lock

I once mocked Kamala Devi’s proclamation that she was an expert on relationships because she was involved in so many of them.  This is not always a case in which practice makes perfect, especially in the sense that no two relationships are the same, even within the same household or with any of the same people.  This I know intellectually, but recently I found myself just as guilty of personal assumptions.

Hubby has pointed out to me, not just recently but many times in the past, that I have used poly as a crutch in many ways.  While it has given me the confidence to find people who truly enrich my life and the faith that I am not only lovable but someone people want in their lives, it has also allowed me to hide parts of myself from these same partners as I see fit.  Until recently I have not been completely open to a single one of my partners.

I can’t with any honesty say this is a new behaviour.  I realize how how much I’ve missed and talked myself out of because I built a very intricate suit of armor.  Historically people I have not guarded myself against have hurt me pretty badly, so even those I loved and cherished got the Reader’s Digest of not just my heart but my personality as well.  I built an entire suit of slutty armor and superficial romanticism to avoid even getting deeper than the surface, and if anyone did happen to find a way in I had plenty of booby traps and Sphinxes waiting to deter them from sticking around too long let alone going any deeper.  It worked for a long long time.  Hubby was the first time I found myself completely trusting and comfortable with anyone despite my best wards and precautions, until now.

This brings me to an interesting part of our poly story.  This is the first time Hubby has watched me fall in love.  Don’t get me wrong.  He’s seen me sweet and loving and committed to a new partner, but this is the first time he has seen my process of opening up and giving myself over completely to the experience.  It’s akin to the “awakening” I mentioned before when you watch someone new to poly find that comfort zone where it all clicks.  He is in absolute awe and thrilled for me, but it has also caused him a little anxiety.  I’m not sure he realized it was happening when it was with him, so the intensity of my focus has been slightly unsettling.

I have to admit, friends, that I was just as unsettled.  I am never comfortable being this ridiculous, this vulnerable, or this hopelessly without strategy.  I feel like I’ve lost half the small ration of sanity I had to begin with, and a bit confused and chastising of myself for this kind of reaction over someone who may be a flight risk.  On the other side of the coin, I’m really enjoying the feeling of absolute optimism and naivety I’m allowing myself to uphold.  I am embracing not always feeling like I’m “playing the game” or watching my steps for landmines.  I realize that I’m completely setting myself up to be completely disarmed, and that that leaves me naked in a tornado, but I no longer see that as a devastating thing but an experience to build on.  (Ok, so I’d never expect to survive being naked in a tornado, but you get my drift, Dorothy.)

With my family behind me it’s a much less daunting and terrifying feeling to leave myself on the line for as long as I have been.  It’s something I’ve missed, and something I didn’t revel in much with Hubby because by this point in our relationship we were handfasted and taking new steps.  It reminds me why I love being poly.  Yes, I love the close-knit family we’re starting to form, but I also adore the beginning stages of something really good once I can eschew the self-doubt and insecurities that usually push me to rush through it.

In the end, no matter what happens, this will have been a huge learning experience and a unique opportunity to grow and solidify the bonds of our existing household.  I am quickly learning to enjoy my NRE while continuing to be not just attentive to Hubby but also supportive as he and A experience some tension and growing pains and he has his own reaction to my unexpected insanity.  I am just as quickly learning to not insert myself where doesn’t need it, when my advice is useful and valuable, and how to not take offense when he starts calling me “dude” and talking to me like one of his buddies when we talk about his relationships in particular.  This is an interesting new level in our marriage, and one that I think will ultimately bring us closer and make us stronger.

For the first time in a long time I can say that I am content and really enjoying where my life is at the moment.  I am feeling the best parts of the stage each relationship is in and ignoring the parts that would normally wound me until I added armor and a padlock.  This is what healthy love feels like in complimentary levels of deeply, committed dedication and flirty, blossoming adoration.  Feels like the perfect place to spend Mabon, in balance.

Aloha.

Go now, stop thinking about it so much!

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