Counselling and the Bestie Situation
Matt and I are doing really well. He is not nearly as guarded. I know he trusts me a hell of a lot more now than he did months ago. The changes are more than apparent. He has been my rock the past few days, and I am blessed to have him. He has kept a smile on my face and just been great all around. Even when I thought I was going to cry, he has made me laugh and remember that trouble will not always last. He beams with positive energy, and it is hard to be in a sad mood around him. He has made sure to give me space, but he does it in a way where he is not far if I need him. Being around him and loving him is easy and natural. Being in such close proximity has done wonders for us. We are still learning how to live with one another full-time, and it has been quite interesting. You know all those quirks you have to learn to live with when you first move in together? We are there. The newness has not worn off, and I glow when I am around him or just thinking of him. We get on well. We have fun with one another, and that was seriously lacking before. We were taking ourselves way too serious, and there were way too many unspoken grievances for us to thoroughly enjoy one another or our marriage. We are no longer hiding anything, but we speak our minds and stand up for what is or is not working for us.
Marriage can be exciting, passionate, and thrilling. It cannot always be about the mortgages, car notes, insurance payments, and all the responsibilities that come with adulthood. When our children grow up and leave the nest, we have to have something to keep us together. Our love for our children will not suffice, and like I told someone, I never believed in happily ever after but I am pretty damn close with him.
I am not sure if it is all the sadness and loss of life around us, but he has just been offering up information without a fight or being prompted. I am not complaining. It is interesting to hear him speaking out. Over the course of multiple hour flights and counselling, we have gotten to the root of many issues. I finally heard him admit how he really feels about Si, why he kept his distance from her for all those years, what he really felt about having her as a metamour, how he really feels about poly, if he could ever be part of a poly marriage, if he has experienced compersion (surprising answer), how he really feels about the possibility of me being in a relationship with my best friend, and the list goes on. We have accomplished more in five days than we have in almost eight months of counselling.
In short, he despises Si. He kept his distance because he felt no need to be close to her or even feign a remote interest. He never viewed her as a metamour or part of the family. To put it bluntly, a match made in hell that God had no hand in putting together. His exact words. He deemed her as someone to watch and not for a good reason. Being part of a poly arrangement is not a no, but there are certain stipulations. He would not want to be part of something new with a person who has to earn his trust, but as he told our therapist, he has technically been part of a V for all these years. Once again, he was talking about with my bestie. He said, "The only people who do not consider themselves a couple are the two people in that relationship." She asked, "How do you feel about the prospect of a relationship budding?" He told her that my best friend was always a welcome addition to our family, and as far as he was concerned, we have been together. She asked him something about his initial feelings on poly, and he corrected her. He told her that it was not the idea of poly he had an issue with. It was always Si and her ways. She ruined it for him, and he would rather stick to monogamy than deal with a new person and run the risk of Si Part Deux. He told her to notice how every branch lead back to the root called Si. He compared being around Si to the pain after having wisdom teeth extracted. He said I kept subjecting him to being around her with my "incessant need for togetherness and unity," and every time, it felt like that pain. Tis true. I wanted this big happy poly family, and he needed two separate relationships with minimal need for paths to ever cross. Namely because she was not high on his list of people he cared to be around. He tolerated her presence because he loved me. He respected the relationship but did not respect her. He broke it down, and it is safe to say that all of my questions were answered.
The most surprising thing was he HAS felt compersion, but it was not with my Si. He told our therapist that she never asked the question in the right form. Seeing me with my best friend makes him happy. Seeing me with Si elicited disgust and dislike. My relationship with her rubbed him wrong. He was never particularly keen on her. He is genuinely happy that I have her in my life, and he could not be happier that Si is out. He said that she felt more like a metamour than my ex ever did in 12 years. That is a strong statement. He gets on well with her, trusts her, respects her, and knows that she would never hurt me. He feels no type of threat from her. The comparisons are like night and day. His thoughts on a potential relationship between us were his own. In counselling he told me--in a joking manner--that if he was me, he'd be expecting anniversary gifts from her. He also said that I should call her what she really is; my girlfriend.
I had dinner with my best friend, and it was quite enjoyable. Then again, what was not to enjoy? I had Matt's blessing. I needed to get away from the sadness of the day, and I am glad we were able to talk privately. I appreciated her honesty, and it was heartfelt and sincere. Just as I thought, she checked with him before spilling out her guts. He did not feel that it was his place to let the cat out of the bag. He showed me their e-mails. She noticed him observing how she behaved around me, and she admitted her feelings after they left. Two and half months later, she decided to tell me. She wanted to make sure she was not overstepping his boundaries and coming off as selfish and having ulterior motives. I now understand his reluctance at signing an agreement like what I suggested. He had this knowledge and information that I was not privy to.
During dinner, she opened up to me. It was a very easy conversation. She just asked me to open my heart and my ears to accept what she was saying and not interrupt her. She admitted that she never actually stopped loving me, and she is in fact in love with me. She said she was not expecting the feelings to be reciprocated and never actually expected a discussion beyond that day, so getting back together was rather unattainable in her mind. With all the loss I had recently suffered, she felt like I needed to know. How often do we hear, "I never got to say xyz to this person before they left here?" I can understand that.
He asked me after we had dinner Saturday night, "How was your date?" I kept telling him it was not a date. He said, "Let's see. It was just the two of you. You went out with someone you love and care about. You seemed like you had a good time. You probably talked about likes, dislikes, shared feelings, had a stimulating conversation, probably flirted, shared some PDA...sounds like a date to me." He actually wanted to hear about my dinner with her. At no point did he ever care what was going on between Si and myself. The questions he asked were not just scratching the surface, but they were thought provoking.
He was curious about my feelings for her. Like I told him...I do not know. We have not been romantically involved in 14 years. Do I care about her? Yes. Do I love her? Yes. Can I see my life without her? No. Am I in love with her? To be determined. Have some feelings been stirred by the recent admissions? Yes. Am I attracted to her? Yes, but it is not in a sexual way right now. Being a demi is complicated. Do I want to be in a relationship with her? I honestly do not know. I have admitted all of the above to him.
Due to our policy, I did tell him about our kiss. It was different than the ones we have shared before. There was something a little different behind it. I know I do not kiss other friends like that. He was not upset by it or anything. In his own cheeky way, he aired his opinions on what that something else behind it was.
He is encouraging me to embrace whatever it is that my bestie and I have and properly explore it. I reminded him about our agreement, and he just kind of shrugged it off. I have to think about all of the ins, outs, and ramifications. On the outside looking in, the changes look minimal. A change in title, potential sexual relationship, and she would be relegated to tertiary status because she lives in the States. It is easy to be accepting of things when NOT in a situation or position to have to accept them. I made enough mistakes the last time, and if this were to happen, I have to ask myself a series of questions and be confident in my answers.
I would expect him to be pulling me away from whatever this is, but he is not. I have no idea why I would expect that. He is not in the habit of controlling me or telling me what to do, so if he did that, it would be uncharacteristic. I am committed to our agreement, regardless of his dismissive stance. If anything is going to change, we have to mutually agree that it is for the best for all parties involved. I think he trusts that I am perfectly happy and content with him, and I do not need or want anyone else.
One thing I know is I am not making any decisions right now or any time soon. Grieving, mourning, and life changing decisions? Never a good mix. I am still not completely entertaining the idea. I have no problem discussing it with both--separately and together, but there is quite a bit to think about. I am going to enjoy it for what it is and not worry or stress about anything else.
Ry - Me. Panromantic demisexual with a history of polyamorist tendencies. Married to...
Matt (Hubby) - The once distant stranger that I complement beautifully. DH of 13 years and father of our (3.5) children.