April 25, 8 pm
And this is the part where the red-headed Scorpio becomes a scorpion and lashes out in anger and vengeance at the world.
This is the part of polyamory where every abandonment trauma of my entire life is triggered. This is the part where I relive the trauma of my first boyfriend telling me he’d “fallen out of love with me,” after about a year and a half of monotony — I mean monogamy — right about the time his testosterone levels were crashing and he had a sudden life-or-death urge to create “life” with another woman.
This is the part where I relive the trauma of my second boyfriend telling me he was too young to settle down, that he still needed to sow his wild oats… of him dumping me at the most vulnerable time in my life — three days after my dad died — because he thought he had to choose an all-or-nothing relationship.
This is the part where I realize that subconsciously I probably thought my dad abandoned me when I was 6, but really, he was forced to leave, by my mom, who interpreted his non-monogamous nature to mean he didn’t love her.
This is where my deepest fear comes true – the father of my child is not “in love” with me. Worse, I don’t think he ever has been.
Don’t get me wrong — he loves me… like a sister, like a best friend, like the mother of his child. But he’s never been “in love” with me in a sexual or erotic way. Not like he is with Nina anyway. And not like I have benn with Ben.
And that infuriates me…
And I don’t know why it infuriates me…
I guess because, in a way, it feels like erotic love is the most important of the seven types of love, even though most people woulds say agape love is more important.
As Osho says, you can’t have agape love without erotic love. Erotic love is the base, the foundation of agape love, and therefore seems to be the most important.
I don’t know if erotic love really is the most important kind or if I’ve been conditioned to thing it is.
Either way, it kills me when I see the supposed love of my life have stronger erotic love for a woman he barely knows than he’s ever had for me – or worse, the fear that he may never have loved me sexually at all.
This is why I have a need to connect with him sexually ASAP after he’s been with another woman, as a form of reassurance that he still finds me sexually appealing (again, maybe he never has).
I realize he is under no moral obligation to meet that need and that it is really shitty of me to pressure him, but it still feels like a “need” to me.
So not only did Brad spend our entire hour-long time slot for sex today on the phone with the other woman… When he finally reassured me he still loved me and got me all geared up for sex again, he shot me down again.
As I predicted would happen if we missed our time slot, our daughter started screaming for my attention just as we were ramping up the effort to get ourselves off — right after we finally gave up trying to get turned on by each other, and decided to masturbate with our eyes closed to fantasies about our other lovers.
After I got my daughter settled, I waited in bed for Brad to come back and finish the chore. He stayed in the bathroom a long time. When he came out he said “I’m sorry, I just can’t do this. I’m just not feeling in the mood for sex, and I don’t want to force it.”
I asked all the questions I could ask, hoping his answers would lighten the blow, but instead they made it worse – “Not in the mood for sex or not in the mood for sex with me?”
“I’m just not feeling sexually attracted to you right now, and I feel like you’re forcing it on me,” he said mercilessly.
“I appreciate you being honest and staying true to yourself,” I lied. I wanted to murder him for it. I wanted to murder him for having the same nature as every other man I’ve loved – one that can’t stay “in love” sexually, with the same woman for more than a year max.
Why? Not because I was afraid it meant he was going to leave me, but because I had convinced myself erotic love was the most important kind of love, and if I couldn’t stir it up in him, it meant I was unattractive, undesirable, un-sexy and worthless.
I interpreted his personal rejection as proof that all men must find me unattractive, undesirable and un-sexy.
Disclaimer: These are all raw emotions. I’m writing about them real-time, as I’m experiencing them. My higher self realizes he is under no obligation to stay in love with me. He’s behaving perfectly naturally for his species, so how could I blame him? I guess what I’m really blaming him for reminding me yet again that the fairy-tale myth of monogamy is not true.
April 26, 11 am
Brad and I talked more this morning and it didn’t end well. I am fully aware that my PMS is probably negatively affecting my ability to communicate.
I went to bed crying last night. My breasts were still exposed from my daughter breastfeeding herself to sleep. He reached over her and put his hand on my heart as a kind gesture to comfort me, but all I could think about is how careful he was being to stay on my heart and not venture down to my breasts. I started thinking about how he could never see my breasts the same way he saw Nina’s breasts, and it set me off sobbing even more.
I tried to go to Ben’s bed for comfort. I didn’t want to have sex with him – just for him to put his arms around me as a friend, to listen and tell me everything was going to be alright. Instead he refused to touch me or talk to me and stayed focused on his TV show… This only got me thinking about how much more compatible Brad and I are conversationally and as friends, and made me even sadder about feeling disconnected from him sexually – and the prospect of him leaving me for a partner he does connect with sexually.
This morning we brainstormed every idea we could think of to solve the problem… The problem being our desire for sexual love and our conclusion that we can’t get it from each other.
I don’t know if the conclusion is premature, but I don’t know how much effort we are willing to put in to create sexual love between us, especially since it’s never been strong, even in the beginning.
I thought opening our relationship would help *re*kindle or *re*create sexual passion between us, to spice things up so to speak, but upon honest reflection, neither Brad or I can remember a time when it was ever spicy or hot to begin with.
So then the question becomes – how can we *re*create something that was never there to begin with? Can we create it from scratch? From nothing?
Having sex with other people casually seemed to help spice things up temporarily here and there, but having soul-binding sex with others seems to just be highlighting our sense of inadequacy when we can’t turn each other on.
My next question was whether tantra and ejaculation control could help. I’ve read extensively about how it can – that it can create more sexual intimacy and love between too people… but he’s not motivated to learn it. And maybe he needs someone he’s madly “in love” with to motivate him to learn.
Our final question was why are we trying to force sexual feelings for each other? The answer was because every other part of our relationship works so well. We make great life partners, business partners, roommates, co-parents, friends… we get each other… and we both want sexual love… why not get it from each other? That is the most convenient place to get it. And getting it elsewhere, in our non-tribal, nuclear-family culture, is very inconvenient.
He feels really insecure when he knows Ben and I are having sex in the other room. I feel really insecure when he brings women into our bed.
So we figure maybe we should have separate dwellings, where we can have more privacy for connecting sexually with others.
But that makes us wonder what will become of “us”? What kind of relationship will we have left if we are living under separate roofs? Will I still be allowed to go lay my head on his chest and have him hold me safe in his arms from time to time? Or will that make his new lover jealous?
I want to go mad thinking about it all… so I’ll take a break for now.
April 27, 8 am
Yesterday, midday, Brad decided he didn’t want to sell his food truck after all (even though his decision to sell it is what prevented me from leaving him a few weeks ago). He wanted to stay here, keep building the business, eventually open a restaurant and keep a room open for Nina, in case she got the courage to leave her “husband.” He said he’d been excited about our plan to travel the country in a camper together, but ultimately he’d never experienced anything like his connection with Nina, and he knew he didn’t want to live the rest of his life never having it or something like it again.
He said he still didn’t feel like having sex with me and didn’t know if he would ever want to again. He said I had his blessing to have sex with whomever I wanted to.
I went in the backyard to cry and get space and guess who calls? Nina.
She’d already made her goodbye call to Brad the day before. This was her goodbye call to me. She told me she’d decided to work things out with her husband and asked me to please tell Brad to stop texting her as it could ruin everything.
She told me to encourage him to date other women and not to wait around for her. “I know he thinks he loves me,” she said. “But he doesn’t even know me. My husband knows and loves every part of me. We are best friends. Everything works between us except the sex part.”
She said he could “fall in love” with lots of women and should.
I broke the news as cruelly as I could to Brad – paraphrasing it as “she doesn’t want you!” And then apologized later and said “she really enjoyed your connection too, she just doesn’t want you to suffer.”
Soon after he became sick to his stomach. He said it was from all the fighting, but I think it was from the realization there was no future, at least in the near future, with Nina.
Later that evening he said he still kind of wanted to sell the food truck and do our camper adventure.
After that he said he was unsure again. He said all the fighting between us was killing him.
This morning he reached over and rested his hand on my side. But then rolled away again. I looked down at my mostly naked body, pale and bruised, and thought “how could he ever want this again?”
I put on one of my least frumpy dresses and looked in the mirror. “No,” I said to myself. “I am attractive. His loss if he can’t see it.”
He’s out of bed now and keeping his distance.
We talked all day. We were vulnerable and honest. We listened. We soul searched and problem-solved. And we had amazing, passionate sex. We decided the only labels we would use for each other for now are “best friends” and “co-parents” and “life partners” who occasionally have sex. We’re still planning on our camper-van adventure, hoping to meet many new lovers along the way, supporting each other through each adventure.
April 29, 6 am
Not sure what to do or where to go from here. Brad and I finally had sex on the 27th, 5 days after his night with Nina. It was good sex. The circumstances made it a little more passionate than usual and we had just spent the day clearing the air and connecting emotionally. But it wasn’t super intimate sex. There was very little eye contact, as usual. No holding or caressing and a feeling of distance after.
Yesterday morning I was in the mood again, but he clearly wasn’t, so I decided to have some sexual intimacy with myself… which is not nearly as satisfying as intimacy with someone else.
We hardly said two un-work-related words to each other on the food truck yesterday. Guess we were all talked out from the day before. But there was a feeling of sadness… Brad seems almost depressed, and I can’t help but think it’s over Nina. His eyes lit up when she sent me another forbidden text yesterday.
“She’s just making sure you and I are ok,” I disappointed him. She said she would’ve felt terrible if she was the catalyst for us breaking up.
I was in the mood for sex with Brad again later that afternoon. (Not sure why it’s so frequent lately, but I’m guessing it has to do with my fear of losing him and wanting to make sure we are still capable of connecting in that way.
He was clearly not in the mood again and seemed to be doing back flips to avoid any situation that would allow me to come on to him.
I was confused because I specifically did not push him over the edge (cause him to ejaculate) the day before, with the intention of building up sexual energy/potency/desire. I know I personally go crazy for more sex when a man brings me to the edge of orgasm repeatedly without pushing me over.
He must be pent up, I thought.
Of course, I crawled over to his side of the bed this morning to cuddle and found him with no underwear. He never sleeps with no underwear, so I’m certain he masturbated (likely to porn).
My heart sank… I just couldn’t understand how he could be so adverse to connecting with me that he’d prefer to connect with an image on a screen.
For a moment I became angry. All my research has led me to understand logically why he is sexually drawn to novelty… why he actually needs it to keep his testosterone levels high and stay healthy… But man… why not have the novelty and try to maintain a connection with the mother of your child/best friend too?
And like I’ve told him – even if you don’t feel like connecting with me sexually, just some affection would be nice. For example, I gave him a thorough back and foot massage on the 27th. I tried to get him to return the favor yesterday, making it clear I was just asking for a massage and not sex, but he refused to use oil, hardly put any effort/energy into it and quit after a few minutes.
I’m trying to be compassionate about the fact that he may just be depressed. I think Nina may be the first woman who he fell hard in erotic love with and then had her almost literally ripped from his arms the next morning.
But it’s really hard not to take it personally. Aside from the fears and insecurities it’s triggering, it’s making me reevaluate our entire relationship:
“Has he ever cared? Why does it seem like it’s always me putting in all the effort to connect? Why am I always the one who puts in more energy sexually, emotionally, etc. Does he look at me just as an economic partner? Does he stay with me just because it makes practical sense?
I know he’s attached to me, like family, but has he ever loved me – either in the erotic sense or the agape sense? I think the answer to both is no. Since he’s never experienced erotic love (until last week) is he even capable of agape love?
Why am I clinging to someone who doesn’t love me? Who isn’t committed to my happiness, as I am to his?
I guess I was hoping he could find erotic love and it would help transform his familial love for me into agape love – unconditional love that saw my needs as being as important as his own.
It hasn’t. Not yet anyway. And even if he’d been able to continue the relationship with Nina, I don’t know if it would have. His erotic love for her so far has only seemed to make him repulsed by me, in a way.
I did not feel this way when I fell in love with Ben. I was able to transform my erotic love for him into a well-spring of extra love and patience with Brad.
I guess all I can do is wait it out a few more days and see if his mood changes, but at this point, I’m very nervous about packing up and hitting the road in a little camper with someone who doesn’t love me any differently than he loves his sister.
CORRECTION: Brad did not masturbate. He just had no clean underwear. He just can’t get in the mood with me, he said.