The key

One of the things I always do is talk to G about my Twisty Bits.  She’s amazing at giving me perspective and accepting people for who they are and knowing their needs and desires. For the last couple weeks, A and I have been discussing love. This all came up after a rather drunken and intense bedroom session where he said to me: “You love me, don’t you?”, and I said “Yes”, and at some point, uttered the “love” word.  I was 3 bottles of wine in at this point and probably would have told someone I was Napoleon if it would get me an orgasm, so take it with a grain of salt.  What this event did was make me think about all the things that deal with A and me and our relationship.  What I realized in the processing is that I’m not “there”. I’m not in love with him. Yet.  I am definitely on the way there, I think he is amazing, and strong, and determined, and a fantastic person, and someone I love to hold.   I love everything about what we do together, from our amazing conversations to our high quality cuddles to the amazing things that happen in my bedroom that I’d rather be doing with him than anything else!

The other day, I was deep in processing mode.  I had spent a lot of time during the week thinking about my feelings for A and how to deal with them.  I kept going around in this circle about how I don’t love him but I want to be with him.  The circle kept going around with me trying to process why I didn’t feel as deeply for him as I have for other men I’ve been in a relationship with this long.  I realized that there was a wall up somewhere preventing it from happening, but I didn’t know what it was or whose it was.  I naturally thought I was all open and loving and it was with him (sort of a joke), but knew logically that it could just as easily be me.  For several weeks, I kept getting to the same place – it doesn’t matter.  I like A.  I like what we do and how we fit together in each other’s lives.  I want to be with him.  There’s no need to force it or label it or escalate it.  The thing to do is to just let it be.

But, of course, there was this nagging emotion in the back of my head that happens when I have a problem I need to solve, particularly a Twisty Bit that means I’m not processing my emotions how I should.  (It reminds me of my one of my kids’ favourite books: “But questions are tricky and some hold on tight, and this one kept Rosie awake through the night…”) As I was driving home, I was thinking about our relationship.  What it means. What we do and what that means.  One of the things I’ve joked about often is that A never makes the first move.  It was me that crossed the couch the first time, it is me that grabs his hand or reaches across the table to kiss him, it’s me who kisses him and begins undressing him, etc. etc. etc.  I’ve even joked that I’ve crossed the couch to give him a kiss and the next thing I know, I’m tied to a bed, getting fucked and spanked with a paddle.  But I digress.

This is my Twisty Bit.  I ALWAYS make the first move.  I’m always inviting him out.  Asking him to make plans for a date.  I’m always the one who moves in for the kiss or reaches for his hand.  He never advances on me.  Ever.  What this means could be many many things.  But what my insecurity does, when it rears its ugly head, is have me doubting how he feels about me.  I start asking myself if he’s as into me as I am into him.  Is he only with me because it’s simple?  Is he only with me because of the unique dom/sub relationship we have?  Is he not into me?  

I talked this all through with G the other day, and she assured me that A is very much into me, and we both agreed that I just need to talk it out with him.  So I will.

In the meantime, I realized I had another Twisty Bit with A.  It may be slightly related to the above issue, but it’s more specific in nature.  A has a lot of stress in his life right now.  As a partner that is new(ish) in his life and who isn’t his primary source of support, I have a hard time figuring out how to be what he needs.  This was causing me a bit of anxiety and insecurity the other day, so I squashed my Twisty Bit with a bit of communication.  This is what I messaged to him:

I really care about you.  I want to support you in any way I can.   I need you to feel comfortable asking me for what you need from me.  I’m pretty good at assuming that if you’re not talking to me that nothing is wrong, but I’m not immune to insecurity.  If you need time, please tell me.   If you need time with me, please tell me.  I want to enhance your life and be here for you.  

Sometimes I feel like when I’m offering things that I think may help that I’m actually causing more stress for you because you may feel pressure or obligation.  I don’t want that.  So if that’s the case, please tell me.  I want to be what you need, but our relationship is new enough and our situations complicated enough that I’m having a hard time figuring out what that is.  Please tell me what you need when you need it.

I was a little stressed when I sent this.  I was worried he would see my vulnerability as weakness. Of course, he appreciates my direct communication style, so this is what I got in response:

First things, you are not causing me any stress or adding complications.  I appreciate the fact you are providing advice and respite from the storm….I want to ensure that the time I spend with you is quality time, not wrung out, stressed out and distracted A…..

His response was perfect. Exactly what I needed to hear.

 

That’s right.  I squashed the insecurities and Twisty Bits with COMMUNICATION!!!!

Soon I’ll communicate with A about the other Twisty Bit and I’ll finish this blog post and publish it. Because he reads this blog, I don’t need him finding out I have a problem with us before I talk to him about it.  Look at me thinking before I publish!

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I clearly wasn’t really thinking last night when I published my last piece, that A isn’t the type to wait around to have a conversation.  I really shouldn’t have put it in my last post.  It was uncharacteristically passive of me.  Not cool.  Of course, he read the post and texted me.  So I explained it all via text.  Naturally, there was a perfectly good reason for it all that made sense when explained.  

Communication is the key to all relationships. Communication is the reason my relationships with A and D are strong and functional. The lack of communication is the reason my marriage is failing.

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Closing a door

The last week has been crazy in so many ways.  But I’m going to focus on a major decision I’ve made with regards to my marriage.  Let me see if I can piece together all the processing I’ve done during the last week into something coherent.

Last Thursday, I woke up with one of those rare (for me) feelings of unease. Like something was wrong, but I didn’t know what it was.  I hate things like this.  It makes it really hard for me to focus on anything else, and I obsessively process and try to work my way through things.  I don’t do well with not understanding my emotions.  As soon as I realize I don’t, I have to figure it out.  At first I thought I was just nervous knowing that I was going to kiss G.  Then I kissed her and it was still there, no change really.

Then I did some more processing and thinking and came up with a few twisty bits about A.  I tackled one of them.  I talked to G about the other and I still have to talk to A about it, and call me crazy, but I think it’s better if I talk to him in person about my Twisty Bit than publish it here to read. I do have a post almost entirely prepared about those Twisty Bits though. (Sorry A, you’ll actually have to have the serious conversation with me!)

So, that meant processing more.  I spent the entire weekend, except for Sunday night, alone with the kids.  This meant a lot of time to think and work and think and work.  One of the things I did was tell my four best friends from when I lived abroad that I am polyamorous. I did it in the best way possible.  Bandaid style.  I posted a picture of me with A and D and said “This is a picture of me with my boyfriends…”  and explained the whole thing.  In true friend fashion, they were all really supportive.  But my best friend there had the best thing to say:

Ahhh. I’m actually not surprised. And I’m not surprised that as soon as you were happy and confident in your professional and emotional life your hubby couldn’t cope. I’m glad you are finding yourself!!

Then I had a long chat with her on messenger and she pointed out a few things.  Patterns of behaviour that suggest that those bizarre boundary pushing behaviours, passive aggressive control manipulations, and general douchiness were actually present all along, not a product of the last six months.  She pointed out some situations where it was quite obvious that he was trying to control me. Where he said things that were so critical or manipulative or just a little too far past the truth to really stick.  As I thought of it, I realized a few things.  

When we were just the two of us, for the first 7 years of our relationship, I was strong and independent, but I made so much less money than he did that I was dependent on him and his support.  He could still be a real jerk, but it was seldom, because let’s face it, when you don’t have kids, things are a little easier to manage in life.  But there were times he accused me of trying to control him, or spending his money frivolously, or using him for this or that.  He guilted me about sex and he was a very selfish lover.  But it wasn’t that bad.  All of it could be excused by his challenging job, the fact that he was going to university full time and working full time, and the fact that he worked shift work and was often very tired.

Then, we had four kids in five years and four months.  I had two miscarriages in that time too.  I was depressed in the months leading up to getting pregnant with #2.  I’m a strong, independent, career minded woman and I was at home on maternity leave for 4 years. I sacrificed a lot to be home with my kids.  It’s OK, it was a choice I made, but it was still hard.  In between, I worked a job that I like, but didn’t give me the fulfillment that my job, in my chosen profession, that I have now, gives me.  I was unhappy.  Then, after #4 was born, I finally realized that I was depressed and went on medication.  It changed my life.  I was more engaged in life, I worked at making things work with hubby more, it was great.  In the end, after a year and a half on meds, I thought he and I were in a really good spot.  We weren’t really, but I thought we were.  

What I realized is that there was a lot of passive aggressive and outright aggressive criticisms of me taking place during those years.  Comments about how I shouldn’t be having a hard time and needing him at home on his days off because I was “just” at home with the kids doing nothing all day.  Comments about how all I did was “spend his money”.  Comments criticizing my diet, exercise, and appearance.  Recently, a lot of these things have really exploded. Yesterday he blamed me for all our financial issues and the told me that his mental health issues were because of the finances.

 Hmmmmmm…..sounds like I’m being blamed for his mental health issues.

These comments served to destabilize me more.  It was a way to control me. To keep me unhappy and “stuck”. For him to feel needed by me.  He knew I was unhappy being at home full time with kids, so he played up my dislike of it.  He knew I wasn’t fulfilled in my other job in emergency services and criticised me for taking a job in my chosen career instead.  He still criticises me about my job, complaining I work too much, complaining that I don’t make enough, complaining that I work and “let someone else parent my kids” (never mind that he is also working and letting someone else parent his kids….).  Then this crazy ass thing happened. I was professionally fulfilled for the first time since I graduated from grad school.  I found a job I love, doing what I want, with amazing coworkers, and great work/life balance.  

Then I reconnected with X.  He introduced me to polyamory.  I went through the growth of the heartbreak with him.  I met A, B, C, and D.  All of them have given me so much in my life, even if B is now a friend and C has disappeared because he’s W’s other partner.  I became happy.  Really, truly, deep down in the darkest corners of me, happy.  I found a part of me that I didn’t know was missing.  I felt (and still feel) complete.  

What I didn’t realize is how destabilizing my happiness and fulfillment in my professional and emotional life was to hubby’s mental health.  He no longer could control me.  With my happiness came the ability to calmly and patiently deal with life’s issues.  I had perspective and meaning and balance.  But hubby didn’t.  My happiness rocked his world view.  I stopped responding and getting angry at the little pokes. So the pokes got bigger.  He started stomping right through my boundaries.  He had to work harder and harder to get a reaction out of me.  Then, at a certain point, I couldn’t help but react.  I’m human. I got pushed to the point where I couldn’t be calm any more.  And I lost control.  And that was horrible.  

Inside all that conflict there was one thing that still was obvious.  I was happy. Complete.  In love with D and living my life exactly how I wanted. Then I crossed the couch and ended up with A.  My happiness and the ease with which I slotted A into my life was hard on hubby. He didn’t realize that I still loved him and wanted to be him, and that upped his boundary pushing to a point where it couldn’t be sustained any more. Because of all that pushing, I reacted and our relationship exploded.  

The last weeks have been interesting.  Hubby is not doing well. He’s quite obviously stressed – not sleeping, looks exhausted, unkempt and stressed.  He’s having a very hard time with me not reacting.  Except this week, I haven’t been my best and have reacted a little too often.  Mostly, he’s challenged by my calling him on his bullshit.  He’s complained that I’m not a stay at home mom, that I’m responsible for all the financial issues we have, says I’m abusive, he’s told me that I lost the right to be upset about the fact that he forced a situation where I had to tell a friend and my mom about being polyamory because I hit him. He’s told me he doesn’t feel like he’s ever had any control in his life.  He’s got a cloak of victim wrapped so tightly around himself that he can’t see how he is manipulating and being passive aggressive.  It’s sad.

What I had to ask myself after all of these realizations was:

  1. Do I think that hubby can do all the things I need him to do if we are to fix our marriage?
  2. What are all the things I need hubby to do if he decides he wants to fix our marriage?
  3. If he does decide that he wants to fix our marriage, do I really want that?  

It’s sad that this is what I’m thinking about.  But what it did was help me figure it all out.  The thing is, when I thought it was just hubby going a little crazy over a short period of time, I thought we could solve things.  Now that I realize it’s a pattern of behaviour that just amplified, I don’t think we can.

So, I’ve decided to formally separate from my husband.  I’m stressed about the details.  I couldn’t be more certain of my decision at this point.  

Katy Perry and Twisty Bits

If you knew me in real life, you would be amazed that I have made reference to something pop culture. Even if it is so 2009.

Life is plugging along.  I’m super busy at work, it’s that time of year when all the things pile up on me and I could work 18 hours a day and not keep up.  A is going through a terrible time of stress in his life and I’m trying to support him to the best of my ability. D had a surgery this week.  I made him a cake:

So why the Katy Perry reference?  Well, I kissed a girl and I liked it.  One of my best friends, my “soul sister” as I like to call her, who I will call G (for Girl!), and I started chatting several months ago.  She actually messaged me to tell me she had a crush on hubby and I warned her off because no one wants W as a metamour.  We started talking about fantasies and I mentioned that I want to have a MMMF fantasy, and an MMF, and an MFF.  Then we got talking about the two of us having an MFF threesome. So for a damn long time, we’ve been discussing and planning and working our way through the details of this big step.  

I’ve always been attracted to other women. But I would identify as heterosexual if anyone asked me. G is different, because I already love her, because she’s one of my closest friends and biggest supports.  But the fact that I can bring up an MFF threesome while she’s getting supper ready and I’m supervising my eldest at swimming lessons tells you something about who we both are.  We are just really open, sex-positive people who share a bond that we are willing to test a little bit for maximum experience.  

So, this conversation started in January, and it started with talking about who our “M” would be.  At the time, G only had her husband, who I will call “H”, and I had A and D and hubby.  Hubby was out because of W.  G wanted for it to be with someone other than H, because at that time she hadn’t slept with anyone but H for 18 years.  So that narrowed it down to A and D.

A and D are very different. They are the same in all the important ways: Kind, generous, open, understanding, supportive, thoughtful, great in bed, hot as fuck (OK, those last two are just me bragging) – but our relationships, and definitely our naked time, are completely different. D is very gentle and caring and sensuous and well, very talented like no man I’ve ever met in some of the crucial naked time departments. A is a man who takes charge, is dominant, gives me many many orgasms but teases me until I’m begging for them, and he’s strong and sexy and sometimes really cocky.  Underneath that rough exterior though, A has a soft fluffy interior and is actually quite sensitive, kind, and caring.  A and D are opposites on the narrow spectrum of people I like. I immediately suggested A as our guy.  Part of it is I know a lot about G’s sexual preferences, and A will tick all those boxes, and part of it was that at the time we started discussing it, A and I hadn’t been dating long so I didn’t have feelings for him, other than a lot of respect and lust.  Of course, A and I were talking about it, and he said that he mentioned it to his wife, and she said “Is it because she doesn’t want to share D?”  Well, turns out A’s wife is super intuitive, because that was what was going on.  So, I realized that I had what G and I call “Twisty Bits”, and thought it through.  I don’t really want to share D.  I love him deeply.  I don’t want another woman to come into his life and become important to him.  But that’s silly, I already share him with his wife!  But she was here first, so she doesn’t count. Turns out this twisty bit is a normal emotional reaction, but one I wanted to deal with before it becomes a problem.

I spent some time trying to work my way through the emotions of a hypothetical second girlfriend for D and I think I’m in a good place. I realized that D with his gentle touch and his gorgeous beard and his amazingly kind and gentle personality would be perfect for G.  That my problem was more that I didn’t want them having a relationship, because that meant “losing” time with him and time with her.  Now, I know I’m a priority to each of them, so it’s silly.  And that’s what I worked through.  At least I worked through the anxiety the hypothetical caused.  I think I could share D with G if it was a thing and just be happy about it and for them.  Because I love them both.

So, that brought us to A, with his extra special talents and his enjoyment of making girls’ fantasies come true.  Especially girls like G and I, who like a man who ties us up, takes control, spanks us, and gives us all the pleasure.  Now A has surprised me a bit in his approach to all this.  His response was “I need to meet G first and see if there is a connection”, when I asked him if he was interested.  (That was D’s response too, when I got to the point where I was comfortable asking him, because sharing him is still a little scary to think about).  He immediately went into “getting to know G” mode, as I like to think of it.  They tried to have a date while I was away for my grandma’s funeral, but it fell through due to illness.  With all that is going on in A’s life, it may be a while until they manage to actually get together and do a chemistry test.  This is all OK, because with all that is going on in my life, a long slow approach to a threesome with my soul sister and a boyfriend I now care deeply about is probably a good thing.  

G and I decided we should do a ‘chemistry test’.  See if we have chemistry together sexually, on top of our obvious emotional and intellectual attraction.  So, for many weeks, we’ve been trying to get together with the entire purpose of kissing and seeing what’s there.  Last night was that night. G is my soul sister.  I already love her.  I lean on her for tons of support and she leans on me too.  H, her hubby, has a thing for me. I have a thing for him.  All of us know that with everything that is going on in my life, I need another man in it like I need a hole in my head.   But that doesn’t mean the attraction doesn’t feel good.  Last night, G and I cuddled. We held hands.  I talked to her about my Twisty Bits with A, and she talked to me about her Twisty Bits with her boys.  Somewhere through the night, I just said, “I think I need to kiss you now”, and we did.  It was soft and sweet and gentler than any kiss I’ve had before.  It wasn’t deep or sexy, it was just “right”.  We have a chemistry.  I am looking forward to exploring it.

G is good at knowing what people need.  She knew I had never kissed a girl before, let alone one of my few girl best friends.  She cuddled me and rubbed my arm, and when she left she gave me a kiss and it was lovely.  I am really looking forward to more.  I’m so lucky to have all the levels of G that I have in my life.  She is truly amazing.

When your life hands you a shit sandwich, shut your mouth.

Today was a shit storm of epic proportions.  There’s a bit of poly in the story, but mostly it’s just life. In my case, life has been a little less than easy lately.  First, know that I am raw, in shock, and still very much processing all that has gone on lately. So here goes, here’s my bitch about having a little too much thrust onto my metaphorical plate.

My grandma died on January 20.  Today, my grandpa, her partner, my dad’s step-dad, and only grandfather I’ve ever known, died.  My step-dad’s dad is ill and about to die.  This is less concerning to me, because I didn’t know him well, but I’m worried about my step-dad.  So, by this time next month, I’ll be out of grandparents, blood and step.

I was travelling with D a few weeks ago, in the most amazing weekend ever, and my mom asked hubby where I was and he told her I was travelling with D.  Then the other day, my mom and step-dad were visiting and were just leaving as D arrived. One of my kids was super excited to see him, and it was quite obvious that there was a connection with him.  Between this and the accident that A and I got into a couple months ago, my mom was already suspicious.  So, I invited my mom out for supper so I could tell her all about everything that was going on in our life. From polyamory to my troubles with hubby.  On my way to my dinner with mom, my dad messaged me to tell me that he’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer.  The prognosis is good, but there’s a whole host of emotional baggage associated with this situation that makes it challenging to navigate.  So I showed up rather numb and in shock to my dinner.

I started the conversation with mom by introducing the idea of polyamory.  I told her that I didn’t know what to say, so I was just going to start talking and she could interrupt me at any point and ask questions if she wanted.  I told her about A and D.  I told her about W and hubby and how awful everything has been.  I told her about the kids having a hard time and everything I’ve done wrong.  She was kind and supportive and understanding and amazing in all the ways my mom always is. I will forever aspire to being just half the mother and woman that she is.

On top of that, hubby has been complaining about me to a handful of my friends that became his friends because he is often home with the kids during the week while I am at work and they are stay at home parents. So last week I get a message from one of them saying that I need to tell our mutual friend the truth because she thinks I’m having an affair. So, I message her, tell her what’s up, and she comes over for wine and I explain everything.  I ask her not to say anything, knowing that she is shit at keeping secrets. So, of course, yesterday, sad and numb from the loss of my grandfather, I’m fielding questions from well-meaning but uninformed friends who think that I have destroyed my relationship, that because hubby may not want to be polyamorous, I’m cheating on him, how they don’t understand how it works, etc, etc.  Of course, these are just the friends that are talking to me.  I’m sure there are many more who are talking about me.

I don’t really care who knows now that my mom knows.  My mom is the only person in the world whose opinion actually means something to me.  And she was loving and supportive.  The rest of the people in my life aren’t entitled to an opinion.  I really don’t care what they think.

All these things made me rather raw, and I wasn’t ready to face hubby and the kids, so I headed out for a drink on my own.  I asked A to join and he couldn’t, D was busy, but I texted my soul sister, and told her I was drinking alone, and she just texted back that she and her husband were on their way.  They drank and chatted and cuddled with me.  When she texted to say she was on her way, I said “Be warned, I may cry, and then I’ll compensate for my crying by making lame jokes that aren’t really funny.”  She says: “Don’t worry, my boobs and my husband’s beard are sufficient to soak them up.”  I truly love that woman.  One day, she and I and one or possibly more than one of our men if we like it, will be having a threesome.

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It’s now been 24 hours since I started this post and stopped due to exhaustion.  Today, I had a lovely drink with A, got my excess hair removed by a sadistic woman with hot wax, and came home to talk to hubby about shared parenting and separating finances.  We did OK.  Got a little derailed at the end, but he came with an amazing set of goals to aspire to while co-parenting, he started by thanking me for all the work I did, and he gave me a hug and told me he loves me.  He is still accusing me of trying to control him, which I’m not.  He is focused on how hard everything is on him instead of what’s best for the kids, but in the end, we’ll work it all out.  At one point, he was talking about how if I was controlling his time, that would be controlling his time with W, and that would cause problems for him and problems for her.  I reiterated that I don’t want to control his time, my goal is doing what is best for the kids, and said, “In all honesty, I’m interested in working out a solution that works for you and I and the kids.  How W feels is not the least bit important to me.”  I know better. But it’s also true.  He said “You know, you can’t do what you did to me and think her opinion of you isn’t going to change”.  I said “I don’t care about W’s opinion about me, I care about all the different things she’s done to me.  That’s it.”  So, he was triggered and got upset, but before that it was good. We laughed, we compromised, we reassured, and we worked together.  It was good.  I think this has the potential to be really good.  One small step at a time.

A and I have a super sexy date organized for saturday night.  I can’t wait.  D and I for Sunday.  I miss those wonderful men when I’m not with them, but boy am I ever enjoying my alone recharge time.  I am enjoying the wonderful beings that my kids are.  I’m enjoying myself and my strength and my purpose.  I’m enjoying owning my feelings, prioritizing myself, and knowing I have the most amazing support system.

2017 can go fuck itself.  But I will persist and I will be happy despite the shitstorm of awful in my life.  It will get better.  I’ll just keep telling myself that until it happens.

 

Separation

So, a week has passed since my last rather raw and emotional post.  It was amazing how cathartic that blog post ended up being for me.  It made me realize a few patterns that exist in my relationship with hubby and had me thinking about how to proceed with things.  These conclusions had me making decisions on a few things that have really impacted my happiness the last week and all for the better.  So let me see if I can sum up a week of emotions and planning into a coherent post.

What I realized when I wrote out the events of the past 6 months, was that although there is love in our marriage, the respect and trust are gone.  My part in all this is obvious and I put the nail in the coffin when I hit hubby.  But he had been eroding our trust for a long time before that with his repetitive destruction of my things, him blaming me for things that weren’t my fault, his general insults and not being there for me.  But really, the lack of respect, especially for my boundaries, was the realization that hit me like a brick to the head.

Here’s how he showed his lack of respect:

When I told hubby I was going to bed because I didn’t have anything else to give and he came in and woke me up and insisted on talking to me about his issues with V.

When I told hubby that I didn’t want him to go to W’s when we were on a date and it would hurt my feelings that he even asked.  (He crossed a boundary when asking and crossed it again by going).

When his girlfriend spread horrible lies about me, instead of supporting me, he blamed me for it happening.

When he repeatedly damaged my things.

When I tried to leave conversations, or get off the phone, or stop an email thread and he wouldn’t let me and forced me to continue talking when I needed time to cool down.

And most recently, when he outed me to both my mom and a friend, the only two people who I asked him specifically not to tell.

This is what happened in 6 months.  This is not OK.

So, trust is gone and respect are gone.  Love doesn’t matter much when those are gone.  What this means is that our foundation, the foundation of our marriage, is gone.  We can’t build and work on our communication, much less intimacy, if we don’t have a foundation.

Love doesn’t matter when trust and respect are gone.

I want to fix our marriage.  Despite it all, I love my husband.  I want to make our life work. I want the man I married to return to the life we made together.  But he doesn’t recognize the changes in himself.  He isn’t taking responsibility for his actions.  He doesn’t know if he even wants this marriage anymore. Without him committing to working on our relationship, it is impossible for me to get what I want and need out of our marriage.

So, I decided, within hours of publishing my last post, that I needed to ask hubby for a trial separation.  During the week, I got my ducks in a row about what I should do. I knew I didn’t want to talk to hubby about any of this until our counselor’s appointment on Friday, so during the week I saw my individual counselor and consulted a lawyer about the things that I should think about.  I solidified in my mind exactly what I want to see happen.  Really, it’s a bit of controlled uncertainty.

Basically, coming from a position of love, where I assured hubby that I don’t want to end our marriage, but I want to give him the time he says he needs, I asked him if we could have a more structured trial separation where we still live together but don’t work on our relationship.

For me, this means a few things.

  1. Separating our finances.  We’ve discussed paying our bills proportional to our incomes, as he makes substantially more than I do, but the exact form this will take is left to be decided.
  2. Committing to family time at least once a week, so the kids can see that we can work together as a team.
  3. Continuing counseling to be sure we can maintain communication, especially with respect to co-parenting.
  4. Figuring out a 50/50 parenting situation that can accommodate hubby’s shift work schedule and my monday-friday schedule and casual job.
  5. Checking in on July 1 to decide if we want to work things out, end our marriage, or if we need more time.

Where we got caught up with the 50/50 parenting.  I’m very surprised by this, because hubby is a great father, and I thought he’d be willing to work on this immediately, but alas, I was wrong.  He seems to think that me wanting a parenting agreement is a way for me to control him. He feels that he parents the kids more than I do.  Seeing as how he’s put one kid to bed one night in the last 2 weeks, I’m not sure how he arrived at this conclusion. I’m disappointed by this. But it is what it is.

So, moving forward, we are going to have to continue negotiating our parenting times until the nanny gets here. Then, I’m hoping to work towards a more 1 week on, 1 week off arrangement that works with his schedule.  We’ll see how that goes. It will never really be a week on and a week off, because he works 12 hour shifts, two of which are night shifts, and the nanny can’t take care of the kids for 24 hours.

Now, we need to work out the details. This morning, I spent about 4 hours working out a spreadsheet proposal of how shared parenting could work and a spreadsheet proposal of how separating finances can work.  I’m hoping he’ll come to the table with suggestions that will work better for him and negotiation, and not anger and resentment.  It’ll probably be a combination of all of those things.

Just writing it out

I don’t know what form this is going to take.  I’ve been hurt so many times by hubby in the past 6 months that I don’t know what to say.  Here’s a bit of a play by play of what I can remember.  Why?  Because today hubby was pretty insistent that everything is my fault.  So here we go.

At the beginning of September, we embraced polyamory.  I was dating X, long distance, however, so it was phone calls and Skype and messenger.  Hubby was with his first girlfriend, V.  The had an intense and rapidly physical relationship, but his feelings for her were stronger than hers for him and he scared her off.  She broke up with him via text message and he took it very hard.  

I’ve always been his source of support.  He talked to me about it all and I listened patiently.  It was getting to me though.  It was a short relationship and there was no reason in my mind for him to be so hurt.  Moving on was what he needed, but he is all about the scarcity.  One night, after an exceptionally long day at work, followed by an appointment in the evening, I came home and when I walked in, I gave him a hug and said I was done for the day.  I didn’t have any more to give and couldn’t talk tonight.  I told him so.  I crawled into bed and was falling asleep as he came in with laundry and woke me up.  He started talking about kids and life and I reminded him that I couldn’t.  That I was done, I didn’t have it in me to have a conversation.  I told him what I needed.  He said “I don’t fucking care, you haven’t been here all day and I need to talk to you.  So you’re going to fucking listen.”  He proceeded to talk about his heartache, two weeks later, from V.  And I crushed him.  I was really hard on him.  I screamed and yelled and criticized and insulted and belittled him.  I was mean.  I had no patience and no filter and no restraint.  I wanted him to leave me alone.  Instead, I hurt the man I love the most.  I hurt him badly.  I apologized the next day, knowing how inappropriate what I did was.  He’s still angry.  He doesn’t recognize what he did.  He doesn’t recognize that he pushed across a boundary I laid down and I was reacting.  It doesn’t make what I did OK, but had he respected me, it wouldn’t have happened.

We reached a place of relative calm when he started dating D’s wife and his current girlfriend, W.  He really liked D’s wife much better than W, but then D’s wife called things off with him.  I was super supportive.  I felt bad for him and hugged him and did all the wifey things. But he said something about me being responsible for D’s wife breaking up with him because I was dating D, and I said “Please don’t interfere with my relationship with D because his wife broke up with you.”  I didn’t mean it in a horrible accusatory way.  It was simply a request.  But it was inappropriate for me to say.  This led to a long diatribe about how I was never supportive and I wasn’t there for him when he needed me, and how I hurt him.  No amount of apologies and calm responses talked him off the ledge.  At one point, he sent me a message from work with a picture of a sharps container from a local hospital and said “See this sharps container?  It’s more useful to me than you are, and it’s full of HIV and Hep B.”  I can’t even begin to tell you how much that hurt me.  It still hurts.  He kept telling me it was funny. That I should appreciate his humour.   I think he apologized once.  Maybe.  But he still said it was funny.  I felt so unloved. Disregarded.  Unvalued.  I knew he was hurting me because he was hurting.  I was the only place to take his frustrations out.  And out he did.  

I responded to that insult by booking a lot of time out of the house.  Forcing him to stay home.  I did it intentionally because I didn’t want to be around him.  W took it as an indication that I was trying to control him and his relationship with her.  Apparently he’s still getting hell for that.  (Funny, I would think calling me less useful than a sharps container would be worse than not seeing W for a week, but who am I to judge what he has a conscience about?).  Before he apologized to me, I apologized to him for overbooking myself out of anger and made every effort to make sure it didn’t happen again.  This has gone unnoticed.

I broke up with B and C cut me out of his life because W couldn’t handle me being friends with him.  This hurt a lot, because C was actually the person who was helping me deal with the weird relationship anarchy rules that W liked to arbitrarily lay down without actually communicating what they were to me.  He was such a good friend and a good support.  Unfortunately, hubby asked me once whether I was interested in C, and I said “Yes, we are attracted to each other and would probably date if he lived here.”  Well, according to hubby, I destabilized his relationship because I tried to fuck W’s other partner.  Ya.  I didn’t, and wouldn’t have anyway, and I quickly realized that since W is so difficult to deal with, I would never date C, because having two partners involved with W would be way too much for me! At this point, hubby was prioritizing all his time with her.  It was Christmas and we all had our own plans.  A couple days before Christmas, she was going away to spend a few days with her family and C, and hubby and I were having a romantic day together.  About 11 pm, she messaged hubby saying she was alone and asking him to come over (knowing we were on a date and that she should never have texted), and he asked to go (which he should never have done).  I said I wasn’t OK with it, and from the look on his face realized that he was going to be miserable if I didn’t tell him to go.  So was she.  And if he was miserable, I would be too.  So I told him to go.  I told him that it was better if only one of us was miserable and they were happy.  So he ran out.  He left me.  In the middle of a movie on a date together, to go see his girlfriend.  Him prioritizing his girlfriend over me had been a big problem to me.  This was devastating to me.  Heartbreaking.  He didn’t understand why I was upset because I told him to go.  He didn’t think I should be upset at all.  He didn’t understand why I was hurt. It took days to explain to him how unvalued and unloved I felt.  

Meanwhile, I had been arranging child care and everything so that he could go away with her. On New Year’s, we had a gathering at our place.  We walked to the fireworks and had a nice time.  I had worked a 12 hour day shift the whole day, so I was pretty tired.  When it was time to get the baby to bed, I asked hubby to change him while I got him a bottle, and W, in front of my friends, said “You’ve been home with the kids all day, why doesn’t she put him to bed.”  Reasons be damned, there is no situation where it is acceptable for her to have an opinion on our parenting, nevermind criticizing mine.  Not that hubby defended me.

A couple days later, hubby and I were arguing and he said “It’s been suggested to me that the reason we are poly is because you don’t love me and this way you get to fuck other men and still have me support you.”  I lost my shit.  W, who is so concerned about people knowing anything about her life that she canceled a coffee date with me when I told C I was meeting her for coffee, had read a text message from C and interpreted it as me not loving hubby and then told hubby.  Never mind that I had never said anything but that I love him.  That I want to support him.  I’d never said anything bad about him.  She said the single most destabilizing thing she could have.  But according to hubby, this is my fault.  Because I was friends with C.  Well, he says it was because I was “trying to fuck C”, but I wasn’t, so friendship it is.  I was so hurt. Hurt that she is so bad at poly that she would intentionally destabilize her partner’s relationship, and hurt that he would believe it.  I immediately contacted C and asked him to be careful about what was going around, and he contacted W, who got mad at hubby, who took it all out on me.  He told me that if she broke up with him over this he would divorce me.  Never in there was an acknowledgement that I was the victim.  

Of course, I was livid.  Rageful.  I lashed out and lashed out hard.  I insulted W and called her crazy.  I screamed and yelled and told him he was fucked up for wanting her and not seeing what a manipulative bitch she was.  I said horrible things about her.  I removed any illusion of hope for support of that relationship when I did that.  Later, I apologized for it and expressed understanding that it was inappropriate, but the damage was done.  I realized, too late, that I had to accept her, even if I didn’t like her.  I had to support him, even if she didn’t support his relationship with me.

Then I got drunk and had sex with A.  And then we started a relationship.  While hubby and I were arguing worse than ever, I started a relationship.  Not doing so would be a horrible thing to do to A, and since I care about him, I would never cast him aside for my marriage, but it was bad timing and that is my fault.

Meanwhile, hubby and I were fighting. All. The. Time.  Every discussion ended in an argument.  I couldn’t ask about plans for saturday without him telling me I was selfish. I couldn’t make plans to have my eyelashes done without a guilt trip about how I prioritize them over him.  He wanted to go on dates and have fun, but then would tell me that I fucked with W and scheduling and start arguing with me about hierarchy when I was just trying to determine his plans.  

One night they wanted to sleep at our house and I told them to go ahead and take our room.  He demanded the spare room.  I said no, i was using it, to sleep upstairs.  This ended up being a huge deal, because apparently I interfered with W coming over.  Turns out she refuses to sleep in our bed.  I had no idea.  He didn’t explain.  But I’m still at fault for not being willing to support their relationship.  

He wanted to go out and have fun.  He insisted we just be friends and not take anything seriously.  This seemed so fucked up to me, since it was like not talking about the pink elephant in the room. He refused to talk about anything. He refused to even take a selfie with me at the concert.  Now I’m not trying because I was hurt when he refused to let me.  I’m too angry and too reactive.  I was so hurt and angry that I couldn’t pretend to be OK when he kept telling me how much better W was than me.  The night before I left for the funeral, we went out.  We went for a drink and W and how much better than she is and how I did all these horrible things came up.  I tried to leave.  He wouldn’t let me.  It was too much.  I was leaving to go to a family member’s funeral and he was being awful to me.  We came home.  We were talking through some stuff.  I don’t remember what I said, but he grabbed my packed toiletry bag off the couch next to me and started stomping on it in anger. Destroying it.  In the previous weeks, he had dumped out my purse and my backpack in a similar way and thrown my phone against the wall.  I lost control.  I couldn’t handle him destroying my bag.  I flew off the couch and hit him.  I should never have hit him.  I know this.  It’s never acceptable.  

While I was away, he refused to talk to me.  I needed his support badly, but he wouldn’t give it to me.  When I returned, he left a few hours before to be with W.  I saw him for 1.5 hours the first week I was back.  We had a counselor’s appointment.  He’s angry.  He’s holding on to his anger like a protective victim cloak.  He thinks me hitting him negates all his responsibility, or at least that’s how it seems.  I agree that what I did was wrong. It’s never acceptable to hit someone in anger.  It’s terrifying to me that I lost control. I didn’t consciously decide to do so.  It just happened. It was a visceral response. I think that’s scarier than if I had decided. While I was away, I booked an appointment with a counsellor to start working on my tool kit.  I talked about her advice in a previous post.  More recently, I talked about how hard it is for me to not be entitled to my feelings.  To not be able to express my hurt at being deprioritized and abandoned and insulted and have my stuff destroyed.  How I have to be patient and wait until he is ready to come to the table to work on the issues I need to address.  It’s all about nurturing a little bit of hope.  And prioritizing my kids in the meantime.

But then there is the question of whether he will come back to the table.  Today, he came home to pick up our kids.  He started talking about how I have never supported him. That when he needed support, I took away his support for a week by booking so many activities, that I caused drama in his relationship by trying to fuck C, that it was my fault that W talked about me because I was friends with C, that I assaulted him in a criminal manner.  He started talking about me being abusive.  He said he doesn’t think our values align anymore. He says I spend too much money (I do), and that I’m going to be the reason for bankruptcy and no educational savings for our kids and for never being able to travel (not true).  He says that I don’t believe in parenting my own children because I have two jobs. That I work too much.  That I should be home with the kids parenting them. Never mind that I have 13 years of university education and love my job and have put my kids to bed every night this week, and do most weeks, he thinks I should give up my career to be home.  I keep the second job so that I can work on my holidays to gain extra money.

He’s reframed much of our relationship in the shadow of these last 6 months.  The truth of many events has been rewritten.  I see my faults in this.  I know there are many.  I want to make them right or make it up to him or at the very least make sure it happens again.  He isn’t seeing his responsibility.

One last point.  I’m pretty sure hubby has PTSD.  I think that’s what has taken his coping skills away.  While I don’t discount my role, I think that he has lost a lot of his resilience over the last months.  His threshold for anger is lower and he is more reactive than ever.  Gone is the patient, understanding, kind, and loving husband I had for 10 years.  The man who has replaced him is angry and hurtful and mean.  I miss my husband.  This  man is slowly killing me.

I’m just going to post this without editing. It’s just raw and out there.  I needed to get it out to help understand it all.  To get some of the hurt out in facts.

 

The other two sides of Polyamory for me: A and D

Well, I’ve updated on the goings on with hubby and I and our disaster of a relationship at the present moment. Truthfully, it’s not really disastrous, it’s just under renovation.  Today, I think we’ll get there.  I certainly hope so.  I certainly know I want it to.  But enough of that. Let’s talk about my other amazing men and how much they mean to me.

First, D.  Fuck, that man is amazing.  Accepting, loving, kind, passionate, intelligent, and every other amazing adjective there is.  He has his priorities straight and has an amazing sense of humour and makes me feel like I’m the only woman in the world for him when we are together, which is amazing, given that he is married!  Everything with him is comfortable.  We’ve reached that stage where we are no longer consumed by new relationship energy.  We love spending time together, but our goodbye kisses are no longer 10 minutes long, they are a quick couple of smooches and we are off.  I can tell him about my bad day and he’ll reach across the table and squeeze my hand or give me the most amazing enveloping hug.  I can cry in front of him and know he’ll just listen to me.  I can show up at his house in jeans and a t-shirt and having not had time to get my eyelashes done or remove the nail polish from my toes, I know he won’t care.  I know he’ll laugh with me and cuddle me and kiss me and make me feel like a queen.  I know that I can hang out with his kids and have fun with them and I know that he can hang out with mine and that they’ll run to the door and hug him and drag him to play.  I also know that once those kids are in bed, that we will have the most amazing passionate, hot, sexy, and loving naked time.  We know each other’s bodies now.  He knows how to rock my world in ways that no one ever has.  I know how to get him going too.  We have fun.  We can laugh at how “smooth” clothes removal goes and get completely lost in the passion of it all at the same time.  But when it comes down it, I look at him and I just love him.  I blows me away with who he is and what he is to me.  I love him. Period.  

Second, A.  I was laughing earlier today that I once wrote a blog post saying that it would be the last time that I wrote about A.  Well, getting drunk with A and falling naked into bed with him was one of the best things I could have done.  Months later, with the benefit of hindsight, I can see how he used his knowledge of people and their motivations to get me to cross the couch, but I can also see how I actively made that decision.  I find it funny that I thought we would just be friends with benefits or that I could keep him in a box, separate from my feelings.  I should have known myself better.  Alas, I did not.  

At the beginning, it was all really weird.  The fact that I had got a rejection letter (one I agreed with) from him and we just ended up drunk in bed together contributed.  The fact that I was giving him advice about revising his expectations of another relationship was also weird.  The fact that A and D’s wives are best friends and that A and D have known each other for a long time (going on 14-15 years, I think) was a lot for me to process.  It was weird to me that A found his way under my skin and into my heart without me even noticing.  But then, I thought he was going to stay in a box so I wasn’t suspecting him to sneak into my heart.  But he has.  I’m falling in love with him.  I joked with him early on that he’s a cocky version of me, but now that I know him, I know that his public persona is very dissimilar to who he is with me.  He is so kind and loving and cuddly and sweet and generous and all around wonderful.  He is gentle and passionate and so much I value about a man.  He’s very quickly becoming a very important component of my life and I wouldn’t change that for the world.

Somewhere along the way, in my typical very sex positive way, I started talking to A about my interest in kink and all the things I want to explore. Even in vanilla sex, some of my desires are not something A has experienced much before, so it means that I scratch an itch or two he hasn’t had scratched often.  Of course, when we move out of the realm of vanilla, there are a shit ton of things I want to try.  Turns out that some of these things are things that A wants to explore too, so it seems we have some adventures ahead of us.  He brought over a box of toys last time he was over, and we had a grand time.  He’s tapped into his dominant side and my submissive side and it was amazing.  He was fantastic.  He continually asked how I was doing, what I wanted, checked in constantly and gave me amazing orgasms.  I am so very very very excited about where we will take this together.  I’m also curious to see how submission in the bedroom will translate in our relationship, because I am anything but submissive in my real life.  It’s such an incredibly liberating thing to be embracing those things we want without apology or embarrassment.  

These two relationships are keeping me happy while I sort my shit out with hubby. This is a good thing.  They give me the touch and compassion and love that I need.  I love D deeply and unreservedly, that’s unlikely to ever change.  He’s perfect for me in so many ways.  I only need to look at him to realize how much he means to me and how lucky I am to have him.  I’m going to love A very soon.  He’s going to love me too.  It’s going to be wonderful.  It’s just going to be. Perfect.