I Choose YouPosted: February 1, 2015
I’ve been wanting to write; my head and heart are full. It’s just that there is so much, I don’t know where to start. I don’t know how to string it all together into a coherent whole. As my brain is currently fried from late nights and a kid-centric weekend, I’m just going to go ahead and start. Stream of consciousness, bitches.
This morning I had a chat with The Hubby. It was brought on by something that Papa Bear and The Wifey have discussed a few times. I’m not even sure how to say it–how can I even put the words down without it coming out wrong? Without it being scary or painful? Without it seeming like this is something that could possibly actually happen? Without it seeming like I want it to happen, when in reality, it makes my chest ache?
It’s this: The Wifey and Papa Bear. . .both feel that. . .if one of them was to leave the other. . .they’d be fine. They’d be sad and it would feel like a loss, but they would respect that decision and know it would not be the end of the world.
When he told me that. . .I felt. . .afraid. Like, what? It’s just that, the concept of poly, has changed how they think about things. If they were monogamous, and they were to consider splitting, it would likely be because of differences they have, that are causing grief. And in that case, Papa Bear said, they’d fight hard for that. They’d go to counselling. They’d want to do whatever possible to save it, because you don’t throw relationships away just because they get hard, if both of you are willing to make a good, solid effort.
With our situation. . .if The Wifey was leaving Papa Bear because she truly felt she would be happier spending the rest of her life living with one of her Boyfriends. . .then Papa Bear thinks. . .what could he do? He thinks that, protesting that, would be selfish. It would be putting his marriage, and his claim to her, above her own happiness and well-being. In his words, doing so would make him a bad partner. He would rather not be a partner, than be a selfish one.
Okay. That makes sense. It is logical. And The Wifey says she agrees, but I feel like her agreement is more in theory. She is still struggling hard with how serious Papa Bear and I are. She says she loves that he loves me. She loves how we connect. She loves how happy I make him. But she worries that he doesn’t feel that way about her. And so. . .while logically she may agree that the happiness of people comes before preserving relationships, I really don’t think she’d be as okay with it as she says.
But like I said above? This entire line of inquiry makes me ill. So naturally, after having had this same conversation with Papa Bear a number of times (when other discussions have have just led there), I carefully broached the subject with my own husband.
First, I asked him if he felt he needed me.
“. . .Does it matter how I answer this?,” he asked.
“No,” I said. “I’m fine either way. I just want to know how you feel.”
“No,” he said.” I don’t feel like I need a relationship. When we first got together, I would have said ‘Yes, I need you.’ But I think that’s because I was convinced that everyone needs a relationship to be happy.”
I nodded. “I agree. I don’t think you need one either. Some people just don’t. And honestly, if you’d known yourself better before we got married, I don’t think we actually would have.”
“That’s why I’m not interested in dating,” he said. “The last thing I need is more relationships. It’s nothing personal, it doesn’t mean I don’t love you; I’m just happier when I’m alone.”
I knew it was true. And the only reason it hurt, is because that means that by being with him, I am actually preventing him from being his happiest, most authentic self. He’s a loner. Always has been. Of course, when there are kids in the picture, there’s nothing that can be done about that while said kids are still young.
Next, I asked, carefully,” So. . .how would you feel–assuming the kids weren’t a factor–if we didn’t live together anymore?”
He said he’d be fine. It would be “unfortunate”, in a way–the end of an era–but that he doesn’t need to live with me.
I get it. He is who he is. He wants to live alone.
My eyes welled up.
“How would you feel if that happened?,” he asked.
And I answered honestly. “I don’t want to lose you. I don’t want to lose my family. As long as we could still spend holidays together, meet up with the kids at the cabin for a week or two in the summer, as long as you and I were still close, and we were still a family, I’d be fine.”
He said he felt the same. As long as we are still in each others lives, it doesn’t matter who is living with who, or who is primary and who isn’t. It does matter, though. It matters to me. Not because I feel like I NEED to live with my husband and have him as a primary partner in order to be happy. But because I literally know nothing else. He has been my partner in life for the past ten years. I would really miss him if we didn’t share a home anymore–for the simple fact that he has been a constant. It would be like losing one of your senses, or moving to another country where you don’t speak the language–totally disorienting.
I guess this is as good a place as any to segue into Papa Bear’s response to the letter I wrote him the other night–the one about whether he’d break up with me if that was what The Wifey wanted. His response was that, if forced to choose, regardless of who was forcing his hand–he’d choose the one who had not issued the ultimatum. He does not think it would be possible for him to be happy in a relationship with someone who forced him to give up someone else that he loved. The resentment would just deepen and deepen until there was no room for anything else.
As far as what he’d do if he just knew The Wifey would never be totally happy again while he was in an intense, loving relationship with someone else? He said that we are all responsible for our own happiness. That regardless of which one of us was unhappy–whether it was The Wifey or I, who were wanting him all to ourselves–that it is not his responsibility to cut off people he loves in order to placate someone else. As long as he is being attentive and loving, then it is the responsibility of the individual to work through their feelings of displeasure or jealousy or entitlement.
That made me feel better. His response was wise, and I appreciate his measured approach, and the fact that he would not just cut me out of his life in order to stop The Wifey from feeling insecure or unhappy.
That said, The Wifey has seemed much happier the past few times I saw her. She was working through some things–and still is–but she is doing better. I think we will be okay.
In other news, Papa Bear and I have booked our vacation for my 30th birthday weekend–four days of just him and me. Yay! We can’t wait!
We’ve also talked again about having a hand-fasting. Papa Bear wants to do it soon, but I feel like we should wait. I would like everyone (ie, The Wifey) to be totally okay and comfortable with it. I know that right now, if Papa Bear were to tell her that he wanted to have a commitment ceremony with me, she would lose her ever-loving shit.
I also think it would make more sense to do it later–when we are in a place where we can actually make some of the changes we want to, to our relationship. Whether its right before my family and I move to a house within walking distance of Papa Bear so we can see each other every day, or whether it’s after the kids move out and I can live at Papa Bear’s part-time, or after we win the lottery and buy a giant multi-family mansion (a girl can dream, right!?), I do not want it to just be symbolic. I want it to accompany real, lasting changes to our partnership and our life.
It’s interesting to me, how the songs Papa Bear and I have considered “ours”, have evolved as our relationship has.
At first, “our song”, was Shower by BeckyG. It’s kind of embarassing haha, but it about being so happy that you dance in the mirror and sing in the shower. That definitely characterized us in the beginning.
Then, it was Kiss Me by Ed Sheeran. This one still makes us turn up the volume, stop talking, and hold each other. It’s about falling in love–that feeling of just being lost in each other. “Kiss me like you want to be loved.”
Now? The song we love the most, is I Choose You, by Sara Bareilles. Last night we listened to every version of it we could find. Our eyes welled up. The video in particular was so touching, because it features two actual proposals–two couples got engaged on video while Sara played.
There was a time when I would have believed them
If they told me you could not come true
Just love’s illusion
But then you found me and everything changed
And I believe in something again
My whole heart
Will be yours forever
This is a beautiful start
To a lifelong love letter
Tell the world that we finally got it all right
I choose you
I will become yours and you will become mine
I choose you
I choose you
We wish we could get married. That it was legal, or practical, or possible. But it’s hard to even care about that when we’re together. He makes me sing in the shower. I love him. I choose him–and he chooses me.