April 2018
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developments with my (ex-)partner B -- stepping outside zir comfort zone to learn and grow

Yesterday my partner B (who is not actually my partner anymore) went with me to the Thursday night pagan meeting (which is actually a meeting for queer pagans, but queerness isn't usually the focus). This is shocking for many reasons. Firstly, B has always been very antisocial. I mean, other than one skeet shooting trip, a few paintball excursions, and the occasional Axis & Allies marathon, ze has NEVER attended anything that included socializing except under extreme duress and usually as part of an exchange. But recently we've been talking about how ze hasn't put effort into getting to know zirself or me -- how ze has said ze wants to learn how to be open and expressive but hasn't actually made any effort to do so (saying that every step is too big, so taking none). Ze said ze was going to change that. So Thursday I invited zir along, and with no coaxing on my part ze decided to go. Now in all the time I've known B -- eighteen years -- ze has NEVER willingly gone to ANYTHING social. And this wasn't just partly social but exclusively social, with no competition involved, and not just that, but ALSO about spiritual topics (which B has been very private about in the past). So this was already far outside B's comfort zone -- and ze actually participated in the conversation! Not just commenting on what others said but also sharing zir own thoughts and feelings! With people ze didn't know! That really surprised and impressed me.

Later we talked a little bit about it and ze said ze wants to continue doing things like that with me -- stepping outside of zir comfort zone and exploring things that interest me, and things that both interest and scare zir. (like being more open and 'out' -- ze actually agreed to having a talk with zir parents about polyamory and queerness, though I haven't checked back to see if that's still true after ze's had time to think more about it. I think if it's discussed openly that'll take away some of the fear of disapproval -- even if they disapprove, ze'll know how much, and I don't think it'll be as bad as ze thinks it will) I'm not sure what to think of this change, because it's so sudden and HUGE, but if it lasts as it continues I think it will be a whole new kind of relationship. Ze said that ze wants to develop a friendship with me and maybe become lovers eventually. I found that a little surprising too, because I hadn't considered us quite so... ended, but that seems to be an honest view of it.

It feels like B has let go of me in a partnership way, which feels delightfully freeing, and even though everything is STILLLLLLLLLLL tangled and unsure (are we going to stay legally married or go through the hassle/expense of a divorce? when/how are we going to arrange separate living?) and this is really brand new, I'm enjoying it so far. And I feel like being lovers-not-partners is absolutely the best choice now.

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sidheblessed ══╣╠══
This sounds lime it's heading somewhere really positive for B. As an introvert, I can find it hard to put myself out there socially too but it's so worth it when you meet likeminded people and new kindred spirits.

Also, it does sound like ending the partnership is the best choice for both of you at the moment. Yes, there is uncertainty but I really feel that you and B are headed toward a lot of personal growth.
aliyna ══╣╠══
Ohhh I'm SOOO glad that someone is having a happy, open, enlightening time of their marriage issues! I hope to get to that point.
bunny & panda
cunningbunny ══╣bunny & panda╠══
I'm glad things seem to be amicable, it'll make everything so much easier for the both of you. I hope everything works out for the best, regardless of what direction things head in.

Would B be okay with me having zir email? I'd like to drop zir a line, but have no idea if my contact information is entirely outdated. You can PM me or send it to cunningbunny@gmail.com if that's okay.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I'm sure ze wouldn't mind you having zir email address, but ze never checks zir email. You might actually get a response on facebook though (you can find zir in my friends list). ;-)
xenopsi ══╣╠══
As an intensely introverted person, for a split second I had a knee-jerk, "But why should ze have to be social?" reaction. But then I realized that ze seems to be operating from a place of fear, not just a preference for aloneness, which is a vastly different thing. And the root of it seems to be making oneself uncomfortable to open up to chances for growth, which is also a vastly different thing. I guess my point is just that I'm appreciating this idea and happy for you both to be moving in a healthier direction. :)
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
yeah, it's definitely different -- for one thing, B has really never had any close friends but me. And while a person might prefer aloneness, I think it is necessary to have more than one close friend -- things just get too out of balance if one person is supposed to meet ALL of your emotional needs (and ze has said that ze wants to develop more friendships). Also B doesn't actually seem to prefer aloneness -- ze's not one for crowds, but in the rare times when I've had a friend visit whom ze actually liked, ze really enjoyed being part of the group. And lastly, ze's never objected by saying that ze just doesn't like being social -- ze always has said it's a good idea but ze's not ready, so I do think it has been from a place of fear.

and indeed, the root of it is making oneself uncomfortable to open up to chances for growth ♥

I know you get it already but I wanted to explain more ;-)
sidheblessed ══╣╠══
As an intensely introverted person, for a split second I had a knee-jerk, "But why should ze have to be social?" reaction.

I did the same thing until I read further and realised that Bel was talking about a completely separate issue to simply being introverted.
phydeau ══╣╠══
I think I now understand why you married him in the first place. Normally, separations are kind of ugly. This feels like the most healthy thing I've ever encountered.

I'm still kind of lost as to how to react, but it sounds like that even in difficult times, you have something beautiful.
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.