It has been SOOO long since we've updated you all. Life with partners, work, 3 kids and us doesn't leave much time for the forum even though we so appreciate all of you for your help and support when DW was struggling so much. By and large, DW is in a fantastic place. He's had a fantastic steady girlfriend for over 8 months (so as I keep joking with him, he needs to update his siggy line; he's clearly not mono). That said, I've had some struggles with relationships---all three of my original (too many) relationships have ended for one reason or another, the last was in December, when I was struggling with a resurgence of major depression due to the anniversary of being admitted to the hospital and the usual holiday stress given that my mother is still in denial (you may remember that she assaulted us in the fall).
Just as I was struggling with the latest break-up, a man that I had befriended from a poly weekend asked me to visit him for the weekend. I had no idea if his intentions were platonic or not, but I had been crushing on him for months, so I was open to whatever. The weekend was totally platonic, but at one point, it became pretty clear that we both wanted "more". He struggles with jealousy with his girlfriend (who has another boyfriend) and thus does not think that he is suited for poly. A few days after our visit, he wrote to me and admitted how he was feeling and then in the next day, proceeded to share 3 pages of notes regarding his concerns (mostly related to jealousy issues), and it just dawned on me that he thought I would be upset when he told me that he would prioritize his primary girlfriend. I felt very grounded about it, knowing a lot about how he operates in his relationships from being friends with him for several months (we are both very open). DW had spoken with him once or twice, and knowing that PV also struggles with insecurities and jealousy, was very receptive to him and much less threatened it seemed. So he waved our usual agreement that he meet any partners before sexual intimacy occurs (and yes, we sat on that for a while and I checked in with him again before proceeding). PV and I spent an amazing night together in late January, and where my last relationship had doubts about physical attraction, this one clearly does not!
Last weekend, PV came to our house to visit. It was a huge step. It was also the first time that DW and his girlfriend were going to have sex (they took it very slow based on their comfort level). In hindsight, that was all a bit too much for one weekend. DW and ML ran into a snafu when she mentioned that she was not sure she was ready (no way was DW going to chance hurting her after the years that he and I have struggled with my abuse issues). They have worked it out since and are doing beautifully. She has become a part of our lives, and we are considering living with her at some point, but will have lots of questions to explore about time division and what to discuss before we jump into that. We function in a hierarchial model, with me being primary, and DW being my primary. I struggle with this though, knowing that DW is ML's primary as well, and wanting her to have all that she deserves. Our counselor is helping me sort through all of that. Ultimately, if we co-habitate, I expect that my time with DW would diminish even more and while I want that for ML, it would be hard for me.
DW also had difficulty after the weekend. While he really liked PV (and even hugged him when he left), he was still experiencing fears that I would leave him and/or that he wasn't adequate. I listened, reassured him and cried with him. It's so unfathomable to me that I would leave him, but his fears are real. I also have an online boyfriend (he is in a modified open marriage where the agreement is that anything online or by phone is fair game, but an in-person relationship is not part of the agreement at this time). That relationship has done wonders for my sexuality. He and I connected first around being stay at home parents, and sort of stumbled onto the chat and phone sex when he talked about his libido issues and sex life with his wife. I was surprised that I felt comfortable exploring such a relationship with him, but I do. I was unprepared for this to feed DW's insecurities because it is long-distance, mostly friendship, and the likelihood that we will ever meet in person is slim (only if his wife changes her mind, which seems unlikely).
So, while a lot has been going on, and DW still struggles sometimes with feeling like he is "bad" at poly when he struggles to balance his girlfriend and I, or when he has old fears come up, all in all, we are navigating things beautifully. DW even got on the phone with PV yesterday to make sure that he knew that the issues he had on Monday were not because of him and that he completely appreciates how understanding he has been and how much he cares about me. Most of the time, I'm just overjoyed for the wonderful people that poly has brought into our lives and even though there have been bumps in the road and even pain, there isn't one of these relationships that I regret. I've gotten something wonderful from every one. Oh, and DW's girlfriend and I get along very well. Sometimes I wish that we were closer, but I am optimistic that this will develop over time.
Big news from this weekend--DW is considering "proposing" to ML, giving her a ring as a symbolic gesture and having a commitment ceremony. He goes back and forth, convincing himself that it is too early and such (it's been 9 months and he thinks it should be a year).
So there you have it--actually lots more since I drafted this, but more for later!
Married for 14 years to an amazing man, "David Webb" on the forum
Discovered that I was poly in January 10,
forging my path together with the best partner I could ever ask for!