Sometimes things just work. My life has ramped up in busyness. I’m back full speed at work but loving every minute of it. F is about to move out into his own rental place. We transferred ownership of our vehicles the other day and the cashier at the registry commented on how good we got along for people about to divorce and I laughed. It seems that the stressful days that I have experienced aren’t the definition of stressful for most people and F and I actually get along pretty well. Funnily enough, after I said that we have four children together, so we both know we are stuck together for the rest of our life, and it’s better to get along, she says “Oh, so what happened? Did you two just grow apart?” So, I responded in the only way I know how to when it comes to a complete stranger asking you to sum up the cause of you choosing to end your 14 year relationship as casual conversation. I said: “Sure, let’s go with that!”
That same evening, F and I sorted through some household items. We spent four hours together. Four hours, where we didn’t fight. We laughed, we talked, we compromised, we joked, we ate pizza with our kids. I had a glimpse of what it can be like if we manage to become friends, coparents, and a team for our kids. It was an amazing gift of premonition about the potential we have.
Even later in that evening, I had my normal Friday night date with A. I hate calling them “normal”, because our relationship is anything but. It’s unique and fun and full of connection and mind-blowing sex. When every time you have sex, it’s ‘top three’ good, you know you have something worth keeping.
Earlier in the week, I found myself alone with time to spare, and smoked a joint and spent sometime with my thoughts. During that time, my brain got in a negative loop that wouldn’t stop. I started doubting everything. Somewhere in my logical, not stoned, brain, I decided to email myself a list of questions that I should ponder, when, I wrote: “you are capable of legally operating a motor vehicle”.
The next couple days, I spent processing my doubts. My insecurities. The imbalance in our feelings for each other. Wondering if that translated into bigger problems that I am unaware of. Wondering if it meant that the commitment that we share isn’t shared at all. Somewhere, in all of that, I knew that the problem was mine, not his, and that it was mine to work through and didn’t need to be communicated until I’d processed the shit out of it.
As I processed, I realized that the root of my issues laid in the fact that there are things in our relationship that scream of “this is not a relationship but a side-piece”. In my infinite loop of negativity, I focused on a couple things that really bothered me. Among them was the fact that I’ve never been to his house. That he never invites me out to anything. That he nearly never comes out when I invite him out with my friends (and is rather dismissive of the idea in general). And, as always, back to the fact that he doesn’t love me.
I get it. He’s busy. He often says something like “If you want me to come out to this event, then I can’t come to your place on Friday”. I guess I feel like my kids must feel when I give them a choice between two things they really want. Like no matter what, I lose one of the things I really want. That, right there, is where I was going wrong. I was losing sight of the fact that in that situation, no matter what, I win. I win time with a man who brings so much value to my world.
As I was processing the shit out of my twisty bits that I didn’t need to communicate, A came to a poly pub night for one of the Facebook polyamory groups I’m part of. I had been inviting him out every month since January, and the closest he got to coming was when he picked me up from the very first one, drove me home, and we broke my bed! The happiness and comfort I felt sitting in between A and L, a hand on each of their legs at that poly pub night, was extraordinary. It’s an incredible thing, to be out with two men I love, and being able to be out about it. To have them sit at the same table and interact with each other and everyone else. There’s something so comforting about my life choice being understood and accepted and the men who are so important to me being accepted without question. The gorgeous man in the suit on my right who can command a room in a second and the cute guy who is a little awkward in jeans and a t-shirt on my left. It’s a wonderful place to be, however temporary.
This seemingly small thing, A coming out to this night, was so special to me. More important than it should be. One of my friends questioned why it was important to me, and it got me thinking. Why is it? It’s because it legitimizes my place in his life. It acknowledges it aloud in the only place we can. A place that has been missing in my life since D left it, because with our polycule, back then, everything was acknowledged and normal. The next day, on our Friday date, we were talking about the night and how he probably wouldn’t come out again. It was hard for me to understand. On a visceral level, it hurt to hear that he wouldn’t be willing to come out with me again. So I asked him “why?” He said the only thing I didn’t expect to hear. The one thing I hadn’t considered. He said: “We have so little time together, that when we have it, I don’t want to share you with other people.” This is a paraphrase, possibly misrepresented, but if so, it’s what I want to remember it as. In that moment, he put a brake on the negative thoughts revolving around in my head, and reset me.
It never occurred to me that he didn’t come out with me because he wanted me alone. It never occurred to me that he valued the time with me alone. It never occurred to me that he didn’t like sharing my attention. It never occurred to me that he had thought about the fact that he would rather be the focus of my attention than to share it. It never occurred to me that he wanted to focus his attention on me.
He said the one thing that I needed to hear. He’s either the most perceptive person on the planet, exceedingly lucky, or very good at reading what people want from him. No matter what, I’m happy that he said what I needed to hear. That I matter to him. That he wants to be with me. That he values me.
It seems so silly when I read it. But being valued is pretty much the most amazing feeling in the world.