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  #731  
Old 02-10-2014, 11:35 PM
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Sara Bareilles - I Choose You

^^^ I love Sara Bareilles, and this song caught my attention in the car this morning. It applies to my life and the shape it has taken on.

Good morning and Happy Tuesday! I am feeling much better, and I am hoping I will be granted clearance to fly out later in the week for our anniversary trip. I have upped my probiotics, and I am resting, trudging through the breathing treatments, and taking all of the antibiotics on time. I am due for another chest x-ray tomorrow. Physically, I feel fine, but I know not to put too much stock into that. Either way it goes, I am slowly getting better.

I saw my ex over the weekend at the St. Kilda Festival. I was tempted not to speak, but she spoke first. I really did not have much to say to her. I sat down and talked to her. I heard her out, but I was not trying to hear anything she was saying. I am working on forgiving her for myself, but it is a slow process. I will take one step forward in remembering her positive attributes, but then I remember how she used my children as pawns and leverage to get at DH. I remember how she admitted that she never loved them. All progress immediately goes out of the window, and I think, "I will be damned if I ever trust that backstabbing, scheming bitch again." It is one thing to disappoint or hurt me, but when you use my children and hurt them, the protective mumma bear and lioness comes out. Admittedly, I have come a long way. The last time I saw her, I wanted to slap the taste out of her mouth. This time I was able to sit there calmly and talk to her. I am just not sure if Si and I will ever be friendly or cordial again. Right now, forgiveness is drowning and on the edge of death.

Would it help sitting down and hashing out any negative feelings I had or still have directly with the source? Perhaps. Would it help to tell her that she was never supposed to be my co-primary? (Our relationship was never tailored or suited for that. When she became that, it was because my hand was forced, some weird sense of loyalty, and a decision that was not well thought out. I scrambled to force what went against the natural state of the relationship. We forced what never should have been.) Would it help to tell her that I should have ended it with her in 2008? Would it help to tell her that her manipulation tactics and bullshit soured me on the whole idea of poly structuring? Would it help to tell her that I hope my child forgets her? Would it help to tell her how I really felt after discovering the full extent of her plans and true intentions? I do not know. Harbouring these feelings and discussing them in counselling or privately is only doing half of the work. If I am going to abide by transparency and full disclosure, I should not shield her from it.

Moment of Reflection. This time last year, I was in San Francisco for a conference. It was the first series of undercurrents that I completely missed. I thought we were just going to celebrate our anniversary/V-Day in S.F., but DH completely changed the plans when my ex showed up on the 13th. I had no idea she was flying in from London, and it completely blindsided us. He later (end of 2013) admitted that he was none too pleased to see her because he wanted some one-on-one time with me like we had always done. He felt like she was intentionally being disrespectful of his boundaries when that particular boundary and tradition had been established for over 10 years. He scrapped the plans, and we flew out early on the morning of the 14th and spent the entire weekend in Cabo. He had no qualms about leaving her alone. His argument was we always spent the days leading up to V-Day and the following week together and without her, and 2013 should be no different. In that moment, I thought nothing of it. I thought he was being his normal spontaneous, romantic self, but looking back, the alarms were blaring.

My, my, my. How a year changes things.

I am off to read some more blogs and threads. This sickness has forced me to slow down and take it easy. Our oldest is at camp until the 14th. Our two youngest are at school and the nursery. DH is at work. It is peaceful and quiet.
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  #732  
Old 02-11-2014, 01:55 AM
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I think letting your ex talk to you is forgiveness enough for the time being. There is still much healing to be done. Perhaps eventually you will write her a letter or something. Just remember you can forgive someone while still having realistic expectations of them.

Glad you're feeling better, fingers crossed for you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
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  #733  
Old 02-16-2014, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I think letting your ex talk to you is forgiveness enough for the time being. There is still much healing to be done. Perhaps eventually you will write her a letter or something. Just remember you can forgive someone while still having realistic expectations of them.

Glad you're feeling better, fingers crossed for you.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
Thank you. I am fully healed and free of pneumonia.

You are right. I have no idea how or when that healing will occur. I am simply not sure if it will ever occur. Where do you start to heal? It just seems incomplete and unresolved. It is kind of hard to close a chapter when there was never a resolution. It just is in a state of suspension. The wounds are still open, and I know these things cannot be rushed.
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  #734  
Old 02-16-2014, 07:32 AM
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Good afternoon! Happy Sunday and the warmest of greetings!

The annual SL-A anniversary hols was nothing shy of perfection. We arrived in Bali on Thursday morning before 6 AM, so we literally had the entire day to do whatever our hearts desired. It felt strange to not have a single child with us. Our oldest was at year 9 camp, and our two youngest had to attend school. My in-laws offered to help Nanny J, and we happily accepted the offer. I know they are in good hands. I suppose I have grown accustomed to seeing them every day, and this is the first time in months that there has been a break of sorts.

Day one: we arrived at the resort, and we were granted early check-in. The resort arranged for some spa treatments to alleviate any jet-lag. It was very relaxing to spend time at the spa with my DH. We talked, laughed, and just enjoyed one another. We agreed to disconnect from technology with the exception of contacting our children or their caregivers. Smart move.

DH arranged for a candlelight dinner, which consisted of a multiple course dinner on the pool. The pool was covered with rose petals and had floating candles. As an added perk, there was a string quartet softly playing. It was extremely romantic, and it was a lovely pre-Valentine's Day dinner.

Over dessert, he presented me a handwritten letter, and it brought me to tears. He must have tapped into every emotion he had because it detailed all of his highs, lows, private struggles, and innermost thoughts over the past year. The best gift is one that no amount of money can buy: him letting me in and trusting me again.

In a totally unscripted moment, we did something we have not done in a lifetime: slow danced. The simple things are what my heart beats for. He was whispering sweet nothings in my ear. He had me blushing like a brand new virgin. There was something about the way he was holding me and looking into my eyes. The way he looked at me was like I was the only woman alive in the world for him. Inexplicable feeling.

The night did not end there. I took a bubble bath and had a glass of champagne. We took our time, and it was worth it. The fire in his fingertips. The softness of his lips brushing against my skin. The way he admired my body. He loves my body, and for once, I did not feel the need to cover up. I wanted him to see and have all of me. We cuddled after, and I fell asleep in his arms with the sound of his heart beating in my ear. There was nowhere else I would rather have been that right there with him.

Day two: V-Day morning started with breakfast in bed. We did some sightseeing, but it was relatively low-key. Friday is our weekly date night, so I did the same things I do every Friday. I went to a hair salon, got a mani/pedi, and had my make-up professionally done. I chose to wear a dress that was his favourite colour, and I wore my signature fragrance to tease him. We went on a sunset cruise. We just had drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Dinner consisted of seven courses with wine pairings. I worked with the chef to create the menu, and it was a smashing success. DH appreciated all of the little touches and my effort.

Day three: DH generally handles the anniversary festivities. I let him have free reign. In a surprise move, we changed resorts. He would not tell me any information. We ended up about an hour away from the original resort. We stayed in a villa separate from the resort. We had brekky, lunch, and he left me alone around 4, so that we could get ready for the evening. I had no idea what he was up to, but I figured it was a Matt original.

This anniversary was the start of something new. Not only did he propose with a new engagement ring, we formally renewed our vows and exchanged new wedding rings. My anniversary gift to him was a new wedding band because I disliked what the old one symbolised. Something about him being one of two when I gave him that had really been weighing on my mind and bothering me recently. Everytime I saw his hand, it stirred up some odd feelings internally. I am "retiring" my original bridal trio and wearing the new trio that was given to me last night. Out with the old. Proudly ushering in the new.

Day four: My brother and his wife are in Bangkok due to his job. I have not seen him in a few months, and since we were just a few hours away by flight, we decided to come here. Sadly, we are jetting out a bit after midnight. We miss our children, and we have upcoming commitments that require our attention at home. As wonderful as this getaway has been, home is where the heart is. We will be back home tomorrow afternoon.

Other:

I am debating about writing a post about my ex, but I am not sure about that. As I briefly remarked, there is healing that needs to occur, but where do you start? I have often wondered if I should apologise. Then, I wonder, "What would I apologise for exactly?" The situation with her is unresolved and incomplete. I think what that story needs is closure or a rewrite. This is a strange place to be in. It was not all bad with her, which is why I feel compelled at moments to forgive her and give her a second chance to be a better friend than she was girlfriend. I accept that she is human and flawed. I even miss her friendship at times. It is literally positive thought, negative x 10, and backing away from any possibility of her ever being in my life again. That is the cycle. How do I break that cycle? In the coming weeks/months, I will be working out and hopefully resolving the feelings and thoughts surrounding Si.
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  #735  
Old 02-16-2014, 02:18 PM
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Sometimes it can take years to get over an ex, especially when it comes to a crashing halt. I do think however, that you and Baggage Patrol get a little obsessive in your thoughts about your exes, get caught up in "what ifs" and "if onlys."

Just my perspective, but why not look at it as, "We grew apart. We no longer saw eye to eye. Our relationship needs diverged over time."

It's no one's fault. We are all flawed human beings on this hard complicated life journey. We all have our paths to follow in life. Sometimes our paths match another human's path (or 2 or 3 lovers' paths, and of course, platonic friends' paths). Sometimes you can walk that path together for decades, with minor side trips. Sometimes the paths coincide for mere days, weeks, months or a few short years.

A relationship can be a "success" for any length of time. It doesn't have to last decades for it to be useful for your growth and enjoyment of life on this planet.

You could just let her go. Si has her needs, her paths to follow now. They do not match yours. You've diverged. So be it!

Let time take care of healing the loss. You've got plenty of good stuff to distract you now!
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  #736  
Old 02-17-2014, 10:08 PM
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I don't know if this helps, but my youngest brother says there are four levels of forgiveness:
  • letting go of the pain the person caused you,
  • developing compassion and understanding toward that person,
  • doing something nice for that person,
  • trusting that person again.
The problem with that last (fourth) level is that the person who hurt you has to take action of their own to help restore the trust. And, you must provide for them a series of reasonable steps they can follow in order to get your trust back.

So, we don't always make it through all four levels of forgiveness. But we can usually get through the first three.

How many levels of forgiveness can you do for your ex? What would you need to make that possible?

Maybe approaching forgiveness in light of those levels would help you to get some closure. Who knows.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:27 AM
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Everyone inaccurately assumes that I gave up poly because of pressure from Matt. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Matt had nothing to do with this. Truth is, I lost the heart and the passion I once had for structuring relationships in this manner. The appeal that was there just kind of died.

It was a long time coming. There were several things that seriously bothered me. First, my children. I have two biological babies and one future adoptee. As I have learned with the deaths in my family and attending my neighbour's son's funeral last month, life is too short. Their son was the same age as me, and it breaks my heart every day when I see his car parked in that same spot like he is gone on holiday. His mum is not taking it well at all. I want to enjoy every moment with my children. They are still young right now. We have four years until our oldest goes off to university. Time flies by, and I missed so much when I was trying to foolishly and selfishly maintain two full-time relationships. I did not have the resources to do it then because what I am finding now is even with cutting my work day back to 3 PM, only working four days a week, having a helpful husband, and having live-in help, I am still busy around the clock. The nanny cannot attend parent association meetings at two schools. The nanny cannot host the monthly parent club meetings. The nanny cannot have a daily mother-daughter bonding block. The nanny cannot have a weekly mother-daughter date night with the oldest. The nanny cannot express milk for my baby. The list goes on.

My children have grown accustomed to seeing me, and I know that if I entered another relationship that would take me away from them, all hell would break loose. My youngest daughter knows that on Monday/Friday, I will be present for her ballet class from 4-4:45 and the jazz class from 4:45-5:15. My oldest knows to expect some one-on-one time with me after family therapy. My son knows that he stays with mummy and daddy every Friday. Every Friday morning, he climbs in bed with me and we watch Disney, Jr. We have a nice little routine while DH is out making the morning school runs. He loves Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so I watch it with him. It makes him happy. My children know that no matter what, I will be at the dinner table every night. At this point in my life, I say to hell with another relationship. Nothing makes me happier than when I arrive at my son's school, and he runs into my arms and gives me the biggest hug and a kiss on my cheek. I look at my five year old in awe because she has this wisdom and insight beyond her years. I love when she tells me about how she does not care if I make mistakes or that I am not perfect because she still loves me and thinks I am the best mummy in the whole world. Our oldest never ceases to amaze me. She is witty and charming. She sees the good in everything. I often say that she has humbled me. My heart belongs to those three babies. I may not be the best wife, friend, daughter, or whatever, but I am going to be able to say, "I did something right with my children."

My children were not the only driving factor. Basic life. There are only 24 hours. If 12-16 went to my job, that left 8-12 for sleeping, taking care of my children, spending time with DH, spending time with Si, and maintaining sanity. Two relationships and two children that were all pulling me in different directions? I stretched myself beyond my means. Friends? Family? Socialising? There was no time for anything else. I worked my arse off to the point of wondering if the job was my man. (I even remarked to a friend one day, "My job is fucking me, feeding me, and paying me like this is a relationship." What did I have to show for it outside of the material things? Material things go out of season as soon as a new collection drops. On the exterior, I looked like I had it all. The dashing Aussie Adonis husband, two children, a girlfriend, a career, a beautiful home, etc. Behind the scenes, my marriage was on life support with one perfectly manicured nail waiting to shut the power off with a DNR order. My ex and my husband were in competition and constantly vying for a slot in my book. I lost contact with family. I missed so many weddings, baptisms, and I know I was not taking care of myself properly either. I was not eating right. I was skipping meals and running, running, running. I was not sleeping like I was supposed to. It is a wonder that I did not suffer a mental breakdown.

As far as my family, it should never have reached the point of me making a run to Waitrose and hearing someone call my name. Only to turn around and find out that it was my uncle. I should never have heard someone say, "I have not seen you since dad's funeral in 2008," and it was 2013 at that point. It should never have reached the point of seeing my cousins once a year or only meeting up with people at funerals. What kind of existence was that anyway? Things like that made me step back and say, "Lady, you need to evaluate what is really important."

My marriage to Matt did play a part but not in the way most people assume. I hated the state of our marriage. I am sorry but seeing a spouse 15 minutes or less per day is not the dream when you share a home and have children. Our marriage was like McDonald's. In, out, thank you, sir/ma'am, and come again. Unacceptable on all fronts. Aside from that, if my arse could not keep one healthy relationship afloat, I knew without a doubt that maintaining two was out of the question and an unrealistic goal. He did not have to ask me to take that off the table. I took it off the table completely, asked for it in writing (renewed and updated post-nup), and asked for legal repercussions should I decide that I cannot handle it. Discipline and a priceless lesson. You cannot always have what you want. What I wanted was not what I needed. I needed stability, normalcy, and time to get it together. I did not want or need outside distractions in the form of another relationship.

As time has gone on, I have grown up and out of that supposed need for the aforementioned structure. I have learned that I can be happy with one person. I had never tried it, so I could never definitively say that a mono structure was not for me. I know people say that one person cannot meet your needs, but I am finding that I am fulfilled and happier than I was juggling two full-time relationships. The novelty wore off when said relationship became a source of work, discontentment, and lead to so many issues that this page does not have room enough for them. I was going through the motions, but I was not happy. I am glowing again, and I am in nirvana. The major difference is even with a full plate, I am happy, and I can resurface for air or reach out for help, if I feel like I am drowning.

I do not know if that interest in actively being poly will ever return. My therapist asked if I had outgrown it, and I do not have an answer. There is a disconnect, and I am just not sure it would provide an ounce of happiness. In all seriousness, I do see the negatives. I could where it would infringe on time with Matt, our children, or cause disruptions. I despised living by a schedule. I refuse to have a co-primary. I have no interest in overnight visits. I refuse to take any time away from my children, and that person would not be involved with my children. They would never meet them, which means they would never be in our home. I am not willing to miss family therapy or any blocks of bonding with my children. I am not willing to miss important moments to my children. I am not willing to give my personal time up for the cause. I am not willing to give up my morning and nightly private time with DH. I am not willing to lessen my philanthropic endeavours. I have asked myself, "What would another relationship bring to your life?" Nothing. What would or could it take away from your life or the lives of those around you? Everything.

This is how I came to the conclusion that I am better off not maintaining multiple relationships. It would be unfair to the poor person or people. I have an arsenal of boundaries, and they are non-negotiable. With that understanding, I have chosen a one-on-one structure, as it is more in line with my available resources.
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Old 02-20-2014, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kdt26417 View Post
I don't know if this helps, but my youngest brother says there are four levels of forgiveness:
  • letting go of the pain the person caused you,
  • developing compassion and understanding toward that person,
  • doing something nice for that person,
  • trusting that person again.
The problem with that last (fourth) level is that the person who hurt you has to take action of their own to help restore the trust. And, you must provide for them a series of reasonable steps they can follow in order to get your trust back.

So, we don't always make it through all four levels of forgiveness. But we can usually get through the first three.

How many levels of forgiveness can you do for your ex? What would you need to make that possible?

Maybe approaching forgiveness in light of those levels would help you to get some closure. Who knows.
It does help. I really do not feel any pain. It is more anger, betrayal, disappointment, and disgust.

I feel no empathy or compassion for her. I want to shake her and scream, "Own up to what you did and stop blaming it on everybody." I still have days where the first thought with name association is, "Backstabbing bitch." I have tried to understand why she did what she did, but I cannot put myself in her shoes to walk that path. I do not understand why she did any of it. Was getting rid of Matt worth using my children? Was it going to be worth causing me heartbreak? Was it worth when she was causing me to stress to the point of losing weight? Was it worth it when he left me on Mothering Day? Was it worth it when I/we had to explain to our children where Mummy Si was and why she was not there? Was it worth it when my child was crying behind her? Was it going to be worth watching me go through a nasty custody battle and causing my children to be shuffled between us or causing lifelong scars? I just feel like every answer she could possibly give would be an excuse, or she would make it about herself. She knew the deal. She was not some naive school girl. Her role in my life was clear from day one. My subconscious behaviour continuously backed what that regardless of what my mouth said.

I cannot do anything nice for her. At this point, talking to her once every six months is an accomplishment. I feel nothing when I talk to her. I have no great interest in her life or what she is going through. I have thought about therapy, but the inner ice princess has not warmed to that idea. The first thought is, "She is not worth the money or time."

When hell freezes over, I might trust her again. Our friendship has burned to the ground, and there are no ashes left. It would literally have to be built from scratch, and my thoughts immediately revert back to the investment not being worth the return. I am trying hard to remember the good times and her redeeming qualities, but then I wonder, "Was it all for show or just an act to get in my good graces? What was fact and was fiction?" I have questioned everything about her because what I have learned and seen of her is not the person I loved in the past. That person is no friend of mine, and that person will never be welcome in my life again. After a certain point, it was all about her being a cowgirl and roping me in. I would not classify setting out to hurt someone by proxy as a romantic gesture. Maybe that is just me.

Maybe therapy is the answer. I am not paying for it. At this point, I am not even willing to go half. I know I would not have Matt's full support in this because he has made it clear that she is not welcome around him, our children, or in our home. I am not sure I want to sacrifice x minutes per week for her. I just feel like I would be giving her what she wants: access to me and a new way to piss Matt off, and that does not bode well with me. As I saw a few weekends ago, there is still bad blood between them. She could have killed him with the way she was looking at him. He was looking through her. It was uncomfortable, but he did not say anything to her. I might be willing to do it remotely with boundaries and agreements in place.
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:39 AM
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Re (from FullofLove1052):
Quote:
"I know people say that one person cannot meet your needs, but I am finding that I am more fulfilled and happier than I was juggling two full-time relationships."
If one person cannot meet your needs (and I'm sure they can't -- not all of them), then who's to say that two people can meet them (all of them)? The point is that all relationship models have a certain number of people bringing what they can to the table, but even with an exotic feast with cuisine from around the world you still won't have *everything* on that table that you could possibly (want or) need in a relationship.

And as you sort of noted, adding a person comes at a price -- the price of attention, energy, and time. Trading in your life with one partner for a life with two partners means that you now get, on average, half as much attention, energy, and time from each of those two partners, as you would have from just one of them if you didn't have the other partner. So yeah there may be more *kinds* of food to enjoy, but now the portions are smaller. And of course each of those two partners only gets, on average, half as much time, energy, and attention from you as they could have received if they were your only partner.

Love is an abundant resource in a way that time, energy, and attention are not. You may love tons of people but you still have to pick and choose how to divvy up the 24 hours you have in a day. You may have love for all people (or as many people as the human mind can retain in memory), but delivering that love to them requires resources that aren't so abundant. So there are plusses and minuses to living polyamorously, just as there are plusses and minuses to living monogamously. At the end of the day, you have to figure out which costs and returns work the best for you -- and for your family.

---

As for forgiving your ex, I think it is too early to be trying to make that happen. Letting go of the pain is enough for now. I think you need a long vacation from Si, before you can even think about things like empathy for her. She caused too much damage.

I think she had an unrealistic (and selfish) fantasy of the life she thought she could have with you. It never occurred to her that she was going the wrong way about getting something that really never could have been hers anyway. That's the most I can guess about her thoughts and intentions at this time.

I think that to some extent you are in a grieving process regarding lost time with Matt and the kids. That's time you can never get back again. Your kids are older now, and you can't turn back the clock. So "Part Two" of the forgiveness process is going to take a long time. You need to feel like the loss of past time has been redeemed somehow, some way, and to some extent. Maybe years down the road you will feel less disgusted toward Si, but if and whenever it happens, it's got to be a natural process and can't be forced.

It is a service to her to (ever) sit and listen to her when you don't even feel like doing that much. I think maybe someday she'll appreciate that. I hope so.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:44 AM
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"Everyone" blames Matt? I sure don't. Takes 2 to tango, and in this case, it's a 3way dance. I don't think casting blames helps, but you had a role in the end of the relationship too, Ry. You were distant from Matt, and from your kid, working a lot, spending lots of time with Si, not communicating well with anyone. You've also expressed having had low self esteem in the past, which is changing now.

If Si's relationship needs changed over time, hey, it happens. If she decided she wanted monogamy with you, and you weren't able to provide it, I do hope she finds it with someone else, as you have found monogamy with Matt is now what you want!

I didn't want to pursue polyamory when my kids were young. Even though I always felt poly, I made the decision to not date, even after our "unicorn" and my ex h were in love. However, once my my kids were in their late teens and early 20s, needing less of me, having lives of their own, I found pursuing polyamory to work quite well for me. I also have time for hobbies!

But that scenario is 17 years in your future. I don't see a need to defend your decision. It is perfectly reasonable.
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me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37

Last edited by Magdlyn; 02-21-2014 at 02:03 AM.
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anger management, bisexual female, blame, break-ups, breaking up, changing loyalties, children, co-parenting, competition, coupledom, demanding partners, divorce, forgiveness, from poly to mono, healing, making excuses, married and polyamorous, poly co-parenting, poly to mono, primary/secondary, therapy, triad fallout, trust, vee dynamics, vee vs. triad

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