Hindsight Isn’t 20/20 When You’re Crying, Dude

I haven’t been dating anyone at all. I’ve tried, unsuccessfully, to get a few things going with some gals on OKCupid but suddenly they stop talking to me and I don’t know if I’m supposed to pursue them, wait, or what. As a gal, I don’t even know what I like. I can’t even offer myself support and advice in this arena.

Mr. Amazing has been seeing someone since the beginning of the year. He pursued her from Tinder, she constantly turned him down, or made plans and then rescheduled, but finally did meet him and found out how awesome he is. Unfortunately she hasn’t been comfortable with the fact that he’s married, nor with the idea of meeting me, and most of her issues stem from a bad relationship with a poly guy who kind of fucked her over, and some close ties to her very conservative family. That, combined with the Mister’s inability to spontaneously just see her whenever she likes because we have things to plan around, namely me and my needs, have caused difficulties for them the entire time they’ve been dating. But they genuinely liked each other and I think she made the Mister happy.

Here’s where I come in… with all of my crap.

I’m not comfortable with him dating someone who doesn’t want to meet me, or someone who is uncomfortable with poly. This was his first real datey-thing after the relationship opened up and it got emotional really quickly, and I wasn’t comfortable with that either. I, for some reason, had this delusion that it would be just like seeing people for casual sex stuff and gradual feelings would grow. But, no, when you date someone you like with the knowledge that you like them and want to spend time with them, then you are going to have feelings like, “I want to spend time with this person that I like who is new and exciting and about whom I have all of these fun new chemically-induced crushy feelings.” You’re not going to just hold them at arms length until your spouse grants you permission to start caring about someone else. But that made me uncomfortable, and insecure, and feel awful, and it all made my chest hurt.

So why am I insecure? What’s the deep, dark, personal bullshit that seems like it’s ripping my marriage apart? Well, a lot of it comes down to the fact that I am chronically ill, and that means that I don’t feel that I look my best all the time. I feel bad about my appearance, which leads to poor self image, which leads to depression. The medication I’m on fucks the way I sexually function, which is a huge part of my identity, so I feel insecure and unfeminine, and, worse… distracted during sexy times. I can’t contribute to the household the way that I would like to because of my condition, so I feel like an inadequate partner, and some things happened over this time period that I feel painted me as an inadequate partner. Take all of that and roll it up under the label “Insecurity” and you have your answer.

Another issue is that I am on medications that magnify my emotional states exponentially. I cry at everything where I used to only cry at maybe…. 75%? I don’t know. I’m not an accurate judge here. But when I get upset, I can’t just talk about how I feel like a rational human being. I blubber like a baby and get all funky.

We set some rules and I asked for some things and I didn’t feel like the rules were followed well or that I got the things I needed and I reacted badly.

Basically it’s been a communication cluster fuck since the turn of the new year up in this piece, and I’m the keystone of said cluster fuck. Yay me!

We haven’t established any clearly defined rules about the big stuff. We have rules about showering and brushing teeth, about not scheduling dates same day, and… clearly defining friends versus people we are dating and not messing around with friends aka, “no surprises”. But that’s kind of it. We haven’t done a good job and since the relationship opened up in October I feel like I’ve been floundering, lost, and miserable. I miss the good old days of going on dates with couples with my husband, and maybe it works out and we see someone for a while and there is sex and we are friends… or more.  I miss that.

We went to our first Poly munch. We’ve been to BDSM munches and events and have not been impressed, but the Poly munch was very organized and populated by intelligent and reasonably attractive people. My takeaways from the conversations at the munch were:

  • I need to take ownership of my feelings. It is not enough to say, “I feel this way because you…” I have to say, “I feel this way because I…”
  • Writing things down is a valid way to gather thoughts and to communicate and could help me avoid being emotional when I need to convey important information about stressful or upsetting topics
  • We need to establish rules, boundaries, guidelines, SOMETHING before we get involved with other people so that we are fair to those people and to ourselves. I think that we should write these things down, and include a date in the document on which we will next review them an a clause that they may be reviewed whenever it comes up/as necessary.

After six weeks of turmoil and talks and arguments and crying and feeling crappy and being angry or sad or worried, and genuinely trying to help the Mister keep his relationship with his gal going, I had to ask to take a break. We didn’t spend it as fruitfully as we could but it gave me some breathing room to go, “Okay, he cares about this person and you want him to be happy and the things that make you unhappy are feeling insecure in your relationship and feeling threatened by her insecurities. Can you deal with this and move on?”

The answer was no, and more crying and fussing happened and I don’t even recall what THAT was about. But, regardless, I am trying really hard to do the things I need to do to be a good partner. I’m just not very good at those things so it’s a struggle. Saying I’m not good at them is not an admission of defeat, but merely an admission of fault. There are things I will never be good at, and there are things I can learn to be better at. And maybe I don’t know the difference between those two things yet.

But I’m willing to learn, and I think that is the important part. I want to have a happy, polyamourous relationship. Right now it feels like it’s choking me and it’s really yucky and I don’t like it and I just want to be in bed in my new fuzzy robe.

The sad icing on this ever so pleasant cake was spread today. Apparently, over text I think, the gal that has been at the center this controversy ended things with my husband. Dating a married man was not for her. Polyamoury was not for her. These have been the ever-present albatrosses. My husband says he’s okay. He indicated that she’s been kind of flighty with him recently and it’s been annoying. He was supposed to see her tonight, but I guess she cancelled as part of the relationship-ending.

I’m very sad. I’m sad that someone told my husband that they couldn’t see him anymore because he’s married. I’m sad that someone chose the easy road rather than the awesomeness that is my husband, because he’s really wonderful. I’m sad that this person, who has manipulated and lied and jerked my husband around has been the catalyst for so much unhappiness in my home and now when I’m just finding a more peaceful place with her, she peaces out. I’m sad that my husband and I have been through this experience and that it has made me so unhappy with poly-dating stuff in general. I’m sad that I can’t give my husband a hug because he’s at work. Like I said, I think he’s okay, but a hug never hurt anyone and I feel really bad. I never wanted him to have to lose something he liked.

The grand plan in my head is that there will be all of these people who either live with us or that we date or what have you and we all know each other and we’re just family. Regardless of how the inner-workings of the romantic structures go. I just want to connect with someone, and have that someone be someone who can be friends or more with my husband as well. My family is an important part of who I am and I have been happiest in situations where the people that I love outside of my primary relationship felt like part of the family.

I don’t know that I’m actually going to post this, but I needed to write some shit down. I just want my family to be happy, myself included. I can’t see that happening without polyamoury, obviously. It’s how I love. I don’t know if dating openly works for me. I know my husband likes it. We’ve been trapped in it a bit because he was seeing this person, but now he isn’t and there is suddenly this out. But do I want out? I don’t know. The easy path is yes. The difficult path is to pause, and reflect, and make some guidelines, and try to approach this thing like intelligent human beings instead of like monkeys like we did in October. Silly, silly monkeys. We can’t make rules up as we go. I have to have rules before, and if we relax the rules as we go that’s cool, but I need rules. I like structure and knowing things. We had rules when we started fucking people way back when, and those rules got relaxed over the years. I feel like this should work the same way, or will work the same way. I also feel like this is it’s own separate thing, unlike dating people together, although we need rules for everything. I don’t know, I think we can do it. I want to think we can do anything so long as we’re doing it together.

I said, “doing it.”

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