Guys, I did good!

My title is a bit of a joke and a bit of a pat on the back directed towards myself.  

For the first time in our relationship, A started dating someone that I hadn’t introduced him to.  Last week, when he let me know that sex was on the table for him and the new girl, I wasn’t particularly upset, but I had some confusing feelings that I needed time to process.  In the end, I realized they were all insecurities that I needed to work through and had nothing to do with him. I don’t want to really go into the details of the insecurities that reared their ugly heads, partly because it’s embarrassingly unattractive and I’m a little disgusted at myself for having them in the first place, part of that is that I was pretty bluntly honest about them with S and G last week, and I didn’t exactly get the response I needed when putting out all that vulnerability from S (G nailed it, as she always does), and because I’m mostly past them and really don’t want to re-feel all the feels.  Also, A and I had a total communication fuck up around the whole thing, he totally dropped the ball, I totally wasn’t clear about what I was feeling, and in the end it became a thing when it wasn’t supposed to ever be a thing and all I needed was some acknowledgment and maybe a little reassurance, so…ugh…no more.

So, A and new girl had their date the other day.  I was genuinely concerned with how I would deal with it, because it was a completely unknown situation to me.  A true first. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it popped into my mind a few times on Sunday night, but the thing was, it was more factual, like “I wonder if it’s happening now?”, and then super excitement for him.  No jealousy. I actually tried to dig deep to see if there would be some kind of upset feelings, and I couldn’t find any. It just didn’t bother me.

However, being proactive, I did ask him a few details over messenger the next day, and asked him to stop by for a debrief.  You see, I know myself well, and I know that my imagination makes up way worse things in my head than the truth ever brings.  So he stopped by after work and we had a (very disjointed thanks to the crazy assholes I brought into this world) chat about his night.  The thing was, he’s so cute. The smiles and exhaustion and general contentment were so amazing to see. I felt a level of compersion I’ve never felt before.  

This just makes me happy.  Happy for A, yes, but happy for me, even more.  I have an amazing relationship with A. We are so comfortable and stable and it’s really fucking good.  I realized the other day that while we’ll never have that NRE and excitement that we may once have had (I don’t actually remember it, because it was all wrapped up in the weirdness that was our beginning), what we have is so much better.  That compersion came easy for me, well, that just makes me happy, and reinforces, again, that this life I’ve chosen is right for me.

 

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Changes and firsts

Last week I had that day where I was incapable of much other than turning completely inward. The day where I was overwhelmed with what life’s handed me lately.  Then I had a couple days where I did my version of procrastination, which involves doing all the things that need doing but aren’t a priority. Including cooking ALL THE THINGS, scheduling my life until December, and about a million other little things.  I’m the most productive procrastinator on the planet. It’s just my way.

I’m been working a marathon week at my second job.  Like 96 hours in 8 days. Nothing like almost 3 weeks of work in a week!  It should seem that this would keep me tightly wound and not coping, but it’s been the opposite.  I’ve got lots done, but I’ve also just generally been able to think and work through a lot of stuff.  I have so far to go and part of that was the realization of how a whole bunch of goals that aren’t really jiving with the way I’ve been living my life.  Hence curtailing the wine consumption and expensive social gatherings and cutting out social media.

Meanwhile, I’ve come up with a pretty solid budget and a list of goals and how to achieve them and a timeline to do many of them in.  I like to plan. Did I mention that I scheduled myself until the end of December? Much to A’s disgust? Turns out people think you’re a little strange when you ask them to block off periods of time in September and November and to postpone a vacation that was planned in December until February.  When it’s early July. Thankfully, his wife thinks I’m a genius and that planning is awesome, so I basically started talking to her instead.

(Irony of ironies was then talking to a guy I’m sort of interested in and asking if he wanted to come to roller derby with me on the weekend and him saying he couldn’t plan that far in advance and that he had to be more spontaneous, while I was planning my December.  My response was: “I really suck at spontaneity, but I’ll let you know if I have available time.”)

A, on the other hand, seems to have found himself a little more time, and has actually had a couple first dates lately.  I was slightly surprised that when he told me he had a date, it didn’t bother me. Maybe I was just surprised that he had a first date?  It’s been so long since he dated anyone, that it wasn’t exactly expected. He’s been regularly talking to different women the whole time we’ve been together and frequently talks to them until they get bored because he hasn’t asked them out.  It was slightly surprising to me that one of the girls made it to a second date. Although, she is a smart, strong woman and sounds super interesting, so he may have just chosen his kryptonite and I should have known better. (More on this later, because it needs its own post)

These first dates happened in and around the time that all the stress of my dad’s funeral was going down, so I really didn’t register much about them.  However, I remember a night right before my dad’s funeral where I was in a really dark spot, thinking about my dad and writing his eulogy, thinking about my sister and how awful she was being, and thinking about F and how awful he was being, feeling like maybe A was replacing me.  I have to admit to some crushing self-doubt and a getting super twisty. Then recognising that what was driving these feelings wasn’t logic or reason, but the crushing emotional load I was carrying that had nothing to do with A. In fact, he was instrumental in me making it through those horrible four weeks.  I will add that there were a lot of other people also giving me a lot of support, key among them, S, who I can talk to about all the feelings, and was there every day to listen to me and just let me vent, in a way that A can’t be, because feelings aren’t his thing.

But back to A, because I don’t really want to get into my grieving and what it was like, because it was hard enough going through it once.  I found out that dad died the morning we were supposed to head home from our weekend away in May. A forced me to orgasm until I tapped out just before and said it would be his turn after breakfast and instead of fun sexy time, he had a crying girlfriend, then he had several weeks of a girlfriend who cried on daily basis, even if it wasn’t on his shoulder. That was how he started supporting me through losing my dad.  He was the one who stopped by at 1:30 a.m. just to give me a hug when I was having a really hard time. He’s the one who checked in on me daily to see how I was, and even if he didn’t know what to say, there was sympathy and love. He’s also the man who flogged me and fucked me and flogged me some more and helped me forget how I was hurting. He flogged me until I cried, then flogged me some more because I needed to cry more, and even more. It was the first time I ever cried from physical pain during one of our play sessions (I had cried afterwards, as I came out of subspace, but never during).  He checked in with me often. At one point I said “Stop”, and he asked me if I really wanted him to, which got an immediate “No!” and he resumed flogging me. It was hot as hell and it was also the most cathartic sex I’ve ever had. After he flogged me head to toe on front and back, he fucked me and made me cum until I asked him to stop. I was so far into subspace that I actually fell asleep and woke up a few hours later still under, and realized when I felt the pain when I got dressed to get up with #4. The next week, the night of my dad’s funeral, he flogged me to tears again. It was amazing and exactly what I needed.  But most of all, he held me when I cried, he listened to me, he did exactly what I needed, and after he made me cry the most cathartic cry of my life, he held me while I slept in his arms.

So when I was feeling all twisty about A having dates and potentially being replaced, even though I was in no place to be rational, I was cognisant of the fact that no one can be what A has been for me this last month while he’s thinking about replacing me.  No one can fake that kind of love and attention. In fact, I didn’t even see a point in talking to A about it, because once I thought it through, the twisty bits were untangled. Although there was a moment where he joked about reducing me to every two weeks instead where I asked him to either stop joking about it if he was kidding, or that we sit down and talk if he wasn’t. He told me he was joking. The truth is, if he was thinking of replacing me, he would have already broken things off with me.

About a week later, out of the blue, I got a spontaneous “Hey, I love you” from A.  My response was “Are you OK?” A isn’t the type to just send a random “I love you”. As part of that conversation, he reassured me that his recent dating efforts weren’t meant to supplant me or reduce his time with me.  Honestly, the fact that he just reassured me out of the blue like that meant more than if I had asked. I told him I knew, but I really appreciated the reassurance. The truth is, I know what we have is really amazing, because I’m part of it.  I also see the way he looks at me and know the connection we have, both in the bedroom, but even more so out of it. A is a huge source of comfort for me on so many levels, a place of calm, my anchor, someone I laugh with, and can be myself with.  But I am all of those things to him too.

A dating is new to me.  The last time he dating someone he met online (I’ll not count U, and their confusing ‘dating’ week or two) was the week after the first time we fucked (a year and a half!).  Before we had decided it would be a repeat thing. Every first brings its own feelings, experiences, and learning opportunities. This is just another one of those.

Earn my submission

My submission is not owed to anyone.  My submission was given to A as a gift because he earned it.  He earned it through gaining my trust, respect, love, and obedience (in bed only – I’m a pain in his ass the rest of the time).  He earned it by talking through things with me, establishing limits together, discussing fantasies and how to fulfill them, and showing me, through his actions, that he is worthy of my submission.  He earned it by being there for me every day for the last year and a half, by working through twisty bits with me, and by dominating me in the most amazing ways every week.

So you know what, aspiring doms?  You need to do the same thing. If you are a dom and you want me to submit to you, the first thing you need to do is gain my trust and respect.  So when I tell you that I am a submissive and that I’m poly and I’d like another boyfriend, that is not your cue to talk dirty to me or demand that I meet you in a field somewhere for some kinky fun or call me your dirty little slut.  

What should you do?  You should talk to me. Get to know the strong, independent, intelligent woman that I am.  Talk to me about my life, my philosophies on how I create connections with people and allow my relationships to evolve, about my career and what it means to me, about my kids and how I manage coparenting with a narcissistic passive aggressive asshole, or even about where I’ve travelled, lived, or call home.  You know what, the subject matter doesn’t even matter, just take an interest in me as a person. Until you know me as a person, respect me for all the things I bring to the table, value me for my brain, strength, incredible nerdiness, and openness to every type of connection, I will not submit to you.

When I was dating D, we had really hot vanilla sex. There was never going to be anything more than a really fun vanilla connection between us, had we continued dating to today, and I never wanted anything more with him.  The sex was fantastic as it was, and he, to me, was a gentle giant with a soul that invited me into comfort and love. I would have never considered a D/S dynamic with him, and loved what we had. When I was dating O, he was really jealous of A.  A consequence of this was that he pushed for a D/S dynamic with me. The first time we did it, it was pretty fun. The second was a disaster. It felt forced and awkward to me. I realized that he was pushing for a sexual dynamic in the bedroom that wasn’t a dynamic we naturally had.  I was never comfortable submitting to him, our dynamic was vanilla, and had he left it at that, it probably would have remained really hot, but alas, it didn’t. Contrast this to A, who was only ever just himself. At the beginning, we just had really great sex. There was no power exchange, just mutual ravaging of each other as soon as consent was given.  I loved that he took charge, guided me with what he wanted to do, but I was just as likely to take control in the beginning, and even still, I’m often the one who initiates. What triggered our descent down the rabbit hole? Me. Not him pushing me, but me asking him to take control of me and experiment with me. Who drives our ongoing descent? Me. Who has control in the bedroom?  Him, because I give it to him, because he earned it.

There is nothing more offensive to me than the man who starts talking to me like I’m his submissive before he earns that place in my life.  Really, it turns my vagina into a desert capable of dehydrating the strongest camel in the herd. All of this makes me wonder how doms and subs work in the larger community and if that approach, the one where a man sexualizes a woman and assumes things about her desires and position in life without actually knowing her, is normal, or actually works for men.  But for me, you need to dominate my brain and stimulate me intellectually before you dominate by body and stimulate me sexually.

Really happy

I’ve been trying to put words into last Friday’s date with A for days.  I’m going to do my best, but I’m still not sure I can. Adjectives don’t exist to describe it, even with the most perfect adverbs to back them up.  I think that the week, in general, was the perfect build up to his arrival that night. We managed to get together three times, twice for coffee, and once for drinks.  We got a lot of our talking and reconnecting packed into those days. What that meant was that when A arrived at my house on Friday night, after three weeks away, words weren’t needed.  He finally ravaged me in the way I wanted, with the caveat that I needed him to not leave marks on me. It was incredible.

I’ve never orgasmed as much as I did that night.  From the moment he walked in the door, I was completely immersed in him.  Each of us clearly needed to scratch an itch, because for the first time in our relationship, we hardly spoke a word but were attached to each other the entire night.  Everything he did to me was perfect and I’m anticipating this Friday more than normal, which is saying something, because close to a year and a half later, I am almost as excited by our dates as I was three months in.  Sure, we have the comfort that a long-term relationship brings, but we also know what that relationship has brought to us. Also, because we haven’t and won’t escalate, we have this unique situation where we get to truly enjoy each other without the trappings that life brings.

The fact that I still want A as much, or possibly even more, than I wanted him last year at this time is something that I want to write about.  I honestly hadn’t thought about it until the last few days, but there’s something to be said about the fact that this far into our relationship, my attraction to him has only grown. There are so many reasons for this that I can’t itemize them, plus, the details would be way too good for his ego, but I think it boils down to the fact that despite all the complexities of our lives and how our relationship fits in it, I have always felt valued and respected by him.  Simply put, I’ve always felt wanted, which makes me want him. Contrast this to the selfish desires and demands of previous men in my life and the dichotomy is mind-blowing, at least to me.

I feel like there is something substantial to the fact that for the first time in my life, at 40-years-old, I have committed relationships where I am still overwhelmingly sexually attracted to a partner.  In my prior relationships, this never happened. For me, I think I have found the reality that is being an adult with functional relationships that I choose every day. The difference between relationships that escalate with societal expectations and those that escalate with choice and active participation of the people involved.  I think I’ve truly discovered what my needs are in love.

 


 

It’s been a week since I wrote all that is above.  Last week, A and I got a chance for a quick glass of wine and a bit of a snuggle on the couch and had our normal Friday date, which started late because kids.  True to form, we spent hours talking, laughing, and just touching before anything sexual happened. Then we fell asleep wrapped in each other’s arms and it was perfect.  I loved being ravaged, and would welcome it any time it happens, it was perfect after the need of the previous three weeks and the fact that we’d managed to catch up during the week.  Even more, I love that when we haven’t had the chance to meet during the week, we can reconnect, catch up on everything that happened in between our rather sporadic text messages, and really be the couple we are together, before anything else happens.  There is such a comfort in what we have, that we can adapt to our situation and individual needs. I’m just really happy with what we have, and the many forms it takes.

 

Solo poly

With a quick reconnection with some of the world’s greatest people, I’m back in a super positive mood. Last weekend was filled with connection of the most important kind – A day with my kids full of cuddles, love and laughter, and then an evening spent with two of my oldest friends and then a day where I had drinks and then dinner with two friends.  I’m feeling uplifted and loved again. As per usual, I started this post several days ago, and I’ve since managed to see A an astounding 3 times and have a date with him tonight, and had the most amazing, fun, and sexy date with S the other day. Life is pretty good.

I’m strong and independent, a lone wolf, a strong brick, a rock!  No, truthfully, I need people so much, despite all my independence.  In the last weeks, I’ve had a lot of time to think about being solo poly and what it means in the greater context of my life.  I’ve actively dated married people because I admittedly feel comfort with the limit to escalation with dating those who are otherwise attached.  I like the idea of the self-limiting nature and safety that it provides. I’m not interested or even willing to entertain a relationship with someone who can escalate, because, truthfully, I fear that type of relationship entanglement at this moment.  I understand the positives to my choice. I love my independence combined with the intense connection of the time I spend with my loves. This isn’t a post complaining about my choice, I know it’s the right one for me. There are just some downsides that hit me square in the forehead in recent weeks.

A and I frequently talk about going to various social engagements and it almost always ends in a decision to not give up the time we have alone together to socialize with others.  S and I just don’t have the time and she is much less inclined to social engagements than I am. What this means in each of my relationships is that to most of the outside world, we are not a couple.  There’s no expectation of us showing up at an event together, there are no family dinners or social obligations. Those who know about our relationship know about it more than observe it. Their friends and partners hear about me, my friends and partners hear about them.  We don’t have a public face. We don’t socialize as a couple. That’s not a part of who we are.

In that vein, we don’t have that comfort of many nights together, the idea that we can do *that thing* tomorrow, or there will be time.  We only have right now. We have the upcoming 3-6 hours together. We don’t have days that we can waste in the same place but not together.  We have to make the most of every moment. The comfort is there, but there is never complacency.

There is always something that is more important.  Often it’s kids, whether they are married or not. Often it’s family gatherings or marriage/home/work responsibilities.  Holidays are something I’m never considered in, no one would consider asking me over for Easter dinner or be concerned about where I was going for Christmas.  Truthfully, it doesn’t bother me *that* much. I understand who I am to my partners and what they have and the choices I’ve made and the choices they made and I support them wholeheartedly.  I have a life with my kids and my parents that usually takes priority for me during holidays anyway. It’s not like I’m at home feeling sorry for myself. The reality is that I would love to have a poly arrangement where we could have a huge polycule Christmas with kids and partners and partners of partners.  I would love to have my kids be part of the amazing committed relationships I have. Executing that is less easy. I don’t want to give up my time with my partners, even for my kids. It’s weird having lives that are so intertwined and yet so separate.

I’m unlikely to have a partner I take to my parents for dinner, a partner I purchase a property with, a partner I sleep next to every night for a month any time soon.  I’m unlikely to have someone schedule their vacation around my availability first. I’m unlikely to have a partner to drag to my kids’ Christmas concerts or come to my kids’ birthday parties.  I’m unlikely to have a partner to rope into helping me fix my fence or paint my basement. I am unlikely to have a partner to grow old with. Solo-poly is exactly that – solo. My life is mine.  I don’t share my life with anyone. I share parts of my life with many, but don’t share my whole life with anyone.

Part of what I like about polyamory is that we’ve made our own rules; we have our own path forward.  With both A and S, I have committed relationships. There’s no predestined path to our relationship development.  I love that we have to actively choose each other every day. That society doesn’t participate in dictating where our relationships end up.  Society’s indoctrination is exactly why, after nearly 41 years, I’m having trouble with my new, functional relationship structure. I will happily suffer as I navigate this learning curve because I know this is the right thing for me.  Making the right choices doesn’t come without challenges and learning curves and in this case, a bit of loneliness and alone-ness. Right now, as my separation seems to finally be settled and the divorce should be complete with far less trouble, I think I’ve figured out who I am right now and I’m determining where I want to end up.  This is a fluid and ongoing process as I continue to grow and evolve and date and parent my children and build my career. I want to end this with some kind of complete sentence wrapping up the message, but the fact is, there isn’t one. Sometimes, life teaches us lessons at the most inopportune times. I’m glad I’m past the initial realization stage of this.

Stressed less

TUESDAY:

Tonight, I was overwhelmed. I got on the wrong bus from work. I popped a hole in my leggings during the day and chaffing made every step painful. I ran around like a chicken with its head cut off all day and all of that running around required me to use my brain at at least 80% capacity.  Given that I normally run around using my brain at about 30% capacity, my brain is hurting a bit. I love my job. Today was a rare day that was too much, but it really was too much.

I was supposed to have a date with S tonight.  I texted on my way home and told her about my day, and she recognized immediately what a hot mess I was.  We discussed rescheduling and decided to do so. She’s amazing. She has a capacity for empathy and understanding that is beyond that which anyone I know ever has.  While I felt bad about cancelling, I knew she got me. I knew she forgave me. I knew she just wanted my happiness and my calm. She is a keeper, in every sense.

My stress is kind of peaking right now. F decided to back out on a verbal agreement we had in negotiations to use the same accountant for taxes to maximize our returns.  He decided to passive aggressively manipulate me by backing out last minute with no explanation. This led to a bit of an argument that was mostly more passive aggressive bullshit on his part, mostly me establishing how inappropriate it was and quite a bit of rage and anger on my part.  He then asked about some camping stuff that I had itemized at the beginning of January and then we agreed on how to divide it. Because it’s March in Canada, we have three feet of snow, so everyone needs camping stuff right now. I told him he’d get it when life returned to a less than crazy state and as part of that I counted the number of days I’ve had off work since the beginning of January.  I’ve had 5 days off since January 1, including January 1. This week, my work life got crazy. A huge dump of hard work just got placed on my plate. I’ve been doing a lot of troubleshooting and stressing and generally hard work. It’s awesome and fun and intellectually stimulating, and exhausting.

The other day, I realized that my workload was so much more last year.  Everything was new, so I was preparing from scratch every week. I didn’t notice the stress.  There was so much going on at home that work was a break. Even though I had to really focus and prepare and troubleshoot and be on all the time, work was my break. It was my break from my life at home. The constant conflict. The screaming, the blame, the arguing, the hurt, the crying, the awful.  Going to work, with the immense pressure that was going on was a BREAK. This year, rather than surviving, I am actually experiencing a normal level of stress at this time of year. There is so much that is sad in that realisation. What is stressing me out this year was a break last year. The stress of work that took me away from the emotional strain in my personal life was a break.  It took my brain away from the fight at home. I love my job. It’s amazing. My job should never be a break from my life at home. It should be in addition to. This fact hit me like a brick to the head today.

I have a tribe of amazing people in my life. People who love me and support me and are rallying behind me as I massacre my demons and move through life much more functionally.  It’s been a very interesting process, opening my heart and trusting these people. Realizing that they mean what they say and do what they promise and love me and accept me for who I am.  Where I was a year ago was so hard. Where I am today, it’s hard too. But the difference is that last year, I was just beginning to know my own value. I didn’t feel loved and appreciated.  I had just begun to love myself, be true to myself, to understand why I was of value to others. Today, I am absolutely certain that I am an incredible person. I know what I have to give. I know why people love me.  I also know why I have to establish hard and clear boundaries with each of them. I know why those two fabulous people in my life who love me, A and S, are committed to me and our relationship. I know why they love me and I love them.

In the end, I realized that the fact that I’m overwhelmed with work at the moment is a good thing. It means I’m not barely coping with my life and going through the motions. My life is so stable and functional that I am able to have normal levels of stress.  How amazing is that?

 

FRIDAY:

I wrote the above when I was exhausted to the point that I was near catatonic.  The next day was equally crazy, but I had a major professional win that lifted my spirits amid the exhaustion. Today is a rare Friday when I don’t have a date with A because he rescheduled to last night.  Yesterday, he picked me up from work. It was so obvious that he was beyond exhausted. He’s so tired that he is having a hard time focusing at work and then is extra hard on himself because of it. So, I suggested he take a nap while I make dinner.  What this meant was that because I had to make a stop after he dropped me off at my van, he hit a new record: Asleep before I even got home! Truthfully, I really enjoyed my two hours of cooking and singing along with my music and drinking wine. It was comforting knowing I could give him some peace after the crazy that his days have been. Honestly, it’s just kind of nice to be able to do some nice things for someone I love – like cooking or getting them a drink.  It’s amazing to me that it’s so refreshing to do these things when it’s not an expectation of my partner, but it’s such a burden when it’s expected.

I woke him up when food was ready and we ate.  Then we spent a few hours just chatting on the couch before heading to bed.  This date was everything I needed. It was the connection I was craving. I’m pretty sure it was the connection he needed too.  I feel reset.

Now, I spend a weekend working.  Working the second job while finishing up projects for the full-time job.  Only a few more weeks until life gets easier. At this point, I just need to keep breathing in and breathing out and taking one step at a time. Thankfully, the only stress I have is work-related. Such a change from this time last year.

Acceptance

Things went stale this last week (Thank you A and S for the reminders – I’m glad I have you two to remind me to write about….you two!).  Not for any particular reason other than I was busy living my life and working too much.  I had a much-needed day off on Sunday that was my first day off after 20 days straight of work between my two jobs.  However, last week was a little less stressful at my full-time job and I took that as an opportunity to cash in and work a lot more at my casual job, which is stressful at best and has crazy hours, so I wore myself out. Then, on the two days I had kids that I could get away, I had mommy-daughter dates with two of my girls. I’m not sure I can adequately express exactly how cool those kids are, and how much I enjoyed my time with them, but it means that I entered this week behind, with little chance of catching up until April.

I took my #2 to visit A’s wife and have coffee on one of the dates.  Their cat had kittens a couple months ago so we went over to cuddle kittens and visit. I had an amazing talk with A’s wife.  She’s truly an absolutely lovely person.  I wrote a while ago about how I would like a better relationship with her as a metamour and with her also dating, that transition seems to be happening naturally. I don’t know if it’s because it’s easier for her now that things are more “balanced” in her and A’s relationship dynamic or if it’s because she now understands on a more personal level what the relationship outside of the life partnership means to the other person, or something else, but I love it.  

A was having a pretty rough week a couple weeks ago (when he passed out less than 30 minutes after arriving at my place) and so his wife and I talked about how much fun he is to deal with when he’s grumpy and even shared a fist bump in solidarity!  One of the things she said that meant a lot to me was that she is so glad that A has found someone who understands him and accepts him as he is.  How he can be gruff and a bit of an asshole sometimes and doesn’t always really care how others see him.  I said that one of the many things about him that I love is that he is unapologetically himself.  I always know exactly where I stand with him, even if I sometimes have to ask.  She said something I have often thought and also means a lot to me: “Isn’t it wonderful having a relationship with someone who chooses every day to be with you?”

IT ABSOLUTELY IS!  The thing about my relationships now is that I have to put a lot of effort into maintaining contact, being clear about what I’m doing, where I am emotionally, and whether I need or want support.  I have had to learn to explain things clearly, not react in the moment until I have more information, and to ask for information when I find some lacking. I have spent some time reevaluating my expectations and totally changing them altogether in some instances. The fact is that every day, I choose A. Every day, I choose S.  And every day, they choose me.  There’s no taking for granted in our situations.  We actively participate in our lives together in whatever form they take, daily.

One of the things that came up between A’s wife and I was that I had to ask her for their address.  Initially, when A and I started dating, they had a rule that they didn’t host dates at their house.  Their house was for their family.  I had been to his house briefly one night when he had to feed his animals while we were on a date, but had no idea where it was, to be honest.  Since my house is mine and even when I was married F worked night shifts, I have always hosted. This is never a problem for me, as I like being at home, it allows me to have dates after my kids go to bed, and it means that I don’t have to drive at the end of the night, I can just roll over and fall asleep.  It strikes me how amusing it is that the first time I went to A’s on my own, he wasn’t even home!

As we were talking about him and his more grouchy nature as of late, we both commented how badly we want him to take a vacation.  It was really positive and quite obvious how much both of us love him and want him to be happy.  We talked about how she wants to plan a getaway and how I totally agree that they need to get away soon, preferably before her work ramps up to chaos levels again.  He needs to be removed from his crazy 14-18 hour days he’s been “on” lately, often seven days a week, and be forced to take care of himself.  I know that part of all this is that he really enjoys the people he works with and the challenges of running his business, but no one can burn a candle at both ends indefinitely, and he’s nearing the end of his wick.  Thankfully, a few days after this conversation, they booked a vacation, so they are heading out in a few weeks!

Somewhere in the conversation, I said “I want to go on a tropical vacation!” and A’s wife said: “I know A is looking forward to a time when you and he can go away together.  I anticipate that we will be doing staggering vacations or even all go on vacation together some time.”  This is music to my ears.  I have a ton of vacation days, and a reasonably flexible schedule if I can plan in advance, and A doesn’t have either.  So being able to share his vacation days with him would be ideal.  This led to us talking about possibly coordinating a camping trip in the summer and a winter vacation next year.   

Logistics and finances might not make it possible, but I love the potential of being able to travel with my love and not take precious time away from his wife and family.  I love the idea of having a polycule that enjoys each other’s company instead of just accepts each other.  I also just really like the idea that I could spend more than a weekend with A, allowing us to relax into each other.  Regardless, it won’t be for some time, but really it’s just the thought of it, the acceptance of me as an important part of A’s life, and the idea that brought me joy.  On top of that, the fact that A’s wife and I are becoming friends is important to me and brings me great happiness.  It’s one less complication in our already wonderful relationship.  

All of this has brought me a lot of calm and happiness recently.  Add to this the stabilizing and supportive force that is S and I’m quite cognizant of what I have in both of them.  So much so, I have deactivated my OKC account and just taken a step back.  I realized how important it is to me to have the uncomplicated relationships I do have, and I’m not interested in having someone disrupt what I’ve obtained.  So it has to be perfect to work and online dating doesn’t facilitate that.  I’ve been working on an old FWB for a return to that arrangement and I suspect it will happen soon.  I also sort of reconnected with M this week – I have no intention of dating him again, but I could handle having him as a casual partner.  A gorgeous black FWB.  All this together had me laughing about how I have A and S and a bit of vanilla (the old FWB) and a bit of chocolate (M).  I think I’m hilarious. It’s OK if you don’t.

Before I got together with M a few days ago. I told A and S both that I would be getting together with him, and that we would likely end up naked.  Both were completely accepting.  A teased me a little, and I said: “I can’t help it, he’s pretty”, and he said: “I know, and you shouldn’t have to control it!”  The next day, I got a message from S in the morning, and she said: “I hope you got fucked hard last night!”, and when I told A that I fucked M again, he said: “Yeah you did!”

This, the ability to be myself, talk honestly and openly about my relationships and my desires, to go out and know that if I follow my desires, heart, or careless whims, I won’t be having a difficult conversation because of it, is amazing.  I realized that I have spent so much time in my previous relationships concerned about how things I want to do will affect the people I’m dating, that I was preventing myself from doing things that would make me happy.  I’m not saying that it’s not important to consider how my actions will affect my loves, because of course I do.  I would never want to do anything to hurt anyone I care about, but the fact is, A and S are both so confident and understanding and compersion-filled, that I never have to worry that they will be anything but supportive.  That is an amazing thing to have.

This support comes out so much in S.  I talk to her about everything and so this often means talking about A and how many of my other partners have felt about him.  I talked to her about O’s jealousy and L’s anger, and everything in between, and as I talked, I realized some things that are absolutely, incredibly important.  First, S loves my relationship with A. She gets it.  She encourages it and is full of compersion from it.  Second, all these people who have had concerns with A have all been the people who have either disrespected my autonomy or questioned my judgement, and worse, violated major boundaries.  One thing A has never done?  Violated a boundary.  Over a year later, I trust him implicitly, because he has shown me week after week that he respects me, loves me, and values me.  I have only to ask for what I need and he gives it to me.  He is honest, communicates well, and is completely reliable.  So, what I think about all those partners that disliked him?  Well, fuck them, really.  He’s still in my life because he has never hurt me.  Let that sink in.  There’s a reason over a year later I haven’t lost my attraction to him in the least.  The fact that S gets all this?  Well, that’s one of the many things on the long list of reasons I love her.

Being accepted as I am, by A and S, and having my relationships accepted by the people in our lives is so incredibly uplifting.