The Poly Experiment

This was the end of our marriage.

I was playing Skyrim, as I often did. My routine was not particularly healthy physically or more importantly psychologically. I played computer games pretty much all the time I wasn’t doing something else. I would drop them at a moment’s notice to do literally anything else, but hunched over my computer logging hundreds of hours of escapism was my default state.

The Second stomped over to me, just emanating rage, seething from every pore. She slammed the lid of my laptop down and slammed her phone on the cover. “What the fuck is this?” she demanded.

I was stunned, I’m sure that I looked comically stupid as I looked back up at her. There’s a look one assumes when their glasses fit their face a little loosely to keep them from sliding off and I was distinctly aware of making that face right now. After I recovered from my moment of absolute dumbfoundedness, I looked down at her phone, there looking back up at me was the face of the one human contact I had nearly made in Salt Lake City. I had forgotten, completely forgotten. It was about two years prior at this point and nothing had actually happened. It slipped my mind entirely.

There were threats of physical violence against me. I sort of thought they were justified. The person I was two years prior had betrayed her, or attempted too anyway. I was not that person anymore. The person I was now, however owned his mistakes without excuses. Nobody would rather hear an excuse than an apology. She wanted the truth, and I was happy to give it to her. The confession felt freeing. I told her exactly what had and had not happened and what my thoughts and motivations were at the time, very much as I have now told you.

She didn’t believe me.

Still doesn’t I would wager if I cared any longer.

I am intelligent, highly so. It’s a difficulty that I plan to go into in more detail when I am done with this recap of my life to fill the gap of several years without a single post on this blog. What I had done made no logical sense. She couldn’t believe I would do something that made no logical sense. She kept demanding to know the real truth. I kept giving it to her with the apology that I was not going to lie to her to make her feel better. There is nothing in the world that can make me knowingly speak a mistruth. This is a position that I have taken and will continue to hold for my own selfish benefit.

There are times a lie may be kinder to the hearer than the truth. At no time is it ever kinder to the teller.

Once released into the world, the lie must be lived with until it is eventually found out. Odds are it will be at some point. It’s a toxic thing to live with, a horrible thing, a thing I will not do for anybody.

The trick here is that even if I wanted to lie to her to make her feel better, I to this day have no idea what that lie might sound like. I cannot make an illogical thing logical. I especially cannot force a false logic to fit an illogical situation.

The truth or nothing would have to suffice. She didn’t believe the truth, but it was the only thing I had to offer.

To say I was in the dog house would be putting it mildly. I received the silent treatment for weeks. I did everything in my power to reassure her that I loved her and only her. I was not that person anymore.

Eventually our routines settled back into their old grooves. This specter still lay between us, but it’s effects seemed to be abating. I was still trying to figure out what I could do to convince her that we were still worth it. I had contacted the VA for marriage counselling, and they dropped the ball, they couldn’t get us into see anyone.

One night she told me that she was going to go spend the weekend in Helena, her tone made it clear I wasn’t invited, to see a cousin (I think it was, it was some relation she hadn’t seen in a while and I had never met) she had not seen in a while. It sounded to me like a wonderful idea. I thought it would do wonders for her to clear her head.

I cleaned the house with the help of her daughter while she was gone. I made sure everything would be the way she liked it when she returned and I was eager to hear about her weekend. I don’t really remember much of what happened from the time she got home beyond that until I brought her, her coffee the following morning.

She took the coffee and took a sip, then she asked me to sit down. I did so cheerfully. She told me she wanted to open our marriage. I was not so cheerful. This devastated me. I don’t remember her case that she made, aside from having met someone, and being vaguely aware of references to what I had done in Salt Lake City. She said he contacted her through a mutual friend’s Facebook page. She suffice it to say did not share my opinions on deception.

I agreed to try it.

I felt inadequate and unloved. The story of how she and I met was replaying around me with me cast in the role of the discarded husband.

I stressed out and freaked out whenever she would leave with this man. He always took her to do such fun things, Things I desperately wished I could afford to do for her. I struggled to find anyone to spend my lonely nights with. I know I stank of desperation on top of my general social ineptitude. It should have been obvious to anyone how ridiculous her fears regarding me were at this point.

I eventually did meet a girl, she was reluctant and uncomfortable with polyamory. I learned something about myself, it turns out that I’m demisexual. I couldn’t get aroused with her no matter how much I wanted too. I shared this with the Second. Eventually things collapsed with the girlfriend.

I kept looking. Eventually I started to look into what a mono/poly relationship would mean for us, as it seemed pretty clear that’s what we had.

I started to wonder about that though, more and more it felt like I was the safety net, and her affection was saved solely for him. We had a sex life still, though it felt more obligatory and perhaps as though when we had sex I was not the one she was having sex with in her mind.

Then last December, well before last I guess 2017, things finally came to a head. My children were visiting for the time I am allowed them after Christmas. On the second day they were with us a huge storm hit the state. The whole western side of the state was emergency travel only for several days. Her boyfriend absolutely had to go apartment shopping in another city. I told her I thought it was dangerous and foolish to go now. I was a truck driver and if you spend any considerable amount of time on the highways it becomes a place you never want your family to be. Particularly in the worst of a Montana winter.

She left anyway, because he’s from California and doesn’t know how to drive in winter conditions, she said. Her winter driving skills bordered on suicidal as well, but there was no telling her that.

So with my children there wondering where their step mother was for two days I waited in terror for  either her to come home or a call from the highway patrol.

When she arrived I expressed how glad I was that she was home safe, which was absolutely genuine. She could tell that there was something else, I wasn’t saying. I didn’t want to say it just then. I didn’t think it was the time, I didn’t think it would go well. She insisted.

We went into the bedroom and had it out. I told her how absolutely foolish it was that she would risk her life for this man , while I and her step children were home worrying about her. I didn’t believe that she would risk her life for me. Again I felt like the safety net.

She was outraged. In retrospect apart from being chastised, I have no idea what she was actually outraged about. That I would have the audacity to want my wife to be safe, that I cared for her, that I worried? It was the end of the line, she wanted a divorce.

I stayed in our room with her until the weather cleared and it was time for my children to return to their mother. Then I moved into the laundry room where the kids bunk bed was.

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