Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Open Marriage just grating a bit

It seemed like a good idea at the time. Hubby and me, staying married but being separate, and seeing other people at the same time. That way we get to keep all the benefits of a marriage partnership (stable home for kids, joint incomes and finances, great logistics partner, great business partners), but 'outsource' the parts that aren't working. In our case that's the intimacy, emotional support, and sex.

As you will recall from previous blogs, I went first, and landed up in this terrible trainwreck of a relationship with Jon-the-Narc which is still unravelling me and my company. Hubby was more cautious and took a bit longer to dip his toes into the pond. He is now in what seems like quite a happy and settled relationship with one of our mutual old friends. In principle I have absolutely no problem with this relationship. I'm glad he's found someone that can make him happy - we had a long period of sadness together and it's nice to see him full of energy again.

But the practical part of it grates me. This weekend he had her over at our house where he is busy renovating and getting it ready for us to move in. Which meant I couldn't really go over there to plan tiles and fittings etc because I didn't want to intrude on their space. In my house. Just felt irritating.

I obviously have unresolved feelings about it all. It came up again last night when my husband announced at dinner that he'll be off hiking in January. Obviously with her. I want to throw all sorts of arguments at him like 'we can't afford it'. I'm fantasizing about going through our bank statements to see how much he has spent this year on holidays (two overseas ones with her), and motorbike trips and cycling weekends, and new bicycles. Not to mention the time off which becomes non-billable and therefore reduces revenue into our household during this very very tough year.

All of those are relevant arguments but I don't think they're actually material to why  this bugs me so much. Maybe if I wasn't so sad and lonely and still nursing a very broken heart, I would be OK with it all. Is it as simple as me feeling jealous that he's happy and I'm not? Or is it a more fundamental thing? I watch him go off and do all sorts of action-based things with her - things I haven't been able to master because of all my autoimmune issues. And maybe it's because I spent so many years feeling alone and neglected and uncherished that it's hard to see him giving all of that to another woman now. And the downside of this open marriage is that its in my face all the time. Most people split up and live their new lives away from each other. We're still coming home to each other after each bit of time away, sharing photos with the family, and stories of how much fun we had. Well, mostly him right now. Which is tough for me.

If you were to ask me how I'm dealing in this open marriage, I would cheerfully give you all the benefits and talk about how we respect each other and how we're committed to making it work well for our family. I might not tell you how sad I still feel. And how lonely it can be inside a marriage where one of us is happy and connected, and one of us isn't. I don't want to be that sad person. I want to be out there and connected and joyful and fulfilled. I don't really want to be walking this road on my own, healing alone - my body and my soul. But I guess this is where life has brought me, and I have chosen many of the things that have brought me here, and I must do this thing to become the person I want to be for my next phase. More whole and self nourished and capable of choosing a lover who will feed me, not break me.

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