Sunday, April 14, 2013
Coming In Second: The Poly Conundrum
We began as friends. It was right around the time I found myself going through a divorce. A real one, not like OKCupid guy's imaginary separation. It was also around the time I was first exploring my local scene which is how we met. He was very cautious about moving slowly and my current emotional state with everything that was going on. But feelings developed and it didn't move so slowly after all.
I certainly wouldn't call it a rebound since it's been a year now. I had my own worries and doubts about getting involved with someone who is already involved with someone. And I still do at times. At the end of the day though, it is what it is. This is a complex and touchy subject so I want to state up front that this is my blog and strictly my opinion. I care for both of them deeply. I'm not here to talk about them except in relation to my own feelings about my relationship.
Having a boyfriend who has to be kept secret because of the circumstances is much trickier. I feel that's one of the hardest parts about this. I'm not one to share every personal detail of my life with everyone I know (don't roll your eyes at me because you are anonymously reading this on a blog), but it would be nice to have an unbiased third party to talk to sometimes. If this situation had come about while I was married and we had still agreed to pursue it, I think it'd be much easier to leave unsaid. But post-divorce I'm pretending to be single and often get questions. Are you seeing anyone? What did you do all weekend? You should go to the single's ward to meet a nice boy. Sigh.
I carefully chose two vanilla friends to confide in about it. Thankfully they were very open minded and more curious than anything. I still have never shared the spanking/kink stuff with anyone vanilla so I'm often leaving out part of the story, but it's something. Sometimes it's nice to just be able to say "Don't you hate when guys get sick and isolate themselves? Does your boyfriend do that?" or "Omg he told me the funniest joke last night." It seems if one talks about a male friend much then the question always comes up, "So you're just friends, huh?"
That is the thought always in the back of my mind. One day they may decide they don't want to do this anymore and return to a monogamous relationship. If that happens, I'm the one left in the cold and helpless to do anything about it. Feeling like my input doesn't matter and I have no control over what is going on is one of my biggest frustrations. Jealousy? Check. And not so much of another person directly but being left wishing I could have more but I know I can't. It's like being taunted by something great hanging right in front of you but you can't have it. Not really.
It's nice to think that we could all exist in our own bubbles and do our own thing without any interference. But that's not real. Stuff happening between the two of them has affected me and probably vice versa. It takes a lot of patience and communication to fumble our ways through this. It's not perfect and it never will be. I'm not looking for any other relationships. This is enough to handle. I don't know that I'd ever get involved in another poly situation. I've probably lucked out with this one because they've both been pretty great and we generally all get along.
I wonder how many of these hangups are my own or because of what society drills into us about how relationships should be. My whole life I've been taught that you are supposed to find one person who is perfect for you. That one person will be amazing and always put you before anything else. Thinking about anyone else makes you a dirty cheater. You only need each other and will live your life happily ever after. Oh and everything should end in marriage and you shouldn't have sex before then. Hmm looks like I'm already striking out with society.
Well, I'm not first. I'm second. Second child, second place in the second grade spelling bee, second in this relationship. Is that so bad? Does there have to be more? Am I holding onto society's ideals of the path a relationship should take? I try not to think about the long term because I have no idea where this will end up. Why do I continue to be involved in this complicated relationship? Because I love him. He treats me well and he makes me smile. He spanks me too. Bonus! When we're together I am happy. I'd much rather have some of his time than none of it at all.
If this hasn't already confused you, check out the link below to see how much more complicated things can be!
Map of Nonmonogamy