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Old 01-21-2016, 03:35 PM
Aridan Aridan is offline
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Default Perfectly Imperfect

So I am thinking this is the place to start. From the outside looking in Iím sure many people would think that everything in my poly world is pretty happy. And believe me I know that Iím blessed in what I have. My husband, Andrew, is unflaggingly supportive of both my relationship with Marie, and the crazy angst and self flagellation that I cycle through time to time.

I didnít think I would end up in love with a woman. I always thought my energy would match up best with a man. Itís definitely very different, and when I look at the relationships with men versus women I think in the past I was assuming the differences were due to gender, but now that I think about it I probably havenít given enough credit for the differences to be due to the intrinsic personality of the people I have met.

Early on I had some doubts about whether I would be able to live a poly life. Much of what I read said that people getting into this life should be confident, free of insecurities, and full of compersion. I knew that I did not fit this bill. I was raised by women who were fiercely possessive and jealous of their partners. I grew up with a gaping hole where my confidence and self esteem belonged. But what I did have and still do have is a heart that is full of love for many.

This question is something I still struggle with. I ask myself if poly is for me every time I feel sad and/or insecure within this lifestyle. But the answer always comes back that the good outweighs the bad, the happiness outshines the sadness, that my life is richer, more multifaceted, and deeper because of the additional love I am experiencing through this lifestyle.

So this is where Iím going to share my thoughts, lessons learned, struggles, angst, triumphs and insights about this life. All these experiences weave together, wrap around me, and make me who I am, this perfectly imperfect person walking down the poly path of life.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2016, 12:12 AM
Aridan Aridan is offline
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I thought I posted this yesterday, but guess not. So here it is.

So, here is an example of what I struggle with. I worry, I overanalyze, I have trust issues. Being a LDR much of the communication we have is based on email and texting. Very rarely do we have calls, and other than two or three Skype sessions early on, we donít do cyber calls.

Honestly I find this very unsatisfactory to what my ideal would be. But this relationship evolved from something that was very casual, and so there was no negotiation of what any of us would need or want out of this.

I would love to hear from her every day, I would love to have calls where we can touch base regularly. But the fact that one of the issues we have had is that she had indicated she struggled with trying to fit another person in her life, and didnít think she had the bandwidth to give love, support and attention to more than her husband. When that happened I didnít know where that left us, I asked if she still wanted to be occasional play partners. And she said it was more than that. But that made me want to make as little demand on her time as possible. I let her lead and set the levels of communications, because I had no issue with any level of contact.

But now two years into this relationship, it leaves me feeling sad. I spoke to Andrew about this last night. He said maybe she feels sad that I donít text her more often. I said that she is a woman who is never shy about saying what she wants and getting it. He said that Iím making assumptions and if he were her he would be upset that I donít initiate texting more. So we agreed that I would try texting more often for a couple of weeks and see how it goes.

I started this morning with a picture and message wishing her a good day, but hadnít received a response by the time Iím posting this, over an hour later. It makes me feel vulnerable and sad. I donít like feeling the relationship is unbalanced, that I care more for her than she does for me. I know thatís not a logical thought, as we all love differently. Nevertheless itís how it makes me feel.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2016, 12:13 AM
Aridan Aridan is offline
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So I have been struggling with a meh day today. Honestly, the entire holiday season was a terrible drag on me this year for some reason. I think all the ups and downs of the extended relationship has been an emotional drain. On top of this I have struggled all my life with depression. For the longest time, I didn't really know what it was. I just thought I was feeling sorry for myself or that I was feeling the way that most people felt. Even as I got older and this condition became work, I avoided taking any kind of drug for it.

It eventually came to a head about four years ago when Andrew and I came very close to splitting. It was the scariest time of my life. The thought of him not being in my life made me catch my breath with overwhelming fear and grief. I realized that I needed to make some changes. My ongoing depression and the resulting unhappiness were something I could address. I ended up going to the doctor, getting on antidepressants and started working with a therapist.

I stayed that course for two years, but then I could no longer take the sexual side effects of the medications. I tried changing them, and eventually had to just wean myself off of them. But now I'm paranoid about going back to that morose state. I still go to counseling, but I don't take any meds. And the depression combined with the LDR with Marie leads to me feeling, sad, gloomy, uncertain, and needy much more often than I like.

I'm trying hard to find the self-love, because it's really the key to happiness. I know this, I have heard about it from people, and read about it countless times. And I go through the motions of batting down the negativity, avoiding making derogatory comments about myself to my loves, telling myself that I'm worthy and enough. But it doesn't match the voice on the inside, and so far no amount of love, medication, counseling, or sheer force of will has been able to quiet that opposing voice and the insistent, virulent self-loathing it pours out.

Case in point, last night we went to dinner at my mother-in-law's. We were helping her fix her computer problem and she agreed to make dinner for us. Andrew had asked early on if this was ok, as he knows I tend to feel tense around his mother. She doesn't really care for me, which has always hurt my feelings. I mean, she goes through the motions, says the right things, gives hugs and presentsÖbut we as humans can always tell when someone just doesn't feel for us. But I try to be kind and I said yes, let's go. After dinner I offered to help her with the dishes, and it was just this feeling that she didn't really want me to help with the dishes, and yet she was judging me for not helping enough. I started to wash, and she pointed out the bit of potato still on the side of pot lid. I felt mortified and she started checking every dish in scrupulous detail, and I was washing them slowly and scrubbing them five times as much as I would my own dishes. So here I am, an accomplished grown woman, mother of two beautiful teen kids who are thoughtful and loving, a successful professional, feeling like a chastised child who is not even good enough to wash someone's dishes.

It's hard to fix that without going all acrimonious and just hating on her for making me feel like that. But as the therapist says, people don't make you feel anything, you are responsible for your own feelings. I've learned a few things, but not sure how helpful they've been. And to top it off, I haven't heard from Marie today. I miss her, and wish she was in touch with me more.

I'm hoping to end the day on a positive note, as Andrew and I are planning to go see The Revenant and have dinner out. I love him and his patience and loving support of my craziness.
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Old 01-24-2016, 02:05 AM
Leetah Leetah is offline
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One of the worst things when my SO was long distance was wanting more contact, not wanting to burden him by pushing for it, and feeling I was left in the unhappy position of waiting around to be noticed. For me it felt humiliating on top of not getting my needs met. I was starting to consider the "This is seriously breaking me.Call me when you are in a position to have a real relationship" option.

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  #5  
Old 01-25-2016, 10:53 PM
Aridan Aridan is offline
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@Leetah Thanks for sharing. How did you ultimately deal with how you felt? Did it resolve itself?

I had made a pledge and concerted effort this month to focus on positive energy, but I feel that itís been somewhat of a bust. Iíve gone through the motions, but my heart is just not in it. I feel distanced not only from Marie, but distanced in emotions and connectedness from Andrew. I donít think he would see it that way, we are night fighting, and we are in a loving place, but I feel like I need a lot more closeness and connectedness.

I think if I had gone in search of a poly relationship from the outset, I would have searched for someone close by, and someone who had the same desire for frequent, loving contact as I do. I find it a bit ironic that just as Marie has come to the place where she is content with our quad and is happy with a commitment to that, I am questioning it. I question if there is room for growth in this relationship when there is so little contact and little opportunity to be all we can be to each other. And if there is little growth, is there a future to the relationship and can the love survive?

I would have liked to have a partner that I can have dedicated alone time with once in a while, who I can invite on vacations, either with the family or just the two of us, who is free to come visit me whenever she wants, as I am free to visit her, who makes it clear to the alternative communities we are part of that we belong to each other in a committed way. You may wonder why I am in a relationship that doesnít afford me these things I want. Itís because I fell in love with the person long before we negotiated what the relationship would mean, and what we wanted out of it.

Of course Iím not blameless in the challenges we all face in this. Lord, but I have a jealous, possessive, petty side. I see it, and I do my best to manage it and contain it. I guess half the battle is recognizing the bad behavior in myself, and I do take it out and examine it. I am careful to not let this spill over into our poly relationship, because I know itís not logical, well-founded, nor attractive. I keep my sadness, my hurt, my anger to myself. I talk these feelings through with my therapist, and sometimes with my husband. But back when this relationship wasnít exclusive and I knew that Marie was exploring with other women, sometimes women I would be at the same events with, I was full of grief. At the same time I accepted that she should do what makes her happy and if I love her I would accept her as she is and accept the love she has for me as she offered it. Honestly, I wanted her to always be true to her feelings, and ultimately that led back to me and a committed relationship, so it was the right thing to do.

But at this time Iím crawling up the walls of my mind, emotionally. We love each other, we are committed to this relationship, and yet we do not share our day-to-day life, nor do I feel like a priority in her life. My mind keeps going back to her statement so long ago that she simply does not have the bandwidth for another love in her life. It sadly seems to be the case. And maybe Iím struggling with this more now because I know by committing to this relationship that other options really are closed to me. Up until then I suppose it was always in the back of my mind that it would be possible to add another relationship if I found a good match. I wasnít really looking, because she was all I wanted, but I knew it could happen.

I want to end this post on a positive note, though. Although I may come across whiny or needy for communication/love/attention, I am grateful for what I haveó the love of two wonderful people. She has brought love, forgiveness, patience, and gratitude to my life, and opened my mind to myriad possibilities that the universe holds for all of us. I will hope these challenges are just my growing pains in the poly life.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:45 PM
Aridan Aridan is offline
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So it's been a few days since I've posted in here. I've been struggling with my depression this winter, and feeling isolated and disconnected. I recently discovered the work of Brenť Brown, and it's been transcendental for me. I relate to almost everything she has written about vulnerability, shame, and numbing. Her book made me cry as I read it, and it felt like that's what I needed to do. That's not to say that all of a sudden I will be the Wholehearted person she writes about, but I feel like maybe I'm seeing the light at the end of the tunnel for this round of depression. I know it's always going to be a struggle, but I've never been good about applying the strategies from therapy, and now I think I finally can see a path to feeling worthiness and self-love.

On the home front things have been tense. I've been driving Andrew a little crazy trying to figure out why I can't seem to make and foster those deep, loving connections with other people. I keep coming back to what is wrong with me? Why am I broken? Why can't people see me as worthy or enough? Things always end up circling back to Marie and why she's not communicating more, visiting more, loving me more. Of course this has been exhausting for him, as the primary outlet for my angst and sadness. He wants to fix my issue, but I tell him it's not something to fix, and that's not why I'm sharing with him. Half of me wants him to agree with me and point out what keeps people at bay and the other half wants him to just love me and tell me that it's my demons talking.

On top of that we have some expensive medical care coming up for one of our pets. Of course I want to do everything in my power to give my pets reasonable care. He shocked me by expressing he'd rather put the animal down than spend money on an expensive, but almost 100% guaranteed, treatment. I thought he loved our animals more than that. When we were younger, before kids, we spent a ton of money on our cat that was in the hospital for a week. This was when we had no money, living hand to mouth. He cried when she had to be put to sleep. That's the man I married, and his response to this situation leaves me wondering what happened to that man.

I haven't seen Marie since the beginning of the year. We were supposed to have a visit, but she said that the calendar filled up with things with friends and family. That made me sad, and yet I have a hard time communicating my feelings and my needs. Part of me thinks what's the point of saying anything when I know this is how she is and it's not fair to expect her to change for me. I feel a bit jealous and resentful of the friends who take up so much space in her life. I usually shove that feeling way down deep, because it's not a good feeling and isn't the kind of person I want to be. But learning about loving myself more this past month, I am acknowledging that it is there and is part of me.

There is a lovely young lady who is into Andrew. She is an acquaintance from local events and she expressed an interest in getting to know Andrew more. This started a few months back. Selfishly, I worried about how this would impact my relationship with Marie. But this was before we agreed to a closed quad. Now I am a bit sad that he won't be exploring that opportunity more. I like her and would love to have a friendship, so I'm hoping the fact that he is not open to dating her won't kill the potential friendship.

Well, that's more than enough for now.
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