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  #31  
Old 01-12-2014, 08:26 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Default closing door. holding hands.

Well, I certainly stink at blogging regularly. How to begin, when so much has happened?

On Friday, AM wrote an email saying "I need to stop. I need to go away. This isn't working for me." No surprise, because many things hadn't been working for us. But today is Sunday, and she just used her keys to sneak in to our house, kiss me as I was working, go upstairs to talk to WI, met our older daughter along the way, giggled, and then went in to talk to WI.

So what's going on?

We're done with NRE. We need a re-do. We need to start over.

Starting this summer, we flew forward at a reckless pace. It began when WI kissed AM, in total surprise to everyone (including herself) on their first meeting. It moved forward, the two of them rushing through stages of intimacy they weren't sure about, me being pulled along, our first threesomes, my first alone times with AM, their first dates - each step was exhilarating, but also too fast. We were each rushed at times, vulnerable at other times, and not respected in our desires to slow down, in general. The rush forward regularly trumped the need for safety. Sure, it was hot, and it was amazing, but we got pretty volatile in the middle. My touchstone example is one from the summer, where I asked them to go a little slower (in particular, WI was pushing for "yes or no, are we doing this or not?" and shortly after we were having our first threesome...) and was told (by both) "hey, you want the outcome, so stop complaining."

The outcome was powerful and scary. We all recognize that something Big and Important sits between the three of us. It's the process that wasn't working. The process was undermining the relationship.

I suppose one reason I haven't blogged much is that the volatility of our relationship was too confusing to write about. We'd have days of bliss followed by days of total upheaval. It got to the point where none of us could recognize triggers. It was too stressful. We were all ready for a change.

Signs were all around us. The constant volatility. The ongoing sense of crisis. We'd given her some pretty meaningful presents before Christmas, keys to our house, a gold necklace. She'd never used the keys. She pointedly could not enter our space. Also, after wearing it for a few days, she had taken off the necklace. She couldn't accept the burden of it, in a relationship where she'd been reckless and now felt too vulnerable. None of us were happy, anymore.

Friday, AM said "I'm going away." In the 48 hours since then, with plenty of tears followed by serious looks in the mirror, we've all agreed: we're all going away. But we had to change the metaphor.

We're closing the door on our past relationship. It was lovely, it was intense, and it was reckless and too fast. For each of us, insecurities were ignored and foundational issues were blown past. It wasn't good.

But, rather than break up (which is what "I'm going away" sounded like, for 24 hours), we are all on the same side of the door. We're holding hands. We're starting over. We're no longer lovers - that really hurts, but makes sense. It might come back, it might not. But we have to step back, start over. As friends, incredibly intimate and open, and aware of each other. We need to revisit the past 6 months, and talk through the things we didn't talk through. AM has a hell of a past, and many things can trigger her insecurities. But, hey, so does WI, and so do I. We all have plenty of triggers. (For example, they are lovers, but are still not sure of their bi-sexuality. They need time to accept or not, and I need time to redefine my marriage, in this context, too.)

So now we're holding hands, on the other side of this closed door. The house we lived in (figuratively) was a hell of a house. But it's time to move on, walk slowly, take slow steps and see if we're all still walking together. We're all the "slowest member in the group," and this time, we're going to honor the slowest member in a way that we didn't through the past 6 months.

Yesterday afternoon, AM insisted on holding me as we talked through this (WI insisted I have this space with AM, since AM's anger has been on me, more than on WI, but I won't go into the details, I guess). As we talked, not facing each other, but my ear against her chest, her heart was racing. As soon as I got it, as soon as she was able to say out loud that she wanted us WITH her on the other side of the door, that she wasn't leaving us, that she wanted to share this new world WITH us... her heart rate went down. Like 15 bpm. It was intense to experience. It was a physiological response as she found peace.

Last night, after I'd seen her solo, WI went to spend time with her and another friend. And there was the necklace. It looks beautiful on her. Today, when she let herself in the house with her keys, she was wearing it again.

What's broken is new again. AM can accept our gifts. We're standing here together. She is now freer to enter our house. She wears the necklace and clearly sees it as a symbol of our connection. No, we're not lovers, anymore, but right now we're something stronger. We're doing this together. Our love survives. It's time for a re-do.

I wonder what will happen next.
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  #32  
Old 01-12-2014, 08:29 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Default meanings of "going away"

Follow up on the last entry.

AM has used the phrase "going away" in two ways. One has been in the context of breaking apart the old relationship - but asking us to be part of what comes next. The other is in the context of difficult moments in the past few months, when something has triggered her memories of her past, and she hasn't felt safe talking to us about it. She has always said she needed to "go away."

The problem is in the metaphor. It suggests "leaving" and the others are "left."

In both cases, that's not what is happening. In the first case, AM wasn't going away. We're closing the door on our past relationship. We're breaking up with our past. And we're walking forward together.

In the second case, we've agreed that she'll stop saying "I need to go away." Again, it's not actually what she is doing, nor what she wants to suggest in the metaphor. We've agreed that she could instead say "I need some privacy, could you protect me for a while?" It's a powerfully different metaphor.
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  #33  
Old 01-13-2014, 02:53 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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You man of mystery. I see you all are making some changes, but it's really hard to see why.

"Triggers," unexpressed.

Couple privilege?

Homophobia?

Still simmering jealousy at the whole idea of being poly?

When you say, "We are no longer lovers," you mean you and WI are taking a break from having sex with AM, right? I mean, you're still gonna fuck your wife, you're just re-examining having a shared girlfriend you both have sex with?
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  #34  
Old 01-13-2014, 03:32 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Thanks for asking, Magdlyn. Answering questions is helpful...

"Taking a break:" It's AM who is taking a break from having sex with us, so it was her decision. Yes, WI and I will keep having sex, and AM is pretty clear on that not being easy for her, but it's also pretty clearly not easy on us two to no longer have sex with AM, as well. We're wanting to get back to that space, just more slowly and honorably and less recklessly than before. We want it to be with the right grounding, taking the time to understand emotions rather than rushing forward. There's a lot of cuddling and holding going on - AM is pulling back from sex, though, until we're in a safe space.

Does that amount to couple privilege? Well, I mean, sure, since we're a couple and she's needing to close the door on what happened so far. But that's only one couple. We've been three couples. It hurts to have two of the three existing couples lose the sexual side. But the intimacy is there, the tenderness, even while AM wants this break, needs it for various reasons. And I'm pretty sure the sexual side will come back. It's actually cute to watch her and WI get thiiiiiis close to kissing, and then AM remembers that she shouldn't and moves her head slightly so that it's a peck on the cheek or something. The desire is still there.

"Homophobia:" I'm not sure it's homophobia for either of them. It's definitely identity - being something you haven't been in the past. They've been okay seeing each other as lovers, but have both struggled with coming out even to really close friends. Some family members know, and are deeply supportive, but mostly AM and WI stayed quiet. I don't think it's homophobia that holds them back. I think, honestly, that it's something about being bi. Both have said they don't want their girlfriends wondering "oh, has she been checking me out this whole time?" and having it affect other relationships. AM told me that she had an easier time thinking of coming out as dating a couple, but coming out as dating WI? That was different, for her. We have a lot of thinking to do there.

Given that we have to keep our relationship(s) hidden, anyway (for work reasons and more), it may never be a relevant point how they come out in public. They've started coming out to themselves, though, which is pretty damn amazing to watch. It's a struggle for both, this change in identity and self-image.

"Triggers:" I think I meant the word in two ways. AM has a painful past. Some things which people find totally normal can awaken awful memories, and I don't want to share those, even anonymously. It's her story, but it starts as a child, continues into adulthood, and you can make your own guesses. The point is that there are triggers of pain, and they aren't easy for me to recognize. I'm learning, as is WI, and AM is asking us to slow down in part to help us all accept that past and build it into our present and future. It's a major reason for us needing a re-do.

I also meant it in my own life. WI and I have a history related to EL, and we haven't spent enough time working that out. Some things we say remind us of past conversations, issues we thought we'd taken care of, things that need more talking, now. If we don't take the time to talk, we don't resolve (literally, re-solve, solve again) in this new context. For this reason, too, we need a re-do, a chance to work on our own couple-space.

"Simmering with jealousy:" Um, no? That doesn't feel right. I mean, we all have our jealousies at some point or other, we're human and all, but simmering? That just isn't the issue, right now. We have plenty of supportive spaces, plenty of happinesses related to the couple we're not a part of. Are there hard times? Well, duh. But is it some underlying awfulness waiting to burst out? That just doesn't feel right.

The issue is that we went recklessly fast, didn't slow down enough when someone felt vulnerable, and that vulnerability was too often never addressed. We want to restart, move slowly, attending to the feelings we ignored previously, while knowing where it could head.

Hope those answers clarified things.
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  #35  
Old 01-17-2014, 04:53 AM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Default Cuddling

WI and I went to AM's tonight. Kids and all required a sitter. Not a date. Just being together. Work had overwhelmed each of us, the divorce moves forward, we were too tired to be serious and talk about our many Us.

AM pretty quickly was curled up in my lap on the sofa. WI was happy and later joined us. They held hands and caressed.

As we said bye for the night, near misses on the kisses that didn't happen. Holding, lots of holding. Tenderness and attention, and holding.

I'm sad about AM pulling back sexually. Nights like tonight transcend that feeling.
Slow. Regrow. And hold...

Last edited by pulliman; 01-17-2014 at 03:22 PM. Reason: typo
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  #36  
Old 01-19-2014, 01:58 AM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Default feeling quiet

After a stint of seeing AM every day, haven't seen her today. She's going through some rough moments and I'd really love to listen and be close and hold her and give her a safe space in what feel like dangerous times. She'd love to see me, too, but was with a friend last night, and another friend is spending the night tonight (sleepover for their respective sons is built into this equation).

WI and I are doing well about this. We're both really concerned for AM, right now, and trying to help her out in the next few days. This is one of those moments when the intertwined lives of a Big Family aren't intertwined enough for any of our tastes.

Ah, blah. Just having a day where I miss someone I love while she's having a hard time and I'd like to be close to her. Not sure what it adds to the blogging, or why I'm sharing it here, but I'm human. I have longings.
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  #37  
Old 01-19-2014, 04:09 AM
JaneQSmythe JaneQSmythe is offline
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First off, thank you for sharing your story with us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulliman View Post
Follow up on the last entry.

AM has used the phrase "going away" in two ways. One has been in the context of breaking apart the old relationship - but asking us to be part of what comes next. The other is in the context of difficult moments in the past few months, when something has triggered her memories of her past, and she hasn't felt safe talking to us about it. She has always said she needed to "go away."

The problem is in the metaphor. It suggests "leaving" and the others are "left."

In both cases, that's not what is happening. In the first case, AM wasn't going away. We're closing the door on our past relationship. We're breaking up with our past. And we're walking forward together.

In the second case, we've agreed that she'll stop saying "I need to go away." Again, it's not actually what she is doing, nor what she wants to suggest in the metaphor. We've agreed that she could instead say "I need some privacy, could you protect me for a while?" It's a powerfully different metaphor.
This actually really resonated with me - I can relate to AM (in the second case predominantly, I think) except that my response is to tell the other person to "go away". Poor Dude, I have said this to him more times that I care to admit. It is a defense mechanism, I feel overwhelmed, smothered, claustrophobic - he is getting "too close" (to what?, I don't know - my vulnerable heavily-guarded inner self perhaps? to "real" feelings?)

I am trying to teach myself to say "Wait" or "Pause" when I feel that sense of entrapment looming...instead of pushing away...to just try to live (and breath) where we are right now...not closer, not further away...just...growing comfortable with the current level of intimacy?
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  #38  
Old 01-20-2014, 03:17 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaneQSmythe View Post
I can relate to AM (in the second case predominantly, I think) except that my response is to tell the other person to "go away". Poor Dude, I have said this to him more times that I care to admit. It is a defense mechanism, I feel overwhelmed, smothered, claustrophobic - he is getting "too close" (to what?, I don't know - my vulnerable heavily-guarded inner self perhaps? to "real" feelings?)
AM has told us that it's a defense mechanism, like you say. It's often about having someone so close to the vulnerable spaces is scary, she says, so she needs private time to gather herself again. Then again, she doesn't feel smothered and claustrophobic, but the opposite: She has wanted us all closer together in ways that aren't humanly possible (to paraphrase: "if I saw you as often as I want to, you wouldn't be leading the life that makes me want to see you so often"). We're working on all this, even this weekend. Peaceful, in comparison to past moments, but I do miss her.

It's nice to hear someone else's words and hear the sense and honesty of them. Thanks for replying.
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  #39  
Old 01-22-2014, 04:41 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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brief moment, talking about the balancing act ..

I've been at AM's the last two nights while she went through some really crappy spaces related to the divorce. Tonight WI is with AM and catching up on the details of what's going on (I share, but it's important for them to spend time together, too). She's been trying to figure out what AM wants with her, and AM's life is full - there's no time for us, and WI understands that, but is also hurt when AM wants time with me and not her. Add to this that WI wants to spend time with me, tomorrow night, and we're caught up in a huge juggling act. There aren't enough evenings for us all to see each other individually, the way we want.

There are only so many hours in the day. The most important issue in the group as a whole, right now, is AM's divorce (for various legal reasons, deadlines and such), but the grief about AM's "closed door" is still there, and it's hard to balance all that. We all grieve, but AM has no time for it, WI feels isolated as a result, and then I'm not there to help with that, so there's more isolation.

It's only a couple of days while this is happening, but it happens not to be an easy space to get through. Should be better by the weekend, once the divorce legalities are addressed. Man, this is stressful. Taking it one day at a time...
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  #40  
Old 01-22-2014, 04:56 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Hugs. Triads are fucking complicated, and I never wished for one, and yet I am kind of in one.... It's not as stressful as what you are going through, but we've had some rough moments. Feelings, sexual and emotional. Time sharing. Feeling crowded.

Example: One time, Ginger and I were fooling around in the kitchen, and he wanted to slide into me, and was just about to, as I leaned on the counter, but just then miss p walked in and said, "Oh. You're... cooking."

It was funny, we all laughed, but it ruined the sexy mood.

Things like that.

Anyway, I was lucky to have an amicable divorce from my ex. I hope AM's shit gets sorted as quickly and painlessly as possible and you all can get back to some less complicated fun times soon.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

Mags, F, 60, poly-dating, loving and living with
miss pixi, F, 38
also seeing
Punk, 41, M (dating since Oct 2015)
and a few more casual relationships
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