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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 12-19-2014, 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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Old 01-05-2015, 04:52 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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The holidays were mostly pretty good, except the part when I got the flu. I was able to be with Julian on Christmas Eve after my family party ended (and overnight), Christmas Day after another family party ended (and overnight), all day on the 26th, and for about an hour on the 27th. Then I got the flu (the actual influenza virus, not a stomach bug), which was horrible because all I could think about was how we spent much of the previous few days kissing. I was sure he would catch the flu from me, but he didn't. He was very sweet and brought me homemade soup and some magazines.

Maya spent most of last week at Chloe's. I ended 2014 and started 2015 with Julian. We went to an out-of-town party together and stayed overnight, then spent the following night together back at his place, and most of January 2nd. Maya never came home in all that time. I expect that she's back home now because she had to work today. Julian was very down on Saturday. I saw him for a few hours and he just wanted to be held. We didn't talk much because I tend to feel like I'm prying if I ask too many questions. I suspect this is the first New Year since they've been together that they didn't at least wake up in the same place. I know going that long without seeing Maya, and her being incommunicado as to when she would return, is very difficult for Julian.

One of my aunts (who is quite conservative, although she's a lesbian so she at least has some empathy about coming out to family) cornered me on Christmas and wanted to know about Julian. Since he's met my parents (who are very open-minded, liberal people compared to the rest of my family) she knew I was dating someone new and she knew his name. She was able to look up his facebook profile and see that he was married. She was concerned about this and asked me about it. I explained it as simply as I could without going into all the poly terminology. She was surprisingly ok with it and said that as long as everyone involved knew what was going on, she figured it was ok. I guess the information will leak out to other family members soon enough.

New years always make me want to step back and assess my life. My relationship with Julian is the most important thing to me right now, but it's hard to know what will happen. I know I need to work on asking him more questions; I guess I'm afraid of the answers to things like, "Have you ever considered that your relationship with Maya has run its course?" I don't even know if I have the right to ask him that. I definitely wouldn't want it misconstrued as me hoping they will get divorced. I am committed to him no matter who else he's with. I just don't want him to be in pain.
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Old 01-13-2015, 04:17 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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I was thinking about jealousy / envy (whichever you want to call it - I think it's the latter in this particular case) and when I feel it. It has only arisen for me a few times, and they're related:

1. When Julian gets the mail and it's addressed to Julian and Maya Tillman. Maya kept her surname when they got married, for one thing, but the fact that they can live together and get mail together and be publicly recognized as a couple makes me feel envious.

2. When Julian came back from his parents' holiday dinner with presents for Maya from his family. I don't care about the actual presents, but I'm envious that his family considers Maya part of their family.

3. There are still places he's worried about taking me because the people there know Julian and Maya as a married couple, and since we're very affectionate together, it will out him as poly (or more likely, as a cheater, since more people are familiar with that trope) to people who might not understand. I am envious that Maya could go anywhere with him, if she so chose.

I know these are my problems to work through. He has told his parents and siblings about me, and about poly in general. Since Maya was the only one with other partners before, he had kept them in the dark, but he says that I'm too important a part of his life to hide from them. This makes me happy. He is very compassionate and loving towards me.
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Old 01-28-2015, 08:16 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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Feeling really blissed out and in love with Julian at the moment. We both had other things going on last weekend and weren't able to be together between Thursday evening and last evening. When he got home from work, I went to his place and we played with the dogs for awhile, then snuggled on the couch and watched Netflix for a couple of hours before bed. It was perfect. I guess to some people that would sound like a boring night, but it's my ideal, and seems to be Julian's, too.

I've never had such an affectionate boyfriend before. We hold each other all night while we sleep. When we're awake we rarely stop holding hands. He tells me he loves me and that specific things he likes about me all the time. He sends me sweet messages, too. I took that 5 Love Languages quiz and the ones he provides me are by far the most important to me - physical touch, quality time, and words of affirmation. He's actually pretty great with acts of service, too, although those aren't as important to me. (That was my ex's ONLY love language, and it wasn't enough for me.)

This weekend I should be able to see him a fair amount, but next weekend he'll be away again. I should learn to live in the moment but I'm already feeling a loss. I need to think of a really time-consuming project that will take my mind off not being with Julian. I am very low-energy in the winter so it's hard for me to be motivated to do much of anything except lie in bed and watch movies and feel sad. I really need for winter to end.

Not sure what's going on with Maya. I haven't seen her in a few weeks, although Julian's plans from the past weekend involved them going somewhere together (for a hobby). I guess her classes will be starting again next week, so I am expecting her to be even more scarce, and for Julian's anxiety about that to increase. Although yesterday he said something about how few days he's woken up next to Maya in 2015, and he didn't sound as fraught as he usually does when he's noting her absence.
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Old 03-13-2015, 01:38 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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There was a brief spell when I was upset (posted in the Struggling Mono thread a couple of weeks ago) because a mutual friend confessed to Julian that she has a crush on him. I guess I'm just slow to process things, because I'm fine with it now. I no longer feel angry at her. I saw her on Tuesday (in a group of friends) and my feelings toward her were nothing but friendly. I am relieved. Of course, the fact that he has no romantic interest in her, and is very demonstratively affectionate with me in front of her (even more than usual, and we're pretty strong candidates for sickening PDA couple of the year) helps me feel more secure.

I will have to keep working on that possessiveness thing, because although I never feel that with Maya, I suspect that if Julian were to become interested in a new [female] love, I would struggle hard. I don't think I would feel the same about a male lover. But his male lovers have all been FWBs; he's told me that he doesn't connect emotionally to guys and can't imagine being with a man as anything but a physical fling.

Things continue to be fantastic between Julian and me. We've been spending 3-4 nights together every week, while Maya is off being a grad student or staying with Chloe. Julian and Maya recently had a big fight about her never being home, though, so that was upsetting to everyone. It doesn't seem to be resolved, either. Maya shuts down and won't talk when she's in conflict. I am trying to just be a good listener and not contribute anything more than, "I'm sorry you're going through this. It sounds like a difficult situation." I will not say a word against Maya even though I have opinions inside my head.

Julian and I have planned a summer vacation together, and everything is booked. I'm giddy about the idea of getting five straight days and nights with him in the mountains.

I've been reading and enjoying More than Two. I have been journaling some of the discussion questions at the end of the chapters and it's definitely helping me to sort out my feelings.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:56 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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Since this is my blog, I can complain about things that are happening elsewhere on this forum, right? I'm just venting, not looking for responses.

First, I want to say that I have felt nothing but welcomed here from the beginning. Granted, I haven't started any threads, and I'm not in crisis, so maybe that colors my perspective. But the few times I have asked for advice in the mono thread, I've gotten sometimes blunt but always helpful answers. I read all the new threads/posts daily (except most Introduction threads and the regional sections) and I am constantly heartened by the generosity of spirit that exists in most people who post here frequently.

Recently, there have been a few threads that have really gotten on my nerves because new people have come with a chip already on their shoulders (as exhibited by their very forum moniker) and a very defensive attitude. They don't even bother to spell-check their posts, and then they retort rudely to people who try to give them genuine advice. It just rubs me the wrong way. And somehow these people are involved in multiple threads, even though they only have one situation they're trying to rectify.

I used to be involved in various other forums (art-related) on a daily basis and I took a very long hiatus from them because it seems like there's always someone who comes along and makes the forums less pleasant. I hope that doesn't happen here because I was really getting to like this place, and I think 99% of the people here are awesome.
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:21 AM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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Julian is coming to my extended family's Easter brunch this weekend. He has met my parents (who know our situation, or at least the Cliffs Notes version) and one aunt, but this will be cousins and other aunts and uncles, some quite conservative Irish Catholics, and a bunch of busy-bodies. They're good people who mean well, but I'm slightly terrified that they'll grill him about his wedding ring and it will get awkward. That said, we're going to be honest about our relationship, and about Maya, if they ask. Their heads might explode, but they're pretty used to me being "the weird one" in the family. I'm not even that weird; I just don't care about sports, and never got married or had kids. Of course, of my generation, really my sister (who lives on the other side of the country) is the only one who did the marriage and kids thing, so far. I hope they'll all just be their usual fun selves and tell hilarious stories and play pinochle after we eat. I hope he likes them.

Last edited by thirteenth; 04-02-2015 at 01:26 AM.
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Old 04-09-2015, 07:53 PM
thirteenth thirteenth is offline
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Julian and my family got along great. Nobody asked about his wedding ring. He told me he had a wonderful time afterwards. (A welcome change, because my long-term ex hated doing anything with family, both his and mine.)

Today I struggle with something. I feel resentful when Julian is exhausted on days he's with me because of Maya's erratic hours the previous night.
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Old 06-17-2015, 11:24 PM
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I can't believe it's been over two months since I updated. Julian and I had our vacation together and it was glorious. We are more connected than ever. Being with him for so many uninterrupted days and nights exceeded my very high expectations. I do think the NRE has ended and we're in a new phase of deeper commitment and care-taking. It feels amazing.

However, things seem to be evolving in another direction with Julian and Maya. She has put plans in motion to move to the town where Chloe lives, to work and do grad school there. It's not a sure thing yet, but by mid summer, we'll know. I haven't asked Julian yet what will happen to their marriage. The town isn't far, only about a 90 minute drive, but since he already feels sad and resentful that Maya doesn't prioritize their marriage, I can't imagine this will help. I'm preparing for possible turmoil. I'm worried for them.

I think major changes will be coming for all of us soon. It's strange not knowing how things will look by autumn. Although I guess nobody ever really knows. We just think we do.
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