I’m addicted to love. I seriously am. If I have a dominant addiction in this life that drives me… it is to the need to feel that cycle of falling in love.
I can maintain it with many people. I am fully present with whoever is in the room even as I have a fully fledged monsoon of feelings for more people than I care to count who aren’t in the room.
My shrink says, “You are very polyamorous for all you say you aren’t. That “love” bit… you aren’t just open.”
I love my friends. I love hard with an intensity and devotion that lasts for years, decades if people let me. I rarely end a relationship and never without cause. The cause usually has to be pretty extreme. I mean, I fade out of social groups and lose contact because of that… but that’s not severing a relationship.
I do move on pretty easily. I’m restless and I don’t settle well. I am shocked I’ve stayed in one house for ten years.
Want to know how I find out people don’t read that carefully? I talk about them a lot and they miss most of it. Hilarious. Deity was all, “Wait… I was in the doghouse?” My therapist was worried about the intensity of my NRE with you, yes. She thought it was inappropriate given that she wants me to be a swinger. She has strong opinions about what is appropriate for my marriage and emotional connections outside the marriage are a problem in her mind.
Noah has varying opinions. Mostly what he’s saying is, “You’ve picked really good guys.” Yeah. I have. I have pretty good taste… much to my shock and amazement…
I think it is because of my early disloyalty. I tried so many people I know better how to go for nicer people. I’ve dated assholes. I’m good. No more.
I really like the people I have in my life. I like how they treat me.
I think this falling in love business is partially a thing because I used to go through these reuniting/falling in love/leaving cycles with my mom. I was always trying to get the spark back and failing. So I’d find someone else to fall in love with for a while to help me deal with the fact that she couldn’t really love me all the time.
I’m not blaming my behavior on my mom. I’m saying I think this pattern started early and it was initially related to my mom.
I’m trying to get a handle on the scope of the problem, not blame someone else. There are pieces of this I should probably work on and pieces of it that are absolutely integral to my core personality and I don’t want to change it. I like that I am a much more loving person than average.
Let’s be clear here: me bringing a friend from out of state to stay in my house for almost three weeks while we intensely bond and talk about deep intimate topics… that’s an emotional affair too.
I was talking to my shrink about the challenging parts of having longer term house guests and she said, “Oh have you learned your lesson now about inviting strangers into your home? You’ll never do this again, right?”
I said: “Oh no! I will totally do this again! I have learned so much! I feel so honored. I’m having so much fun. This is a wonderful experience.”
She blinked at me.
What? That’s not weird, right?
I am absolutely going to invite strangers into my home so we can bond again. Duh. It’s awesome.
I feel like such an asshole. I told Noah: ok fine. I won’t see the Quiet One because I’m not allowed to add another person who wants solo dates to the roster right now. So I’m going to fill up Mardi Gras with the folks you don’t mind. Folks who don’t mind group play. Folks who are allowed to be a major focus of my sexual life going forward because Noah doesn’t find them threatening.
He did say that he might ask for a break from (insert name) after Mardi Gras for a time. That seems… understandable.
I told him I would like to ask for another Mardi Gras someday. He says wait till he sees how he feels when this is over. Then we’ll decide if it is five, ten, or more years away. Or never. We’ll see.
That seems fair.
My shrink says I ask way too much of Noah in asking him to tolerate my promiscuity and I need to work harder on making friends.
I said, “Time’s up. Talk to you later.”
I have more friends than anyone I know. I love you all. I’m grateful for you. The intensity I like… people don’t do that without fucking, mostly. Noah proposed that we could look around the asexual community for an intense, drama ridden emotional affair.
Err, that actually sounds fun.
I am going to have a good Mardi Gras.
My friendships go in boxes and I’m not the only one who gets to decide the categorization. I signed on to an enmeshed marriage. I have to consider Noah’s feelings. Even though sometimes I kind of want a vacation from that responsibility (see earlier cheating and bad faith negotiating).
Which isn’t fair and I know it sucks.
Noah likes to talk about how we picked the high intensity version of parenting and given how much we like our kids…. it is worth the outpouring of energy. We’ve made fantastic little people. And we really want to make more.
We picked the high intensity version of marriage, too. Given that I left on the road trip 13 months ago… it’s not a stretch to say I’ve been “on vacation” from my marriage for over a year now.
I need to change that. Noah has been more than fucking patient. He has been supportive and mostly of good cheer in his interactions with me. Because I need that from him.
He really needs some payback for that. I gave him nine really good years then he got a whole shitty year and counting. That sucks.
I’m kinda a shitty wife.
Noah is afraid I will do what I did with my Owner. Where I was there… then I stopped paying attention and I wasn’t. Reasonable fear. I kinda think I have more to tie me to this life. But those ties haven’t stopped me from being a selfish asshole in a lot of ways.
Noah and I were talking about the need to reinvent ourselves. When I need to express myself in a different way to the people around me because I have changed I usually need to find some kind of new relationship (or several) to help me through that metamorphosis. I’m not self driven, only I kinda am? I know how to hunt for the support I need.
I am very good at reinventing myself in front of someone at speed using only carefully selected stories from my life.
My life is complex. Long time readers who are friends tell me it is interesting watching how I tell the stories in different ways over time. I’m sure it is. I definitely drift in my interpretation of the “facts”. Who is to blame? What was I feeling? Oh my opinions drift. Which is part of why I record it. So if later there is a major rewriting in my head folks around me can say, “Whoa there.”
Useful to outsource your memory like this.
I think I am too impulsive/compulsive to be able to pull off life long monogamy. I think that journey is not for me. But how can I go on this journey and stop being such an asshole to Noah? And he’s an asshole right back. Let’s be clear. We suck at being polyamorous together. When we date we are so rude. It’s like we lose the ability to hold the mental model of what is ok for one another when we start reinventing ourselves for a new love.
But we don’t do it at sex parties. Cause we are there together to do our thing. And I think I do less of it on group dates? I know he does.
My shrink gave me the name of bars for picking up women for threesomes. Because that is less emotionally fraught than what I do in her opinion.
We are going out of town in a few hours. I’m not bringing my computer and I need to mostly stay off my phone. My hands god damn hurt. We are going to Santa Barbara and Monterey. Noah is going to have his first days at the home office (in Santa Barbara) and we are breaking up the journey home.
My life is blessed beyond all reasonable expectation and measure. I’m a lucky person.
Why am I so ungrateful? It isn’t about ungrateful. It is about insatiable. It is about no end of want and need.
I am grateful.
But how many hours a day can I fucking perform grateful?
Right now there are a bunch of dates in my calendar with ?’s next to them because I offered dates to folks. When I get responses to my emails there will be another round of emails.
Fine. If I’m mostly going to have to calm the fuck down after Mardi Gras, let’s do this.
It’s like the good old days.
It is hilarious to me how I can carry this glee and anticipation and joy about what I will share right along side all the wicked grief for what I can’t have.
I’m a complicated woman.
On the drive up I listened to this song on repeat. On the way home I listened to this song.
I know I need to turn to Noah. I know I owe him that. But what do I owe me? I think I owe me learning how to be a good wife to the best husband I know. The degree of guilt and shame I will carry over letting him down cannot be overstated.
I god damn owe Noah.
I need to fall in love with Noah over and over.
And I’ll still have my emotional affairs. But they can’t make Noah feel like he is dying.
I think what I have with Sarah is basically an emotional affair with occasional play. I think I have a platonic long-term partnership with the Bonus Parents. We are sharing a lot of life-work. Because support is awesome.
I mean… I could demean my relationship with Sarah and say we are “friends”. But I have a lot of fucking friends. I’ll tell you that this is special. We have worked very consciously to grow into the shape we need to be to be friends. It hasn’t been easy or natural a lot of the time and we’ve fucked up. But we keep trying because it’s a really god damn intense relationship.
And Noah isn’t real interested in asking me to change this. So yeah, I’ll keep having my emotional affairs. I’m not listing them all here. Just, can’t. That’s too complicated. But there are the really major characters. Sarah has been in my life for as long as Noah. We met at right around the same time. All because of this dude who liked to date the same girl as my Owner. Life is funny. (Not that I’m saying that this dude chased girls because my Owner liked them. But they had an uncanny pattern through multiple cities in different states.)
And to the best of my knowledge none of the connections there are very active any more with that man. I think everyone I am close to who knew him only knew him temporarily. Long enough to find me.
I met a lot of people in the last six months of my relationship with my Owner right as I turned 23. A surprising number of them are still in my life. Sarah. Noah. Daddy.
Random aside from couples therapy. I was talking about how hard of a time I have had with how vanilla the sex in our marriage has been. (It’s complicated.) The therapist nodded along. Then Noah mentioned Daddy/daughter play. The therapist kinda whipped his neck to look at me and said, “You do Daddy/daughter play and you think your sex isn’t kinky?” (Or some variation of that. I’m mis-phrasing slightly because I can’t remember.) I did that duck my head thing and was all, “It’s all about perspective… for me it’s kinda barely hitting the scale.” His eyes went wide.
What? That’s not weird, right?
I’m an extreme mother fucker, ok?
Where’s the degradation? Where’s the crying? How can you even tell you are having sex?! I mean really.
A little Daddy/daughter play during sex doesn’t even feel kinky to me. Your Mileage May Vary.
I’ve kinda had an unusual life. A little bit.
No… I don’t get to have a permanent hall pass to stop and sleep with someone on the way home from therapy. Even if those hours are covered by babysitting while he’s working. Sigh.
Yeah… I know.
I could be a lot of things in life. I chafe at the boundaries and limitations of the life I chose. I don’t want to make a different choice… but I chafe anyway.
I’m a brat.
In retrospect, even the agony of arguing for the past few months… it was fun. I don’t want to do it again any time soon. But I think we learned a lot. We managed to change things in our marriage in ways I needed them to change. We started a lot of kinds of play and interacting I’ve been asking for over a long time period.
It’s complicated. I’m not sure I done wrong. Not completely. Maybe my asshole tendencies serve good purpose? At least this is what I try to tell myself.
Hey, we grow…
I really should try to sleep a little more before we get up to go on this drive. It’s a long drive. A 4.5-5 hour drive. And we want Noah to be to work by about 10. We are leaving at 4:30. And I mean leaving. I should add blankets and pillows to the car while the other grown ups are taking kid loads. *note to self
We should stop and get gas and ice on the way out of town. We don’t have much ice.
I’m not actually trying to justify my asshole behavior, for the record. I know I’m being awful. I’m being selfish in a short term way instead of my normal long term way. No one is perfect…
I needed things to change. When I need things to change often I start breaking shit. Noah is scared because it looks too much to him like our marriage is the next thing I need to break.
I really don’t think so. Especially not if we can have lovely periodic group dates with friends and go to sex parties and in five or ten years I can have another Mardi Gras (maybe–if this goes well).
I mean good grief. How much can a slutty person ask of their spouse? That’s damn generous.
It isn’t polyamory. But we never said we were. We have stayed pretty close to that. I lose my shit. It’s not ok for me to date and for me to require him not to date. So here we are.
Noah points out that he probably could deal with polyamory but it would mean ending the super enmeshed thing we have and him seriously putting that energy into other people.
Oh fuck no.
When Noah drops his mental model of me he starts making choices that hurt me a lot. Ditto. It’s complicated.
I can get another 45 min of sleep, surely…
Goodnight. I’ll talk to y’all in a few days.