May 6, 2014 in Uncategorized
Polyamory isn’t for everyone.Some will argue that it’s not for anyone. These people will, after reading this blog, be the first to say “told you so”. They’ll be convinced that poly is the reason a very long relationship has come to an end. And it might, right off the bat, look like they’re right but I hope most of you who read this have more insight.
Let me start by saying, I am still poly and I will always consider myself polyamorous. It does not matter if I have only one boyfriend at a specific time – the possibility of having more will always exist.
I knew this from a very young age. Where my friends would marry Barbie and Ken, move them into the same house, complete with two and a half kids and a dog, my Barbie was single.
Ken would come over to visit every now and again. They’d have dinner, make out and then he would leave. The next night, my Barbie would get a visit from Skeletor and the night after that Leonardo, Raphael or Donatello would show up for pizza and a movie. Michelangelo, unfortunately succumbed in a battle with a Maltese Poodle but believe me, if he was around he would have visited my Barbie too.
It felt natural.
As I grew up, playing with dolls turned into dreaming about the future and I again found myself thinking about things differently than my friends. They each imagined a fairy tale wedding and a big house where ‘forever after’ would happen. Me? I imagined a business suit, a penthouse that I’d share with one, two or three cats and occasionally with a lover or two or three.
Being young I never believed it to be a possibility. Wherever I looked, people were getting married, moving in together and living the white picket fence dream.
Telling people marriage wasn’t for me was met with a certain distaste, I’d even go as far as say hostility.
So, I started to think something was wrong with me – something was wrong with the way I saw life and love. Believing this, I could do nothing else but conform (luckily not as far as marriage is concerned).
I met someone.
For most of the 13 years we
‘ve been were together, we were monogamous. We lived together. I cooked and cleaned. I made sure he had clean clothes to wear. I fixed his socks. But with each passing day I fell deeper and deeper into a depression. Things were slowly falling apart and we couldn’t figure out why. Even through my depression, he was generally happy – for most part he was living the life he wanted. To him, having someone to come home to and plan a future with was enough.
It was out of sheer desperation from both our sides that we considered opening up our relationship.
He got a girlfriend.
I freaked out.
I moved out.
Queue the light bulb!
Finally I figured out why I was so very sad for so very long. I can’t live with someone. I can’t be one person’s all AND I don’t want one person to be my all.
The realisation that monogamy wasn’t for me was one of the most liberating experiences of my life.
So what’s the problem then, I hear you ask…
The problem is where I discovered I feel most comfortable in a polyamorous relationship it turns out he doesn’t feel comfortable in one at all.
The problem with poly is you can read and play out scenarios in your head and imagine how you’d deal with issues that will come up but you can never really know how you’ll react when your partner takes another lover.
And when you’re not really ‘wired’ poly it ads another complicated level to an already complicated situation.
We had four choices.
I go back to being monogamous, become depressed and die having lived a horribly, miserable life.
He stays poly, becomes even more depressed than he is now and dies having lived a horribly, miserable life.
Break up. End all contact. This would unfortunately also lead to depression and dying having lived horribly, miserable lives.
Act like grown ups who really love each other and want the best for each other.
There’s no doubt that I love this man and he me. We grew up together. We went through some hellish times and shared some amazing times. He is the one person with whom I can truly be myself and the reason why I am who I am. My best friend. Why throw away everything just because one aspect doesn’t work any more?
So, we’re going through concious uncoupling. It’s a thing. If you Google it you’ll read all about Gwyneth Paltrow and husband Chris Martin’s concious uncoupling.
It makes perfect sense. We love each other enough to let the relationship evolve into something else, a friendship, rather than ending it completely.
It’s difficult. We have 13 years of habit to break. It feels weird. It hurts. But in the end, all will be well. He might one day get married and have children and that’s okay, I’ll be there in whatever way he needs me to be.
Poly taught me about love – when you want the best for someone, when you want someone to be happy, irrespective of your own needs and feelings – that’s love.
So, as the saying goes, I love him enough to set him free but I don’t expect him to come back – we can’t go back to the way things were but we can move forward. As friends.