The Hard Part

couple-angry-not-speakingI’ve noticed a pattern that the hard things in life often come right before the good things – you know “the darkest hour comes right before the dawn” kind of thing. I’m hoping that’s what’s in store for us now.

The last few weeks have been kind of an emotional roller coaster. Each time there’s a new development between Ben and I, it sends Brad for a tailspin. He gets angry, doesn’t want to be touched, says he hates me, wants to break up with me, wants to move out… stuff like that. Usually a day or two later, he apologizes, becomes vulnerable, tells me he didn’t mean what he said, that he really loves me, and this is just really hard for him.

It’s understandable. I’d probably be experiencing the same range of emotions if the tables were turned – if one of my female friends had become our roommate and Brad became romantically involved with her.

One time he told me he was just afraid of losing his best friend. “Ben?” I asked. “No you,” he said.

It was really sweet. I have the same fear of losing him, my best friend. But when I think it through, there’s really no reason to lose him. Our relationship may change, drastically even, but there’s really no reason in my mind – other than abuse – that it has to end.

I just interviewed a lady named Gracie X about polyamorous parenting. She and her husband opened their relationship after 20 years of marriage. Five years later they are living in separate homes with their new partners. Gracie calls her new partner “Husband # 2” and is no longer romantically involved with “Husband # 1,” but she still considers him one of the “great loves” of her life and one of her best friends.

In a way, I’m terrified that Brad and I could end up that way – living separately – even if it’s on good terms, just down the road, with a solid co-parenting relationship. I don’t want to live away from him. I want to be near him forever. But I know that’s not up to me, just like it wasn’t up to Gracie. Her husband’s girlfriend didn’t feel comfortable living as a poly quad and so eventually they moved out.

I don’t want him to go, but I don’t want to give up poly (my freedom) either. He’s said he wants to go back to being monogamous a couple of times recently. But I know he doesn’t really want that. He’s hurting right now, but he definitely wasn’t happy when were monogamous. He took me for granted, wasn’t attracted to me, felt trapped and resented me.

Even though we have more pain and fear to face in polyamory, we have more joy and excitement too. I for one, would rather have my emotions bounce around all over the spectrum than feel like I’m flat-lining emotionally (dying of boredom and predictability).

Last night, I ran into Ben’s room and attacked him as soon as Brad got in the shower after work.

I’d been waiting for the opportunity all evening, but as soon as I got my daughter to sleep, Brad got home.

I’d have been glad to invite Brad to join, but he and Ben have both made it clear they’re not interested in a threesome.

I usually wait until Brad’s asleep to make my visits to Ben’s room, but often Ben’s asleep by then and I miss my opportunity.

I assume Brad felt awful when he got out of the shower to find me and Ben locked in his room, because he locked himself in the spare room shortly after, hasn’t talked to me all day and has now blocked me on facebook.
I love him so much. It feels awful to feel like I’m responsible for his pain. But I’m not really responsible, am I?


  1. […] It was shortly after our NVC (non-violent communication) meeting last night that I felt the rage welling up inside me. Brad and Ben and I had been sitting on the couch discussing the event that led to my last blog post – “The Hard Part.” […]

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