....or, what NOT to do when attempting polyamory.
My name"s Merry, and I'm a 42 year old woman, happily married for 9 years, two kids, etc, etc. I have a long, convoluted story to tell and I'd like to offer it up both as a warning to other new people and as a way to "get it all out" to the more seasoned members here. Emotionally, I'm still reeling a little, so bear with me.
Back in October, I re-connected through Facebook (of course) with a very old flame from 20 years ago. We had a brief, tumultuous relationship that ended badly. You'd think that would be my first clue, huh? Anyway, I noticed this man had "open relationship" in his profile. Naturally, I was curious so we discussed it a bit. He informed me that while they have had threesomes, foursomes, and whatever, what they were really looking for was a woman "to complete the circle" and have a triad. Okay, cool. I didn't know about the whole "Unicorn Hunting" phenomenon at that point, so it sounded like a reasonable quest to me. I wasn't entirely unfamiliar with poly, either, so I wasn't shocked. At any rate, I was at that point feeling pretty monogamous at the time and told him so. He seemed pretty accepting of that fact, so for a while we remained facebook chat buddies. At some point, he did mention I was the "finest lover he ever had" and he's "never forgotten about me". Hmmmm.
At some point in December, things started to switch up a bit. He and I chatted on Messenger everyday, about the past, about various stuff. I have depression and I talked about that. He brought up his wife several times, and not in a very good way, either. I truly got the feeling he wasn't happy in his marriage. Don't think this didn't bother me. It did. Because, at the same time, he was chatting me up, flirting excessively, flattering the hell out of me. We discussed the breakup 20 years ago, in which I was the dumped one. He told me he regretted it, that he should have had more patience with me. I was leery, I was skeptical. Did I listen to my gut feeling? Heck no!
After the holidays, in January, we met up for coffee and just hung out. We actually had a good time. Drove around and talked, laughed. The chemistry and the feelings came back, or so it seemed. I don't know, at this point things got really confusing. I asked if he really was free to date other people and he said yes, all he had to do was ask. Okay, cool. We made plans to see each other again. My husband was informed of this, I definitely kept him abreast of everything that was going on, that I met this man from my past who was poly and I was considering the same thing. My husband wasn't too pleased but he said he would think about it, consider it, etc.
In the middle of January sometime, the first blow-up on my part happened. I was convinced that this man was just unhappy with his marriage, wanted a bit of something on the side. I really didn't know what was going on with me emotionally. I tore him a new asshole but we got it "resolved" quickly, I guess. Over Facebook. Whatever.
Take two. We met up a few times again in person. We went to the art museum and again, had a great time. Parked the truck and made out like teenagers. Chatted every day, all day. It all just happened so fast. I started reading up on poly, researching, doing some soul searching myself. At this point, I was finding that at least for me, it seemed plausible that romantically loving more then one person was something I could do. The concept made sense and it was a delightful discovery. My husband and I continued to discuss it as an option. I made sure he knew he was loved, cared for, secure. He said he needed time and I validated that. I kept him informed of my developing feelings for this man. Okay.
I don't know why and I don't know how, but somehow my feelings went from "I want to date/be intimate with this man" to "I want to be involved in his life"as in involve his wife. The way I saw it, I suppose, was that I was falling in love with this man, and that included his wife, because he also loved her. The idea of being in a relationship with a couple, forming an extended family, was so very appealing to me. Believe it or not, it was appealing to my husband as well, but he was having trouble with the whole sex part. That's normal and understandable. I did communicate this to this man, letting him know that I didn't want her to be left out at all. She and I met and it was delightful. I liked her immediately. A charming, sweet, and attractive lady. Good feelings all around.
Until Issue Number 2. See, when you bring up the past, I discovered, you bring up everything, good and bad. He dumped me, and married her. She shared a life with him that I didn't have. Never mind that I had my own separate memories, that I am currently married to a man I truly love. Feelings are feelings, and they overwhelmed me with a vengeance. I didn't want to take him away from her. I didn't want to leave my husband and yet it was painful. She and I were talking on the phone, and it just hit me. I'd never be as important to him as she is. She's perfect for him. Where, exactly, do I fit in all this? The emotions came rushing like a jagged tidal wave and I kind of crashed. As I mentioned before, I do have Major Depressive Disorder and that played a huge part. Over the phone, I told him that I would rather be friends, I'm glad they came into my life, but I had what is technically a mental illness and I wasn't sure I could mentally handle all this. Oh lord, the drama.
He de-friended me on Facebook (oh, noes!) and just reacted badly. Hurt feelings, yes, I know. But he had an extended "talk" over text and he just came across so nasty and spiteful. I was devastated, I was remorseful, I apologized to his wife. It was a mess. The thing is that he knew I had depression. I warned him about it. I thought he understood it. Then again most of our communication was through Facebook, so when it comes down to it, I really didn't know what was going on. The suspicions were rising what was his deal? what was their marriage really like?
During our chats, he told me she was sweet, but not very smart. Not true. He told me she only wanted sex every 4-6 weeks. I don't think that was true, either. He told me he the whole "loved her but wasn't in love with her" deal. Really? She painted a totally different picture. He told me that the intimacy he felt with me was the most he felt in years. He told me he never gets any cuddle time with his wife. He told HER that I stimulated his mind. Something was very wrong here. Apart from my depression, which I'm trying to deal with. His very sweet wife was insecure as well. And threatened. And jealous. All perfectly natural but I don't know, I just don't know. I got the distinct feeling that she really didn't want me in the picture at all.
So, it was decided that we would "chill out" for awhile, cool off. he seemed to understand that I needed to get better first, stabilize my depression, before attempting to tackle anything like this. He assured me (over Facebook) that my mental health was his first priority and my well-being was the most important thing to him. My husband, at this point was less then impressed. I should let it be known that my darling husband has been so, so supportive throughout the whole thing. His first concern was my mental health, the whole time. My husband is an amazing guy. Anyway, ok, calm waters once more. This man and I continued to chat for a few days, flirty flirty. I made amends with his wife. Throughout this whole situation, I was genuinely concerned about her. It was so weird. a 20 year old failed romance, resurrected. How much was wishful thinking over the past? How much was just..online infatuation? I suppose I'll never know. At this point..and this was about a week or so before Valentine's Day. I wanted love and to be loved so badly. I wanted this to work. I wanted to successfully battle my depression. I wanted, I wanted.
There's actually more to this trainwreck, but it won't fit the character limit. Stay tuned..