There is something both nerve-wracking and amazing about what happens in a poly household when one of its member is experiencing rejection, a break up, or some other kind of heartbreak.
On one hand there’s the constant insistence from Hubby, the girlfriend, and anyone else involved that they love me. I appreciate it, family, but heartbreak is a process. You can’t tell me I shouldn’t be sad about breaking my blue vase because the purple one is still pretty. Support me with love, yes, but don’t expect telling me you love me to do away with the pain. It makes me feel like I’m somehow in the wrong for still feeling hurt when this happens. I feel guilty that the love I do have isn’t enough to stop the pain in its tracks. This is, of course, a ridiculous notion. Again, I loved my blue vase and how it caught the sunlight just right. Reminding me how well the purple one matches the curtains, even filling it with roses, while heartwarming, does not negate the fact that my blue vase caught the sunlight just right.
When Hubby and I broke up with our last mutual girlfriend it was hard. We were both experiencing our own feelings of loss, which were drastically different, but console each other at the same time. For a while it was rough. Neither of us could understand why the other was acting the way we were, and we started taking it personally. We were both guilty at that point of “blue vase-purple vase”, and we made a lot of fumbles with each other. In the end, we talked about it and apologized for being mutually ridiculous.
On the other end of the spectrum, the way our household pulls together in one big, loving hug is awe-inspiring. It really makes me speechless to be surrounded by such a strong support system no matter what the crisis might be, whether it’s about health, heartbreak, or just everyday stress. While it may not take away the pain, anger, fear, or anxiety, it does help to mitigate the emotional tidal wave.
Recently I made a few bad decisions that could have had a huge impact on our household. Meanwhile, I forged a couple new relationships at once, which is generally against my own policies because of the attention any new relationship needs, and wound up hurt. The way not only Hubby but the entire household gathered around me to support me made me realize just how loved I am, and just how luck I am to have them.
This family is one of the reasons I love my lifestyle and the choices Hubby and I have made to sustain it. Being an only child, I never had the tight-knit relationship siblings have. My mom died when I was 13, taking away the one source of support I felt I had. This household has shown me what it means to be family. Unbiased, unwavering, unconditional. We field the shift together, as a unit, so no one is lost in the undertow.
Thank you, family, for letting me have my experience and my moments, but also for helping me find my way back. Thank you for letting me cry but never too long. Thank you for never letting me close my heart or my eyes, and for always being there with a big group hug. You are my reasons for loving the way I do. I love you all.
Go now, find and love your chosen family.