The new normal until it’s just normal

I feel the need to write, but don’t really know what to write about.  I’m feeling a bit down and out, but really, life is just at its “new” normal level of stress and chaos.  In so many ways, my life is easier.  F is hardly ever around, so the kids are calmer, I’m happier, and although less stuff gets done around the house, because I just can’t do it all with how busy I’ve been at work, in many ways, life is simpler for me.  Of course, at the same time, A’s life has got crazy busy and he’s being stretched in five million directions and trying to juggle a bunch of balls and roller skate while singing a ballad in falsetto at the same time. OK, that was my lame attempt at humour, but the reality is that he’s giving 120% and ending each day exhausted with more things on the “to-do” list than he started with in the morning. He and his wife are both hard working and they are especially busy right now, and they have their sons to consider too.  Add to this the extra emotional stuff that’s going on in the background and it means he doesn’t have a lot left to give at the end of the day.  More than anything, he needs to make himself a priority.  This is something that I want him to do, and thankfully, he is very self-aware and good at taking time for himself if he actually has the time.  

What this means for me is less time with him.  We smuggle dates here and there, sandwiched in between meetings, family responsibilities, and other obligations.  When we are together, it’s amazing. It’s fun and easy and we laugh and joke and smile and occasionally talk about serious things.  He said to me once that I am “an island of calm” and he always comes away relaxed and refreshed.  He is very much this to me too.  He grounds me.  When we are together, it is just us.  We have so many people in common and there’s easy context in our conversations and we can be serious or sarcastic or rude or goofy or sexual or flirty and it all just works.  We both say things to get a rise out of each other and we both look at each other in that way.  It’s good.  Really good. I miss him though.  I miss having the time and the freedom to be with him more often too.  It’s not his fault, it’s not my fault, it’s just life.  Our lives have changed since January when we accidentally-on-purpose ended up naked in bed together and I’m sure they will change again.  I’m glad for the relative ease we had before and I’m glad we are both so happy and committed to what we have now that we will work to weather this time where our time to connect is limited.

D is super busy at work too.  He’s going full speed all day at work, as the project he is working on ramps up.  It’s going to continue like this for some time, which means there are no sweet messages in the middle of the day anymore and he’s so exhausted at the end of the day that the text conversations that we used to have don’t happen anymore either.  It’s not like there’s no communication, it’s just not plentiful and loving.  It’s factual.  We catch up when we are together. Every moment when we are together is used well.  I think I hugged him for a solid two minutes when he arrived last night, getting lost in the connection that I feel when we touch.  Two of my girls joined in and I have a special love for him because my kids care for him so much too.  In fact, F took one of our girls to an event in the evening and when he brought her home, she ran in the house excited to see D and jumped on his lap.  I have no doubt this was hard for F to see, not to mention that the girls just said “bye daddy” as he left, when they normally run to the door and don’t let me go when I leave.  Now, this is absolutely typical behaviour for the age of our children. Children this age are normally more attached to their mother than father.  However, F has a way of getting emotional about shit that’s not really about him, so I don’t doubt that there were some feelings coming out on his drive back to W’s house. (The kids get just as excited seeing W and other than the fact that I think she’s a crazy fucking cow, I don’t get upset – well, unless she’s passive aggressively criticizing my parenting, but not that my kids like her).

D is a “safe place” for me. Somewhere where I can let go completely and be myself. Be raw and real and never concerned about how he will react.  He is so calm and accepting.  Just after his surgery a few weeks ago, when things had to remain PG, we spent an evening on the couch just cuddling and intermittently chatting.  We are both big on touch, so we were pretty much in constant contact, me rubbing his gorgeous bald head, him running his hands through my hair, rubbing his chest, him rubbing my arm or holding my hand.  There were long periods of time where we just held each other and said nothing.  It was beyond wonderful.  I think that when you’ve reached the point in your relationship where you can sit in beautiful companionship filled silence, you’ve reached an amazing place. What that evening did for us both was recharge us. We both needed that place where we were alone and the world didn’t exist to reset.  

The fact that A and D and I are all so busy right now means that the reset button isn’t pushed as often.  We just don’t have the time to give each other.  I’m home nearly every night with my kids, because F thinks it’s his right to stay away and only parent when I’m working my Monday to Friday job. I spend the majority of my evenings at home with my children and then alone for hours.  When I first asked F for a trial separation, I basked in the awesomeness of my new-found alone time. I’ve always loved being alone. It’s rarely been a problem for me.  Before I met F, I lived alone for a couple years and I look back on that as the best time in my life.  But tonight I realized that I’m having a harder time adjusting to this new normal than I anticipated.  Turns out that being “alone” with kids isn’t the same as being alone with myself. I suspect it has something to do with responsibility.  When I spent so much time alone when I was childless and single, I *could* leave if I wanted to.  Now I can’t.  I don’t think I feel trapped, I think I just feel a little less in control.  It’s probably a combination of the changes in my life, the changes in A’s life, and the changes in D’s availability.  So many things are changing so quickly that my brain is having a hard time catching up.  The brain that suddenly has far more alone time to spend processing (read: obsessing) and has a heightened awareness of the realities of the major life changes occurring because of my decisions. This perfect combination combined tonight to make me cognizant of the fact that I’m not adapting quite as well as I thought to these changes.

I’ve been joking with A that I should just find a third boyfriend to fill the gaps in my calendar.  I have a secret thrill (probably not secret, probably intentional on his part) when he reacts negatively to this.  He likes to cover up his feelings with an excuse about how scheduling will work, but I know there’s more to it than that.  Truth be told, I have a man waiting in the wings for the time when my life is settled enough that I could actually date someone else, but that time isn’t going to be for several months. I haven’t been stringing him along at all, he knows I can’t date right now.  In fact, my exact words were: “I need another boyfriend like I need a hole in my head”, but I am truly very interested in him, so working towards a place where I can date again is kind of important to me.  I have decided that I need to have a signed separation agreement before I even consider if I’m ready to date, so it’ll be a while.  Of course, I am human and may change my mind and am reserving my right to do so, because if F continues the way he has been, it may be 2019 before we have one signed!

The solution to this is, of course, more sex and more alcohol!

 Kidding, of course.  The solution is to do nothing.  Ride it out.  My new normal will eventually become just normal.  Nothing needs to be done.  Why? Because I’m still happy underneath it all. I love the life I’m living.  I love the relationships I have.  I love the connection I have with my men and my family and my friends.  My life is really very full of love. Expressed daily or weekly or monthly or only in actions, love is pervasive in my life. Being alone and surrounded by love is so much more preferable than being surrounded by people without love.

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Author: Polyagony or Polyamory

In August 2016, after 10 years of being "happily" married, my husband and I decided to embark on a life embracing polyamory. This blog is about that adventure. It's a place for me to let out my thoughts and emotions, as we discover the good and the bad of the life we have chosen. Several months later, the path we have chosen has led us down different paths, farther and farther away from each other, but no less of an adventure. If anything interests you, I'd love your comments and feedback. Discussion and differing opinions are always welcome.

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