So we began seeing each other as a triad, not just a sex threesome. Raven spent more time with us, staying over weekends and the three of us did lots of fun activities, and we started to be Ďoutí in public. There were still lots of agreed upon rules, and certainly no independent sex or dates yet, although that was discussed as an eventual probability. Things where paced just so, usually to the comfort of Cinder, who was facing a lot of anxiety around seeing me become emotionally connected to another woman initially, even if she enjoyed watching me having sex with them. To me it was a strange dichotomy, but I loved her and was committed to out life together, so did what I could to rationalise and accept the limitations and rules that where placed upon our situation. Maybe a little too much for my own good.
Over about 4 months our triad connection deepened. Raven spent more and more time at our place, and we had frequent hotel trysts. The sex was great and we all connected in that way. Cinder was smitten with Raven and did her thing with falling deeply in love, and was opening all kinds of doors in regards to the future and a life together. I also was developing an attachment and was kind of swept up in the potential of it, but also am a realist and was more cautious about ďmaking plansĒ. Cinder wanted to actualize all kinds of plans to include Raven in our life. For her part Raven found it a little hysterical. Although she was open to the ideas, she found the pace and reality of these possibilities remote. She is much more reserved emotionally, and frankly I found that refreshing. Raven and I really hit it off, we connected in a number of ways, and I was drawn to her quiet quirky demeanour. We started to have more chemistry. When Cinders enthusiasm wasnít reflected by Raven, cracks started to show. It appeared Raven didnít have the same connection / chemistry with Cinder. I know this bothered Cinder, and she struggled with my connection to Raven. It came to a head one day, Raven had been staying with us for a couple of days, and I was off of work, doing odd jobs around the house and doing a local side job. We still hadnít had independent sex yet, but where moving in that direction, with the pre-requisite processing and emotional turmoil. That was one of the things that irked Raven, Ciders need to constantly label and process everything, a basic personality difference.
Cinder got up to go to work, leaving R. and I still in bed together snuggling. I remember she blew us a kiss as she left, admonishing us to not stay in bed too long. We fooled around a bit, but where good about no sex play. We both respected Cinders need for control and pacing at that point and where ok with it. I went about my day, doing little jobs that I loved to do to make our home a home, and worked on the neighbors. I came in for lunch to find Raven still lounging in bed like a lazy ass. I decided to rough her up a bit, get her out of bed, so I stripped down and jumped in and we fooled around a bit, but again no sexual play. It was at this point when Cinder came home unexpectedly for lunch and found us (still) in bed, and me with a hard on. The shit hit the fan and Cinder lost her mind. It was BAD. She acted like we had been cheating on her. All this stuff came flooding out of her, panic, insecurity, fear, everything. It was a monumental upset. She left the house crying in hysterics, convinced I was going to leave her for Raven. The insanity of it still shocks me, and writing about it makes my stomach turn.
I felt terrible. Raven felt terrible. I tried to tell Cinder what was what, but she was having none of it. When she would get upset, this upset, it seemed the world turned on its axis. Right was wrong, black was white. I found myself completely unprepared to deal with this emotional nuclear bomb that went off. I tried to talk her down, but it seemed the damage was done. Something changed in Cinder that day. I felt it die. Maybe it was the death of innocence. Maybe it was the fantasy she had been constructing around all of us suddenly evaporated. There was much crying and nashing of teeth. I felt so bad, like I had betrayed her. Had I? We were doing exactly what we were doing when she left, just hours before. I think we surprised her, and she didnít like it, not one bit. Maybe thatís why she needed to control so much all the time, to stave off that feeling of helplessness. Eventually Cinder regained her composure, and the three of us eventually went on a pre-planned trip together, but things were different. Cinder felt betrayed by us, and Raven didnít or couldnít deal with C.ís emotional needs for constant processing / emotional sharing. There was resentment going both ways between the two of them and I felt caught in the middle. It was pretty obvious to me that we were going to be breaking up, it was only a matter of time. Cinder and Raven started to clash in a very fundamental way, they just had such different ways of dealing with emotion.
When I look back and ask myself what I could have done differently, a couple of things come up. I see Cinders sense of betrayal coming from a desire to always be my first concern, and for us to always be on the same team as it were. To always think of her and her needs and comfort first, before all others, including myself at times. She wanted to know that my interest was always in her first and foremost. And I failed at that, because thatís not who I am. Cinder needed hierarchy in our poly, and I couldnít always give it to her, and I felt like a failure. But in a lot of ways that is not how my heart works. I would have never left Cinder for Raven, I was committed to Cinder, but not in the way she needed me to be. And I felt like a complete failure because of it. But I was not accepting the fact that Cinder and I had a fundamental difference in the way we viewed poly. I was open, to people, and wanted to at least treat people, especially those women we were sleeping with respect and dignity, fairness. At least an equality in the ways we interacted and as far as emotional concerns. Cinder needed hierarchy, that I would drop whatever pretty thing she put in front of me without hesitation. My need to treat these women with a certain equal footing hurt Cinder, I guess she saw it that I didnít love her as much. We just came at it from a very different place. When the breakup came, we met one last time and Raven shared some of her struggles with Cinder, her overbearing ďloveĒ and need for control. |she named some of her emotional manipulation as such, but these concerns where easily discounted by Cinder as Raven being young and inexperienced. Like who was she to tell her anything about life? Cinder does operate with a pretty massive superiority complex. It was a difficult time. Ravens letter to me thanked me for our time together, and said I was a pretty decent dude. We had not had any conflict so it was obvious that her lack of feelings for Cinder and Cinder feeling threatened by our connection were the reasons for the break up. There were some tears and angry words between the two of them, but ultimately we all said goodbye. I never thought I would see Raven again. Turns out I was wrong.