OK, so I realized I’m not coping as well as I thought

Today was more of the same with F.  I took the day off to return a favour to a friend who has helped us out with getting our second to and from preschool.  Her children came over and we had a play date and it was fun and wonderful, and as is typical of having a couple extra kids around, I ended up getting way more done than I normally would on a day at home.  I spent the day outside, doing spring cleaning in the yard and organizing everything I could. It was awesome. F called me this afternoon while I had 6 kids in my care and started in on me about vehicles and other random things that he feels angry about. I called a timeout and said goodbye and hung up the phone. Approximately 30 seconds later, he called me back and demanded an apology.  Said he wouldn’t be returning home if I didn’t apologize for hanging up on him.  I said I didn’t hang up on him.  He said if I didn’t apologize, he wasn’t going to come home to take the kids and that I would have to try to do without the only vehicle that fits all of my kids in it tomorrow morning.  So, he lowered himself to the level of using our children as pawns in his games. Fortunately, he extracted his head from his ass and showed up only 15 minutes late.  But I really didn’t know if he was going to for a while.

I texted A to see if he wanted to go for a drink but he was deep in homework duty, and couldn’t get away.  I had chatted with D earlier in the day and invited him over when I cancelled my other plans tonight. He said his wife was going out, so he had to be home.  So I texted him and offered to come over. This was the extent of our text conversation this evening.  Notice the timestamps:

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I shouldn’t be bothered.  But I am. Everyone has the right to ask for alone time.  I appreciate people who make self care a priority.  But I just wasn’t prepared for his response.  I didn’t realize that we had made it to that point in our relationship where both of us would have an opportunity to be together, and one of us would choose not to.  I’m not there.  I would still drop everything to be with him if I could.  Fuck, I do everything in my power to make myself available to him as part of my normal. I just assumed he was doing the same thing.  Last Friday, I drove over an hour round trip with three kids in the car just to collect a hug and some love for about 20 minutes maximum.  His response tonight was disappointing.  I felt…rejected?….deprioritized?…unimportant?  I’m not sure.  Hurt.  I definitely felt hurt.  Like my relationship changed and no one told me. Will it matter tomorrow?  Maybe.  Will in matter next week? Unlikely.  But today, tonight, I am dealing with the realization that one of my relationships has moved on to that point where we no longer move heaven and earth to be together, but are together in comfort and love and convenience.  This makes me sad.

This weekend, I spent a bit of time thinking about what it will be like the first time there is an argument in either of my relationships.  I think I have spent years unhealthily fighting with F, that I have expectations that are unrealistic, a bit of an unhealthy worry.  I suspect that A and D are legitimately better communicators who will respect my opinions and feelings and work with me to solve issues in a way that I’ve never experienced.  I think that conflict became such a big part of my marriage to F that I failed to realize how unhealthy it was. I think that I need to work through a few issues with respect to what has become ‘normal’ in my life with respect to conflict so I can be less worried about the proverbial shoe dropping.  

All of these things put together taught me something today.  I’m not coping with this stuff with F and my separation and the shit with my kids as well as I thought.  I would never normally be upset by A having said that “being in love doesn’t matter”, or D saying that he was staying home instead of wanting me to come over.  I need to work on my coping mechanisms and my downtime to cope with the shit storm that F is serving me and my kids on a silver platter. I need to let go of that stress so I don’t fuck up the relationships I have with A and D that are so important to me.

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A weekend with those I love

I’ve spent nearly all the time in the last 3 days with my munchkins.  It’s been awesome.  The highlight by far was G coming over with her son and her son calling my eldest daughter a “douche”.  It was beyond funny. G and I get a kick out of our kids trying to navigate the challenges of being kids without taking much very seriously. It works very well.

I’m really worried about F. As much as he makes my life very difficult, he is really not coping with life in general.  He was rather awful to our eldest yesterday and it ended in her doing an amazing job of communicating what was bother her and him completely failing to listen to her message.  The girls have been saying they don’t want daddy to take care of them because he yells and is angry.  It breaks my heart that the man who was such an amazing role model such a short time ago is doing such a poor job right now. Those kids love him.  They just want their daddy.  Right now, he still has time to be their dad.  But he’s slowly destroying his relationship with them, and one day, they aren’t going to want to be with him anymore. That breaks my heart.

I was talking with G today about all the things that are going on.  About A and D and K and H and all the other things in our cumulative lives.  Again, I realized exactly how incredibly blessed I am.  I have so many people on my team and in my life, who accept me and support me and love me (or like me a little) who lift me up and make me a better person and help me be happy despite all the stress.

One evening when I was telling D about what was going on with F and all the other things in my life and the hilarity of one thing or another that my little herd of assholes did, he stopped me mid-sentence and said: “You’re amazing”.  I didn’t understand why he stopped me to say so and although I’m working on my ability to take a compliment, I’m still not that good at it. So I asked him why.  He said because I have such a good attitude despite all the shit that I’m getting handed to me. That I never catch a break, but my positivity never changes.  I guess I can’t say it enough, but the truth of the matter is that I’m still very happy.  I have amazing friends, incredible family, and two men who provide me with everything I could possibly need in way of support and love and connection, even if I could handle seeing both of them more often.  I recognize that my problems with F are temporary.  That no matter what, I have four beautiful, innocent, and incredible kids who need at least one parent who is there for them through this all. Truthfully, I love those little monkeys, enjoy spending time with them, and while they are normal kids who drive me crazy and make me burst with love for them at near regular intervals, they are everything that matters and every reason that I move forward with a smile on my face.  I know this stuff with F is temporary. But my life with those gorgeous beings who grew inside me and I brought into this world is permanent.  They are my most important relationships.  In fact, G said today that she would not date a man who didn’t talk about his kids as part of his daily life.  That her primary relationship is and will always be with her child.  Indeed, my primary relationship is with those beings.  That is something that will never change.  So, as much as I said a few days ago that my primary relationship was with myself, I guess the reality is that I have four primary relationships, and a “secondary” with myself (or is it a fifth primary?).    

I am fortunate.  I am dating two married men. They don’t demand from me more than I can give them. They are both fathers. They know I understand that they have priorities before me. This doesn’t diminish my meaning to them, in fact, I think that it increases our connection, because we can choose to be who we are to each other, within the parameters that already exist in our lives.  D has chosen an involvement in my life that includes my kids.  He will eventually meet my mom when she becomes a little more comfortable with the life I’ve chosen.  He will charm her like he does everyone else. A has chosen to not be a part of my children’s lives.  That is also more than OK.  We have an amazing time together.  He’s met my kids, but he doesn’t have a relationship with th, and while that day may come, it also may not.  And that’s OK.  I think, although I don’t know, that part of the reason I mean what I do to A and D is because I understand their relationships with their wives and children and families and I don’t demand more from them than they want to give.   

I took the day off on friday to hang out with my kids.  In the afternoon, we headed to D’s work to collect a hug and a little love before he left town for the weekend.  My middle two were awake in the car while my little man slept.  D got in my car and gave me a kiss.  My second, says: “OOOOH, Mommy has a boyfriend!”.  D says “Hi” to the girls, my third says “Hi, I love you” (She totally loves D, it’s awesome), and my second says “Mommy, kisses are gross, you shouldn’t kiss boys.”  So I say “But you ask me for kisses all the time, you like kisses.” She says: “Ya, but adult kisses are gross, and you kissed an adult boy and that’s yucky.”  So I kissed D again and laughed while she made sounds like it was gross. Some day, those “yucky” hugs and kiss are exactly what keeps me happy and positive through the day. Not just driving round trip for an hour to collect a couple kisses and hugs and in total time of 20 minutes and then head home, but the knowledge that there is someone (or two) out there who cares about me in that way.  

Friday evening, A came over for the first time in what seems like forever.  It was incredible.  I woke up very tired on Saturday with bruises in all the right places, sore throughout my body, and recharged and grounded in a way that an evening with him provides. (And wishing for more). There was a point in the evening (by evening, I mean about 2 am) that I was falling asleep in his arms after hours of talking and drinking and naked time.  I was relaxed and happy and content in that moment.  He said something about me starting to snore and falling asleep and how he should go home. I just grabbed his arms, and wrapped them around me, and assumed the role of little spoon.  In that moment, that was everything I needed. It was the aftercare that helped me feel safe and secure and cared for after our night of exceptionally rough and hot and hard sexy time.  It was everything I needed.  About two hours later, I woke up and rolled over, feeling complete and happy and A got dressed and went home after a brief kiss at the door. (Did I mention I love that I don’t have to wash, even the best looking underwear, of my men?)

What is missing from this story is that in the two days before, we had had a miscommunication about love that left me feeling rather disappointed and sad, feeling like he didn’t care about love with me, when he meant that he wasn’t prescribing a path for love to take or concerned if we made it there, but just letting what happens happen.  In that moment, the moment I read his email that said “It doesn’t matter to me if we ever reach the point where we are in love or say it”, I realized exactly where I am with my relationship with A and what I want from it.  It was a profound moment, marked by disappointment and sadness due to miscommunication.  It reminded me of how committed I am to him.  It reminded me that I am more than willing to work through the frustration of our limited time together, due both to my schedule, but mostly his, because the alternative is unthinkable.  The alternative to having to practice patience is to not have him in my life.  And that is not an option that I’m willing to entertain.  There’s something about A that invokes all the good feelings and makes me happy with uncertainty and provides comfort in the undefined. I kind of like him a little bit.  😉

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.

Secondary

A and I have had a lot of talks about primary vs. secondary and what they mean and blah blah blah.  I think my disdain for this topic comes out in that sentence.  I hate the primary/secondary dichotomy that seems to be pervasive in polyamory.  This isn’t because I think it’s bad in general, but because I think the terms are loaded with meaning that requires qualification and justification and there’s just too much potential for miscommunication.

My life lately has been up and down and all over the place.  So, real life, really.  But I could venture to say that my downs have been a little lower than is normal for me and my ups are so much part of my life, but I love them every time.  For example, tonight, I was putting my girls to bed and we had a tickle fight.  Their giggles are the best sound in the whole world. I felt happier in that moment than any other moment today.  Yesterday, I had an amazing experience at work.  Someone showed a lot of appreciation for me. Appreciation I didn’t ask for.  Appreciation for doing my job and caring about her well-being.  It made my day.  She had no idea that my weekend had been dealing with the asshatery that overtook hubby this weekend, but the gift she gave me was everything I needed.  Last night, D came over, and we laughed and cuddled, and talked and had amazing sex.  The connection is overwhelming sometimes and then it isn’t, because it’s everything that is right in this world.  

Today, I made an executive decision!.  I’m going to switch from calling hubby “hubby”, and start calling him “F”.  At one point, I said that no one should be called F, but I think he’s earned the title of F over and over.  F for Fucker, F for Failure, F for Fucking asshole douchebag cunty bastard that keeps hurting my children and playing a victim when he should be acting like a fucking adult and suck up his shit. (See, aren’t you glad I shortened it to F?  Imagine if I had to type that out and you had to read it every time!)

I’ve been working away at re-establishing my independence after 14 years (yesterday) with F (Yes, having an amazing evening with D that involved fucking several times was the best way to celebrate that anniversary), and feeling generally good about it. Every time I think that maybe I jumped ship too soon, he does something even more dickish, and then I’m so very happy that I don’t have to be married to him for that much longer.

Today, F was a giant fucking dickhead to my girls.  One by one, all of them ended up home, crying, miserable because he wasn’t coping with them being kids.  In the end, my eldest, who is 7, was punished unfairly and was screaming for answers from him.  While I was changing our son, who is 2, and putting him to bed, F left the house in one of our vehicles.  Our eldest tried to run after him.  Another followed her, scared for her safety. Another was screaming on the step that the other two had run away.  Here I was with a naked boy and no one to help.  Eventually we all made it back into the house with much drama.  My eldest collapsed into a heap of jello on my knee and let out all her hurt. She misses her daddy. She says he’s changed and isn’t nice anymore. That he used to be fun and kind and patient and now he’s always angry and never home.  I’m so proud of that kid. She expressed her feelings and talked to her dad and told him she needed him and he came back and rose to the occasion (ish, he was still a dick, just less of one).  But my girl? She’s amazing.  God I love her.  

This all was hard for me.  I had that tickle fight with the girls at bedtime because I needed to see them happy. I cuddled them extra long and let them sleep in my bed because I wanted them to feel safe and secure and loved.  I wanted to hurt F badly for fucking up so badly with my girls.  I wanted to make him feel the pain that they were feeling. The pain that I AM feeling because they are hurting.  

But I didn’t. I was the bigger person. Again.  Because my kids need that.  Because my mom was that person for me and my sister and I know how much it means to me now, 30 years later.  Because those kids deserve so much more.

I’m hurting a lot over this. Over the fact that my 7-year-old is in so much pain that she can’t do anything but scream sometimes because she doesn’t have the words to explain the hurt she feels.  Over the fact that F is coping so badly that he doesn’t see how badly he’s managing his life and his interaction with our kids.  Over the fact that this guy who is so smart and has so much to offer has focused all his efforts on his emotions and his priorities and himself as a victim.  That he can’t see past his own ass to realize what he’s doing is hurting his kids. His wonderful, beautiful, innocent, amazing kids. And their hurt, it hurts me.

Today, A was supposed to come over.  I knew early today that he might not be able to. His wife is swamped at work and had to work late.  I certainly understand a woman working hard in her career and trying to get ahead.  I understand that statistically, she has to be so much better than her male colleagues, and that she has less time to do it in, because she is a wife and a mother and all the other things those of us who are amazing, strong, independent, fierce women are.

A is swamped at work. He has so much on his plate right now, I don’t know how he gets from breakfast to supper without a breakdown.  This extra work stress comes with a boatload of personal stress that no one deserves and that, like everything else, he is handling with class and poise and a whole lot of attitude.  But I know it’s wearing at him, and very occasionally, he admits it is.

There’s my perfect storm.  I’m not someone who needs support a lot.  But today, I really want someone next to me to cuddle. To hold me tight and tell me everything is going to be OK.  (I want to say something about lying to me, but honestly, I know everything WILL be OK, eventually).  I want someone who will distract me from life and all that needs to be done.  Physically, emotionally, or otherwise, I needed some attention tonight.

I’m not weak enough that this is crushing to me, but the fact that A couldn’t come over got to me more than it normally would.  Normally, I’d give myself the little pep talk that goes something like this: “Long-term, does this matter to you? Are you going to actually be upset tomorrow when you wake up?  Does this change how you feel? No? No? No? Good. Then shut the fuck up and get on with life.” (I do sometimes chastise myself for being too feely….)

But today was the perfect storm.  F caused shit at home with my kids.  D and I were together yesterday, so he was an amazing support via text, but I can’t expect him to dump the family and come to my side.  A was supposed to come, but couldn’t. He couldn’t because his wife was working late.  I asked if he could come when she came home and he said he’d probably fall asleep snuggling with his son.  

None of these things are unreasonable. Sure, if we were all NRE’d up and this was a super powerful sex thing, I could see him electing to stay awake and come over when he could, but we’ve developed past that point.  Like you didn’t know this was coming…..

BUT….I feel secondary.  There. I said it. For the first time ever, in either of my relationships, I feel like I’m less than.  A and D have always made me feel like a priority.  I’ve always respected their responsibilities to their families, their relationship with their wives, their careers, their kids and everything else.  I’m really good at this. I want to be with them, free of obligations or demands or complications or drama.  I’m good at seeing that end goal and forgetting about the stuff in between.  Except when I’m not.

Tonight, I sat at my table, and I actually thought for a minute that A’s wife may have stayed at work late because he was supposed to come to my house. (I know, logically, that this is not ever something she would do).  Then I thought that maybe I was complicating A’s life too much and that I was starting to be an obligation.  (Despite the fact that I know that we feel the same about each other and have an amazing time together). So I asked him. Of course he doesn’t feel obligated.

Tonight I had a need that couldn’t be filled.  When it wasn’t filled, because of perfectly legitimate reasons, I let insecurity and weakness overcome me.  I started questioning my role in other people’s lives. I felt “less than”.  I felt secondary.  In all the ways that the word “secondary” sucks.  I felt unloved and unwanted and unsupported and alone.  

That’s it. Right there. I felt alone.  But in the end, no matter what your definition, I am alone.  But alone means one.  One means Primary.   I guess I’m my own primary?  Hmmmmmmm….I’m going to leave this all here!!!

 

Sex, cultural norms, explanations, and how we talk about it all

Life is crazy.  Hubby decided to empty our joint chequing account and cancel our joint credit card without telling me. I found out when I tried to withdraw money to pay our babysitter on my break on Sunday.  Not the good type of surprise.  Fortunately, I was smart enough to save our children’s savings accounts and had stashed a bit of a cash back up fund, so I’ll be fine. Today was a day of opening my own accounts, making sure that all my earnings go into my own account, taking my name off some accounts, closing others, and getting my phone in my name apart from him.  The cherry on the top of the cake was my parking fees being NSF’d because hubby cancelled my credit card. So I managed to get direct debit set up.  Now I think I’m good.  As good as one can be when one’s husband goes crazy and makes major decisions without telling her.  Also, I told him about every change I made so he isn’t caught unaware next week.  I will be the bigger person if it kills me.

During this weekend I was talking to A a bit about my blog and how much he enjoys reading it.  He caught up on my most recent posts and asked me about calling him a “cocky asshole” (I stand by it!) and we laughed a bit.  He said he likes reading about our relationship and how I present it to others. I explained that it’s really a processing tool for me or really an explanation of my processing.  That it’s therapeutic in a way.  And then I said:  Except now that you read it, I can’t be completely honest about all the things until I’ve been completely honest with you about them.”

As is so typical of A, his response was perfect and interesting and full of insights into how he works.  I’m not sure he always realizes how much of who he *really* is is present in some of his messages, but maybe he does and he’s that good with words and messages and guiding my responses.  It doesn’t really matter to me either way. I kind of like him a little bit so it all makes me happy. 🙂

 Here was his response:

“Actually you can totally be honest in the blog.  As I know it is how you process,  and it is a great way to get a conversation started,  and if it is written,  then I can read and be prepared for the convo.  You know I’m very easy to manage and communicate with.  I don’t see it as passive.”

First off, he’s so not easy to manage! But he’s easy to communicate with. In fact, he’s one of the best communicators I know.  It’s part of why I tolerate the cocky asshole part. (Totally kidding, but I have to ride that one as long as I can – see what I did there?)

While there are things I could write about, I like keeping my relationship with A uncomplicatedly complicated.  The fact that my two metamours are best friends could be so complicated and it isn’t.  The fact that his wife is monogamous and our relationship is more committed than his others since he’s had his “free pass”, as he calls it, has the potential to be complicated, but so far it isn’t.  The fact that I’m separating from my husband and he’s gone batshit crazy has the potential to get complicated and it has.  It hasn’t caused stress in my relationships, but it could.  These things I have minimal control over.  What I do have control over is how complicated I make our relationship. So some things won’t make it here until I talk with him in person, even when I have his permission.  Plus, he says a lot with his body language that doesn’t come across in his written responses, so sometimes I don’t want the guy to have prep time!

Now that I’ve explained all that, I’m going to talk about something that happened last night with A.  Not because of him, but because something he said had me thinking all day today in between putting out the fires of my life.  

He came over for a glass of wine after a charity event he was at and the stressed out version of me had other ideas for him than just drinking wine and though he put up a token fight, I managed to get him into bed and use him for the stress relief I needed.  (I would never have got him naked if he hadn’t wanted to be, so no stress about me having an unwilling participant.) Somewhere in the midst of pillow talk, he said something about me being a nympho.  I joked that for a guy that says he always wants sex, he sure turns me down a lot and we continued from there.

So here’s the thing. I like sex a lot. There was a time in my married life where we went without having sex (as in penis in vagina intercourse) for many many many months.  We did other things, but it was mediocre at best.  So was the sex when we had it. For the year before we embraced polyamory, we had very regular sex and it was improving dramatically.  There was a time in my life where I thought I might be asexual, but then it occurred to me that I very much enjoyed masturbation every day, so it was probably a problem with the sex, not the machinery.  When I started dating, and started having sex with new men, I realized something.  These 40 year old men?  Best kept secret.  They know what they are doing.  They have sex for the entire experience. They know how to please a woman and they know their way around the lady parts.  They know how to ask for what they want and they know how to take feedback.  Sex with 40-year-old men is amazing.  Every. Fucking. Time.  (Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone.  I want them all for myself!)

That’s why I like sex so much.  I have the best sex of my life pretty much every time I have sex.  Yes, it’s that good.  I have two amazing partners.  Everything about my relationships with them is extremely different, but they are both amazing.  They fulfill parts of my life in ways I never thought possible until X introduced me to polyamory.  So, I pretty much always want to have sex. I joke that I’m channeling a 16-year-old boy. A said I’m just channeling any man, but then he turns me down for sex. So I’m going to go with me being right!

See what I just did in the above paragraphs?  What I did was explain.  I explained why I like sex.  I explained the circumstances of why I wanted to have a really good naked time with A last night.  I found an excuse for every one of my actions that wasn’t “I just wanted to have sex”.

Think about this for a second.  If a man said that he had a tough day, needed some stress relief and wanted sex, would you question it?  If a man just said he wanted sex, would you be surprised?  Would you call him a nympho for expressing his desire?

See what happened?  A man pointed out my ‘atypical’ sex drive and I responded by defending it. A didn’t do anything wrong.  He was joking with me. He’s a product of the society we live in as much as I am.  Sure we have alternative lifestyles, but internalization of gender norms runs deep, and we all are guilty of our indoctrination. This fact can’t be more apparent than in my need to justify why I want sex.  Or my response to him being teasing back that “for a guy who says he always wants sex, you sure were difficult to get in the bedroom.” I immediately went for the gender stereotype that he should always be ready and willing.   

Why do we do this?  Why is this our cultural norm?  I don’t take any offense to it.  I have no shame associated with the fact that I like sex, because I’m confident in who I am and what I want.  But why isn’t it OK for a woman to say “Holy shit, could I ever use a pounding now” or a man to say “I just need to cuddle tonight”?  Why is it the default of sex positive people like A and me to poke fun and joke with gender stereotypes and societal norms?  

And in the end, is it important?  Does it matter if he jokingly calls me a nympho after I very actively convinced him into the bedroom?  Does it matter that my response is to tease him that for a man who says he has a high sex drive, I sure did have to work to convince him?  Is it wrong to just let the joke go? Or as a proper feminist, do I have to do better, fight the joke, fight the stereotype, fight the gender norm?  

In the end, the sex is fucking fantastic. And it always has me wanting more.  Which means I’ll have more than one future opportunity to explain why I just want to get fucked.

 

Expanding my tribe

Work has finally slowed down for me.  I just have to get caught up on some last minute things, meet a couple deadlines, and have a few meetings and my days will be clear sailing until the end of April.  This is good, because I’ve been busy in my social life.  Well, not that busy, I guess, but having a lot of fun maintaining my friendships and relationships and forging new and interesting connections with people.  It’s Easter weekend.  Hubby is off with W for a couple days, I’m solo parenting, D is off to his parents in another province, and I’m waiting for A to arrive at my house after I had Easter dinner at my parent’s house, where my crazy ass sister had a temper tantrum and was a psycho bitch. So pretty much the same old stuff for my life.

On Wednesday, I went out on a social night with several of the girls I work with.  Hilariously, D and his wife were going out to the same event.  The night before, pillow talk with A led to a conversation about whether I was going to tell my coworkers I was polyamorous or not.  He just laughed and said “Every person in the room with you two knows how you feel about each other.  You need to tell them, because they’ll know anyway.”  Well, A knows me really well, and he said what I needed to hear.  I have no poker face.  When I texted D to tell him my decision, he just responded with “Truth”.  He knows me well too, and I think he figured I’d be telling them either way.

So, I headed into my first coworker’s office and said “Hey, I have to tell you something personal…” and blurted it out.  Her response was perfect. I honestly couldn’t have asked for better.  I am a scientist and I work with scientists. We are highly educated, liberal minded, and independent thinkers.  This all is exemplified in the way she responded.  It went something like this:

“Cool!  Does your hubby know?”

“Do your boyfriends’ wives know?”

“How did you meet them?”

“I’ve always thought monogamy was a social construct that goes against the natural biology of organisms including humans.”

“How do you schedule time with them with four kids and two jobs and everything else you have going on?”

“How do you deal with kids in these situations?”

“How long have you been together?”

“You mean I’ve met them?”

Genuine, heartfelt happiness for me and abundant curiosity.  

Then:

“I thought that maybe you were just pretending to be coping so well with your career challenges and your separation because you and I aren’t super close friends.  But you really are happy, aren’t you?”

Yes. Yes. I am.

So, then I headed into second coworkers office. Close door.  Repeat announcement. Her response:

“You know you don’t have to tell me this, don’t you?”

“As long as you are consenting adults, I don’t care what you do.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“Cool”

So, I explained that I didn’t want them to think that I am separating from hubby because I’m having an affair, that everything I’m doing is above board.  

Of course, coworker #3 wasn’t in that day, so I had to get coworker #1 to tell her on the way to the event so she wasn’t weirded out.

Of course, we ended up sitting with D and his wife, had a great time, nothing was awkward or weird and much laughter was involved.

The next day, coworker #3 came into my office and we talked a bit and I apologized that I didn’t tell her myself about my alternative lifestyle.  She just laughed and said “Don’t worry about it, I dated a trans person for a long time, I’m very comfortable with alternative lifestyles. In fact, it’s one of my first questions when I meet a guy, because I need people in my life who are open and understanding.”

So ya.  There you have it.  My amazing job just got even better.  Now I have coworkers who know about my life and support me in it.  And we’re going to the same event next month.

Such an amazing life.

 

Do you know D?

This time of year is very busy for me.  My youngest just had his birthday last weekend and my second has hers coming soon.  Work is insane at this time of the year, with everything culminating this week for a crazy amount of stress and work.  Add to that the fact that I have near constant interruptions, and my work week was insane.  Last night D came over and spent the night.  It was amazing.  A little less than two weeks after surgery and we made up for lost time.  We also talked and cuddled and laughed and reconnected.  We had so much to talk about, even though it had only been four days.

In December, before I crossed the couch and began this fantastic relationship I have with A, I reopened my OKCupid profile while D was away in Mexico, after I’d broken up with B.  I had actually reopened it just to read the correspondence D and I had, trying to remember how our conversation started and rereading his profile.  I was feeling rather….sentimental, I guess is the word…we were at this lovely point in our relationship where we couldn’t keep our hands off of each other, we always had so much fun, we always had a hard time leaving each other, we missed each other immensely while he was away.  It was probably a necessary process for me to got through to feel the connection that I was missing.  It was the same time where hubby left our date to go be with W.  

So, I met a couple guys during that time, four of whom I chatted with.  One, I went on a date with in December, which was a disaster.  I believe I called him E for this blog.  Another, I lost interest in right away.  The third and fourth were very intriguing to me.  I lost contact with both of them in early February, just before I went to my grandmother’s funeral.  After I came back and everything was so crazy with hubby, I didn’t really think about them. I knew I was in no position to be dating, so I didn’t actually worry about it.  Admittedly, I was quite disappointed about one of them (I just read back and I called him ‘G’, before I called my soul sister ‘G’.  Nothing like confusing the fuck out of you….) and still think of them often, the other I had just begun to get to know, and figured he had lost interest due to my polyamory.  

Last weekend, I got an email from the second, who I’m going to call J.  Of course I responded and we started chatting again.  I told him about some details of my life, including that I had lived abroad in Sweden for several years.  One of the things that connected D and I was that D had lived in Sweden too.  One of the things that led to friend zoning A was that after I told him I lived in Sweden, he said his wife’s best friend and her husband had lived in Sweden, and he is a programmer and has a beard and is a huge nerd…. And I said “Do you mean D and D’s wife?”  Then he said “How do you know them?” and I had to explain that I was talking to D as well.  There was more to that date that made it weird, including me unintentionally exposing a very deep hurt of A’s, but one of the reasons he wanted to step back was because he didn’t want to get in the way of D’s happiness, because the cocky asshole that is A is also very very caring about the people who mean something to him and his family and will give up a lot so they will be happy.

Anyway, immediately after I told J that I had lived in Sweden, we had pretty much the exact same conversation.  Turns out that he’s D’s eldest son’s best friend’s dad.  Seriously.  So that meant I ended up outing him to D and D to him and there was a ton of joking with both A and D about how everyone seems to know D and how weird our life and our tribe and its connections are.  Naturally, D, in his amazing style, ended up meeting J at the park in their area and had a meaningful talk with him and was thrilled with the connection they made.  

A couple days later, I got a pocket dial from J and get a message with laughing and joking about how everyone knows D and how he didn’t know about D and I outed him and so on.  Turns out that his girlfriend’s friend used to work with D and his wife. Again. Seriously.

The next morning, I’m texting with J, and he says that the friend is going to hook him and his girlfriend up with a bdsm master to teach him ropes.  I say “Is his name XYZ?” And he says “Yes, why? Do D and his wife know him as well?”  The answer?  “Yep.  D’s wife and XYZ went to school together and are great friends.

So everyone knows D.  Everyone.  

Apparently there’s an app made in silicon valley that can be used to track poly relationships. I’m going to use it to track how everyone knows D.

Life is crazy weird. Crazy. Awesome. Weird. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.