Exactly three years ago today, I wrote a post while I was pregnant about talking to Andrew about polyamory and how he brought up the topic of divorce for the very first time in our marriage. Today we are talking about separating. I asked him to leave for a few days. He is refusing. Three years of this shit. Why don’t I just leave? So many reasons.

He continually brings up the one night stand that I had last year, in his attempts to justify why he wants to know who I am with, what I am doing with my day. Part of me understands that he wants to share in my life. But when he asks me not to ‘party’ without him, it pisses me off. Party is pretty unclear, and open to interpretation. His interpretation of whatever he doesn’t feel comfortable with. 

He is also worried that I will have an emotional affair. Which means he wants to know all about all my friends, how much time I spend with them, what we talk about.

Oh, the irony. The worst thing he can imagine is already happening–I am fucking an amazing, complicated man who loves me and who I love. But this ‘worst thing’ is not hurting Andrew, because he doesn’t know about it. What is actually causing him pain is his fear that it or something like it will happen. And the irony of course is that his requests to know what I am doing etc. are actually founded, and if he knew he would leave me. But because he doesn’t know and because I continue to say that I would never, ever do something like that, his requests in the context of that reality are unreasonable. In the context of a marriage in which both people are committed to keeping the marriage going and still being individual people, having space and freedom with friendships and time is part of how things work.

The irony is also that his fears, his desire to control me, my reaction to it, my acceptance of it and his viewpoints as ‘right’ for so long have all contributed to my desire for lovers, my attempt at open marriage, and my cheating now.

So why do I want the marriage? We are in many ways a good match. We are comfortable together. We know each other. We have kids together, and it is easier to parent them and live day to day life in a shared environment. There is love between us, and I feel connected to him. 

I am also scared, though not as much as I used to be, about finances and my ability to live on my own, and loneliness and lack of companionship. But I am at the point now where I am willing to make the step and give those things up.

I am also scared of his treatment of me if we are divorced. He does a lot for me now because he wants to be with me, but he can be very moody and he is very smart and can be very legalistic. I am afraid that he will hate me, that we won’t be able to be friends. We have been married for a long time. He’s one of the few people I can get mad at. I am more afraid of rejection than I think. 

I am very adaptable. This is partly why even though I am a strong person, the dynamic in the marriage has become so unhealthy. I see what people want, and I accommodate them, often to the effacement of my own true self expression. This is not sustainable over time. Even with my closest friends, I don’t feel I can display my truly negative emotions.

So does being close to someone mean that they get to see the worst side of you? Unfortunately. Because that’s when you know someone really loves you, right? When they see the worst, and they still love you. When I secure enough to express that I am angry with someone, I feel that I have a real relationship with them.

With my current lover, I often still wonder what he wants. I try to fit myself to him. I see myself doing this, and it worries me. But I don’t necessarily know how to stop. I know that the problem with divorce is that whatever the unhealthy dynamic was in one relationship will probably be repeated in the next, unless you address your own shit that helped create that dynamic.

There is no question of my lover and I being anything other than lovers, and honestly, if I was to get divorced, I don’t know if I’d want anyone to live with me. Especially with my kids, it gets complicated. But even without kids. I think if I was ever to live with someone else, it would have to be with the understanding that nothing is permanent. Big words, but maybe hard to live by. I do believe love can last forever, but situations change. Sometimes to keep love alive, you have to say goodbye to a certain arrangement, or even goodbye to each other for a while.

One of the main reasons I am not saying goodbye to Andrew is that we have plans for the next year together that I don’t want to give up. I know it sounds superficial, but it’s true. And if I give up those plans, I may also not get to be with my lover. And my work is unstable, and next year I will have a better idea of what the next few years for me will look like financially. Maybe not the most loving reasons to stay together, but I figure, the more time I give the relationship, the more chance something workable for me will settle out.

In the meantime, I have to figure out how to live a dual life and hold onto the real truths at the same time. The truths of who I am and what I value and what this means to me. The truths of each relationship I am in. The truths of creating my own ethics and my own values, so that I can live a life that is right and true to myself, in the fullest expression of who I am.