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What’s the What

Mrs and I are separating, and I’m leaving the world of polyamory. In fact, for my own self interest I’m going to avoid relationships entirely as long as I can. Is this a condemnation of polyamory? Not in the least. I’m just in need of solitude, even if it hurts.

Life hasn’t been kind to me in the genetic department, and along with my environment it caused me to develop bipolar disorder. Incurable, sometimes debilitating, and a royal pain in the ass. Oh for a treatment that could mask it and not allow me to have five month long depressive episodes.

It’s unlikely I’ll post here again; the subject of the blog is going to be irrelevant to me. But there are plenty of other people writing about polyamory — you just have to look.

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Been a While

I can’t even remember when I last wrote here, but it seems it was in February.

I’m not seeing anyone but Mrs now, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Part of me misses having someone else to feel that strongly about. Another part is kinda happy I don’t have someone else to disappoint with my lack of interest in sex.

Not even sure what I want out of another relationship right now, or if any desire for one isn’t just my current mildly depressive state calling out for something and just grabbing the lowest hanging fruit. It’s easy to tug at my heart strings like that. Love motivates me like nothing else.

I’m also lonely as it is. Mrs is off to the city for the work week and I’m stuck at home with no one to visit, other than some neighbour kids I’d rather not have visit. I’ve got two dogs and a parrot here, along with our fowl outside.

Haven’t been having much success finding someone in any case, so I guess it’s moot whether or not I’d like to. In the entire time I’ve been on OKCupid only one woman has contacted me, and she was unattractive and only interested in cybersex. Of those I’ve contacted only a handful have responded, although I did have a couple of nice relationships come out of the experience. They didn’t last; too many incompatibilities.

Unfortunately, all my highest by-the-numbers matches in the area are monogamous. Is it possible I’ve got some monogamy hiding out in there somewhere? Maybe it’s that I value sex so little, while many in the poly community seem to live for it.

I’ve tried some kink out since my last post. It’s certainly interesting, and can trigger a specific kind of fascination in me, but I don’t find it all that alluring; much like sex.

What part of me is responsible for this lack of interest in sexual activity? Is it my depression? Is it just draining my interest in everything? Is it my aversion to bodily fluids? Do I just have a naturally low libido?

I’m gonna leave this here and think about these things some more. I have the time, so why not?

I came across this article today via twitter. The original tweet was retweeted along with the added comment: “This is what bugs the fuck out of me about a lot of poly people.”  As I was too busy at work to participate in the discussion that ensued, I took the time to read all the comments sent back and forth to which I had access once I got home and wanted to add in my 2cents. Since my response is mostly aimed at the person who added the comment, I’m writing my response in that form:

First of, I agree with you; Douche bag behavior is douche-baggy. It irks the shit out of me too when people act holier than thou and can’t even have the decency of practicing what they preach.

Secondly, I feel that when ever other people’s emotions are in play, respect needs to be the primary concerns for everyone involved, regardless of relationship definition.

You make a point of saying that this behavior bugs you from the poly community. I can understand that you may have had a higher instance of seeing this play out in real life (more so than other people in the community) due to geographic or social group prevalence of this life style. Your experience is worth noting. Broken relationships and lost friends suck.

Having said all this, I can’t help but be bothered by the fact that you specifically point to the poly community. It makes me feel as though you think we’re  prime offenders of this type of hurtful behavior. Other wise, why bother pointing to it directly?

Repartition of attention (affection, time, what have you) is a balancing act that EVERYONE does on a daily basis. It affects not only our romantic partners (be they singular or multiple) but our children, extended family members, friends, colleagues. Etc   Some people have a hard time not playing favorites with their children, while other people effortlessly make all their children feel loved and special and equal among their siblings. The principles are the same. I don’t care what the situation is. I was in a 5 year mono relationship where my partner had an incredibly hard time balancing his relationship with me and the attention I was asking for with his drive to be involved with his work and friends. I constantly felt second rate in his life. It was what ultimately drove us to separate.

So while I understand your frustration with emotional disrespect, you’re looking at a pervasive problem in all human relationships, with what I believe is a biased tunnel vision. I don’t think the way in which you single out the “polys” is helping the non-monogamous community gain acceptance and understanding.

I don’t mean to sound cryptic when I drop 140 characters of inner thoughts on Twitter. It’s just that it’s damn near impossible to express certain things fully without going into the meat of the subject. Sometimes I have trouble thinking things through clearly enough even for me to fully understand what’s going on. I tend not to censor myself through that medium, but sometimes the result might be confusing for those watching my mini train wrecks. So here I am, attempting to make sense of some very complicated emotions.

My heart is in many places right now. Here at home I have my husband, BFP and a few close friends but the poly scene here is practically none existent. Add that to the fact that I’m currently spending 4 nights a week staying with BFP so that I can work in the city. Hubby stays at home, looking for work of his own that will allow us to afford living full time together in the city.

In another country, 15oo miles away lives BFA, his family and girlfriend whom I love dearly and a whole host of poly minded friends and acquaintances. I’ve had the privilege of spending a bit of time in person with a few people from this extended network and continue to talk to many of them on a daily basis. For the most part my social group is online and geographically centered quite far away.

So here I am, living out of a suitcase at the moment watching my friends and loved ones in another part of the world get together for parties and poly group meetings and generally going on, living their lives with a relatively well established network.  I don’t begrudge anyone anything, I want to make that clear. It makes me happy to see happiness and acceptance and a community develop in their lives.  But the bottom line is, I’d give anything to be able to share it with them in person.

On a more personal level, I see how close BFA’s girlfriend is to his children and wife. She’s really become a part of their family. They spend a great deal of time together.  Just to be clear, I love this girl very much and think the world of her. I’m overjoyed for her, knowing how important it is that she have that in her life. But being happy for her and them doesn’t stop me from being envious and feeling insecure. When I was talking to BFA last night I made the comparison to them having meetings and me getting the occasional memo. On some levels I feel I’m part of this family as well; emotionally, that connection is there. In the every day, tangible sense, we might as well be on different planets.

So there it is. One of the many guises of jealousy. I guess it was harder for me to recognize and accept it as such because it’s not directed towards anyone, but rather circumstances. I’ve always associated jealousy as a feeling one has towards a person, not a situation. It’s also one of those “ugly” emotions that poly folks often shy away from.  Successful poly people aren’t “supposed” to get jealous, right? Isn’t that the whole idea behind compersion?  Well, I guess this is one place where compersion has a harder time reaching.

“To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction” Newton.

When Newton was developing his three laws of motion, he was talking about physical laws, not emotional ones. But I think there are enough similarities in both realms to draw a comparative analysis, at least where his third law is concerned.

As I write this tonight, I am less than a day away from spending some time my love whom I haven’t seen in 7 weeks.  In some ways, it feels like I just saw him yesterday, in other ways, it feels like we’ve been apart for an eternity. A piece of me has been missing and I need it back.

He and I are in a long distance relationship.  I don’t like to think of it that way though, because I think for a lot of people that implies a sort of diminished level of commitment and involvement in each other’s lives. So I prefer to think of it as a relationship that is geographically challenged.  Despite this particular challenge, I feel confident in saying that he and I communicate extremely effectively, and make the most out of the current technologies to keep in touch. On a day to day basis, it’s actually really not that bad. Obviously, there’s the lack of physical closeness, but when it comes to emotional support, love, communication, and commitment we are on solid ground.

So now you may be wondering what Newton has to do with any of this. I’m going to try to explain:

I decided to write this post tonight as an attempt to achieve a cathartic release.  My brain is notorious for sabotaging my happy moments. I’m fairly sure it’s part of having a depressive personality. I dwell on the negative; magnify it, spin it around over and over in my mind until it starts to cast a long dark shadow over the rest of my mental landscape.  I’m doing that right now and I want it to stop. I need it to stop. The excitement and elation I feel at seeing this man is one of the greatest feelings I’ve ever had the joy of knowing. I think the main reason it’s so intense is that ours is a relationship of acutely intense moments. We will never have the luxury of developing that tranquil ease that comes with being with a long term partner. Every time we see each other, it feels very vibrant and shiny and new. It’s a fresh dose of energy every time.

To every positive emotion there is always an equal and opposite emotion.

With such high peaks, it’s no wonder that the flip side can end up being so low. Those first few days after we separate are monstrously hard to get through. Until the daily routine sets in again and a bit of time has passed by to temper out the flame, the feeling of loss is fresh and painful.  I wouldn’t dream of giving up the relationship for those few days of discomfort, but I am determined to find a better way of coping. I’m not willing to accept this as the status quo. As it stands, I haven’t even laid eyes on his face yet and I’m already thinking of how I’m going to feel when I watch him walk away. That’s destructive and self abusive thinking.  I’m not going to allow this to continue.

If you expect me to have an answer as to how I’m going to overcome this, I’m sorry to disappoint, but I don’t. Not yet anyways. I’m willing to work on it though and I’m confident that I’ll figure out the key to self managing these negative thoughts at some point down the road. I’ll write another post when I have that epiphany. For now, I’ll have to settle for battling my inner demons and exerting a lot of energy in putting on a brave face. I’m determined to have a wonderful time with my love over the next few days, and we’re going to make the best of the time we are lucky enough to share together. Of that I have no doubt.


I spend a lot of my private time talking about my relationships, either with friends or amongst my partners. I guess that’s not too surprising considering this is how I live my life 24/7.  Sometimes little nuggets of clarity can emerge from a simple email exchange.  I’d like to share a few of these with you.

The first is an email I wrote to all three of my guys. I’ll sometimes do this because I’m A) lazy and don’t want to write up three separate emails B) I would feel weird sending an exact copy of the same thing without making it known that the other two have received the same thing. Why hide the fact that I’m addressing all of them? I don’t know how many other people in poly relationships do this type of thing, especially when it’s a situation like mine, where I have three partners who know each other but do not have relationships of their own together. They are friends, but no more. Anyways, this works for me, so I continue doing it. Here is what I wrote:

Hello my dearest,

Ok, long story short. I figured out something about myself today and thought it was worth passing along to you.

If I keep coming back at you with the same question, over and over, like “are you sure you’re ok with XYZ”, even though you’ve said yes; the issue will boil down to me having doubts about what ever plan I’m considering. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I had an epiphany today, and I may not realize I’m doing it again in the future. When you seem me doing the broken record thing, stop and ask me what’s wrong, get me to figure out what’s bugging me about the situation.
It’ll be quicker this way and more productive.

When I ask for something I really want and you say yes, I’ll rarely ask twice. I’ll want to act before you get a chance to change your mind. 😉

Love and kisses to all, and to all a good night!

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Today,  I was talking with a very close friend of mine. She has been happily married and monogamous for well over a decade. While neither she nor her husband are interested in opening up their marriage, she is very curious and seems to enjoy trying to understand things from my perspective. Here is an email I wrote to her:

I’m touched that my cracked way of looking at life has actually been of some benefit to you. 🙂  I’ve never claimed to have any of the answers (Ok, that’s a lie, but you know what I mean) but I think I’m managing pretty well for myself. I guess the decisions we come to about our place in life and love and how we feel in relation to those things is a place everyone has to arrive at on their own. I’ve found that my way of looking at things has helped me tremendously, but it doesn’t mean it works for everyone. Although, I have had compliments on my brain. lol  BFA says he’s in love with the way I think.
Anyhoo as for the one true love thing… I guess I should probably have specified that I believe it is a myth for the majority of people. But certainly not all. My parents are a prime example as are you and your husband.  Life long monogamy does work, but I don’t believe it’s a system that is successful for the vast majority of people. Being indoctrinated in that way of thinking leads to unhappy relationship, cheating spouses, bitter divorces and generally a lot of misery.
Hubby and have always looked at each other as people first and lovers second. People change, mature, and sometimes grow apart. We’ve always promised each other to respect each other as people first, before pushing the spousal “obligations”.  We have both always agreed that a compatible match one day doesn’t by default put you in the happily forever after bin. That’s just us, doesn’t mean that’s most people either. Living in this way, I’ve had to put to use my analytical mind even more so than before. It’s a challenge, but one I enjoy and thrive on.  Most of the “work” that goes into my relationship is done in my head. I have, what I think are, exceptionally easy, wonderful relationships. Fighting isn’t something I’m all that well acquainted with.  I tend to work through my hurt feelings before bringing them to the table. I always say what’s on my mind though. I just tend not to accuse. I’ll say “what you said or did made me feel like XYZ. This is not pleasant and I’d like to find a way to avoid that happening again.” I haven’t had a single argument with either Hubby, BFA or BFP since all of this started. There have been no difficult issues to work through because I
bring things to the table way before they have a chance to fester in my mind. They are all learning to do the same with me and I think it might be helping them out in their other relationships as well.
To get back to your point though. I don’t think the main goal of being in multiple relationships should be to fill the “voids” your other partner presents. Or at least, I tend to look at it in a more positive light. People have multiple friendships at once because they recognize the value of knowing different types of people with a variety of interests. Some of our friends are comforting, others push our boundaries and make us grown, others are just fun to hang out with. Polyamory isn’t all that different, with the exception of romantic feelings being allowed to fully develop. I guess the question then becomes, why not just be friends with these people, why take it to the next level? My question is, why not? It’s rewarding and enjoyable. The main reason multiple relationships aren’t more common I think is because of how people have been brought up to view love and marriage. For the most part it’s a societal conformity issue.  There’s also something very reassuring about ‘nailing down” a partner forever. For a lot of people marriage is a security blanket. I find it much more reassuring to be developing the skills that are allowing me to have successful relationships. Multiple partners or not.
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So there you have it, a quick look into the darker corners of my psyche.  I may decide to share more emails with you in the future.  Since I’m always “on” so to speak when I write, a lot of my personal communications end up reading a bit like blog posts anyways. I don’t know if any of what I write will ever help anyone deal with their own relationships, but I’d like to think that maybe at some point it will or at the very least, spark some interesting conversations with their partners.

Recently, I’ve been dealing with the differences in perception with regards to romantic norms. We’ve told many of our friends as well as my sister that we are polyamorous and all of them have been very accepting/curious and open with us. I decided to tell my parents very early on because we have a very close relationship and it would have felt out of place for me to keep this information from them.  My mom was very accepting right from the start. My father spent quite a few months holding onto false assumptions and it wasn’t until I recently challenged the topic with him that we really sat down and had a frank discussion. I think it made him uncomfortable to think of me in any romantic context other than my marriage.  I’m pretty sure he assumed it was all about sex. I can see why that would make him want to avoid the topic with me.

Now that we’ve come to a point where we’re feeling increasingly comfortable labeling ourselves publicly as polyamorous, we’ve been discussing how/when to open up the topic with our wider circle.  We’ve both been feeling very ambivalent about coming out to hubby’s father and have been debating whether or not to even tell him.  Our relationship with him is mostly superficial and long distance. He visits a few times a year and call/emails daily, but mostly it’s just chit chat.  He’s never been a man to have conversations about emotional topics and tends to shy away when one opens up in his presence. Personally, I would be happy leaving him out of this particular loop except for a few “small” details. Hubby feels uncomfortable with the occasional lie that we’ve had to tell and there is a possibility of us sharing a home with one of my partners in the coming months.

Since my mother and I are very close, I decided to ask her advice on this matter earlier today over the phone. Her initial response was not unexpected and followed pretty well in line with my thoughts on the issue. “Only tell him what he needs to know, when and if he needs to know it.”  What she said next hit a nerve though and has led me to give this matter a fair bit of thought. To sum up her opinion, she said that as a parent of a grown child, there comes a point where a child’s private life should no longer be of any serious concern to the parent so long as the child is happy and safe.  What we do “in the privacy of our bedroom” is really none of anyone’s business but our own and we shouldn’t feel obliged to tell anyone about it whether those people be friends, family or parents.  She was even a little concerned that we’d opened up to our friends.  She thought it would make us vulnerable to gossip.  I explained to her that the people with whom I share my life are just as important to me as my husband and that I didn’t see a reason to mask the relationships under the veil of “just being friends” with other people; which was her advice when introducing our other partners to friends or family. Not only would this be uncomfortable for myself and my partners, it would be disrespectful to my relationships.

One of the main reasons I told her in the first place was so that I didn’t have to cover up the truth when talking to her and so that I would be able to have mother/daughter talks with her about all my relationships, not just my marriage.  The fact that she said today that she would have been just as fine not knowing was quite a blow. I understand what she was trying to say though. In her mind, it’s none of her business. Now that she does know, she’ll support me, but she wanted me to know that I wasn’t obligated to tell her.  Hubby’s aunt, the only member of his family to whom we’ve come out told us just about the same thing; so long as we were happy this wasn’t anyone else’s business but our own.

I take huge issue with this stance.  Being polyamorous isn’t a kinky hobby we do on weekends. We aren’t swingers going to clubs and picking up random people to fuck.  This is a lifestyle choice that could potentially affect our family structure, and any children we may or may not choose to have.  As such, we and others like us are subject to the laws and prejudices of our country and fellow citizens.  This piece from the Vancouver Sun I trust will illustrate my point well.  Still today, the LGBT community fight for their right to marry, have children and form family units that fit their life and loves. As polyamorous people, we might soon find ourselves publicly fighting the exact same issues.

So no, this isn’t a question of what goes on behind bedroom doors. It has everything to do with respecting personal choices, seeking acceptance for who and what we are as individuals and as a community, not being ashamed of how we live and who we chose to love.