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  #591  
Old 12-22-2012, 08:20 PM
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I always enjoy the reading material Sounds excellent.
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  #592  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:23 AM
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Believe it or not, the awesome doesn't stop there.

Tonight was supposed to be Gia's family-specific birthday celebration, at her parents' place. Her mom and her sister conspired to surprise her by secretly inviting her friends. I brought Dexter, and another friend of ours came as well. We arrived after the party had started, during an interval when Gia's sister had lured her, Eric, and Bee out of the house. We snuck in and hid in the living room until they came back in.

She squealed in shock and delight when she saw us, especially when she noticed Dexter, who she sees pretty rarely. She actually seemed a little overwhelmed, but regained her composure after a few minutes. We ate and drank and talked and talked and talked. I chased Bee around the house and made up little games to make him laugh -- his laugh is just the most pure and amazing thing.

While I'd already given Gia her birthday present last night, I hadn't yet given her her holiday present, so I took the opportunity to do so. It was something very personal, very specific to her interests. Moreso than I'd even realized, as it turns out. She almost didn't know what to do with herself, she actually sat on the floor next to my chair and leaned against my leg as she contemplated it (a bit of role reversal there!). The look on her face when she looked up at me, I can still see it now. It was just this look of pure love and appreciation, gorgeous and touching. She looked down and said in a shy voice that she didn't know how to react to so many people loving her so much and knowing her so well. I kissed the top of her head and told her that she'd earned it.

It's a memory that I'm going to hold in my heart -- sitting in that dining room, at a table with Gia, Eric, Dexter, and Bee, talking and laughing, drinking beer. Easy conversation, interesting and free-flowing, building on each other's thoughts. Eric and I making funny side comments to each other, just for our own amusement. Gia glowing at all of us.

When we were leaving, she kissed me on the lips in front of her family, and told me that she'd miss me during the four days I'll be away (I'm going on a short trip with Davis and his parents). It was a lovely thing to hear, and a bit surprising -- we go four days without seeing each other regularly. I told her, very honestly, that I'd miss her too. What I really wanted to do was just slide my fingers into her hair and kiss her again, and again, and again -- but that might have been a little awkward for the relatives.
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  #593  
Old 12-23-2012, 07:28 AM
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As an additional note, I think that sharing the hour-each-way drive with Dexter was good for me. He's just such an authentic and sweet person, and he's struggling with some serious things in his life right now (unrelated to poly). All thoughts of being remotely jealous of him, which had mostly fled after last night anyway, were utterly banished. They may well rear their heads again at some point, but for now he is nothing other than my friend and ally and metamour.
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  #594  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:06 AM
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On Friday, Gia and I were chatting and she mentioned a plan that Eric and I had been loosely batting about with another friend, to see a movie together at one of our houses this weekend. I confirmed that we'd been discussing this, and that my house was the most likely location. She said that, in that case, since she didn't want to see the movie, perhaps she'd send Bee with Eric and invite Dexter over.

This is where I kind of didn't cope. I thought to myself... ok, she made alone-time with him two weeks ago, and now she's doing it again in just a couple of days. Two weeks in between encounters, as compared to a month in between the last two times that we'd been intimate. She's doing exactly what I told her I couldn't handle, making more time to be alone with him than with me. Maybe she doesn't see this as making time with him, I thought, because Eric and I will both be otherwise engaged anyway. But taking advantage of a spare bit of space and scheduling someone else into it IS making time. She could be doing any number of other things instead, things like exercising or cleaning or crafting or reading, things I've tried to remind myself that she needs to do in order to explain to myself why we don't have more just-us time together. She wants him more than me (this I believed, and still do kind of believe, as much as I wish I didn't), and she doesn't give a shit about my feelings (this I certainly didn't want to believe, and absolutely don't, but the thought was there in a vague sort of way in the moment and it hurt so badly).

I didn't respond right away. She asked if that was ok with me. I said that, actually, I was kind of freaking out. And I was. Sitting at my desk at work, my heart was racing, my hands were slightly trembling, I felt a bit like I might cry. I had a similar reaction when I told Eric that I loved him and then waited for his reply, but this was worse. This is one way I know that my feelings for these people are serious, because they manifest in my body in powerful ways.

She reviewed her logic with me. As I had suspected, she was, indeed, thinking that she wasn't "making" time, just taking advantage of a time when she couldn't be with either of her other partners anyway. I reiterated that I wasn't ok. She asked if I wanted to talk on the phone. I said yes, went outside of my office building, walked up the street to a bit of grass, sat down, and called her.

I know I must have sounded a little shaky. I said that I thought I just needed to babble for a bit, and she let me talk. I talked about this past fall, how hard it's been for me that we have had so little time for intimacy, I talked about the mess that was our November date. I talked about the fact that the one thing that's made it all ok for me has been knowing that it wasn't me, that it wasn't that she didn't want to be with me, it was just the circumstances keeping us from being intimate more. And now here she was making plans to be with Dexter just two weeks after the last time, and how was I supposed to deal with that...

She stopped me and explained more about their first time together, two weeks ago. It was totally unplanned, unexpected, which I hadn't realized. Eric and Bee were at another party, with relatives of his that she doesn't get along with. Gia had planned a holiday gathering for our friend group for the same time, and had invited a dozen people, including friends with very young children. As it happened, very few people showed up, and those that did come had to leave early, leaving just her and Dexter, with an hour or so before Eric and Bee were due to come home. So, they took advantage of the unexpected time. Not a plan, not a date, just some stolen time, such as she and I have had from time to time. Everything she said made perfect sense, as I vaguely recalled the facebook invite for the party she was describing (I had been out of town at the time, so I hadn't paid any heed to it, knowing I couldn't go). This, therefore, would be the first time she had ever *planned* to be intimate with him, and she was *only* doing it because it seemed like such a good opportunity, with both Eric and I otherwise occupied.

I talked a while longer, just getting all of my thoughts out of my head, before finally coming around and agreeing that that put things in a very different light. Physically, I had calmed down. I told her that I thought I was ok. We exchanged "I love you"s, and both went back to work.

That night, I was watching Bee so that she and Eric could go out to a movie with some other friends of ours. It was one I'd already seen, with Davis. They'd originally had another babysitter lined up, but that person had fallen through, and I'd happily agreed to step in rather than let them miss it. Bee and I had a fun evening together, he was in a great mood, easily amused. When Gia and Eric got home, she curled up on the couch while Eric whisked Bee off to bed. I asked if I could hug her. She motioned me over, and we ended up wrapped up in each other. We stayed like that a minute, and then I asked her if she wanted space, she usually needs space. She said it was ok. So we stayed like that, close, touching, for a while longer, I'm not sure how long, but long enough that we had to switch positions a couple of times to stay comfortable. Maybe twenty minutes? I kissed her arms and stroked her legs, and we talked about the movie, about nothing in particular.
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.

Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-30-2012 at 07:21 AM.
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  #595  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:59 AM
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The next day, Saturday, was supposed to be a special day for Gia and Eric. They'd planned to spend the whole day together, just them, no baby, morning 'til evening, which they haven't done since he was born. But, yet again, there was an issue with the babysitter. With the movie, I'd been asked to fill in. This time I offered proactively, more than anything because I wanted to see more of Bee. He's been an absolute delight lately (when he hasn't been being an absolute terror, which does of course happen from time to time, as with any young toddler). They'd already rescheduled their special day, but Gia said that, if I still wanted to come over, they'd love the opportunity to get some things done and maybe take a nap. I said that sounded perfect.

Bee, again, was great, very interested in everything, very easy to entertain. I enjoyed the peaceful vibe of the house, the two of them puttering about while the baby and I read picture books and bounced balls. At one point, Gia and Eric disappeared into their bedroom and closed the door. It stayed closed for a while. At first I was indignant and verging on hurt -- after our conversation yesterday, she'd really consider it appropriate to go screw her husband while I was in the other room? But then I remembered that she had specifically said that, if I came over, they'd take a nap.

"Wow," I thought to myself. "This is how on edge I am, that I can offer, of my own free will, to do a favor, and then perceive a slight when I'm taken up on it. That's... not good." It made me stop and assess. Gia has said, more than once, that she worries this relationship is unfair to me. Is she right? Am I putting myself in too difficult of a situation? Do I give too much, of my time, of myself, of my energy, for what I can get in return? Am I offering things with an open heart, or am I offering them only with an expectation of return, and perhaps a very unrealistic expectation at that? These are all questions I've asked myself before, in various ways, of course. I decided that maybe it had been a mistake to come over and spend the day with them after having such an intense, difficult time just the day before. Maybe it would have been better to give myself some space. There wasn't much to be done about it in the moment, though. I focused on the baby.

As a postscript, Dexter turned out to be sick with a cold, so Gia's design to get him alone this weekend couldn't come to fruition anyway. We all ended up going to our other friend's house that night and watching the movie that we'd been talking about watching there and then, rather than the next day at my place as had previously been our rough plan. Gia came along, and liked it. Bee was a handful, fussy through the whole thing, and Eric and I took turns trying to distract him. I headed home after that, after sharing several sweet kisses with Gia. Driving home was hard, I felt a tearing feeling, an incomplete feeling. I ruminated on our futures, on the impossibility of a co-primary arrangement in our vee, on all of those swirling questions from the paragraph above. I think I'm making it sound worse than it was? Suffice to say, I was in a funk.

When I got home, I started writing this post and the one above it. I also wrote a long email to Gia, reiterating in great detail why I needed her to not make more time with Dex than with me, and what exactly I meant by that, and how we might make things better going forward. I saved it, with no intention of sending it. I figured, I'll get it all out and then focus on other things, on the rest of my life, as much as I can, for the next week. I'm going to give myself some space from this, some distance. Hopefully some perspective too, to better see if I'm being reasonable or unreasonable, as I'm really not sure right now. Maybe it's ridiculous to even try to limit her relationship with Dexter in the slightest, maybe I'm wrong to concern myself with it.

To put things in perspective, they communicate very, very little compared to how often she and I talk, and they certainly see each other less than she and I do. There's almost nothing there, and here I am freaking out. Over sex, ultimately. I can call it intimacy, or alone time, or just-us time, but it's about sex. I'm hurt that my girlfriend and I have had so little sex in the last year, and angry at the thought that she wants him more than me. Maybe that's fair, maybe it's not. She says that it's scarier to be sexual with me because our relationship matters more, it's a bigger deal, that it's easier to be playful and teasing and light-hearted with him because it doesn't mean anything, it's not going anywhere. She says that she wishes things weren't backwards like that, but it's how it is. I'm not so sure that it won't get serious between them. She was wearing something of his today, a little thing that he left the last time he was over. I couldn't help but notice. I could see her falling for him. I don't think it'd make her love me less, but I don't know where the time would come from, the time for another love. Because I was wrong above, it's not about sex, it's about time. Really, it's about both. She swears that it won't become a "real" relationship, that part of what she likes about him is that he's not looking for that. But people can surprise you. Feelings can surprise you.

Gia and I have a date in a week and a half. If there are still things I need to say, I'll say them to her then. I'm thinking that I want to stay away from talking too much about Dexter, or about keeping score, and focus instead on us, and how we can be closer. I have a couple of ideas. Or maybe I won't say anything about any of it, maybe we'll just have a beautiful and relaxed date and have awesome sex and keep things light and playful. Mm, that sounds really nice.
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Me, 30ish bi female, been doing solo poly for roughly 5 years. Gia, Clay, and Pike, my partners. Davis, ex/friend/"it's complicated." Eric, Gia's husband. Bee, Gia and Eric's toddler.

Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-30-2012 at 08:17 AM.
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  #596  
Old 12-30-2012, 09:54 AM
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*hugs* Sorry to see you in the bad places...

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
She swears that it won't become a "real" relationship, that part of what she likes about him is that he's not looking for that. But people can surprise you. Feelings can surprise you.
I am the same as you with this. I take all kinds of statements about (lack of) future intentions in relation to relationships with people with a grain of salt. Not because I don't believe my partner means what they are saying - I totally do. It is simply that: people and feelings can surprise you. Though I don't think that feelings mean a relationship needs to be started. But, also, your own wants can surprise you. Never know.
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  #597  
Old 12-30-2012, 07:54 PM
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I'm glad you wrote out your letter to Gia to keep and ponder instead of sending, hopefully you can snap out of this "comparison" feeling you have happening right now, as I imagine you end up feeling like you were putting pressure on Gia when you are trying to avoid that very thing.

I just want to remind you (I have trouble with time perspective myself, when I am down I can forget I was happy before) that it was just a week ago that you were flying above the clouds with happiness and gratitude for what was going on. I just want to encourage you to keep a positive mindset and your eye on the big picture.
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  #598  
Old 12-31-2012, 05:44 AM
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*hugs!* Thanks, Rory.

And yeah, Anne, it was definitely the right decision. It would have upset her completely unnecessarily -- I mean, why go on and on about my worries about the frequency of the time they schedule together when they haven't even managed to successfully schedule *any* time together yet, not even once?

Why worry about the frequency of their time together at all, maybe. I've been toying, today, with the idea of trying to do away with my need for their intimate time to be equal to or lesser than our intimate time. I don't know if it's a limit I should or can discard, but I'm trying to look at things objectively. When thoughts bubble up about the two of them, I try to ask myself -- what if I just didn't give it a moment's thought, what if I *only* focused on what she and I do together? Well, really, I've been trying not to think about it at *all*, and indeed I had a very busy and productive day, but it's in my mind a lot of the time regardless.

I think the hardest part of what's happening right now is coming face to face with the fact that I've been working under some false assumptions. She and I haven't had much sex this year. That's been tough for me, wanting and loving her as much as I do, but I've dealt with it by telling myself, among other things, "well, she just doesn't care that much about sex." When we have had sex, she hasn't been touching me as much as I've been touching her, and she hasn't gone down on me at all in months, whereas I don't miss an opportunity to do that to her (I don't mean to make it sounds like she's not a giving lover, she's done a lot to help me explore the things I've wanted to explore, it's just the facts). When I've wondered about the disparity there, I've thought to myself, "well, it's her anxiety that makes it hard for her to be the active one."

And now she's desperate to have sex with this dude. So, I guess she does care about sex. And she went down on him (that was all they did the one time they've been together so far, actually), and I know she very much wants to do that again, so I guess she doesn't have that much trouble being the active partner after all. All these things I've been telling myself to remind myself that it wasn't me that was the problem. But it *was* me.

Fuck, that was tough to write. I hope my roommates can't hear me crying.

I wish it didn't matter to me so much. I don't know why it does, really. I suppose it's an ego thing, to need to feel wanted.

"But it *was* me." <-- No, that's not true. Or, at least, it's more complicated than that. There are SO many factors here. One, my gender. She's not as attracted to women as she used to be. That's not about me as a person, even if it does change things about how she and I interact. I am much more than my gender. Two, my importance in her life. She's said, multiple times, that, ironically, it's harder for her to be as free and easy with the people who mean more. So, we're back to the anxiety, and a sort of mental block that she has. She's described to me before how she's been oddly inhibited and shy with Eric, her own husband, at times. It's *good* that I matter to her, even if it makes things harder. Three, she doesn't have to chase me. I'm here, she has me, I'm throwing myself at her. The chase is exciting, and Dexter has *really* made her chase him, he's thrown up all of these concerns and roadblocks and has finally, finally, let her get past his barriers... of course that's enticing. Four, sort of a subsection of three, NRE. She actually said herself, the other day, that she recognizes that there's an NRE factor here and that she's trying hard to keep a handle on it.

"But it *was* me." <-- No, it wasn't. If you weren't you, she wouldn't be trying at all. She wouldn't have planned her birthday around being intimate with you and her husband. She wouldn't have a date planned with you next week. She wouldn't be talking about spending her first night away from her baby to be with *you* if *you* were a problem and she didn't want to be close to you! Yes, she's had a harder time being intimate with you lately. Yes, she doesn't seem to have those difficulties when it comes to Dexter. But that does NOT mean that she doesn't want you.

Ok, gonna switch back to first person now, talking to one's self always comes off a little crazy... That was really helpful, though.

This is still a period of transition. When I started this blog, she and I weren't having sex at all, we rarely even made out. Now, I have all sorts of delicious recent memories focused around her that are as X-rated as they come. Things are shifting rapidly. She is rediscovering her sexuality. She is experiencing her first successful seduction of another person, experiencing her first time with a man other than her husband in her entire life. It's kind of a big deal for her, understandably. Simultaneously, she's starting to come into her own as a dominant, just beginning to flex those muscles, with me. She's re-learning how to be with a woman when, to her shock, she's not as bisexual as she used to be, and she's doing it with me. While juggling her life partner and her baby and her job and the rest of her life.

One thing that I don't know how to react to at all is the idea that Dexter might help bring us closer. On the surface, of course, that sounds wholly positive. But, like, if she's suddenly more eager to schedule dates with me (this upcoming date being the first one in recent memory that she took the initiative to suggest days for rather than me being the one to do that), how much of that is because she wants to be with him, and knows that in order to do that without alienating me she needs to schedule time with me too? How depressing, to only be remembered because someone else has set her alight and she's trying to get the logistics in order. Or perhaps it's not that, perhaps it's just spillover NRE, her excitement for him making her more excited about sex and sexuality in general. That wouldn't be so bad, if it was just sort of a happy side-effect. OR, perhaps this is something that I should really try not to over-think and fruitlessly speculate about...

Positive mindset. Big picture. Don't forget, even for a moment, the way she looked at me at her family birthday party. Don't forget the soft touch of her lips to mine, again and again, when I left the other day. Don't forget that she loves me. And that I love her. And that we're going to keep making this work, together.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-31-2012 at 05:56 AM.
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  #599  
Old 12-31-2012, 07:10 AM
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I was just browsing through my bookmarks before going to sleep, and I happened to open MoreThanTwo.com. I opened up a couple of articles that I hadn't read, and ended up with a lot of food for thought. In a list of qualities of healthy relationships, Veaux writes:

"Am I moving with courage in this relationship? Are the people around me moving with courage? ... Do they say 'Here are the things that scare me, and here are the things you can do to help support me' rather than 'Here is a list of things that I forbid you to do'?"

Wow. Kind of puts my issue here in perspective. Which thing do I want to be saying?

In another essay, he talks about change, specifically about how any new relationship can end up being a game changer whether you expect it to be or not (basically what Rory and I were discussing above). It made me think about hierarchy. About how it's important to me to feel like, even though Gia already has a primary partner, my relationship with her is important too, and has room to grow, and takes its shape naturally, not because it's trapped in some sort of secondary box. Therefore, shouldn't her relationship with Dexter (if there ends up being one) get the same consideration, isn't it wrong, not to mention hypocritical, to try to trap it in a box where it can only reach a limited level of significance? That may not be my intention in being so concerned about the amount of time they spend together, but it could be the result.

All of this is leading me to a position opposite to that I was taking when I wrote the unsent email. Rather than solidifying my boundaries on this issue, I'm thinking even more about doing away with them altogether.

Ha, I'm sorry, I must seem so schizophrenic to you guys. That's what happens when you're basically live-blogging your every emotion, I guess. I can't express how helpful it is, to have a forum in which to work things out.
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Last edited by AnnabelMore; 12-31-2012 at 07:12 AM.
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Old 12-31-2012, 09:53 AM
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Haha, I love the schizophrenic you!

Reading your last post, I admire the strength you have. I think that is a really difficult direction to take, particularly when you're feeling so very raw, to go towards breaking away the boundaries rather than towards solidifying them and setting up new ones. But I can't help to think that, somehow, it's the right direction. Not because it's more evolved or something, it's just... The other direction seems to work fine for some people, but I don't think it does for us. Maybe it's the over-analysing nature, but eventually more boundaries just can't bring the satisfaction of safety. In the end, they simply don't help that much. You'll still be looking at the uncertainty right in the eye, the fact that things can and do change. The fact that the person you love is an autonomous being with their own wants, and even if the consequences of that fact sometimes hurt like hell, everything else is still kind of beside the point. So I think, keep going with that.

I also have some thoughts about the gender thing. That is such a tough one. I've been on both sides of the equation. I haven't written about it that much, but at one point I seriously questioned my own gender identity, to a such extent that a full transition was on the table. I later came to conclude that I do not feel like a man any more than I feel a woman, i.e. there's not really a recognisable gender I could transition to. Also, I prefer the social/cultural position of a woman, at least having been socialised as one. So, any major physical changes have been shelved for now, so the issue is not as critical now, but one thing that was really difficult to when I was evaluating everything is that Alec is straight. I've never been straight, and it feels just somehow so very wrong that even if I didn't change as a person, just my body changed, that he might think it too much for himself for us to be in a relationship anymore. At the time, I had serious difficulties with this, with the concept. There's something very unsettling, a feeling of lack of acceptance.

Yet, later, I've started to understand it slightly better. Helps that my own (practical) sexual interest has been moving more towards one gender (women). Gives me something analogous, something through which to relate, at least slightly, to how a gay/straigh person feels. And also shows me that there may be things that are unfair and really arbitrary and yet affect the comfort of being sexual with a person... It's almost karma, or something, that such a small time after I struggle with the boundaries of his sexuality, I end up struggling with mine in very similar ways the other way around - having difficulties with straight sex and evaluating whether I can/should be sexual with a man at all... Difficult stuff, on both sides of it.

One last thing I wanted to comment on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnabelMore View Post
One thing that I don't know how to react to at all is the idea that Dexter might help bring us closer. On the surface, of course, that sounds wholly positive. But, like, if she's suddenly more eager to schedule dates with me (this upcoming date being the first one in recent memory that she took the initiative to suggest days for rather than me being the one to do that), how much of that is because she wants to be with him, and knows that in order to do that without alienating me she needs to schedule time with me too? How depressing, to only be remembered because someone else has set her alight and she's trying to get the logistics in order. Or perhaps it's not that, perhaps it's just spillover NRE, her excitement for him making her more excited about sex and sexuality in general. That wouldn't be so bad, if it was just sort of a happy side-effect. OR, perhaps this is something that I should really try not to over-think and fruitlessly speculate about...
To the last suggestion, that is what I would focus on, aiming to limit the fruitless speculation. It is Gia's place to decide and evaluate the validity of her choices, not yours. Not something you need to worry about, and not really even something you should worry about. Distrusting her motives is actually slightly disrespectful even, it kind of says "I don't trust your ability to make choices without them being influenced by factors which I don't think should have an effect". Even if that has some truth in it, that the new situation has some new, potentially problematic factors which might have an effect, distrusting her ability to make good choices disrespects her agency. None of us makes decisions in a vacuum, after all. It is her job to figure out which impulses she wants to follow, to decide on priorities, to figure out what she wants. It is yours to trust that, whatever the combination of motives that go into her decision of spending time with you, she has chosen that as what she most wants to do.

<3
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