The old “New Life Starts Today” post


All of us have had this day, some of us (cough me cough) too many times to count on all of the digits of people who have ever visited our home.

So, why is today any different? Because,  it’s also time for me to lose a lot of emotional weight, too. I’ve been carrying anger, frustration, hurt, and basically every dead weight emotion I can think of for far too long. 

I can’t promise I’ll be able to release it all easily, but I’ll start actively trying. And as I let go of negative, I want to embrace positive, even if it feels like it’s going to kill me some mornings.

So, here’s to action, positive steps, and letting light fill my soul instead of cowering in dark corners…. and to taking a picture a day, no matter how I feel, of myself. It won’t always be of my stomach, but it will be a visual report of my self-love progressions.

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Review of “The Good Divorce”

The Good Divorce was in my library from the days obtaining my Bachelor’s with a minor in critical family issues, at a time when I was sure that my fiance and I were destined to be together, forever. Now, nearly 12 years later, and I am in the midst of a divorce, with two children party to the split. Time to re-read it.

It was helpful, if for no other fact that it works hard to get the stigma of the “D” word out of the reader’s mind. Divorce, like other words, happens. Let’s learn how to deal with it.  I want my kids to be strong and smart, and I want them to know they are not at fault for the divorce.  I want to be a part of their lives, and I respect that he is a good father, who also deserves time with them.

The fact was, I was unhappy, and I had been for many years in my marriage. I held on for far too long to the idea that I should live happily ever after, and I cried myself to sleep, silently, more often than not in the dark days of my marriage. Finally, I stepped up and asked for a separation, hoping that I would be able to recognize why I had fallen in love with this man, if I no longer had to live with him.

The fact of this matter is, I did not.

That didn’t help at all when he asked to split the finances and pushed to see a mediator rather than a counselor.  So, I found a lawyer who said mediation was the best way to go, and I went.

Most of the time, I am able to see that the arrangements we made are for the best.  Other times, I hate it.  So says the book, this is normal.

So, to push forward with the following recap of the book (taken from the final chapter):

1 – I may no longer be a part of a nuclear family with my children and their father, but a bi-nuclear family can and should be defined.

     An all out war is nothing but destructive.

     Compromise is necessary

     Stay in charge of the divorce and my emotions surrounding it.

     Define and regulate what my new family means.

2 – Minimize the potential negative effects for my children.

     Give them time to adjust.

     Accept that they have the right to both parents.

     Cooperate, if only for the needs of the children.

    Establish a new limited partnership with my ex.

    Accept that my children’s family will include non-biological kin.

3 – Integrate the divorce into my life in a healthy way.

     Remember the whole of the old relationship, both good and bad.

     Accept inevitable ambiguities.

     Face my losses without drowning in pain.

     Forgive myself and my ex.

     Let go of the anger.

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What is marriage

Kamela Dolnova wrote an article about what marriage means  in today’s world, and how it is necessary to define this for yourself.

Given that at this point in time, it feels as though my marriage is in for a redefinition, I need to take the time to work on these definitions for myself.

So, here goes.

Marriage is:

1 – Ensuring that your partner knows how valuable they are to you.  It is your responsibility to make sure you are doing everything in your power to openly love your mate.  To that end, take more initiative in making him feel valued and adored, and expect the same in return.

2 – In Sickness and In Health.  I was allowed to be ill and need a period of recovery.  He is allowed the same, but each of us also has a responsibility to take care of ourselves while the other is healing.  If he can’t survive my depression, if I can’t survive his, it is our responsibility to own that and to provide everything we can for the other while make ourselves a priority, too.

3 – Holding true to loving the person as he was, as he has become, and as he will be.  Your mate will grow into a new person over time.  Love him for that growth, but understand the growth may not always align with yours.  Allow him to grow into who he was meant to, and love him for it.

4 – Accepting that you may not be in love with the person as he has become or as he will be.  Remember, you did not promise to be in love with him.  You promised to love him.  Just as the waves ebb and flow, so do passions.  Accept the waning passion.

5 – Difficult.  Do not expect it to be flowers and candies every day.  Fights have to happen to get those. 😉

6 – A shared endeavor.  One person cannot make a marriage work, just as one person cannot make it fail, in my opinion.  (One can certainly make decisions that are the primary catalysts, but the responses to these catalysts are what the marriage is truly dependent on.)

To be revised weekly, daily, hourly, as the need is known.

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Travel to Atlanta Poly Weekend

On my way to Atlanta with part of my family, to enjoy Atlanta Poly Weekend. We will be stopping in Knoxville for the night, and as excited as I am for the convention, I am exhausted of the rain. I need sun.

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Compersion whiplash

So, my paramour husband has a brand new girl in his life.  She’s darling and cute; we have a lot in common – like writing and type A personalities. I can’t wait to get to know her better.

The four of us (she, her husband, he and I) have hung out a bit a couple of times now, including last night where I was an emotional voyeur, watching them cuddle and nuzzle each other, watching her husband get texts from his girlfriend, and trying to pay attention to two very different movies (Paul and Red State).  I was very turned on my the cuddling, watching their hands trace paths over the other’s, seeing how well they fit together.  I loved the feelings of happiness that were radiating off of them, making me even more drunk than the wine (of which I had way too much).  Score 1 for different women in his life being awesome!  Her husband was adorable; his happiness mixing in well from his NRE with his own girl.

But there I was, getting NRE vibes from three separate parties in two new relationships, and missing it being a direct part of my being.  I’m saturated, and I feel like I won’t get NRE again, ever…. and I miss it.  Oh, God, I miss it.  So, enter the feelings of jealousy.

Wait, jealousy is a worthless emotion.  Why am I feeling it?  Because I’m insecure.  What if she’s better at anything, or worse everything, than I am?  Wait, “better” and “more” are nearly worthless adjectives.  Try, “different.”  For one, she’ll enjoy Twilight with him, so I don’t have to.  Score 2 for different women in his life being awesome!

So, yes, I am having a lot of issues battle between my head and heart right now.  But, seeing him happy has been fantastic, and he has done a terrific job of making me feel  secure.

I am a very lucky woman, and I am so thankful for him finding a woman who meshes so well with him.  Now, to survive the NRE jealousy and compersion collisions.    Wish me luck!

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The pain of love lost

Polyamory is a more painful experience than most newbies can possibly realize.  And when the newbies don’t realize it, the old-timers can get crushed, too.

I have, as long as I can remember being coherent about relationships, believed that love is not a pie.  It does not simply cease to exist for one because it exists for another.

Love for different partners is just that, different.

So, when I got the call from a former partner’s wife, saying little else but, “You’ve won.  He loves you more,” it crushed me.  I didn’t want to win.  I didn’t want to hurt her.  I didn’t want to break up a marriage, or a family, or a working partnership.  I don’t believe he loved me more than he loved her, what they had built together, what life they had created for each other.  I did believe he loved me differently.  It is always a different love when you don’t share a household and know that the sink is never cleaned out after brushing teeth, or responsibilities like bill paying or mowing the lawn, or the daily dramas of kids.

And then, she played a card that made me forfeit the game, and she ended up winning in her mind.  I lost one of the best friends I have ever had, and she won the certainty that he wouldn’t play at non-monogamy or even attempt friendship with a woman he could love.

This was well over a year ago.  Well over.  And my heart isn’t even the tiniest bit over it yet.

I miss my best friend, but I want him safe, secure, and satisfied.  My existence in his life does none of those things in the way I can be a part of it right now.  She has proven she can take drastic measures to effect the safety of his established life.  She has proven that even if he moves out, he will not be secure, fiscally with his name on the deed or emotionally with his kids.  He will not be satisfied with the passing tweet or IM, which is the only thing we could hope to get away with, without her blessing.

I have considered writing directly to her, but I have not.  I fear this woman’s reaction to a letter begging to have her blessing for a friendship with her husband.  I could live without a romantic partnership, but I miss the platonic partnership I had with him, too… that’s love, too.  And I’ve lost both.

I would plead to get the platonic one back, if I thought she would relent.

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On Expectations and Reactions

Yashar Ali posses a good question to us all.  Does teaching children to be kind to women so as to not upset them cause more damage to the perception of females than it causes respect to women’s wishes?

My further question becomes, do women learn to react irrationally based on the expected reactions implied in comments such as, “She’ll bite my head off if I’m late”?  Based on my personal experience, the answer is, sadly, a resounding yes.

I do not remember to breathe like I should when I am faced with something that does not make me happy.  When I am upset, I tend to go for the throat; most of the time it is the figurative throat that is my target.  How can I show my dissatisfaction in a way that will cause the most pain and anguish?  How can I make them pity their choices?

I need to learn to be calm and handle these hiccups with grace.  I need to remember that a bit of tardiness is not the end of the world.  I need to remember life goes on from all things, including not getting the dinner I wanted.  As I am trying to teach my son this skill, I am getting better at, most definitely, but I also wonder how long I played the angry victim woman because society has found it appropriate to put me in that role based on my genitalia. 

So, treat me with love and respect because you love me, not because you fear me.  Then, perhaps I will be able to control the pieces of me that cause such terror-inducing phrases like “throw a fit,” “snap at you,” “unleash the fury,” and “steaming mad,” among others.

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