False Sense of Security – A Polyamorous Relationship Experiences Growing Pains

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polyamorous fmf triadAt the beginning of our journey into polyamory, Ark and I discussed. We discussed a lot. His reaction to my admitting that I had an emotional attachment to another woman was, at first, too good to be true. I found out on the next day that it was, indeed, too good to be true—because it wasn't true, at all. He told me that he wanted to be supportive and accepting because he wanted me to “get it all out” and talk to him about this, without him blowing up in my face. So, in a way, for that day I had a false sense of security. My heart was soaring and I was high on happiness—I was in love! I was feeling the throes of NRE! I was so happy my honey was accepting of who I was and how I worked.

The next day was sobering. He was not, in fact, okay with it. He was pretty torn up about it, to be honest. I could not understand why he didn't voice his concerns the previous day, when I started the conversation to talk to him about it in the first place. He thought all the wrong things; that there was something wrong with him, that he was in some way inadequate, that I wanted to leave him, or I didn't love him anymore. I was distraught. Ark is my husband and I want nothing but happiness for him. I told him that if it made him feel so uncomfortable, that I would end my budding relationship with Kitten. We held each other and cried, I softly consoled him and explained to him the way I loved him and would never want him out of my life. We made love. And he told me not to end my second relationship.

Gently, over the following weeks, he started to spend more time with Kitten. At some points, he was seeing her more often than I was. He was no longer so depressed. There were group cuddle sessions and I was comfortable showing affection towards Kitten in front of Ark. We three spent oodles of time together, so much that I had to ask for alone time between the two of them. Ark and Kitten were friends—close friends. I thought we were well on the path to a happy triad.

Then, suddenly, inexplicably, Ark dropped her. He still doesn't know what made him turn. He saw red whenever he saw her touch me, and would be moody if she was around. At the very mention of her name, Ark would turn into a grouch. Again, I felt lulled into a false sense of security, cheated, but this time I also felt extremely protective of Kitten. I didn't want her to be hurt by the shrapnel. While Ark avoided Kitten and was rude to her when she was around, I was doing my best to make sure she knew it wasn't her fault. She eventually stopped asking him to come over for coffee. Eventually she even became wary of coming over to our apartment if Ark was going to be home, often timing her arrival shortly after he'd leave for work. The amount of discord was stressing me out.

Though all this time I'd been talking to Ark also, telling him I love him and our relationship didn't change, except for when he was being grumpy. For a while in the beginning, our sex life flourished, charged with the excitement of new love and further fueled by my building lust for Kitten in a yet non-sexual relationship. As time progressed and Ark grew more and more negative, he became less and less attractive to me. I cared about him and I wanted him to feel better, but he was not responsive to my attempts. He would say, “This is just something I have to deal with on my own.”

After the incident out of town, which I have alluded to previously, things started to change. For those who haven't read my previous articles, the basic premise is this: Ark was being flat-out mean to Kitten when he wasn't ignoring her, and sharing a hotel room with them for one night made it clear even to her that any sort of friendship between them was gone. He has damaged his relationship with her beyond repair, a fact that I know Kitten and I regret. Ark still doesn't seem to want anything more than to be casual friends with her. I still remember, and long for, the times when we'd all curl up in bed together for a good, long snuggle—I long for my false sense of security.

Arkanum is only recently realizing the consequences of his actions. Though I would like to say that it has had no effect on me, his damaging negativity in the past makes me hesitant to talk to him about Kitten at all. Part of the deal from the beginning was that I tell him anything that comes up or anything I feel he needs to know. The only thing he requested I not talk about at all is sex with Kitten, because he is uncomfortable talking to me about that and doesn't want to hear about it. (This is also an extreme change from the beginning, where he was not only interested in hearing about it, but it turned him on, too.) For so long, just mentioning Kitten's name got him in a foul mood, so I slowly stopped talking about her in general, just muting out my time with her for him, and still starting a conversation about her is hard for me.

Though Ark is fine now, at least outwardly, I find that I'm still afraid to talk to him about her. About a week ago, I was having some issues dealing with my relationship sexually, and I wanted someone uninvolved to talk to about them, but I didn't want to talk to someone who I was not close with. That left me two options; talk to Ark, or don't talk to anybody. Kitten already knew of these things because we'd talked about them and we were doing what we could to work with them, but I was feeling the need to be commiserated.

I expressed my hesitancy to Ark about talking to him about Kitten, and he didn't understand at first. He would just say, “I'm sorry you feel that way,” and get pouty. It's not about him, it's about me and the way he's made me shy of talking to him because of the way he acted. I'm afraid of a regression—I'm afraid that talking to him about these personal, intimate things with Kitten because they are just that: intimate and personal, and they are special, important. I don't want to share them and open myself up to him about them when he will (in my mind) be aggressive about them later. I can't say that I know for sure he will react this way, but I am afraid enough about it to not want to broach the topic with him at all.

Hopefully I'll overcome this. I don't want him to think I don't want to talk to him—I do, because he's my husband and I've never had trouble talking to him about anything previously. He wanted me to just talk to him about it, because he doesn't want to feel the way he does about it forever. I do want to start slowly feeding him information and gauging his responses, but I didn't want to start with this thing. Hurt me once, shame on you. Hurt me twice, shame on me.

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mad culinary scientist. curious voyeur. aimless wanderer. geek, nerd, procrastinator. panromantic polyamorous pagan. bdsm switch. refuses to adhere to any of your silly preconceptions.

3 Comments

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    Blue, I can completely relate to this article and to how you are feeling. Last night, after reading your story, I couldn't stop thinking about your situation and how closely it mirrored my own (albeit without the third person). It brought back a lot of bad memories and helped me appreciate how much has changed since then. I wanted to write this to offer you my support and let you know that you aren't alone in this.

    No matter how much you want to be open and honest with your love, if you get bitten a few times it can be almost impossible to feel comfortable revealing your thoughts and feelings. I've been there, and it's not a fun place to be. Once that trust is broken, it takes a lot of effort—from both sides—to rebuild it. The salt in the wound here is that your anchor relationship difficulties have affected all of your relationships. It's messy. There's no obvious exit.

    I can't tell you how to solve your dilemma (you probably know better than I how to make things right again), but I do have faith that you will be able to work it out with your husband. Once he's worked through his feelings (with your help), you'll have to learn how to trust him again (with his help). In the meantime, keeping Kitten out of harm's way is a very good idea.

    I sincerely hope that everything works out for the best, for you, Ark, and Kitten. You have the beginnings of a beautiful relationship, even if it has been marred by this bump in the road. The three of you deserve better things, especially on a day that should be about being with loved ones. I will be sending positive energy your way!

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      Aww… this is so sweet. Thank you for the vote of confidence! Though I wrote this some time ago, just yesterday I had another episode and all day today I have been thinking of how to talk to Ark about it. I know that if I talk to him, he will be understanding about it and try to help me at least feel better. He's a great husband, and he wants to do things right, and so do I. So I know we'll be alright as long as we keep trying. I can't be afraid to talk forever! 🙂

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        You're welcome! I have confidence in you because I know it can be done, and I know you all have the skills to do it. You and your husband both want to work together on this, and that's where you'll start rebuilding trust in each other (and yourselves). Open, honest communication without fear—you can't have a good relationship without it! I'm glad you both want to work toward this goal, because it can be a lonely and frustrating road if you're going alone. I hope things continue to improve! 🙂

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