Balance -- A Work in Progress
The lunch with my mum-in-law was uncomfortable. The tension was at an insurmountable high. My MIL is inquisitive and in her quest to understand poly and this situation in my life, she has been asking questions. She has talked to me. She has talked to Matt. She wanted to hear the other person's story. If one does not know her style, they will get offended. It is never her intent. Her delivery is raw, and she does not believe in biting her tongue. She is a bit much to handle. In not so many words, she asked Si what she could possibly get out of being third or fourth on the list of priorities? She asked her why she would settle for a fraction of a relationship with me? She asked what motivated her to try and be Matt's replacement? She also explained why she affectionately called her his visible replacement. She asked what she was thinking when she tried to play the role of a mother? She asked what gave her the right to change plans that had been in motion for months? She asked all the questions that had been burning her mind. Si had questions for her, too, and my MIL did not hold back. The only positive is that it ended after an hour. I do not see a healthy bond ever forming between the two of them.
I talked to Si about how the conversation with my MIL made her feel, and she said it hurt to listen to her responses. She said she felt even worse about how she conducted herself and treated Matt. I could tell the conversation was still weighing on her mind. She said that she was not surprised by anything she said, but it made her face herself and just what she had done. We also talked about why she agreed to Matt's terms. I respect her reasons. 1) She is independent and does not have to have someone there all the time. 2) She realises and accepts that things will have to change because the way that we were conducting our relationship ended up causing damage. 3) She does not feel like she would be in the right to impose her wants upon Matt, when she is partially to blame for how things are now. 4) She is determined not to trample all over his limitations again, and she believes his stipulations will keep her in line. There is no room for her to mess up, so for her, his stipulations are like a safety net. Si accepts that things would have to be different in order to work effectively. The only thing she was on the fence about was with not being out. As previously stated, Matt refuses to be out, and I am not fighting him on that. I tend to agree with him for a different set of reasons than his own. Is it like putting the genie back in the bottle? I suppose, but I am agreement to stay closeted. When we came out the first time, it hurt him more than it did for us. There was no positive in it for him.
DH and I had counselling on Friday evening. 75 minutes for couples counselling and then 45 minutes geared solely towards poly. We have definitely made progress in our marriage. Now the poly side...not so much. He is still uncomfortable with the idea. He does not trust my judgement or my ability to balance relationships with him and her.
Things are not exactly peachy keen right now. My DH is rather irritated with me. Matt, my mum-in-law, our children, and Nanny J spent the day at an amusement/leisure park, went to a drive-in cinema to see Despicable Me 2, and had dinner. Meanwhile, I was with my ex. The whole day. Well, from about 8:30 this morning to a little after 9. We had a heated debate. He is not here right now. He decided to go out--without me. I knew he was irritated, so I decided to give him space. Less than 24 hours prior, he had already said that I lacked the ability to balance my family life and a relationship with her. He was right.
I knew about these plans before we even moved, and honestly, I do wish I had been with them. I missed a hell of a day. Everything from boxing kangaroos to my little duckies feeding the animals to basic bonding with my family. I believe one of his problems with yesterday could be that at no point did I even offer to join them. I think I might have treated him like I have the past few years. Spending the whole day with her and texting him sporadically throughout the day. At one point, the texting just stopped. I guess he was tired of having a one-sided conversation with me. The sad part of it all is that we were not that busy. I just got all wrapped up in her and basically left him out in the cold. (Again.) Honestly, I could have met them at the drive-in or even for dinner, but I elected not to because I was with her. In his mind, the same thing is happening again. All it takes is one time to start a pattern. If yesterday would have been a test, I would have failed. I have not said anything to Si about this because it was my choice, and the last thing I want is to make her feel bad for wanting to see a familiar face or wanting to spend time with me. This has nothing to do with her. She was not holding me hostage.
All I can do now is give him space and let him come to me when he deems it necessary.