Poly Wrecking: I Wasn’t Ready
I’ve not touched on Polyamory in my life here on the blog a great deal lately. It’s been over a month since I posted about realizing that a part of me wants the idealized Poly unit. At the time I was perfectly sincere, but I was missing a key component that has been preventing — and in fact, destroyed chances — for me to realize that dream. As it turns out, I’ve not been as ready for a truly Polyamorous lifestyle as I thought I was. I did not properly prepare myself, nor did I seek out the advice of those who have been Poly for years or decades. My own ignorance and inability to see beyond myself failed me and my partners. I failed Mrs. AbsinthePassion, while simultaneously being exactly what I thought she needed. Things I said and did were wrong, flat out, and here now is my confession.
When Mrs. AP and I first started dating, as I’ve said before, I also started trying to date her then husband, M. (Aside: technically he is still her husband, as they are separated but not yet divorced, as divorce in Florida is not cheap.) He was handsome, witty, a geek like me, and had an incredibly cute vulnerability to him when he slipped into one of his happier moods. He wasn’t drop dead, fuck me now gorgeous in my eyes, but his charm and personality and affectations in private made up for it. The three of us would sit on the couch watching TV, all of us finding ways to hold hands or touch each other. In bed, the three of us played together often, with Mrs. AP and I either picking up more later or continuing on without him. His drive was lower that ours, and I don’t recall him ever mentioning being bothered by me helping him, as he once put it, picking up the slack. We were content, possibly even happy. But as Mrs. AP has helped me understand as of late, I sabotaged it. I pushed M away.
I didn’t do this purposefully. I did not seek out to “tear her away” or “keep her all to myself”, but I did become very protective of Mrs. AP very quickly. I saw a great deal of M’s behavior after a few months as dismissive, as mildly abusive, and sometimes even vindictive. He would blatantly ignore requests from Mrs. AP, and I saw a clearly defined pattern of lopsidedness to their relationship. Anything he asked of her she did or gave, immediately and without question, but when she asked him for something in return he would find ways to avoid the subject or weasel out of it, leaving her feeling used, broken, and alone. As the one left comforting her, I began feeling bitter towards M. This is where I failed. Instead of addressing with him directly my concerns about how his treatment of her was affecting her, and by extension affecting me, I kept quiet. I gave her what advice I could, but left it to her to figure out, while at the same time pulling away from M and shutting down the side of me that wanted to explore further with him and see if maybe, just maybe, I could work something out with the first man I kissed.
I broke our Triad. M broke our Triad. We acted almost simultaneously, in different ways, to render it asunder and turn it into a more conventional Poly Vee relationship; Mrs. AP was at the fulcrum, dealing with both M and me, but M and I devolved into passable friends at best. We became little more than roommates, who just happened, most nights, to share the same bed with our mutual lover. It was around this time that Mrs. AP began begging me to get her away from M, and I raged inside at having no idea how to make it happen. This rage boiled over into my treatment of M, however. I became dismissive of him. I treated him not as an equal, some days not even as a person, but as a simple annoyance who was underfoot or in the way. I acted, and reacted, badly.
And I, the boyfriend, the one who came into the relationship fresh into a separation from my wife, and not yet divorced myself at the time, was muscling in and pushing Mrs. AP’s husband away from her. I tried to justify my behavior. I tried to express that I took better care of her than he did, that I loved her more than he did, that I paid better attention to her and gave her what she needed better than she did. While I wasn’t wrong in my arguments, I was wrong to make them. It was not my place to try to drive Mrs. AP away from M. It was wrong. However fantastic the outcome has been, I was still behaving badly.
I became the jealous boyfriend. I was jealous when M and Mrs. AP would have any kind of intimacy without me. I was jealous when I heard that he’d topped her while I was at work. I was jealous that she enjoyed doing that without me. But instead of being a GOOD Poly boyfriend, instead of trying to address that jealousy and understand why I was bothered and expressed that to her and him both in a logical, rational, adult fashion, I pushed harder to drive him away. I became a dick, an asshole, a douchebag, and it worked. I’m not proud of that, but that’s the fact I must face.
Late last year Mrs. AP and I met a wonderful, loving, caring man through OKCupid. He’s tall, he’s ruggedly handsome, he’s charming and witty and geeky and everything personality-wise that I love in a partner. He is also, and wonderful luck would have it, so massively hung that if penis sizes were like the American income distribution model, he would be in the top 0.1 percent. I did not realize that I am a Size Queen until I met him, but OH, did he wake me up. We all three became very close very fast, and it seemed like things were progressing toward another Triad potentially working. That is, until I pulled the emergency brake.
I couldn’t cope with him and Mrs. AP being at home together while I was at work. I couldn’t cope with them fucking without being part of it. I controlled her by making it about Us and asking her to not play in my absence. In this way, my Swinger aspect overrode my Poly aspect. It also demonstrated that I was not ready for the kind of Poly relationship in which I trust Mrs. AP to know what she’s doing. I understand now that I was projecting my insecurities onto her and assuming that if she wanted time alone with him that she wouldn’t want it with me. I was unfair to them both, and in shutting things down I hurt him deeply and pushed him away. I pushed a lovely man, in every sense of the word, away. Because I wasn’t ready for the reality of what he was offering.
Looking back on it all so far, I see where my unpreparedness and naivete has led to people being hurt. I have failed in many ways to truly Love more than one person at a time. I focused on Mrs. AP; everything, everybody else became window dressing. I’m not happy about it. I’m not proud of it. By gods, if I could go back and teach myself a few things I would, because dammit, I was a fucking idiot. I’m learning now, though, more than ever. I’m seeing that much of the blame is mine to shoulder and address. I’m learning, painfully, that what worked before cannot be applied moving forward.
Mrs. AP, My Love, I’m sorry that I rushed in headlong without taking the time or putting forth the effort to learn how to do things well. I’m sorry my actions and uncontrolled reactions brought you so much grief and strife. Most of all, I’m sorry that I didn’t listen to you as I should. You’re right; things work out better when people listen to you. Thank you for helping me see and understand what I’ve done. I’ll do my best to prevent it happening again. Next time we’ll get it right.
Whenever that may be.
Stay SINful, friends.