Merry Effing Christmas

Remember last year’s series about how the holidays can be a bitch when you’re poly? Well, I had hoped that by this time this year things would be different, but hope is also a bitch. So last year, Papa Bear’s family came over and spent Christmas Eve with us. It was cozy and lovely and it made me very happy. Afterwards though, Papa Bear told me that the Wifey had complained, because they always spend Christmas Eve at home and she was upset that he’d changed the tradition. That was fine–we also always spend Christmas Eve at home, so I understood, and we talked about having our families get together another night during the holiday for this year.

The other issue–which I didn’t write about here–was their movie night. Every Christmas they have all their friends come over to watch a certain Christmas movie. Last year Papa Bear had told me I could come, but then when it actually happened I wasn’t invited. It turns out that neither of The Wifey’s boyfriends had been able to attend, and because of that, they decided that it would be best to not invite me either. I understood this as well, because them being newly out as poly, it would be kind of awkward and uncomfortable if Papa Bear and I were there cuddling in front of their friends while the Wifey was pretty much solo. Of course when I think about it now, I feel like that could have been easily remedied by being honest with me and asking me to skip the PDA and behave more as just a mutual friend–I would have been there with The Husband and the kids, so it really would have been no issue whatsoever–but the decision they made was to just not invite my family.

I was hurt, but not that hurt, since we hadn’t been dating for that long, and I looked forward to attending this year.

There was the enormous blow-up over New Years Eve, which I now believe led directly to a bunch of other crap that fractured my relationship with The Wifey, quite possibly beyond repair–and you can read about that in the series linked above.

Because of what happened last New Years Eve, Papa Bear had promised he would spend this New Years with me. It’s been in the calendar for an entire year, and The Wifey knew that. However, when she was scrolling through the calendar and saw it, she got upset because she said it hadn’t been discussed with her. That yes, she knew that it was happening, but Papa Bear should have checked in with her and discussed how she felt about it or whatever.

Frankly, I agree with her. He should have mentioned it again. I actually told him this before she even saw it, and he said he’d told her last year and it was in the calendar. And I told him he needed to bring it up again, because she may have forgotten and would probably be blind-sided–even though they never do anything for New Years Eve. So, this resulted in a fight about how we never discuss our plans with her or include her in them, etc. If things were good between us, I would have loved to include her. Last New Years Eve I wanted her and Papa Bear to come over and spend the evening with me and The Husband. She is the one who said she would feel uncomfortable and that they should just stay home. And they did, which hurt me deeply, because New Years is really important to me and not at all important to her. So this year, I talked with Papa Bear and we discussed the possibility of having a group event, which would include The Wifey and her boyfriend and his family–but we couldn’t figure out the logistics because of all the kids, and where they’d sleep, etc. And of course I wasn’t going to invite just Papa Bear and The Wifey to our home again–not after what had happened last year, when she’d made it very clear indeed that she had no interest in having that happen, and has made it very clear ever since that she is not capable of sharing time with Papa Bear without getting upset or feeling ignored if he does not give her all of his attention and affection.

So, for New Years it is just going to be Papa Bear and I. We are getting a hotel downtown, going to the concert in the park, having a nice dinner, and getting into the Jacuzzi.

Which is why The Wifey felt justified in stipulating that I be excluded from their Christmas movie get together. Let me tell you something about this particular tradition–it has always been open to any and all friends of the family. Their kids bring their boyfriends or girlfriends, their roommates, their classmates. It’s kind of a big, “everyone we care about is welcome, sort of thing”. Until now. Because this year, The Wifey informed Papa Bear that they will be having the event at her boyfriend’s house. And as far as Papa Bear and I know, they aren’t inviting any friends. Their son and daughter might bring the people they are dating, but that’s it. She also informed Papa Bear that I’m not invited because she would feel “uncomfortable,” and its very obvious that the reason this event has now been moved to her boyfriend’s house and no longer includes everyone they know and love, is because of me. Because she doesn’t want me to come, and she knows she can’t tell Papa Bear I’m not allowed to come to an event at their house, so she decided to have it at her boyfriend’s house.

I found out about this because at a game’s night for our polycule, she and her boyfriend and his wife were cuddled on the couch discussing the event. Right in front of me. The Wifey was so happy and excited she couldn’t sit still in her seat, and was literally glowing. It became very obvious to me that I wasn’t included, and I got pretty upset, so after maybe an hour of making small talk and being civil, I asked Papa Bear to drive me home. I’d had an extremely rough weekend so he had told The Wifey ahead of time that I’d probably have to leave early, so it was fine.

When we were driving home, I asked him about it, and why he hadn’t invited me. And he said he hadn’t even thought about that event, but of course I was invited. I explained the conversation that took place right in front of me, and he kind of got this weird look on his face–like he suddenly remembered something important–and then said something about how The Wifey had mentioned it was being held at her boyfriend’s house, but of course he would bring me.

The next day when we talked about it–and it took him HOURS to get it out–he finally admitted that he had gone home and asked The Wifey, and she had said “Um, I told you I wasn’t comfortable inviting her, remember?” He says he has no recollection of this conversation, and I’m assuming that this is because it was either mentioned in passing and he wasn’t really listening, or he didn’t really take her seriously. He has an awful memory–he can’t remember half the shit I say to him, or that he says to me–so I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt that he really forgot. But in any case, it turned into a massive, several-day argument between the two of them, and between him and me.

On her end, she says that I’m not invited because we didn’t invite her to join us for Halloween (she hates social situations unless she is the one hosting them, and frankly, Papa Bear didn’t invite her to the party because she always complains that his friends are immature, drink too much, he’s not paying enough attention to her, whatever. It had nothing to do with me), and we didn’t include her in New Years.  I personally believe that, since she didn’t invite my family to this event last year, and refused to spend New Years with my family last year, that she just doesn’t want me included in their holiday traditions and is using those things as an excuse.

Papa Bear was extremely angry at her, and actually yelled at her, which he never does–when they fight, she usually spends hours yelling at him and he just cries. Their daughter Lucy also gave her grief about it, and told her mother she was being ridiculous and awful to even think about not inviting my family.

As for me? I cried and cried and cried. I cried for days. I still can’t even really think about her in general, and the situation in particular, without  tearing up, and this was weeks ago. It may seem like not a big deal, but I have been looking forward to this for a long time. Because its a family tradition, the only one that also includes friends, and my concept of polyamory is that it is family. I do not want to be a girl on the side. I wouldn’t introduce my children to a guy I was just “dating.” I wouldn’t have a guy I was just having fun with come into my home and have dinner with my husband and I. I am not in this for just the sex or the fun, I am in this because I want a real family–I want to belong. And by excluding me–by changing the entire event just for the purpose of excluding me–she is telling me that she wants nothing less than for me to be part of her family. That she has not accepted me, and probably never will.

It has been a long, long time since I have been this hurt, or felt this rejected. I am truly heartbroken.

I feel like my only options at this point are to completely avoid her, and continue to treat Papa Bear as my family–to include him and his children in things, as I have–or to just give up. He told me that if we broke up because The Wifey succeeded in alienating me so much, he doubts their marriage would survive, but I don’t believe him. I think it would survive just fine. He might die on the inside, and he has a thousand times over when he has been trampled by her, but on the outside he would just smile and continue to go along. I would like to believe I’m wrong–that he would, at the very least, use our break-up as a catalyst to learning how to stand up for himself– but I really, truly, do not.


11 Comments on “Merry Effing Christmas”

  1. lizeden says:

    First of all, ((((((hugs))))))

    I think the thing that pisses me off the most about your situation is the double standard that wifey has. With my partner’s ex, Lora, her behavior was often nearly as ridiculous as Wifey, but she didn’t have any other partners, so someimtes it felt…well, not “fair”, but like, she didn’t have another partner to spend time with or enjoy, and for whatever reason, I think I felt a bit more empathy for her in her insecurities and fears, because she was the only one out of the three of us who wasn’t dating at least one other person.

    But The Wifey…has a boyfriend (sounds like she had two in the past), clearly enjoys being poly herself, enjoys having multiple partners, seems to make damn sure that Papa Bear accomodates HER partners, but is the biggest, most hypocritcal asshole in the world when it comes to sharing Papa Bear in the exact same way that Papa Bear shares her.

    I wish I had something good and positive to say, that would maybe help you feel better, but I hate to say it, it sounds like you’re right. She’s making it clear that she doesn’t want you to ever be considered as family, or consider her family. What a nasty bitch. I’m glad her daughter took her to task too for her egrigeous behavior. Not only is she being an asshole to you, she’s being a terrible role model for her children, showing them that it’s OK to scream at your partner, have double standards, be vindictive, and generally make the people around you miserable instead of taking care of her own insecurities.

    I really hope she wakes the fuck up one day, and starts working on herself. And I do kinda wonder if it’s true what Papa Bear said, that he is getting so tired of her shit that their marriage wouldn’t survive the end of your relationship. Either way, her behavior is doing the exact opposite of what she wants – it’s pushing him away, maybe even pushing her own daughter away, and causing a lot of people a lot of heartache.

    I hope that even with this, you’re able to get some enjoyment out of the holidays and figure out what you need to do to make it the best and most loving holiday that it can be. You and those you love deserve to have a beautiful holiday filled with love. ❤

  2. I think it’s time to walk away for good. This is not a healthy relationship (yours or theirs) and you deserve better.

  3. masterandbabydoll says:

    At this point, the question to ask yourself….is the juice worth the squeeze? It sounds cheesy but really sums up these kinds of relationships. Whether you’re talking poly, mono, swinging, etc. Perhaps it’s time to sit down and analyze how much more hurt can you handle, how much hurt from the Wifey is Papa Bear worth? They’re tough questions but you deserve more than she’s giving you right now and has been for the past year. Some of this is Papa Bear’s fault, no doubt. He should have said something earlier. But her temper tantrums are ridiculous. Lizeden is right, she’s a hypocrite and a bad one.
    I wish you all the best and hope your holidays start to look better. As always, love reading your blogs!

    • Thank you. I just keep hoping things will get better but I’m probably delusional.

      • lizeden says:

        It’s really hard to give up on someone you love. Or on someone who you *really* want to have a stable relationship with. I stayed hopeful that Lora would change, get better, really mean it when she said she was seriously listening and wanted to manage her emotions better. It took a lot of bad behavior to get to the point where I stopped believing.

        And honestly? Even now, I hope she gets her shit together. For her sake, if no one elses. That she still has a relationship with Jon means that I do hear about some of her idiocy, but even if I didn’t, I’d hope that she gets better for her own sake.

        But for MY own sake, she and I now have NO relationship. We never explicitly talked about it, and I decided to leave it alone unless she and Jon do end up being close, stable friends or dating again. But I do not want her in our house right now. I do not want her visiting the cats. I do not want to see her. I do not want to have a single thing to do with her, other than an occasional update through Jon, just so I have a rough idea of where things stand.

        I don’t know if there’s any kind of solution like that with The Wifey, maybe something less extreme, but still a “She has proven that she gives no shits about me, so I need to limit my exposure/hearing about her” coupled with a “from now on, unless there is a serious emergency, you DO NOT cancel on me, or change plans on me, or we’re done, because my sanity can’t handle this BS anymore”?

        I don’t know how that would go over, or even if it would help but maybe going to Papa Bear and saying something about totally renegotiating things to save your sanity, or you need to end up would help. And FTR, I know that sounds like an ultimatum, but I honestly don’t think it is. Because you’re not threatening to grandstand or prove a point or be controlling. You’re saying that you literally can’t deal with this anymore unless some things change. You’ve hit your limit. And if a better system can’t work out, you’re leaving. Not to be shitty, or to throw fit, but because this is an unhealthy dynamic for you, and much as you love Papa Bear, you need to look out for yourself and your own mental and emotional health first. If Papa Bear is unable to do that for you, then that sucks, but it doesn’t mean he’s a horrible person, or even that he doesn’t care. It just means he’s unable, the same as you’re unable to handle this dynamic anymore, so you’re not going to work together.

        ((((((hugs))))))) again. I hope no matter what, you have the best holiday you can, and good times with your husband and kids and other family/friends. I’m sending strength and warm your way.

      • Thank you, and thank you for understanding. I identify a lot with what you have written concerning your relationships with Jon and Lora, and with Rachel and Jessica too. I am doing everything I can to make sure my holidays are wonderful, and I will be writing a post about that soon.

        As for this situation, I have definitely considered renegotiating. I have also considered writing his wife a letter and asking that she meet with me so we can discuss things. I have no idea if it would help, and feel like it would be a last ditch effort, but at least I’d know I’d tried, and I truly don’t believe things could get any worse.

        I have also considered just ending things, not because I think BF is a bad person, or not worth having a relationship with, but because this isn’t the type of poly situation I want to be a part of. And it’s affecting every aspect of my life–I cry at work or feel too sad to go in, I cry at home in front of my kids. My husband who already had too much on his plate is supporting me emotionally and he shouldn’t have to because he has plenty of his own demons to contend with.

        I would like to be chill about everything and just ignore her crap, and maybe I can, knowing that 90% of me doesn’t think we can ever have a real relationship so I might as well just not have one with her at all. It’s just painful and confusing. I am dying to see a poly friendly therapist but they are all so expensive. Need to do some research into my insurance.

  4. lizeden says:

    For what it’s worth, had Jon not broken up with Lora, my plan had been to talk to him about how I absolutely couldn’t live with her anymore or even have her in my life in any capacity, and that she had to be out by the end of the next month (this all happened around the end of June, so it would have been the end of July). He was welcome to not move out at all, or more out 1/2 and set up a place with her, OR completely move out, though that would have truly and deeply upset/hurt me.

    I wanted to tell him first, because he’s our shared partner. But after I told him, I was planning on talking to Lora solo, and explaining why I felt like I couldn’t safely have any kind of relationship with her. I was going to tell her what I needed from her, in order to have a relationship from her. I was also going to tell her that – no matter what – I needed total radio silence from her for at least a few months, to deal with the emotional trauma that I went through. THEN, if she truly did want to have any kind of relationship with me, and HAD worked on herself, then maybe we could talk and see if we could establish a relationship. I was also going to let her know that I didn’t know if I’d be ready in a few months, but we could at least check in with each other, and see how one another feels.

    If she decided, for whatever reason, that she didn’t want to have any relationship with me whatsoever, that was also fine, and totally her choice. Definitely not my favorite option, because I also believe in at least being able to have a cordial relationship with my metamours, if not true friendships, but I could try it.

    And I was going to let Jon know that this was all really new for me, and that we’d have to see how it felt for all of us, as it went on. I was going to stress that – for at least the next 2-3 months, I didn’t want to see/hear ANYTHING about Lora whatsoever. I was going to let him know that if plans needed to change because of Lora, I didn’t want to know it was about Lora, but that going forward, I 100% expected that any plans that changed because of Lora had to be 100% made up in the same manner. So if a date night got canceled that was supposed to be all evening with a night in a hotel room, then “replacement date” HAD to be that same kind of date, unless we came up with a better idea. Point being that an “overnight date” could NOT be replaced with a “we’re just hanging out for a few hours” date, if that makes sense.

    One thing that I really wanted to stress to both of them was that her behavior was very unhealthy TO ME. I have some ethical concerns around whether I say that someone is behaving WRONGLY versus bad for ME. In both Lora and Wifey’s case, I do think they are both behaving wrongly. But putting it that way tends to put people in attack mode and try to fight and justify and generally be assholes. But by saying “I cannot live with this behavior” it shifts the focus. The behavior being WRONG can be taken up by Papa Bear if he wanted (and I really hope, for his own sake, that some day he calls her on her hypocrisy and tells her that he is completely done catering to it), but the most important thing that YOU want to address (imo) is that YOU can’t live with this anymore, and that YOU are taking proactive steps to change things and see if you can all find a paradigm that YOU (and everybody else) CAN live with.

    Does that make sense?

    All that said though, if it’s not your kind of situation, then it’s not your kind of situation.That’s totally OK too. Walking away and looking for other people with both parts of the couple are comfortable with the poly of the other partner, and aren’t shitty hypocrites is totally reasonable, valid, and healthy to do. IMO, you don’t “owe” it to anybody to keep trying with this situation, unless you feel like you haven’t exhausted every resource yet, to try to make it better.

    If you’re looking for more advise, I dunno if you’ve ever visited the polyamory.com forum, but there’s some really good peeps there. There are some trolls too, that need to be ignored, but there is a core of really caring, empathetic, thoughtful people there who would be interested and (I think) maybe have some really valuable feedback from a few different perspectives.

    Not as good as a poly-friendly shrink, I know, but maybe at least somewhat helpful! ❤

  5. […] dreading the entirety of the holidays, because of all the tension in their relationship due to her exclusion of me from their Christmas event. She knows he’s angry and hurt, and is worried that Christmas will […]

  6. […] with whether or not to get her anything. At first I was certain I wouldn’t–she had hurt me deeply and I wasn’t okay with pretending things were fine. Nor was I willing to bow to pressure to […]


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