Sunday, January 3, 2010

Howling in the Dark

It seems I have always been howling in the dark from the time I was born and my Mother couldn't "handle" my incessant crying and put me in the third floor nursery, alone, to cry myself to sleep. They say that responding to your child's crying teaches them to trust; a lesson that has been borne out in my three children. So I guess my ability to trust was injured from the get go, still she did the best she could. I agree that doing that was much better than doing me some sort of physical harm and I have seen that sometimes babies need to cry a bit to release pent up stimulation...but sometimes I wonder.

I am currently in a polyamorous triad with my husband and lover. We are a "V" configuration with me being the pivot point. The two guys on the surface seem vastly different but upon closer inspection they are surprisingly similar. The main difference is Sigel, my husband, is the driving force in our sexual exploration and Arch, my other life partner, is content to be monogamous for the time being. From the beginning Sigel was the one who craved different sexual experiences. So much so that it nearly destroyed our marriage and lead to him cheating to fill the need. I was over controlling and doled out the "extras" like some women dole out affection to their spouses. I never saw it that way though, I just wanted to be able to control the situation and be sure Sigel never realized that other women were more interesting and attractive than I was. Afterall, if he loved me he shouldn't want other women right? I MUST, therefore, be somehow defective! He tried and tried to tell me how much he loved me but I had trust issues and a deep seated fear of abandonment coupled with the belief that I wasn't worthy of love and respect. To combat these fears I made him a prisoner of my need and blamed him for EVERYTHING. HE was the one who was bad and defective, damnit, HE was the cheat and the liar. HE was the one who had had such a warped childhood that he couldn't grow up and accept that monogamous sex was the ONLY sex a married man should have! Then I would pull a 180 and invite a girlfriend to join us...or a guy friend would make a joke about wanting to have sex with me and I'd say "What the hell, Sigel wants to watch anyhow...."
Mixed signals from me were the worst thing for him because he could see that, inspite of my raging about monogamy, I really had no problem with sharing him or myself with another person. I would instigate an encounter and then blame him for "pushing" me into it. To be fair Sigel did use emotional blackmail and coersion to get his way but for the most part when it did happen I was a willing participant...until the next morning.
I found out he was cheating on me about 4 years into our marriage, I thought it was a one time thing and though I raged and punished him for many many long years over it I did forgive him almost instantly for sleeping with her. My real problem was the lies and the fact that I felt he didn't have to sneak around since I rarely denied him anything he asked for. Sure I tortured myself imagining him in some fantasy hawt porn scene with her but after a few years sanity set in and I realized that what he had told me was the truth...the encounter was brief, and forgettable except that this woman was one who would give him away. He had been cheating all along but this was the first woman he had cheated with that knew me. He figured the jig was up and spiraled into a breakdown which took him years to recover from.
We decided to work on our marriage and for 15 years we did just that. We talked and raged and then talked some more. Gradually we learned how to listen and how to speak to each other. We got to a place where we began to trust each other. It was tumultuous and heartbreaking the things we did to each other.
During this time we discovered the internet and I found a whole new way to cheat: emotional cheating. I could invest precious time, energy and emotion on total strangers who would never even see my face! I could talk about sex and have a hot time without comitting myself physically! With my poor self image this was heaven for me and hell for Sigel who craved my attention like air in his lungs. Suddenly I wasn't demanding his time and suddenly he wanted me to. Now I don't mean to say I sat in cyber chat rooms (tried that and quickly got bored) or trawling the net for porn (We had always had an adequate supply of that offline)no what I did was I played MMORPGs. I will not stoop to demonising MMOs mainly because they saved my life, through the interactions online I was able to work through my issues with people totally noninvested in the eventual outcome. I could be social in a way that was catharctic for me, besides I met our life partner in an online game. Sigel also used the MMO to finally escape from his demons, an addiction that was easily broken and caused no physical harm, unlike smoking (that was a bitch of a habit to break). I played up to 18 hours a day though I was not like the evil stereotypical stay at home mom. I schooled my girls, giving them their lessons and refusing to hunt in a group while they were studying because they would need my help and I insisted on pausing the game or logging out to help them. I skimped on housework but my house was never filthy, Sigel wouldn't have tolerated that for long anyhow. I cooked meals when I figured Sigel had earned the right to have a home cooked meal, it was unconscious but I recognize the subtle passive aggression for what it was. I talked to my pledge, clan or guild for all hours of the night...literally, I would stay up sometimes 3 days straight if I was working on some achievement. All the while Sigel mostly patiently allowed me the space to work out whatever was causing this disconnect, besides I seemed happy. I would take time off to drive to my Mom's farm to work with my horses but if I was at home then I was online. I was as addicted to the MMO as Sigel was to the conquest of a woman.

During this time I met Archanas, a sweet young man who was a sort of kindred spirit. This was after a very messy drama with another player and I needed a friend, desperately. I had always had Sigel as that friend but this time he had been the cause of the drama. Sigel was hurt by my lack of interest in him and he lashed out at the other player, basically saying that if he liked me so much then why not fuck me? The situation swiftly got ugly and I was devastated. Archanas showed up looking for a friend and he patiently listened to me cry. After hearing the whole story Arch flat out told Sigel not to make that offer with him as he wasn't interested in a married woman. Arch was young and idealistic...and a virgin. I fought Sigel off and struck up an intense friendship with Arch. He needed someone to hear his pain and I needed the same, for hours at a time we played the game and talked. We ran clans together and then a guild. The more Arch stuck around the more Sigel relaxed. Arch was comitted to never being the cause of our divorce and in a strange twist he became one of the reasons we are still married! We ended up on WOW running a guild, the three of us! We went from a position that Sigel and I can't game together to running a fairly successful guild, with Arch's help. After three years Arch learned that Sigel and I had a nominally open marriage and perversely was angry that I had never told him! We began talking and he revealed he was interested in me...Sigel heard about it and invited him to visit. He agreed and soon we were planning a visit!

The visit was amazing but instead of a casual sexual encounter we realized that we had loved each other for years. Sigel was amazed at how "right" it felt to have him there though he was not happy that he didn't get the threesome he was wanting...that came much later. It wasn't an easy transition from reluctant openness to full joyous openness but looking back it was all worth it.

We are now the proud parents of a beautiful son. We are working on getting us all together under one roof and all the problems that weill accompany that arrangement. It hasn't been an easy road to this location but in the end it has lead Sigel and I full circle.

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Rosie said...

This is such a complicated story - but with a seemingly happy ending. It speaks to me the tale that indiviually we are each so complex... and together? At times it seems impossible to reconcile, unite, comminicate, two such complex beings as a man and a woman.

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