June 13, 2008

Taking Ownership of Something that I don’t Own

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , at 1:43 pm by Kathleen

When someone that you love is trying to do something that makes them happy, you want to do things to help, right? If your lover takes up basketball, wouldn’t you buy them a new ball or encourage them to practice? So when a lover takes up a new lover, it just might be instinct for some people – people like myself – to want to help with that, too.

I did a lot for Michael and Becky. I was generous with our time, even allowing her to come visit him on our anniversary weekend. I talked to her almost every day online and shared the inside information on him and his feelings to help her feel close to him when she lived several hours away, and I even arranged for her to come down and surprise him one day.

But I realize now that by engaging myself in such a way, I was taking ownership in a relationship that should have had little to nothing to do with me. Sure, I should be nice to girls that my husband dates, but my biggest fear then was that if we failed at this poly thing, it would be MY FAULT. Therefore, I did everything I could to make sure that I was helping.

This was fine for them, but it ended up leaving me feeling extremely hurt and confused when Becky had some personal issues and ended the relationship. It certainly has given me a lot to think about. From now on, I will not try to be best friends with my husband’s girlfriends. I will be friendly, I will be polite, and I will even help her or answer questions if I am called on… but it will not be my relationship, and I will remember that.

Always good to find these kinds of things out early. I very rarely repeat mistakes.



May 9, 2008

Dealing with Hate

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , at 7:38 am by Kathleen

I’m doing the blog chain again, and this time FreshHell wrote about getting the last laugh on someone that she didn’t like when that woman died.  I really can’t say I agree with the sentiments that she expressed, although I recognize a few of them.  In the friend that she mentioned I see jealousy, cruelty, and competitiveness, and in the writer I see anger, hate, and smugness.  The whole episode seems so sad… it’s something that I could see  happening with my feelings toward Becky.

I have been working so hard for weeks now – months, actually – to clear my feelings toward her.  I don’t have to be her best friend, but something happened between Becky and I that I saw as betrayal, just like the previous poster felt betrayed.  Instead of internalizing that, though, and letting it be a scar on my soul, I am constantly picking at that wound and (gross image) squeezing the hateful pus out.  Sure, it hurts, and it is not even close to “fun”, but it will, in the long run, feel better.

I’ve been tangled up in hate before, and the thing is, that person controls you in some way for the rest of your life.  This woman from the previous post is dead, and yet the poster can’t get over her and is still reacting to the mere mention of her name with anger and violent thoughts.  I’ve felt that before, and I didn’t like it.  The person that I felt that for means almost nothing to me now.  He was an ex boyfriend who was abusive and cruel, and my only feelings toward him now are faint gratitude for helping me to understand what abuse looks like so that I will never go there again.  That’s it.

Of course, getting there took years and a lot of work.  That is why I try so hard to think of Becky, if not in a positive light, then at least in a neutral one.

I was talking to Michael again about the potential of his dating her one day, and I kicked over the excuses that I normally bring up in my mind to blame her for everything (by the way, I started this conversation, it wasn’t him asking for permission or something).  I took a hard look at myself and told him that I feel threatened.  I think that this is the first time I have blamed him for anything, but when I really thought about it, it wasn’t Becky that scared me, it was that she did something that I saw as terrible and he still cares for her.  I got the reassurance I needed, and maybe I picked at that wound for the last time.  Maybe it can finally heal clean.

Check out the rest of the blog chain below, and as usual, thank you so much for reading.



Auria Cortes

Life in Scribbletown

Polyamory From the Inside Out

For the First Time

Family On Bikes

Writes in the City

Elf Killing and Other Hobbies

Rotating Bear

Fantastical Imagination

Asian Business

Spittin’ (Out Words) Like a Llama

As Yet Untitled

Mad Scientist Matt’s Lair



April 16, 2008

More Chat with Becky

Posted in Becky tagged , , , at 2:54 pm by Kathleen

I know, I keep talking about her, right?  Today I was annoyed with her for no good reason.  She sent out a mass email about using the coming economic stimulus rebates to buy local stuff.  Now, I am all for this.  In fact, I buy local stuff when I can, and support local farms.  But for some reason her email rubbed me the wrong way… maybe because she was advocating buying local rather than paying down debt, or because she was talking about pissing the money away locally to boost the local economy rather than making a plainly stated argument for buying local all by itself.  For whatever reason, we had a brief disagreement this morning, though I wouldn’t quite call it an argument.

The fact that I was already in a bad mood and had just undergone the week from hell didn’t help AT ALL, though.  I apologized for being bitchy, and she let me know that she was just enjoying my usual bluntness.  She also asked about my career, which is kind of specialized and hard to break into.  Apparently her girlfriend is still jobless and Becky thought that my job was the right direction for her to take.  I gave her my usual response for people who ask me about that, but it seemed harsher than usual.  I guess I am still trying to figure out where Becky fits for me.  I wouldn’t call her a friend, exactly, but I don’t hate her or anything, and Michael wants her to remain in his life in some small way…  Anyway, it was a decent talk.


April 1, 2008

The Late Call

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , at 9:14 am by Kathleen

Michael has been really busy lately with several obligations that keep him busy after he gets home from work.  Three days a week, I only get to see him for a couple of hours, if that, before he has to leave; he doesn’t get back until late.  For that reason, I asked Becky to call on a particular day.  On that day, I needed to leave in the early evening.  Since Michael would be home, it was the perfect day for them to talk, especially considering that I was only going to get one uninterrupted evening with him.  Becky didn’t call.  Of course, I didn’t find that out until the next day, our one day home together, when she DID call.  How nice for her that she got her chat so that she could explain herself.

I was pretty irritated.  If I pissed off a friend’s girlfriend, I would be licking her boots every time we crossed paths to keep from doing it again.  I’m not sure what kind of effort Becky is putting into  respecting me, but I really don’t feel that suddenly getting “too busy” to call when she said she would call and then deciding to call some other day is very respectful.  This is especially true because I told her why  I wanted her to call on a particular day.

I’m not mad anymore, and I don’t hate her, but she makes it really easy not to like her much.


March 31, 2008

Talking to Becky (Again)

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , , at 7:06 am by Kathleen

I guess it was just last week that Becky sent me an IM thanking me for the Christmas gift. I replied that I was going to throw it away, but that I hate waste, and she thanked me again. Not the response I was going for. I was kind of annoyed that she was talking to me, and I pretty much just wanted to be left alone. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) my rational mind doesn’t like to leave me alone, so I realized that talking to her would be the best therapy for me right now, particularly if she was willing to take me being bitchy at least at first.

She was, and more than that, she accepted responsibility for the breakup and apologized for causing such upset. For the first time, I might add. On the one hand I do not particularly like her, but on the other I have forgiven her, and that leaves me in a very neutral place. I mean, she fucked up royally which inclines me to not liking her, but she and I have a lot on common, which inclines me to the opposite. Long story short, I just don’t care. I will be nice (and she is interesting) when she emails or whatever, but I still have no intention or desire to seek her out. She is still not on my IM list, but she isn’t blocked, either.

She’ll be calling later to talk to Michael while I am away. She wants to explain the reason that she broke up with him since she JUST figured it out. That reason, in case you were curious, boils down to her being spineless. I suppose I should elaborate. She had just started interacting in a new way with her primary, but she didn’t want to talk about it to Michael, so she just went even more passive than normal and let him take complete control, which she ended up not enjoying. Instead of fixing it, she just ran.

I think she may want a second chance, but she may also be afraid to ask for it. Good. I hope that she never gets up the courage to ask. Michael has my permission to date her if that is what he feels he wants or needs to do, but he also knows that he will have to weight it against my not approving, and that I will not bend over backward to facilitate like I did before. If he decides to date her again, I want nothing to do with it. And I am not sure, but I still don’t think she will be welcome in my home.


March 19, 2008

Going Postal

Posted in Becky at 7:03 am by Kathleen

We were all (me, Michael, and Becky) hanging out in her home town last November, and when we were all in a store together, I pulled Michael aside and showed him something that I thought would be nice for Becky for Christmas. He distracted her while I bought it (and a handful of other things), and later I wrapped it with the rest of the gifts. Ironically, I was wrapping a couple of days after she dumped him. At that point I still kind of hoped that she would maybe change her mind. Michael never got a chance to give it to her, and that gift has been sitting on his dresser for months. Too many months.

More than once I have thought about throwing it away, but I hate waste and that would be purely wasteful and, in my eyes, purely spiteful, too. Still, I have been on a cleaning frenzy lately, and that is something that doesn’t belong in our house. So yesterday I attached a note that said it was a late Christmas gift and that since we had no plans to see her, I was sending it. I took it to the post office, stuffed it in a package, and said good riddance to the one piece of Becky that has been living in my house since last year. It is gone, and with it comes a sense of peace. Plus my house is that little bit cleaner.

I just realized something: I don’t want to hurt her. I used to, but now I really, truly don’t care about her. I don’t want her around me, but she isn’t my enemy and I’m not out to get her. I guess she just lost that power. Like taking the hair off of a voodoo doll, I have plucked her last bit of presence out of my life, and her power seems to be gone. Good.



March 14, 2008

The Big Question

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:43 pm by Kathleen

I joined a blog chain and I was going to wait for the woman in line ahead of me to post today so that I could add my post, but it seems that I will join the chain tomorrow, instead. For today I present a big question regarding my own experience:

What changed her mind?

I emailed Becky to ask her if she had been thinking of breaking up with Michael when she slept with him, and to my surprise, she said “No way!” So why did she start in on that line of thought the very next day?

My favorite theory is her boyfriend. Becky is a member of a triad with another woman and a man. The man and woman were a couple before they met Becky, who mas married at the time, and they formed a quad. Becky’s husband got upset about something, and blew it so far out of proportion that it ended in divorce and, of course, he left the quad as well. The triad, as I see it, is amazingly unstable. It’s like trying to balance a pyramid on its point with these three. The other woman was the primary, and now she feels left out as Becky and the man bonded closely and even exchanged “wedding rings” (they aren’t actually married, but consider themselves so). By the way, the ring thing is something that he has NOT done with the other woman, which fuels the fire. So, there is jealousy there.

The man also has a full harem of women. He “is seeing” between 4-6 girls OTHER than his two primary ladies last I heard, and this is a cause of much jealousy and angst in Becky and her fellow lady. Add to this the fact that 2/3 of the triad is either unemployed or holding unstable jobs, and you begin to see the cracks forming here. Anyway, the point I was going for is the man, we’ll call him “George”. George is incredibly jealous of Becky’s other partners for some reason. He even flirted pretty heavily with me once, since she was making eyes at my husband (this was when they were dating).

Add one insecure woman who wants more time/attention, etc from her man and one man who wants her all to himself (women apparently don’t count), and you get the formula for manipulation. Do I think George broke them up? Oh, who knows… but I do think that he tried. He even tried to get me to break them up, once.



March 13, 2008

The End

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , , , , , at 7:37 am by Kathleen

That was their last “date”, actually, and it was NOT my fault. We all hung out together a few days after Thanksgiving, and all seemed to be have a great time. Becky decided that she was indeed going to break up with Michael, however, and waited until their next date to do so. He drove the three hours to her house, and she broke up with him when he got there. They then spent the entire day going to parties (this was right after his birthday and right before Christmas), walking at the beach, hanging out in a hot tub naked, and making out all day. They snuggled up naked for the night, and he came home in the morning.

I was furious. Not only did she hurt him, but then I felt like she had stepped into MY place by being the one to comfort him while he cried. I also did not understand how she could dump him and then spend the ENTIRE day doing romantic and sexy things with him, then snuggle up naked at night. I was even more angry when I thought about it and realized that she had probably been thinking of breaking up with Michael before she slept with him. This was the first time that clicked, and I was fuming mad at her. I still don’t like her.

The way that I deal with emotional turmoil that is caused by another person is to talk it out, which can sometimes get heated or emotional, even when I stay in control. Becky, on the other hand, avoids confrontation at all costs and responds with the hated NVC. She managed to deflect blame to the universe, saying things like “I’m sorry that things happened this way. It makes me sad,” and “This didn’t meet my needs for taking care of either of you” whatever that means. I tried to remind her that she was in the driver’s seat, at which point she accused me of accusing her of not taking responsibility. Instead of then TAKING responsibility, she then said that it was “not her intention”. She told me that she refuses to process with me anymore, and I decided that I couldn’t handle talking to her. I told her so, and then removed her from my messenger lists.

Healing has been hard. I like this metaphor: Michael and Becky are two kids playing ball in the yard in front of my house. Becky knew that there was a window right in front of her, but she was focused on HER game and how SHE wanted to play, so she kicked anyway, and lo and behold, my window got broken. Michael, who did not kick the ball, saw that the game was over and went home. Becky shrugged and said “Sorry your window broke. That’s really sad that it just happened like that!” And she went home, too. I want a genuine apology. Not “sorry that happened”, but “I’m sorry that I hurt you,” and an admission that what she did was a mistake. Instead she acted like a little kid who was afraid to catch the blame, and she ran away. That’s okay for scared little kids, but in a 30 year old woman, it makes me mad.

Anyway, she is human, not the devil. She messed up, and I need to get over it.

Right now, I see her as “his friend”. I don’t particularly like her, but I don’t have any reason not to be polite if we should run into each other (and we actually did run into her once, last month). I would actually let Michael date her again (he still has a crush on her) if the opportunity came up and he wanted to, but I have told him that I would be disappointed, and he would have to weigh that against how much he wanted to date her. That, ultimately, is up to him, but I think that she knows how upset I was, and even though I perceive through our last meeting that she regrets breaking up with him, I don’t think she’ll try again. I feel only a little guilty about that. Honestly, I would not mind if she vanished from my life altogether, but she is still Michael’s friend, and I have to respect that.

March 11, 2008

Talking to Becky

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:43 pm by Kathleen

As much as I felt betrayed and angry because of Michael’s actions, I felt much worse about Becky. She has over 10 years of poly experience, and knows better than to have fluid contact like that. She was also told ahead of time that there would be condoms at all times, and let him make that mistake anyway. I talked to her the next day in an online chat, after I felt that I had calmed down. I told her that I was hurt, and she said that she “probably should not have done that, but we were caught up in the moment.” I was so angry that I had to pause to catch my breath. Her disrespect for me seemed to be pretty staggering, but she had always acted respectfully before.

As it turns out, this is something that is called NVC or Non Violent Communication. It is something that is apparently very popular with poly people, and is something that I really, really, really hate. It is passive to the extreme, which is incredibly annoying. Becky used this often to deflect blame, saying after doing something “I’m sorry that this happened” instead of “I’m sorry I did X”. It’s part of why Becky and I don’t talk anymore.

It was during the same conversation that Becky said something about thinking about breaking up with Michael. At that point I became defensive of the relationship. I think that I took too much ownership of it; I was worried that it would end if I screwed up, and I was therefore determined to keep things going. What I didn’t think about then but did later, is that Becky never, ever speaks without thinking first, and she spoke to me about that the day after she had sex with him.

Seeing as neither of us had ever had sex with another person, letting them cross that boundary was very hard for me. Later on I was shocked and hurt very badly by the fact that she was probably thinking about breaking up with him before they had sex. In fact, that thought left me pretty furious later. At the time, I let the matter drop.

I realize that I have not painted a very pretty picture of Becky, and I want to point out that while I do not like her and do not respect her for the things that she has done, my husband does still like her, and I must separate myself from that. Also, there are two sides to every story, and hers is likely quite a bit more innocent than I have painted here. Please read with the knowledge that my own bias is very alive, and that reliving these moments does make me a bit angry with her all over again.



March 9, 2008

What Happened Next

Posted in Becky tagged , , , , , , at 8:03 pm by Kathleen

The last time I talked about Michael and Becky, I was talking about a date that they had at the park near our home. The next time we saw her was at her birthday party, and I had a two week old baby at that point. I spent most of the evening taking care of him, so I didn’t really do much, but there wasn’t much going on. I watched them snuggle up during a group coversation for a while, then got a little bored and wandered off, where I met a nice guy who seemed interesting. We spent a while chatting before the night was through. I was having a very horny evening, but we hadn’t clarified rules on sex and there wasn’t really a place for it anyway, so I was under tight control. Michael and I stayed at a hotel that night, and headed the rest of the way home the next morning.

Their next date was at her house, about one month later, and Michael spent the night. It was odd for me, being all alone in the house, and I had also had the baby by then, I think. The timeline is a little fuzzy months later. I was pleased with how OK I was overnight. It was a good evening.

They didn’t have sex, but they did sleep naked and did some fooling around. Michael talked to me about it later. I didn’t mind hearing about it, and had only a moment of jealousy, which made me happy. I like that I have come to be able to control myself so well. Their NEXT date was almost two months later, and came about as a surprise to Michael from me. I planned with Becky to have her drive down one evening. I was going to make dinner for all of us, then go to my parents’ house to watch movies and give them alone time. All they had to do was put the baby to sleep.

From the moment that Becky got there, the NRE took over and I kind of became invisible. Neither of them was in the mood for what I had planned to cook, so we ordered a pizza. I would say that “we” hung out, but it was really me talking to them while they snuggled and made out. I don’t blame them, exactly, I know, for one, that Michael had been really missing her lately and that he was very surprised and caught up in the moment. He also didn’t know what I was planning. I fed the baby, pouting and irritated, I admit, and put him to bed, then left.

I was almost through with the first movie (one that I had actually wanted to see for a while, YAY!) when they called. Apparently the baby had woken up soon after I left, and was still crying. They wanted me to come home. I told them I would be home in about a half an hour, finished the movie, and went.

When I got home, I came in the back door and saw that the lights were off. The baby was half-wrapped in a blanket lying on an easy chair screaming. Michael and Becky were standing in front of him making out. The story that I got afterward was that they had only just paused from entertaining him, but it was not a pretty sight to be greeted with. I took him upstairs without a word, and Becky suggested to Michael that he go with me. I walked upstairs, turned into the bedroom, and suddenly felt like a fist had hit me in the gut. There were candles lit above our bed, and a bra hanging from the bedpost. I blinked, took a breath, and continued to take care of the baby. The baby’s diaper was dirty, and being a brand new dad, Michael hadn’t even thought of checking it. He really felt terrible.

We talked later about rules, after Michael had gone down to say goodnight to Becky. I had originally said that our bed was ours, but I had said that our house was ours, too, and then let him go downstairs to snuggle naked with Becky the morning of the last time she had stayed over. So many of the rules had changed that neither of us had thought about the rules that had not. I think I cried some that night, and he held me and comforted me. It was hard, but ok. The next morning he asked to go down to her, and I let him.

I listened at the stairs for a while, knowing that neither of them would mind. I guess I was just trying to eroticize the moans and gasps that I heard coming from Becky, and to some extent I did, but it was also a little disturbing. I eventually shut the door and went back to bed, but I couldn’t sleep and I felt trapped in the bedroom. He eventually came back up to tell me that it was safe to come down again. He said “I’m down a condom,” sounding excited and pleased to tell me. I was happy for him, but I still felt like I had been punched for the second time. All I said was “I figured”, and we all had breakfast together before she left.

Later that day brought a BIG fight, but you’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out why.



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