Wuthering Heights with less drama

Do we draw the line somewhere? Is the line the same for everyone?
If there is a line to be drawn, we haven’t got close to it with Edgar yet. We’ve been open with each other in terms of what makes us tick: fantasies (both), watching porn (Edgar), feeling loved and supported (me, when Edgar takes my mental load off).

Visualising only Heath while having sex with Edgar is unlikely to work for me anyway - maybe that IS my line or, more likely, there is space in my head to be present in the moment with Edgar even if I have a fleeting vision of Heath. The two of them are quite separate in my consciousness and, if it ever works out, it would be as two separate intimate relationships where the metas happen to be friends.

I am curious what Edgar actually thinks - wouldn’t surprise me if he was ok with it as long as he’s not feeling substituted. Which he wouldn’t be as I do enjoy our intimacy when my libido is in a good space.

Heath would have definitely had more of a problem with this in previous years. I am hoping the dynamic here and now would be different for him though. Edgar and I have been a couple for a long time. Heath is used to us as a couple. Edgar has always been nothing but supportive of our more-than-platonic friendship with Heathcliff and Heath knows that. Surely that should reduce the risk of him feeling excluded?
It sounds like Edgar is going to remain mono at least at the start point so once this really gets going he’s going feel some demotion, displacement and intrusion…all normal in small doses. Could being used / taking it out on him to dump her NRE lust for heath add to demotion and displacement or lessen it ?

This is something I will definitely keep in mind. I can’t imagine displacing Edgar - that would actively hurt. But it’s less about what I feel or do, it’s his perception of the situation that’s more important. So yes, definitely lots of discussions ahead and checking in. Heath being far away and ridiculously busy should help balance things out.

I think @Evie hit the nail on the head - lots of emotional labour ahead.
dinged was referring to terms from the poly hell article. I don't sense impending poly hell for Edgar, since, as you emphatically state, he's been very supportive of your already unusually close and physically intimate r'ship with Heath!

dinged was referring to terms from the poly hell article. I don't sense impending poly hell for Edgar, since, as you emphatically state, he's been very supportive of your already unusually close and physically intimate r'ship with Heath!

Yes, I’ve read this article as I have been lurking for a while 😉. I can see how polyhell can happen. Obv, I would do my best (even as I acknowledge that i can’t preempt or preplan everything) to avoid giving Edgar reason to feel demoted. Of course every couple thinks it won’t happen to them, I’m not so naive as to discount the possibility. It is there whether I like it or not. However, I do have a few concrete things that I think work in our collective favour (assuming this crush continues and things go via Plan A / fireworks of the good variety):

1. Edgar and I are fairly independent. Although we have friends and hobbies together (whom/which we can and do enjoy separately as well as together). We also have friends and hobbies that are separate. And by the latter I mean quite separate: think of an activity-type holiday: Edgar will find a golf course while I would rather go on a ski field. This is literally our next family holiday and either of us would rather read a book in a hotel than join the other, up or down the mountain respectively. The kids just choose which one of us they want to hang out with. So far LittleBean stayed down with Edgar, quite happily swinging baby golf clubs at the driving range, while BeanStalk was up at the crack of dawn, alarm not required, to hit the slopes 😁 Next soloparent holiday BeanStalk and I are trying to get Little Bean on skis 🫣

2. Heath and I can only really be in a LDR arrangement for the foreseeable and any fireworks will need to be on his turf. The guy is so time poor and we live so far apart, that when he came to our wedding, he got questioned by customs/internal affairs staff as to why he’s only in the country for such a short time. (He has been here on a longer trip since. We hope they took off the “suspicious” label off his passport 🤣)

3. According to Edgar, Heath and I are absolute workaholics. Heathcliff is pathologically so. Up until now, Edgar’s reaction to my announcements along the lines of: “Heath and I would like to go to X together for a few days” is usually “oh great! Both of you need to get out and enjoy yourselves.” Granted, it’s always been platonic so far. However, Edgar also knows I would never lie - I literally can’t anyway (I’m hoping it’s normal??!). So unless he starts to believe that I’m lying (which I’m not planning on doing), surely we are more than likely to weather this?

4. I’m too rational to demote Edgar. I’ve managed to not let myself have the current extent of feelings for Heath for all this time (for different reasons through the years, but nevertheless). I don’t do love at first sight, throw caution to the wind and other spontaneity. Obviously it’s not wrong/ I’m not in any way judging those who do spontaneity, but I have a ton of responsibilities, most of all our kids who have and will continue to have a stable home with Edgar and me. That comes before everything else. Even if fireworks happen with Heath, it will not be playing out in front of them and even, even if I have a personality change, Heath will be the first person to tell me that I’m out of line.
It’s three weeks tomorrow since I left Heathcliff. We remain in daily contact with both Edgar and Heath. It’s a strange triangle of messages to be in. Well technically a “V”.

We’ve had “Nothing Compares 2 U” playing in the house a lot today for obvious reasons. Such a loss and far too soon. I grew up with that music video. It was one of the battle hymns to my teenage life. When things got loud around me, I’d play it to shut out the worries. Little Bean insisted on watching the music video and got fascinated - that was heart warming, the song is decades older than him 🥲

The incessant rain here is brewing even more despair in my mind. I’m trying to think of ways to restructure my career so I can travel as much as Edgar. I’m even considering moving countries, selling the house, uprooting the kids - all of it materialistic blasphemy of course as we are comfortable where we are, but I’m getting itchy and the weather is not helping.

I took the kids for a short holiday to another part of the country last week - guilty consciousness preyed on me after booking the other (child free) trip and this was planned as make up holiday for leaving them earlier. In my defence, domestic flights are far cheaper than international and work was paying for the latter.

We had a blast on our holiday! Now it’s back to the daily grind where I feel so trapped, I want to scream and yet, knowing the full extent of my own privilege, I also feel guilty for complaining here, even though it’s anonymous.

So, since I can’t let myself mooch unchecked, I did take some active steps to take myself out of the doldrums:

1. I bought a snowboard! I started learning last year when BeanStalk decided he loved skiing more than anything, and I ended up really liking snowboarding. This will save me oodles on rental gear. It’s a bit old but it was my size for a good price, including bindings and I’m just happy!

2. I attended a career guidance webinar targeted at folks like me. Which made me realise that I need to own my micro-decisions and stop drifting. My subconscious values turned out to be clarity, love, wealth and balance. That mortgage must be really preying on my mind 🤪 Time to do some re-jigging of everything.

3. I started a Spanish course since I need to go to Spain next year for about 3-4 weeks for work reasons and I don’t want to feel like an idiot. It’s my 5th spoken language in order of appearance. I learnt it >10years ago when travelling in Latin America. At the moment I’ve atrophied to the point where I can only hold two comfortably in my head at any one time 🤯 - I used to be a lot better but have lost the mental agility 😭. I noticed it with Heathcliff when speaking his language took sooo much concentration, it was not comfortable and my tongue just felt wooden, urgh. Hopefully it’s just due to lack of practice. I have a goal that when a friend visits in a few months, I can hold a conversation with her and Edgar (she’s a native Spanish speaker and Edgar is fluent). BeanStalk is concerned that it means Edgar and I will just talk in Spanish whenever we don’t want the Beans to know what we’re saying - very useful trick for planning presents 😂

4. Made inroads for BeanStalk and I to do coding classes. BeanStalk has been after me to learn minecraft coding - I relented, somewhat, and said we’ll start with generic kids’ classes where they teach a bit of everything. Meanwhile I need to learn HTML coding myself. It would be useful for one of my work projects, so there. I’m being a good parent while also helping my career. Balance and Love in one!

5. Best of all, I discovered the awesome feminist podcast “unf*ck your brain” - where was I all these years??!! It’s been going since 2017. I must have been living under a rock. Such wisdom and I can just hear it whenever. No need to look at text on small screen - yay! Hopefully my projection of not giving a damn about what people think will start to dwindle down from the 10year margin I gave it earlier in this blog.

Frustratingly, despite all of that, I’m still crushing badly on Heathcliff. I miss Edgar too. Being alone in bed is not good for me at the moment. I need my bear hugs. It seems I have become used to long arms draping over me. Gaah. Since when??? I used to be so fiercely independent and now it’s an actual need. A thing without which I am distinctly uncomfortable.

Heath and I are throwing exotic activity holiday options to each other (the sort that Edgar would hate anyway) and it’s a weirdly welcome torture. Enjoyment of such a holiday is conditional on:

a) Heath and Ned breaking up or, less likely, Ned becoming ok with non-monogamy - monogamy was his stipulation originally. The former is not something I actually want to happen as it will hurt Heathcliff, but as I said earlier, it might happen anyway;


b) Edgar truly being ok with my very non-platonic crush and being ok with c)


c) I work up the courage to tell Heath of my crush (because life is short and I want the doubt in my head to be resolved one way or another) AND Heath responds similarly.

[I would of course plan contingency if c) is a “no”. ]

That’s a lot of stars to align.

I just don’t recognise myself anymore.
I just wanted to say I read this and agree you have much to think about, plan, do and dare!

(Unrelated, except for your title, are you a Bronte fan, or did the name Heathcliff just fit? [I just read Jane Eyre.])
(Unrelated, except for your title, are you a Bronte fan, or did the name Heathcliff just fit? [I just read Jane Eyre.])
Both a Brontë fan and the character names fitted around “Cathy” quite suitably for each of the players (except Ned / that’s referencing Ned Stark/ Game of Thrones/ all things noble) 😉

I’m an even bigger Jane Austen fan, but she only had Catherine Morland/ Northanger Abbey and her potential love interests (she had two as well), didn’t work for me - Thorpe doesn’t like novels and that just didn’t fit at all with either Edgar’s or Heathcliff’s personalities.
The “V” messaging pattern is continuing. Heathcliff vacillates between monosyllabic answers and sudden gushes of updates. If I didn’t know him, I’d think he was blowing hot and cold, but actually it’s just work pattern. If the time zones align, we give each other running commentary of our day, work meetings, activities, frustrations, etc.

Edgar and I can’t really talk about work like that as our fields are completely different, so we chat about our joint hobby which Edgar currently gets to endulge in, friends he gets to see while overseas, holiday plans for next year and of course kids.

…While, as above, Heath and I chat about work (arguably a very depressing «hobby» for both of us), holiday plans to remove ourselves from said work (without internet/email/phone reachability - Edgar hates not being able to check his email whereas Heath and I only ever relax when we physically can’t be reached!) and of course kids and their adventures.

It feels complete and just lovely. I’m lucky. I thought I should acknowledge that.
What is it with some days when you become really conscious of an ironic situation… one that should have occurred to you earlier, but somehow you kept it off your radar (refused to acknowledge it?) until “now”. Maybe it’s just me.

Edgar and I have been debating having another child for about a year now. I’m for and he’s against (importantly, I had flagged it a few years back, but I wasn’t ready to have the actual discussions while Little Bean was still a baby/toddler). We understand each other’s pros and cons - it’s a very respectful situation of different vantage points that we are working through, with external help, so not a conflict as such. I am no spring chicken, so the whole thing might be moot anyway - if he ever agrees, it will either happen naturally in the next 1-2 years or it doesn’t happen at all. I don’t want to go down the assisted reproduction route.

Heathcliff, on the other hand, is desperately childless - he would have loved to have kids but it never worked out. It is sad as he’s great with little people, super patient, can do the full gamut from goofy playmate to strict-but-fair authority figure, as needed. Ironically, being a parent would be the one thing that he would actively restructure his horrible job for. Responsibility pushes his buttons more than anything else and parental responsibility is the ultimate, as far as he’s concerned.

So as I think of all the possibilities that can play out from here re: me confessing my crush to Heathcliff, if we hit it off, there would be a real risk of pregnancy. I refuse to take hormonal contraception since I actually do want another child and barrier methods can fail. So there we have it, another complicated thing to add to a future discussion with the nearest and dearest 😬🫣
So as I think of all the possibilities that can play out from here re: me confessing my crush to Heathcliff, if we hit it off, there would be a real risk of pregnancy. I refuse to take hormonal contraception since I actually do want another child and barrier methods can fail. So there we have it, another complicated thing to add to a future discussion with the nearest and dearest 😬🫣
Granted, I know nothing of Edgar, or Heath, for that matter, but wouldn't presenting this fight upfront as a real risk be an automatic killer of opening up, at least in the present timeframe? And all the what if‘s, if you were to become pregnant during that time-- wow, I can’t even imagine. Edgar's against having his own offspring, but is going to be excited and happy to have one that’s not his? Please let us know how that discussion goes.
And therein lies (another) problem!!!

real risk be an automatic killer of opening up
exactly! I’m sure my subconscious kept it off my radar until now for that very reason 🫣

It’s a remarkably unfortunate timing for this crush. And I can’t seem to just “turn it off” - believe me I’ve tried. This is partly why I’m thinking it’s been there much longer than I dared to admit and now that I have, it’s like a genie from a bottle that I can’t just shove back into the bottle. 😬 Granted, I’ve been more at peace with myself since admitting it, so go figure.

I’ll explore Edgar’s reasons for being “against” some more when he gets back. Up until now they have been a bit nebulous:

E.g. him wanting more time on his own, when neither me nor the kids ever prevented him from having that time (he does agree with that). He’s just too disorganised on the weekend to prioritise a round of golf. Like if it’s that important to you, for the love of Gawd, don’t faff around until stupid o’clock on Saturday because then you can’t get up early enough on Sunday to go and play 🤦‍♀️

Money? I’m the main earner anyway and I can make it work.

More “us” time? - it’s not that hard to book a babysitter and a dinner at a restaurant/show/whatever. We still need one whether it’s 2 kids or 3.

More travel? He already travels as much as he likes and I always facilitate it. I can’t travel as much as he does because of my job anyway (it’s mostly hands on/ only some special projects can sometimes be distant and even then, there are restrictions).

More dancing? Also not an issue: whether we have 2 kids or 3, I’d still rather hang out with them on Fri night after a long week at work than go to a subpar dance evening where I’m not even going to enjoy myself necessarily. He’s free to go (and there are always good followers and not so many good leaders in our community) / I’ve never stopped him. Events overseas are tricky with a baby, yes, but it’s literally 3years of me not doing it (or organising childcare) and then it’s back to current. Our existing children still have needs that limit this anyway. 🤷‍♀️

So then it devolves to vanity: he’s bothered that he’s going to be 50+ when his child starts elementary school (sorry, and?).

The dude has a good life. It’s not going to get that much worse for him (and even then, only temporarily) - it will be busier for me, but, if nothing else, it will divert the energy off this crush situation for a bit 🫣

The irony of it all is that in strict monogamy, if I were prepared to leave Edgar to have another child, I’d leave him for Heath. I won’t do this as I love them both, I want them both in my life and if the last twenty years are anything to go by, they both want me around in their lives as well.
A few grey days here. Edgar is preoccupied with finishing his project overseas over these couple of weeks before he returns home, so he has only made very minimal contact for a few days now and Heathcliff has gone on holiday with Ned. I’m giving everyone space while I try to contain my own emotional rollercoaster.

Big news is that work has confirmed approval for my project for next year, so I’ll be off working on the other side of the world for at least 3 months. Edgar will bring the kids out so we can have a family holiday at some point, but he’s got some set commitments for next year already, so that time is pretty finite. I will be spending at least 3-4weeks in Heathcliff’s hometown as well. Plus a short holiday all together if timelines work out (Heathcliff is yet to meet Little Bean in person).

Regrettably(?), my crush on Heath has only intensified since I returned home just over a month ago now, so that serious conversation next year is looking increasingly inevitable. I keep catching myself at the thought that if I had a terminal disease, I’d want Heath to know that I’ve been in love with him for some time (years if I’m honest) and that I can’t die peacefully without him knowing that. And then I realise it’s emotional blackmail. Moreover , I don’t have a terminal disease, so why do I feel like I need to have one in order to muster up the courage to tell him? 🫣

I’m occupying time and brain by learning Spanish verbs ahead of my time there next year. And I’ve picked up HTML for dummies to help me sleep, before I start actual coding classes in a couple of weeks 😂

If all that were not enough, I’m an emotionally frustrated mess right now. Specifically, I desperately miss being held by someone taller than me and both the usual suspects who satisfy this basic need are miles away at the moment. 😔
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It sounds like you are in two long distance relationships, pretty much. And those are HARD! I hear your frustration loud and clear.

Maybe this kind of arrangement is no longer working for you at all. Perhaps one thing to consider is creating an open relationship with Edgar so that you can be free to date local people, fall in love, whatever, with someone who is available in the here and now (whether you're at home or elsewhere for work) instead of going on alone as just a mom, with no nice tall yummy guy to hug and talk to and have sex with.

I do hear you love Edgar and Heath, so maybe you can't conceive of another person to fit that bill.

Me, I hate long-distance relationships. I am a hands-on kind of person. My gf works out of state three months a year, but we do get at least two visits in that time. She's only two hours away. Just the same, I have always wanted another local lover (for many reasons), who can be with me and love me (and help me around the house, to be honest) while she's away. It took over a decade, but I finally found that guy two years ago.
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It sounds like you are in two long distance relationships, pretty much.
Yep! I was used to this before the pandemic and I am relearning that art form of enjoying my own space (albeit shared with children, but they are welcome in that space).

you can be free to date local people
At this stage it seems too dangerous, sadly. It could seriously harm my career and also personal life. Nothing can stay a secret for too long, rumours spread like wildfire here and I am weird enough as it is for local tastes - the negativity will stick faster and harder. I’m not ready for that (yet). Of course I can have a clandestine lover or FWB but that’s not what I’m after - I don’t want to have to hide - I want to be able to go on a date, go to shows, be openly affectionate, etc. The beauty of my friendship with Heath is that I can do all that on his turf and we are both safer there.

I’ve been quiet here as I took the kids on another holiday, which was lovely. And now

Edgar is back. He is still recovering from jetlag, so no chance of a franc discussion re: anything yet. I’ve preoccupied myself with planning next year’s project, so the few conversations we have had were around dates and things we’d like to do together while away.

As a preliminary, I told him re: my adventures with Heath a couple of months ago - no hint of any new jealousy re: our sharing a bed, etc, so that’s encouraging for future conversations. One step at a time.

And yes, it’s frustrating. Thank you for acknowledging that!