Seasons

handsSo I haven’t written much because I was processing stuff internally and because I don’t like to communicate via blog.  Cleveland doesn’t read this a lot, but still.

I think we are breaking up.  I said I’d sleep on it, and I will.

It’s hard and shitty and sad. And I’m not sure.  But it’s been a long time coming.  We started to get frustrated talking and decided to sleep on it.  It’s murky.  I know I love him.  I know that I love spending time with him and talking to him and doing things with him and fucking him.  I know I love his sweetness and his intelligence and his lovely dirty mind.  I love podcasting and talking about bloggy things.  I love how good he is at so many things.  And I love his interests.  I’d like to have him in my life.

But I can’t keep doing this.  And I feel TERRIBLE for it.  But it is simply the truth.  This hurts too much.  We don’t really have the room to have a relationship and it just doesn’t work.  I want it to, but it doesn’t.  We’ve had this talk before and I asked for things, the bare minimums for what I thought I needed.

I need to spend the night with my boyfriend.  I need to see him more than once a week for a dinner and a fuck.  I need to see him on the weekend or have time doing normal shit too.  And we did.  For a bit.  I got the weekend time I asked for, kinda.  I got trips to Ikea and some time at trivia on dates with our friends.  Mostly weekend time was Sundays.  And it was nice.  It was.  But asking for and getting minimal “compliance” and having a couple of Sunday evenings (not too often now) thrown your way still felt bad.  Because it’s not numbers of overnights or calculated and tabulated weekend hours that make a relationship.  It didn’t actually make our relationship more a relationship to have these things, these spelled out asks, and it’s just not possible for many of them to happen anyway.

So I thought maybe it’s me.  I love my time with him.  I do.  Maybe I just need to want less.  So I tried to scale myself back internally, not really change anything, expect less, want less.  I stopped making him my priority and scheduling things around him.

Because it hurt.

It hurts to fall for each other like that and then to squash it.  It hurt to be giddy and falling for each other.. kissing and kissing and kissing and making plans and thinking of all the fun things we’d do… to take welding classes and walks and build bookshelves and all the things we’d like to do.  He thought he had that to give, and he didn’t. It’s life and it’s other things.  It was scaled back and agreements were made that I was never told about.  He promised no overnights and no weekends and assurances that I would forever and always be second.  But he didn’t tell me that for a long time.

Back then, unaware, I asked him to do this or that or stay, or to go out Friday or Saturday and he was busy or “next time”.  Months of this and I finally asked.. what the fuck? He was saying that he wanted things that never seemed to happen.  Was it me?  And he finally told me.  Things changed.  He isn’t available for a more full relationship.  He’d like a side relationship.  That stung.  Why didn’t he want me anymore?  What did I do?  Why was I so unworthy?  But I didn’t want to lose him and there was so much good. Maybe we could work it out?  So we did for a while.  And then there were hardships and we needed to be understanding.  Of course I was.  Of course.  I suggested things to to make it easier.  I shrank myself.  I was happy to do it until I wasn’t.  I couldn’t stay scrunched like that, not forever.

And we talked again and I tried to ask for what I thought I needed.  That was the second time I asked for more access.  I wanted weekend dates with my boyfriend.  I wanted to sleep with him and not have him crawl from my cooling bed every single time.  And he listened and agreed and shared his wants too.

I was becoming resentful.  Even though he is a kind and loving man.. even though I love him.. there was this thing eating the edges.  I was less present on our last couple of dates.  I wanted to canoodle and kiss less.  Sometimes I wanted to fuck less too.  It wasn’t as exciting to hurry up and get one in before he had to rush home to his actual partner, his real relationship.  None of this was conscious.  But it was there I now see.  It rankled me to picture him showering me off and crawling in bed to give those warm snuggles and afterglow to her.  I pictured his warm smile and our kiss goodbye and then pictured the toothpaste removing the traces of me.. my kisses, my love, my passion, my pussy, my want.  My warmth and my fever ran down the drain at his house.  And it felt hallow.  I kept busy or I didn’t.  I thought making him less of my priority when I wasn’t his might help.  But it didn’t.  It just made me miss him on top of everything.

And then he told me how we couldn’t see each other again this weekend. And there it was, snap.  I was happy, but this thing that had broken through those other few times broke through again.  Jesus fucking Christ.  Seeing my boyfriend for a normal fucking weekend night requires an act of congress.

There just isn’t room here for an actual relationship.  I can’t make do any longer with the scraps.  I know he loves me and I love him.  I know this. But it doesn’t really translate.  Because he loves me with what he has left and it’s not enough.

And I’m not strong enough for this.  It fucking stings.  It’s so painful to every time and in every way be so lacking.  It hurts so much that it never bothered him to be so limited.  He HAS his partner, his ONE. And then there is me.  I am the icing, the extra, the other.  I’m not his girlfriend. What couple doesn’t see each other on the weekends?  What couple never spends the night? Makes no plans?  Has no traditions and no hobbies and no time?  We’ve never been to a movie, and maybe had lunch twice in our entire year and a half together.  If it isn’t a big deal to spend the night and I shouldn’t care… well.. why can’t he spend the night then?  Why were there agreements about this?  Why is it such a rare and precious thing?  It’s not the nights and the weekends and whatever.  It’s what they represent.

In so many ways I was told over and over and over that I was lesser.  In so many ways I lost.

But here is the shitty thing.  They are NOT assholes.  They are wonderful people.  They were not doing any of this to hurt me.  They were so kind to me in so many ways.  But it hurt me all the same.  Because there simply isn’t room.  There just isn’t.  That’s the crazy bit.  If this had just been a sex thing that would have been fine.  I would enjoy fucking him a few times a month.  I’d enjoy that very much.  Our chemistry even cooling off is white hot.

But we love each other.  And there is the rub.

I can’t love you and be this little side thing.  I can’t always and forever come second to the woman you actually love.  I just can’t do it.  It hurts me too much.  I’m not made for that.  I don’t need to be first, but I CAN’T always and forever be last.  I just hurts.  I’ve spent so much time being so fucking sad and hurt and lonely here in this relationship.  And pulling away didn’t help  Me making us not a priority didn’t help.  Trying to want less worked, but it didn’t help.  I love him but I can’t go there because he can’t go there with me.  And I just can’t do that any more.  I don’t want to.

This life is limited.  I can’t and I don’t want to pour out my love to someone who can’t go there with me, even if he is thoughtful and sweet and kind and sexy.  I was ultimately sad here.  It tweaks my insecurities and it stirs something inside too that stands up for me.  I don’t say this with ego or superiority or whatever but I do say it in honesty.  I’m worth more.

Of course I could make a comprehensive list of my flaws, but I AM a good partner.  And I’m offering Cleveland something he simply doesn’t have room for.  He thought he did.  He asked for it.  I think he wanted to have it.  But he has been spinning plates here for a while and something had to give and that’s me.  I give.

I don’t know exactly what to do here.  But I know I can’t keep doing this.  I’ve never been a person who can turn love off like a light.  Even after everything, after it all, I still love Hubby.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving him.  I don’t know.  Cleveland and I are sleeping on it.

But it seems like the end of a season.

14 Comments

  1. I can totally relate to this: not being able to be second. It was the reason to break up my poly construct – he was married, and not being able to make “real” space for me. Girlfriend separated from her husband, she said that I would be priority, but she moved in with her boyfriend and decided to marry him. No more being second. I broke up with both of them. It was like cutting off a limb, but I could not do that anymore. What you share here resonates strong with me. *hugs*

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  2. You always provide so much insight for me. I’m a primary and my guy is seeing someone who also has a primary & they are all full of new relationship energy right now and their “occasional” “casual” “once-a-month” thing is pretty active & they are talking & texting every day right now. I don’t want to be jealous or controlling, but I don’t text him when he’s out on dates – why does she get to text when we’re snuggling at home? While it’s true that a huge chunk of time is my time – it’s not reserved for me alone.

    Your post serves as a reminder of the other side (which I have been in) of the unacknowledged “second” who waits in the shadows for scraps & isn’t in the family photos, etc.

    Two of my ex partners have abandoned the poly lifestyle and sometimes I wonder if they have the right idea…

    (Hugs to you)

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    • Oh I feel you on this too. I think the partner we live with sometimes gets the shaft. I hated that when my ex-husband and I were dating. His girlfriend and he texted and Facebooked and stuff all day every day when they weren’t together. They had this habit of saying good night to each other before bed that made me nuts. I felt like I never had any romantic time or time for us to bond. I asked for dates too and for them to stop chatting by 9pm on days I was with him, but it just never really happened. I get that when we live with someone some of the time we are together needs to be spent talking to others, but I personally think some of our time should be “ours”, whatever our situation.

      It’s a hard balance sometimes..

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Decisions like that are so hard, and I’m sorry he wasn’t brave enough to tell you the limits upfront so you could make the choices right for you then and there.

    I hope that you cut yourself some slack if it ever runs through your mind again that it’s your fault for wanting more – you seem like an awesome person and having needs you want met in order to feel like you are in the sort of relationships you want in your life is not at all the same thing as needy.

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  4. Just thinking out loud… 🙂

    I can’t love you and be this little side thing. I can’t always and forever and in every single thing come second to the woman you actually love. I just can’t do it. It hurts me too much. I’m not made for that.

    You were both in very different places when you started this relationship than you are now – both individually and collectively. You had a long list of lovers and were ending your marriage. He was “playing with permission” and was (still is, by your accounts) very much married.

    People change.
    Circumstances change.
    The relationships between people change because of those circumstances.
    And on and on it goes.

    The changes you’ve gone through, as an individual and as a partner, have been gradual. The proverbial frog. We don’t always know we’re in hot water until we’ve reached the boiling point. Thus, your red-lettered SNAP.

    It’s possible for people to grow and change together, but that’s the exception – not the rule. And I know you don’t believe in hierarchy, but it’s pretty typical (note, I said typical, not “normal” or “right”) for someone with a primary partner to choose to grow in *that* partner’s direction, and that direction alone. Especially when there is not agreement between primaries about the Why and the What when it comes to the significance of the secondary relationship(s).

    Taking that into consideration…

    There is a certain degree of “unattainability” with married men, which – poly or not – makes them somehow more… Safe. Emotionally. They are less likely to cling, to demand time, to monopolize your schedule, to require too much taxation of energy. Which is all well and good (even though it’s not always true or right), except when What We Want becomes the antithesis of What We Signed Up For To Begin With.

    I say that from my own experience(s), and after a significant amount of introspection (as a spouse and as an ‘other’ to a married partner), so please know that I’m coming from a place of compassion when I ask this question: Being that your two main squeezes are married to other women… When it comes to choosing married partners… Has that become a ‘safety’ factor for you? (I think you know what I mean, but I will elaborate further if you ask me to.)

    I don’t expect you to answer that question, but I put it out there as food for thought. For you, as well as for anyone else who reads this blog entry and is trying to make sense of their own feelings about their relationship(s).

    I also don’t expect you to elaborate on *this* one (well, it’s not a question exactly), but I’m putting it out there, just because: I wonder how things would be different for you (feelings, perspective, sense of belonging/worth, etc) if you had a (healthy!) primary relationship of your own.

    Like I said above: Just thinking out loud. 🙂

    Hugs, friend.

    xoxo

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    • I do get that married partners might seem safer. And I suppose they did for me, but not how you think. I liked that it seemed they were loving men.. that they understood love and commitment. I liked that they seemed stable.
      I completely and utterly reject the idea that all partners except for the ones we marry have to be primary, or that anyone else we date or eventually love has to be secondary. Yes.. yes.. nothing will ever be equal, of course, but I don’t think the hierarchy is necessary and I reject it. I see that this is pretty unusual however, and yeah.. it limits my dating pool considerably. That’s okay. I don’t want or need 7 partners. I just want to love the people I love and I want them to love me. It WOULD be easier I suppose if I had a primary, but even if I did.. I would NOT want all but one of the people I love to be second. I think it’s bullshit. It might work out sometimes that this relationship is this one way and this other was another… and certainly not all of the people I have or will date are deep deep love stuff. We have all kinds of relationships.
      But Cleveland and I were not limited and I wasn’t such a distant second because we didn’t connect. We did. He said he wanted the things I said I wanted and that these things were available and they weren’t. I think he said them in total good faith btw.. I just think they weren’t available and he wasn’t really fully aware of that.

      It’s hard to talk about this in type.. because it’s actually really complicated. But try to think outside of primary secondary stuff.

      Example.. I know a woman who has two partners. One for 14 years and one for 3. And neither is “primary”. They are both full and healthy and deep and meaningful and committed relationships. She lives with one of them and spends lots of time with both of them. Big decisions are made with both of them in mind. They are both her partners. She has on occasion had fun times with others.. friends and lovers and all kinds of other relationships over the years. I think THIS is the kind of structure that works for me.

      I don’t want a primary and I don’t want to be anyone’s secondary. I’d like to date and love and have sex with others and I’d like things between us to be what they are.. not bullshit things to fit some construct. I don’t want to date someone so I’ll fit their Tuesday Thursday 7-10 free slot. I do think I should invest slowly and that I should honor and cherish my existing relationships, but I think new relationships need to be allowed to grow too… if that is what they naturally would like to do.. slowly and well. And it’s bullshit to say this love gets all the weekends or this love will always and forever no matter what come first. It’s also bullshit to say this exciting new love is “better” and to reject or forget to cherish those that loved me well and fully for years. I don’t like the idea that we live either in a vacuum and don’t have to consider others or that we live in a hermetically sealed bubble with only whoever came first and no one else will ever be let in.

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  5. I love that you titled this post ~Seasons~. It implies movement, transition, change. Relationships serve a purpose. We move closer and then, sometimes, we move apart. It doesn’t have to be good or bad. Sometimes things Just Are. I think you are wonderful, and you will navigate this with grace and purpose. 🙂

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  6. Oh god. This was hard for me to read.

    Because I’m struggling with the same things. Where do I stand in his life? Am I just the once a week fuck?

    It does hurt. And because of that hurt I dare say you know what options you have available. I’ve only known mine for a month and it hurts. I can’t imagine the pain you are feeling with a longer standing relationship.

    Huge virtual hugs to you.

    Like

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