Thanks Arrow, I like your posts on here. respect.
When I returned home I could see the relief and desperation in Cinders eyes. It was too much too soon. Cinder is an emotional woman and despite her best intentions couldn’t deal with the emotional load of having me away with Raven, it brought up too much for her. Being back we were able to reconnect physically and emotionally and that made most things better. Our physical connection was the bedrock of our connection, and being able to “make love” usually supplanted the awkward and difficult emotions that came with the processing. I had a lot of respect for Cinder for even trying to make it work a second time, and could let go of her reactiveness while I was away. What bothered me was her justifying her behavior, as if it was her right to freak out on me. There was little in the way of objective self-analysis, of stepping outside of her experience to see what her actions had done to me and Raven. This was a common occurrence in my experience of Cinder, that her emotional over reaction was always justifiable, and that it should have no repercussions. I generally accept people as they are, and do not actively try and change them, either we can work together or we can’t. I always felt Cinder angling for change, always attempting to tweak my personality to be more copasetic to her. It became a sore point in our relations over time, and had a direct impact on my base desire for her. My experience also raised a lot of red flags in terms of Cinders desire to control all aspects of my interactions with other women. It would be something I would look out for in the future, and found myself being more guarded and emotionally withdrawn in our processing and emotional interaction.
With Raven out of the picture again, Cinder was on the hunt again. After an abortive attempt at a 4some, she found Lily on OKC. Lily was an experienced Bi lady, again much younger than I. A talented and bubbly type, her and Cinder got along famously. Lily and I also got on, and Lily was also practicing a more committed form of poly, involved in local poly groups and the D/s scene. We had several dates together and talked extensively about our experience with Raven and others. Lily had quite a lot of opinions on poly, and had done a lot of the emotional work around it. I found her to fun and kind of refreshing. One of the things we all agreed upon was the need to have independent relationships with each other, as well as the triad dynamic. At this point we had all agreed on independent communication as well. I was proud of the work Cinder and I had done up to this point around these issues, we had made great progress in some regards. Cinder and Lily also had a deeper personal connection so I think that also helped things along, Cinder liked to feel “in control”.
So we started dating Lily, together and independently. Lily and I had a few independent dates, and although we connected in a friendly way, I didn’t feel that rush of chemistry, it was just one of those things. Maybe she was too much like Cinder? I just wasn’t feeling it. Later when things went badly Cider said it was because Lily wasn’t falling all over me, but that wasn’t it. We just didn’t connect in that way independently, and I didn’t put too much into it. Lily and I did have great conversations though about my relationship with Cinder and Raven, and the dynamic between Cinder and I. We discussed at length my struggles around my perception of Cinder’s need for control and emotional manipulation. She appeared to be supportive and concerned, even forwarding me articles that explained or dynamic in archetype detail. She did not approve of Cinders relationship “management” style, at least to me. Her Interactions with Cinder where very different, and they developed a deepening connection. I got the feeling that Lily was playing both sides of the fence, and began to distance myself from a deeper personal connection with her. She was dating multiple people at the time as well and didn’t really have time for me, which was fine. We just let things run its course, and had a triad in name only.
Cinder continued to bring the odd lady into our lives, with the usual dynamic playing out. It seemed to me, even with the appearance of more interactive freedoms on my side of the experience, things only worked if Cinder was at the pinnacle of the triad. This dynamic was seriously wearing on me, and I could see how this also played out in the structure of our marriage. The veil was starting to lift and I became increasingly anxious in my daily life. I was struggling and no amount of processing around finite details seemed to work, I think Cinder could sense my unease, and it created an impatience in her and intensified her focus on my personality, and how I could fix it. She had become increasingly intolerant of certain foibles of mine and continually told me I was stretching her beyond her limit, and alluded to some “breaking point” after which there would be no coming back from. I felt more and more under pressure to change something fundamentally inside myself and I had no idea what it was or how to do it.