My heart is heavy this morning. I haven’t heard from Ad since he walked out Friday night saying, “I guess I’ve got some things to work out.” I had just finished telling him that I needed more from a relationship – from our relationship. I need someone that is enthusiastic about the world. Who has curiosity and passion, who has initiative and motivation to do the things that need doing in order to make his world better. I need someone who is passionate about love and loving and me. Who has sexual energy as well as intellectual energy. Somebody with ideas and opinions and who brings as much to the table as I do.
Who is an active participant in our relationship, not just a passenger.
I am not surprised I haven’t heard from him, and I am not expecting him to reach out to me, to try to solve this, or fix it, or talk about it. He doesn’t do that. That would take him making an effort, and he doesn’t do that. Make an effort to do anything. He allows himself to be pulled along, he has a good time when someone else leads him, he’s a good companion when you get him to go along. But choosing to do any of those things? Or anything? It’s too much effort. So no, this lack of…of initiative in terms of trying to save our relationship, no, that doesn’t surprise me. He’s going to sink down into himself, wallow in self-pity and say, “Well there isn’t anything I can do anyway.”
And the damn thing is, he may be right about that.
Someone asked on my blog piece “What’s love got to do with it” why I saw only two options, “settle & deal” or “replace one (or both) of them.” That it is perfectly ethical, within the context of my relationship, to seek out another partner to fulfill the needs that aren’t being met by the others. (Actually she said it much more eloquently):
But really… Why NOT seek someone new? Someone who *is* the kind of match you would like, for now and to build a future with? A nesting partner. (Which is what you seem to be saying you want, eventually.) And why not add that person to the life you already live, without the caveat of ‘replacing’ someone you already love?
If you’ll bear with a visual analogy for a moment:
Your life is a glass jar, filled with various odd-shaped baubles. Sea-shell shaped family members and marble responsibilities, letter-block hobbies and five-pronged starfish lovers. Those pieces that you fill your life with are not interlocking puzzle pieces, nor do they have to be; they abutt one another and occasionally rattle about and there is space between the outline of each.
But if, pouring over the existing objects of your affection/time, you fill that jar with sand… If you allow those cracks to be filled, to mesh with all the contents of your glass jar and seal up the spaces in between…
That, to me, is what you seem to be expressing a need for. Someone who can be the sand in your jar.
She’s right, to an extent. Where the analogy breaks down is that Adam feels he is the sand in the jar. He feels we will be nesting partners again, eventually. And I hoped we would. Or rather, I hoped that one of the things that would happen while we lived apart was that he would become someone that I want to be a nesting partner with. I hoped that, without me there to be his lead, to be his crutch, to make everything run smooth so he doesn’t have to make an effort to change, that he would wake up to the stagnation of his world and make changes himself. But he doesn’t want to change. He sees nothing amiss. Inertia is where he lives, and for him, that’s fine. As long as someone else (me) is there to occasionally drag him out of it.
I just don’t want to do that anymore. And I don’t want my primary relationship to be … this. I want more. I deserve more. It’s just not enough that that person be someone who’s sole contribution is that he loves me.
That sounds as though I don’t recognize the great gift that being loved is. I do recognize that. It’s why I’ve stayed and tried to make this work for so long, in so many ways. I love him and he loves me, and that is precious and very, very important. But it’s just not enough.
I also recognize I may not find someone who loves me like he does, like he always has, like a rock, immovable, steady, with generosity and compassion. But I want the opportunity to try to find someone that does – and that also has passion and joy and initiative and a desire to make life happen for him, rather than accepting life happening to him.
V texted me that he and Ad had talked this morning. (V had already reached out to him once, yesterday, but Ad never got back to him.) See, V wants this to work, and he seems to think his input will be the catalyst that Ad needs to make the necessary changes. “We agreed that this is the first in a series of conversations,” he said.
Bully for you, I wanted to say. “Did he call you or did you call him?” is what I did say. I didn’t need to read his reply – I already knew the answer.
It makes a difference.
This has also driven a wedge between V and I, and made me see the other side of this equation, and why it doesn’t work either. Yesterday was rough. No word from Ad, a whole day of uncertainty opening up in front of me. A friend was throwing a pool party, an end-of-the-summer hurrah, that I had intended to attend: a sunny dozy boozy afternoon. But I certainly wasn’t feeling social that way. Most of that group are acquaintances, not close friends and wouldn’t even be aware of the drama playing out in my world. And the few who might? Well, it was a party. Drinking, flirting, 420…not exactly the ideal support group for the emotional maelstrom I was going through.
I needed my poly family – or what I had begun to think of as my family again. They understood from a very unique perspective, and feeling their support and love was very important to me. I knew that V and wife already had plans to spend a non-polycule day with a non-poly-aware person that day. But, I reasoned, I’m not just a poly side-fuck. I’m a family friend as well. I’m – well, I thought I was – part of the family. Knowing I needed them – hell my whole life is about to implode – I imagined they could explain that I am a family friend going through a rough patch, so they invited me to be with them for the day. As I would have done. Or, worse case, if E didn’t want to expose her friend to me, she could have had a day with her and V and I could have stayed at the house. I needed their support.
But that wasn’t possible. That’s not the world I live in. We aren’t a family like that, that takes care of its own. V sent me off to spend the day by myself with the demons and fears and recriminations and anxieties in my head – “go hang out with your friends!” and they went and had happy a family-and-friends day. “This is what is good about poly,” he said, “there are always other people to help out, to support you!”
Right. And so so wrong.
But I guess if I am being honest I had known that would be the answer. On the outside we appear to be a family, but on the inside we are still as fractured as we ever have been. And so I am faced with the realization that in this breakdown of my world, I truly am alone, with no one to truly rely on except myself to get me through it.