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.