Torn

I’m letting my desire burn me into the ground, as I heard my guru’s friend say one time.

It’s not often I deny myself sexual satisfaction by giving up too easily on pursuing one of my lovers.

But tonight one of those lovers – Ben – has expressed to me that I’ve crossed his boundaries one too many times.

He said he’s put up with his emotional boundaries being crossed (but didn’t specify how) in exchange for me meeting his need for touch and physical affection, which he said he thinks a lot of men are deprived of.

Also, Brad was pretending to sleep on the couch while I had the most intimate conversation with Ben to date in Ben’s room with the door open.

Since they’ve both expressed extreme discomfort with polyamory to me in the last couple of days, I decided it wasn’t the best time to push the issue of sex with either of them –  because it’s still really painful for Brad… and actually, I’m learning – even through Ben’s extremely indirect communication – that it may be painful for Ben when I have sex with, sleep with or cuddle with Brad. He hasn’t said this, but as a fellow Scorpio, who also has a hard time with direct communication, I’ve learned to read his mind.

Even though it seems obvious in retrospect, it often doesn’t occur to me that both Brad and Ben (if he’s in love with me like I suspect he is) likely experience extremely uncomfortable feelings when I am spending time with the other in any kind of romantic, sexual or emotionally intimate capacity.

I would feel that way if either of them were having physically or emotionally intimate relations with another woman and I wasn’t invited to be part of it. I don’t know why I forget that they probably feel this way.

I’ve always believed it would alleviate the pain for both of them if I could share as many intimate experiences as possible with them both at the same time. But of course, we can’t. Not only can I not share physical intimacy with either man in front the other, I can’t share “too much” emotional intimacy with one in front of the other, because it’s too scary for both of them.

So Brad and I have private conversations where Brad is more vulnerable than he would be in front of Ben, and vice versa.

And because they will only agree to be intimate with me in separate, private rooms, I have to choose one or the other every night. And it kills me.

As I’ve cruelly explained to Ben – when you make me choose between the two of you (as opposed to letting me cuddle between the two of you), I’m ultimately going to choose Brad, because I have 6 more years, a best friendship and a child invested in him. But some nights I do choose Ben, because the magnetic polarity we provoke in each other pulls us together so strongly from time to time there’s nothing either of us can do to stop it.img_1279

No matter which bed I’m in, I’m tortured and torn, thinking I also need to be in the other bed simultaneously somehow. I’m sure it’s a sign of my codependence, but I imagine they both need me – that they are my helpless little babies, who need me to mother them – to scratch their head or rub their back until they fall asleep.

While I hate going to bed in my “family” bed without first tucking Ben in and cuddling him for at least a few minutes, I have never been able to sleep an entire night in Ben’s bed. Whenever I’ve tried, I jolt myself awake just before I fall into a deep sleep. A couple of times I’ve slept four hours or so in Ben’s bed, but I wake up with so much anxiety, I go running back to my bed as if I’m terrified someone kidnapped Brad and our daughter.

I still can’t help but hope (against hope, since Brad and Ben say they would never want this) that one day I can sleep in the same bed with both of them at the same time. I realize there might have to be another woman in the mix for them feel remotely comfortable that… and that the chances of finding a woman who felt comfortable enough with all three of us are low… and that even if we could find her, we would be total social outcasts… but, like I said… I hope against hope.

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