Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Is my Open Marriage finally settling?

I know it's not the norm, this 'Open Marriage' arrangement my husband and I have. In fact most people I know think it's weird. And pie-in-the-sky thinking on my part: It can't possibly work, they say. And although I'm a fairly stubborn person, who commits to decisions wholeheartedly and doggedly makes things work, even I was wondering if we would ever pull it off in a healthy and sustainable way.  I even started a blog post in November with the title 'Will we EVER be friends?', wondering if the misery we were constantly living in at home would ever lift.

But some thing has shifted. In a strong and healthy way. I suddenly felt a shift last month, when I wrote the blog about the Looming Shadows. Luckily, my husband's tests showed up negative for cancer, and the docs are wondering if one of his prostate meds was giving a false positive flag. So all well on that front, thank goodness. I don't know if it was that fear that shifted us, or simply the unfolding of our lives as we continue to have brave and clear conversations with each other, but we're comfortable in our home together suddenly. Companionable. Peaceful. It's really lovely.

I did give him a strong ultimatum when I insisted on coming home in December. And he did work very hard to change his attitude at home. So it could be that. Also, I am no longer suffering under a regime of relentless abuse from John-the-Narc, and so may be more centered and calm myself, with more bandwidth for care and compassion.

We have had some kind and supportive conversations together. For instance he's struggling a bit with issues with his girlfriend, and he's been discussing those with me - mostly because she's raising issues that I also raised with him - feeling criticised (in may case, physically - not sure what her's was) and not good enough for him. I was interested that my own reaction to his pain about that was only compassion. No anger. No past pains. Just compassion. In fact it helps confirm to me that I wasn't going crazy in the way I was feeling with him - some of those issues are his, not mine. And so there is no conflict from me now, just support for his process as he himself realises that and finds a way through it.

I was realising too that I am in the privileged position to be dealing my stuff in 'relationship' with a few different boys at once. It makes it very clear to me how much of the 'stuff' is mine and what really isn't mine. The feedback, though brutal and painful, comes often in the responses I evoke from them and the way I feel myself responding to them. So even though that nasty fight with Berlin the other day really hurt me, I was able to see that his rebuke of me came from him, not me. I could feel that pain of not being known or seen or understood, and that was mine, but the dismissive nastiness that came out of him - his. His to deal. Mine to avoid.

And the past two days I've spent with my precious boy, Mark have been just lovely. We went on a driving and working trip. Stayed together in a chalet. Managed all of that without having sex, tempting as it was, and got ourselves home. He's focusing on fixing his marriage. I'm enjoying being in this tight friends relationship with him. Expectations managed all round. Care and support abounds.

So today is a day where I'm feeling safe and calm. Holding myself. Caring for the precious people around me. I like it.

BUT...PMT is just around the corner, so let's see how the serenity continues: off to Cape Town today for more work there till Friday. I'll see Mark there tomorrow. And both my Cape Town Besties.


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