Everyone inaccurately assumes that I gave up poly because of pressure from Matt. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Matt had nothing to do with this. Truth is, I lost the heart and the passion I once had for structuring relationships in this manner. The appeal that was there just kind of died.
It was a long time coming. There were several things that seriously bothered me. First, my children. I have two biological babies and one future adoptee. As I have learned with the deaths in my family and attending my neighbour's son's funeral last month, life is too short. Their son was the same age as me, and it breaks my heart every day when I see his car parked in that same spot like he is gone on holiday. His mum is not taking it well at all. I want to enjoy every moment with my children. They are still young right now. We have four years until our oldest goes off to university. Time flies by, and I missed so much when I was trying to foolishly and selfishly maintain two full-time relationships. I did not have the resources to do it then because what I am finding now is even with cutting my work day back to 3 PM, only working four days a week, having a helpful husband, and having live-in help, I am still busy around the clock. The nanny cannot attend parent association meetings at two schools. The nanny cannot host the monthly parent club meetings. The nanny cannot have a daily mother-daughter bonding block. The nanny cannot have a weekly mother-daughter date night with the oldest. The nanny cannot express milk for my baby. The list goes on.
My children have grown accustomed to seeing me, and I know that if I entered another relationship that would take me away from them, all hell would break loose. My youngest daughter knows that on Monday/Friday, I will be present for her ballet class from 4-4:45 and the jazz class from 4:45-5:15. My oldest knows to expect some one-on-one time with me after family therapy. My son knows that he stays with mummy and daddy every Friday. Every Friday morning, he climbs in bed with me and we watch Disney, Jr. We have a nice little routine while DH is out making the morning school runs. He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so I watch it with him. It makes him happy. My children know that no matter what, I will be at the dinner table every night. At this point in my life, I say to hell with another relationship. Nothing makes me happier than when I arrive at my son's school, and he runs into my arms and gives me the biggest hug and a kiss on my cheek. I look at my five year old in awe because she has this wisdom and insight beyond her years. I love when she tells me about how she does not care if I make mistakes or that I am not perfect because she still loves me and thinks I am the best mummy in the whole world. Our oldest never ceases to amaze me. She is witty and charming. She sees the good in everything. I often say that she has humbled me. My heart belongs to those three babies. I may not be the best wife, friend, daughter, or whatever, but I am going to be able to say, "I did something right with my children."
My children were not the only driving factor. Basic life. There are only 24 hours. If 12-16 went to my job, that left 8-12 for sleeping, taking care of my children, spending time with DH, spending time with Si, and maintaining sanity. Two relationships and two children that were all pulling me in different directions? I stretched myself beyond my means. Friends? Family? Socialising? There was no time for anything else. I worked my arse off to the point of wondering if the job was my man. (I even remarked to a friend one day, "My job is fucking me, feeding me, and paying me like this is a relationship." What did I have to show for it outside of the material things? Material things go out of season as soon as a new collection drops. On the exterior, I looked like I had it all. The dashing Aussie Adonis husband, two children, a girlfriend, a career, a beautiful home, etc. Behind the scenes, my marriage was on life support with one perfectly manicured nail waiting to shut the power off with a DNR order. My ex and my husband were in competition and constantly vying for a slot in my book. I lost contact with family. I missed so many weddings, baptisms, and I know I was not taking care of myself properly either. I was not eating right. I was skipping meals and running, running, running. I was not sleeping like I was supposed to. It is a wonder that I did not suffer a mental breakdown.
As far as my family, it should never have reached the point of me making a run to Waitrose and hearing someone call my name. Only to turn around and find out that it was my uncle. I should never have heard someone say, "I have not seen you since dad's funeral in 2008," and it was 2013 at that point. It should never have reached the point of seeing my cousins once a year or only meeting up with people at funerals. What kind of existence was that anyway? Things like that made me step back and say, "Lady, you need to evaluate what is really important."
My marriage to Matt did play a part but not in the way most people assume. I hated the state of our marriage. I am sorry but seeing a spouse 15 minutes or less per day is not the dream when you share a home and have children. Our marriage was like McDonald's. In, out, thank you, sir/ma'am, and come again. Unacceptable on all fronts. Aside from that, if my arse could not keep one healthy relationship afloat, I knew without a doubt that maintaining two was out of the question and an unrealistic goal. He did not have to ask me to take that off the table. I took it off the table completely, asked for it in writing (renewed and updated post-nup), and asked for legal repercussions should I decide that I cannot handle it. Discipline and a priceless lesson. You cannot always have what you want. What I wanted was not what I needed. I needed stability, normalcy, and time to get it together. I did not want or need outside distractions in the form of another relationship.
As time has gone on, I have grown up and out of that supposed need for the aforementioned structure. I have learned that I can be happy with one person. I had never tried it, so I could never definitively say that a mono structure was not for me. I know people say that one person cannot meet your needs, but I am finding that I am fulfilled and happier than I was juggling two full-time relationships. The novelty wore off when said relationship became a source of work, discontentment, and lead to so many issues that this page does not have room enough for them. I was going through the motions, but I was not happy. I am glowing again, and I am in nirvana. The major difference is even with a full plate, I am happy, and I can resurface for air or reach out for help, if I feel like I am drowning.
I do not know if that interest in actively being poly will ever return. My therapist asked if I had outgrown it, and I do not have an answer. There is a disconnect, and I am just not sure it would provide an ounce of happiness. In all seriousness, I do see the negatives. I could where it would infringe on time with Matt, our children, or cause disruptions. I despised living by a schedule. I refuse to have a co-primary. I have no interest in overnight visits. I refuse to take any time away from my children, and that person would not be involved with my children. They would never meet them, which means they would never be in our home. I am not willing to miss family therapy or any blocks of bonding with my children. I am not willing to miss important moments to my children. I am not willing to give my personal time up for the cause. I am not willing to give up my morning and nightly private time with DH. I am not willing to lessen my philanthropic endeavours. I have asked myself, "What would another relationship bring to your life?" Nothing. What would or could it take away from your life or the lives of those around you? Everything.
This is how I came to the conclusion that I am better off not maintaining multiple relationships. It would be unfair to the poor person or people. I have an arsenal of boundaries, and they are non-negotiable. With that understanding, I have chosen a one-on-one structure, as it is more in line with my available resources.