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  #1401  
Old 11-13-2017, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Reverie View Post

We seem to have (at least for the moment) turned things around. I decided when I woke up Saturday morning, before I even opened my eyes, that I was going to scrap the processing for the next little while and just focus on basically silently loving Rider till he felt loved enough to calm down and stabilize some.
You said in one of your earlier posts that you feel like you can't do anything right, which is a difficult place to be, especially when you're not doing anything wrong. However, your intentional effort to be loving, kind and temporarily forgo processing is probably one of the best things you can do for a partner struggling with feelings of displacement and the fear of potentially massive upheaval in their lives. You two probably still have more to go through but making efforts like this does a lot to calm the situation or like you said, offers a little stability to Rider and it created an atmosphere where you felt comfortable asking him to meet some of your needs. In the long run I think shared positive experiences will give him a place to refer to when he's feeling icky about things as well as creating a more stable place for him to potentially exam his fears related to all this. I hope things stay stable and calm for a while

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and he dozed while I read a book he is lending me, Siddhartha. He said that's his favorite book and he couldn't believe I hadn't read it. It's a short one, so I'm actually now already 70% through it.
So, what do you think of it?
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  #1402  
Old 11-14-2017, 06:24 PM
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So, what do you think of it?
So far, I really like it! It's making me pause to think a lot.
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  #1403  
Old 11-14-2017, 08:19 PM
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I did not end up staying in last night after all. Watching Dustin get ready to play his show enticed me too much. He was wearing a thin white t-shirt with an extra wide collar opening, showing off just a bit of his chest hair, well-fitting jeans, an army jacket, and the shoes he calls his "Beatle boots." He'd combed his hair slightly differently than usual, and he just looked sooooo delicious. I could not sit idly by and let him have all the fun without me, even if it meant being tired today.

Before the show, we picked up ingredients and I made guacamole and nachos, satisfying a craving, and we watched some TV. Around 9:30, Pete picked us up and we went to the venue. It was a really cool venue. I met some members of the other bands that were playing, had a glass of wine, and took some pictures. I love watching Dustin on stage. His little dance moves kill me.

They were done playing by like 12:30 or so, and we went back to Dustin's place. Dustin and I stayed up probably too late chatting with Pete, and then we went to bed. I fell asleep the moment my head hit the pillow, and slept really well. I purposely spaced my alarms out so that there would be time to have sex in the morning, and there was, and we did. It was very good for half-asleep morning sex.

One thing that happened that ended up causing a moment of stress was this: I had misplaced my wallet at some point over the weekend. I'd asked both boys to scour their areas looking for it, and Rider eventually found it in our car. He'd texted me a picture of where he'd put it for me—on my nightstand. I was happy and showed Dustin the picture. Well, I hadn't noticed that the coconut oil was clearly visible on the nightstand in the pic, and Dustin knows that coconut oil = sex, so he was inadvertently exposed to a reminder of my sex with Rider.

He didn't immediately react, but when he was getting ready for his show, and I was lying on his bed watching, he said something about my being "almost perfect."

I put on a fake pout. "I was perfect yesterday! What happened?!"

He sighed. "You are perfect. It's just . . . the situation."

And then, as we were making plans for the week, I was telling him I need to clean my apartment in preparation for his staying with me this coming weekend. I told him maybe I'll do it on Wednesday (his day) and then come over to his place after. He wanted to know why I couldn't just do it Thursday (Rider's day) when I'd already be at home, and I had to explain that Thursday is the last night I get with Rider before we don't see each other for five days.

"Oh, hot date night with the husband," he said, with a grumbly tone.

I'd been wondering where those little barbs were coming from suddenly, and I found out when Pete was over and was talking about how he'd masturbated till there were sores on his cock. I asked him if he'd tried coconut oil, and Dustin piped up about the coconut oil on the nightstand in the photo. Oh. I suddenly understood that that's where it was all coming from.

Things seem fine now, though, so I guess he's over it. I'm kinda dumb for not realizing it was in the pic. I need to be more careful—I know how those "out of nowhere" reminders of sex with other partners can be jarring. Whoops.
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  #1404  
Old 11-14-2017, 11:11 PM
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For some reason I am obsessed with Dustin today. It's been a rough, busy day at work, but it's all I can do to not spend the entire day creeping through his Facebook photos. I shot these two videos last night and he's playing bass and kind of dancing around, and, when I watch them, my heart starts racing.

Usually my NRE-brain is not this bad anymore. I must be coming up on ovulation.

I just had to tell someone, and no one else is suitable, so this blog is the outlet.
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  #1405  
Old 11-15-2017, 12:35 AM
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While searching for something else in this blog, I stumbled upon two posts from nearly three years ago. One is me picking apart some feelings about jealousy and specialness, and the other is a letter to Rider relating to that. These were the parts that jumped out at me:

Quote:
I had a feeling like what Rider and I have trumps everything—that it existed in a little bubble of privilege. And now that bubble has burst, and I am rocketing back toward the earth. THAT is where the adrenaline is coming from: I've been unwittingly skydiving from the heights of complacent love and security down into the reality that those things that lifted me there were not some special wings unfolded only for me, but "business as usual."

...

When I consider this—the importance I've placed on things being "ours"—I wonder why.

...

The other aspect of this whole thing—the overwhelming desire to be "special"—well, it just sounds so utterly childish when I type it out that way. But as I try to pick it apart and consider it, it's too easy for the pendulum to swing all the way in the opposite direction to nihilism: no one is special and nothing has meaning...
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I don’t know what I am going to do as a result of it. Probably absolutely nothing, for the time being.

As I have tried to explain, the thing that I feel is like a child who has just discovered the non-existence of Santa Claus. What I imagine it feels like to a former believer who has discovered the non-existence of god. Or what it must feel like to be ignorant of science, therefore holding a belief that mankind is important, then discovering the scale of the universe and our own insignificance.

And, of course, I am better off for this knowledge, as in all of the above cases.

Love is not really magic. It is never fated, nor promised continuance. The relationship that I happen to be in at any given time (or my favored one, if I am in multiple) comes with no special privilege just by virtue of being mine, no matter how convincing life may be in its laying of trappings suggesting that I am the star of my own story. Love is a cocktail of chemical impulses that weave themselves into a narrative that our culture constructs for us, which our upbringing then hones. We translate this narrative into our own set of habits based on what we enjoy and what has worked for us before in our efforts to secure partners. Love is a science.

And just like a science, it doesn’t bend to the whims and wishes of those who would experiment with it. It is what it is. Whatever that is.

I think I have been guilty of too much magical thinking, even as I told myself all along that magical thinking is bullshit. And yet it is something that I have always done.

...

I’ve always told you that love is what I do. It’s what I’m good at. I pour myself over people like so much warm honey and start reaching toward the point where we can construct a magic cloud-castle built of shared plans, goals, hopes, dreams. I make the dreaming delicious. Even as a poly person, I’ve always wanted more than anything to find one more-than-everything-else: someone who found me special enough to build along with me—someone who would share everything with me, and I with them, and we’d stand back-to-back against the world, letting no one else all the way in.

And I’d build a mythology; love is my religion: this is the sacred hallowed ground where we first kissed—my foot can never step there with another’s. These are the magic words that I’ll never say to another—they cast a spell that keeps us together and protected from all the bad in the world. These are the tiny rituals that we complete, acts of love and service and soul-cement that keep the bricks of our cloud fortress strong. And inside of it we dwell, two-nearly-as-one. Others can visit, but no one knows our spells and codes, so no one can unravel us.

But life doesn’t work that way. In poly, those hallowed grounds consecrated by one kiss work just as easily to enchant another. Magic words and names are simple nouns and verbs, put as well to the purpose of comforting, seducing, placating, pleasing another as well as they work on each other. The rituals we create based on activities, places, songs—these can cement other walls built on other hills, suburban cottages on culs-de-sac that are shaped the same and have the same black driveways, even if they are painted a different color. Call this one terracotta. A terracotta cottage, shaped just like all the others. No Victorian cloud fortress, no castle, no turrets. It’s a different kind of boring than monogamy, but it’s still boring....it’s a rude awakening to find it impossible to stand out.

It’s not even just that poly sucks. All poly does is make it easier to see. Poly sucks, because nothing is sacred and who wants to have the same-looking bungalow as everyone else in the neighborhood? The cloud castle becomes far less beautiful when the architect puts ten of them on the same block—it’s a caricature of a dream house. But monogamy sucks too, probably more, because humans are not naturally monogamous, and trading your own freedom for control of someone else is a load of horseshit. To breed resentment and over-comfort within the stale confines of only two seems doomed from the start. The cloud castle becomes the cloud prison. And then, needless to say, loneliness and celibacy suck.

So basically, all the permutations of ways of living kind of suck, and romance and magic are dead. Yes, shocking that I am just now figuring this out. Choosing poly is choosing the lesser of the evils, but the knowledge of the suck-itude is going to take some getting used to. I feel like I am teetering between throwing a crying titty-baby tantrum about the whole thing, or going totally the other way and turning into a bitter cynic. How to strike a balance between the tender and the tough that leaves me still adult, but still human?

...

The good news, at least, is that the jealousy is gone. I am pining over the loss of my innocence and the death of romance, but I no longer give a rat’s ass about the particulars of who does what with whom. About that, I have near-total peace. Everyone should do exactly what makes them happy, because they are the only person who can make them happy. If you’re happy, then I’m happy that you’re happy, because I love you, and I’m glad you’ve found that for yourself.

Me, I’m not sure what will make me happy. For too long, too much of it was staked on my erroneous notions of love. Now I have to figure the rest of it out. Love, those sweet chemical sensations of bliss, might factor into it, but can no longer be the largest component. I was once “made of love.” Now I’m made chiefly of confusion and pensiveness.
Holy shit, if that is not much of the exact same shit that Dustin struggles with. I almost feel like I should show him those excerpts, so that he knows that I walked that section of road too, and he is not alone.

I also feel a measure of sadness when I read them, because it sounds like I had introspected and found some very specific ideas about what I had wanted out of partnership, but I was very determined to poly and to have Rider, so it sounds like I kind of whipped those things out of myself at the risk of ending up bitter.
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  #1406  
Old 11-15-2017, 09:08 PM
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Things between me and Rider are still pretty good right now. Last night we still mostly steered away from processing, though we did have a little "thing" where he was upset over poly TV things.

He'd known before (and been OK with it) that I was watching the same show with him and Dustin. I wasn't going to make either of them watch it alone, and I know they both like it, so I was just watching it with both of them.

But last night I told him that I'd finished it with Dustin, in the context of "I just started watching [other show]" and Rider asked I'd finished the first show, and I said yes. Then he got upset that it hadn't been him that I finished it with.

I was confused why he'd be upset because I was still planning on finishing it with him, too—why does my inner experience (watching it for the second time) affect his inner experience? I would never spoil it for him. I could understand if I'd watched it with someone else and it made me not want to waste time by watching it again, but I'd really rather do everything twice than have to make one of them go without. And it seems odd to hold back the pace with one so that the other can be on the same episode or whatever.

I guess this might fall into what Autumn was saying, about details making Rider uncomfortable? Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned the TV stuff?

It's just . . . if I can't talk about what I've been doing, watching, etc. when I'm not with Rider, and that's nearly half the time, what do I talk about?

Ha, that makes me feel really boring, actually. That I'm sitting here trying to brainstorm alternative topics to talk about, because I'm already trying not to talk about processing things or Dustin with Rider, and if I also am not going to talk about things I've done that Dustin happens to have been present for, then I am finding myself at a loss.

I guess current events? Thoughts about what I've just done or am planning on doing with Rider? The cats? Pick a random topic and just go with it?

I'm soooo not good at inhibiting the natural flow of my train of thought when I'm interacting with people I'm close to! God, I suck at this hinging thing.
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  #1407  
Old 11-16-2017, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
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I'm soooo not good at inhibiting the natural flow of my train of thought when I'm interacting with people I'm close to! God, I suck at this hinging thing.
I've never hinged like you are now, the closest I came was having two long distance partners and the greatest difficulty I faced there was trying to schedule plans, in particular because one of them was slightly unreliable but all that said I would say you're not sucking at it, that you're doing the best you can to be a good partner to both of them while also following your own heart and trying to figure out what you want for your near term future. I imagine it feels like you're sucking at it because both of them are struggling with it in their own ways and you feel empathy for both of them. However I don't think they're struggling because you're doing something wrong but rather because they both want something from you that they can't have. From what you write, you're handling it ethically by living up to the agreements you've made with both of them as well as trying to be as kind and understanding of their struggles as possible. It's a tough situation no matter how you stack and you're doing the best you can.

What to share though? I've been in Rider's place on the V the first time Lemon had a partner she was that smitten with. When I was, I felt an intense sense displacement, fear, and confusion over the situation. Like Rider, I had all sorts of unexpected and unpleasant reactions to any number of things similar to his reaction about the show. What made the situation worse from my perspective is part of me wanted to know because I really want to know what's going on in her life yet at the same time, I was having mini-meltdowns and at times it felt like we were endlessly processing rather than having quality time which can really strain any relationship. What I finally had to do was decide that since it was causing near constant low level anxiety for me is to either remove myself from the situation or face all the fears and icky feelings that were driving these reactions. I'm a big believer in the idea that people feel what they're going to feel and we shouldn't invalidate ourselves by saying "you agreed to this so you should feel this way" however at the same time when something I feel is consistently leaving me feeling icky or having a continued negative impact on my life or well-being I start to examine it and ask why it's bothering me so much. In particular I really like to examine things that I'm fearful of because I spent the first 30 years of my life making far too many decisions from a place of fear and while I believe there is healthy fear, there's also unhealthy fear.

I guess my point is that if he were my friend coming to me about this situation I'd be supportive because it's definitely not an easy place to be- he's not new to non-monogamy but I think this is a new relationship dynamic for him so it's expected that he might be dealing with a lot of new and confusing emotions right now however I'd also ask him something along the lines of what you said- "How does knowing she watched it with Dustin impact your experience of it and why?" I get it when people don't want to know the most intimate details of their partner's time with metamours or if they went in to it with a "I don't really want to hear anything about it" kind of understanding but it seems to me that the two of you have typically shared this type of information so maybe it's time for him to examine why it's so hard for him to hear it now.
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  #1408  
Old 11-16-2017, 03:09 PM
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I do not share a lot of details with either of my husbands about what I do with the other. It helps save hurt feelings.

For example I went to a really cool work event with Butch that Murf wanted to go to but couldn't due to work. He knew I went and I am sure he knew Butch went with. But I did not mention Butch. And vice versa.. Two weeks ago I went to a book signing my one of my favorite singers. Butch knows I went to NJ and got my book signed. He knows it was my weekend with Murf but I didn't share any details that meantioned him.

Frankly neither of them want to hear about what the other is up to.
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  #1409  
Old 11-16-2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Reverie View Post
I'm soooo not good at inhibiting the natural flow of my train of thought when I'm interacting with people I'm close to! God, I suck at this hinging thing.
Honestly I think that inhibiting yourself like that is too big of an ask from either of them, especially given you spend most of your time with one or the other of them. I agree with Refusnik that this is more a "them" problem or at least a "the combination of your personality and their desires" problem, than a "you suck" thing.
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  #1410  
Old 11-16-2017, 04:58 PM
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Honestly I think that inhibiting yourself like that is too big of an ask from either of them, especially given you spend most of your time with one or the other of them. I agree with Refusnik that this is more a "them" problem or at least a "the combination of your personality and their desires" problem, than a "you suck" thing.
I agree. There are people who are fine with doing this and don't find it difficult, but with your personality I can see how it's challenging. It would be for me too!
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