It's as though when I'm alone, I have to put myself in the mindset of "I'm alone, goddammit, and I don't need anyone", and that doesn't really seem all that healthy... more like building a wall. I know I'm working on rebuilding my own independence, and it's a work in progress, but SHEESH.
Anyway... no point to my reply except that at times, I'm right there with you.
Me: Mono. Divorced, two kids, two cats, one house with many projects.
Chops (previously 'P'): My partner of ~3 years. Poly. In relationships with me, Xena, and Noa.
Xena (previously M1): Poly. In relationships with Chops and Noa, and dating others.
Noa (previously AG): Married, Poly. In relationships with Chops and Xena (individually).
My navel-gazing blog thread:
A Mono's Journey Into Poly-Land (or, "Aw hell, there's no road map?!")
This is good stuff. I am enjoying your blog - I love how well you know yourself, how you question things, and look for insights that go deeper than just the present situation. I hope you keep blogging, as I am sure it will help you, but also because I think it will help me and others, too. You're a very good writer.
The world opens up... when you do.
Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Thanks & thoughts
Thanks for your kind words nycindie and YouAreHere.
I've journaled off and on for years, and rarely in one coherent place. I'm sure I will look back at these musings and wonder WTF was I thinking, or why was that such as issue for me back then. That is often the case, and reading where I was at any given time reassures me that though things may seem bleak today, there have been worse times that I muddled through and survived, stronger and wiser.
One of our friends is suddenly finding herself having to move out of her husband's family farmhouse. Whether he was snooping, she was careless, or she left it out of purpose, he hubby found her personal goal list that included leaving him. He immediately told her to pack up and skeedaddle. I'm sure it was for the best. P and I are leaning towards wondering if she left it for him to "accidentally find." We all want someone else to "make" those hard decisions we have already made but are afraid to act on. I know I have been guilty of that, and I know P has as well. It is part of being human.
Sometimes I don't want to put on my big girl panties and own to pain of my decisions. Even here and now, I'm 60% positive I would be happier in the long run if I left P behind and was open to finding a partner with whom I could have a mono-mono relationship with. But if "I" choose to leave then we both hurt now and I will once again wonder "what if" for P and I. Would that pain be any easier?
There is a story of a village ritual of everyone coming to large field and throwing their problems into the field. You can pick and choose which you leave with, and upon seeing the issues other face, most opt to take their own back home with them. I would rather face the problems I am familiar with rather than those I know nothing of.
That thinking kept me married for two decades longer. Did I waste those twenty years? What could I have done, where would I be today if...
No sense in wondering what the alternate path would have led to. I made my choices. I have some regrets. Poly is not one of them. But I made choices that were sound at the time, and having the same set information available would make those same choices again. Even hindsight is not 20/20, it is clouded by the perceptions of who we are today.
I wish this weekend were like one of the dreams Ebeneezer Scrooge had, and I could simply wake to find myself back to Friday morning. It was not the worst weekend ever, and I would probably make the same maneuvers over again.. So perhaps I'll just accept and move on.
A little bit of ranting
Now that I cope full time by forcing myself to feel distanced so the perceived rejection dos not sting so much, he feels it too. I made it two days this week without crying. I felt crappy and fairly weepy both days, but I made it without wet eyes and it felt like I was making progress. I no longer permit myself to get excited about plans we make, because I know they will rarely occur as anticipated. I'm resigned to going with the flow, no expectations should lead to no disappointments.
Friday P had asked me to go with him to the graduation of one of his friends. Even with my resolve not to get excited, I was really looking forward to sharing in the celebration of a Masters degree completion but also of the extremely rare occasion of being invited to attend something with one of his friends (That only happened once during the two years we were partners - and even that was someone I had known from our childhood years but had not kept up the connection.). But when P started to actually feel me being distant when I wasn't able to immediately shift gears, he almost canceled that.
When he got home from work he messaged asking how I was. I was honest and shared, "Dunno. Ok I guess. Focusing on [work] to stay busy." to which he said he was feeling crappy and didn't feel like driving up. So I reaffirmed that it was ok, no expectations. And then he hit me with "I think that's why I'm feeling this way. I feel let down. I guess I thought you felt differently about me/us. We can talk, should talk about it tomorrow.."
Heavy sigh. So I told him I had been looking forward to the event, reminded him that I had made a custom graduation Christmas ornament for a gift. And he messaged he would be dressed and over shortly.
The ceremony was nice, and I'm glad P did opt to go. The dozen grads getting their masters as counselors all got to have a personal statement read, and it renewed P's resolve to find a way into grad school himself.
Our planned sleepover was postponed a night due to mandatory overtime for P, so he dropped me at my door after the ceremony with plans to head up some time Saturday.
Frick I hate "sometime"
Make a commitment, make it a time you believe you arrive. Being on time is a choice. Plan ahead for crappy roads and construction. Don't say noon for lunch and arrive at 1, lunch will be cold. Don't say after work ends at 11am I'm going to take a short nap after work and head up when you mean a longer sleep followed by leisurely coffee and then Christmas shopping - or at least let me know plans have changed.
When he finally did arrive early sat evening, he had not brought any groceries. I believed we were pretty clear that he was to bring or pick up on his way supplies for half of our planned meals. Apparently not. So off to grocery shopping instead of giving him the nice massage he had requested. Thank you for insisting on purchasing all the groceries for our shared meals, but it still wasn't necessary or what we had agreed upon. I didn't say that last part out loud, just the "Thank you" part. Go with the flow.. repeat. Go with the flow.
It is late Sunday now. We never did get to the heavy "us" talking. Though I did enjoy working through a few "what ifs" for ground-rules or expectations for if I am able to convince P to join me for a clothing optional weekend getaway. I know P regrets that our time was abruptly cut short by his wife's edict that he must drop what he was doing to give her a ride, and that he regrets ranting and nearly breaking down in tears, and for letting it spill over to me when he had finally promised not to do that.
I feel cold and distant not comforting him or defending her or commiserating with him, but choices are choices, and I must simply accept what time he chooses to share with me. He trained her to never expect the negative consequences of choosing not to drive, she trained him to jump. I don't want to attempt to change that dynamic, not my place, not my business except in so far as it affects me. And though tonight it once again affected me, and the volunteer work P and I do together, I defer back to my ever present mantra. Go with the flow.. repeat. Go with the flow.
I am alone. I do not need to feel lonely.
Go with the flow.
Accept what he has to offer/do not dwell on feeling like leftovers.
Go with the flow.
Turn on the electric blankie to pre-heat, take a soaky bubble bath, and snuggle into bed with a good book (this time it is Monday Morning Leadership: 8 Mentoring Sessions You Can't Afford to Miss which includes an awesome lesson on being on time) and my teddy bear.
It sounds like mono or poly there are many similar 'relationship communication' issues.
Just wanted to let you know I have sympathy.
Poly to Mono upon Spouse (s) passing
We've talked over the possibility of one of us passing, since as you probably know we're seasoned citizens. Jo and Marie have assured me that if I should die before them, they will honor my memory by not remarrying, but I'd want them to be happy, so martyrs are not necessary. The ladies have said that if one of them should go first, the surviving wife would look for another possible wife for me. Again I'm not sure if I'd want another spouse, it takes a lot of work, tears, emotions to make a relationship like ours work. Perhaps I'd give mono a chance, both of the ladies are irreplaceable, so I'm not looking forward to the possibility. I guess it's not one of those things that you can really plan for, but it's in the back of our minds. I've tried to live by cherishing every moment that we are together
I try to love my wives this way, unconditionally! Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the church, and gave himself up for her. Eph. 5:25
Bad longing day & Google drive for expectations
Oldpolyman - how sweet. P speaks as if he was/is committed to me and his wife only, yet action/perceptions of actions speak louder than words. To have a relationship such as yours, I might be able to do poly. P's wife would never so much as make eye contact with me, much less discuss anything related to him with me.
Only twice she initiated contact directly. Once was to ask me to convince him to put down their family dog as she was emotionally unable to face it (neither was he, I had to make all the arrangements & he was kind enough to accompany me). The other was one of my bad days when I was messaging for reassurance, and after about a dozen unreturned messages over the day she messaged that he had forgotten his phone at home (I can only assume the regular pings from the messages annoyed her and she wanted it to stop.)
To have a metamour who accepted me might make it easier.
Today was a bad longing day. I was thankful for a busy work day and boxes to be sorted at home. He forgot all his electronic devices at home so there were no messages during his breaks. He apologized when he got home. This evening I reached out for reassurance and messages went unseen, I even texted once knowing when he is with me he cannot "not" at least peek at his phone when a text comes in, and still no response until just before he went to bed.
At the moment I don't know. I did so well squashing those longings & the past two days have been unbearable. I don't want him to love me, I don't want to long to share my day, the mundane tasks of life with him. I wish he were either with me or not in my life entirely.
The other day he asked if we might talk about transitioning back to partners. I told him that was along way off, I want it so freaking much, but unless we move slowly and actually address out issues - we would be back to exactly where we were. I can barely handle FWB, I don't consider hum a boyfriend - to me that denotes at least some level of commitment and potential for more, and my definition of partner precludes what he can even begin to offer for committment.
Going back to the book I mentioned two days ago.. it talks about a manager defining what the "main thing" is in a workplace (or as I see it in this context, in a relationship), and then realizing that every player has a different perception of what that "main thing" is. We need to agree on what the "main thing" is (or main things are) and be sure that we are all on the same page.
What *is* his definition of being partners, for example...
Months ago our counselor tasked us to create a set of mutually agreed upon "relationship expectations." Which we did get a start on. But when put it to "paper" (google drive document actually) and added a few more - for us to agree/disagee with initials and date or suggest revisions, he neglected to even agree to what we had already agreed upon.
Eventually, P said it was lawyerly, and he feared that even things like "XYZ expects that coffee cups shall be be put in the sink before leaving for work" might end up in it and be there forever, which was why he was ignoring it or saying we could work on it when together, except when together comes anything & everything else is more important so it never gets done and I am left frustrated. Ignore it and it will go away? Doesn't work. Just festers.
I see a relationship expectations to be fluid changing document. Not a set of edicts, but a dynamic thing, where after a while we might agree to simply delete something that no longer serves a purpose.
For example, one item we agreed upon "Meals out and activities shall be dutch treat unless expressly denoted as a gift" - is more for me, I am a giver and will share what I have until I have nothing left, this is a reminder to me that it is OK for me to say "I like to go go to this show and dinner, would you like to go with me dutch treat" rather than our previous pattern of "Would you like to go to this with me" and then I pay for tickets and dinner and drinks (because he carries no cash or I had the link available to buy) and I pay for gas (because he can never not drive with his wife) and the same for event after event until I start to feel used, even though I was the one not speaking up asking and I was the one who freely gave. I NEED that there to feel more empowered to ask for financial equality in at least that.
Of course I bought tickets for our next outside event, and he said he would stop at an ATM on his way over next visit and there have been two visits and have yet to be reimbursed his half. Shall I sit and harp over it? I'm on freaking food stamps with less than a third of his income and no partner to share in household expenses. Hell yeah it pisses me off!!!!!!!!! OK, I own it.
Tomorrow's visit is focused on out volunteer work with a sleepover he requested. He says he wants to see me again sometime over weekend, and I believe we have agreed (again) to FINALLY sit down at that visit and work on the expectations document. I WILL play domineering bitch this time and make sure it happens. And I WILL add in a suggestion of keeping a running tally (another google drive document) of expenses paid for shared activities with monthly reconciliation to the person who paid more. It feels petty to me, but unless I have a FWB/bf/partner with at least one co-mingled account - it will be necessary.
Bad mono in poly day and Divorce SUCKS
I was timid in my divorce that finally finalized this past Feb; happens when you fear for your life, and I caved on everything ex wanted - even refusing maintenance when the judge tried for 15 minutes pre-hearing to convince me to ask for it. The house finally closed last month. So when he called last night and demanded we meet to "settle up" from the house, me to pay what I "owed him" and me saying it was a wash with what I spent on repairs, and then ex saying he never approved of repairs... well. I said I would call in a couple weeks. That will give me time to prepare my rebuttal and tell the ex-hubby that if he wants anything more from me he can take me back to divorce court and I will disclose the $10K in precious metals he insisted he keep and not have listed as his assets, and we can both settle what we "think" the other owes out of that & then split the remainder down the middle.
P was here visiting last night. It was nice to have him here when my ex-hubby called. P has seen me upset and reacting to him before, but he had never seen me this upset - so much seething anger that I couldn't even speak. He tried to reach out to stroke my hair to comfort me (I love that), but that was too much input and I pushed his hand away. I told him I would understand if he left, but P chose to stay and just gave me space to process.
After about an hour and dinner of spicy, sausage soup I had calmed and processed enough to suggest we tackle the volunteer work we had scheduled for the evening. Thankfully (?) there is some turmoil coming from the national level of that organization that got us focused and ranting enough for my mind to break from focus on the ex-hubby issue.
He spent the night. Which is very comforting as we are very well matched in how much we love snuggling (and of course the great sex is always a bonus.)
This morning he seemed disappointed when he walked in the kitchen to see me hauling in bags of pellets for the heater and with a puppy dog look in his eyes asked why I hadn't asked him to do it. Frick, it needed to be done, I did it. (I can't rely on anyone but myself TYVM.) Then he went to work and I got ready for work myself.
He had mentioned maybe Sunday/Monday nights for next visit. I said I would accept what time he offers. Except we have a forecast for the first named snowstorm on Sunday, so when I got home messaged and suggested he skip so I don't worry about him driving the half hour up. He replied, "I saw that. I was thinking I might come Saturday and leave Monday. It was just a thought. I have to check schedule." Frick, I survive better on firmer plans. I wish he could just tell me what the plans are when he knows what the plans are, and if they change let me know.
All I know for the holidays is I am going to my mom's on Christmas day for extended family dinner and "stupid gift exchange". My son and his gf will go as well. P has a standing invitation as my FWB that when I tell him of my plans that unless he is told specifically he is not invited that I would like him to be there with me. Yes, my whole family knows of the poly and are respectful of it (or try to be), and they also know he and I are no longer partners but are still friends.
Trying to be numb and not want him.
Failing miserable today.
Yeah, I am blogging to process & I write what I am feeling. not always reality as others involved would see it, but my current perception of reality.
I write earlier it would be easier to have a relationship with P if his wife accepted me. Truth is, she does accept that he has a relationship with me and that it was a very deep and connected one. Doesn't mean she accepts or ever would ever accept me in the sense that I considered her a part of my family, not an outsider, or even accept me as a potential friend when she would not even give it a chance. I finally gave up asking her if she would like to do anything of a social nature, alone or with me & P. No matter, even if P and I were to become partners again I accept there never would be a relationship. Instead of asking me not to ask her anything, she blocked me on FB when when P and I were at our worst and I asked her if she could verify a detail I didn't trust P to be forthcoming on at the time.
Yes, I'm still stuck on P needing to understand how and why I got so wonked out about not getting reassurance after the whole C fiasco, or even that more reassurance before I got to the overwhelming insecurity. Perception is reality.
Relationships suck!!!!!!!!!!! Mono sucks, mono having a Poly partner sucks more.
what do I want? That's another post..
What do I want in a relationship?
What do I want in a life partner?
I have a pipe dream of a partner who:
(I'm using "him" for ease, partner could just as easily be any gender)
* Is honest, with himself first and foremost, and to others
* Acknowledges omission of facts can be as damaging to trust as actual lies
* Enjoys and accepts touch and snuggles
* Like to snuggle or be very close during sleep
* Wants to be home to sleep next to me every day there is not an obligation for one of us to be elsewhere.
* Accepts compliments
* Encourages me
* Is intelligent (this can take many forms)
* Equally comfortable with serious or whimsical activities
* Has a sense of Whimsy - Can enjoy gaseous bodily emanations & giggle about them
* Communicates effectively in general, and is willing to work to communicate together effectively
* Can speak, and message, with proper grammar (Smilies OK, but not into text-speak)
* Enjoys conversation (yes, this is different from communication)
* Prefers voice to electronic communication when apart
* Is willing to have a written relationship expectations list, and to regularly review and update it
* Follows through on promises and plans
...or when he cannot - will communicate that change as soon as reasonably possible after he realizes it
* Is not mentally ill, a child abuser, a drunk or drug user
* Is responsible with money (as in does not outspend income)
* Does not work so much that life cannot be enjoyed
* Is not into hanging out at the bar
* Will brush his teeth before kissing me if he has been drinking any beer
* Can enjoy playing a board game now & then (Scrabble anyone?)
* Walks holding hands with me
* Monogamous, but not so much to consider snuggling on the couch with a friend, or platonic former lover, to be cheating
* Believes in fluid bonding/
* Can demonstrate knowledge and application of appropriate safer sex practices (I acknowledge "cheating" can occur in *any* relationship - and knowing those breathes easier)
* Enjoys sexual intimacy regularly, preferably daily or more after that dimension is incorporated into the relationship
* Is great in bed, or at least good and willing for us to learn together how to ramp it up
* Will play my sub now and then, but be my full equal in the relationship
* Encourages me to explore my kinky side, preferably with only him
* Accepts that I am bi-curious and love boobies
* Does not "chase" other relationships, whether sexual nature or otherwise, - especially when I would like more time or attention
* Recognizes that a 24/7/365 glued at the hip relationship is not healthy, and that each needs time on own with friends and activities
* Is excited to share me with their personal and professional friends
* Puts me first, or at least expresses that my needs and opinions are very important when he makes decisions esp major or life-altering decisions.
* Is willing to help keep me on track for breaking my clutter habit (yes, I want someone to gently and constructively nag me)
* Will not sit on his ass playing games or watching TV while I do chores, who will recognize stuff needs to be done and will help without being begged or specifically assigned a task every time it needs to be done.]
* Misses me when we are apart
* Brings me flowers now and then. Or chocolate. I love good chocolate.
* Will offer to brush my hair when I am stressed, or suggest he reads a book to me while I soak in the tub
* Will shower together at least monthly
* Wants and accepts comforting when sick
* Is not a religious, political, health, or sports fanatic, or at least does not push me to be one too, accepts my beliefs as valid as well.
* Can share what irks him about me constructively and works with me to find a resolution that works for both of us
* Does not tell me what I am going to do, even if it is something I want to do (All in how he approaches it, actually. Asking me to do them , or reminding me I said I planned to do them is ok)
* Will travel. Local excursions. Out of state trips. Perhaps out of country some day.
* Enjoys hearing about my day and even though his eyes may glaze over, encourages me to share what I'm passionate about
* Willing to see doctor and dentist
* Keeps himself clean-ish (nothing wrong with honest sweat, but not eewww grubby)
* If a facial fur lover, will not keep it groomed so short as to cause friction irritation when we have long kissy face sessions, not so long and unkempt as to have a hermit appearance.
* likes a dressy event at least once a year, even if for no reason
* knows that I am totally honest and transparent, and that there is nothing to be jealous of sexually if I visit an old friend or even a previous lover and that if I do, he is more than welcome to come along with me because I would want to share those I love with him & vice versa.
* Does not put off what needs to be done. If it can't or is not reasonable to do it *now*, a plan will be made for addressing it in the future instead of waiting until it has to be done or sweeping it under the rug..
And in an even bigger pipe-dream world I would add:
* Is currently financially secure
* Knows accounting and would jump in to work that aspect of my business for me, even though I can do it
* Is emotionally secure
* Is self-confident, but not cocky
* Has employment in a field he is passionate about
* loves to ballroom dance and will at least on an annual basis
* relatively healthy, physically fit, somewhere near HWP
* is fertile and wants another child with me
|mono, monogamish, poly to mono|