Smelling the flowers

Petunia

Member
I've kind of let this blog slide. In my last post I was feeling euphoric, but it quickly evaporated and my insecurities started picking away at me again. Hungry. Mean. Destructive.

I get so scared when Twitch starts growing closer to someone else. My heart aches and I feel shaky. I have an overwhelming urge to pull us back into the (false) security of monogamy. But we've changed and I don't think we could return if we wanted to. I remind myself of all the reasons why we started down this path and of the good it's brought into our relationship, and into our lives. Of how much fuller our love is now.

It took me a bit of introspection to sort things out. It really comes down to this: if I am feeling loved and cherished, then I am good with our polyamorous relationship model, but if I feel taken for granted, or like Twitch is not very interested in me, then I start feeling threatened.

I was missing the level of contact that we had built into our relationship this Fall; the texts, the phone conversations, the special little things that said, "Hey, I still see you." We had spent so much time together during the month of December and into the beginning of January that these little gestures had fallen by the wayside.

It seems we need to keep relearning these things. I'm hopeful that these practices will become ingrained over time and part of the fabric of our lives.
Another thought is that with time we'll have more experienced and we'll have a personal history of living life poly, rather than just putting blind faith on theory and hoping it'll all work.

I'm reading a book called Intimacy and Desire by Dr. David Schnarch. It's started me questioning if I've become a bit unbalanced through our relationship changes of the past two years, so that my sense of self is now a reflected sense of self. That I don't know myself well enough anymore to feel secure in who I am, so I am looking for my partner to provide that. If that's the case, then I need to do some internal work to learn how to build autonomy while being still in tune with my husband.
 

Petunia

Member
MLK Weekend w/ D.C.

I spent MLK weekend in D.C. I don't think I ever gave the D.C. guy a name and since I'm writing him out of the picture, I don't think I'll refer to anything other than D.C.

I shouldn't have gone. We had let things slip between us and I don't think either of us was really feeling it, but tickets were bought so I went. I tried to share with Twitch why I didn't want to go, but he shushed all my protests and tried to get me into high spirits and the right frame of mind. He really is my champion.

D.C. was a puzzle all weekend. We had plenty of conversation, but he wasn't acting intimate at all. He didn't walk close to me when we were out and we barely were "intimate" over the long weekend.

Another huge disappointment was that D.C. guy doesn't like crowds, so we did not go to the Mall for the Inauguration. :(

I returned home a bit the worse for wear and terribly happy to see my husband again, even if it was only between the hours of 10 PM and 7 AM.
 

Petunia

Member
Exit Stage Left, Enter Stage Right

As disappointing as D.C. was, there are some really great positives in my life. A FWB contacted me yesterday saying he's ready to resume things if I am still interested and Thad and I had a date last night.

My FWB is a talented blues musician. He and I have great chemistry; we're both so comfortable with each other. We never had to get past an awkward stage, we just hit the ground running. (I'm going to have to look back to see if I mentioned him and named him in earlier posts.)

The other person I have that with is Thad. He stayed over at my house for the first time last night. First time for him at my house, and it was also the first time a lover has stayed over at my house. I'm seriously sleep deprived today. :p Thad puts a whole new spin on cuddly. It's more of a crush hold. A delicious entanglement of limbs with an arm locking you in and holding you against him.

WP has been kind of radio silent the past couple of weeks. His work is keeping him busy, but I have suspicions that he's using his free time pursuing new conquests rather than taking the time to say hi. I'll see he's active on Gmail and then I'll see he's on OKC. If that relationship fades I'm okay with it. I've said all along that all of these new relationships would find their own level.

Right now both Thad and the yet-to-be-named blue musician have said they'd like to see me regularly and that's more than enough to keep me from having too much time on my hands and feeling loved.
 

Petunia

Member
Radio Silent

This morning I told D.C. that I was letting our relationship fade intentionally and I gave him my reasons. He said that he understands with at least two of the three reasons I laid out. We've agreed that we don't want to totally drop from each others lives, so we'll continue to keep each apprised of what's happening in our lives. Neither of us is the type to shrug off friendships like they don't matter. I feel much better now that I addressed the situation.
 

Petunia

Member
Thad. We're falling in love. It's all so sudden, but it's incredible and amazing. It's hard to not fall in love with someone who has no walls and is so pure in heart and intention.

Thad's plans for the weekend changed on Friday. He had planned on taking his son way up north to visit friends and family, but his son got sick, so their plans got changed. Twitch and I had tickets to see at a dance troupe perform that night. Thad wanted to know if he could join us afterwards for a threesome. So, I asked Twitch (who had never met Thad) and he said yes. Twitch may be the best man on the planet - just saying.

How to facilitate these two meeting? Twitch thought that it might get too late if we took the time to go to the cocktail bar afterwards like we had originally planned pre-threesome idea. But to just show up at our house, um, that could be awkward.

On our way in I asked an usher how long the performance was expected to last and I texted Thad the time it was expected to be done and that we'd meet him at the Opus.

Just before the end of the performance I got a text from Thad saying he was waiting in the lobby. Twitch and I found him and I did the introductions. Handshakes between the men. And then we were out the door with Thad heading to his SUV in one direction and Twitch and me in another. As we were crossing the street Twitch suggested I ride with Thad, so I quickly called him and ran to catch up to him.

It was snowing and the roads weren't in great shape, but Thad's SUV is heavier and handles a lot better than mine, so we beat Twitch to the house by at least 5 minutes.

Things transitioned nicely and it wasn't nearly as awkward as Twitch had feared. The sex was fun, although it wasn't similar to what Twitch and I have together (D/s), nor was it like what Thad and I share (sensual), but it was still fun and extensive. Around 1:30 AM Twitch declared that he'd had enough and was going to sleep on the couch which left Thad and I with some alone time.

The next morning Twitch and I were up at 6:30 AM. I had a puppy to ship that morning, so I had to get things together and get to the airport. When we returned Twitch dropped me off at the house and then ran some errands.

Nothing like walking into your bedroom to a delicious man in your bed. A big, sexy smile, with a mop of hair in his eyes..wow. We resurfaced a couple of hours later. Twitch had busied himself in the kitchen preparing for the Super Bowl party we were hosting the next evening. We could hear him rattling dishes and such, and I'm sure he could hear us. I'm amazed with my husband over how giving he can be and how great he has been about letting me have time with Thad.

I'm a very lucky girl. :)

Twitch flew to D.C. for the workweek this morning. Thad is coming over tonight. It's Monday - our day of the week.

My niece is in town for a couple of hours before she flies home to San Diego. I'm meeting her after work for dinner and then dropping her at the airport at 6:00 PM before heading for home. In a perfect world I'd be able to bring Thad along with me to dinner, but we're not there yet.
 

Petunia

Member
You mean, this applies to me, too? Pfft!

I don't know how many times I've read about one of the benefits of polyamory and open relationships is that needs that are unmet in one relationship can be met in another. It's used as a validation for why people may need/desire to have multiple relationships.

As many times as I have read that, my internal dialog went something along the lines of, "Yeah, I can see where some people may feel that way, but it doesn't really fit my situation. I'm doing this for other reasons, mainly because I like people and I don't want to be lonely," or whatever was the most top-billed reason of the day for me at that moment.

I realized a couple of days ago that my need for sensuality was being met by my relationship with Thad. It seems so obvious now, but I really didn't see it this way before. I expected Twitch to play two different roles depending on my mood. If the moon aligned just right with the stars, then I would be perfectly happy with our D/s role and his sadistic tendencies, but if conditions weren't right then I wanted him to be more loving and gentle with me. This lead to a number of upsets between us when we'd get our wires crossed and he'd be his naturally dominate self when I wanted tenderness and sensuality. It had gotten to the point where he was cautious to even venture into the land of kink with me. And as ironic as it is, I was missing our kinky play. Things were getting complicated and spinning into areas where we'd never had issues before.

I think it may have been our threesome that really shined a light on the differences between my two lovers' styles. I appreciate what each of them bring to the table, er, bedroom. I like being Twitch's submissive toy, being pushed to my limits and rewarded for it. At the same time I also like being sensual and feeling the connection between Thad and me; being playful and daring, helping him explore new things and being part of that discovery.

Allowing them to take on a role that comes naturally, or rather, not trying to pressure Twitch into something that's not his natural inclination at this point in his life, seems so obvious now.

I feel relieved knowing that I can totally embrace Twitch's dominate, sadistic nature now that I have balance. They are my yin-yang that truly complement each other, and form a whole greater than either part separately.
 

Petunia

Member
Shifting mindset

I shared this with a good friend and she suggested that I write it down, so that when I'm feeling less than okay about my body I can revisit this.

Thad is always touching my stomach and not just in light and unintentional ways. He grabs handfuls of belly fat. Ugh. I know he’s trying to get me past my hate for my stomach and the stretch marks that cover it. Usually this causes feelings of un-comfortableness that I try to push down and I basically just tolerate it. I understand his intentions, but it just doesn't have the desired effect he's after.

After a particularly vigorous touching, I told him that if I had my way I’d have a tummy tuck tomorrow.

Later that night as we were getting ready for bed, Thad stopped on his way to brush his teeth to say, “If I had a vote about the tummy tuck, I’d vote no. I love your tummy. It’s sexy. And I love you.”

I stared at him in a state of shock, because I could hear the sincerity in his voice, and asked him if he was for real.

“Yes.”

The next morning, I revisited the subject and asked him if that’s really how he felt. Again, yes. He thinks I’m sexy - tummy and all.

I'm feeling something deep inside shifting. Something I thought was so set that nothing would budge it. But that self-hate is dissolving and acceptance is starting to grow.
 

Petunia

Member
July 1: finding myself

Spring was tumultuous. I was unsteady and felt for months that my relationship with Twitch had been under threat. I was exhausted with the emotional energy it took just to get through a day. Not only was this exhausting for me, but also for Twitch.

Finally I realized that I was doing us both a disservice when I put so much value on his words of love to Shasti, but then discounted those same words of love to me. I resolved that from that point on when he told me he loved me that I'd cherish it and believe him wholeheartedly.

The strain we were under took it's toll and by the time I had come to a point where I was ready to really hear his message, he was unable to tell me those words. I really didn't think I could bear to continue on with life and it was a pretty dark point.

I've been working on my autonomy in the past six weeks and I'm finally starting to feel like myself pre-poly, pre-D/s. I think that the main villain that robbed me of my autonomy was the power exchange D/s that we had explored two years ago. Oiy, when will I ever learn not to lead us down these paths?! LOL

I've started to plan things just for myself and it feels great and in turn I feel less emotionally needy which has freed Twitch up to express himself more and be more loving. I'm winning and getting what I needed by asking less of him. Sounds so simple, but it was such a journey to get to that point.

One of the changes I'm making is to begin schooling for a new career. I'm pretty excited about it and it's a good fit.

I'm also going to do some silly things, like learn to play pool.

I plan on resuming my writing on a novel I started.

So, going forward my focus is going to be less men-centric/focused and more me-focused.

Thad is still a part of my life and I have been seeing another guy every few weeks. I'm not sure where that may lead, but for now it's kind of nice, but nothing spectacular.

We move from our 4 bedroom home into a 2 bedroom flat at the end of this month; from a small town into the city in one of the most hippy dippy neighborhoods. I can hardly wait. Big changes are coming. :)
 

Petunia

Member
Climbing into bed without you.
It's hard to get myself to go to bed alone.
You'd think I'd be eager to fall asleep to get past the loneliness,
but instead I just postpone that moment of falling asleep without you there beside me.

I send you a text in the morning.
So many emotions, but I hold those back and just tell you I'm proud of you, I am;
I hope your presentation goes well.
And then I include some practical stuff...what should I take out for dinner? What time will you be home?

Your reply is to the point. Four o'clock. Chicken.
My heart aches for what wasn't there.
No good morning. No smiley face. No hugs and kisses. Something that indicates something positive from you to me. These days I'll take any small crumb.
As much as I try to keep my expectations low I find I have failed and I push down the hurt.

Messages with heart aren't sent to me from you these days.
As I was so coarsely told by a stranger, I'm the shitty part of your life. She is the good.
 

Petunia

Member
Life Events: Ready or Not

Twitch and Shasti had a baby on Saturday, a boy, 8 lbs 13 oz. He has an Indian name that Twitch has trouble pronouncing. He's beautiful.

Our divorce was final May 27th. Summer found us doing a number of things together and it felt good. Just as friends; friends that enjoy each other's company. He finally got the courage to tell me about the baby in September.

He told his mother two weeks ago. He thinks she's disappointed in him. I'm guessing that if she is it's not for the reasons he thinks. My guess is she is disappointed that he waited so long to tell her and that she's never met Shasti.

I think Twitch and I are both feeling rushed by his life moving onto such a big life event right on the heels of our divorce. He has struggled with shame and feelings of having wronged me by this happening. There is a part of me that is thankful that he understands this and also feels the hurt.

But his son had nothing to do with the timing and he deserves to be loved fully. He deserves to have a daddy who can embrace being present in his life. And to that end I can have an influence. I can be the cheerleader that tells Twitch he can do this. That he gets a do-over and he can take his experiences and decide what type of father he wants to be and become that.
 
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Petunia

Member
Nice Girls Finish Last

Last night Twitch stopped by on his way home from the Windy City. His dog had a rough weekend and he needed canned pumpkin to right her system.

We talked for a bit...I got him to grab his phone out of his SUV to show me pics of his son. He described the irony of not being allowed to stand and watch the c-section, but then being brought right past the remainder of the operation when they took him to see the baby. He loves to talk and I think it felt good to him to be able to tell someone about his experience. He was also hesitant and a bit halting in his word choices. I understand that; he's trying to protect me even as I'm trying to save him.

When he left I sent a baby gift with him.

Before bed he sent me this text: "Thank you for the gift. I really like them a lot. I know you didn't have to do this. Which is why it means so much to me. You are the nicest person I know. Night."
 
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Petunia

Member
Today you sent a text saying you were offered a job.

It makes me reel a bit to think of loosing you on yet another level - proximity. I chide myself. It's not like we see each other often or even talk often for that matter.

You'd be an hour and forty minutes away. Thirty minutes closer to your mother's, thirty minutes further from Shasti and your son.

It'd be the break into middle management that you've been striving for and it would mean you wouldn't have to travel all the time. That alone sounds like a quality of life opportunity.

Some days/weeks I think I'm moving on and that I'm learning how to live again and I'm so relieved. Those days I feel like I can take on the world, but other times like today I'm just waiting for the day when I don't love you.

This may be a good thing for both of us.
 

Petunia

Member
mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis

mutantur omnia nos et mutamur in illis (all things change, and we change with them)

So much has happened. Twitch has moved, and I've moved on.

After months of knowing each other and circling one another, Bond and I finally had our first date. The first time Bond contacted me was December 13, 2013; four days before I had major back surgery, 13 days after Twitch and I separated, and two months after his wife said she was done and moving out. The timing was lousy. I said I was open to talking, but that's all I could do presently - and then I deactivated my account a day later.

Months past and I started to come alive again. I went to Polycocktails to socialize, even though I was fairly certain I was done with polyamory. I simply needed to get out and I knew people in that group. Bond was there. He can tell you all sorts of things about that night. What I said. Where I was sitting.

Afterwards his friend, Golden, asked him if he realized who I was and then let him know I was "the eyes" from OKCupid. How flattering to be identified by those two words.

A month or so later, movie night with new friends found Bond and I paired together thanks to Golden. In the months that followed I bounced from kind of tentatively doing poly to not doing poly to being unsure. It seems every time Bond was about to ask me out I'd change course.

We facebooked-friended one another and it only reinforced the percentage match on OKCupid.

From late 2014 into early 2015 I dated a mono guy. And I thought about Bond a lot. And Golden. When that relationship ended I decided monogamy was no longer a good fit for me and I was done with it. I forgave myself for being non-monogamous by nature. (So much guilt for opening my relationship up with Twitch and the fallout of our marriage ending had left me with a heavy load of guilt.) I updated my profile and I told friends.

And finally after nearly 14 months of circling one another we had our first date. We're like peas and carrots.
 

Petunia

Member
Do you ever wish there was a pause switch so that you could orient yourself? Yeah, that never happens.

Bond and I were 6 weeks into dating when he started dating another girl, let's call her B for now. Bringing his number to three. He also dates M, and that relationship is six months old. Oy vey, that's a lot of women to date and that's also a lot of new relationships.

At this point we had already decided that we wanted to establish a primary relationship with each other, but there is a lot of ground between recognizing that this person is someone significant in your life with whom you'd like to build something strong and intimate with, and having that all built.

One of the things that I found solace in was that Bond has been poly since the beginning of time. I mean, hey, the man had two dates for the Senior Prom. (I just learned that this weekend.) His marriage was poly since the late 90's. He's good at this stuff. Really good at it. But what he hadn't done before was have more than a primary (wife) and a girlfriend at one time. Bond having three rather than two has kind of thrown me for a loop. My main concern was is it possible to fall in love with two people in the relatively same time span? (He had already established his relationship with M, so that didn't feel threatening. They have known each other through a poly discussion group for 15 years.) How does one open your heart and feel new relationship energy for more than one at a time? Is it possible? Would it prevent him from becoming emotionally bonded to the depth I was in for? And if I'm being honest, would I get enough time and attention? Physical Touch, Words of Affirmation, and Quality Time are my top three love languages with only one point differentiation between them.

So, how to date an introvert who is dating two others and still get these needs met, not to mention my fear of abandonment?

First: Communication. Bond is aces at communication. I found that although I value communication and emotional maturity above most everything, that I was scared of voicing my wants and needs. But being me, I was not about to force those core needs to go dormant and try to reinvent myself. So, I'd voice things and then deal with waves of anxiety and Bond would talk to me and we'd discuss things and...wow, effective. :) He hears me.

Second: Build other relationships to balance what is happening in Bond's life. Well, that was my plan at least. I just needed to add a couple of relationships to my life and we'd find this balance. More people in my life would mean that I wouldn't expect Bond to be my all, and I'd keep the cray-cray at bay.

Ongoing in my life for nearly a year has been a flirty interaction with Golden. He had a lot going on in his life, so for a long time I had placed a figurative "Do Not Touch" post-it on his forehead. Time had transitioned his life to a point where he was entertaining the idea of adding to his romantic life, and I was starting to see him differently. And trust me, his cute face looks much better without a post-it note on his forehead - figurative or not. ;)

I had been open with Bond that I thought I needed to build additional relationships for the sake of what we were building. I don't think he was at all surprised when I asked him his thoughts about me dating Golden. I think the only question for months had been which one of them was going to ask me out first.

Here's the part that gets my poly heart all swirly...Golden lives with Bond every other week. (On the off weeks he lives at his house and has his kids. His ex and he rotate in and out of the house and the kids stay put.) And this people, is my poly picket fence.

Bond and I were lying in bed and I was talking to him about possibly dating Golden when he said, "So, I'm trying to picture how this will work when I move you into my house in a year..." And that was how Bond introduced the subject of me moving in. Be still my heart. Two men. One roof. :)

I went on a couple of dates with a few more guys, but the truth is my heart wasn't in it. Really nice guys, too, but I had zero interest in developing another new relationship. I don't know how Bond does it with three, but I'm finding it challenging to give time and attention to Golden...well, at first I was. Lately it's growing and becoming its own thing. Getting the feels.

I think I've nearly brought you up to speed with where things are at. There's a bit more to explain, but after that I'll be writing about what's currently happening rather than relaying things that have happened several weeks/months prior.
 

Petunia

Member
The elephant in the room

Life has been too busy to update this, sorry.

Let's see..when I left off Golden was living at Bond's house every other week. That has changed since then. He is now living at Bond's full-time. He also has one child with him every day. Which child varies, but one is always with him and one with the ex.

Other updates:

B had to slow her dating roll, so she and Bond are only doing occasional lunch dates for now.

M: one challenging chick to have for a metamour. A correction: I thought she and Bond had been dating 6 months, but they actually have been dating nearly a year and a half. Significant detail, IMO.

Some history of dealing with M.

Late April Bond had a work trip to CA (Mon-Thurs). We had planned on spending Sunday together, actually we had planned to spend Saturday night together, too. He and M had Friday night and Saturday together. Weeks before M had organized a get-together for Saturday night and had invited me via Facebook. We had not met prior to this. I had been telling Bond that I'd love to meet her and asked if we could meet for lunch. M didn't want to, but later changed her mind, so a lunch date was set up for Bond and two of his three sons, M, and me. On the way to the restaurant M told Bond she was spending the night at his place. He told her that was not what they had discussed, but went along with it and adjusted our plans.

The next morning I sent Bond a text asking him what time something he hosts at his house was ending, because M had asked that I not attend this public group meeting as she wanted to keep it as a special thing she and Bond share. After sending the text, my son and I went for a walk. When I got home I saw Bond had replied with a time and then another text with a comment. I let it be. Later I sent him a text saying I was taking my son back to his college town that he lives in. He responded with a text asking what time I'd be getting back. So, that was the total texting for the day; basically all about logistics/timing, other than the one text from Bond.

(I had been told that M sleeps until noon, because she works 2nd/3rd shift hours.)

That evening M started sending Bond texts. First it was asking if we were going to X for trivia, because if we were she wouldn't go. Bond stared and stared at his phone, totally annoyed. He then explained that M had told him that day that she thought it was rude to text while on a date. (Remember, this was Sunday and their "date" started Friday night.) He personally doesn't think it's necessary to monitor when someone sends a text. It's his prerogative when he responds; if he's engaged in conversation, he'll ignore it, if he's watching T.V. he'll probably answer directly, etc. I asked him to let her know that we wouldn't be going to trivia so that her mind could be at ease. She continued to send text messages - which he ignored, because they were just attention seeking texts. She later admitted she sent them to 'prove a point.' The next day M sent a flurry of texts and emails about this. Every time he'd land at an airport he'd have messages waiting for him, debating her point. She then went on Facebook and created a poll in a private polyamory group we all belong to about this subject. She failed to mention that their "date" was 48 hours long, or that she had basically hijacked our Sunday. The poll results and comments had to have been disappointing for M, as few sided with her, even with the limited background of the situation they had.

As the weeks have gone on it's become evident that M does not want to cross paths with me...not even if I am at the house to see Golden on the same night she is there to see Bond. Not even if Golden and I are there for a short while (dinner), leave for an event, and then return for bed.

M has had lengthy discussions with Bond and Golden (as a friend and also because he is dating me) about her need to not cross paths with me.

In subsequent conversations with Bond I voiced my opinion that it is strange that she never brings a child with when she comes. And that whether or not the kids live with her, it is still odd. She sees them after school for a couple of hours before she leaves for work and spends her rotating two days off per week with Bond, sans children. (She is a mother of five children, the youngest one being 12 days older than his youngest.) I said that I thought she didn't want to share even with her own children. He thought I was nuts.

Again, M posted on the Facebook poly group.

June 2, 2015
M: "Topic: Undivided attention.
Discuss.
(Yep - uber vague, deliberately. I'm mostly looking for gut reaction, tip o' the tongue responses this time! What is the FIRST thing that springs into your head?)"

M: "It's not a question of value, it's a question of engagement. Is their brain engaged with me, right now in this moment, or is it focused on a video game? Is their heart engaged with me, right now, or are they looking at another across the room thinking about the last time they were curled up on the couch with them? It's a matter of being "present" with me, as in Buddhism."

Honey, if you think that man's squirrel brain is remotely wishing I was the one sitting next to him, you are doing him a disservice. Our brains are busy. His thoughts are firing rapidly. He probably looked up and thought, "Hey, they're back...67th loop, returning 0 instead of 4, must have a memory leak (he's a game programmer), what's that noise? Are the kids fighting? They should be in bed...(looks down at M)...hey, boobies!...I hope she's okay." That's more realistic. He's happy you're by his side. He loves you.

Weekend of June 6-7:

Golden invited Bond and me to join him and his extended family for a camping weekend. First I didn't think I wanted to go if Bond wasn't going, then after talking to Golden, I decided I'd go regardless. Meanwhile, Golden created a Facebook event for the camping weekend and opened the invitation up to all of his friends.

I wasn't sure if I wanted to go because Golden isn't being open about the fact that he is dating. His therapist advised against letting his children know he is dating until the divorce is final a year. (seriously?!) Going camping with his kids, and his aunts, cousin, and uncle didn't sound like a good idea. Going there with Bond would change the direction of their assumptions as to who is with whom, and make for easier socializing.

M decided she would also go camping. Bond tried to discourage her, telling her that we had already made plans and that he was going to be there with me if he went. She suggested she call in sick to work (Saturday) and he told her that would be the exact opposite of helping things.

Friday afternoon when I arrived at Bond's to caravan with them to the campground they were still packing coolers and Bond's kids hadn't arrived yet. I felt like I shouldn't be there. I wanted to go sit in my car, but then M sat down on the couch and chit chatted with me when Bond's kids arrived. The atmosphere was comfortable and I had hope that this would be an okay weekend.

M and Bond did the couple thing for the most part Friday night and Saturday. The atmosphere between M and myself was comfortable. We talked and enjoyed each other's company for the most part. I was so relieved! :)

Saturday M decided to stay instead of going to work, so she called in sick. Their date time was supposed to end Saturday afternoon, but M managed to keep pulling Bond off for discussion and other couple-ish things for some time.

There comes a point where you just need to go off by yourself and regroup. I went for a walk to think. My thoughts weren't in the happiest of places. Bond has been scared to tell M that I am moving in and that he and I are building a primary relationship. He keeps waiting for her to be okay with me being such a big part of his life. She says she's working on it. We can all see the struggle. I'm not sure if we are seeing favorable results. Her words say one thing one time and her actions and words contradict the next time. I feel like we are essentially lying to her by not letting her know that plans have been made and intentions declared. The drop dead date for telling her is August.
Bond has passive language. It's very obvious with his kids. I've also seen him struggle with standing up to M, like with this camping weekend. As a result I was questioning if I wanted to remain in a relationship with this dynamic.

When I returned to the campsite, Bond was getting ready to go for a walk with son #2. He had been worried about where I had been. We had a brief conversation about M staying and not going to work. I voiced that I wondered if she was doing it to prove a point about solo time. He started to object, but then admitted that she had set a precedent with the texting incident. We walked and talked. We returned and spent family time around the fire. M had disappeared off by herself.

The wind was steadily picking up and a storm was not far off. I kept watching for M to step into the light of the campfire, but she never did. I wanted to send her a text saying to come back, but she didn't have service so she hadn't been carrying her phone with her.

Before we went to bed, Bond discovered she was sleeping in her car. She had mentioned before when we were loading things that she loved that her seats laid flat and that if she wanted she could actually sleep in there. She assured Bond that she was fine, and that she just wanted to give me space. We could sleep in her tent or mine (two of the Bond's boys were in my tent) this way.

I was relieved she wasn't out in the storm. I didn't sleep well that night. I resolved that I never wanted either one of us to feel so badly that we'd sleep in our car ever again. The next morning M and I talked...and hugged. Overall, I thought we'd made progress.
 

Petunia

Member
Again more Facebook stuff...

We had a discussion about relationship structures on the forum. To go along with this discussion I posted the Universal Bill of Rights (source More Than Two https://www.morethantwo.com/blog/2014/10/relationship-bor)

* to be free from coercion, violence and intimidation
* to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want
* to revoke consent to any form of intimacy at any time
* to choose your own partners
* to have an equal say with each of your partners in deciding the form your relationship with that partner will take
* to discuss with your partners decisions that affect you
* to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want with your partners’ other partners
* to be treated with courtesy
* to have plans made with your partner be respected; for instance, not changed at the last minute for trivial reasons
* to be treated as a peer of every other person, not as a subordinate, even when differing levels of commitment or responsibility exist

M: "It's interesting how definitions and perspectives color what some of these actually *mean* in practice. For example, both of these resonate with my post on wanting undivided attention from a partner (meaning him being fully present with me and not having to share time and space with another partner): "to choose the level of involvement and intimacy you want with your partners' other partners" and "to have plans made with your partner be respected" but I recognize that others may not feel that same resonance. e.g. "To be treated with courtesy" could mean "don't use your cellphone while I'm with you" to one person but "hold the door for me to show respect and love" to another. It's all in the definitions and communication of those definitions."

Me: "I think with all of these, as in life, depending on our perspective is how we interpret them. For instance, your example of "to have plans made with your partner be respected" is one that I usually see cited in the context of having to cancel a date at the last minute due to a partner's other partner having an emotional crisis or other contrived "emergency" rather than being subjected to crossing paths with a partner's partner and that partner's partner. But again, we each interpret things according to our perspectives at the given time. In the context of what you are referring to, I don't think anyone ever meant it as a show of disrespect."

M: "Yep, [Petunia] that's exactly what I mean. Different definitions that aren't shared can lead to misunderstandings or unintentional stepping on of toes. I was aware of that which is why I worked on sharing my perspective and being open to the fact I could be misinterpreting (or just making up) intentions because of past relationship experience." :)

M: "My internal definition of plans with my partner includes time and space spent ALONE with them, to the exclusion of all other partners or children (mine or theirs), so when there is unexpected and/or consistent "crossing paths" with other partners (planned or unplanned), I feel as though my ability to have a satisfying relationship, on my terms (athough always looking at compromise for all parties), has been removed by an outside source(s)."

^^^Whoa! Bond has kids.

M asked me to have lunch with her next Tuesday to discuss "structures/perspectives/needs/etc". I'm pretty sure it's a bad idea. We are drawing ever closer to the elephant in room.
 

Petunia

Member
Say 'the thing'

Part of the discussion in the night with Bond while camping was about his passive language.

I told Bond that when I was walking I was questioning staying in the relationship with the way things were being handled with M. That he has very passive language. It was obvious with the kids and also with Michelle, and that I worried it was also true with me. That I had a feeling he had a hard time saying things if he thought his words would hurt someone's feelings. He admitted that was the case. I told him that I needed him to "say the thing", whatever the "thing" happened to be. That it would be better to hear the "thing" than figure out later what he had actually been trying to say, but couldn't bring himself to. That by not saying the thing people could be hurt worse.

So, now I am holding him to saying the thing.

It's not going to be easy.

He failed Tuesday when M surprised him with questions as to what he saw her as, a co-primary? He said yes. He justified that by saying his relationship with B was definitely secondary to what he has with me and M. He prioritizes plans with us over plans with B. His relationships with us have more depth.

And then I was struggling. (Isn't this fun?)

I rarely email Bond. Instant messaging is more our thing, or face-to-face communication, but there are times when an email is the best format.

I've been thinking about relationship structure, specifically ours, and yours and M's.

It seems that from the outset of our discussions this spring to now that has shifted. We probably should have clearly defined what we each meant by those terms and what kind of life together we were hoping to build.

You've stated that you were surprised by M not being okay with spending time with her metamours because that's how you've always done poly and she knew that. Well, by the same yardstick I took your words to mean that building a primary relationship with you would mean building a relationship similar to what you've had in the past with your wife.

Was that the model you were speaking of when we were talking then? Was I mistaken? Did I read more into it? I thought words were used, but maybe not because now I'm confused with the direction things are going.

Co-primaries? Was this label used because of being unprepared for the conversation? Are you operating out of a fear base? Or is this truly how you see our relationships? How do we function in this structure? Where are we heading?

How do you see things working with M as my co-primary after I move in? I think the power struggle will be monumental if you try to keep us at equal status.

What do YOU want?

I love you, Bond. I always will. I'm similar to you in that. Find your words. Speak your truth. Say the thing. I understand I may get hurt by them, but isn't it better to know than be operating under falsehood?

I think the timeline for discussion with M has been moved up due to Facebook discussions and her setting up a lunch date with me. I'm also concerned that things may have been discussed last night (it was an M and Bond date night, and also tonight) that furthered the cause.

Love you.​

The question about it being fear-based was because of other conversations with Bond where he said that he never used to be passive in his language, but now he finds he is and it's because he's afraid now. (Collateral damage from his marriage ending.)

Bond via instant messaging:

Bond: "yes, co-primaries was her question to which i said 'yes'. you were not mistaken, i am hoping for you to move in. you are also right that M may react with fear to that."

Me: "Am I mistaken that wasn't what we had discussed before?
Re, co-primaries?"

Bond: "i think moving it will necessitate a higher status than co"

Me: "I am worried about meeting with her on Tuesday. I feel like we are building a web of lies by not being forthright."

Bond: "we had not discussed co before. i think i had said that you'd be primary because of living with me, commingling time/space/monies."

Bond: "i am too"

Me: "Okay, so I'm not insane. LOL. I really was questioning myself.
Should I reschedule it, or just tell her that I don't think it's in our best interest to have this conversation at this time?"

Bond: "you are not insane."

Bond: "maybe i am"

Me: "Possibly. wink emoticon
LOL"

Bond: "do you have an agenda? or just friendly meeting?"

Bond: "(literal meaning of agenda, not malevolent plotting kind.)"

Me: "I didn't set up the meeting. The agenda is 'structures/perspectives/needs/etc'
That is how M presented it."​

How to get from Point A to Point B without destroying their relationship? How to live with Bond (and Golden) and still provide the one on one time that M needs with Bond? How to reassure M that I value her relationship with Bond and that I'm happy they have each other? That if he loves her and wants her in his life that I want that, too? How to deal with someone who is jealous of her own kids and his kids? WTF?!

Say the thing.
 
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Petunia

Member
So much happens so quickly that it's hard to capture it here.

Last week M and Bond had a falling out.

M, Bond, and Golden all belong to a martial arts group. This group is public and was started by M and a partner years ago. About 5 years ago I was interested in this group, but I was too shy to go to a meeting. At some point in time M and her partner broke up and M quit going either due to the relationship ending or because of fibromyalgia. I'm unsure which event was the reason she quit going. Last Fall the group needed a place to practice and Bond offered his house and he joined the group. At the time M and Bond were transitioning from friends to romantic partners and she rejoined.

When the weather is nice, practice is held at one of the big parks, but when the weather is inclement they hold it at Bond's house.

In the years between my initial interest and now, I've had a back injury and a spinal fusion, so this is no longer something I feel I can participate in. Because this was something I was interested in at one time, I expressed interest in watching a practice way back before I had even met M. Bond broached this with M. She said she wasn't comfortable with that and please give her two weeks to become comfortable. So, every two weeks or so Bond revisits the subject. M thinks it's because I'm pushing the issue, but Bond is the one driving the continued pressure. He doesn't like that she has basically created a rule by refusing to deal with her emotions.

Because it's summer, most of the practices are at the park right now. The park is large with many sections, one of which runs along a large lake.

If my time with Bond or Golden is on a Sunday, M does not want me at the house or anywhere in the park. She expects me to vacate the house, or not come to the park so she doesn't have to see me. So she doesn't have to deal with her thoughts dwelling on me.

Bond's children do not know how to swim. He'd like me to be there to keep an eye on them while he's at practice. M's opinion is that they'll be fine. He's not so comfortable with that.

We've made a lot of accommodations to satisfy her need for "alone time" and total focus on her (no screens, no texting - even administrative texts are verboten despite their time being 48 hours in duration generally, very limited crossover time with none in the past two+ weeks), but while I have not stayed at the house or gone to the park we have not agreed to her demands on this. Because this fall when I move into Bond's house, all this will be moot. But she didn't know that. Bond had not said "the thing." He should have said "the thing."
 

Petunia

Member
I've mentioned that we have had zero overlap for a good two weeks or more, but you'd never know it by the posts that M puts on Facebook or the IM's she sends out to us, or the arguments she has with Bond. She's stuck on what happened before she expressed her needs and won't let it go.

Ironically, it turns out that Memorial Day - the day of the blasted overlap where she had to endure me trying to engage in her conversation over breakfast, was not on her date time. I was so tired of hearing about this that I went back to check the calendar and my date time with Bond was scheduled for 8 AM. Hmm.

She has bizarre math. She says she's okay with 20-25% of her date time with Bond having me present - as in I'm there with Golden and our paths cross. This equates to 9.6-12 hours out of her typical 48 hours which is definitely not what she actually means. She also has stated that she does not want "extended" time over 30 minutes with me, as in breakfast, dinner, etc., but is fine if we are passing through and going out for the evening.

I've gotten so exasperated with her that I finally told her that if our time reaches the 30 minute max that it is perfectly acceptable for her to remove herself from my presence.
 

Petunia

Member
M has also been stuck on me having more time than she gets. She keeps throwing up, "You get five days, and I only get two," as if our time needs to be equal. But reality is that I have never had those five days she keeps mentioning.

Bond told her that her perception was off. When they were talking about this last Wednesday night he showed her that this week it would be five days that he didn't see me. She offered up Tuesday night (tonight) as a good night for us to see each other as she would be working. (She's been taking vacation time and rearranging her schedule, and calling in sick to fit more time in with Bond.) He thought that was a good idea and opened up his calendar on his phone right then and sent me an invite. When he looked up she was gathering up her things and leaving. She stormed out and returned a few minutes later to give him back his house key (that she made for herself.)

In group IM she said that Bond was right that I wasn't getting "double time", but that through July 4th I have 36 days and she has 24, so 50% more time is accurate, not "double."

That didn't sound right to me, so I went through the calendar to count dates from the time we both show up on his calendar. In that time she has 32 entries and I have 36. Of that, from Memorial Day weekend through the weekend of the 4th, she has 21 and I have 21.5.

Regardless, that's not something I feel we should concentrate on. It just leaves one comparing what they have to what they perceive someone else as having and it leaves you feeling bankrupt.

I was reading on MoreThanTwo.com and came across this. It really nails M's style of poly. https://www.morethantwo.com/primarysecondary.html

There are two basic models of multiple relationships I’ve seen. The first of these is the “exclusive” model, which says “Alice needs to spend 10 hours a week with me, Betty needs to spend 15 hours a week with me, I need to be at work 40 hours a week, I need to run errands 7 hours a week…hmm, let’s see, that means that Alice gets this, this, and this time, Betty gets this time over here…” It’s a resource-competition model; you have so much of a resource, your time, and Alice wants this much, and Betty wants this much, and they are both competing for the same resource. The resource-competition model is zero-sum; every hour Alice gets is an hour that Betty doesn’t get.

The other model is the “inclusive” model; the idea that time spent with Alice does not need to exclude Betty, and vice versa. While any relationship should reasonably be able to have some alone time, the heart of the inclusive model is the idea that it is possible to spend time with one’s partners in a way that includes everyone, while still being “quality time.”

Indeed, a corollary of the inclusive model is that if your partner has another lover, it’s possible for you to spend quality time with your partner without excluding your partner’s other lover, even if you have no romantic connection with your partner’s other partner.
The inclusive model, however, does not work for people who believe that their partner’s time is a commodity that rightfully belongs to them; “But I shouldn’t HAVE to spend time with Betty! I’m the primary partner, that time belongs to ME!” It also does not work for people who feel challenged or threatened by their partner’s other partners; “I can’t stand to see you kiss Betty! It makes me insecure!” Nor does it work for people who feel that any time spent in the physical presence of a partner’s other partner is not quality time by definition: “You never spend any time with me!” “But honey, we spent the entire afternoon together, remember?” “That doesn’t count; Betty was there!”​
 
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