continued...in need of reassurance
(continued from above)
This, of course made meeting my partner even more of a shocker. “You can’t possibly be this perfect and be one person and find me so easily and so soon in my life!!!” I thought to myself. I had given up on this fantasy. It was too perfect. And so she was too perfect. And to top it off, she knew about poly. Lord, god had granted me an angel itself. She had never been poly per se, but had read about it, believed in the theory’s validity, value and truth. The first friend I had ever had who didn’t find it very strange. And she turned out to be my other half.
So what is the problem? Well, things change when someone grows into your heart and becomes part of it. While my partner has always believed in poly, understanding something intellectually is far far removed from feeling it with your heart. This topic is a very tender topic. She believes it is important for us to talk about, because after all “you are my best friend” she says, and “I don’t ever want you to keep something from me.” And neither do I. We share everything with each-other, why should I keep this to myself, even if it is only in theory? But it is difficult and painful for both of us. It is a discussion that can go on for several hours to several days, and has one of us in tears almost the whole time.
I do not consider anything but my whole life with this person an option. I do not fear worst torture or death or spiders or snakes, but simply being alive when she is not. I am engaged to the most amazing person on the planet, and I would not change this for anything, but I can’t stand the idea that this means giving up courting any other soul for the rest of my life. I love courting! I love the soft dynamic that happens just after friendship develops chemistry but before it is kissed into confession to one-another. I love the rising fire in my belly when you realize you are quite giddy about cuddling your friend and that you both may want it to lead to other things. I love the idea of falling in love with a dear friend (and in truth, most of my friends and I have had it in for one-another at some stage or another of our lives) but not having the expectation that it is the exclusive-steady-romantic-type deal, rather, just part of that friendship.
However, my partner does not share this view at all. The mention of me with any other person tears her heart out. I cannot whip out my handful of reasons in my theories of polyamory because she already knows them – knowing does no good. In attempt to get me to understand how hurtful it is for her to think about, she asked me to turn it around. “How would you feel about being home knowing I was at my friends house, making love to them. How does it make you feel knowing I would come home to you after being with someone else?” And truthfully, I think it would be interesting. I think it would bring a new dynamic. I would be fascinated to hear how it went and how it was different and what it made her think and feel to be with that person (granted that I met them and they were an all-around good person and safe, respectful and honest and all that). I shrugged my shoulders and said that I wouldn’t mind. This hit her worse – she absolutely bowled. It made her feel so hurt to think that I would not be jealous, that the idea doesn’t tear at my heart like it does hers.
We have had this discussion on three occasions so far. It is important to her that we talk about it, which I am grateful for, because that is so healing to know. I, too, believe that is the only healthy way for us to live – to talk about it. I reassure her that there is nothing to worry about, I have no one in mind or anything, and I would never make a decision about anything without her 100% consent. But this does not console her. She says she doubts she could ever change, so how could she ever be ok with it at all, let alone 100%.
I feel so guilty, at these times. It pains me to see something that I have always identified with hurt her so immensely. After comforting her for hours to no avail it drives me to think I should just swear to monogamy right then and there so that I can stop the pain. But I know better. I should never promise something so outright untrue. I would regret it the very next day. It makes me feel so sleazy, so greedy, so selfish that I have something so amazing and godly in a person, more than I could have ever imagined, and yet I want more? There are plenty of people on this earth throughout time who have loved as deeply as I have loved, and that was enough. Many people get married and commit to monogamy every day! Shouldn’t I? My internal poly-righteous side combats these kinds of thoughts, but it is against the tears of my beloved, and it is weak compared to my guilt.
It is at these times that I think. Is it worth it? Is one little fling with a friend worth all this? Especially when said friend is a theoretical idea? Why don’t I just give it up, cross that bridge when we come to it? For the most part, it doesn’t interfere with our lives. I am wonderfully in love with her and I do not spend my time fantasizing about being with someone else. I have realized that it is not about this fictitious secondary that is such a big deal. It is the threat to giving up the option to love another, the reasoning that says that marriage equals monogamy for life that shakes me and leaves me hung on it for days. I have many reoccurring dreams in which I am courting someone new, and every time the dream person goes to make the first move, or suggests it, I stop dead in my tracks “I can’t. I haven’t told her yet.” It is stark and the dream ends there.
She is the only person on the planet who can endure me continuously, and indeed likes being with me even on my most bitchy days. When merely the mention of me being with another person makes this very person, my love, say that this thought makes her feel so betrayed that if it were true, she would want to distance herself as far as possible from me – run to Africa without a trace – I want to grab her and hold her forever so that she could not run from me. I was so struck by this statement. It made me completely question my entire structure of ideas. She provoked my thoughts when she talked about how sacred to her anything we share that is sexual, how someone else sharing that with me would completely spoil and ruin it, dishonor it. I try so hard to stand where she sees our world the way she does, and though I am beginning to genuinely understand it, I still cannot feel that way.
The only thing she has to hang onto in all this is the hope that she will one day sway me and I will change. When I do not agree with her, when I am not swayed, she looks at me pleadingly and I can merely say that maybe we will change. She says that she cannot ever change – not on this, it is too sacred. And yet my only hope is that she can change.
She does not ask me to promise anything. She does not ask me to give it up. Instead she asks me to talk about it when it bothers me. But what is there left to say? I can’t bear to hurt her so badly again and again on a moot point. But she sees it in my face and my voice when it is bothering me. I ask her if it would be better if sometimes I just don’t say anything, be less painful, and she replies strongly “No. Not knowing it will always hurt more than whatever it is that will hurt.”
Half of our relationship is long-distance across continents and an ocean. Relying on skype and cheap plane fairs, our lives are conducted by hourly updates and endless “I miss you”s. Though we live together in our house in between, my semester abroad, and her year abroad were already planned long ago, and we refused to abandon our lives and pursuing our dreams for each-other. However, this is the last time we will ever live apart for so long. Long distance relationships are tough, but manageable, but discussions about poly are unbearable over web-calls for I cannot soothe her and hold her and comfort her, and that makes it ten times more painful and disconnected. I can only tell her I will love her forever. But at least we talk about it.
For the most part, this is not a focus of our life, and indeed, the majority of the time I don’t even think about it. But when it does wriggle its way back to the front of my mind, it will not leave me alone. I don’t want to stress her more by bringing it up yet again when nothing has changed since the last time, and I don’t know anyone who has any experience whatsoever who can offer anything to say about it. I have nowhere to turn in my mind, and nowhere to turn outside of it. I just run around like a hamster in a wheel in my head.
After reading all this, you are probably quite surprised at how long it took. Thank you so much for reading them, it is consoling just to be heard. I hesitate to use the word “advice” here, because I am not asking you “help! What do I do?” for I don’t feel there is anything to DO. Instead, I welcome any words of wisdom that I may begin to chew on. I have a whole lifetime to chew and swallow and digest. Though I have full faith that everything will work out, I would deeply appreciate a more convincing voice of assurance than my own.
Again, thank you for listening.
Last edited by Miquera; 12-06-2009 at 07:05 PM.