So everytime I think I can sit down and start writing about the path that got us here, something happens in the present that seems to throw a wrench into it all.
One of Flower's friends is going through a pretty nasty divorce. Thursday was the custody hearing and while getting into the details wouldn't be relevant to this blog, the result of the hearing hit Flower and consequently myself pretty hard. Basically, her friend lost any chance at primary custody all because his lawyer was able to cast enough reasonable doubt as to her fitness to be the primary parent; all of which due to common things we all do as single parents and even married parents for our kids when we go out.
Where things really hit home for us was the extent her husband was going to discredit Flower's friend and take custody of the kids. Everything that he is doing are things that I said I would do to Flower barely over a year ago in anger, resentment and apathy to the relationship Flower and I had. Seeing it all happen to them now, I can not believe that I was ever to a point where I was ready to force Flower to out of the house and keep the kids since I was obviously the better and more stable parent and main breadwinner for the family.
Regardless that we are in a better position now in our marriage, Flower has not forgotten that I have said these words in the past. Seeing it happen to her friend and the injustice of it all has brought back the fear and distrust that I could still do this to her if she decided that opening our marriage and allowing me to be poly doesn't work out and we go down the path of divorce (despites my words to the contrary). In fact, she was very angry in general that the system could treat her friend this way and took a lot of the anger out at me (although admittedly unjustly by her own admission) because I had threatened to do the same.
This anger took the form of being distant to me, touch was non-existent and I could see all the signs of the pain, hurt and mistrust from the previous year all come back. At first I was taken aback and angry that someone else's problems could affect our relationship so badly. We have made great strides in the past 12 months and especially in the past few weeks. It felt like all the progress was just tossed aside. "I'm not him! I would never take the kids away from Flower (as they are a main part of her (& mine) life)." was running through my head. I reverted back to old habits, being angry and spiteful because of her anger and mistrust. I wasn't necessarily pleasant to be around.
Thankfully, Flower went to bed early and I had to go out to the store to get some needed things that evening; which gave me some time to mull things over. What happened was that I was able to reminded myself that I did say these things to her before and that things still are as not as great between us as they could be and still require work, and will continue to in the future. For many years of our marriage there has been mutual hurt & resentment and it's not going to go away as quickly in the course of a year; especially with openness & poly in the mix. So I was the one that needed to do something to fix this.
"But why am I always the one that has to give in and admit I am wrong?", because you're a stupid idiot, you WERE the one that cheated on her (TWICE) in the first place!
Back in November when I forced Flower's hand to allow me to be poly, I knew I would have to make it as easy as possible on Flower and also reassure her not just through words, but actions. According to her, I have been doing so, so I will now have to reassure not only am I not looking to replace her, but I stand by my word that I would never take our kids away from her.
Trust IS a constant battle and struggle; one that I may never truly and completely win back. But I did it to myself and to us. If I am going to ever make it right, I will forever have to reassure. So I decided that I can not be angry at her because she feels this way; She says she has a right to feel the way she does and it is not wrong. Well she is right, and I have to respect that.
So while, at the store, I figured a peace offering was needed and bought flowers and her favorite pastries for a surprise for her as she goes to work in the morning. In bed that morning, we were able to talk a little more about what we were feeling... and while we weren't able to come to a fuzzy feeling conclusion, we at least understood where we were at and I was able to reaffirm that I would never attempt to take the kids away from her. Hopefully she will believe me now and continue to see this in the future as she only has my word. One that I hope she will learn to trust again.