MeeraReed, thank you! Yeah, I'm married to Alec and live with him.
monkeystyle, thanks for your perspective. It may come to that, yes. We'll see.
I should maybe mention that I'm writing about the stuff with Alec more because I need to process it, less because I need help with making a decision. (Not that viewpoints aren't appreciated, but this is a bit sensitive so considerately, please.)
My feelings regarding the situation with Alec tend to swing a lot. It seems very strongly that there are two sides in me present simultaneously: one that is committed to a future with Alec and one that is committed to the idea of a future without him. There's sadness about the fact that the situation is what it is, that's present in the back of my mind most of the time.
It occurs to me right now that in a way that's good kind of pain.
One reason that this is a really contradictory place to be in is that there's also emotionally very good stuff at the same time interlinked with the bad. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the way we can talk about it.
I had a meltdown a few days back at a cafe. Mya was there to help me with that. I cried quite a bit, not something I usually do in a public place. I was feeling pretty hopeless about my relationship with Alec, like there's just too much difference there for it to work out in the end no matter how much we might want it to.
Yesterday, Alec and I talked once again quite explicitly about the possibility of divorce. And there's this strange thing. I feel so much better after that talk. When I say that, it sounds like I'm saying I feel it likelier that we'll stay together, but that's not the case.
I think one of the things I feel worst about, with the idea of the process of a breakup is having to do it all without him and keeping him out of the loop. Having to be dishonest. I'm thinking about this now, and what I felt worst about when having the meltdown was not really the possibility of breakup, but I felt like I can't tell Alec that I feel like it's likely. I felt like I'm being dishonest towards him if I keep that from him, but I also felt like if I do say it then that means it'll just happen right now and I don't feel ready to make that decision and I also really don't want to break up right now.
But then, as I mentioned, I did talk with Alec yesterday. He asked and so I did tell him basically everything I had thought the day before, the things I'd felt I can't tell him, that it's not rational to talk about if I don't want the breakup just to happen. That I'd felt like there's no future here. That I have a side in me that feels like it's really likely. That I want him to also be equally aware of where I am, since I want him to be able to factor that in when he thinks about his future (e.g. moving back to Home Country).
And hell, here's something I feel incredibly grateful about: he comforts me when I talk to him about feeling bad about possibly having to divorce him. We also comfort each other. We, together, talk about how we feel really really bad that it might be coming to that. And I cry or we both do and then we hug and then we joke about this and laugh, and he especially makes me laugh when I'm crying and feeling like shit. And there's just so much love here that it makes me even sadder that this might be ending because he's just such an incredible person, and at the same time it makes me feel so good, that regardless of where this is going, at the moment I have this wonderful person in my life and how we're able to talk and how our feelings, our love and caring for each other isn't conditional and tied into whether we're a couple or not.
I have no experience of breaking up with somebody. From others, I hear various experiences of it, how horrible it can be. Then again, I hear descriptions about what horrible drama poly can be, and that doesn't mean my experience of poly has to be like that when I'm doing it with the right people. And I think similarly about breaking up. Of course, anything is possible, always, but there's no reason to think those breakup horror stories will apply any more than the poly horror stories do. But I guess I have had those kind of fears; that even contemplating ending the relationship will lead to my partner turning on me or the love changing to hate or massive fights etc.
I hear people's experiences that if they are the person making the decision, they're unable to get support from other people and the person who was left gets all of the sympathies. Like there needs to be competition and sides to pick and all of that crap.
And here I am. Never mind other people; I'm sitting on the floor with him and crying because I feel bad about the fact that I maybe have to break up with him in the not-too-distant future. And he's holding me and telling me that it's alright and making me laugh and just there for me.
Yeah, while feeling quite sad, can you blame me if I also feel incredibly blessed and grateful and, as a consequence, happy?
We got married in full belief that we'd stay together for the rest of our lives. But it seems to me both of us are approaching this potential divorce with similar priorities, similar thoughts. That we love each other regardless of whether our relationship continues or not. That we want to be there for each other. That we want to be in each other's lives even if we do break up. That we'll probably always care for each other.
Of course anything can happen and if our lives grow very far apart, maybe there will be a time when some of that changes. But it makes me happy that neither of us really believes in the whole thing where the worth of a relationship is tied to whether or not people stay together. And I feel I have no more reason to distrust him now than I've had before - i.e. none whatsoever.
I feel good about the fact that if we choose to break up, we'll be able to be there for each other in building our separate lives, because both of us consider the other's happiness important as well as our own. All of this makes the prospect less The End Of Everything and more... change.