Last week H and I continued a conversation which we’ve had in pieces a couple of times since the cloverleaf‘s dissolution. Unfortunately, I failed to communicate clearly in the past and was under the mistaken impression that we were on the same page in regard to playing with others. Some time ago, I talked to H about the dramatic change I needed in order to continue our sexual escapades; apparently his understanding was that once he found an appropriate person I would be engaged, which is not what I was trying to tell him.
When we first started swinging, I was primarily excited by the idea that we were doing something forbidden. Over time, the novelty wore off and I transitioned, without even noticing, to being excited primarily by the chance to connect with someone new. This is where I was when we met B & his wife, which rather naturally lead to our polyamorous relationship as my feelings quickly deepened toward them both. Add to that the exclusive nature of our foursome and all that we shared outside of the bedroom and, really, we never had much chance of avoiding falling.
For me, being of a polyamorous nature is both emotionally freeing and precarious all at once. On the positive side, I harbor virtually zero jealously, possessiveness or fear of being supplanted by another in my relationship with H. I believe that, just as is the case for myself, he always puts our relationship first, above anything and everything else. Because of this certainty, I do not see any possibility of losing anything. I only see the possibility of H having more in his life, and his happiness and fulfillment brings me happiness. I have zero fear of losing him to another.
On the other side, however, knowing that I can and will quickly fall deeply in love with someone new is a terrifying reality. I am so vulnerable to again falling victim to the charms of someone I don’t know well and with whom I may not be safe, physically, emotionally or both. At this point I own up to the fact that I am afraid of having my heart broken again. I fear the repercussions for myself and my emotional well-being as well as for my marriage; the depression I fell into after the cloverleaf’s dissolution was extremely damaging to our stability in our own relationship.
H has been pushing me to interact more with Mr. Shy Guy, which I had absolutely no interest in. As I recovered from the fallout of the cloverleaf’s dissolution, I realized that I was absolutely unwilling to risk my heart or the stability of my marriage by having an emotional connection with a casual play partner. In turn, apparently H thought I was being cold, both in and out of bed. He actually said at one point that it was, “not fun”, however he later tempered that statement a bit. I explained to him that now, unlike in the past, the excitement of playing with a casual partner for me is wrapped up in him. What I tried desperately to avoid saying, because I knew it would cause problems rather than solve problems, is that I agree to play with strangers to please him. I enjoy pleasing him, and that’s what I currently get out of playing with casual partners; nothing more and nothing less.
O fits in a bit differently, as I cared about him even before H and I met. Aside from knowing him for years and slowly having become comfortable discussing topics which I consider intimate with him, there was a level of trust which built on the foundation of our friends conversation, sharing of confidences and eventually my disclosing this blog to him. Add his willingness to dominate me to how starry-eyed I’ve always been toward him, and being with O is definitely not what I’d call “casual”.
During this conversation H and I had, I was confused about his attitude toward a friend of mine which has caused quite a bit of tension between us over the years. Several years ago H suggested I invite an ex who I was still on friendly terms with over, and we had a good time. Years later I mentioned to H that we wanted to have lunch and he threw a fit. I could never wrap my head around why sex was okay but being friends who did something like meet for lunch, in public, casually, was too far. What the hell!?
H explained that in most relationships, if say friendship is a 5 on a 1-10 scale, most people date at like a 7.5, then when they breakup their feelings are less than a 5, maybe only a 1 or 2. H didn’t realize that when this particular ex of mine and I were dating, my feelings toward him started as a 5, were still a 5 when we broke up, and all this time later remained as a 5. Now that he understood that this guy still missed when we were together (being at what was not a mutual 7.5) and I still felt just as much (and just as little) as I always had for him, H would never have suggested having him over to play. Basically, H has difficulty when someone wants more from me and/or I have significant feeling for them. Using a numbered scale helped my analytical mind understand his point, and I immediately related the situation we were discussing to my friendship with O. In my estimation, I’d guess that O in the past felt about a 5 for me, continued to feel that over the years as we both married others and kept in touch on and off, and still feels at about a 5 toward me. I, on the other hand, have always felt at a 7.5 for him, and that is just as true today as it was the day O and I met. I did not volunteer this comparison to H, as I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly stated that I always wanted more from O than he was willing to give. Seems like potentially dangerous territory…
“Unrequited” doesn’t quite cover it, because in both cases mutual feeling exist, just not to the same degree. I suppose it doesn’t matter now anyway – I believe I’ve ruined whatever it was that O and I shared. The friend we hooked up with on H’s birthday gave us chlamydia, which we discovered about a week and a half ago. We’ve been treated and O got tested for the full spectrum and, thankfully, came back clear. Mr. Shy Guy, who I honestly can’t pin down exactly when he was last here, didn’t seem to take it well when we told him to get tested. To be fair, O and I have not talked at all other than sharing medical updates since I told him he should get tested either…so I guess it’s probably normal to stop talking to the person who exposed you to a venereal disease.
There is some novelty in Mr. Shy Guy having a Prince Albert and being bi-curious, but honestly I don’t feel like he and I have any chemistry. Additionally, the night H and I hooked up with his friend, I was the designated driver and the only sober one. I feel incredibly guilty that I didn’t either put a stop to things or at least take some precautions when we had that threesome as she is the only person we’ve ever slept with without asking basic questions about her sexual background and what she’d been up to lately. Not only did I stress out Mr. Shy Guy, H and myself, I also seem to have quite thoroughly driven away O…not that I can blame him 😥
I told O we were pretty sure we caught it from H’s friend and he asked if there had been anyone else since. I honestly was not sure if Mr. Shy Guy had been around in that time frame so I answered truthfully, saying there might have been one other person but it had been more than a year for them and I was pretty sure that was the truth. While I’d used feminine personal pronouns when referring to the girl we had the threesome with, I didn’t use any personal pronouns when referring to Mr. Shy Guy. I have no doubt O was clear that I had at some point hooked up with another guy without explicitly telling him. Can’t blame him for being upset at that, now can I!?
More and more, I have been finding that I am plagued by selfish desires. Not just selfish, exceedingly selfish. Part of why I loved B was due to his possessiveness. After E, I could not bear to be involved with anyone who exhibited jealous or possessive behavior out of fear. While there are many advantages to having a relationship which involves minimal jealousy and possessive tendencies, it can make one feel that they are not special. I love H and I am always glad that I married him, but when I was also involved with B I found that I relished his desire to covet me, hide me away, keep me from other men. H’s cuckold fetish has served me very well over the years, so I should not complain. And yet, I do crave the feeling of being owned. Is this just a submissive thing? I honestly don’t know.
Regardless of why I crave this, I’ve been feeling extremely isolated; the whole venereal disease thing hasn’t helped. Shortly before that storm hit, I was opening up to O and trying to explain what I’ve been struggling with. I badly wanted to see the new Star Trek movie and asked if he had, which he hadn’t. When he asked me in return, I explained that I’m dying to see it but was holding off to see it with family, otherwise I would’ve gone to the midnight showing when it was released, ‘in my pathetic aloneness’. He attempted to assure me seeing something that I wanted to see was not pathetic, and I explained, ‘yeah, the pathetic part is how I don’t have friends’. He asked me why not and said, ‘I’m a friend right’.
That’s the thing, are O and I friends? Well, given recent events, I guess the question more accurately is were O and I friends? I told him that my standards are too high; the only people I stay in touch with I either fuck or they want me or I want them. I try to make new friends but invariably after a little while I decide they aren’t worth my effort; or, on rare occasion, someone just disappears from my life and I’m never sure why. I’d long wondered if O and I could consider our relationship that of friends, and the question plagued me more frequently as we found ourselves once again in one another’s company this year. I explained that I honestly have no idea why he stayed in contact with me when it would’ve been a big deal if his wife had found out, I’d never hid that I always wanted more of O than I got, but his interest continued to elude me.
O said ‘it is a different situation than most friendships’ which I had to point out is true of any of my so called friends – thus, could I really claim to have any? O’s response was that most don’t include having sex with one another while maintaining a healthy relationship with a spouse, to which I responded that it’s not like O and I hang out; I don’t have any friends I can just do stuff with. He said we could hangout some time, that we could have seen Star Trek together. As appealing as that idea is, I reminded him that as awesome as he is, I don’t want to be in his way and he’s had a lot to figure out as he’s been dating and trying to resolve his marriage one way or another. I, not for the first time, expressed that I don’t want to complicate his life in any way.
Is that really true though? Or is that just another lie I’ve been telling myself…I want O as a permanent fixture in my life. I’ve certainly never said that to him, but it is without a doubt absolutely true. I would gladly live with him, maybe even want kids with him. I already have shared much with him that had not been a part of my relationship with H – is it so wrong that I would gladly expand that which is between O and myself to include things H and I do not have? Is it so wrong to want him, to want to please him, to want to be with him? There is no doubt I have felt incredibly jealous as he has been dating and trying to work through his separation from his wife. I was jealous when he met his wife and was officially in a relationship, particularly so shortly after having steadily refused my desire for more than the occasional hook up between us. Obviously it wasn’t that he didn’t want a relationship…hell, we met on a dating site. No, his refusal to be officially involved with me was clearly an objection specific to me. Painful as that reality is, I cannot avoid the clear picture painted by his other relationships.
I have always struggled with relationships. As I expressed long ago in Accept Me As I Am, I wish I could just be me and not have my life burn to ashes. However, my choices are far from the norm in our society. O told me he’s sorry I feel this way and that he can’t imagine how hard that is. Truly, feeling that I always have to hide something, no matter who I’m with, causes me great pain. But, I’ve made my choices and as I discussed more recently in Self-actualization, I am trying very hard to accept the things I cannot change…I’m just not sure if I’m making any progress. Other people consistently seem so shallow, having never felt physical pain as I have, never having committed to a relationship they way I do, never having experienced the level of open-mindedness about love as I do. It often feels as though most people can’t even relate to a single piece of me or my experiences, let alone the product of the combination.
To some extent I do believe that the walls I’ve built are what hold me back, but if I truly let go of them my career, my family and maybe even my marriage would be gone. H could never accept me being completely open about who I am and my choices, his need for privacy would conflict disastrously with my need to be authentic. At this point, O told me I should always be true to myself; no one will ever know or feel the things I feel; it will always be something that keeps others at a distance. Once again I acknowledge that I’m trying to accept the truths of who I am, but that is far easier said than done. O pointed out how open my relationship with H is, certainly more than he and his wife had. However, I pointed out that our marriage is more open than most I would bet – that does not change the fact that H values privacy so highly.
O said that I express more, and yet I am well aware that even though I try, I still only express a fraction; I think H would be shocked if he had access to this blog. While some of it would be of little or no interest to him, and still other parts likely would not make any sense at all to him, certainly some parts I’d be afraid of him knowing. O agreed that he would like to think everyone has that going on, some more than others. While I definitely agree that it is unlikely anyone is 100% authentic 100% of the time, every once in a while there is someone who is so much more than most people and I can’t help wanting to surround myself and fill my life with those people…which never seems to end well.
At this point I reminded O that he hadn’t answered my question about why he stayed in touch with me, and to my surprise, he actually chose to respond. “I don’t know. I always enjoyed talking to you and you’re someone I’d talk to about things I couldn’t talk to others about. I confide to you a lot. Friends do do that” I don’t know that I could have imagined a more meaningful answer than that; I was deeply honored by his response. However, it was getting late and I felt I’d imposed my bad mood and insecurities on O more than enough for one day. He volunteered that we could talk more the next day, but neither of us initiated a conversation for several days. By the time he next text me, I knew about the chlamydia. I finally gained some valuable insight into our relationship just in time to ruin it. Out with a bang, am I right!?
I once said that the masks I’ve created control me, and even after all I’ve learned, I’ve circled right back around to thinking this is true once again. There’s a saying about being yourself because everyone else is taken, and yet, I doubt I will ever be able to overcome the fear of actually being myself. The level of peace I thought I’d found was simply fabricated from the web of lies I’d been telling myself. So, once again I find myself asking, is it better to know the truth? At this point, I don’t see how it could be…