2 Year Marriage Anniversary Update
Well, tomorrow it will be 2 years since Bold and I married to begin our life together in the US. I'm not really sure how to continue this post so I'll start with a common question I am asked.
Do you like living in the US?
No. That's the short answer.
The longer answer is: I had a lot of preconceived (mostly negative) ideas about the USA before I moved here but I tried to put them aside and take an "it can't be as bad as I think" attitude toward it. I tried to be open minded.
It was much worse than I thought. Of course this is just my experience, I know there are many immigrants who adore the US and would only want to go home to visit, and there have been some experiences that are not uniquely US American in there too. And to be fair, many of the things I find difficult about the US are also challenges for people who were born and raised here. But, over all, I would say that I would much rather live in New Zealand and I am thinking about how to eventually move back there but that's a complicated topic in and of itself.
The main negative experience I had moving here was that Bold's father, who offered to pay ("No Strings Attached" to quote him) for our flights back and forth, my immigration fees and to put us up in his house (Bold was already living with him) until we both had jobs, and how he ended up treating me. This was in return for my helping Bold cope with the sudden loss of his mother and to help with his rehabilitation.
Without going into specifics: I felt extremely unsafe living with him. After finally moving out, since I had saved enough money (Bold is still unable to work due to mental health problems) and landed a permanent job, I realised how much it had effected me and how serious it was. I actually could have grounds for a restraining order against him (though Bold would have to testify as a witness, since that's how they do it in this state, and he would not be willing to do so and I couldn't ask him to) but there isn't really a need since Bold has told him to leave me well alone and he is mostly doing so. I still have nightmares about the guy.
I was very angry with Bold for not standing up to his father for me but I have since realised that he has also been a target of his father's rage and dysfunction for his entire life. He treated his late wife much the same way.
At points in living with Bold and his father I seriously considered going to a women's shelter (Bold asked me not to because he wouldn't be able to handle me leaving him alone with his father or coming along with me to a space shared with strangers) or simply returning back to New Zealand and abandoning my case to immigrate to the US along with physically leaving Bold since he couldn't immigrate to NZ due to his inability to work.
So, needless to say, that has all had an impact on our relationship and my ability to trust Bold.
Now to the part more relevant to poly and why I am posting this here:
About 9 months ago, I met someone who I developed feelings for. I made the mistake of assuming that revealing these feelings to said person would be harmless enough. Bold found it extremely harmful.
The someone I met, we'll call him M for now, is interested in and willing to have a poly relationship with me. M is also respectful of my current relationship and wouldn't dare make any move that would upset Bold or the current balance. M does, however, have a fear that M himself has some deep emotional issues around jealousy and rage (his father abused his mother for this reason which is why they broke up when he was a toddler so he fears he has inherited this trait from his father) but he tells me that he has yet to feel any such feelings about me. Potentially, this is because we're no more than friends - albeit friends who would like to be more under the correct circumstances. M is interested in experiencing the personal growth that poly often demands.
I also have trust issues in general so just the idea of another relationship, let alone my current one, makes me very wary. I feel like a starving woman staring at a loaf of freshly baked bread that I strongly suspect is poisoned. I also still feel deep mistrust in my marriage due to the experiences we have been through and also the difficult situation we are in financially. I have to work a lot to make ends meet and Bold is still unable to work. I have been in the situation of supporting a partner who was unwilling to work before so I have a feeling of being taken advantage of now that is very hard to shake. I also do the majority (Bold can help out inconsistently) of the chores at home and take care of all the financial details - insurance, bills, taxes, car registration and etc.
I know that Bold wants to be able to work and help around the house but I think perhaps he has talked himself into a corner and convinced himself that he is much less capable than he is. Such is the tricky thing about anxiety disorders.
So, where I am now is that I am seeing a therapist about my past trauma and everything that is going on now. It has recently started to surface, and I have been expecting it to eventually for years, in quite dramatic ways.
I've set myself a goal of working more actively on meeting people with similar interests because it would be nice to have more than 2 friends (one of whom is M and Bold is uncomfortable me even having lunch with in public alone).
And in October I will have to apply to remove the conditions from my Permanent Resident status in the US (the conditions being that I remain genuinely married to and live with Bold for 2 years after receiving my conditional status) so my immigration status will no longer have any bearing over any decision I make about my relationship(s) after about a year from now (if I am being realistic, it will take at least a few months - maybe 5 - to have the adjustment of status go through).
I feel like this was sort of an aimless post but that's the end of the update. Thanks for taking the time to read. If you have any comments you think might be helpful then please leave them below or PM me. I'm well overdue for breakfast now.