Cheers Sexy People!
I’m writing you this week with a happy heart! Last week was a huge breakthrough for me in my poly life – a bit of a polyamorous miracle if you will. After much work, conversations, and behind the scenes mania and strife, I finally had the opportunity to meet my boyfriend’s wife and son in person. This is AMAZING – and one positive step for poly families everywhere! Each moment that one of us opens our hearts and minds to situations and family-building styles that don’t conform to what we are told we are “supposed to be doing”, it’s a HUGE win for all of us! And believe me, I’ll take all of the victories that I can! We all can! No one told us life was easy (and if they did, they were lying). The more I walk through life, the more I realize that we ALL have struggles – mine were the difficult feelings of exclusion of not being “allowed” to meet my boyfriend’s legal and biological family – but others’ struggles are just different. That is all. A struggle is still just a struggle. At the end of the day, we are all so similar, wanting love and belonging with other basic human needs, wanting to solve our problems, wanting some peace, love, joy and happiness.
So last week my worlds collided in the happiest and most joyous of ways…
My worlds of polyamory + infertility + family integration.
It was very special to me to get the opportunity to meet this sweet child I’d only seen in photos: my beloved’s 6-year old son. It came as a surprise, which probably was quite nice so that I didn’t overthink it. This young man came striding into my house in his cute argyle sweater with a careful look in his eyes. He clutched his iPad close to him for but a few moments. Then to my surprise, he excitedly starting showing us his latest Lego Star Wars game that he was fascinated with expressing utter glee! I did not feel residual infertility pain looking at this sweet boy or watching his father – my beloved – pick him up and toss him around happily – I felt joy, relief, elation, excitement that this boy seemed to find my hubby and I safe enough to share his excitement over five more of his favorite games on his iPad. Yay!
My beloved’s wife seemed much more tentative at first, but each moment that went by, she seemed to loosen up just a bit more, and slowly relax into what I’m assuming was a rather uncomfortable and challenging situation for her. Though my boyfriend has identified as polyamorous for a number of years now, my understanding is that his monogamous-minded wife (who lives in a different state) has never met any of his previous girlfriends before, until now. You see my beau and I just celebrated our one-year anniversary, and he also moved into our home this past August. So there is a bit of no getting around that the meeting was likely to happen eventually. But how? When? By what means? And I will admit I did have a fear that it never would. I tried very hard to not let my mind race around unproductively, but that is easier said than done some days, eh?
I tell you this partly so that others here know that there really can be gold at the other end of the rainbow – just keep walking! Whatever path you are on, know that even if it is challenging, it does indeed get better… with time, support, self-awareness and self-care.
So What Steps Did I / We Take To Help Make This Miracle Come To Pass?
- Practicing Patience – Over the last year as I’ve gotten to know my boyfriend, I have come to realize that though we have much in common, there are other areas where we are different. I’m more fast, loose and LOVE to talk and knock ideas around – taking challenges head on (mostly extrovert). Whereas my boyfriend prefers to process, ponder, take his time, and use his words sparingly and well (mostly introvert). He can move much slower than I, and I also have started to realize so does his relationship with his wife. After 23 years, why not? It works for them. So I have had to learn to be very patient, and he has had to learn to communicate more. We do our best to meet in the middle – talking when he’s ready, yet talking enough where I am satisfied.
- Trust In My Partner – Back in July when my boyfriend was with his family for an entire month (which I found very challenging), we had a turning point in our relationship when I met him for lunch and in an emotionally charged moment, he asked me: “Do You Trust Me?” I realized whole-heartedly YES! I do trust him! And that meant that I also had to trust him to handle his relationship with his wife in the way that he saw fit, and on the timeline that worked not only for him, but her as well. I had to trust him to use his own words with her (and me) in his own time.
- No Pressure & No Obligation – My boyfriend realized that by giving his wife as much space as she needed – room to breathe if you will – that lack of pushing or expectations on his part (and my part too) allowed her to come to her own conclusions about when to meet my husband and I. She could go at her own pace, instead of potentially digging her heels in if she felt pushed. “Do This NOW!” type of demands are usually met with resistance. Is resistance what you really want? No! You want progress, even if slowly. Allow the space for that.
- Setting My Intention – Months ago, I wrote up my own personal manifesto after taking Brené Brown’s Living Brave Course. It outlines how I want to show up in in the world: brave and strong, living in integrity, being loving and compassionate. I added on there several weeks ago that I want my boyfriend to truly enjoy his time with his family, and for him to feel safe and secure in his relationship with me while he did so. I read it every single morning for the last several weeks. Whenever I had a wonky moment, I remembered what my intention was, and I acted accordingly to honor my higher self and my highest intentions. Wow! It worked!
- Decide To Be Happy Now – How often do we all go around and wait for some incident to happen before we are happy? Is it true that I felt some anguish in not meeting these two people that were such a large part of my adored boyfriend’s life? Yes. BUT do I have to focus on that and cause more suffering than necessary for myself? No I could choose to focus on the love I share with my beloved, our amazing relationship, and be deliriously happy about this awesome life and home we are creating together RIGHT NOW. That helped me get my priorities in order, and rock my joyous life!
How about you? Do you have a situation where you are “waiting to be happy” after an event occurs? Hang in there, my dear friends! Please be patient with yourself and those around you. Also please practice self-forgiveness. We all are only human afterall. Don’t try to be “perfect” as that is just an illusion. Love who you are TODAY and tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow…
Help Make Polyamory History by Participating in a Unique Survey!
A lovely woman named Sherry Mason reached out to me recently. She is a psychology student at the University of Central Oklahoma. Sherry, along with a counselling student, Adam Everson, and professor of psychology, Dr. Alicia Limke, Ph.D., are executing research in an attempt to understand the relationship needs of polyamorous people and how those needs are met through multiple partners. As it stands, there is very little research about this community. This greatly disadvantages therapists as well as individuals/partners seeking treatment. She wrote me in the hopes that I would be willing to share their survey on my blog to help them collect more information from those involved in polyamory relationships. I have already completed the survey from my end. Would you be willing to help make history by participating and offering your very valuable insights?
The survey link is as follows:
The survey takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and consists of questions about relationships, feelings toward being a sexual minority (i.e., polyamorous), and some general questions on personality. This study is open to individuals of all sexual orientations and gender identities. The safety and privacy of all participants is highly important. They ask that anyone be allowed to share the link to this survey, but to refrain from disclosing any information about their involvement to keep their participation completely anonymous. This project has been approved by the University of Central Oklahoma Institutional Review Board #16107. If you are so inclined, help make history!
Lastly, here’s a reminder that I am offering relationship coaching with a speciality in unconventional relationships at a majorly discounted rate right now. I only have a limited number of slots to fill in my schedule in this regard so that I can devote a proper amount of time to those who choose to work with me. I have room for just one more amazing person. Feel free to sign up for a complementary 20-minute session with me at a time of your choosing based on my scheduler link here. To learn more, feel free to check out my coaching page on this website. I look forward to speaking to some of you and learning more about where you are on your journey, and discussing ways that we can create more love in your life in whatever way works for you.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
Marvelous article (and congrats on the relationship progress!) Your five steps match well with our philosophy of life and relationships. May I offer one slightly different word? My Partner Of Most Years and I used to discuss this relationship dynamic a lot back when we first met and were both ending previous long-term relationships. We used to discuss No Pressure and No Expectation, however the word “expectation” never quite worked for me. We all have expectations, such as to be treated civilly or with respect, and these expectations are useful and normal. After some time and discussions with other partners, one of them offered another word: Obligation. It is obligation that can cause trouble in relationships. “If you loved me then you would …”. “You’re my partner (spouse/wife/husband) therefore you must …”. This is deeply ingrained in our relationship dynamics now: No Pressure, No Obligation. I’m not trying to change you (and vice versa) and I am here because I *want* to be here, not because I am obliged to be here. What do you think?
Wow I LOVE it, LightFoot! Thanks for your most valuable insights. I see the difference that you are making with the word “expectation” versus “obligation.” Obligation feels like what you HAVE TO do instead of what one wants to do. I hear you. I believe in being treated civil-ly and with respect as well. And when I met my beloved’s wife, I felt that we all did that for each other. I think not being allowed to meet his family before, on the bad days, it felt like a lack of respect. Whether any of that is true or not, it doesn’t really matter now that we have actually met and it went well. Thanks for the congratulations on that front.
I LOVED this:
“I’m not trying to change you (and vice versa) and I am here because I *want* to be here, not because I am obliged to be here. What do you think?”
To me, that is not only how my husband and I built our marriage, but it is the under-pinning of how we approach our entire polyamorous life. My boyfriend moved in because he truly wants to be here, and I want him here as well! It’s quite beautiful. And to a certain extent, I realize how my boyfriend handles his relationship with his wife is none of my business (as long as it does not negatively impact me of course, and I feel I am being treated with basic respect). I will adjust the wording now… Thank you! xoxo
Your blog looks fascinating and I have subscribed. I stopped following most non-monogamy blogs because they usually are rehashing the same old stuff.
Wow, thank you so much! That is high praise! That’s funny because to me, there is nothing “same-old stuff” about ethical non-monogamy. Everyone’s story is different. If you are so inclined, I’m happy to interview you in either written form on the blog, or audio on the podcast. You sound like you have a story to tell! 🙂
That is a very kind offer. If you’d like to send me email off-blog, I would be thrilled to explore possibilities 🙂
Yay to exploring the possibilities! Will do! Keep your eye out for my email.
YOU ARE WELCOME !
I have learned a long time ago to never wait to be happy. True happiness can only be found within yourself, and there is no person or event that can create it for you. You may be happier around a certain person, or when a particular event happens, but that additional happiness still comes from within. You are creating it yourself. Also, I never try to be perfect, because I already am. I am the perfect me. No matter how much I may or may not change over time, I’ll always be the perfect me.
I will repost the research information to my local SoCalPoly yahoo group.
Hi Jim! Thanks for your thoughtful comment as always. Right on that true happiness can only be found within yourself. Well said! So empowering the way you describe as it puts us in the driver’s seat to our own happiness. 🙂 That’s right, Jim you ARE the perfect you. And I’m the perfect me. Yay! What an awesome thought for a Friday!
Thank you very kindly for re-posting the research information in your local SoCalPoly group. You rock! (but we already knew that).
G R E A T !
Thanks! Happy Friday!