Thanks FullofLove - I'm hoping that things continue in this vein as well. Fingers crossed
I think about my first posts on here - how little footing I had inside of my heart around opening my marriage with Elemental, and the bodily uncertainty that was occurring on a daily basis. I thought I might die of it at times, it was so fully encompassing and overwhelming. So new for us, and for the first time in my life, I actually felt like I had something to lose. So many of the loves that I have shared have been mild, and losing them, while sad, wouldn't be akin to the sense of losing a piece of my heart and soul that lives in Elemental. He is my equal in so many ways, but was so weak in ethics and integrity in the beginning of this journey that he pulled me into the very depths of despair with his cloddish fumbling.
He is so respectful now. He thinks about things. He checks in with me. And as that trust and respect is actualized in real ways, the need for boundaries dissolves. As tangible proof of commitment to me manifests itself in recognizable choices, my heart stills in a deep knowing. It's So Different.
Boundaries. Jesus. How those have changed. What DIDN'T we have boundaries around in the beginning? And you know what? I don't see ANYTHING wrong with that. People have to start somewhere, and moving slowly and carefully enables you to disarm new landmines that were sniffed out long before stepping on them and blowing up all good graces. I just wish they had been respected, and that pacing had been better - it was getting jammed up against SO many different tough emotions at once that had me reeling. It was what it was though, and undoing the past is an unhealthy fantasy at the best of times - all one has is now, the knowledge and experience hard won by trial and error in life.
I gave Elemental and Copper's relationship a lot of thought in the beginning. Wanted to be sure that things were structured in a way that made me feel safe, and respected my need for pacing on my terms in a way that didn't create a feeling of being controlled or limited in Elemental. I knew that dyads would develop - have been around the block enough to know that it's not just a possibility, but a necessity for healthy relationship building in a triad, and so this time around? I encouraged the dyad development on my turf, on my terms, in a way that was comfortable for me - I chose to sleep in the spare bedroom, fun movies, games, books and teas to keep me company. It was a safe space for me, I wasn't alone, and I knew I was welcome in Elemental and I's bedroom at any time if I was feeling strange. And I didn't. Enough was set by me that I felt fine. I had checked with both of them to make sure it was what they both wanted, and Elemental (kudos to him) was able to say that it was. It was perfect. We did that twice, and after establishing that nothing was coming up for me, I then gave my blessing for dates at her house. That went well too, so I removed the protection boundary - we are poly-fi at present, and with everyone recently tested, and Elemental fixed long ago, there is no risk at present. We did that in a group setting, and I set the pace of that as well - suggesting it, and engaging in the scenario in a way that made me feel fully involved and 'in control'. Now that is fine with me too - no weird feelings, no reaction, no insecurity or jealousy.
This is all that I needed in the beginning. To be able to set the pace that worked for me. To have a say. To guide things in a way that felt true and respectful of my heart. I didn't get that chance, but life is so gracious in its opportunities to start again, with new knowledge to guide you down a different path. I have that now. Elemental stops, looks at me, asks me how I am. We make special date nights just for the two of us. We have solid, fabulous, loving and kinky sex on a regular basis. He's careful about the attention and affection that he gives me when we're together - not taking me for granted, or pouring NRE all over his relationship with Copper and glossing over ours.
And me? I just feel safer. Happier. More balanced. More respected. I have more of a say in my own life, my own experience, and am doing poly in the way that makes the most sense to myself, and the people that we're involved with. Checking in with Mahogany, with Copper, with TheDirector - Are you getting what you need? Do you need anything to be different? Do you have any concerns? Being clear with what I have to offer, and what is off limits.
Boundaries? The only boundary we seem to have left is to treat each other with love, respect and consciousness. With those things in place, there's no need for insecurity, and without insecurity, there's no need for control.
The changes that a year can bring? Monumental. My heart? It's free.