in all, things are good! I am not rushing into any new relationships and instead going out on dates as friends that may lead to more or may not. And spending more time connecting with DW separately and with he and his gf.