How did I get here & Where am I going?

Morningglory629

New member
We're not big on co-dependency, but regardless, I can't imagine my life without her.

This is the most beautifully put description of polyamory- poly at its best. A trusting love without worry, jealousy or forced obligation- free to be and love as needed.
I hope your day is better. You both deserve it. Thank you as always in showing the ongoing evolution of your polyworld- warts and all! Lovely.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
First, a public service announcement...

My wife is denying that I’m in the puppy house for talking about her in the last few posts...but I know better. She doesn’t like me talking about her...or ...at all....sometimes. Probably because I know her way too well.

That and because in the last couple posts were written very intentionally to try and convey a certain amount of frustration, disappointment, or annoyance that I felt at the time. It was also left ambiguous as to where those feelings were directed...my wife, or the situation, myself, the fates, phase of the moon, the prospective paramores? They all had their turn at one time or another. And it often didn’t matter if they deserved it or not.
It was intentional because that was my experience, so if it evoked similar emotions to those who have read it...and the confusion and randomness of where those emotions were directed, then my design was successful in giving you a glimpse of my experience. I think my wife had similar reactions to my frustrations at that time too...and if they’re coming up again, it probably worked. ;) And if it seemed like a repeat from your own experience...then you will know I’ve been to a similar place.
it's consolatory that I was not the only one grappling with some of these rather specific problems. Mind you I think we just fulfilled the the purpose of this board by saying that.
My wife being slightly paranoid... :p naturally read most of the frustrations and annoyance as stuff that was directed at her. Which it wasn’t then...most of the time...and isn’t now....usually. ;)
Yes, at this point I’m half serious, and half jesting at her expense quite purposefully because it makes for better make up sex later when we finally see each other again. ;) A little teasing has it’s rewards....even if it’s one of those things I do that drives her nuts.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who in the haze of half formed thoughts and intense emotions has found themselves laying the blame on others who may not deserve it. For taking my frustrations out on someone else who is involved, or in proximity, but not the cause. For taking the anger from a nebulous situation or circumstance, and transferring it to something a little more tangible, like a person...a loved one. Or even just reacting at the fact that no matter how well thought out own logic seems to be, it’s just not meshing up with theirs, in ways that may take a while to reconcile, if at all. They’re still another person, who will think and do as they damn well please...the only person we can really control is ourselves, ...and sometimes there’s a piss poor job done of that too...and all the more infuriating since there’s no one else we can pass the buck to either. Any of this sound familiar?
In trying to relate the emotional state at the time, I can only hope the ends justify the means. And I do want to apologize to my dear if it sounds inflammatory or that she would be in any way to blame. It’s simply not the case. We were partners working through our shit as best we could. What more could I ever ask of her, or myself? No one is perfect...not my wife, and certainly not I....just like not everyone is totally awesome...least of all me. But she is.

Some people on this forum have met my wife...some will meet her sooner or later. And some will only know her through the words I put down here. But I want to be clear who I’m talking about...the woman I married...whom I love dearly second to none...my wife...as I know and understand her.
You won’t know her like this...not as I do. IRL or online. And no matter how I skilled I could pretend to be at writing (and unfortunately for everyone in this case....I was a science major), I’ll never be able to give you more than the briefest glimpse into my love and adoration for this woman since it’s something that can only be experienced, not explained. I think it’s only really possible for my metamore(s) to come close...given enough time...and I certainly hope they have that chance.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled ramblings.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Preamble...like I haven't done that enough.

This is going to be woefully inadequate. No matter what, I only have 10000 characters. It’s a nigh impossible task to sum up anyone really in that amount...never mind someone as awesome as my wife. As it is I'll have to split the beginning and endy parts out of the main body for length.

Ok...maybe I could in two words....She Rawks! Of course that’s not going to tell you much, is it?!
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Let me tell you about my wife...

My wife is simply gorgeous. She frets sometimes about not wearing makeup and such very often, but she doesn’t need it. She’s just the right about of short for me, she’s fit, toned, with long legs, a nice ass, and a generous rack...I was more about the legs and ass before I met her, and now I'm about all three. She’s got yummy lips, lovely smooth skin, and gorgeous blue eyes that turn green on ...um...certain occasions. ;) Gotta love’em.


She wears a lot of hats. She’s an awesome mother, a dedicated career woman, and an athlete. Seriously about the hats though, she looks cute in baseball caps when she’s trying to hide her hair some mornings, and she has a collection of Sunday Best kind of hats that occasionally come out for special occasions. Being born to English parents, she’s one of the few people I’ve met where it actually suits her...must be a British thing.

She’s thoughtful, caring, and often self-less to a fault. She puts in so much effort into other people that she sometimes forgets to take care of herself. This occasionally gets us in trouble since I’m usually the one to try and keep her from overdoing it, or pick up the pieces when she does it anyways...but that’s hard to do when I’m not around.


She’s educated, not afraid of doing her own research, and extraordinarily intelligent. She fails to see it much...such is her modesty I guess....but that’s also I think from the fact that she’s from a grossly over-educated family where she’s the only one without a masters or PhD. Not that she couldn’t...just that she hasn’t...which is the difference I would draw. Our professional lives are quite separate, in that neither of us ever has much opportunity to see the other in action. I don’t think either of us has a great idea of what the other actually does with our day. I know she’s only seen the surface of mine, and what I tell her about is usually the few good or fun times I’m having, so she tends to think that I’m out gallivanting around the world being jolly, when the reality is far from it....but as I said, she spends too much time trying to take care of others, so I try not to go on to much about the hard times at work.

Similarly I have no idea what she does at work. When I get home from work I can see how much she’s been online during the day...and she tells me what the latest issues are at work, and what’s bothering her this week, etc. Usually dinner conversation stuff I suppose. But I really have no idea.

But there was something I noticed the last couple times I visited her office. I remember visiting it when she first took over the job, and the uncertainty she had about whether she’d be able to fill a new and unfamiliar roll from what she had done earlier at the hospitals. Some years later, things have changed considerably. She’s been doing the job, and she’s good at it...her last boss had nothing but glowing compliments about her. While she only fills in a supervisory role occasionally, and is generally not comfortable with it because it sometimes requires holding people responsible for their jobs. My job deals a lot with looking at how to lead people better, and she’s an excellent example that I’d love to learn more from. She’s organized, motivated, self-starting, not a fan of BS, and not afraid to get on the phone and arrange stuff that needs to be done. (I’m not a big fan of the phone) She doesn’t have an answer, she’ll go out and find it. She’s in charge. And I love her for it.


She’s very independent...or at least can be. I’ve known Cling-ons in the past, and saw what their bf’s had to put up with. I knew that kind of relationship would never work for me. As I think I’ve mentioned elsewhere, neither of us were big on the idea of co-dependency, and we have a hard time trying to ignore it in others. It’s been a definite bonus in recent years when I have to leave her to fend for herself and the kids for months at a time, but it was always good to know that she could take care of herself...and occasionally me when needed. I know from experience that even if I’m lying on the floor crippled by pain to the point of being unable to talk, that my wife is the sort who can calmly put me in clothes, help me to the car and get me to the hospital. I love her for that too.


Now she’s human, and not entirely perfect...like all of us, she has her flaws (here I go, back to the puppy house). She’s sometimes overly competitive, can be slightly passive aggressive, and occasionally about as hypocritical as I am. She’ll be one of the first to tell me to get help for something, but she’ll try to stay independent and work through things solo far longer than she needs to before she seeks assistance. She’s usually way too critical of herself. She’s got some daddy issues (who doesn’t) and ex-bf baggage (ditto), and a very special brand of logic that sometimes I think I’m not ever intended to understand (chalk it up to a woman thing :p ) And she doesn’t have a very good filter...which tends to fall off entirely with a little bit of booze. Ok, maybe that’s not so much a flaw in my world...I like her that way sometimes, open and brutally honest....although it can be awkward at parties...especially work parties. She doesn’t listen to me...even when she should...but that’s ok, since I don’t listen to her either....even when I should. She does numerous little things that drive me nuts...but that’s ok too...I drive her nuts too. What can I say...we’re married. ;)


Is that it? Not hardly...but really none of it matters. It’s part of the package, and her flaws pale in a truly unimpressive fashion when considered alongside her attributes....and I’m not just talking about huge, ...um, ...tracks of land...either. Yeah, she’s a bit of a liberal, married to a conservative ...but she stands her ground, as she should.

She’s hot, sexy, a vixen, very well matched for me, and still makes my toes curl. Almost 2 decades together and all I can ever figure is practice makes for great sex. ;) There’s been some developments lately that will need exploring, but I can’t imagine how that will be anything but fun. :D She also makes really good babies...and is an awesome mother to the children...they love her to death...possibly literally if they keep climbing and jumping on her in ten years like they do now.

She has her own hobbies now, but has taken the time to join me in some of mine. She’s awesome, a very unconventional gamer. She didn’t get into it until university...so she’s not a slave to convention. She doesn’t just sit around for the monsters to get her...and she doesn’t automatically jump up to defend the rest of the party...no, she jumps out the 2nd floor window and runs away! It’s awesome. She’s a vicious backstabbing Munchkin player too!...and wins those games far more often than I’d like. :p


Such is my wife...I’ve known her almost half my life, and over half of hers, yet she still does the unexpected. Sometimes to my chagrin....usually to my happy surprise....or at least surprise. Possibly this if off-putting to me since we’ve been deeply attuned to each other for years. It’s not the light superficial cutsie version that basking NRE kids have, of just finishing each others sentences. No, we vocalize each other’s thoughts, entirely...before the other has evened opened their mouth. We often can tell what the other is thinking with just a look...we know all each others ideas. Ok, not entirely all ideas...hence the occasional surprises. And we fight good...always have. Both of us can drive each other to the brink, but no matter how hurt or tearful the conversation, we always know it’s out of love for one another. We have our words, our processing, and eventually we work things out in the end. There’s never been any violence..which is good because she can kick my ass (or ribs in one particular case), but there is makeup sex... ;) Who wouldn’t love that??


I’ve mentioned elsewhere how I suddenly found my wife talking in a very poly manner at a gathering a couple months ago, where I said:
My wife and I were at a dinner party the other night with some other poly peeps in the area.
It was a reflection on how things change, and how far we’ve come in the journey so far. In the last couple months I haven’t been able to see my metamore much, and my wife hasn’t had much time with her either. It’s possible they may be coming up on some challenges they may have to work out in their own relationship. And now that I should have some time at home and my gf is in town, we’ll have to figure out how to arrange all the schedules to try and get some precious time with our respective lovers. And if it wasn’t busy enough, there’s another girl, Vee, in a nearby town that I’ve been trying to get to know better for a while.

My wife has been awesome through all of this. She was supportive from the beginning with Vee, apparently picking up on the connection with her before I did. And while she has had struggles at various points with my gf, she’s finding her way there as well...certainly no slouch in trying to make things work out for the better.

But mostly lately, I’ve been noticing how my wife interacts with her own gf. Even going so far as to call me up to chew me out for doing something which upset my metamore. At the same time she tried to be apologetic... sooo Canadian. ...but as far as I was concerned it was a good thing. I’ve seen how pissed off she’s gotten at people who’ve done things to upset me...to see her leap to the defence of another, and against me was actually gratifying. It reinforced to me how deeply she cares for her gf, and how much she loves her. It’s beyond cute text messages and symptomatic NRE, and seems to be building into something far more substantial for my wife. She’s a force to be reckoned with...and it warms my heart immensely to see it.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Epilogue

No matter what I might say anywhere on the board, or anywhere else, no matter how much I may be frustrated by something during a given moment, or at a situation, there is never any doubt about one thing. I love my wife, forever, always, fully, completely, and think the world of her.

She deserves all the love she gets and more, from me, the family, and her gf...friends, and metamores.

She still Rawks.
 

redpepper

New member
No matter what I might say anywhere on the board, or anywhere else, no matter how much I may be frustrated by something during a given moment, or at a situation, there is never any doubt about one thing. I love my wife, forever, always, fully, completely, and think the world of her.

She deserves all the love she gets and more, from me, the family, and her gf...friends, and metamores.

She still Rawks.

Agreed! :D
 

PollyPocket

New member
No matter what I might say anywhere on the board, or anywhere else, no matter how much I may be frustrated by something during a given moment, or at a situation, there is never any doubt about one thing. I love my wife, forever, always, fully, completely, and think the world of her.

She deserves all the love she gets and more, from me, the family, and her gf...friends, and metamores.

She still Rawks.

I-squared....these are great words. She is lucky to have you! YOU BOTH deserve it all....and more.

And who knew that scientists could be such eloquent and articulate writers! :)

Besides me.... ;)

P2
 

Ohiogrl

New member
This has been the most incredible read! You have such passion in your writing and clearly such passion for your wife. It's all very inspiring. Thank you for sharing all this with us!
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
It reinforced to me how deeply she cares for her gf, and how much she loves her. It’s beyond cute text messages and symptomatic NRE, and seems to be building into something far more substantial for my wife. She’s a force to be reckoned with...and it warms my heart immensely to see it.

Nicely said my friend :D
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Finding information, people, and resources…Pt 1

When we last left our heroes, (ok..stop laughing, I know that’s way beyond exaggeration) there was a lot of processing, and not a lot of action, which was fine for a while. This episode won’t be much different as I figured I’d take a moment to touch on the other things that I was doing to get better acquainted with the poly world. People I met, books I bought (though not always read), and places I’d go to find answers, or get a heads up on the questions that I’d have to answer. There’s no real chronology to these, as many of the events overlapped or coincided with others, or happened in previous or later chapters of the journey.


Books

Yeah, I picked up the Ethical Slut, and actually read it. I bought Opening Up at the same time…didn’t read that one yet. It’s one of the possibly hundreds of books I’ve bought with every intention of reading…but the problem with me and books is the same as so many other things I’d like to do but can’t…no time.


I’m not sure there was anything that was a groundbreaking revelation in these books…but that’s also probably because I was already heavy into research mode before I even got to the pulp resources, so many of the points I would have already found online or in discussion. The advantage that pulp has over online though, is that books are generally more focused toward a particular topic, and take considerable time to explain their arguments in some detail, and also (again generally) have some research or viable proof backing them up in the editorial/publishing process…at least if it’s going to be taken in any way seriously in the non-fiction sections. This is of course relative mainly to the online world where any idiot can publish whatever crap they want and call it a blog. (Like this one for example. ;) )

I did find it very useful though to gain some common terminology and analogies both for discussing ideas with other poly’s, and also to be able to explain it to those outside the poly realm.

I think it reinforced that what would otherwise be deemed as deviant sexual behaviours could in fact be very much normalized…just that it would require an adjustment in thinking by the people around us…if not the larger society, then perhaps at least the people we choose to keep around us as company. It may also be partially attributable to my having hung around a very libertarian crowd at certain times of my life, where the ideas of moral absolutes based on ideological dogma and societal tradition had already fallen by the wayside. Maybe Ethical Slut just put the permission in black and white print, that it was ok. It was ok to leave those by the wayside; it was ok to find one’s own way. It was ok, to want something we’d been programmed not to.

Most importantly I think, it moved the ethical question away from realm of the act or desires themselves, and instead placed it in the context of our relationships with others. It’s a powerful distinction that I think too few people in the main stream actually realize. This little bit will take some more reflection…and I’ll have to come back to this in a later post.


For something completely different, I’d suggest This is your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. It has absolutely nothing in it about poly, but a lot about how the brain works…and I actually found that lent me a much better understanding about how people work. Drawing on parallels between how we think about music, I have found that it helped me understand both myself and others. It tends to really strike a chord with me anytime discussions like labels comes up. :p


Online Reading

Most of the material I found online for research would be familiar to most others who’ve been around here a while. Poly Manner, the Misanthrope, Xeromag, I think were all on the early hitlist. Of course they’re all forms of personal commentary, so I don’t treat any of them as gospel, but run them through my own bs filters (mandatory for anything I find online), give them a dose of common sense. I strip out what makes sense, what might be worth trying out, or looking out for, and what can be discarded as nonsense, or at least not applicable to my situation.

I do this for a lot of things...and particularly when sorting though so many different sources, to sort out something as variable as human relations. It’s not entirely dislike putting together house rules for gaming, There’s a lot of good stuff out there, and a lot of crap that won’t work in the game being played, or the group that’s being played with. It requires careful customization, and sometimes experimentation to find what works and what doesn’t.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Finding information, people, and resources…Pt 2

Virtual People

I am often quite comfortable with discussing things online. It allows for a wider variety of input and viewpoints than is sometimes available in a local group which can sometimes give in too easily to syndromes like groupthink. Online communities are not exempt from it either, but healthy ones usually get a fresh influx from time to time which makes them a little less susceptible to it.

At any rate, this forum has long been my primary source to discuss related issues with poly folk far and wide. It’s not the only forum I’ve joined, and I don’t always say much…in fact I think I rarely said much at all most of the time….other than to join in discussions and debates that weren’t directly related to my own situation at any given point. While I mentioned experimentation above, it’s not always practical, or wise to use one’s own relationships as guinea pigs. The forum allowed me to ask questions (or read the answers to questions I hadn’t even thought of yet), and test scenarios before they arose. I’ve learned a lot from many of the stories, trials and tribulations of those around here…even the ones I’ve disagreed with.

My wife was the one who found the forum in the first place. One of the things I always wanted to ensure was that she had a place where she felt safe to voice her opinions and be heard. Fortunately we have a good understanding between each other that we can post here whatever we think, or feel, and it might be subject to discussion later privately if it’s an issue that needs to be worked out. But there’s no attempt by either of us to prevent the other from posting. Sometimes what she needs to share here is uncomfortable for me to hear, or possibly erroneous from my point of view…but that doesn’t stop her from having the right to express her feelings and it doesn’t make her opinions wrong, just because I may not agree with them. It’s been a valuable tool for us, since sometimes it will draw attention to something that I’ve neglected to do, or a latent issue that’s been allowed to fester too long. It’s no different than if she were to tell me these things in a personal conversation or argument. Sometimes it’s even advantageous in forcing her to think and process about things in order to post, which actually facilitates the joint process. Fun or not, she needs an outlet, and this one has been a good place for her I think. And if it’s something I don’t like (or she doesn’t like), then it simply becomes a topic for discussion whenever we next get a chance to talk in person. Sometimes when she gets a lot of backup from other posters supporting a certain position in a general discussion thread, it becomes a good lesson for me that perhaps I need to reconsider my stance, or occasionally the supporting arguments of others will sometimes make a point that either she or I might have missed or been unable to express or explain.

None of this of course would be possible without the people who make the forum active. None of it could happen without the participation of everyone here. So here’s a heartfelt thank-you for everyone that makes this community what it is, for our sake, and hopefully yours too.


Real People

I’ve probably been rather lucky…in that the city in which we started this journey has an active poly community…and is surrounded by other cities with their own active poly communities. Online communities are always there, 24/7…but irl communities are…well, real. After all, the connection with real people in real life is one of the main reasons I’m very attracted to poly.

Let’s see, there’s social groups, 101 groups, dating groups, women’s groups...and lately a gentleman’s club. I try to get around to whatever events I can, although with my frequent absences it kind of precludes me from being there as often as I’d like. It’s gotta be pretty bad when one of the facilitators I’d met last year thought that she was meeting me for the first time again this fall when I finally reappeared after 6 months. Maybe I should try to stay home more.

On the other hand, I’ve turned my travel time into an opportunity to meet poly folk whenever I can wherever I go. I’ve been able to drop in on poly events across Canada and the US. It find it’s very cool to not only meet new people (which is usually fun by itself) but I also find it really interesting to see how other groups function. How they talk about poly, general or dominant viewpoints, and terminology, and how they conduct themselves around and with each other. The exploration of poly (and to some extent my work) has made me far more aware about the nature of relationships and interpersonal dynamics. There are very definite traits about the poly culture of the local groups that I’m involved with. So it’s been extremely interesting seeing the dynamics develop, and also how they differ from other groups which I’ve had the privilege to meet.

Pseudo-anthropological nonsense aside though, irl groups have some very real and distinct bonuses. There’s some quick and easy answers...local dating pool, discussion groups, and a rumour mill, which can be a bit of a double edged sword at times….maybe not so much of a bonus….but a necessary evil.

There are however a lot of good people, poly and not, in any group I’ve met though. Good for support, sounding boards, hosting parties, attending parties, getting loaded at parties…doing other things at parties…ok, enough about parties. They can discuss issues, raise issues, cause issues...can be an issue (can’t we all) put faces on issues, and help solve issues. While there’s always the potential for some to become lovers, all can be potential friends, and as generalizations about groups of individuals go, I find poly folk are relatively easy people to be friends with. After all, It makes the parties a lot more fun if the people who are invited are actually liked.

I think I mentioned that I learn a lot from watching people, or maybe I’ve just been writing and editing this post so long I only thought I was. These groups make it possible to see a wide variety of relationships in action, and a variety of stages, up close and personal. Every one of them no matter its duration or result, contains a lesson.

If there’s a group in your area, find it. And if there isn’t, I’d encourage you to make one. I don’t make it a secret that I have a lot of respect for those who take it upon themselves to build, support, and guide these communities. It takes a special kind of person to take that on, and it can have its challenges and risks, particularly in areas where being open is perhaps trickier than it is on the west coast of BC.

But leadership also comes in many forms. It’s not just the person who organizes the event, or opens their house, or a public floor space somewhere for discussion with relative strangers. People who have stories to share, or serve as examples (sometimes if they intend it, or even know it, or not), or make new people feel welcome when they show up…even the one’s who aren’t afraid to ask silly questions first are good to get conversations going. Far too many people have a tendency I think to underestimate their role or contribution. As I said, any relationship can be a lesson, any person a leader, and any situation an opportunity to learn and grow. It’s only left to us to decide if we’ll seize it or not, and how we’ll use it.


Ok, that’s enough for this post. Nothing more to see here. Move along….move along.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Back to the Show ... Needs vs. Wants

Enough of this boring ass shit...the last post…as mundane as I suppose it is, took about 4 months to reedit and post...I guess I haven’t had as much time to write while I’ve been home, which is probably a good thing all around. :p My wife is still laughing about how much time I’m putting into these posts...but since she was the one who started me on this, she’ll just have to deal with the fact that she married a guy who’ll make her laugh. Pbtbtbtbtbtbtb :p


I’ve almost lost track of where the chronology was, but I think the next relevant episode would probably be where things started turning around for me...for us.

And I don’t think it’s where I expected it. I see similar expectations around here all the time…and had many of them myself at one point or another. Turning points I could have expected at some point or another:
When my wife gets a gf, she’d finally ‘let me off the leash’ to get a gf too! Tada!
When my wife get’s a bf then she’ll let me off the leash to dip in whatever honey pot I like! Tada!
If I could find someone that didn’t threaten my wife in any way shape or form. Tada!
If I could find someone far far away with not chance that they’d follow me home. Tada!
If I could find a unicorn after all that liked both of us so that she’d have a vested interest too. TADA!

There was no ‘Tada!’ No magical game changing redefining moment. There was just two women who helped me and my wife transition from the theoretical to more practical.

The first, was a girl I never actually dated...and now looks like I never will. I’ll dub her W here, and I met her at a show I was attending with my wife and some of her friends. I got talking to W mostly by accident, but she was friendly, talkative, and perhaps a little flirty. I took a liking to her, and my wife not only noticed, but encouraged me to keep it up, buy W a drink, etc. It’s good having a woman as a winger...they know what all the little codes mean, and I’m as oblivious about female subtleties as a camel would be about sand in it’s toes.
I got W’s number before I left, and went out with her (and my wife and another friend) in her town a couple months later...on something that really wouldn’t be considered a date. But we kept in touch.


So how did all this help anything? I never slept with her, and before I left town for 6 months I hadn’t even kissed her. Near as I could tell she wasn’t poly, but she at least wasn’t repulsed or seemingly put-off by the idea…which was good since my wife was more concerned about scaring her out of our lives completely.


But she was the first one I recall that my wife was not only willing, but quite ready and able to accept as a metamour. The reasons for it are somewhat complex, and a little fuzzy for me since they’re her reasons, not mine, but there was a couple key things. We met in person instead of online (my wife finds the online world a little impersonal for her tastes in this kind of thing, and prefers that people that start in the computer should stay in the damn thing!) And the other part I think was that she saw a connection between us that first night at the show. It probably didn’t hurt that the other ‘activity date’ was a good chance for them to interact a little and establish a kind of friendship that wasn’t about W possibly dating me, since it wasn’t really on the table at that moment.
Whatever the reasons, it was the first time in a long while during the journey through opening, swinging, and poly that there seemed like a real possibility that there could be women out there that I would be able (and inclined to) date, and that my wife would get along with them, and genuinely value them as a potential friend. When I say this it’s not about my wife...it’s a comment to compatibility, which can be almost completely out of any individual’s control. W was a glimmer of light that there was an end to the tunnel, and a reassurance that it wasn’t attached to a train whistle.

Spoiler alert, I’m going to skip a year and a half to the present:

I thought there might have been some interest...up to a couple months ago. Alas, she’s on a different path, and as much as I like her, I know what my limitations are. I know I can’t meet her needs in a relationship. It seems she have a new bf as of late, and I’m genuinely happy for that. It takes the pressure off me and what I can’t provide, and I hope that the new bf can. And hopefully she’s still cool with being friends, because she is a remarkable woman that I’d rather have in my life than outside it.



I thought that the lesson learned from this is that not all relationships are meant to be, and one needs to know when to let go, and let things unfold as they need to...without coercion being forced into a particular pre-conceived mold. I really sucked at that early on...hopefully that means I’m learning.



I think now the real moral to this story is that there’s value in learning the difference between wants, and needs. I’ve always been better at that part, but I see a lot of confusion in others. While I maybe could make a case for ‘needing’ other relationships besides my marriage, and W seemed like a good possibility, I ‘wanted’ it to be her, but I didn’t ‘need’ it to be her specifically. I’ll amplify this since I don’t want it to make it sound like anyone is disposable or some kind of chattel to be traded about.

If I enter into a relationship, part of what I need is to be needed. And I have an internal need for my relationships to be a positive aspect in both my life and the other person’s life as well. It doesn’t matter if it’s a lover, family, or a friend...it will not satisfy my needs if it’s negative, or if I’m an easily disposable part of the scenery.

So it’s a double edged sword, in that because W was looking for something in a relationship where I simply could not meet her needs, then she could not meet my needs either. With some people, there may be room for something less serious, possibly termed casual, or at least with a known transient nature,...which would have also been ok with me if that kind of relationship might satisfy some of her needs while she was looking for the longer term solution. Again, it would be contingent it being a positive thing for her. From all indications I had, it wouldn’t.

So because I can’t satisfy her long term needs, and a short term fill-in type thing wouldn’t be positive, I don’t ‘need’ her. That is to say that I don’t need to push myself into her life where I don’t fit. I don’t need to force a relationship that shouldn’t exist to satisfy some overdriven libido or ego of my own. I don’t need to drag her down the poly path kicking and screaming into a relationship that would be doomed from the start just to have her realize the same truth I did months ago, but after lots of tears, heartache, and drama. I don’t need to make her bitter about poly people, resentful of non-monogamy, or to remember me or our time in a negative light, and I don’t need it doubly so if it was due to my own hubris.

I may ‘want’ all I want, but I don’t ‘need’ the shit that comes with confusing needs and wants.


Tune in next time when you’ll hear ImaginaryIllusion say, “Chain me Gently with a FuckSaw!”
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
The role of Fates

I’ve lost count of how many posts I’ve put in, but right now the Word Doc I keep all these things in is pushing 50 pages, and 80,000 characters...and only 17000 words.

So either I’m talking too much, or not getting to the point fast enough, or maybe I’m a little slow. After all, I’ve been at this for about 8 months now, and I have managed to cover about 5 years of history…which means in another 6 weeks and 14000 characters I’ll be caught up.

Of course at 4.2 characters per word, I guess I’ll be keeping using small words. “You’ll like this LUKE...It’s S I M P L E!!!”. Or was that for my sake?


I digress, as usual. We’re gathered here at this blog , separated by space, on our own time, and reading at our own pace to learn about K, my first gf in the poly context. Hmm, should’a put a spoiler alert on that since now you know how this story will end...or how the post will end anyways... the story will only middle. :p


Last year I went across the country for 6 months for work. A long way from home, and had to leave the family behind. I got to see a lot of Canada and the US on the way to an from, and got to meet a few poly’s here and there and everywhere...even dropping in on the Poly Pride Picnic for a little while in Central Park. I may be repeating this part of the story, but I don’t care. It was fun, and I’d go again in a heartbeat...but I’d take the family with me.

Anyways, unlike previous trips where I wasn’t anywhere long enough to figure out the road signs, much less the dating scene, 6 months in one place should’ve allowed me plenty of time to meet someone and be able to carry on at least a semi-serious albeit temporary relationship with a willing poly or at least non-monogamous minded partner...yeah, sure. Well, what ‘should happen’ in my mind, and what actually happens aren’t ever exactly similar. (See previous post about dating sites)

And actually it wasn’t just the dating sites, it was also whatever universal karma I seem to have stepped in along the way, and was stuck to my shoe making that annoying squeak sound on every 2nd footfall. (Not to be confused with anyone with any similarly alias on this or any other forum)

Near as I can tell, one fate makes online dating for men impossible (not fair to blame it on a fate I know, since it’s really the fault of a lot of lying douchebag men, married or not) ...as mentioned previously. So not many responses.

The second is in cahoots with cupid, and her job is to frustrate the process of blocking prospects by hooking them up with others. So anytime someone did answer, and maybe seemed interested and interesting, they’d suddenly become unavailable due to a sudden case of monogamous boyfriend. This was so common, I could practically set a calendar to it, and I started putting it in my OKC profile since lonely women looking for serious bf’s seemed to have pretty good luck just by going for a beer or two with me.

The third fate had been dogging me since the last time I was across the country when we were talking swinging, and had the no naked fun rule. Her job is to destroy morale by making the person and possibilities you’d been looking for the entire trip appear just as desired, but only when it’s so close to the end of time remaining that it just becomes a tease! The last time, a 2 month trip, the lovely lady finally showed up a week before I left, with only one evening that was ever available to actually get to know her. DOH!

So fates’ 1, 2, and 3 where going about their business foiling my efforts at every turn, until it was so close to the end of my trip that I pretty much gave up on anything happening there. I did my moderating on the forum (which took some pretty serious conflict resolution at that time), practiced guitar (as much as such noise can be called practice) while listening to endless repeats of nauseating teen drama’s on Much Music, and mostly awaited the day that I could finally return home.

And then out of the blue, last St. Patrick’s day, I got one of those extra-rare messages on OKC. It wasn’t a reply, it was a first contact. What can I say...forward women work for me. ;) Chatting going well, and time being a luxury I could ill afford to waste, we arranged for a meeting that night...exceedingly fast by either of our standards, but what else is there to do on St. Patty’s day but go out? And that’s how I met your Aunt Robin!

No, I’m not going to jerk this thread around for 5 seasons, it was K. And we hit it off immediately. Neither of us could put our finger on it, but there was that spark, that connection. The beginnings of the feelings I’d been searching for during this long venture into poly. And here she was, a willing poly-minded, gheeky and gheek loving, attractive woman who looked at me and also saw the possibilities...and out of my 6 months, I had less than 30 days left in town...”WTF Fate #3, just Chain me Gently with a Fucksaw!!!”


Yeah, y’all (read: 3 of you) were just waiting to see if I’d actually say it, weren’tcha!
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
The tentative initial steps, and finding balance...

There’s been a lot written about the formation of my relationship with my gf already, and particularly, and more importantly perhaps the effects it had on my wife during the process. I’ll mostly leave it at that, since I think my wife had done an excellent job of speaking to her feelings through the process, and my gf’s viewpoint is up to her to keep or express at her own time and in her own place. I’m not sure my perspective would have a lot to offer, and I really don’t want to go back to the puppy house again by going against what was already said. It’s also been so long that I think all I can really offer is fragments really.


It took me a few minutes to catch on that things were going well at the first meeting. That the woman I was talking to was actually genuinely interested. Over the course of our initial conversations, in addition to the usual calculations about whether or not we liked each other, there was a lot of discussions about poly, what we thought we knew already, and once we decided that there was a mutual attraction, there came some discussions about what ideals or beliefs we each held surrounding poly and whether it would be compatible for us.

There was a lot of testing...by both of us. We are a seemingly odd couple, who should have some very different worldviews. I’m lean towards carnivorous, having grown up in a town whose identity is shaped by Oil and Beef. Yet OKCupid seems to enjoy matching me with vegetarians...and my gf was a one such example. Although seeing how things turned out, maybe OKC’s sense of humour isn’t so dumb after all. She’s a hippy. My profession would be the polar opposite in the minds of most people who grew up on movies about the ‘60s. Both of us did some probing to see if the other would recoil...but instead we ended up just finding out that the differences weren’t nearly as important as they might have seemed at first. Before writing each other off at the first sign of conflicting views, we gave each other the chance to look around it, or find something else in common that made the difference not matter. For example, Beef vs. Veg? So what...we both like Sushi!


Beyond the games of attraction however, there was the poly discussions. After all the frustrations of previous attempts, she was a refreshing change. Unlike my wife’s first gf, K knew about poly, it made sense to her, and both her AND her primary partner wanted to pursue it. She wasn’t just looking for a FWB fling like one of my other false starts...and more importantly, we were on the same page in terms of practical experience, and the learning curve (read: cliff) that we were both willing to jump off. K was willing to take the risks in the relationship, learn the practical with me and work with both her primary partner, and mine, to make things work.
Talking about these possibilities is where the freshly thrashed threads from the forum came into play, and where I was able to test and validate some of the assumptions and beliefs about poly that I had been holding and arguing. I had taken a lot of heat for some of my views earlier, like “My Poly is not your poly, and doesn’t need to be”, and specifically that married people opening their relationships didn’t have to be evil and burn their secondary’s, that hierarchies were possible, and not necessarily bad, and that it when terms were properly negotiated ahead of time, a secondary agreeing to such terms didn’t automatically make them a fool, or leave the relationship / poly experience doomed to tears and heartache.

The heat over the discussion on the forum over such things as hierarchies, and the expressions of hurt and angst that was expressed by some people did cause me a lot of concern. I like to think I’m a fairly nice guy, so I wouldn’t want to cause anyone pain intentionally, or when I could reasonably avoid it. And for a time, I had to really consider if my views were actually accurate. That anything was possible as long as all parties could be properly informed and aware of the ramifications ahead of time.


My wife and I, being a formerly married couple who were opening up to poly, and still tentatively trying to figure out how it would fit into our existing relationship, had some boundaries, and some ideas about how things should look. They’re probably familiar to many who have gone through a similar process, or dated couples, or have read more than 3 or 4 threads on this forum. How was it supposed to look?
We were married...so the marriage and nuclear family concerns needed to remain primary.
As much as non-hierarchical models were advocated, and have a certain appeal, we just didn’t feel it would fit with us, and the need mentioned above in order to maintain our individual feelings of security within the marriage.
The example that best expressed our (wife and I) expectations of each other was that given some kind of concurrent family emergencies with both the spouse, and the secondary...the spouse or family at home needed to come first. I know why my wife would worry about this with me in particular...I have a bad case of White Knight Syndrome (WKS), where I’ll run off to help damsels in distress without much if any hesitation. It’s something that an unscrupulous partner could very easy to take advantage of, and without such a specific boundary in place, would I have the foresight to see the picture clearly?

That made certain aspects of the conversation with this new girl very uncomfortable. But poly needs to be based on honesty, and my view was that these terms might be acceptable as long as the secondary wasn’t going to be surprised by shattered false expectations of being told she was equal, only to find out at crunch time that she wasn’t.

How hard is it for a White Knight to say to a Maiden, “You should know that if a Dragon attacks and I can only save you or her, it’ll be her!”? Yet that was the nature of the initial conversations with K about how poly with me would look like, and again I was braced for the recoil.

But it never happened. She not only agreed to the arrangement, but also that such an action would be appropriate, expected, and proper in her view. And already having her own knight on retainer anyways, she was neither worried about the dragon, and let me know that she would be hauling his ass out of the burning castle long before she’d be worried about my smoke inhalation! (I may be stealing some of this from someone else’s (*cough*TP) blog in a way, but it’s an elegant example and something that I think I needed to talk to as well)

I’ve always struggled with this concept...even knowing that it makes sense, it goes against the grain of the WKS. I don’t like the idea of having to make a choice like that, although it makes sense for it to not be a ‘choice’. But my greatest consternation about this actually comes from another idea that we’ve been blending into our world-view...and while not specific to this forum, it’s given us the language to discuss it with more clarity. The concept of chosen family and the support network available through poly tribes, and in a broader sense, communities.

This came to sharp relief a while back when a crisis arose in our poly tribe, and my wife seemed to be struggling with that choice between the home family, and the chosen family as she wanted to help her gf during a time of need. Fortunately the family at home wasn’t in crisis at the same time, and my wife is the sort of person who needs to help. It’s beyond WKS. She’s just a total Nightingale, where she needs to help if she can. So the decision ended up not being so much choosing between families, but convincing her that it was ok to drag people out of burning buildings when our house wasn’t on fire. The overall balance of the larger issue however continues to require pondering. Not because there’s anything wrong with the priorities and expectations that our marriage and respective secondary’s & paramours, but because I’m no longer sure what either my wife or I will expect of the other when it comes to a moment of truth. Particularly, I’m not sure I want my wife to hold back on my account, or feel she should, when the larger tribe needs her to act. I think if we’re going to pay more than lip service (<wink wink, nudge nudge, Say no more>) to the concept of chosen family, then we need to be flexible enough to transform that into action...not just a thought.


At any rate, K and I carried on developing a relationship...and we learned. There were mis-steps, and errors in judgement. As much as I tried to not get caught up in NRE such that I’d be a babbling idiot when talking to my wife, it manifested in other ways, like completely miscalculating how well my gf and wife would like each other when they had an opportunity to meet. Other mis-steps were such blunders that I now wonder if I made them on purpose just to see what would happen.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
Sum up!!!

I’ll spare the details, since I think it’s more the results that matter now. We survived the initial steps, and were able to carry on building our relationship with each other, and our larger tribe once I returned home. It wasn’t without difficulties, but I don’t think it was ever traumatic either. I think everyone was interested putting forth their best effort to make the respective paramour and metamour relationships work. I’m currently very much in love with my gf. I find her partner very accommodating and easy to get along with as a metamour. My wife continues to astound and amaze me She’s horrible for never giving proper credit to, or acknowledging herself for the effort she’s put into this process, and the hurdles and challenges she’s successfully overcome in this journey. And while we sometimes get back into doing our own things, I find we’re still very much attuned. And as we settle into a kind of routine I find we’re really getting to enjoy our home family more. Her gf is a whole other set of awesomeness, but I don’t worry too much about seeking out time to develop that metamour relationship since I know she’s pressed for time, so I’d much rather my wife have time with her love, rather than me.

On St-Paddy’s day, my gf and I went out to celebrate our 1 year anniversary of our first tentative meeting and frank discussions...the beginnings of our relationship. (I guess I’m a little late posting this...but only by 2 months….since this blog started with a 5 year lag, I think I’m catching up! )

That will more or less wrap up the story of how I met my gf, and started walking down this poly road. I’ll try to revisit things from time to time, since there are still things about communication, being the operator playing telephone, maintaining connection, coming out, etc. that I will still want to talk about from time to time.

But in the meantime, I’m quite content, and ready to switch some of my focus and energies away from searching in vain for elusive poly partners, and work a bit on the families, the home, the local poly community, and myself. As usual my wife knows more about me than I do sometimes, and she’s pointed out that there’s still missing something in my life. I need a new project. A new focus. I could go back to an old one like gaming...but my job has gotten me used to playing games for real. So onto new projects it shall be...which should entertain her to no end, since apparently she thinks I’m funny looking when I’m fixated on new subjects. (Why So Seeerios?!)

Or is it just that she thinks I look funny?
 

Morningglory629

New member
I’ve almost lost track of where the chronology was, but I think the next relevant episode would probably be where things started turning around for me...for us.

And I don’t think it’s where I expected it. I see similar expectations around here all the time…and had many of them myself at one point or another. Turning points I could have expected at some point or another:
When my wife gets a gf, she’d finally ‘let me off the leash’ to get a gf too! Tada!
When my wife get’s a bf then she’ll let me off the leash to dip in whatever honey pot I like! Tada!
If I could find someone that didn’t threaten my wife in any way shape or form. Tada!
If I could find someone far far away with not chance that they’d follow me home. Tada!
If I could find a unicorn after all that liked both of us so that she’d have a vested interest too. TADA!

There was no ‘Tada!’ No magical game changing redefining moment. There was just two women who helped me and my wife transition from the theoretical to more practical.

Why do we always look for game-changer excitement?! I do the same thing.:eek:
 

TruckerPete

New member
But it never happened. She not only agreed to the arrangement, but also that such an action would be appropriate, expected, and proper in her view. And already having her own knight on retainer anyways, she was neither worried about the dragon, and let me know that she would be hauling his ass out of the burning castle long before she’d be worried about my smoke inhalation! (I may be stealing some of this from someone else’s (*cough*TP) blog in a way, but it’s an elegant example and something that I think I needed to talk to as well)

Yes, I certainly noticed similarities to our burning building rule, too! Except, we never gave examples (such as concurrent emergencies) or qualified it. It was just BURNING BUILDING, CHOOSE INDIGO.

I think at this point, I would never have to make a choice about who to support. They care about each other enough that they'd be able to see who needed it more. I find the idea of two earth-shattering emergencies that absolutely require me to be, at this point, as unrealistic as the burning building because there are just three of us, not children/other partners/etc.
 

ImaginaryIllusion

Administrator
Staff member
I’ve almost lost track of where the chronology was, but I think the next relevant episode would probably be where things started turning around for me...for us.

And I don’t think it’s where I expected it. I see similar expectations around here all the time…and had many of them myself at one point or another. Turning points I could have expected at some point or another:
When my wife gets a gf, she’d finally ‘let me off the leash’ to get a gf too! Tada!
When my wife get’s a bf then she’ll let me off the leash to dip in whatever honey pot I like! Tada!
If I could find someone that didn’t threaten my wife in any way shape or form. Tada!
If I could find someone far far away with not chance that they’d follow me home. Tada!
If I could find a unicorn after all that liked both of us so that she’d have a vested interest too. TADA!

There was no ‘Tada!’ No magical game changing redefining moment. There was just two women who helped me and my wife transition from the theoretical to more practical.
Why do we always look for game-changer excitement?! I do the same thing.:eek:
I think it's just one of those things where everyone want's an 'Easy Button' to solve everything at once. Without work or effort on our part. These were the examples that came to mind of the poly related magic bullets. Same as winning the lottery would be to personal dept and finances, Warp speed is to space exploration, or fuel cells were supposed to be for rising gas prices for cars.
The problem of course that while a magic bullet would be nice, it's generally foolish to actually rely on the lottery to balance the cheque book. Eventually we have to stand up and actually do the work to overcome the challenges on our own steam.


Yes, I certainly noticed similarities to our burning building rule, too! Except, we never gave examples (such as concurrent emergencies) or qualified it. It was just BURNING BUILDING, CHOOSE INDIGO.

I think at this point, I would never have to make a choice about who to support. They care about each other enough that they'd be able to see who needed it more. I find the idea of two earth-shattering emergencies that absolutely require me to be, at this point, as unrealistic as the burning building because there are just three of us, not children/other partners/etc.

That's a good point TP, and I think highlights one of the possible advantages of poly tribes being similar to an extended family type arrangement. Given the general frequency of emergencies, it's unlikely that the timing would coincide on two individuals at once (although it can happen...for example my wife and I both had grandparents who passed away within a week of each other). But with the size of a conventional nuclear family, with only two adults responsible for the entire unit, it doesn't take much for a crisis to become overwhelming.

But that's when the extended family is usually called in...the support of the larger group can ease the burden, and how often is EVERYONE in crisis at once? (My paternal line is distributed across over a dozen aunts & uncles in about 5 other nuclear units)

So I guess I see some of the same potential in the poly world, where the poly tribe becomes a type of extended family, with a similar resilience and capacity to offer support that is more difficult to come by in a nuclear family.
 

Derbylicious

New member
You can buy an easy button at Staples...I've seen 'em. Although if they were effective I'm sure more people would have them.
 
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