Disappointment

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that it was date night with A and I was in need of some bucket filling. The fact is, I get a lot out of our Friday dates. We catch up on what happened during the week while we were apart, more of the nuance of what happened that can’t be easily conveyed via text, and there’s always a lot of teasing, laughter, and connection.  

Yesterday, in response to my post, A commented that he didn’t know what version of him I was going to get. This was my first indication that something was “off” with him.  We had a quick text chat about what was going on in his head and he legitimately didn’t know what was wrong, just that something was.  He arrived at my house at 8:37.  He greeted me with a passionate kiss and a strong hug.  I expected that we would at least chat for a while, but I have video of him snoring at 9:08.  In under 30 minutes, he’d passed out next to me.  

I knew he needed to cuddle and connect.  He grabbed me in a way he rarely does, hand through my hair, head to chest, arm held tightly against his chest.  I could tell he was breathing me in and calming himself.  I could feel the weight of whatever was breaking his heart exuding from him.  At one point, it seemed like he was going to start something more than cuddling, but the next thing I knew, he was snoring.  Deeply unsatisfied, I knew what type of week he had so I let him sleep.  I rolled over and texted S, and we chatted about how disappointed I was with the snoring man next to me. I even videoed him sleeping to show her what I was living through.  

I was so disappointed and a little mad.  I had spent the week anticipating this date and had no real tangible indication that it was going to go like it did.  I talked to S about how I was feeling. She validated my feelings and the best being: “A! GET IT TOGETHER AND BEAT MY GIRLFRIEND!”  While I was chatting with her, I said that I felt bad that I was so disappointed.  That I was near tears because I was so unfulfilled in that moment.  I felt like what every man I turned down over the years must feel like, I said.  Her words were exactly what I needed to hear and the message was simple:  There is nothing wrong with disappointment. It’s an appropriate response to not having the evening I so needed.  It’s OK for me to upset, and even angry, about this situation and still love him and support him and want to be there for him.  So, I grabbed my magic wand and three minutes later I had orgasmed hard enough that I could fall asleep.  It was an unusually early Friday night for me.  

It’s now early Saturday morning, and I’m sitting at my second job, feeling the disappointment from last night rather acutely.  Fortunately, when my alarm went off this morning, it woke A up too, and instead of a shower before work, I collected a handful of orgasms and ran out the door.  This super quick morning sex, interrupted by a 4-year-old who needed cuddles, was insufficient to make up for what we missed last night, but it was a start.  As he left this morning, he apologized three times, I know he missed out too, and I know he didn’t do anything intentionally, it just is what it is.

Sexually, what I needed last night was to get lost in A.  I needed to connect with him in that physical way.  I needed him to take control of me and I needed him to hurt me to take me away from the stress and busyness of my week.  The fact is, I had built myself up with anticipation during the previous three days and since he has almost never failed to deliver, I had no reason to suspect last night would be any different.  

I am a big girl and sexual disappointment really isn’t that big of a deal.  It’s a short -lived sadness, not something that sits, fastened to my heart.  What’s really bugging me is the lack of the emotional and intellectual connection that we usually share.  We didn’t get to catch up.  I didn’t get to tell him about the ups and downs of my week, nor did I get to hear about his.  Add to this the fact that we didn’t manage to have drinks or reconnect at all during the week, as is our norm, and we were both so busy that we hardly chatted at all.  We certainly didn’t exchange anything meaningful during the week.  I feel robbed of the reset that is just talking to A and tuning out the rest of the world to just be with him.  

On top of this, it’s Saturday.  It’s the day that A and his wife spend together.  Normally, I’m still riding the high of our night together, so I take the relative radio silence in stride. I miss him, but I recognize his need for connection with her too.  Today though, it’s like there is this empty well that needs to be filled and instead of that, it’s going to be sucked dry with the reminder that I am alone, with no telling when the next chance to connect with A will occur.  

So, I’m going to sit here at my job, being disappointed, sad, unsatisfied, and feeling sorry for myself.  It won’t last for long, because I know that come the next time I see him, we will be able to reset.  It won’t last for long, because I’m good at processing and perspective, and I know that this wasn’t about me, but about him and what he needed.  It won’t last for long, because the job I am currently working is an ongoing reminder of exactly how blessed my life is.  

But for now?  I’m going to feel the feelings and embrace my disappointment and sadness.  

 

Advertisements

Natural boundaries

I’m in the middle of a busy week at work following an amazing weekend with A.  I have so much fun with that man.  Just chatting, watching movies, getting lost in internet and Youtube rabbit holes, and even doing some real life planning.  I left the weekend with all my emotional buckets filled, feeling like I can take on the world, my heartache left behind.  It was exactly what I needed, I suspect it was something he needed too, and I was able to start my week with renewed positivity and energy.  I’m so glad to have that man in my life.

Over the weekend, where we didn’t leave the house at all, the snow piled in my driveway and on my sidewalk and on his truck, and we got to sit down and have meals and sleep in and have naps and have sex whenever the idea struck, I also did a lot of thinking.  When I stepped away from normal life, I was able to separate out the many different aspects of my life that are going on.  It didn’t hurt that A’s special skills took me out of my head several times, allowing me the mental space I needed to tackle problems.  A and I talked a lot about how my other partners have felt about him (see my previous posts and our comments on it) and what I need going forward. A is always a little concerned when I don’t have another male partner. He, probably justifiably, is worried that he can’t be everything I need.  This has less to do with my sexual needs (although apparently I’m demanding), and more to do with my emotional, time, and connection needs.  More than anything, we have limited time together, so he isn’t the boyfriend who can go out for dinner with me, hang out with friends, or socialize in general.  It’s not that he can’t, it’s just that neither of us are willing to give up our precious hours together to be with other people. We both cherish our time where it’s just the two of us.

So, that got me thinking about what I want in another partner or if I even want one. The fact is, the person has to be nearly perfect for me to disrupt what I have with A and S.  The two of them together tick off so many of my boxes, and for what they don’t, I have excellent friends and exceptional vibrators (friends and vibrators used separately).  My life is pretty happily full and I don’t need much more other than the freedom to pursue what I want if the opportunity comes up. What I did realize though is that the person I do date needs to be already attached. Married or cohabitating is ideal. I don’t want to date another solo-poly individual, and I am not really interested in being someone else’s first poly partner.  The problem with unattached men is that there is no natural limit to how far we can escalate.  This means a lot more complication.  It’s not insurmountable, but with all the stresses going on in my life, I’m not really interested in having to put down hard and firm boundaries that are naturally there when I date someone who has a life partner.  At this point, I don’t want to escalate. I don’t want a partner who *could* live with me one day.  I don’t want to have to determine if he is with me just because I have a career and a house and have my shit together.  One of the things that a couple of my people have reminded me lately is that I am “a catch”.  I am strong, independent, career-driven with a great job, I own a house and car, I’m kind, generous, and fun, I have a lot of children (but some people like that!), and I’m a good parent.  They reminded me that I need to protect myself, communicate my boundaries clearly, and not let people violate them.  I want to know that I have someone who respects my commitments and my schedule and my right to my own life and the parts of it I don’t want to share.  Part of it is that I’ve now introduced two partners to my children as my boyfriends, they’ve become attached to them, and then those partners have disappeared from their lives.  I don’t need another one to come into their life and disappear again.  They don’t need any more loss and it’s reasonably simple for me to prevent their suffering in this case.

I was explaining this all to a monogamous, single coworker.  I said “So ideally, I’ll only date married men.”  It makes perfect sense in the context of my life, but in his, it sounds hilarious.

 

Walking on the inside

On Wednesday, A and I had a spontaneous evening where we reconnected.  I worked late and was a bit of a mess and asked him to come pick me up so I could collect a hug.  We ended up going for drinks.  It was amazing. So full of laughter and some deep conversation too.  To say that my life has experienced an ongoing state of upheaval and stress the last few weeks would probably be an accurate statement.  A is a stabilizing force in my life.  He grounds me.  He knows me well, so that means he can say the things that make me laugh, intentionally get a rise out of me, and calm me in a way very few people can.  

Our relationship is atypical.  After so many of my partners have had a hard time with it, I’ve spent some time thinking about why they don’t get it.  It makes perfect sense to me (and to A). So, atypical compared to other poly relationships?  I don’t know.  The fact is, we have great boundaries.  There’s not much about our relationship dynamic that we haven’t discussed and actively decided on together. We get each other.  He understands my life.  That dates are different when the kids are home than when they aren’t.  That I have a full-time job and a second job too.  That I’m going through a divorce and sometimes I’m going to go on crazy rants about the frustration of negotiations.  That I’m going to date others and I’ll tell him about it, but otherwise, he doesn’t have much say.  He actually really appreciates my other partners and has never uttered a jealous or judgemental word about any of them. He has supported me through recovering from heartbreak several times.  He has been my partner in so many new experiences.  From shooting guns, getting in a collision, visiting a new distillery, bondage, pain, orgasm control, group sex, and everything in between, we’ve been a team.  I think what people don’t realize is that we are really good friends.  We talk about nearly everything.  I value his opinion and he values mine.  Nearly every date begins with a couple hours of talking and reconnecting. So much of our attraction to each other is intellectual. I’ve never thought for a second that I was being judged or anything but loved and accepted when we talk.  I know he feels comfortable confiding in me and I’m his place of calm too.  I am the type who volunteers information. You never wonder where you stand with me.  A, he requires some prodding, but I’m the type to ask all the questions that pop into my mind, and he generally answers, if somewhat reluctantly.

It’s less often now that I am surprised by something A says or does.  Over drinks, were talking about how A, as a bit of a chameleon, scores differently on the Meyers-Briggs tests every time he takes one.  He can take the same test and get three different scores.  Having never taken a Meyers-Briggs test before, I suggested that I take one and he read me the questions.  It was so fun!  He guessed what my answer would be before I answered and for the most part, he was bang on.  Things like “Your life is always tidy and organized” – ***Strongly Disagree*** and “You are completely comfortable talking in front of a big group of people – ***Strongly Agree*** were pretty straightforward and obvious.  There weren’t many that were a shock about me, which is not surprising, because I’m rather transparent.  When he took the quiz, I was shocked by some of the more introverted tendencies that he had, but more in a “Oh right, you’re actually an introvert who pretends to be an extrovert” kind of way.  Part of the reason these things surprise me is that we almost always spend our time together one-on-one (sometimes literally! Har-har-har!), but also that I know that we are now close enough that I get a real version of A, without the walls that he maintains as part of his public and business persona. What surprised me most is how well he knows me.  Not so much that the information is there, but that he paid attention! 😉

When I was a teenager, I heard this story about how in the days prior to modern plumbing, men walked on the outside of a sidewalk and women on the inside so that when a chamber pot was dumped from the second floor balcony, the women wouldn’t be hit.  This also served the purpose of preventing women from getting hit by water or other grossness from the street when carriages passed.  

While I am a strong, independent, fiercely feminist woman, I love chivalry.  Over the year and three months I’ve known A, he has been chivalrous in his understated way.  He has passed many tests he didn’t know he was participating in.  The first was on our first date, when I reached for my purse to pay my share and he immediately put a stop to it and told me “On the first date, the man pays, put that away”.  The second time was when we went shooting a year ago as part of my “40 before 40” list, and when we walked out to his truck, he walked me to the passenger side and opened my door.  I remember commenting on it and giving him a kiss.  That night, we were in a collision with a moose.  When D came to pick us up, he immediately got in the back seat and let me climb in the front, completely respecting my love for D.  That was the third time.  

There have been hundreds more open truck doors. There have been drinks he’s poured for me and rides he’s given me.  There have been hugs he’s gone out of his way to give when he knows I need one.  I’ve made a lot of requests that he has fulfilled without complaint.  He’s listened to me, he’s held me, he’s hurt me in exactly the way I need, and he’s loved me despite the hot mess I sometimes am.  He has been what I need, nearly always.

We were walking away from the bar we were at, and I threaded my arm through his elbow as I tend to do and we reached for each other’s hands.  Then he stopped and said: “Get on the other side.” I said “Why?” and he said: “Because men walk on the outside, and women on the inside.”

I was flabbergasted (I love this word).  It’s been at least 24 years since I first heard the story of chivalry and where men and women should walk on the sidewalk.  I teach my children this lesson. First that adults should be on the outside and second that a man should be on the outside for my daughters.  My son will get this lesson when he’s old enough that him running into traffic isn’t my primary concern. I even talked to my girls about this in front of F, and he didn’t note it.  I have silently tested and judged everyone I’ve dated over the many years I have known about sidewalk placement while walking using this metric.  No one has ever said anything. Then A does this: He passes a test he didn’t know existed.

I mentioned earlier that we have a pretty great and detailed understanding of where we are in our relationship.  We know what we mean to each other and we are both happy with the parameters we’ve set.  We mean a lot to each other.  I have said for months, as a term of endearment (and a bit of an acknowledgement that we are where we are in our relationship and it’s not going to change), that he is an ***adequate*** boyfriend.  I joke that he has to be careful, if he is too good to me, he will be upgraded from adequate to satisfactory, and I’ll end up having unrealistic expectations of him.  

Truthfully, my expectations haven’t changed, but I love him that much more because he passed the uncommunicated test. Dating a true gentleman is amazing.   

When the heartbreak hits

I spent this weekend alone.  A few hours ago, I picked up my kids, and now I’m processing all the things that I allowed myself to feel this weekend.  I’ve reached the point where the heartbreak is overwhelmingly painful.  I’ve got a lump in my throat, a tightness in my chest, and a knot in my stomach.  I feel physical pain at the loss of what I had with O.

On Friday night, I went to Robbie Burns night.  This is the same Robbie Burns night event that A goaded me into going to last year, the day after we broke my bed.  The same night that ended up being such an amazing night with both A and D, when I ended up at D’s house while his amazing wife volunteered to sleep on the couch.  O was supposed to be my date this year.  I asked a few friends to pinch hit for him after I broke up with him and finally managed to get one of my friends who I’ve known for 23 years to accompany me.  She was a delightful date and fit in well, having met A and his wife and D and his wife before.  Yes, D and his wife were there too. It was the first time I saw him since the ridiculous drunk texting incident, which I now think was hysterically funny, and am rather thankful it happened, as it was the key step in me finally getting over him.  I’m not saying I don’t still love him, because I do.  But I absolutely wouldn’t take him back if he begged me.  I am in love with the man I dated then, not the man I know him to be now.

I had a great time at Robbie Burns. I enjoyed the scotch; I enjoyed the company; I enjoyed the food.  I didn’t particularly miss O’s presence and other than saying that my friend was pinch hitting for a boyfriend I just broke up with, he didn’t come up.  It was the first time I had spent a whole night out in public with A and his wife.  A isn’t big into public displays of affection, and that is also true with his wife.  I got a kiss when we got into his truck and a kiss after his mom left, yes, that’s right, his MOM!  The thing is, he was out at a function with his wife and his girlfriend.  His girlfriend that only half the people there knew about.  So he was a husband, but not a boyfriend that night.  It was weird, not hard, or upsetting, but weird, to see them in their husband and wife roles.  To see them casually touch each other in the way couples do.  Hands on knees, a rub of the arm, a hand on the shoulder.  To be a part of that night but apart from someone I love.

I cuddled A in the back seat on the way home.  It was nice. It filled me with comfort.  I am in need of reconnection, however, to be the focus of his attention without the rest of his life there.

After A and his wife dropped my friend and I off at home, I crawled into bed.  I slept for 14 hours.  For the first time in months, I slept until I couldn’t sleep anymore.  I woke up with a cold and the deep sadness of heartbreak that overwhelmed me completely.  I am constantly on the move and busy and rushing from thing to thing. I took Saturday for myself to do nothing. I don’t remember the last time I did nothing for a day, but it was definitely at least 10 years ago.  I watched five movies.  I didn’t move off the couch.  But most importantly, I cried.  I cried until my entire face was swollen and my eyes felt like sandpaper. I cried that deep guttural cry that consumed my body and made me struggle to breathe.  It was the ugliest ugly cry of my life, made worse by the hoarse throat and grainy cough.

It was cathartic, in a way.  I guess I knew it was coming. I told A the day after all the awful happened that it would be about a week and a half until the *real* pain hit.  When I’d cry and the heartbreak would hit. Well, it hit.  Heartbreak like I’ve never felt before. I thought the heartbreak after D was the limit of the pain I could experience and it turns out that I was wrong. I long for the hurt I felt last May.

In typical *me* style, instead of asking for what I needed (remember how bad I am at being vulnerable), I tried to entice A to my house with dirty pics and promises of hot sex, and the exhausted man who is too busy for his own good chose sleep over me.  I’m sure if I had told him where I actually was emotionally, that I needed someone to wrap their arms around me and make me feel taken care of, he would have actually been here.  He probably thought I needed too much of him.

The fact is, I am in a constant state of emotional pain turned physical because it’s so real and all-encompassing.  I alternate between the desire to shut down emotionally and be strong and independent and I “don’t need anyone” and the need to have someone I love and trust hold me, keep me safe, and make me feel protected.

There is this crazy knowledge inside of me that I chose this.  I chose the the “rip-the-bandaid-off” approach to ending my relationship with O and the immense pain that comes with it, over the long, slow destruction that would have occurred if I had elected to try to move on.  That I chose to feel this overwhelming hurt over many small hurts.

I have an army of people who love me who are waiting to support me in anyway they can. This includes S, who has been amazing, patient, kind, supportive, and altogether very sexy about the whole thing.  A, who has helped me forget by taking me away so I’m only aware of him and what he’s doing to me, but also with his frequent check-ins and understanding as I tell him how much I hurt, and his desire to be here for me, even when he can’t be.  To D’s wife, who was so loving and supportive.  To A’s wife, who sent me love yesterday, knowing I needed it.  To my mom, who reminded me of my value when I was feeling so very broken.  To so many others who love me because I’m me.

I am broken.  I am hurting.  I am overwhelmed.  Tomorrow, I’ll see A.  He will hug me and for the moment that he holds me, all my pain will disappear.  I will feel his arms around me. My breath will slow.  I’ll smell him. And I will let go.

There is something amazing about going through heartbreak while in love with someone else.  To be deeply in love with someone and mourning the loss of deep love with someone else at the same time.  While I hurt, I recognize the love I have.  I will heal.  While I heal, I have so many people who love me to help me get there.

Over

It’s been a day since I wrote about waking up next to O having sex with his GF and the fallout from that.  I’m nearly sure I’ve made my decision and am just chewing on this new reality for a day or two before I speak to him about it.  Last night involved what I like to refer to as “A sex therapy”, which took me away from the disappointment I was feeling with O and helped me reset.  I had a very short sleep and headed to my second job at way too early o’clock this morning. This has given me a lot of time to sit and process and I’m feeling like I’m understanding what happened better, have rid myself of the anger, and am in a decent place about it.

I’ve decided to break up with O.  The fact is, I can’t get past this.  There isn’t a way to save our relationship from the decision he made to completely disregard my right to consent and for respect.  He didn’t value me at all.  There were several opportunities for him to attempt to dig out of the hole he created, first by not continuing what he was doing when I got up and moved to the couch, second by not owning his shit immediately when messaging me, and third by continuing to offer excuses.  He didn’t. He still really hasn’t, although I suspect he may understand the gravity of what he did.

The fact is, with an amazing comment on my initial post about processing this hurt, one of my readers helped me figure out something.  There is a theme in the way O thinks about things.  In every response, he is trying to find the words he needs to say to quickly get rid of the problem.  He’s not owning his feelings at all, but hiding from the intense emotions he feels. What this translates into is a lack of respect for me.  I realized this as I thought back to the initial discussion where O was warning me to be careful with A, despite the fact that we had been together for over 11 months at that time and I had never had any reason to not have absolute trust in him.  Then the conversation about jealousy and how he doesn’t understand my relationship with A.  Finally this. These seemingly different events have a common theme.  Each one demonstrates a lack of respect for me and my ability to make decisions in my life.  First, he got upset and warned me to be careful with A, demonstrating his lack of respect for the established relationship that I have cherished for a long time.  It tells me he doesn’t respect my decision making ability.  Then the jealousy, triggered by the collar and the fact that he was pushing us towards kink even though it wasn’t a natural state for us to be, and treating me as a primary when I was very clear I didn’t want that label or status.  Again, not respecting my commitment to my other relationship and my ability to make decisions in the framework that I have chosen to live my life and model my poly.  Not respecting the boundaries, wishes, opinions, and desires I had communicated.  Finally, the complete lack of respect for me when he fucked his girlfriend in the bed next to me.  Then continued to fuck her when I was obviously upset. Then the minimizing and excuse making the next morning.  That last event was a violation of my trust, so incredibly disrespectful, and the final straw.

Every single challenge we faced is directly related to a lack of respect.  The situations are all very different.  But each one questions my autonomy, decision making ability, boundaries, judgement, or agency.  I already have to deal with the baggage of one man who didn’t respect me or my boundaries.  I can’t do the same thing again.

I thought O was going to be my life partner.  I thought we were going to be forever.  I’m mourning the loss of a dream but know that I can’t hold on to that dream now that reality includes what he did to me the other night.


I wrote this two days ago. This morning I had the break up conversation with O.  It was a hard conversation to have.  I came in and hugged him and then told him directly that I was breaking up with him.  He said he knew.  I told him I couldn’t compromise my values and keep dating him after he violated such a clear boundary and my right to consent.  We ended it with a hug, said we loved each other, there were some tears shed by him, and he said: “I completely fucked up.  I ruined everything.”  I responded, “Yes, you did”, kissed him on the forehead, and left.  

I looked at this from every possible angle.  I wanted so badly for there to be a way we could get back what we had, but knew we couldn’t.  I tried to look at my behaviour and how it contributed.  Although I truly wish I’d raged and screamed and walked out that night when I woke up with them fucking next to me, other than that, I can clearly see that I didn’t do anything wrong.  What a rare situation to be in, where I am so very certain that the fault lies squarely on someone else’s shoulders.  

I now will mourn the loss of the dream. The dream of the life partner, sharing a family, home, and life with him.  Everything we wanted to do together.  It’s a similar type of sad as it was when I had my miscarriages.  Knowing that through no fault of my own I have lost a real, tangible dream, and everything that I thought would come with it.  

That being said, I am proud of myself. I am my own primary. I am loving myself first.  Honouring myself and being true to myself. I made the hard decision because it was the right one to make.  

Now, I heal.  

 

Missing X

I was writing this post before the disaster with O that I’m still processing.  I just want to get it out there, and it’s still relevant.

I have a handful of things swimming around in my head that I want to write about. I get an immense amount of comfort from writing out my feelings, some small and rather insignificant and others that are huge and impossible to wrap my brain around easily.

Last summer, X and I rekindled a bit of a relationship. Not romantic, but not just friendship either.  We had maintained that amazing 22 year connection and sexual attraction to each other and we celebrated the sexual connection by sharing as much as two people can share sexually over 1400 km and only an internet connection. It was lovely.  I didn’t feel pressured or commited or like I was obligated. It was simple, just connecting when we could and not worrying about anything in the meantime. I realized somewhere in there that I still love him.  Not in that deep, life partner sort of way, just that he is someone I really care about.  I had realized that having what we had gave me an outlet to express that love and it was exactly what I needed and we got to have a relationship on our own terms.  

Life got busy for him, with some major work successes and everything else that he had going on in his life.  I returned to work after summer, met O, and my life ramped up in its usual fall busyness.  He started having a hard time balancing life, he said, and the time between communications would go longer and longer and then they stopped in mid-November.  The last couple messages I sent went unanswered. He deleted his Facebook, or perhaps blocked me, and I haven’t heard from him in a couple months.

I’ve had enough on my mind in the last months that I was actually actively choosing not to acknowledge or process this development.  My life being what it is, I was reminded of his disappearance like a baseball bat to my head the other day. Through a very cool, statistically improbable series of events, O reconnected with a girl he dated for an intense period when he was 20 years old.  They went for drinks to reconnect and when she went home after hours of clothes-off reconnecting, he and I debriefed.  Turns out that their connection is still there 27 years later, and he’s very excited about this new development.  In fact, it’s the most excited I’ve seen him about dating a new person since we’ve been together.  It resulted in a few feelings on my part, but we quickly talked through them and I am super excited for him, and looking forward to watching his new relationship develop and getting to know my new metamour.  

However, as I thought through the cool story of O and his new-old girlfriend, I recognized the connections between their story and my story with X.  This brought the disappearance of X from my life to the forefront of my mind.  Having worked through the other things that had been bothering me, the emotion of X’s absence in my life hit me like a tonne of bricks. This started with a little bit of envy that O gets to live out the conclusion of that life-long connection and I so badly would like to do that with X.  It’s a little silly being envious, but it would be really cool to actually explore how awesome things could be with X after so many years of fantasizing and connection.

The fact is, X disappeared from my life in October 2016 because he didn’t have his priorities straight with his girlfriend. It caused a huge amount of hurt for me.  I was thrilled to have him return to my life.  He and I had a connection that was evolving nicely and calmly for me and was quite fulfilling. But he left me suddenly.  Again.  I see the pattern. I see how disposable I am to him.  I feel that pain acutely.

I don’t know how I’ll handle it when he returns to my life again.  I guess it depends what’s actually going on in his brain right now.  But I do know that I’m going to be a little more hesitant to welcome him back.  I miss what we had and mostly, I hope he’s OK.  

Processing

Early this week, O reconnected with an old flame from 27 years ago.  He’s consumed by NRE and truthfully, it was really cute to see them together when we met at a local polyamory pub night last night.  This pub night is a monthly event, one I try to get to because I rarely socialize with anyone unless it’s with one of my  people one-on-one.  The plan of the night was for me to go to O’s and then head to the pub night together.  Before the pub night, we had a great talk about how we were back to our wonderful dynamic and that things were amazing again.  We talked about things we want to try and I told him that I was *almost* at the point where I could share him, but not quite yet. His new GF was going to meet us at the pub.  I was planning on staying the night at O’s place, as I knew I would have too much to drink to drive and he lives a couple blocks away.  S and her hubby came and met us as did O’s new GF.  It was a rather perfect poly evening, with lots of wine, lots of kisses, and lots of laughing.  Around 11 p.m., we left the pub to walk to O’s house a few blocks away.  Each of us were holding O’s hand and I remember joking on the way to his place that it would be hard for the three of us to fit into his bed. I really didn’t realize that she was coming to his house too.

When we arrived at his house, O and his GF were making out in the driveway, and while I am happy for his happiness, it isn’t something I want to see.  So I let myself into his place, stripped, and crawled into bed, fully expecting that he would crawl into bed and cuddle me as we slept.  The next thing I knew, they were inside his apartment, and making out there.  I sent him a text that said “I love you.  Where is your phone?” (it was going off in his suite) and then “I love you. You’re making out with GF right now. I’m intentionally not watching. I want you to be happy.”  I heard the “New text message from *me*” go off on his phone and we giggled about the fact that I was texting him while he was in the room.  I then fell asleep, assuming that they were saying goodbye and that he would be coming to bed shortly.  

An indeterminate amount of time later, I woke up because the bed was shaking and there were some joyful sex noises permeating the room.  O and his GF were having sex next to me on the bed.  I got up, stumbled to the bathroom, did my thing, and through my drunken haze, tried to figure out what was going on.  I returned into the room (I couldn’t just wander naked into the other part of the house that O shares with his roommate) and crawled onto the couch that’s at the foot of his bed.  They stopped their fucking for long enough for him to ask me to join them, and I declined.  He asked me to come back to bed, and I said “No, I’m good here, I’m just going to cover myself with a blanket and go back to sleep.”  I then curled up in fetal position on the couch, covered myself with a blanket, and plugged my ears to drown out the sex noises coming from a couple feet away from me.  At this point, I was in survival mode. I wish I had gotten dressed and left and called a friend to get me, but I was curled up and trying to make myself as small as possible and shelter myself from the awful happening around me.

Some time later, he said good-bye to his GF and woke me up and asked me to come to bed.  I declined again, saying that I was going to sober up, start processing what just happened, and when I was ready, I would go home.  I woke about 4:00 a.m. and gathered my things and went home without saying good-bye. I crawled into my bed and slept for a short while longer and went to work.  We’ve been texting all day.  Here’s how that went down.

Good morning, love!  Can I see you after work this afternoon? Or at least a phone call?  Please let me know.  The evening totally didn’t go as I expected and….wine.  I hurt your feelings and I feel like dirt.  I am sorry.  

(I don’t want to say how little I cared that he felt bad.  I was so pissed off at the immediate excuse and thinking it was “hurt feelings”.)

Good morning. I’m sure I can find time to talk this afternoon.  I’m not really ready to discuss anything yet.  I’m trying to wrap my brain around how I ended up in a bed where my boyfriend was fucking his girlfriend next to me and then on a couch where I had to listen to everything. I’m trying to figure out how I feel about it, other than disgusted with myself that I didn’t have good enough boundaries to begin with and that I was too drunk to just leave.

I can meet you after work but I have to pick up my daughter at 4:00….I tried to include you but you weren’t into it.  Sorry, we should have talked about possibilities beforehand and should have checked-in when we got to my place.  If you tried and I was too drunk to register it, I will own that and apologize.

(More excuses.  No ownership or acknowledgement of what he did and how fucking inappropriate it was)

I have a busy afternoon planned and a date with A tonight, and honestly, I’m not really in the mood to see you. I’m livid.  This is a major consent violation. MAJOR.  “Tried to include me”?  Fuck that. You made a really bad fucking decision.  I was asleep when you guys crawled into bed. I wasn’t “not into it”, I was FUCKING SLEEPING.  What you two did was completely fucking inappropriate.  

And while I’m at it, the fact that you continued after I woke up and moved to the couch is even that much more inappropriate.  Jesus Fuck.  How could you?

I am sorry. We should have talked about this beforehand and on the walk home. I totally wasn’t thinking straight and was very drunk.  I should have had dinner.  I am sorry, Love.

(More excuses.  This time about drinking.  More pissed off.  More disappointed in him. And myself.)

Do you blame bad furniture placement when you stub your toe too?  Drunk is not an excuse.  In fact, there is no excuse.

I’m going to suggest that you back the fuck up, think really hard about what you did last night and what you need to say to me about it.  This isn’t a little thing.  This is a major thing. You are saying all the wrong things, in a situation where I was trying to determine if I can get past it.  I don’t have much left to give you in this situation. I am really really fucking angry.  Consent is so important. You completely violated it.  You fucked up, and fucked up big time. It’s a huge breach of trust.  I’m going to spend the day and night processing this and deciding what I need to do. I recommend you do the same.  

I highly recommend that you not make another excuse or flippant remark about what you guys did.

I feel ashamed.  How can I make this up to you?

(This is where I lost it. I was so angry I was raging.  Seriously?  What the actual fuck? You fuck up that big, and you ask me to tell you what you need to do?  It’s not eating the last piece of fucking cake! You fucked your GF in the bed next to me without my fucking consent!  Own your fuck up!  NRE is not an excuse to treat people as disposable. Adults don’t allow NRE to make their decisions for them.)

I don’t think you can.

I went for lunch and thought. I talked to G, who is amazing, as always, with the perspective.  Then I realized that I needed to put him in my shoes.

I want you to think about this:  What if you, me, and A left the bar together and got a cab to my house.  You are drunk and crawl into bed naked while I’m saying a lengthy goodbye outside. We come into the bedroom and we’re still making out.  You see us and text to gently remind that you’re there and witnessing things. You fall asleep assuming I’ll crawl into bed with  you.  You wake up an indeterminate amount of time later because the bed is rocking and all you can hear is the noise of A fucking me hard and the sounds I make.  You don’t say anything, but get up and go to the bathroom. When you come back, we don’t stop, but ask you if you want to join. You say “no”, and curl up on the floor at the end of the bed.  I ask for you to return to bed and you say “no, I’ll stay here”, and then you curl up in fetal position and I return to fucking A.  You have to plug your ears to drown out the sounds of our hot fucking that I’m clearly enjoying.

Eventually, we stop. I kiss A goodbye and he goes home.  I wake you and ask you to come to bed. You decline.  

When you are sober enough to drive, you leave and go home.

What would you do in that situation when I messaged you and said “Well, I tried to include you, but you weren’t interested.” and “Sorry, I was drunk, it’s not what I expected from the evening.”

Having someone else sleep over in a sexual way without prior consent from me is disrespectful, assumes my opinion and consent are meaningless, and shows no value for our time together.  

Not a thing about your responses show ownership or recognition of how inappropriate, disrespectful, and unloving you were and how little you valued me, my opinions, my feelings or consent last night.

So tell me, what would you do, if I had done all this to you, and then completely failed to own my shit?

What would you need me to do to “make it up” to you?

Using your example, I would start by insisting you give me a complete and sincere apology, in person, outlining all the ways you disrespected me and our relationship.  I would insist you demonstrate a full understanding of all the ways consent was needed and was not given or even sought in this case.

To “make it up”, I would make it perfectly clear that if something like this ever happens again, it would be cause to end our relationship.  “Making it up” would include ensuring this never happens again. It would also include an increased sensitivity to me and our relationship when it comes to interacting with other partners and to ensure every decision involving other partners is formed on a foundation of respect and honour toward me and the relationship we have built. In time, and with a consistent demonstration of this increased sensitivity to me and our relationship when it comes to interacting with other partners and ensure every decision involving other partners is formed on a foundation of respect and honour toward me and the relationship we have built.  In time, and with a consistent demonstration of this increased sensitivity, perhaps the hurt I felt from going through that situation can be healed. Lastly, not owning your shit when i called you on it was a further indication of how far up your ass your head was and oblivious to the transgression  you made that evening. This must also be included in the apology showing your understanding of how thoughtless you were.  This type of response is indicative of what needs to change with an increase in sensitivity to me and our relationship.

Thanks for that. I need some time and space to process this all. I’m not sure that I can get past this, and if I decided I can, what I need for that to happen.  I’m going to take the weekend to process this all. I’ll come to your place on Monday afternoon when i’m done at work and we can talk about all this.

Thank you.

So now, I think.  I process.  I figure out what action, if any, I have to take.

I’m so angry and so hurt and so fucking disappointed.  Yesterday, I was sure we were back on the right track and doing so well again.  Then, he pulls a potentially relationship-ending asshole move.  I’ve actually never had a boyfriend pull something so completely devastating.  I literally don’t know what to do with this situation. I’m used to small red flags that accumulate over time and lead to me finally coming to my senses.  But this is a huge red flag.  One that I would be stupid to ignore or fail to acknowledge.  I just don’t know if it’s too big or not.

We had a conversation a short time before this happened about the fact that I am not ready to share him with someone in the same room.  I was supposed to sleep over, she was supposed to join us for drinks.  Sure, we didn’t lay out boundaries specifically, but at no point was my consent asked for.  I feel so unimportant. Disposable. Unvalued. Used.  Taken for granted.  Insignificant. Disrespected.  I’m sure I could go on.  

The fact is, he fucked up. I don’t know if I can get past it. I don’t know what the long-term consequences of trying to get past something like this are.  Trust is such an important component of a relationship and I’m not sure it’s something that I can get back.  

I’ve talked to A LOT of people who love me today about this situation. Hoping that one would have that thing to say that told me it was OK to forgive.  Universally, they all told me they loved me and respected me and wanted me to stop hurting.  Some wouldn’t give their opinion except to say how badly O fucked up.  Those that did said I should break up with him.  One said I should *at least* scale back the relationship.  I feel like that would be causing a slow death instead of taking the quick death shot.  I don’t know. I really really really don’t know what to do.  I know I can forgive anything, I’m good at that, but I don’t know if I can forget. If I can’t forget, I may never actually get past this.  

Damn. My heart is broken.