Polyamory–this shit is hard


I am completely exhausted, and all I want to do is fall into bed and sleep for the next twelve hours. Unfortunately my mind is racing. I won’t be able to pass out until I get this jumble of feelings out of my head, so here I am.

Poly is hard, y’all. It is so much harder than I ever thought it would be. Loving someone who loves someone else takes a lot of work, patience, and commitment. Even though I am frustrated right now, I feel worse for Papa Bear. He is trying so hard to balance my needs with that of his wife, and of course, his own needs. He loves to make people happy, and he is starting to realize that, that isn’t always going to be possible.

I have mentioned before that Papa Bear and I have a very domestic relationship. We take care of each other, and we live our lives together as much as possible, while still balancing the needs of our spouses and children. I love being an extended family. I love having another partner in life, and I love our relationship.

But lately, we have been so overwhelmed. We are both having to grow, and growth is painful. I need to be with Papa Bear, and he needs to be with me. Lying in bed today, he told me that he can’t help wanting to be with me all the time. He can’t help that he wants to fill every spare moment of his, with me. But because of that, he feels that it is hard for him to get everything done that he needs to get done, and to be there for his wife when she needs him.

Now, let’s be clear. The Wifey has two boyfriends, and she sees them both at least twice a week each. She spends a lot of time dating. So it isn’t as though Papa Bear is constantly with me and neglecting her, because she is busy more than half the time anyway. What frustrates me, is that Papa Bear pretty much runs the home. I’m not saying The Wifey is lazy, because she is not. She works a full time job and designs on the side. She bakes and cooks and sews and is generally a very productive person. It’s just that she mainly does the things she loves to do–the things that interest her, and bring her joy. It is not stressful for her to sit on the couch and knit while watching a movie or chatting with one of her boyfriends, or to have a boyfriend over for cookie-baking.

Papa Bear, on the other hand, does a lot. He is responsible for laundry (and with a houseful of people fucking like bunnies, there is a LOT of laundry.) He not only washes it, but he folds it and puts it away and makes sure there are dry towels in the bathroom and clean sheets on all the beds. He cooks dinner every weeknight and I think even on weekends. He makes sure the Wifey has coffee in the morning, and that she has a glass of wine after work. He does the grocery shopping. He shovels the walk (and we have had a TON of snow this winter!). He manages the finances. He makes sure the car is washed and tuned up, and he chauffeurs the wifey most places because she doesn’t like to drive. And he gets up every morning at 5:30 AM for work. He is a stellar husband.

The problem is that it seems like we spend way, way too much of our time taking care of these things. I get stressed. I’m not going to pretend like he only takes care of The Wifey and their home, because that isn’t true. He also takes care of me. When I lost the first pair of gloves he bought me, he went out and picked out another really nice pair, and then went and exchanged them when it turned out they didn’t fit. He takes me grocery shopping because I don’t have a car, and always reminds me to bring my laundry to his place because then I won’t have to pay to do it in my building. He has bought me a bus pass so I wouldn’t have to worry about having change around in order to get to work, and even paid for my son’s fillings when my benefits hadn’t yet kicked in and we couldn’t afford to do it. He is amazing–simply out of this world.

It’s just that, sometimes, when we’re together, I would like to just BE together. I do not always want to be grocery shopping and doing laundry and going to the post office and the picking up his wife and making her dinner. Sometimes I just want to be US–a couple, in love. We are fun people. We love to laugh and act ridiculous and do off-the-wall things, but lately it seems like whenever we’re together, Papa Bear also has a list of chores he needs to complete.

I can’t hang.

It’s THEIR home, they can do that when they spend their time together if it needs to be done. Am I wrong for thinking its unfair that The Wifey is out at bars playing pool and singing karaoke, while we’re at home watching movies on the laptop between loads of laundry?

I talked to Papa Bear about this last weekend, and he promised that today we could spend the entire day together (this NEVER happens, people!) and just do things that we WANT to do, and nothing that we need to do. But then a friend of his who wanted me to take her portrait wanted to have that done today, and also go to lunch with us and ask questions about polyamory. Okay, fine.

But then she decided we all needed to go to the mall and pick out a new shirt for her to wear for the shoot. Um, okay?

The shoot took HOURS, and by the time she left we only had an hour and a half left before we needed to go pick up The Wifey from work.

We had sex for a few minutes after Papa Bear’s friend left, but that was interrupted when his daughter sent multiple texts asking why we weren’t fucking in the attic, instead of the master bedroom (there is very little insulation between the master bedroom and her room in the basement). But we had been quiet. I mean, quiet. We barely made a peep–she probably just heard bed springs. After that, Papa Bear lost his boner, ate me out and made me come, and then we fell asleep.


That was when I introduced a “no texting during sex” rule. The phone will be set to “do not disturb” if we’re banging. I don’t care if I’m not the one who normally calls the shots in this relationship–this can’t happen.

Then the Wifey was done work, and she had requested that we go to dinner, because she was going to be too tired to eat at home. So we did that. 

Papa Bear sat beside me at the restaurant, and The Wifey’s reaction was, and I quote, “Get your ass over here and sit beside me.” Really? We’re on a date, here. I think she could tell that I wasn’t very happy about it, by the way I was nervously chattering about not knowing what to order and avoiding eye-contact, because she told him that once she was finished her wine, he could come sit beside me again.

He said “It’s okay,” but she said she could tell he wanted to be beside me and she was done being needy, and sent him over to sit with me. I’m not going to lie, I appreciated this, since we had spent next to no time alone together at all on the day that was supposed to be just for us.

We went home, and The Wifey was kind of sad because her boyfriends were busy tonight so she had no date. Earlier in the week, Papa Bear had said he’d spend some time cuddling with her on the couch after dinner, but that was before our day was totally taken over by everything else. But Papa Bear needed to wash the sheets, and he still needed to grocery shop. So we dropped The Wifey back at home, put the laundry in,  and Papa Bear and I went and got their groceries.

He could tell I was upset, though I was trying not to be a bitch about it. We were supposed to have spent the day at an indoor amusement park–not taking portraits, grocery shopping, addressing Christmas cards that The Wifey had insisted on sending out, doing laundry, and getting interrupted while trying to bang. On the way to the store I asked if afterwards we could drive around and look at Christmas lights–one thing just for us.

He said we could, but he needed to go home and put the clean sheets on the bed first. Because he is THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN DO THAT. So I said never mind. He asked how I was feeling, and I told him I was exhausted and overwhelmed. He promised we’d go back the house, he’d pour me a glass of wine, and we’d go upstairs and talk about it. Except that he’d also promised The Wifey he’d cuddle with her on the couch after dinner? A fact that, I admit, I did not remind him of, because I did not want to go home without clearing the air.

He went and sat with The Wifey for awhile while I hung out on my own, but then returned and told me she thought it would be better if he spent time with her after he took me home. So we went upstairs to the attic bedroom and drank wine and talked.

There is a lot. So much that I am way too tired to be able to communicate it all when my eyes are fighting to close. There is the fact that he is just pissed about our time over Christmas break being ruined by a last-minute, week-long visit by his in-laws (more on the holidays later). He is frustrated and upset because he wants to spend as much time with me as possible and The Wifey has been extra needy the past few weeks (as have I, though he didn’t say it).

I told him that I need time with him where we are just ourselves–not people drowning in laundry and holiday cards and cooking, but two people who just started dating three months ago, who go out and have fun and be romantic. I told him I would rather pay to do laundry in my building, and go grocery shopping with my children in tow, if it meant that we could just date when we’re together.

He apologized and suggested we reschedule our amusement park date for Monday, but I told him he shouldn’t–absolutely should not–tell me we can do that, if we’re going to end up getting given a bunch of errands to do instead. Papa Bear said we should have a fun, no-stress, non-domestic date once a week, and that if he starts talking about other things he has to do, I should just remind him of his promise.

I wouldn’t say I am super hopeful. I am worn out and…not sad, exactly. Maybe the word is defeated. I know I have two wonderful, supportive partners who take good care of their families, but I need to just go out and have fun. I need to blow off steam. I need to get away from all the responsibilities constantly dragging me down. I didn’t start dating so I could have a second husband. I started dating so I could fill my life with colour and experiences and new things. I know this is a crazy time of the year, but that’s why, even more, I need to just let loose. I want to be his partner, yes–but I also want to be his girlfriend.

We’ll see what happens on Monday. Two days and counting.


4 Comments on “Polyamory–this shit is hard”

  1. Baby Doll says:

    No kidding! We are four months in for our quad and the challenges we face, even daily, can be exhausting and overwhelming! Really just getting around to scratching the surface on who we are, as individuals and as each couple and metamours, and how we live and communicate. It’s beyond hard, but so worth it. The love and attention we all need and receive from each other is irreplaceable. I feel each and every one of your good and bad moments. I relate to your thoughts and pains and sometimes feel like you’re in my head! Keep your head high, you’re doing fabulous!
    Baby Doll

    • Thank you so much. Your situation seems even more complicated, because you’re all planning on living together one day soon–I’m not sure that will ever happen for us. But I hope we can stay close and stay together.
      There is so much frustration sometimes, but so much love and support too.

  2. Marty says:

    Whoa … this WAY too complicated to continue like this

  3. […] social life revolves around their spouse never being even slightly inconvenienced–I cited the time when we couldn’t go look at Christmas lights, because Papa Bear had to get home and put […]

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