Redpepper's journey


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I find these views interesting, never actually thought about it this way - then again I have trouble putting words to ideas sometimes. I'm in the process of trying to help my husband smash all "traditional" thoughts to relationships and sexuality as he's struggling with coming to terms with himself. I find that the more we throw out all traditional labels and just focus on what is working for either of us, the happier we are. It sounds selfish, to focus on what is really making me happy or unhappy, but how else am I going to clue my partner(s) in when there's a problem and vice versa.

When we treat our marriage like a business partnership instead of ownership of each other things work much better, even if it is co-dependent.
Co-dependency is a mind set and a lifestyle choice, just as autonomy is I have come to think.

If I feel as if; my life is my own, that I could set myself up just fine without whomever being in my life, make choices that consider my others yet keep faithful and loyal to myself (integrity to the values I have), that I could be just as happy without others input and influence and STILL love having someone in my life, THEN my relationships 'serves me.'

If I can't entirely say a firm YES to anyone without saying 'but' or if I have to think about it and force fit the situation to feel good about it, then I know I am not there and I will not be living to my true potential If I don't make a change. Essentially I know I will not be as content and connected to the world as I could be. Furthermore, If I am grasping to keep a relationship stable then it is 'serving the relationship.'

(Okay, young kids that need care and raising can't be part of this equation I don't think. The best that can be done where kid reaponsibilties are is to come close. Not miserable but at least happy that the best case scenario is worked out. Otherwise it's time to leave)
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(Okay, young kids that need care and raising can't be part of this equation I don't think. The best that can be done where kid reaponsibilties are is to come close. Not miserable but at least happy that the best case scenario is worked out. Otherwise it's time to leave)

I'm ok with some degree of co-dependency, especially with regard to kids and financial obligations because that was a decision I made and signed up for. When my husband and I changed the way we both approach all the obligations, we were both happier. Definitely easier to raise a kid while living together amicably. I agree that just knowing that once that kids is grown, I could live on my own if I wanted to, even if I choose not to do so is a powerful boost to my self worth. As the kid becomes more independent, it's easier to feel more independent yourself - that too can be a double edged sword.

Just a warning from one mom of boys to another: the ages between 12-15 can be brutal for mom, that too shall pass eventually. Once they get through the "emotional overload" they are wonderful young men.


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Just a warning from one mom of boys to another: the ages between 12-15 can be brutal for mom, that too shall pass eventually. Once they get through the "emotional overload" they are wonderful young men.
I know right?! I am just starting that trip. I heed your warning and advice. I have an emotional rollercoaster boy most days these days. Then sometimes he will give me a big hug and my baby is back. I know it's a matter of time and he and I will be out on our own.


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Thoughts on trust:

Trust is earned, and not easy to rebuild once lost.

I intend to trust myself first. I intend to look inside myself and listen to my heart. There is a line that can be drawn in my boundaries of tolerance and compassion. I intend to take note of it always as I don't want to live just tolerating someone but am willing to budge on some issues. Actions speak louder than words to me and its on the untrusted person in my life to re-earn trust, not on me. It is my responsibility to forgive.

When these things begins to happen we can re-build, as a team.

I intend to check my own trustworthiness before blaming others for breaking trust. How have I broken my integrity? Are they lying because I am lying? Are they circling around an issue because I have not been trustworthy? Are we both in a cycle of lying that reinforces itself?


Breaking trust is a huge deal breaker for me with most people because I cannot stand being lied to or being told half truths. Not unusual really.

I prefer people that hold strong to their integrity. I find it cowardly not to speak up if they are unhappy in a relationship. If the trust is broken because of cheating, I lose respect pretty quickly. There isn't much use staying around after making that discovery.

I also find silence about the situation to be passive-aggressive. I don't spend much time with people who make a decision NOT to talk about their experiences as a way to deal with them. I prefer people who wear their heart on their sleeve with vulnerability and trust. It shows me they trust me and gives me faith that they find me worthy enough to stick with.

There are exceptions.

Having experienced mistrust on a grand level fairly recently, I found that to stay with the person, to at least learn from the situation, is my minimum. The mileage varies and as a result I will now always have an exit route.

Likely I will never be so blind and falsely secure in any relationship again. That used to sound sad to me but I find it relieving to finally 'get' that I really can go it alone in life. I don't 'need' anyone. I don't put myself in a position of 'relying' anyone anymore. If the stakes are low then I won't have to rely on someone for long.

Sometimes the relationship can be fixable. When there is nothing to lose but to beat down the door of fear (in all areas; of change, of emotions, the confusion, of disbelief) it can mean new growth in the relationship. When and if a person is strong enough in themselves to do that it can be really transformative on many levels of self and relationship life. To me, anything is fixable if two people are willing to face fear together.

I believe it can also be transformative to forgive. There can be such relief and freedom in just forgiving. It can be a major stepping stone to face the fears that come up. For me I had to be sure I had a plan (an 'out' strategy) and some solid commitment from my partner to make some inner changes and changes in the relationship.

I have been working toward a more positive attitude toward trust. No one is perfect and everyone is different. I find I cautiously trust people for the most part and wait to see what happens before further trusting. I think it is a privilege to have and give trust. It must be earned in time.

I find myself feeling vulnerable to trust now where I used to give it willingly. Naive and perhaps a huge amount of growing has happened for me to NOT do that anymore. I am more wise and aware.

A friend said;
"In the end, you can only ever change yourself, and have control over your own reactions. If someone was untrustworthy, you can explain the impact of their actions, create deliberate safe space for future honesty, and even plan to remain present for their future mistakes. It will depend on whether you believe that they have a genuine problem or are just taking advantage of you."

It can be easier, but not necessarily more effective, to turn one's back on someone who has broken trust but I am definitely not the sort to do such a thing easily as I thrive on growth and learning whenever I can. As a result I don't find it easy at all actually. It's damned hard to leave someone flailing and in the dark about where the damage was done and how to 'fix it.' I do have limits though.

I find that most people are not willing to put the time in and therefore cycles happen over and over again for those people... another relationship, another heartbreak when they repeat the same cycle. To me it is more advantageous to work with what I've got with people I love and care for if there is still something there. Only leaving if there is really no commitment to work on the issues that caused the mistrust.

Having experienced many relationships I am aware of what person I need to be with and what situation I need to be in to establish connection. Relationships where it is possible to mend wounds so well that there is no breaking that connection ever again. Trust then becomes deep and rich. It's only then that nothing can break it again for any reason. I have lots of faith that trust can be rebuilt. That is a recent thought discovery for me.
Interesting food for thought on your recent writing.

More thoughts to think about and remember:

Traditional monogamy is based on co-dependence and ownership of another by choice and agreement. Solo poly doesn't have a requirement or need to be defined by others whereas traditional monogamy does.

I think this is a very bold statement. As we know, codependency is considered a dysfunction, and ownership can imply a great many potential negatives. In my observations there are numerous traditional monogamous relationships which exhibit neither of these features. I believe it's easily possible for two people to choose a 'traditional' relationship simply due to love and all it's inherent wonders.

It's a fine line between healthy and disordered in any human relationship structure, or mind for that matter. Approval/validation seeking behaviors can be both positive and negative. All of us exhibit them at one time or another - we're social creatures and our feedback loop is well established to require some kind of praise for living the way we live in many instances(good or bad). Of course there are belief systems in the world which leverage those behaviors, like the Bible and Koran, and subvert how a relationship should function. And they are inimical to all human bonding configurations, irrespective of type.

PS - the link you posted two posts back by Abraham Hicks doesn't work.

PPS - good to see you back :)


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I admit, I did read the delete post prior to it being deleted. It sounds to me like there are a lot of different items that need to be addressed and they are coming all together and making things expand exponentially. My suggestions is to break things down into much smaller parts and deal with each individually and only one at a time.


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Sorry about the delete last time.

So PN is struggling. He lashes out about the years of what he considers being 'lead by' me and what I want when he consented along the way and is equally responsible for where he is now. He is angry/ resentful and says I neglected him and dismissed him to be with other people. He uses words like "abuse" and "post traumatic stress" when he describes how he feels about me and what has happened. Everything that has happened has caught up emotionally it seems. He searches for his independence and in doing so pushes us all of the family that love him away. He is demanding that everything be about him, for him and around him right now (well, the last year). It has become unbearable some days and I have almost left a few times.

The essence of his demands are that he no longer be asked to do things with us in terms of family stuff. This includes extended family and close friends. He does not want to do anything other than what he plans. If I don't comply, he will leave. There is no negotiation.

I believe family is priority. He does not. I think that anything I aim for in my life should be aimed at making sure our boy has everything he possibly can have and that that means making people involved a priority. He does not. He believes that he should do what he wants to do and add his son to his plans. Most of his plans are with his girlfriend and her family. He wants our boy to be attached to his girlfriends family because that is where he sees his future.

These issues unfold daily and it has left me finding it hard to cope and move on with my life. I walk on eggshells and am constantly disappointed that events don't happen or that he isn't at events.

Lately I have moved away from the pain of mourning, loss and grief as people remove themselves from my life. I have struggled with the removal of other people in my life and have gotten to a place where I resolved to remove myself in order to heal and find my feet again. It will take years. I can only think that maybe this is what he is trying to do. In the meantime I need to figure out how to be here in this situation that sustains my son but does not sustain me.
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Poly has fucked me over. It has turned everything that was love in abundance and given me scarcity and hate. I had no idea that I would end up left with so little after building so much. What I create can be melted away like a wave over a sand castle. Being prepared to let go of ever holding on to it all and resign myself to life in it's simplest form is the best that I can do.

list for myself to remember:
-think only of what is right for me and what I want to create in my life
-do not invite people in as partners/friends unless I can be fine to lose them
-remember to break up with thought to process and don't expect the person to stay with me in that process. Have a well thought out plan that does not include them, before breaking up.
-monogamy's rules have their hold on everyone, no matter how poly they believe themselves to be. If it isn't working for someone, they will default to mono rules and tell you YOU are the one doing it wrong without even knowing they have done that.
-wives and husbands in relationships with kids will likely always have the last say, no matter how non-hierarchical you think they are (see last point). Couple privilege always wins out.
-make friends with everyone and don't get too close to anyone... they don't get how you do friendship as a poly person. At the same time, remain open to receive.
-find what I want to do in life and what aspire to. Then do it and tell no one. No one cares and no one will pat you on the back. Pat yourself on the back for your own accomplishments (at the same time, have somethings to talk about for when your mother asks as a lot of what you want to do is not for your mother's ears ;))
-people that want to be with you will be with you. If they aren't around or you have to reach for them, they don't want to be with you.
-time heals all wounds. Heal and forgive
-identify as me. Not as a member of a group. I am my own leader and I am my own sheep.
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people have asked me about Mono. Is he Poly now?

Mono doesn't talk about what he is and what he isn't. He has turned into an uncommunicative man in many ways. Communication happens in short periods of time and with purpose. No long drawn out conversations about emotions for us. It is just not his way. I have made my own assessment of who he is based on past events and how he acts and until it is proven wrong I will stick to it.

Here is what I tell people:

I have softened on the "cheating" front over the years so I say this with a soft 'c.' Mono is a cheater. He is not poly. Cheating is what he is used to and what he knows how to do. If he ever finds himself in a situation where he has a hankering for another woman for whatever reason, and I doubt it would be love, more like for excitement, then I suspect he will cheat. I am optimistic that he might ask for an 'open relationship' first. Whereby he carries on a secret life outside of the partnership he already has with me, but I somehow doubt that will be the first option he choses.

My stance?

I love him, am drawn to him, I respect him for so many reasons and now have a thick history with him that bonds he and I together. Our lives have been created to weave into each other now and I intend to keep weaving until it does not suit me any more or he cheats and I will unravel and unweave until I can leave. If he asked me for an 'open relationship' in the style mentioned above, I will also leave as that is a deal breaker. No secret, private relationships will be tolerated if he is with me. I don't think ultimatums are a bad thing in this context.

I don't know what he would do if I decided that my healing time is over and found someone fantastic enough to make an effort on in such a way as another partnership. I suspect that he would be okay with it in many ways, but I would likely leave him then also. He would likely ask to have an 'open relationship' in the style that suits him, that doesn't suit me, and I won't do it again.

I can't see this ever changing and I don't really think about it any more. I trust myself now, not him. He has proven himself to be more than I ever thought I would have in a partner and I am more than happy, but also could drop all that is him in a flash if it meant that it would cause me more pain and come in between what I want for my life. I would bite the bullet, take the pain and move on rather than put effort into working on anything other than what we have right now. I am not going to allow myself to go down that painful road again.

Leo says I am "poly in a mono relationship," and that suits me fine if you, the reader, must have a definition.
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Dear Red,
I'm getting ready to go to the shops with my step-daughter and grand-daughter, just checked into here for a minute, but I started reading your most recent comments, and wanted to send you a hug. Why do people blame others when they can't get their own shit together??? That sucks! Will write more later.
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Love you to death RP. Wish I lived closer. It is creepy in a kind of "I don't feel so alone" way how many things are similar in our lives-for YEARS now. Especially considering how little we communicate with one another; our lives seem to be hell bent on reminding us how similar we are. Is that bizarre or what?!

On that note; I'm so very proud of you for prioritizing the little one. I understand first hand how hard it can be when other "responsible" adults choose not to take the level of responsibility that our children deserve. Because I am living it too.
Some days (like this morning)I just want to pack a bag and disappear without a word.
But then, something happens.
This morning, Sweet Pea walked into the room and said "everything ok mom". I looked up and he saw my tear streaked face. He walked over and wrapped his "almost a grown man" arms around me. He's strong now, his arms are so big, not a baby boy any more. He pulled me in close and rocked me as I sobbed. I whispered through my tears "I just can't keep up. I'm sorry." He nodded, I felt his head over mine, "I know mom. It's going to be ok, we'll figure it out."

I try not to break down that way in front of the kids. But the past 6 months have broken me down so far.

The point though is; how can I walk away from that? Here's a young man who "gets it". He GETS the importance of respect, honoring one's commitments, accepting people's differences, loving people THROUGH their shit. He gets it. He gets me.
I can't walk away from that.

And every time I start to think "why am I HERE" because the other adults are hell bent on doing whatever-the-fuck-they want and leaving me carrying the load..... one or the other child walks in and reminds me that I'm not here for the adults. I'm here for the kids. I'm here because they deserve at least one adult who will prioritize THEM and THEIR needs and help them learn to be the best version of themselves-so that when they are adults they have a chance of NOT repeating the mistakes of their parents.

It sucks more often then not RP. I know it.
But with 3 grown and out on their own, 1 who only has 3 years left at home and 1 who still has another 11 years at home:
I do feel like I can confidently say that in a few years LB is going to show you just how awesome you are on a daily basis and show you just how worth all this pain and heartache is.
It IS temporary-the having to do more than your own share. Because LB will start taking on more and more of the work for his own life and you will reap the rewards.
Be patient with yourself.
And give yourself a big squeezy hug from me!


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My boy has seen me crying far too often in the last three years and is full of cuddles when I do.


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I have spent a good deal of time getting together a way that PN can move out without us being destitute. He has again said he has to leave and has not made plans other than to tell our son and keep telling me that. I was beginning to find it manipulative so I decided to be proactive. I told our son that he has been talking of moving out. It is from LB's response to me telling him that I geared my energy to find ways PN can stay and eventually giving him a proposal that keeps us in the house if he leaves.

LB wants us to all stay here together and continue to be one big happy family. I am all for that but as PN is not. I figured it was time to do what I needed to do to make a suggestion that fits so we can all move on. I am really hoping that he can still turn around his thoughts and see that everything that he has gone through is a perspective and an attitude. He can still change his attitude and perspective and chose to not be a victim of the circumstance he finds himself in.

Until now, I have offered that we raise our son together in this house and each have our own lives... I know several men that wish their ex wives would be so generous as to continue together what they have with their child at home and also move on in life. PN only sees that he should leave.

PN has a gf that he wants to be with. The gf lives in a home with her husband and two kids. There is room for PN here to have his gf over whenever she wants to come over and I can be out of the way. I have been doing that for a year and I generally go downstairs and spend my evening with Mono or go out. LB comes with me or stays up stairs, depending on what he wants to do. I have it in my head, because I remember how fantastic it was to have somewhere to go away from kids when I visited Mono at his homre, that the gf might enjoy being at our house for a break. They sit and read, drink tea, talk and go into PN's room at the end of the night. They seem to have a good thing going there... PN can come and go as he pleases because there are two other adults in the house and I can do the same. It has not been at all difficult to do what we want to do with our lives and has been a blessing.

PN's medical issues seem to be under control now so I have not had to do as much around the house and have less burden of full time child care. I did a lot for him in the last year and was feeling I could relax a little and do my own things. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to get to know his gf during the time I was busy looking after my own drama filled life and looking after everything at home. I think this might of contributed to where we are at now. I should know that it is always important to get to know your metamours (if I can call her that) but I was not in a position mentally to trust anyone in my life at the time.

I sent my "whatever I should call her" metamour a message a week back asking that she understand my side of our story and to apologize that I was so unavailable to get to know her over the year. I asked that she be open to getting to know me now as a way to help her understand, through empathy, when she supports him. She saw this as me asking her to help convince PN to stay. She thinks he should leave and that LB will be just fine. People break up and move on, it's only natural. I didn't find this approach to be a poly one. I found it to be a very mono mindset and I was surprised coming from and albeit, new, poly person. I understood her to be interested in chosen community/family. I had heard they were both researching forms of chosen community and was baffled that she didn't see our family as having done that already. I was confused as to why she wouldn't consider finding ways that our family could be together as a group rather than divided. Okay, maybe she wants to create her own community and that involves PN leaving to come to her community...? I was trying to reach out to bridge the two families, but apparently either I dropped the ball on expressing that or she isn't interested and will continue to support PN in moving out.

I also sent a message to PN's mum. She had told me that she would always be there to help and listen to me so I thought perhaps she would be able to hear what I am asking for and at least help PN hear it from another person as apparently, coming from me, he is not able to hear it. She also has decided he should leave and will support him in doing so. I wasn't so surprised at this from her. She left her children and home when PN was 12 and although she regretted she had to, thought it was the right decision. I was surprised however that after years of supporting me and our family as being poly that she was so quick to jump on the bandwagon of PN leaving. She said to me once that if given a choice back when she left her family, she would of chosen to stay and would of asked for a poly relationship so she could stay with her kids. I guess she forgot about that idea? I don't know.

I wrote back to the gf and told her that I agreed with her comment about not wanting to get involved and that she should not involve herself in mine and PN's business any further... I wrote back to PN's mum that I was not interested in talking with her further as I needed all my energy to move forward with keeping our family together. After talking with my parents, to Mono, to many friends.... I realized I was the only one who could see how PN staying would be a good thing for all of us. They all think that I should let go of him being capable of doing the work it would take to stay and that I should figure out what I am going to do when he does go... so I made a plan.

I decided to ask that PN pay half the expenses for the house so we can stay in the house raising LB for another five years until he is 17. Our mortgage is for that long so I am hoping I can buy him out by then or that LB will be used to his Dad being gone and will be okay to move into something smaller. LB is just about to finish up at his last year at the little private school he has been attending since he was 5. He is known and loved there and has two months left to feel part of a school family community that has been built there. After that he has a full summer of summer camps with kids he doesn't know and then into a big public school with only one friend he knows. As it is now he is totally ready for this move and looking forward to it. My fear is that he will not be if his Dad goes so I asked that PN move out now if he is going so that LB at least has two months of adjusting to just that one area of his life. So, if PN pays half the expenses, and moves out now, the transition might be the least amount possible for LB. If he decides to stay then we will have to talk about a change in his attitude and perspective so that we can move forward. Change in our living arrangement can happen if he works with me...

Now I must just wait and see what he decides...

He has asked that I stay out of his decision making and give him his independence. I am doing that. I find it hard to not jump in there and convince him out of leaving, but I see no happy ending if I try and do that. It has to come from him and it has to be his chose out of his own best interest. I will just have to live with the result and so will LB and Mono.


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how can I walk away from that? Here's a young man who "gets it". He GETS the importance of respect, honoring one's commitments, accepting people's differences, loving people THROUGH their shit. He gets it. He gets me.
I can't walk away from that.

And every time I start to think "why am I HERE" because the other adults are hell bent on doing whatever-the-fuck-they want and leaving me carrying the load..... one or the other child walks in and reminds me that I'm not here for the adults. I'm here for the kids. I'm here because they deserve at least one adult who will prioritize THEM and THEIR needs and help them learn to be the best version of themselves-so that when they are adults they have a chance of NOT repeating the mistakes of their parents.

Well said LR, I am putting all of 'me' aside so that this can work out in LB's best interest. I am here as an example of the best that can be and to help not repeat the cycle that both PN, his mother and his gf have experienced ie. leaving because of a break up. This is an era and time we can be creative with living arrangements and relationships, so I intend to be creative.

PN asked me to consider moving out so that he could have the house and our child to live with. I was floored. He obviously does not understand the bonds that mother's have with their children. At least my bond anyway. It was and has never been a option. My option was to stick it out here living in between the floor and ceiling of the up stairs part of the house and the downstairs part. I have for years now not known where I live. I have a bedroom and that is it, everyone else has a full home except me. I have done that for so long so that I can be with my child in our home, all of us together. I don't like it, I have never liked it, but I have sacrificed for HIM. I find it hard to understand why anyone would walk away from their child when there is a chance to work out something that works for everyone even just a little bit. As I said, it's all in the attitude one has. The glass is half full, or the glass is half empty.
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