February 2018
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ending my partnership with B / feeling like partnership is not for me


so, that thing that I mentioned I told Viv (and I also told Ash), which is hard to put into words -- I'm gonna try. Even though I just kinda wanna scream and flail, I'm so confused and conflicted.

Recently I realized that I don't want to be partnered anymore. And it's not really about B [my partner]; I've been pretty satisfied with us lately. It's just that the original motivations for being partners are no longer existent, and I don't have any good current motivators (my only motivations would be emotional safety and financial security, and those are not strong needs for me).

When we first made vows to each other we were very different people, and when we got legally married it was because B wasn't comfortable having sex unless we were legally married, and because I was afraid that without some external tie, I would be abandoned -- neither of us saw being lovers-without-life-committment as a possibility. As we developed our marriage into a true partnership, we had goals of what we wanted to create together -- we had both assumed we'd adopt children, and/or that we'd run a tiny aid center for teenage parents (perhaps adopting their kids if they didn't want to keep or abort). And those things still appeal to me but they don't feel like they're the right path for me (at least, not at this point) and B doesn't want kids.

I feel like the point of a partnership is to create something together; to have a mutual goal which is nurtured by the partnership. I don't feel like B and I have mutual goals, and I think we have grown as much as we can in the partnership. I think I learned a lot from it and I think it was absolutely the right choice for us, but I feel like it has come to a natural end (or pause, perhaps). I still want to be with B, but not in the context of partnership.

I feel that a partnership is about balancing yourself with someone else and considering choices with the question "what is best for us?" and (at least for now) I need to consider choices with the question "what is best for me?" I might want to live with/near lovers, but I need more freedom. I need to be able to fuck up spectacularly and not worry about the fallout for anyone but myself. I need to be more open. I need to be wild. I need to be completely free.

I'm not sure if I will ever want to be partners with anyone again. I'm feeling more and more like that is not for me. I almost feel like it is a personal calling of sorts to be... alone, in that sense. I have this vision of my heart and my living space as this place where people can come and go, stay as long as they like or just stop in. Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed about having my own place and living alone. I wasn't the kind of little girl who daydreamed about a wedding followed by husband and kids -- I daydreamed about living alone in a world all of my own making, always with a house big enough for having plenty of visitors but with a whole floor all to myself. Plenty of animal friends but no person who shared a claim on my space (even if they were a long-term guest). I gave up this dream to be with B because I loved zir, but now I'm realizing that I can have true, deep love without giving up that dream, that part of myself.

Unfortunately I may lose B. Ze's having a really hard time with this because ze can't imagine being lovers without being partners... and polyamory is difficult for B. I think on some level my relationship with Aurilion wasn't real for B, ze managed to essentially ignore it -- but my relationship with Viv seems more real to B, maybe because it's not long distance. But B goes back and forth, telling me one day that ze's totally fine with it, and the next day that ze just can't handle it. And at some point I have to conclude that ze's never going to be okay with it and that it is NOT just about external disapproval no matter what ze says (some people are just made for monogamy, I think, and I really wonder if B may be), but I'm not sure when that point is. At the latest that point will be January, because I have decided that I am going back to school in the spring. I really have no idea what is going to happen between now and then. If B decides that ze is comfortable just being lovers and wants to continue living close, I'd love if ze went back to school too and we got adjoining rooms in a dorm, but if ze gets a job offer in FL ze may take it. I feel that I'd be okay with either choice. I'd miss B a lot if we broke up but it wouldn't crush me. I'd lose zir company and the amazing love we make and all the security and comfort we have together but I'd gain the ability to be more fully myself.

We were talking about it tonight and ze said that ze was torn -- that there was a part of zirself who was free and comfortable with polyamory and being lovers without being partners, and there was another part that was just wrapped up in fear of what people (zir family, zir coworkers) would think. But I'm not sure it's just that because ze also talked about feeling like ze would have to compete with my lovers for my affections -- though ze made the point that it could conceivably be that ze was worried that people would compare zir and my other lovers, not necessarily that ze was worried that I would make the comparisons, or that ze would. I think this is something we'll have to talk about a lot more and it's pretty exhausting. Which is part of the reason I wanna go slow with Viv, because I'm not going to have the energy to fling myself head over heels right now, though certainly part of me wants to.

And I'm amazed that I'm not going mad with the uncertainty. Apparently my lesson this year is to become comfortable with uncertainty.

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Comments
kschap ══╣╠══
It seems that there is not a lot of tolerance in this world for people who have goals that don't necessarily include ultimately ending up in a monogamous relationship.

I think it makes it tough on those who aren't as self-aware and striving for growth as you are.

I myself have lately been wondering whether or not partnership is for me. I love Matt but sometimes I feel like I hold back some of what makes me me because I feel like it might affect zir. I miss my freedom. Though I do like the companionship. Sigh...

Best of luck with all of this. *hug*
frecklestars ══╣empty birdcages╠══
Your first paragraph is _exactly_ what's been on my mind lately! Good to know other people recognize it as well, especially since my parents are just terribly confused by it all. ha
samwhise ══╣╠══
I deeply appreciate what you've said here about partnership and polyamory and the need to be alone. Actually, the way you describe your childhood fantasies sounds a lot like the little world I built for myself when I was a kid: everyone I loved had their own little houses, near enough to visit whenever we wanted but each person with a self-contained space to return to.

...come to think of it, I definitely worry about what will happen to that if/when I find myself with a partner. Though I think any partnership I was happily involved in long-term would have to be pretty spectacularly nontraditional, so maybe my worry is misplaced.

Luck and happiness to all of you.
camilleyun ══╣╠══
I believe it's crucial that everyone follows their heart and tries to do what is best for them. I also believe that sometimes people get hurt in the process [from both sides of the situation] but that's inevitable when dealing with emotions.

Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being married and having some man take care of me. Clearly, 4 marriages later, that plan is not working out so well. Relationships are so hard for me that it's painful because I've always wanted to love and be loved so badly. Josh and I have a counseling appointment next week because we have been having so many problems. Part of me wonders if this is the beginning of the end.

Last night we watched a couple of movies. One of them was Bernard & Doris. Doris is rich and Bernard is her butler. He does everything for her and takes care of her but they don't have sex. Josh commented, "That's what you want, isn't it? Well, then get rich like that." Sadly, most people feel this way. I have found that people are more than willing to take care of me if I am already taking care of myself which defeats the purpose of wanting to be taken care of in the first place. But I digress.

We also watched another movie called Vicky Cristina Barcelona. It's a Woody Allen film. His work tends to be hit or miss with me but I have a great appreciation for his dialogue because it's very neurotic [much like I sound like]. I related so much to both characters of Vicky and Cristina. Watching that film made me want to seek out something different than what I have. I'm dissatisfied. Much like Cristina, I may not know exactly what I want but I know what I don't want.

acid_burns ══╣╠══

Vicky Cristina Barcelona blew my mind, as well. ♥
camilleyun ══╣╠══
Have you ever seen The Dreamers?
acid_burns ══╣╠══
I've been meaning to!
writer_lilies ══╣Gourry ???╠══
Wow. I'm not sure what I can say that wouldn't end up being mildly offensive. My goal isn't to be that though, so I'm pretty torn here. I guess what I'm having an issue with is understanding why you two got married in the first place. I read the reason you gave up there, but it seems to be that you were both forced (that's too strong of a word) into marriage when neither of you really wanted it.

I can see both of your POVs though. I think. He seems to like the idea of polyamory, but not the act. I agree with the idea of polyamory and monogamy, but having no personal experience with either, I can't be absolutely certain. I can't see myself being tied to one person, but I can't see myself being tied to multiple people either. You seem to still be trying to create your identity, which is cool. I think more people should do that.

I guess what I'm thinking is that the marriage was rushed (that's the word I wanted up there) into before either of you knew much about yourselves.

Did I make any sense? I hope I didn't offend you or anyone else. That wasn't my goal. Either way, your post made me think this early in the morning and you deserve cookies for that. (::)
acid_burns ══╣╠══
I need to be able to fuck up spectacularly and not worry about the fallout for anyone but myself. I need to be more open. I need to be wild. I need to be completely free.

I hear you on that one. I'm a firm believer in how you should always do what feels right for you in the greater scheme of things. There's no way to be happy and content otherwise. Surely and certaily, the search and the journey might prove painful and hurtful, there are setbacks and disappointments, but there's no other way to learn than by trial and error. Never settle with maybe's, because you're always worth more.


I have this vision of my heart and my living space as this place where people can come and go, stay as long as they like or just stop in. Ever since I was a little kid I dreamed about having my own place and living alone. I wasn't the kind of little girl who daydreamed about a wedding followed by husband and kids -- I daydreamed about living alone in a world all of my own making, always with a house big enough for having plenty of visitors but with a whole floor all to myself.

YES! That's why, even though I live alone, I need to have a room just for myself. That no one's allowed to go in unless I say so. Which is my bedroom. I could never live in a studio apartment. I'd feel trapped and like there was nowhere to go. And really, I could never live with anyone aside for Linda and Kafka, the cats. They're selfish and self-reliant enough not to be needing me all the time.

I'm thinking of you and sending luck and happiness and good thoughts to all of you ♥.
chillychilly22 ══╣╠══
Isn't it amazing how much we change/grow from our early twenties to our late twenties? It blows my mind.

I find that those who wait for marriage tend to marry young. It's kinda ironic. Young couples think they are doing the responsible thing when in reality getting married so young is not entirely the most practical thing. It seems you guys were following your hearts at the time, which in my opinion is always the right thing to do. :)

I've spent most of my twenties single and I loved every part of it. It was everything you've described... wild, free, and alone. I don't mind being alone. I also don't mind being with someone as long as I can keep the wild and free part. And that's hard to find. ;)
wolfmare ══╣╠══
Nothing truly suits *everyone*. Poly, monogamy, being partnered or not...

In a sense, your ideal is pretty close to mine. I prefer a group marriage of sorts, with everyone open and honest and comfortable with each other. But... I don't consider any partnership to be permanent. People change too much for a lifetime together with most to be a completely positive thing. Even now, I may not post much about it, but one of my relationships may be ending even as another is beginning.

Have you ever found the people drawn into your life seem to be there to learn, even as you learn from them? That's how it has gone for me, for a lifetime... And when the lessons learned are done, most move on. So I see the people around me growing, and I'm happy for it, although there's always a little twinge of sadness at knowing eventually they'll have gone as far as I can take them and move on. But, in the end, I can't bring myself to regret it.
delicatexflower ══╣drew; "closeup. hands together"╠══

i totally understand where you are coming from with this. if you guys are no longer on the same "page" and "path" in your journey, it may be best to end the partnership. it sounds like he is doing a lot of what billy is doing... (putting what his family would say or think over his own feelings and beliefs) it is still very different, but so very simliar. i'm happy he is willing to open and honest with you about his feelings. i think that's an amazing thing he is doing that with you... good luck on this journey. ♥
xenopsi ══╣╠══
I deeply admire your call to be who you really are, whatever that may entail. I think it often happens that people sacrifice parts of themselves, parts that shouldn't be eclipsed, for a relationship... and it just ends up breeding a lot of resentment and heartache down the road. What you're doing is honest and good, and I admire that so much.

It's interesting to hear your thoughts about partnership and what it should entail, what it does and doesn't mean for you, and your vision of your ideal future for yourself. I'm grateful that you've shared these thoughts because I feel like I've learned something really important about you.

Also, I do think some people are just monogamous and I've never considered that a question, myself. Nor have I considered it a question that some people are just polyamorous. Sexuality is so complex and fluid that I can't imagine that monogamy wouldn't be one of the countless lifestyles that's just right for some people.

I'm hoping for happiness for everyone involved. <3
kiwi ══╣╠══
I think of all of the comments I've read, this sums up best how I was feeling as well after reading..so thank you, xenopsi.

Bel, I love the way you describe a partnership.

I wish you all peace in what you all decide.
oceanid ══╣╠══
I second this comment, couldn't have worded it better myself.
fyrebard ══╣╠══
I feel you. <3

Some of your post has made me think. One thing that I really, REALLY would like to do is adopt eventually. I don't know that I want to have my own child, because I don't know that I believe it is a responsible action (on my part) to bring a child into the world the way society is going now. But there are plenty of children out there who are already here and don't have a mother to love them. Stuart is adamently against adoption, and that is a problem for me.

I am not saying I regret our partnership! I feel like us joining was something that needed to be done - it felt right. I don't know that it will feel right for forever - and as much as I have romanticized the idea of living with someone for the rest of my forever, I would really prefer to be making money off of my (as of now unwritten) novels and other various writings. I envision five acres or more of property with an orchard, a large vegetable garden, a cow, some chickens, an Eastern style garden, and a house that has plenty of room but has solar panels, well water, and anything else I can think of to help conserve energy. I long for a place that is peaceful, has access to a stream and a waterfall and mountains and woods, and has peace and quiet. Stuart's vision revolves around mechanical things and things that make loud noises. I love him - but you know how there was that phrase in our wedding vows, "as long as the love may last?" I think that was vitally important.

Because in the end, if we decide to part, it will be as close to mutual as we can get. I want both of us to reach our dreams eventually, and I don't believe that is something either of us should have to compromise.

Anyway, all this to say, I believe I understand where you're coming from, and I will be here for you when you need me. <3
storeyphoto ══╣╠══
hmmmm, where to start. When I first read your post, I literally got up and walked away shaking my head. Now that a couple of days have passed and I have had the opportunity to do some ruminating on this, I understand this on multiple planes.
I will try to explain what I mean in terms of personal experience, and ask that you let me know if I am getting close. It will probably ramble a little at first.
When I look back on my life, and particularly at my two previous marriages, the only growth I was able to achieve and sustain was when they were over (i.e. between relationships). I am not advocating divorce, just an observation of something that I seam to suck at. In the period of time between wife1 and wife2, I experienced personal growth and began to find my identity. Then I "fell in love" and got married. {Side note, does not the phrase "falling in love" imply a little negativity? I digress.) During my marriage to wife2, I eventually stopped growing and even managed to lose me in the process. After the divorce from wife 2, I found myself living alone thinking "Oh God, I'm alone"! Time passed, I survived and eventually, self awareness, personal and spiritual growth began to occur. I began liking me again.
I have had two dating relationships since then that have progressed to the "serious" point. The first was ended by Sally, and the second was ended by me. In both cases, loss of identity and personal growth occurred. In the second case, it became so bad for me that resentment began to build. I have begun to try to practice "standing for me without standing against another". The person I ended the relationship with does not see it that way, but I can't control that. I live alone, I have friends, I have a career, I have my animals, I am reclaiming my identity, and growing personally and spiritually. My view on life right now has changed to "Thank God I am alone". I hope to some day evolve to the point where I can have a partner where we can share our individual beings without damaging them; but being educated as a physicist, I am reminded of a principle from particle physics known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle - the very act of measuring a particle location or speed changes what it is you are trying to measure. So, can two beings come into contact with a change occurring to both. I do not mean to generalize here, I am just explaining what happened with me and trying to see if there is any overlap here. Or did I just totally miss what is going on with you?
phydeau ══╣╠══
The very last line is what grabbed me.
Becoming comfortable with uncertainty will relieve a lot of stress and anguish.
When I first moved to North Carolina, my one and only mission was to get back to Washington State. I had planned out exactly how many pennies it was going to take, and was set on a time line for when that would happen. The result was that every time someone left me a bad tip (or no tip), or an unexpected bill came up, or gas prices went up . . . whatever, I'd just about blow a fuse. The anger issues over money actually caused me to lose my job.
As time went on, and I realized that the theatre touring companies were never going to hire me again, and I was getting nowhere fast on paying off my debts, I just decided to let it all go. I now have that job back, I'm making ends meet (barely), and I have no idea where I'll be 5 years from now. I may never make it home. But I think I can live with that.
deleon ══╣╠══
If you are not willing to compromise aspects of yourself/goals, etc. then marriage is definitely not for you. And that is ok.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.