I actually just discovered this part of the forum, and I figured that it would be an excellent outlet to get everything out.
My introduction to polyamory. I knew during my early teen years that being with just one person never quite felt complete. I chalked it up to being in a period of discovery and just experimenting with who I was. I never put a name on it, as I was unsure of what it was until I was older. My teen years were when I knew monogamy would never be my cup of tisane. I was honest with the people I dated, and it worked for the most part.
I met my husband [Matt] in June of 1999. I was 18. A couple of months from turning 19. We were friends before anything else. I told Matt I was non-monogamous. He had a lot of questions, and he spent quite a bit of time deciding whether or not this was something he could handle. He was upfront in stating that there was no way he would be okay with me being involved with another man and that he would leave if that was my choice. That was never even an option for me.
A few months before Matt and I became an official couple, I met my girlfriend [Si]. The two relationships became "official" within months of each other. Matt and I became official in May 2000, and Si and I became official in June. Matt and Si were never really around each other. At that point, Matt was in his residency and we were enjoying our new relationship (honeymoon phase), so a friendship with Si never formed. I think this is why he never experienced compersion. They were cordial if they saw one another, but that was it.
Matt proposed to me in 2001. We tied the knot in February of 2002. We knew that having children was far off because of school obligations on my end and a residency on his. As the years passed, things were fine. The relationships were separate. Matt and I were communicating openly and honestly. Our relationship was great. I found myself falling more in love with him every year. The talks of expanding our family started on our sixth wedding anniversary in Feb. 2008. I conceived in March and found out about my pregnancy shortly thereafter. We were all over the moon with excitement. In all of this excitement, Matt and I never stopped to talk about my girlfriend's involvement or what level of say she would have. I assumed
that my hubby would be okay with her being part of appointments, being in labour and delivery with us, and being there in those first few months of bonding with the baby after her birth. (Fast forward to 2013 and he was only being accommodating and being mindful of my relationship and feelings. He was actually not okay with any of this. More on that in a bit.)
In December 2011, I found out I was expecting again. It was a difficult pregnancy. I had to have open fetal surgery in April of 2012, and I was placed on bedrest the remainder of the pregnancy. During that time, Matt and Si formed a friendship, and they were both highly supportive. After almost 12 years of her being in our lives, they bonded. Our son was born five weeks before his due date. I had been forewarned that I probably would not make it to full-term due to the surgery. He was healthy. Once again, we adapted to being second-time parents and made sure that our daughter was getting attention and love.
In early December, Matt and Si became romantically involved. I was happy for them. Compersion was present You would think all was peachy keen, right? Si expressed interest in having a child of her own, and that did not sit right with me. Eventually, they had an extensive discussion, and it was decided that they would do everything they could to prevent it. My husband came to me in mid-January, and he informed me that they physical side of their relationship had stopped. He felt guilty about being intimate with her and even asked for my forgiveness. Matt had told Si about his feelings, and they agreed to establish intimacy in other ways. At the same time, we all started travelling, so we spent quite a bit of time apart for the remainder of January and some of February. Matt talked to me in February, and he said that there were some things we needed to talk about. I could sense the distance between them. Matt really tried to stay in the relationship and work through his feelings.
All throughout that, he kept telling me that he needed time with just me due to us being apart and due to Si being around a lot more than usual. I tuned that out because I had all of my "family" together in one place, and I was happy. Matt? He was living in poly hell.
I was in San Francisco from the 11-16 of February. Matt flew there to surprise me. All was going well. We had some alone time, and we made sure to have dates. On the evening of the 13th, close to midnight, Si arrived to surprise me, and it turned sour. Matt was rather irritated because he wanted to be alone with me and our children. Nothing wrong with family time. Naturally, I was happy to see her. Matt avoided her the entire time we were around her. The flight home on the 16th was quiet. We returned to work on the 18th. Life went back to normal as it was before.
A week later, Matt came to me once again. "Si has been here a little too much for my liking. Can we talk to her and let her know that we need time alone?" I agreed. She was hurt, and I was mad at Matt for hurting her and basically making her feel like she was not welcome. She stayed away and gave us the space and time alone.
Matt left on the 28th of February. I had accrued holiday time that needed to be used, so the children and I joined him. We flew out on 1 March. He was in a medical conference during the days there, but we made a special point to have lunch every day, dinner dates, and do activities with our children during the evening. Things were calm that entire week. We returned home on the morning of 7 March. (Matt posted on 5 March.)
When we returned home, Si was there. Matt ended the relationship and explained why. Si seemed to understand it and respect it. She asked Matt if there was anything else he needed to get off his chest. Matt responded that there was and he hoped that she would not get offended by what was about to be said. Matt went on to tell her the laundry list of things. To say the least, she did not take any of it well. I tried to calm them down, but it was just back and forth until she yelled out that she did not want to move to Australia in a few months. That was when Matt informed her that it really did not matter because she was not part of the family, and our lives would not stop because of her wants. She left after that.
Matt and I started counselling on that same day. Si was supposed to be part of it, but she opted not to show up. I know the argument cut her deeply, so i respected her need for space and time to collect her own thoughts. In the process of therapy, things have been revealed with each session. Matt never experienced compersion for my relationship with Si. It was implied that he never actually even took note of the relationship. Matt is in a nesting state where his ideals of raising children consist of the societal norm. A mum and a dad. Matt gave up his monogamous beliefs to stay with me, and I never acknowledged what that entailed. That was part of who he was and still is. Just as polyamory is part of me.
Matt was displaced due to my relationship. He started feeling undermined and like his say regarding our children and things pertaining to our marriage were of minimal importance because Si did have something like veto-power. As a result of all that resentment, he was seriously contemplating a divorce and custody dispute. On the 10 March, Matt left to regroup and sort out his thoughts. Things were beyond tense and painful. We were not on speaking terms. He was sleeping in another bedroom. Our daughter started asking questions and taking notice. We knew that our behaviour was unhealthy for our children, so we had to take time apart.
Matt and I are still attending counselling. We had one yesterday. We are actually talking every day and texting now. It has been 15 days since his argument with Si, and things have calmed down a hell of a lot. He is still adamant about having no relationship and nothing more than a professional relationship with her. I respect that. We are working on our marriage. I finally heard what he had been saying all this time. I have apologised for taking him for granted and tuning out his needs. He actually sounds like he wants to return home. He is encouraging me to take some time away, too. I might.
Si and I are still together right now. We had a lunch date today and a dinner date the other night. I have not really been into physical intimacy these days, so we have been establishing intimacy in other ways. She is upset because we are moving in June, so that our daughter can start school in July. She feels like I am leaving her, and like I told her, we have to do what is best for our children and what they need. They need a good education. I was always firm in my decision to not raise children in London, and I refuse to change that now. It just so happens that the school we loved and our daughter loved was in another country. We started working on the research required to move last year. She is looking forward to moving, making new friends, and starting a new school. Our relationship will be a long-distance one. Si knew of our plans as they were being discussed, and she did not voice opinions about moving until after our daughter had been accepted and after we started the process of transferring careers, looking at real estate, and everything else. Initially, I was toiling between the two, but in the end, I realised that I have to do what is best for our children and for my family.
I do hope that the counselling helps and that both relationships will ultimately be stronger. It felt great to get all of this off my chest. Follow our path and we all shall see how it all ends.