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Old 12-18-2014, 05:04 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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I am using this space to work things out, but comments and advice are always appreciated. Thanks for reading.

After a summer of increasingly close friendship, Julian and I became romantically involved. We fell for each other very hard. We've been together for a few months and things between us are better than I ever realized a love relationship could be. (I got out of a decade-long relationship with a cold, hurtful man last winter.) This is my first poly relationship (but I have been looking into polyamory for years). I don't know if I will eventually want additional partners or not, but for now, I can't imagine wanting anyone besides Julian. Of course, we're still experiencing major NRE.

Julian is married to Maya. Julian and Maya have always had an open relationship. They have been married for eight years. In this time, Maya has had many other partners, some long-term and serious, some more casual. Julian has had a few friends with benefits during this time, but it was 'just sex' - he does not allow himself to emotionally bond with most people due to a rough childhood of parental abandonment. When he does bond, it's very intense. (I am the same way.) Other than Maya, I am currently Julian's only partner. Maya has one very serious partner, Chloe, and several casual partners, Alex, Jason, and Todd.

I have socialized with Julian and his group of friends since before we were romantically involved. I am a bit intimidated by Maya, but we have a friendly rapport most of the time. For example, I hug her goodbye, make sure to get her a special treat (she has a dietary restriction) if I come across something I know she'll like in the gourmet store, and am respectful of her relationship with Julian. She seems to like me but keeps me at arm's length, which is fine. I don't want to be best friends with her. However, she was utterly thrilled when Julian and I got together. Way beyond what I would have expected.

When Maya is loving towards Julian, I experience compersion. However, Maya is often cold to him, or says unkind things, or rebuffs his casual affection (like touching her arm or kissing her on the top of the head). When Maya is with Chloe or Todd, they cannot keep their hands off each other, so I know it's not a general dislike of PDA or touching on Maya's part. Even worse, Maya constantly cancels plans with Julian in order to be with Chloe. Chloe lives an hour away from us, so Maya is barely ever home. This means that Julian has to be responsible for their dogs & doing all the household chores, in addition to being the one with a job so handling all of the finances. (Maya is in grad school.) This affects my relationship, too, because time that we would have been able to spend together, Julian has to deal with a household problem, or can't sleep at my place because there's no one to let their dogs out.

In my view, Maya is in love with Chloe and is devoting most of her energy to that relationship. Julian does not handle it well (gets depressed, can't sleep) when he thinks he will get an evening alone with Maya and Maya decides to go stay with Chloe. He is still in love with Maya, but it doesn't seem like Maya feels the same way. They were very young when they got married and neither had any relationship experience at the time. They do have a lot of common interests, pop-culture-wise, and when they're talking about those things, they get along fine. But it seems more like a sibling relationship than a romantic one.

Recently, Maya has talked about transferring to another university, one that is in the same town where Chloe lives. I don't know if Julian is taking this seriously. Maya is a bit flighty so perhaps it's all talk, but I am getting worried that Julian will be blindsided by Maya breaking up with him. She relies on him financially and he is always there for her in other ways when she needs him. Lately she has been drinking a lot and says she is depressed. I do feel for her. If she's fallen out of love with Julian but doesn't know what to do, that's hard. Or maybe something completely separate is going on. I don't know her well enough to say.

Bottom line, I think Julian is in denial about the state of his marriage. However, although I think about their relationship often, I struggle with how to react when he tells me things like, "I thought she was getting ready for bed, but she came out of the bedroom with a packed bag and left for Chloe's." I say things like, "I'm sorry that happened. That sounds really frustrating." But what I'm thinking is, "What a selfish bitch. Why do you let her treat you like that?" If Maya does end things with Julian, I think he's going to sink into depression. My hope is that (short of Maya suddenly being more like a loving wife and less like a sister) he will begin to realize that the relationship is coming to an end on his own, and work out how that's going to happen with Maya. Maybe he does realize it already and it's just not something he wants to discuss with me. (Understandable.) I just wish I knew how to be there for him without overstepping my bounds. I really love the guy and it's painful to watch this.
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Old Yesterday, 02:22 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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Julian and I hung out with friends for two hours last night, and then slept back at my place. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and regret that I spent any of my time with him being asleep. Our time is so limited and I hate to "waste" any of it, even though I know intellectually that we have to work today and we need our 8 hours of sleep. And it's awfully nice to wake up and be in his arms, even if he's sleeping.

This is what makes me wonder if I am irrevocably mono: the time I spend away from Julian is often very painful. It's not painful because I know he's with Maya or doing other things, but because I am rarely sure when I'll see him again. It's silly, really, and probably has more to do with that new love infatuation than his being poly. I suppose that anyone I'd been dating for three months, even if they were mono, too, would be spending lots of time apart from me. I was in a LTR for over a decade so I guess I'm just used to spending most of my non-work hours with my partner.

It would be different if it weren't winter*. I despise cold weather and darkness; I am very low-energy and melancholy when I'm alone in the winter. I'm a very shy, introverted person, so I am picky about who I spend time with -- socializing in the sense of going to a bar and chatting up random strangers wouldn't make me feel better. I try to make plans with friends but it's hard at our age because most people have family obligations and stuff. During the other three seasons, I'm really happy to have my alone-time -- I go hiking, cycling, sit in parks and read, and generally enjoy my introversion. Julian also has Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) but it makes him want to be alone.

*The sad part is that winter hasn't even officially started -- UGH.

I did see Maya for a minute yesterday. She seemed drained. Chloe was coming up to stay with her last night, though, so I bet she perked up after Julian and I left their house. I am not sure what this weekend will be like. Julian is not good at planning or time management, and I hate to be a nag, so I try not to say, "Make a decision about if/when we'll be together this weekend, because my life is on hold until you do that." I need to become more assertive, though. Because seriously, my life really is on hold, waiting for him, and that's just pathetic. I realize this. And I swear that I do have many interests and am a well-rounded person with lots of friends... evidently just not in darkest December when I'm newly in love. You can tell that I feel guilty about it.
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