The World is Deep

FragsNRuins

New member
Welcome to my blog, "The World is Deep"! I'm new to this website and to polyamoury in general. I've very much enjoyed reading the excellent blog threads on this forum, and upon my wife's advice, I decided I would like to write one of my own. My hope is that this thread serves as a retrospective for me some day, and I hope it is also useful to other married couples who are thinking of opening their relationship.

First, an initial Dramatis Personae...

Me: A thirty-year-old white, cis, hetflex man. I attempted to provide some more detail, but then this post started reading like a personal ad! I'm a feminist and approach my day-to-day life from that direction. I specified "white" in this description because too often that is assumed as the default. I want it to be clear to readers that all of this is coming from the perspective of someone who passes as the "standard" straight white married man, with all of the innate prejudices and privilege that may entail. What, a lengthy disclaimer about possible white- and mansplaining in my very first blog post? Yeah, I'm just GREAT at parties. :rolleyes:

Athena: My wife and best friend. Thirty, cis, bisexual woman. The greatest stroke of luck in my life is that I had the opportunity to get to know this woman. We live together, and we are child-free by choice and intend to stay that way. We opened our relationship about a month and a half ago.

Muse: My girlfriend and coworker. Thirty, cis, bisexual woman. She is solo poly with multiple partners, divorced, and has two young children. She is one of the sweetest people I have ever met, and is responsible for making me consider polyamoury in the first place. She is becoming good friends with Athena and is openly interested in pursuing a romantic relationship with her, too.

Codex: Athena's current interest. Late-twenties, cis, bisexual woman. She has been married for around ten years (I'm not totally sure on the duration) to a man. They recently opened their relationship as well. Codex's husband is still mono and one of their boundaries is that she can only date women. She met Athena on an online dating site and they hit it off right away.

That will do as an introductory post. Next time we'll get to the shit that people really come to this site for: the tale of a fantastic monogamous romance!!! :D
 

FragsNRuins

New member
When I first met Athena I was engaged to a woman I'll call Alice. Alice and I had hooked up in college, and though I did love her, looking back it seems to me that we fell into our relationship sort of by default. It doesn't help that my life had taken some very bad turns during the course of our relationship, so we were cohabitating by necessity.

At first, Athena didn't make much of an impression on me besides being someone fun to game with on occasion. However, after she left her boyfriend at the time, and after the cracks in my relationship with Alice started to widen, we became better friends and soon I became utterly infatuated with her.

I had never met someone who had so clearly understood and accepted me. Athena honestly and enthusiastically supported my hopes and dreams. This was an utter departure from the support I would get from Alice. With Alice I felt that I could never communicate properly. I felt that we practically lived in different worlds. With Athena it felt like everything was crystal clear. Despite our own differences, she is the only person I've been around who is consistently on the same wavelength as me. That was a world-shaking revelation for me, because I had felt so isolated in life before.

The chemistry Athena and I had was undeniable. I knew in my bones that she was attracted to me, but my mind just wouldn't believe it and Athena herself was noncommittal and vague due to not wanting to be a homewrecker. After days and weeks of agonizing over the decision and wrestling with my fears, I left Alice and started dating Athena. To date, it was the best single decision I've ever made.

I was (and honestly, still am, sometimes) wracked with guilt about so ruthlessly ending it with Alice. She did nothing wrong. She is a good woman. But the potential for happiness with Athena was too great to be ignored. Athena moved in with me like two weeks after we got together, and I have been in a state of relationship bliss for about five years. We were married three years ago this October.

Reading back on what I just wrote, I feel a new wave of sadness and guilt. I don't think I was a good person. But it's also true that I have absolutely no regrets about what I did, in any detail.

My relationship with Athena has only gotten better over the years. There was a stretch or two where we started growing a bit more distant than was comfortable, but we've always come back. My trust in her is absolute. She's extremely intelligent, talented, beautiful, and so very sexually compatible with me. Sometimes I feel like I can't contain the love I feel for her.

Through it all, we've maintained our independence. Or as I tend to put it when asked by friends and family, "we each got our own shit going on." We have mutual friends, and love doing things together, but we're both okay hanging out with those friends "solo" and having our own groups and so on. It ends up this natural independence and trust was going to turn out extremely beneficial when we began discussing opening our relationship.

I knew Athena was bisexual when I met her. I was insecure when we first got together, and I told her I wasn't comfortable with threeways or anything like that. I told her that while we were driving out to meet a bunch of people at the sort of event that was notorious for hookups. This planted the seed in Athena's mind that I was strictly monogamous, or at least more monogamous than she was. I accepted monogamy by default, as so many are conditioned.

Multiple partners and open relationships would not come up again until we heard that some long distance friends of ours were polyamorous. As I recall, I was a bit judgmental and dismissive of it all. I didn't understand how it could work. Athena and I talked about it a lot in an abstract sense. I was repelled by the logistics of it and of course "I wouldn't be able to help being jealous!"

I never believed in "the one" (despite finding at least "a one" in Athena) and intellectually I could not think of any good arguments against polyamory. What arguments I had were obviously related to my own insecurities and inadequacies, in retrospect. I was, at the very least, very physically attracted to other women and some men throughout my relationship with Athena. Despite my introvert tendencies, I often connect very easily with people. But I never felt any urge for something else, the occasional fantasy during a wank not withstanding.

That all changed after Muse entered my life.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi FragsNRuins,

Have enjoyed your blog so far. In a way, it sounds like polyamory took you by surprise!

Regards,
Kevin T.
 

FragsNRuins

New member
Polyamory has definitely been a surprise. I knew of its existence but never thought it was for me. "I would be so jealous! Oh, the logistics of it all! Too much trouble!" But then it happened.

I met Muse at work a few months ago. I am often tapped by my company to perform on the job training for new hires, and Muse ended up being one of my trainees. From the moment we met I felt an attraction to her. It wasn't a visceral physical attraction (despite her being quite beautiful, in my opinion), but rather an attraction to her sheer presence. She practically glowed with empathy and good will. "Nice" people often grate on my nerves, but Muse was at a different level. After some time getting to know each other during the training, I could see she was a bit of a kindred spirit to me.

We hit it off immediately, and I don't remember any other time I've had so much fun and laughter while teaching someone how to their job. But despite my attraction to her, pursuing anything with her at all was not on my radar. I just chalked her up as someone else fun to talk to at work.

Not long after that, she friended me on Facebook. I'm not really one for social media, but I didn't see the harm. Before too long, we were talking to each other via Facebook messenger and getting to know each other better. Some of the main things I talk about with people is my relationship and good times with Athena, since she has had such a huge positive effect on my life. Muse didn't give me any weird vibes when I would bring these sorts of things up, so there were still no blips on my radar.

Muse is a very physical person, and very hug-happy. This manifested at work. I'm not into physical contact with someone who is not a good friend or lover, but I indulged her anyway. And honestly, one time I really needed a hug from her, after my best work friend was fired. In any case, our friendship developed over a few weeks or so.

My first inkling of something going "wrong" was when a bunch of us were hanging around after work talking and I mentioned my non-social media, hermit-like ways. Muse chimed in, "but you talk to me all the time!" And that's when I realized that I was falling for her, and it was heading toward something beyond a friendship. The final straw was when she made an approving post on Facebook about a polyamory article. The timing of that post felt very much like a signal to me!

I told her that I couldn't go on giving her hugs and so on because I was romantically attracted to her. I told her how I felt like I would be taking advantage of something offered in friendship just to touch her. She then revealed that she was in fact attracted to me, but "respectfully". She didn't want to cause harm to my marriage. We mutually decided to put the brakes on things for a bit until I could talk to Athena about what to do next (Athena was on a vacation with some friends). Athena was happy I came to her right away. The level of trust in our relationship is extremely high. I could never dream of cheating on her or not bringing up a problem right away. For her part, she was glad that her trust in me proved valid yet again.

And then it happened. My marriage opened up and I started seeing Muse. I knew that it would be a serious lifestyle change, but I was unprepared for the sheer breadth and depth of effects it would have on my relationship with Athena, and my relationship with myself.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Sounding pretty hopeful so far ... :)
 

FragsNRuins

New member
Man, it's been a long time since I've updated this blog. Honestly, I've sort of been living vicariously through my wife's blog, here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=76173. The truth of the matter is that there hasn't been much uncertainty, upheaval, or other drama in my own poly life, so I haven't felt particularly moved to post to this blog.

All of the changes, drama, and stress in my life lately were work-related, and I recently solved those by walking on out of that job. I now keep up the home, work on personal creative projects (I'm a writer, musician, and amateur video game programmer), and get to spend much more time with my lovely wife, Athena. Though it may be less confusing to use the aliases my wife came up with, I'm not going to because I like giving code names!

When I last posted I was leading into the changes I had to make to become poly. It took an enormous amount of self-reflection and discussion with both Athena and Muse. In the end, I identified a major cause of the knee-jerk insecurity I felt. I had not properly recognized it before, but I had serious inadequacy issues from my childhood and early adulthood. It was difficult to get to the root of these problems, but I managed it. It's hard to give details about the process because it was a few months ago now.

In any case, I emerged from the crucible of poly-ness as a fundamentally changed man. My self-confidence was more genuine. I was far more comfortable with myself. I had performed a great self-overcoming. With my new-found power and happiness, my employment situation at the time was unbearable. I had a clear idea of who I wanted to be, and such employment could not be reconciled with my dreams and desires. It was with great satisfaction that I removed my labor from that company. Though I'm sure I'll be economically hurting soon, these have been some of the most peaceful and productive days of my life.

So, I was pretty distracted from romantic and poly concerns by the work situation. Now my biggest problem is that my utter lack of disposable income means that I see Muse far less. And now we get to the poly meat of this post. Muse has been going through a lot lately. She's in total NRE with another man (coincidentally, the guy I turned my resignation in to. It was kind of sweet when he checked with her to make sure I was okay). She had to deal with dramatics of an epic scale with a friend, and she has been feeling extremely down regarding sexual matters.

The NRE with Hatter (whose name I stole from my wife's blog since it's so fitting) struck me as a very good thing, and it was easy to feel compersion for her. However, Hatter has a long-term, super-long-distance girlfriend, and it's my understanding that he won't talk with his girlfriend about Muse. I of course find this extremely unethical. Muse is also guilt-ridden, trying to restrict her feelings and actions out of consideration for this girlfriend. I don't like to see Muse hurting, but this is not something I can directly help with. I've told her that I think it's unethical on his part, but if it's really bothering her, she needs to be firm with him and get him to talk with his girlfriend about all of this. I very strongly suspect that this is NOT something Muse wants to talk about with Hatter; she's not very confrontational and she adores the dude. I'm also concerned about what this lack of consideration on Hatter's part could mean in relation to Muse. Despite the goodfeels of her NRE, the situation feels icky to me.

Muse is a very empathetic and caring person, so it's not unusual for her to get wrapped up in the pain, crises, and drama of others. I've had to make a boundary with her where we focus on us when we're together. I want her to talk to me about HER feelings, HER problems, and HER hopes. Too often, she would enter the "doom spiral" (which I can recognize from a mile away, suffering from depression myself) regarding her friends' and loved ones' problems. That woman has more than enough on her plate, and I couldn't stand to be the dumping ground of non-Muse peoples' problems. It was (and is) hard to discuss this with her. I care very deeply for her, but I just don't give a damn about people I don't know who sound like they're bringing on their own problems. It makes me feel cruel and heartless (and I probably sound that way to you, too, dear reader), and I think it has contributed to a backing-off between us. The near future is absolutely critical to the rest of my life, and it's imperative that I keep a positive outlook. Watching Muse be a sponge for everyone's badness is very painful to me, and she will not follow my advice regarding any of it.

Which sort of segues into the last poly/relationship problem. I really enjoy the physical intimacy I have with Muse. We both have our boundaries, and I don't think either of us have had any problems sticking to them. Recently, I was getting the strong impression that she wanted more, and I was open to renegotiation, but I didn't put any pressure on it. After discussing it some more, I found out that I had slightly misread the situation and that in fact she is generally sexually frustrated. This unfortunately has little to do with desire and much to do with things that had happened to her in the past. She suffered various forms of abuse in her past relationships, and is unable to enjoy certain sexual activities because of this. It's causing her a ton of pain and frustration because she would like to move past it.

On my end, it's painful to watch a friend and lover suffer through this sort of thing. It brought to light something that I think may be a crucial difference between us. She clearly wants help, and to talk about it. I always try to listen to her and comfort her, as I know talking it out often helps me feel better, too. The problem is, it's clear to me that she's seriously suffering, and I think she needs actual professional help. I think Muse has extremely little trust in medical professionals, and instead would prefer to rely on friends and family for care. From my perspective, my own problems have become MUCH more manageable because I finally spoke to a medical professional about them. I strongly advised her to seek a counselor, and more specifically a sex- and poly-friendly/knowledgeable counselor for help. Self-care is something that is very difficult for her due to economic reasons and the fact that she's a single mother essentially living alone. I really hope she gets the help she needs, for her own sake. All I can really do is accept her as she is but continue to advocate healing. On a personal note, it's extremely draining to try to help someone but to have your advice shot down or otherwise disregarded.

All of the things in this ultra-long post have contributed to some distance between Muse and I. When we have actual, in-person "us" time, it's always great and a highlight of my day. But the surrounding drama and negativity is something that I can't handle very well, and thus I've backed off. I was free to be myself and grow as a person only AFTER I had basically cut off certain toxic people from my life. It's hard to watch someone I care for so deeply immerse herself others' problems when she clearly has so much healing to do for herself.
 

FragsNRuins

New member
Muse and her housemates had a party last night, and I was invited to it. I was worried that it would be a big to-do, but it ended up being a pleasant low key affair. The food was excellent, and it's always great to be able to hang out with Muse in an adult setting.

Muse's back-and-forth, intense thing with Hatter continues. It's frustrating for me since it's causing her a lot of pain. She doesn't want to do without his affections, but she's continually put in situations where she's violating her conscience in regards to Hatter's LDR. In my book, Hatter is cheating, and I didn't sugar coat my opinion too much about that. The secrecy of it all really sticks in my craw, and Muse is definitely the worse for wear. She's having trouble setting and enforcing her own boundaries with him because they've become so close and she's grown dependent on him in some ways. I can't really judge, because when I'm not physically present with someone, I think I come off as fairly distant and introverted. I think it's fair to say that Hatter is there for her more often in her day-to-day than I am.

Anyway, I really wish Muse would just tell Hatter to talk with his girlfriend and get things figured out one way or the other because it's all stressful and unethical. She insisted that it's not so straightforward of a situation because the LDR woman is currently "fragile". I derisively pointed out that Hatter repeatedly cheating on her is not likely to improve her condition, and that sort of killed that conversation.

If I would have seen Hatter that night in person (he ended up going to work), I would probably have quietly called him out. It wouldn't have been right, so I'm glad it didn't happen, but still. I'm getting tired of seeing Muse hurt. Of course, me taking a metamour to task would probably not help anyone.

Speaking of metamours, one of Muse's housemates is her long-running sometimes-lover-sometimes-not who is still recovering from a devastating breakup. My wife has written about him a bit in her own blog and dubbed him "Smith". As usual, her nicknames are spot-on, so I'm stealing that one too. Alas, my individuality! Anyway, Smith. Athena was considering him for dating material and I had my reservations. She goes into details about her decision here. I didn't and still don't know him very well, but a situation came to light last night at the party that confirmed for me my "off" feeling.

Smith had his own special romantic guest for the evening, a woman from out of state that I'll just call "Pilgrim" for readability's sake, and also because it sounds kind of funny to me. She was pretty and seemed cool. I had the most success making random small talk with her than with any of the other guests, and had a general good feeling. Smith had just been entwined with another woman going through some intense shit, so please understand that I was sort of relieved that this woman seemed all right.

As the night wore on, we got to talking some more and we unexpectedly got into what I like to teasingly call "smug intellectual" mode. We got into it about political philosophy and sociological things. It sort of pleasantly caught me off guard. After seeing Muse and I together, she had some basic questions about polyamory as well. The three of us started hanging out and chatting it up some more, but then something a bit troubling was revealed.

As per usual at these sort of things, some references were made to this or that bit of nostalgia or shared experience, and Pilgrim revealed that she was pretty young. She eventually told Muse and I that she is nineteen, which sort of threw me off. Smith is in like his mid thirties or something, and seems to be careening between mono-ish relationships, and now there's a 19 year old from out of state slamming beers in his house and sharing his bed. Maybe I'm a bit of a prude now as I hit the big 30 marker myself, but I admit to having some squick about that.

Pilgrim went on to provide some more information that I won't recount here--even though it's an anonymous blog--but that information only served to increase my sense of "ehhhhhhhhhhhh" about the whole situation. I tried to hide my unease, and Muse and I gave her some relationship advice coming from a more neutral position. It ended up being really nice having the three of us sit around and chat into the wee hours, even if Pilgrim and I got into some political discussions that bordered on uncivil (I swear, her understanding of Feminism seemed to have come mostly from Gamergaters, and I had the always-lovely privilege of being one of the only non-gun nuts in the building).

Finally, Muse and I dragged ourselves into bed and had a good cuddle while being a couple of goofballs. The connection I have with Athena is extremely conscious and intellectual, even with all of the affection and sexual attraction we have. We both know what we want, and have found a very good fit in each other. Muse and I have different interests and outlooks on the world, but we have a fundamental connection between our personalities. We can always make each other laugh, we can be very weird together, and sparks tend to fly very readily when we get physical. She and I would never have been like this if I were monogamous, because we're too different and we want different things in our lives. We would not be able to "settle down" and financially entwine ourselves. One thing I truly love about polyamory is that no-one needs to "fit" perfectly, and we're free to find love and romantic fulfillment wherever its level may be with any given person. I'm very lucky to have met Muse, and last night was a nice reminder of that.

I'm looking forward to Athena's return later today so we can reconnect. She was understandably having a hard time last night with the events surrounding her grandma's funeral, and I just want her home safe as soon as possible so I can hold her and talk to her.
 
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