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Old 06-20-2014, 12:34 AM
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Default Years of love, years of slow change, and what's next?

I'm too old for this (I keep hearing in the general buzz of society), but I'm hoping that the embryo inside me will stick around and become M's first child.
___

I met M when we were in high school. I loved M early and long. M tolerated my puppy dog behavior in high school, and in college we became (I guess) what people now call "friends with benefits." M moved away when I was still in college. We touched base electronically every year or two after that. Never lost the good feelings. Never lost the love and care.

I met W a couple of years (and one serious relationship) later. We eventually married, had kids, and stayed monogamous through the years. W was philosophically poly, and had navigated poly relationships without complaint. Our marriage was monogamous, but the discussion of alternatives was always easy and honest.

When I finally joined W as philosophically poly (in my 30s), I stretched my little poly wings and fell on my face. While dusting myself off, I visited M. I hadn't seen M in 15 years, but we had communicated every few months through the year of my poly exploration and newbie stumbling. M was always good for my heart and my brain. A short visit with M helped me heal, and we parted knowing we still loved each other, but might not be together again.

I regrouped with W and started feeling poly from a more secure place, without a sense of "ideal" geometries, without it meaning I *had* to have multiple partners. Dated a friend here or there, but didn't find anyone who wanted what I wanted nearly enough for us to open each other's can of worms; I've tried the "sex first, compatibility later (if ever)" model, and it doesn't really work for me.

I've learned so much.
___

I continue to have a good relationship with W, and the children we have together are a joy to us.

I can still hardly believe I get to fall asleep and wake up next to M, regularly. We have slowly (over years) evolved from long distance but perpetually "ex" lovers to present and engaged partners.

And now we have decided that we would be parents together, if nature would cooperate.
___

It's way too early to tell anyone outside of a small circle. Pregnancy loss is hard, I now know. While I feel I can tell you all from this anonymous shell, it's quite hard to imagine telling everyone I know. At some point in the coming weeks I will either need to regroup and heal from another loss, or I will embrace the outing of my semi-secret second family, as my belly swells and my kids ply the currency of the slightly scandalous story which won't surprise them, but will shock almost everyone else they know.

As we wait and see what's happening in my body, I'll journal here. About life so far. About our structure and how things work. About the challenges I see coming. About whatever's stuck in my brain today. About things you ask about, if they are things I can share.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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Old 06-23-2014, 04:18 PM
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I'm right at the point where I lost the last embryo my body was trying to gestate. I have all sorts of phantom symptoms, and phantom disappearance of pregnancy symptoms. I have partners to lean on who are just as eager for success as I am. And just as realistic about the way my older eggs will produce viable embryos less frequently. We all know my body knows how to figure it out. They are being incredibly supportive and understanding about my emotional ups and downs.

For all the slow growth that has characterized my poly life, I am somewhat impatient to get past this point, either on to the next try, or more confidently along in this pregnancy.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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Old 07-02-2014, 07:13 PM
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Default Quietly out. Content to be private. Not wanting to lie.

Up until a couple of years ago, only a handful of friends and family knew that W and I had opened up our marriage to the possibility of either of us having other partners. When we realized that M and I intended to stay together for life, I slowly began telling more people about the situation. All of my friends and family had known W for 20 years, and they were close to both of us. They didn't know M. They wondered how it would work out. M only told a couple of very close friends about me.

I suppose when my friends and family learned (casually, a few months after the fact, because why announce such things?) that W and I had legally divorced, it was too late to call it failure or to blame polyamory for anything. They still didn't know M. But they could see that W and I were still being good partners to each other.
____

Last time I was obviously pregnant (10 years ago) I was monogamous and married. I'm only eight weeks along, but part of allowing myself to feel this pregnancy, and not get caught behind a wall of apprehension about miscarriage, is that I'm sharing the news within a broader circle of people. Anyone I make an effort to spend time with is going to know about the most important thing going on in my life, in my body, right this minute. It's "too soon" to be telling. But I need the reality of it. I need for my people to share the experience, for better or for worse.

So far, the people I've told have already known and been neutral-to-supportive about my having two partners. They were close to me and W when we had our children. They want to know which is the father, and how the other feels about it. They still don't know M. They wonder how it will all work out.

____

As time goes on, the pregnancy will become more public. Many will assume I'm carrying W's child, especially those who only know us as a family unit with the older children. I wonder how we will handle the assumptions. I don't yet know at what point, or with whom, I will be motivated to correct them. But I think I probably will. M won't spend time at W's place. I will be there often with the baby, but it will be obvious to neighbors that I mostly sleep elsewhere. I get tired of the little white lies that protect outsiders from knowledge, and make a secret of my everyday way of living. The truth will come out in W's neighborhood, and among the people the kids know.

M's people will learn of my existence, and hear about my kids. They'll meet me when they meet the baby. With his people, will we gloss over the closeness of my continuing relationship with W? The easy assumption will be that W is a normal "ex". What would prompt anyone to ask whether I still sleep with him?* How hard will I want to work to correct those assumptions with M's people, when there's little to be gained?

___

* On the one hand, I hate secrets and lies. I want to be what I am and do what I love, and let others sort out their own mixed up feelings about it. On the other hand, it seems like such a violation for people to inquire whom I'm sleeping with these days, or even to imply that too much time spent with my "ex" is unseemly. Marriage makes it simple - they don't ask, they just assume, and any deviation they discover is treated as an affront. Were I still married to W, the fact would have offended M's people the minute it was known. Now that I'm divorced, the comfortable assumption is so much easier. But if it becomes obvious that I still stay overnight with W and the kids, at what point does someone ask, or assume, that I'm sleeping with two men? There's no point ducking the questions when they come - refusal to answer is an answer in itself. But if someone's gonna be offended by my relationships, I'm gonna reflexively hop back a step and be offended by their need to police my sexuality.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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Old 07-05-2014, 10:28 PM
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I've assigned nicknames to Mitch and Woof, formerly of those respective initials. Now if I can just keep from calling them those names to their faces.
____

Is a nearly drama-free relationship even worth blogging?

Mitch is getting his first real experience of having a pregnant partner. I'm nauseated, tired, occasionally sensitive and weepy, and much less interested in food and exercise than my usual. Eating all the time, but it's for comfort, not pleasure. I know the drill, though it's been ten years. Mitch is taking it as it comes. I've scheduled my first prenatal visit, and he will go with me.

Woof sends loving support from far away (he's traveling with the kids). He is so excited about this pregnancy, so confident and encouraging.
____

I called myself SlowPoly because it seemed like the more patient I have been with the evolution of relationships, the closer I've grown to my partners, and the better we've managed to get all our needs met.

A new or changing love is not an emergency to triage. It's a place to visit together, to learn about, to accept for what it can be. Processing then becomes not so much putting out fires, but comparing field notes and building plans.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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  #5  
Old 07-08-2014, 03:14 PM
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Default Pre-worrying meeting Mitch's people

Mitch is a very private person. I asked him the other day whether his people (very small family and a few close friends), when he tells them he has a baby on the way, would respond, "With whom?" I am pretty sure they don't know, and know better than to have asked along the way, if he's seeing anyone. He pretty much confirmed that. A couple of his friends know about me. A few will be curious with the news. And anyone outside his tiny (and mostly long-distance) circle will remain shut out of his privacy screen.

Of course my large family and handful of good friends (all also many miles away) know an awful lot about Mitch's role in my life. Woof and the boys are open and honest with their close friends and family about how our lives are structured. Two of Woof's sisters have been my earliest and dearest confidantes in the journey to start a family with Mitch.

So yesterday I had some anxious nap-time dreams about meeting Mitch's family (echoing my prior post, I guess). How would I answer their questions about me? How mincingly would I prevaricate about Woof and the kids? Would I essentially lie and pretend our divorce is the normal kind, calling him my "ex"?
I say "would" not "will" because it's still early in the pregnancy (~9 weeks), and while I'm feeling quite pregnant, I can't bring myself to count our chicken yet.

I pictured his family of origin, unimpressed with me and suspicious of my motives/fitness/stability. How can I be good enough for them? How can I make them accept me?

Breathe, SlowPoly. Do what's always worked. Claim your rights, be for real, and be gentle in dispensing your truths. The ones who accept and love you will be dear to you. The others will fade in presence and importance.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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Old 07-08-2014, 06:11 PM
gorgeouskitten gorgeouskitten is offline
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SlowPoly, I am really enjoying your writing. Best wishes on the pregnancy! I have had three myself and those early months are so hard. I wouldn't have another with D. though, hats off to you
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Old 07-08-2014, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgeouskitten View Post
SlowPoly, I am really enjoying your writing. Best wishes on the pregnancy! I have had three myself and those early months are so hard. I wouldn't have another with D. though, hats off to you
Aw, thanks, gk!

The idea of having a child together went through a roller coaster of extremes on the way to now. I'm so into it at the moment. But if I miscarry (again), will I be burned out on the idea (again)? Time will tell.

I'm reading your "turning mono" blog, too, gk. I can't imagine experiencing a change like that, but you just never know. Could devotion to a second family change the way I feel about Woof? When my libido dips in the baby's early years, will I find that "real" divorce is a shortcut to some kind of social simplicity? Anyway, it's great to have your voice, and YAH's, and so many various angles represented in this community.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:10 PM
gorgeouskitten gorgeouskitten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowPoly View Post
Aw, thanks, gk!

The idea of having a child together went through a roller coaster of extremes on the way to now. I'm so into it at the moment. But if I miscarry (again), will I be burned out on the idea (again)? Time will tell.

I'm reading your "turning mono" blog, too, gk. I can't imagine experiencing a change like that, but you just never know. Could devotion to a second family change the way I feel about Woof? When my libido dips in the baby's early years, will I find that "real" divorce is a shortcut to some kind of social simplicity? Anyway, it's great to have your voice, and YAH's, and so many various angles represented in this community.
Thanks for the response D never wanted kids, so I don't think we'll have to have that discussion. I hope this pregnancy continues swimmingly!!

As for me, yeah big change. all very weird. If you don't mind me asking...you and Woof are legally divorced, but are you romantically involved? (sorry fi I missed the answer in your blog)
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Old 07-09-2014, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
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If you don't mind me asking...you and Woof are legally divorced, but are you romantically involved? (sorry fi I missed the answer in your blog)
I don't mind at all, since this whole community is about our relationships with our partners.

Yes, Woof and I are legally divorced but still just as together as we ever were. Just a little less of the time because I spend some time with Mitch.

Woof and I sleep in our shared bed when we're both home, we have sex when we both want to (and the kids are asleep or absent), do stuff together in our free time, hold hands, kiss, and do mom and dad stuff. The people in our (Woof's) neighborhood probably see us as a normal and presumably married couple. Well, some know I spend long weekends away, but they don't really pry.
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SlowPoly vee hinge living between two homes

Mitch ('M') life partner expectant co-parent former LDR
Woof ('W') life partner co-parent former spouse
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:00 PM
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Gotcha I suppose that's how we used to be....though now it looks like we will get whole and completely divorced :/ Im glad your two loves is working out for you
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