The Notebook of JaneQSmythe

JaneQSmythe

Active member
Dude's future relationship possibilities

As usual my reply to someone's post got a little long, but, as it relates to my thoughts on our current and future relationship configurations, I'd like to re-quote it here.

From my reply to someone's My Intro thread:

My own fear, early on, with Dude was that being in a relationship with me would impede his ability to find a "real girl" (i.e. a primary of his own) - the difference is that he wasn't/isn't actually "looking" for a primary (although not necessarily ruling it out) - this was my own fear. After a while, as our relationship evolved, he said that continuing a relationship with me (in some fashion) would be a necessary part of any future relationship configuration he finds himself in.

Now, lots of things could happen in the future (which is always a true statement). Dude could find a "real girl" who wants to be primary and our relationship could shift into a more secondary model. His new girl might have no interest in a primary type relationship with him (perhaps she already has a primary or doesn't want one) and choose to take a secondary role herself. New girl might be interested in a non-hierarchical model or a "working toward co-primary" type situation (as is evolving between the three of us). In addition, but not expected , the new girl might be interested in pursuing a relationship with either me or MrS as well...

The fact is that this hypothetical new girl will have her own preferences and boundaries, and OUR relationship could be in very different place than it is now (as people and relationships change over time). So, thinking NOW about what things could look like in the future is an interesting theoretical exercise (and I think it is good to be aware of the possibilities) but, until hypothetical new girl is actually on the scene, then no conclusions can be drawn.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
I'm still chuckling...so I have to take down a note. I was reading some posts here to my boys that had to do with arguments and the involvement (or not) of the uninvolved party and we were discussing the fact that MrS and I seems to have an argument, on average, about twice a year (which hasn't changed). How it's handled, etc.

Which led to a discussion of how long our relationship has lasted...we will have been "together" for 21 years. MrS quips: "Our relationship is old enough to drink!" then comes up with (in reference to Dude and I - who have been together for 2 years): "Your relationship says 'No!' a lot and takes naps."

Ha!:D

JaneQ
 

ThatGirlInGray

New member
HAHA! Awesome! My relationship with MC, then, is getting ready to learn how to drive, while my relationship with TGIB is walking and eating solid foods.
 

BrigidsDaughter

New member
Lol, my relationship with my husband, Runic Wolf, is flirting, dating, and fooling around. . . . my relationship with boyfriend, Wendigo, is learning to tie it's shoes and write letters and numbers, maybe start pre-school and make some friends.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
I'm so smiley right now:D TGIG and BD - way to take my "mini-meme" and run with it! (I shared your responses with my boys and they were so amused that you enjoyed our joke and expanded on it.)

This is one of the many things I love about this forum...I feel I can share the "silly" as well as the "serious" moments here. Yes, poly has it's struggles and bumps, as well as its unique challenges, but most of us are just regular folks who have regular problems and regular joys intermixed with the "poly" stuff. Thank you for sharing this with me!

JaneQ
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
Eyes Wide Open

I received a favorable response to this post, and I would like to preserve the bit about how opening our relationship to an "other" really opened my eyes with regards to my husband:

My relationship with MrS was good before Dude came along. We weren't perfect, but we were solid. Many of our friends looked at our marriage as the best example of "happy" they had ever seen. Yet still, when (after one of the most tumultuous times of our 20 years together) MrS gave his stamp of approval to my exploring things with Dude..holy shit, MrS came into "focus" in a way that I can only compare to our early NRE days.

THIS man, who has stood beside me through years of my own angst-y shit, who has explored life with me day-by-day-by-dreary-day, who has seen me at my best and my worst - he is still here. Someone I have sometimes taken out my anger on (unwarranted), that I have neglected at times (because he is a fixture in my life), THIS man is here, by my side, through THIS - my exploration of a connection with an "other." Even THIS is not enough to shake his love for me - even though he is uncomfortable at times, even though he is unsure at times, even though he can't predict how things will turn out. Still, here he is, hanging on - to me, to us, to our marriage, to what we have created together. How could I have not seen? How could I NOT love this WONDERFUL man? (Ah-hah! a light - I CAN'T NOT love him...NOW I can really SEE and APPRECIATE this man that is my husband.)

I'm so glad that my experiences can help others on their own Journeys. I'm also glad that I have this venue to write and learn. And I am double/triple glad that my boys are willing to take this Journey with me.

I am a lucky girl!

JaneQ

PS. This morning Dude was looking at me like "that"...the "meaningful" look, not the "I'm horny" look...and I said: "You know that I am the luckiest girl, right?"...his reply: "I know...you married my best friend." An unexpected, left-field, truism.
 

Velvet

New member
Just lovely

JaneQ,

That short paragraph is wonderful. I think it captures the best hopes of anyone starts down the path of polyamory when they already have an established partner. I'm glad you threw in your blog so I could catch it. :)
 

opalescent

Active member
PS. This morning Dude was looking at me like "that"...the "meaningful" look, not the "I'm horny" look...and I said: "You know that I am the luckiest girl, right?"...his reply: "I know...you married my best friend." An unexpected, left-field, truism.

I totally squeed at this. Awesomeness.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
Coming Out...a little more.

We (I) took the plunge this weekend and added another layer to our “coming out.”

Backstory: As I have written elsewhere here, I am a very private person anyway and tend to keep my professional circle of acquaintances, my family, and my social circles very separate. In terms of our immediate families – they know Dude lives with us and accept him has “family” (invited to family holidays etc.) but we don't discuss the details of our relationship or refer to it directly. We are “out” to my personal friends and MrS's and my shared friends from the pre-Dude years – a total of maybe 20 people max over the past 2 years – most of whom are not from/ do not live in our immediate area. I am not “out” at work or in public due to professional considerations.

So, we live/I work near Dude's hometown and he and MrS have been hanging out with some of Dude's old friends. (Dude has lived elsewhere for YEARS before coming back several years ago – about the time MrS met him, a few years before MrS introduced Dude and I in person). Anyway, Dude and MrS have made friends with one couple through mutual friends that they really wanted me to meet. (Incredible, cool, fun, smart, interesting people.) I have been reluctant, beyond even my usual introvert reluctance...and, it took me a little bit, but I finally figured it out.

If we are going to be hanging out with people in a social setting, I need to be able to be myself – to act as I naturally would and talk about whatever came up without “hiding” anything. Anyone who sees the three of us in a casual relaxed atmosphere is going to be able to see the interactions between the three of us and know that there is more than a married couple + roommate/friend dynamic going on. And it's not that I (or MrS or Dude) mind for these friends/friends-of-friends to know for themselves– it's that we live/I work in a small town and there is bound to be at least SOME overlap between my professional life and Dude's social circle.

We all talked about the concerns several times, thought about it, and decided that the benefit of opening myself up to friendships within this group of people was worth the potential risk. So, Friday night we all went to a concert in the nearby city and a small group of us went back to the “interesting couple”'s house for a small party. It was the three of us, the “interesting couple”, a couple that I already know and am comfortable with (Dude's other “best friend” and his girlfriend), another couple and 4-5 other random people. We/I had a great time!

There were a few raised eyebrows on occasion – for instance, a few of us were hanging out in the kitchen and somehow Dude and MrS got to talking about how I sleepwalk sometimes and the funny things that I do. One of the “random people” girls (that Dude and MrS have met before but I haven't talked to) asked “So, do you live together?” - I answered “yes” and went back to the side conversation that I was having, then MrS answered “yes”, then Dude answered “yes” - apparently (it was reported to me later) – with each “yes” her eyes just got bigger.

There was, of course, the inevitable overlap that I was concerned about. It turns out the wife of the “another couple” works with one of my partners from the office in a different setting on a semi-regular basis. I wandered in on the tail-end of a conversation between Dude and the “another couple” were he was, I think, talking about our unusual relationship configuration and the need for some discretion in the work arena. (Now, I don't know this woman, perhaps she is the biggest gossip in the county, if so – the cat is now out of the bag. I don't actually care if my partner that she works with knows – he is a cool guy, we have a “work” friendship and HE is not a gossip – I just don't need it to be “public knowledge”.)

Anyway, the “interesting couple” offered us a bed for the night. Some people left, some people stayed. In the morning it was us, the “interesting couple”, the couple that I already know, and the one “random person” guy that I had gotten to know best during the course of the night. I felt very comfortable. I actually woke up before anyone but the “interesting couple” and we had a nice chat. She took me on a tour of their property on the quad. I had an interesting conversation with the husband – where he asked if I had a good time and he hoped that I didn't feel like they had “hovered over” me too much. Apparently, this little “get together” was engineered in such a way because they were interested in meeting ME! :eek: We didn't talk directly about my relationships but they were indirectly acknowledged as a "given".

So – the ice has been broken. I am actually feeling pretty relaxed about the whole situation. The boys and the husband of the “interesting couple” have some projects they are going to be working on together and I see more socializing in our future. Now that I have met them, stayed with them, the boys are free to invite them to our house...

New friendships with interesting people, hmmm – I haven't done THAT it a while (maybe some friendship-NRE coming on?)

JaneQ

PS. Fingers-crossed that I have not just ruined my career...:cool: Somehow I don't think so - these people are themselves hippie-freak counter-culture types and not likely to fault us for going against the mainstream. I mean, really, is the tatted-up guy with the dreads down to his waist really going to rat me out for not "conforming" to society's rules on relationships? The folks that are working toward a self-sustaining farm and off-grid living are going to worry about me choosing an "alternative relationship" style? I think not.
 
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JaneQSmythe

Active member
Directionless Anxiety

I had a rough week – and the annoying part is...there is no fucking reason for it! Everything is actually FINE. Yes, there is stress at work – but no more that usual. The boys are actually working on the old house – slower than I would choose but an improvement over the “none” that was happening before. MrS is fine – he is not depressed or upset about anything. Dude is fine – no existential angst or dwelling on old dysfunctional family shit. Nothing is different, yet...I find myself in a state of almost-panic. It's not “about” anything. (This is what is so hard to fathom/explain.)

I have some sort of “Anxiety Disorder” (probably GAD) – I recognize it, my father has it (I am so like him in so many ways). But, usually, this manifests as an anxious state in “response” to something (some “trigger”) but WAY out of proportion. For instance, MrS will make a snippy response to something because he is tired or just annoyed and I will roll that into a whole mental hamster wheel about how he is fundamentally unhappy with our situation and poly and x and y and z...etc. I will then recognize that I am on said “hamster wheel” and can talk myself down, ask MrS for the reassurances that I need, and “get over” it. OR, I will have too many deadlines to meet or too many responsibilities piled on me at work and get myself into a state where all of this is pressing down on me and I can't sleep and I dwell on all of the “work” I have to do. I will then recognize that I am only one person and there are so many hours in the day and I can consciously choose to prioritize the things that are actually important and let the other ones go (So what if deadlines don't get met? So what if meaningless scut-work doesn't get done? Pick the stuff that affects actual people, do that, and move on. Your bureaucracy is not my problem.)

This week though...JEESH! I have this sense of doom with NO direction at all. Like I am waiting for the “other shoe to drop” ….but there was no “first shoe” to instigate it. Like when you wake up at three AM and remember that there is this “really important thing” that you forgot to do...but there IS NO “really important thing.” I tell myself it's just anxiety – doesn't help. My heart is pounding, I can't breathe, I'm shaking. Dude tries to hold me - “What's wrong honey?” Nothing, there is NOTHING FUCKING WRONG – “I'm just feeling anxious...about nothing.” Literally – nothing. There is not a single blessed thing that I am actually worried about – so there is nothing to talk myself down from. MrS looks worried - “Are you okay?” Yes, I'm fine – except I feel like I am going to implode. Nobody has done anything, said anything … but … It feels like something really awful is going to come to light any second now and somehow it will be ALL MY FAULT. (What?! Where?! Seriously, I haven't done ANYTHING different.) How can I argue myself out of feeling bad about “it” when there is no “it”? God-damn-it.

I had some hints that this was coming on over the past weeks – fleeting panics out of proportion the the “threat”. So I did restart the SSRI that I have used in the past (I'm more reluctant to do this than previously, however, since I do notice a decrease in libido that will affect my relationship with Dude, which is much more “physical sex” based than my relationship with MrS). Do I need to go back to counseling? I “did” three months of counseling a few years ago when the stresses of a big deadline/ a big family event/ and stress of infertility all came to a head at the same time. (It was helpful – the deadline passed, the family event was over, and I started to come to terms with the idea that I would likely never bear a biological child). But now? With no “triggers” to talk about?

ARRRGGH!

JaneQ

PS. Today was a good day. Work was lighter than usual. I got a bunch of stuff done that was piling up. And I wasn't in a panic. Maybe the meds are kicking in...or maybe I was being “triggered” by stuff I didn't recognize... we'll see.
 

wildflowers

New member
This sounds really tough; sorry!!

Do you have any activities that tend to lighten your mood, things that when you focus on them you are distracted from the worries? If so, can you make a concerted effort to spend more time at them?

For me, yoga, music, exercise, some reading all help me escape. Even at times when I'm not all that keen to engage in them initially, I end up feeling better.

I wonder if the anxiety might be becoming its own trigger, ie you had some initial bad feeling you didn't understand, and worry about that is now spiralling out of control.

Glad that yesterday was a bit better.
 

opalescent

Active member
I hate to suggest this because it is *such* a stereotypical response to women experiencing emotional difficulties.

But, have you had your hormones checked recently? Thyroid for sure. Maybe others? Check with your doctor. Personally if I am generally angry at the world for no reason, my period is around the corner. It happen's often enough that I recognize the pattern now but it took a while to connect that rage over nothing to hormonal fluctuations as my body prepared to menstruate. Or if I am low in thyroid hormone, I am lethargic and sad. It's astonishing the power hormones can have over our emotional states. (Men too.)

And I hate to be all up in your in business but have you talked to a doctor about going back on your SSRI? Some of those need titration to work properly and not cause bad side effects.

And I don't know your age but there are hormonal long term changes as one ages. The shift from regular menses to perimenopause to full menopause, for example. Something to be aware of but, typically, every woman experiences these differently.

Wishing you the best and restful thoughts.
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
This sounds really tough; sorry!!

Thank you for reading and caring!

Do you have any activities that tend to lighten your mood, things that when you focus on them you are distracted from the worries? If so, can you make a concerted effort to spend more time at them?

For me, yoga, music, exercise, some reading all help me escape. Even at times when I'm not all that keen to engage in them initially, I end up feeling better.

Excellent suggestion! I usually "disengage" my brain by re-reading my favorite science fiction.

Yoga is also very therapeutic for me - but I tend to only do it when I am actually attending a class. I think I need to put together a few sequences that I can do at work - close the office door and run through a few sun salutations maybe? Also, I think I need to set up my yoga space at home as a more permanent arrangement and then make the commitment to do even a small amount regularly. Thank you for reminding me of my intention in this regard!:)

I wonder if the anxiety might be becoming its own trigger, ie you had some initial bad feeling you didn't understand, and worry about that is now spiralling out of control.

I think that you have hit the nail on the head here, actually. I have a quote on my Profile here (I keep quotes from threads in my Visitor Messages):
"Worrying about your tendency to worry is the sign of a champion worrier!" - AnnabelMore 12/17/11, Phy's story thread on polyamory.com​

Glad that yesterday was a bit better.

Me too!:D I woke up this morning to a good start after a good night sleep - MrS was cuddled up against me and Dude was already awake with my coffee ready. We only have one obligation this weekend (dinner and a show with MrS's parents in the city tonight) and, since I got my work stuff caught up yesterday, I can just relax and do whatever I want with the rest of my time.

Here's to a good weekend for all!

JaneQ
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
I hate to suggest this because it is *such* a stereotypical response to women experiencing emotional difficulties.

But, have you had your hormones checked recently? Thyroid for sure. Maybe others? Check with your doctor. Personally if I am generally angry at the world for no reason, my period is around the corner. It happen's often enough that I recognize the pattern now but it took a while to connect that rage over nothing to hormonal fluctuations as my body prepared to menstruate. Or if I am low in thyroid hormone, I am lethargic and sad. It's astonishing the power hormones can have over our emotional states. (Men too.)
...

And I don't know your age but there are hormonal long term changes as one ages. The shift from regular menses to perimenopause to full menopause, for example. Something to be aware of but, typically, every woman experiences these differently.

Good thoughts and I think that this may be part of it. I have had my thyroid checked a number of times in the past when this has come up and it has always been fine - but can't hurt to check again.

In terms of the other - I just turned 39 and I have a progesterone implant for contraception (which suppresses my cycles and helps with my endometriosis). For the first 18 months I had the implant I had light bleeding/spotting all of the time (which is better than endometriosis agony so I didn't mind) BUT had been noticing that I was hungry ALL of the time (similar to my "feeding week" when I was on OCPs) and was steadily gaining weight.

At the beginning of March I bled heavily for 2 days (like, scary heavy) and then the bleeding stopped altogether - the "hungry" went away and I was able to lose the 15# that I had gained rather easily (I was "trying" but I had been "trying" the whole time that I was putting it on as well - I'm just really bad at fighting the "hungry";)). So - definitely some hormonal swings going on here.

And I hate to be all up in your in business but have you talked to a doctor about going back on your SSRI? Some of those need titration to work properly and not cause bad side effects.

Thanks for pointing this out - especially for anyone else that is reading this thread. It is not a good idea to randomly stop/start/change psych meds on your own! The last time I tapered off, we actually discussed the plan for resuming should my symptoms recur...so I was all set with the correct dose etc. in case this came up. I'm to set up an appt with her 6 weeks in after resuming meds.

Wishing you the best and restful thoughts.

Thank you for your thoughts and concern - the support I receive here is very much appreciated.

JaneQ
 

FullofLove1052

New member
I am so sorry things were so tough. I understand the analogy about waking up at 3 AM and swearing up and down that there is just something you must do, but then you forget. It is frustrating.

I am glad the last day of the week was been better for you, and I hope your weekend is relaxing.

Yoga is absolutely relaxing. I practise on daily basis--in and out of class. I have to empty my mind and relax my body. The best poses for alleviating anxiety are the child pose, headstands, backbends (I do this with and without a fitness ball), forward bend (meditation pose for me), legs up the wall, and the cat pose. It also helps to practise various styles. I have recently taken up Ashtanga Yoga. It is a bit more challenging, but it works wonders in getting the kinks out. I would definitely say do it at work, too. I have a yoga mat in my office, and if people start working my nerves, I retreat to my serene place and calm myself down.

I would also be mindful of your progesterone implant. Those implants can malfunction and cause increased anxiety and even depression. The side effects of medicines and said treatments can be more awful than the original reason for even taking them. If that is the cause, your doctor can prescribe something to counteract it. Congentin is sometimes used, or they opt to remove the implant and replace it with another kind.

I am glad that you had a plan in place for your SSRI in the event that you needed to get back on them.

Sending you hugs and hoping you have a pleasant evening with the in-laws and even more relaxed weekend with Dude and MrS!

Ry
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
First Date!

So, our "co-habitating open poly vee" is just over two years old and going well. We've learned a lot about ourselves and our relationships.

Time for the next step...the next incline in the learning curve. At the two year mark we started talking about Dude starting to "actively" date (not that he couldn't have dated before - but he was not really "looking"). For the last three months he has been gradually working on his OKCupid profile and starting to message people as we talked about our concerns and personal boundaries as we enter this next phase of our poly lives.

He's had a number of very nice conversations with women (and sometimes their partners). And...tonight he is out on his first date! I'm, right now, in a pretty relaxed place. The timing seems very fortunate.

Dude and I had the weekend together alone - as MrS was at a music festival with MrClean. We had lots of interesting conversations, good sex, and bonding. MrS came home from the festival in a great mood - he got lots of attention from the sexy hippie chicks - dancing and flirting to music that he loves.

Before Dude left for his date, we showered together and held each other (and stuff). As he was leaving he looks me in the eyes and asks "Would you like it if I came home tonight?" Yes, yes I would - so, after a moment's hesitation, I said "Yes". I like how he phrased the question as a "preference" and not "permission". The hesitation stemmed from my own desire to live up to my ideal as a "perfect poly girlfriend" - but I decided to go easy on myself and just answer the damn question.

After Dude left, I showered MrS and he led me off to the bedroom for our own re-connection happy sex time. MrS and I don't have sex all that often - so this is really a special thing for me. He always does seem to time it for when it does me the most good (plus, he was all charged up from his weekend :D).

So...I am feeling - calm. satisfied. happy. good about myself. good about my boys. good about our relationships.

I am also feeling good about the woman that he is going out with. She is not that much younger than us, bisexual, polyamorous as well as being very smart and very interesting. Whether or not they hit it off - I'm sure that Dude will have a great time.

Deep breath...so far so good.

UPDATE: (since I am in the 12 hour window) Dude called me a few hours ago when he was on his way home and let me know he was on his way and that he had a good time and that she was just as smart and interesting as we thought - but even cuter in real life. Since he's gotten home we've been talking and sharing. I hope that she had as good of a time as he did.
 
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Cleo

New member
oooohh, that is such an interesting time, when one of your partners starts dating.

I'm happy for you that you are feeling good and calm about it. It can be a great new experience where you really learn a lot of new things about each other. Nice things and not so nice things (the not so nice things I learned were mostly about myself btw :))
Looking forward to updates about the new situation!
 

Nox

New member
Really good to hear!
 

JaneQSmythe

Active member
So, she messaged him the next day that she had a good time but didn't really feel that there was any "chemistry" between them. Which Dude is perfectly okay with - after all, what are the chances? He really likes meeting new people regardless of where things end up going. She is still interested in meeting up with all of us - so I sent her a message via OKC that we are game for that when the boys get back. (I checked with Dude first that he was okay with this - don't want him to feel like I am "sniping" his potentials.)

Baby steps. Dude went on his first "date" and I didn't have a second of anxiety. I've got one hurdle under my belt now. Which gives me more confidence for the next round. (I have no qualms from a theoretical stand-point, mind you, but I sometimes get blind-sided by my emotional responses - did not happen.)

JaneQ
 
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