An Open Letter to Papa Bear

Note: The letter is a repost from my private blog, which is for Papa Bear’s eyes only. Papa Bear has decided not to continue reading this blog. He asked how I felt about him following it (since I was drunk when I sent him the link), and I told him the truth. Which is that I have been wanting to tell him about it for some time now, because I don’t want to keep things from him and it felt dishonest. That I DO trust him and know nothing I could write would cause him to reconsider our relationship, but that with him reading it would be hard for me not to censor myself out of fear of hurting his feelings when I am upset or confused about us. I do talk to him about every issue we’ve had that I’ve written about here, but the reason I write is to process. And so oftentimes, I don’t know how I feel or what I think, until it’s already down in print. And sometimes I just need to vent, and that venting is raw. I said it was up to him whether or not he continued to read it, and he said he wouldn’t. That he wants me to have this anonymous, private space to be able to get everything out, and that he knows, based on what I’ve written so far, that I am not keeping anything from him. He said if there is a post I’d like him to read, I can copy and paste it to him, but that this, for all intents and purposes, is my diary, and he doesn’t feel entitled to that. Anyway.

Context: Last night, there were some problems at Papa Bear’s house. The long and short is that The Wifey came home from work in a bad mood, and she and Papa Bear got into an argument while he was making dinner for us. I had left the room because the onions he was frying were stinging my eyes, but even though their voices were lowered, I could still hear their disagreement. I continued to make myself scarce until dinner was on the table, and we sat through a kind of awkward dinner, and then after we ate I went upstairs to wait for Papa Bear and they continued to argue some more. This was on the heels of a conversation Papa Bear and I had had about how much of the time when we’re on a date, we get interrupted (last time, for instance, we were supposed to have an afternoon and evening together, but his daughter Lucy kept coming in every half hour to ask for help with her computer). Then this long, drawn-out argument during the middle of our date last night. I was much less annoyed than I could have been, because I knew Papa Bear had to be hurting and this wasn’t about me, but I know the fact that we’d JUST talked about the constant interruptions right before this happened, must have been stressing him out.

When he finally came upstairs, we had a long, LONG talk. He is so frustrated and so hurt by The Wifey’s behaviour. We had stayed home last night instead of going out because he wanted to make dinner for her. Instead of appreciating that she complained about all the things he was doing wrong. Dinner was in progress instead of on the table, the onions were overcooked, *I* wasn’t using the proper knife to chop the garlic, the clean laundry hadn’t been put away, the porch light was off so she couldn’t see when she was walking up the steps, the wine he’d poured her was in a juice glass instead of a wine glass–on and on. So Papa Bear finally said that he wasn’t happy with how she started criticizing him as soon as she walked into the house, and then she started to cry, saying that she felt like he didn’t want her there, he hadn’t given her a hug and a kiss when she’d walked in the door and when he finally did kiss her he smelled like sex, etc, etc.

He is frustrated because he feels NOTHING but happiness in seeing how in love she is  with Boyfriend #2, and it hurts him that she can’t reciprocate those feelings when it comes to the two of us. He feels that she is feeling threatened because she knows I match Papa Bear in ways that she doesn’t–but by the same token, her boyfriend gets her the way Papa Bear never has, so she should understand that sometimes it just happens that way. That doesn’t mean Papa Bear is going to leave, and I think she knows that, but it hurts her that even though they have such a strong marriage, there is someone out there who has a connection with Papa Bear that is unparalleled.

It was hard for me. I started to cry because The Wifey and I have always been close, but since the New Years Fiasco of 2014 I feel like things are different. Papa Bear says that things are different between the two of them as well. The Wifey has been realizing that their relationship is changing, and its hard for her. At first she realized that she didn’t need Papa Bear anymore. For their entire marriage she had felt like her world would shatter if their relationship ended, but now she knows she’d be okay–that he doesn’t define her. This is a good thing, because it means that they are together because they want to be–and yet, it scares her, because she also understands that Papa Bear doesn’t need her, either. And so, when Papa Bear spontaneously decides that he is going to come see me in the middle of the evening (usually as she is getting ready to go on a date herself), she worries. She worries because when she questions him about why he is coming to see me when he’d planned to stay home, he says he just needs to. Sometimes he just needs to see me. And. . .if she doesn’t need him, and he doesn’t need her, but he does need me, then what does that mean?

I’m not sure what is happening and its freaking me out. I know its likely that we are just in a hard phase–we all want more than anything to make this work and to figure it out.The Wifey needs time and space to process all of this–it has only been four months, after all. But while she is processing, Papa Bear and I are getting closer and more intense. How can we help her? I have no idea. They are on a date tonight, so I am hoping they have a really good talk, reconnect, fuck each other silly and feel better in the morning.

ANYWAY. That was the world’s longest introduction, but here is part of the letter I wrote to Papa Bear about how I feel about all of this:

I know you are NOT other men and I am NOT comparing you to them. I know you’re different, and I really do trust you. It’s just that I’ve also had a few relationships where I was displaced by other women. You know the story about Sugar Daddy–and there was my first dom, who said he’d continue dating me while he looked for a partner, and then broke up with me because I took up too much time and he didn’t have time for me and wife hunting. And a few other men–the first guy I slept with besides Hubby left me for his landlord because she said that I was toxic and he should stop seeing me.

So. . .not to turn this into a giant sob story. But what I’m trying to say is, the issues that came up with The Wifey last night, are scaring me. I keep going back to when we first started dating and we talked about priorities, and you said that if you ever had to choose between me and your family, you’d choose your family. That you wouldn’t WANT to, and it might hurt REALLY bad, but you would, because that’s who your primary commitment is to.

And I’m NOT saying that’s wrong–I wouldn’t break up my family either, so I understand. But it frightens me because The Wifey is so unhappy and what if it escalates? What if it gets worse instead of better, and even if she doesn’t veto me, you end up realizing that she is NEVER going to be okay with you having the kind of relationship we have, with someone? And what if the ONLY way to make her happy, or end her misery, or have her understand that she is your priority and she is secure, is to either re-define your relationship with me to something lighter and less time consuming and less intense, or to end it altogether?

It’s hard for me to think about this, but I think I would be naive if I didn’t even entertain that as a possibility. Because EVERYONE thinks their love is unbreakable, and EVERYONE thinks he will never leave her or choose his wife over her. . .but men invariably do. It’s just the way it works. And if they don’t, they are looked at as sleazebags or deadbeats, and she is criminalized for breaking up a marriage, and they’re pointed to as yet another example of why polyamory doesn’t work. Because I know you would never leave The Wifey for me, and that’s great, but where does that leave me if your options are either be miserable at home, or live without me?

Maybe I have no right to be saying any of this. This is just how I process. I didn’t even know what I was going to write when I sat down. . .I just had all these feeling and thoughts swirling and I needed to get them out. I truthfully don’t even know what you can say to any of this. We know that sometimes life sucks beyond whatever promises are made. I just, I guess, want you to know how I feel. And it’s a strange feeling because I LOVE you so damn much! I feel so close to you and so connected to you and I feel like we just keep getting closer and our love keeps getting deeper and more incredible.

I trust you with ALL of my heart, but I guess I am understanding a tiny sliver of what The Wifey might be feeling. Because even the smallest, faintest, highly unlikely possibility that she could end things between us is extremely frightening to me. So how can I blame her for worrying about the same thing?

3 Comments on “An Open Letter to Papa Bear”

  1. In my own experience, when I am blissfully happy with a Secondary, my Primary relationship suffers. I’m irritable and moody and a pain in the ass. And when my Primary relationship is going well, I’m irritable and moody with my Secondary. I’m wondering if this is what’s going on with Wifey. Maybe not that she is threatened by you, but that she is more of a serial monogamist than a poly (like me). I think coming to grips with a changing truth is very scary for anyone.

  2. […] An Open Letter to Papa Bear → […]

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