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  #41  
Old 01-22-2014, 06:21 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Thanks, Magdlyn. I've been reading about your situation, hugs back at you.

It's sad that AM's divorce is amicable but the marriage wasn't. Lots to work out, as a result... It does make things complicated when we've closed the door on our past relationship, and aren't sure what to make of the new one, yet. And don't have time to work on it, either. Sigh. We knew it would take time, we agreed to take and make the time. But sometimes there's simply no time, and being patient isn't always easy.
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  #42  
Old 01-23-2014, 02:36 AM
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Yay.

Feeling a moment of compersion. AM was here for dinner while WI was off with friends on a birthday dinner. Now, the two of them are together. While my kids were off, hiding away and reading voraciously (whee!), AM and I had a talk about WI and what was going on in her life. I'm not sure AM wanted to hear it - her closing the door has whacked WI hard, and that's a responsibility she can't afford, right now.

And still. They are together right now. They are talking, FINALLY connecting again. It means so much to me.

I don't know what it is. I never expected to feel what I feel about them being together. (Honestly, being the hinge of a V would have been FINE with me, I mean, really.) But when the two of them are together, it's just... peaceful. It's beautiful. The way they look at each other and kiss each other (god, I hope they kiss tonight). The way they flow. How each of them says, in a shocked voice, that this is "just like being friends, but more," and then their eyes glow. There's something utterly gorgeous about them.

I guess that's why it hurts to see WI feel so distant from AM, and to see AM feel so lost without WI. Neither is used to this, not like this. WI has never been non-monogamous, and there's a lot for us to work out when she says she was losing me because her bubble with AM was so intense. AM has always been non-monogamous, but never with a woman. This isn't SIMPLE for either of them. It involves a surprising level of change for both.

But it's intense, and it's easy for me to watch, and I totally melt when they are happy. I hope hope HOPE they work something out tonight. That they find a path back to each other. It would mean a lot to me.
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  #43  
Old 01-24-2014, 02:04 AM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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In "closing the door," we decided to go slowly enough to avoid the drama. Given how last night went (they had an intense talk, really good, and then WI and I had an intense talk, also really good), it seemed that things were good.

WI and I talked about her lack of intentionality, for example: she let herself be swept off her feet, and forgot about me in the process of falling for AM. Sure, it was NRE, but she actively avoided engaging with me at times - she's now ashamed of that and says it was a mistake on her part, because she put unwanted distance between us. It's a lesson learned. We don't want to repeat that behavior, on the other side of the closed door. It means a lot to me that she talk about intentionality. Turns out that when I felt left out, it wasn't about sex, it was about ... passively being left out, and the lack of intentionality was worse than being left out, itself. So that was good to learn.

AM and I were close today, too. Good conversations, honest and open, great talking. Planning for how to see each other next. First suggestions of what to do on the other side of the closed door. Suggestions of what it might mean to date each other, not like before, but slowly and carefully opening up and walking into this new space. Good stuff.

And then the demons. I feel awful for AM, because her dark space arrived: hurt and alone. She was headed home, and it's the first night without her kids there, and without one of us visiting her. We each invited her to our house, each individually, full of tenderness and care. But she couldn't accept. She went home, lonely, defeated, hopeless, and untouchable.

I'm learning that it's not about us. The love is there. The invitation is there. The desire to share both our spaces is there. WI and I didn't even ask each other, because we knew AM was welcome here. The friendship and intimacy is offered with love. But AM couldn't take it in, tonight.

I feel sad when that happens. There's nothing I can do. She's welcome, and wanted, but nights like tonight can't accept it. I hope she's better tomorrow.

(Thanks for listening, whoever is reading. I've avoided blogging about the ups and downs, and this one feels pretty gentle, as such things go. Who knows if I'll keep blogging at this pace, but it seems like the time to do it is now, when I'm paying attention and trying to keep a record of what our lives are like...)
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  #44  
Old 01-26-2014, 10:51 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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The tension of the past few days broke last night, when suddenly the "closed door" wasn't so closed. I spent the night at AM's, with WI's blessing (and after a HOT date with WI). AM and I talked, and started the conversation we've been avoiding so long. We shared how the relationship we've had was on unstable footing from the beginning, while their relationship was "smaller" but more secure. We opened up, slowly. We suddenly stopped holding back from the intensity that exists between us (and didn't go away two weeks ago, when she "closed the door"). We made love. We slept holding each other peacefully.

Today, AM and WI talked. AM wrote twice with STUNNING emails about what is inside her, what causes the push/pull dynamic, what she needs to work on alone and with us. It was a breakthrough moment. There's so much baggage in all our lives, and we're asking to be inside each other's core souls. There's a lot to work through.

It's astounding that we're starting. AM's writing is intense. Open, safe, vulnerable, and written by someone who knows she is loved. And WI and I (who have barely seen each other today - split parenting duties since early morning) are treasured, treasuring her, and treasuring each other as this happens.

I think the triad might return. But more safely this time...
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  #45  
Old 01-29-2014, 03:05 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Not much time to write...

What, it was only a two week lull? I guess so. Tomorrow night, AM and WI have a date. With my encouragement. We're all trying to navigate the feeling of safety...

The big deal, it seems to me, is that we're putting our relationships on equal footing. We in the married couple have opened up further, in a way that helps AM see the honest relationships with us both, rather than feel left out of our long-term bond. WI is freaking out a bit - she knows what she's doing, what we're all doing, in that all our actions point to seeking out a committed and balanced three way relationship, but she's totally unable to use those words. "I know that's what it is... I just can't say it or hear it, yet."

But both shiver when they talk about how they miss the other, and both need tomorrow night. I'm trying to help. And they both now know that I can be supportive and encouraging AND ALSO need some support and safety myself. They are trying to help me feel safe and connected, as it happens, too. We're much more open than we were in the mad dash of the summer and fall. Much more aware of each other's insecurities and fears. I expect I'll be fine tomorrow, in part because I know they are listening and holding on to me, even when they're with each other. Just like AM is here when I'm with WI, and WI is here when I'm with AM. But for a while, they were leaving me out, actively - that hurt us all, it turns out, not just me.

Gotta run, lots more to talk about and think about.
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  #46  
Old 02-03-2014, 09:30 PM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Default Too fast too soon. Learning.

Well, last week seemed to go really well, until it didn't. There was a "usual" blow-up on Thursday, and it led to a lot of problems over the weekend. As we get more careful about what we need to resolve, we realize that there's a lot to resolve, and the thing we need next is not so much resolution as learning to talk in a way that allows resolution. When people flood, they get defensive, and then all sorts of hard things are said that later need apologies or clarifications (or retractions, for that matter). It was a rough weekend.

What are the things we're struggling with? AM is just flooded by circumstances, and her past weighs on her present. Divorce, family issues, those exist in any divorce situation. But there's more to it, where I don't want to share her life story (and she has no interest in these boards to do it on her own). It's complicated. Suffice it to say that we're working on issues of safety and gentleness. She's opened up to us more than to others in her life, and that means entering into the painful zones of her life that she usually keeps hidden away. Nobody wants to be a bull in a china shop, but inadvertent comments lead me there, sometimes. I'm learning.

At the same time, her response to hardship has been to push against us really hard. This has hurt WI massively.

At some point, we are all going to need to sit down and apologize to each other. Saying "sorry" for a hurt is easy, but I mean apology in a deep way - the Jewish concept of teshuva. We're not there, yet. Too often, we don't feel safe in our conversations.

But all three of us are at the place of wanting to make honest changes to help each other feel safe. AM is worth the change in WI and my life, otherwise I wouldn't be doing this! And AM is doing something a little insane, for her, but she finds each of us worth it. So we are motivated to continue.

I just wish the lows weren't so goddamn low. It's painful to go through weekends like this. It's just HARD to go into such dark spaces and only slowly return from them. There's emotional bruising. I mean, WI and I have been married a while, these things happen in relationships as people grow and try to come together over difficult topics where there isn't enough understanding, yet, to make the togetherness easy. So I'm not worried that it's a horrible situation. This is hard. But it's painful, and I wish it weren't.

Last week was so nice. Through Wednesday, it was really lovely. And then things blew up. I suppose I could name details, but I'd rather name emotions. Riding the wave since then has been rough. Maybe we can work this out. We're trying, and that's the best we can do, so far.
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  #47  
Old 02-04-2014, 02:20 AM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I'm so sorry it's been tough and things were said that maybe shouldn't have been.
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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

me: Mags, 58, living with:
miss pixi, 37, who is dating (NRE):
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  #48  
Old 02-07-2014, 01:38 AM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Thanks, Magdlyn.

The week from Thursday morning to about yesterday was really hard. Something started loosening yesterday.

WI and I are bruised by AM's actions, but have come to a place where we still really really really want her in our lives, and know that firm boundaries are needed to protect ourselves (individually, not as a couple) from how she hurts each of us. Volatility can be really dangerous. Happily, we've come to each other as best friends, in all this, and sure enough, continue to support each other's love for AM.

AM took about a week, and then ... suddenly, things were better. I saw her Tuesday. WI is with her tonight. AM has gotten roughly 37 invitations to things in the past 5 days, and has turned down most all of them, but she feels welcome AND empowered to say no. There was a phase where she said yes to everything out of fear that we'd never invite again, unless she was always present. Is it confidence? is it assurance?

Right now, AM and I are lovers again. WI and AM are not (well, okay, not that i know of. I mean, who knows what they're doing at this very moment, ha!). Maybe, slowly, they will reach toward a FWB status, and from there move toward a relationship again. They fell HARD for each other, and that's one of the reasons we blew up - it was too much too soon.

Right now, the goal is safety, trust, softness, and more safety. WI and I have been opening our marriage, and have found to each other in the process. We're not letting go of that. AND we're STILL opening to AM. She's welcome in the fabric of not just our individual lives but also our opened marriage. What she needs is to learn to accept the safety that is there - not feel left out, but feel welcome. She's welcome.

It turns out she can't accept what we're offering, yet. It's not the couple plus one scenario that is so dreaded, with us putting up walls and her pushing; she's being pulled to places she's not ready for, and it's taken us a while to learn that.

There's so much slowness to look forward to. Opportunities for intertwining. Or not. We'll see how it goes. If she's not ready for it, we slow down further. WI and I remain crazy about each other. We're also, still, after all this fucking hardship, crazy about her. She's such an amazing woman. Why not keep trying?
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  #49  
Old 02-08-2014, 02:22 AM
pulliman pulliman is offline
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Just downs this time. No ups.

AM dumped me. Said that she can't find with me what she wants, which is (in reality) a more monogamous, more partnered relationship. I have kids, spouse, a life that can't change enough to include her, according to her so she's leaving it behind. She can't take the hurt that comes from interacting - either in the moment, or later, after the moment when she is alone again.

If she'd been less volatile over the past few months, we could have worked in that direction. But her volatility made the thing she wants too difficult to happen.

Then again, she points out that if I was constantly present, she'd still need to leave. She's not ready for a relationship (she implies this, but I can sense its truth).

She never really accepted or used the key we gave her.

She never worked toward the merged Big Family that we thought we were trying to create.

She told me earlier this week that she never actually trusted me. Not because of what I did, but because she just doesn't actually trust anyone, really.

Also, she never actually articulated what she wanted. Only when I failed at it did she tell me what was going wrong, but speaking up and saying what she wants? That didn't happen. I have had to be a mindreader. It's been hard. I've tried.

WI is gone this weekend, so I'm alone with all this. I feel like I've worked through and with everyone else's insecurities and supported them along the way, and now at the end of it all, I'm the one getting dumped.

Looking at this list above, it's clear that we weren't playing with the same deck of cards. No trust, not accepting invitations into a shared space, not stating her intentions or goals, not willing to work with the life I have, not seeing the changes made to that life, not patient about the pace of change (when WI started monogamous and possessive, and those changes took time!). WI and I have tried plenty of ways to open up our marriage. But obviously, AM never wanted in.

Ow.
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  #50  
Old 02-08-2014, 07:55 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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That sucks. Has she broken up with WI too? Why is WI away? Is she OK?

I reckon AM was too much on the rebound from her marriage, her divorce not even being finalized!

Triads are hard even with stable mature people.

Lick your wounds and know you did the best you could. "Opening a marriage" to let someone else in has a lot of cards stacked against it.
__________________
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

me: Mags, 58, living with:
miss pixi, 37, who is dating (NRE):
Master, 32
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