I need to write. I need to write like an addict needs a fix and I don’t understand why I have resisted it for so long. Things roll around inside my head and they get more murky and harder to understand. I’ve tried to segregate my life into tiny pieces of myself and write about just those tiny pieces, but it’s a lot like trying to build a whole outfit out of only a spool of thread. Eventually I run out of thread and I’ve only just begun but there’s so much else I can’t say for fear of breaking out of this self-enforced subject segregation.

No more.

I am happiest when I am writing. I self-examine more, I am gentler with myself, my mood is better and my relationships are more healthy. Maybe the self-segregation is a bad thing (to a certain extent, I can see certain subjects staying segregated) and this means that I should write more often than I don’t. It’s been two and a half years since he began his adventure and things crashed and burned and I found meaning in it and so did he. It might mean we’re destined for bigger and better things but the only way to tell is to live the future.

I read the past (I’ve documented it spottily) and in the last four and a half years I’ve found another love. Ten years in a primary relationship and this summer it’ll be five with my other lover. Dan Savage asks, why do most people assume all non-monogamous relationships will fail? Because I can’t speak up. Because despite the fact that when I bring my lovely T to thanksgiving dinner at my parent’s house, and my father refers to him as my ‘surrogate husband’, I still can’t find my ovaries and be honest about it with most people.

The honest truth is that my husband and I are perfect for each other in so, so many ways. He is open minded and loving, and doesn’t take me too seriously. He encourages the best in me, disapproves of the worst (but is supportive in helping me change it,) and doesn’t let me take myself too seriously. He is silly and cute and loving and cheers me up when I am sad. He doesn’t take me for granted (mostly) and appreciates that I don’t take him for granted (mostly).

He’s also been lovely enough to realize that there’s no limited amount of love in my heart; that giving love to another doesn’t mean he gets any less. As wonderful as he is, there are things he isn’t: romantic, sappy, a supplicant at my altar. He is better at doing than listening and wants to fix the problems I want to talk about when I talk about them; sometimes I want someone to just listen and hold me and tell me I’m wonderful even when I’ve fucked up royally.

I tried to put it to the husband (who still, in this monogamish arrangement, does not understand why I would seek out other relationships when one is ‘complicated enough’) this way: sometimes I want things that he isn’t. Either he isn’t able to give them to me, or he isn’t going to want to give them to me, or he just isn’t going to really understand why I want them in the first place. Instead of pining away for things he isn’t and asking him to fake it and being disappointed when he does, I enjoy him for who he is and what he gives me and don’t pick away at the tiny holes in the relationship until they become great festering wounds. No relationship is perfect and there is no ‘one’. I believe that very strongly. There was a time when I called my husband Perfect with a capital P and he denied this very strongly; he had more clarity than my dazzled eyes could have at the time. He knows he’s not perfect and now that we’ve been together ten years (ten years!) I can acknowledge myself that he isn’t perfect and I’m not perfect and neither is our relationship. Those tiny holes don’t mean the whole relationship is a sham. The tiny holes, if anything, mean we’re different people and we have a way to breathe when we’re wrapped up in each other.

There is no comparison of quality or amount of love or prowess as a lover or any other insecurity one could think to name. My lovers are simply different. Master/husband is one person. T is another. They occupy somewhat different (but also overlapping) roles in my life and not only do they enrich my own private life with each of them, they each enrich the relationship I have with the other. It’s this big Venn diagram of love in a sense; I don’t think most poly-negative people would ever fathom how good it is for my primary relationship to have someone else who loves me with his own intensity, acting as a cheerleader for my relationship with my husband. How could an other want anything less than to have me all to himself? How could he be anything but a threat to the primary relationship? How could it be that he isn’t somehow out to sabotage my marriage so that he can monopolize my love?

It’s up to him to explain how or why he feels the way he does. The best I understand it is that he sees how happy my husband makes me and he loves me enough to want to see me be as happy as possible. He respects me enough to know that my husband is the life partner I have chosen, for a myriad of reasons. Speaking as the person on the other side of this arrangement, I can only say that I am very happy to have someone to love for love’s sake, who loves me back for love’s sake. Two people whose goals are basically to make each other as happy as they possibly can for as long as they possibly can (and time is often limited); it creates a wonderful positive feedback loop that fortifies me in times of difficulty and supplements my happiness in times of joy. It is truly nothing but a good thing. It lets me love my husband better and in a purified form, and seeing my love reflected back at me does double duty. The reflection is a mirror held up to what kind of a person he sees me as. I get a chance to see myself in another person’s eyes. It reminds me not to take myself for granted either.

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