Our Poly Life

Our life as a Polyamorous Quad, with 10 kids.

Property Laws of a toddler

on May 25, 2006

You’ve heard the old joke…
1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I’m doing or building something, all of the pieces are mine.
7. If it looks like mine, it’s mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.

Any of you who have ever had a toddler will understand how NOT funny it really is. Big and Goddess felt that way about a Cartoon strip by the title Calvin and Hobbes written by Bill Watterson. They always loved the devilish and trying nature of Calvin until they, by no fault of their own, birthed such a child who challenged them at every turn and continues to do so to this day.

The point is, it’s easy to laugh at the outlandish and implausible conditions that we theoretically say, “Can you believe someone would actually act that way?” But then again, we turn around and something in our adult reality makes that beguiling childish behavior not only understandable, but something akin to quicksand. You’re not completely sure how you landed in it, you hate being in it, and you’re not totally sure how to escape it. Sharing freely is a tough concept. Even for mature adults. And when the “item” in question is a spouse, then it’s a larger hurdle indeed.

Jealousy has been linked to other emotions like fear and insecurity. Question becomes then; What are you afraid of? What am I afraid of? For the most part, it is childish reasoning. “If I don’t possess it, then it won’t be mine.” Perhaps once we fully realize that only by letting something free can we be certain it’s “ours” by choice. Otherwise, it’s caged or trapped. And feeling like one HAS to be somewhere is a pretty poor existence. It takes away the ability to give without restraint and the joy of serving.

The good news is these immature behaviors can be eradicated, or at least severely reduced, from our lives with a firm decision and some tenacity of purpose. That doesn’t mean that jealousy won’t tempt you at times to slip once again into that quagmire, but what we do with our emotions is a choice. It’s all about viewing the option to “love more” in the terms of what you’ve gained, rather than what you’re sacrificing.

Our quad made the decision to blend with our eyes wide open. We talked at length about how things would work, where our lines were, and what we expected from each other and this relationship. Even with all that preparation, some moments have taken us aback. Suddenly and sometimes for no reason, the Green Eyed Monster makes his appearance. What we’ve learned to do is back up a few steps and deal directly with the heart of the issue. After the immediate crisis calms, we learn to be more proactive at keeping our communication open and being transparent with each other about how we’re feeling. No matter what someone claims, it’s difficult transition to now share what once was yours exclusively.

Another way this can affect you is to want more of something someone else has, even if it’s not yours. That can more easily be labeled greed or selfishness, but it’s a childish response all the same. Goddess is perfectly honest when admitting she has had certain pangs watching Fix and Temptress in their quiet and alone time; it is hard to stand afar and watch something so enchanting without wanting to be in it’s midst. Then we must remind ourselves in the moments of twos and threes, each coupling needs time to just BE. Just because we’ve entered a new phase of togetherness doesn’t mean we’ve lost those original ties, or that we are joined at the hip. It’s all become a balancing act of spending time with the one who needs you most right then.

Actually, the times that are most fulfilling are when the four of us are together. Abandon your preconceived notions of full time orgies, because the thing we seem to enjoy the most is snuggling up and watching movies together; sometimes with chocolate and sometimes without. We try to go to dinner without the kids, or find a cool fair or festival to walk about. Staying close is all about time spent playing together, having fun, and removing ourselves from the task of parenting, mortgages, and household maintenance. It’s about making memories.

It has been said within our little quad that jealousy has no place here. And while that may be true, it is human nature for that emotion to appear even in the most innocent of settings. It could be something as silly as the making of a lunch that can cause the monster to appear. Temptress has made Fix’s lunch for 15 years, generally standard lunch offerings and the occasional sweet treat or love note. Goddess knowing Temptress’s absolute distaste for waking in the wee morning hours has taken over that chore and has prepared the most scrumptious of fare that generally includes a banana with a message of love scribbled on the skin.
Amazing how such a small act of love could entice that little green monster from his hiding place.

Once the issue was identified, the solving came in the form of a simple conversation between the two women. It was not that Goddess was trying to “out do” Temptress. It was simply that Goddess felt when one is entrusted with something or someone that belongs to someone else, it’s an imperative that you care for it in the most precious of ways.

By his own admission, Mr. Big has admitted to be lagging behind his 3 counterparts in the total acceptance and sharing ability of the quad. Big has said that he wants this. He enjoys the closeness and camaraderie of the two couples. He sees the benefits of a blended family. He is in love with Goddess and yes, he loves Temptress.

Fix has basically said that Temptress has rights to make her own choices; she is not required to ask his approval before time is spent with Mr. Big. Goddess however does not yet feel she has that same freedom. She feels that time with Fix must be “arranged.”

It is not that Big is uncaring, or being difficult. It is simply that in the evolution of moving from a monogamous marriage to a poly amorous marriage he has been unable to cross that final hurdle. We see each day that he makes progress, but its in baby steps. 2 steps forward and one step back. And while this is a slow and oft times frustrating way of going, we know that in time he will join us “on the other side.”

Even in giving Temptress free reign, Fix is not without his challenges to overcome. Driven by his work schedule, the available “play time” is limited. When compared to the flexible days Temptress and Big encounter, it’s hard to hold back creeping resentment. It’s really a matter of opportunities. Sometimes they present themselves, but sometimes they must be carefully crafted.

The point is, none of us are immune to human nature. If it is a battle we are to fight, turning our back on our foe is dangerous. Keeping an awareness of which matters make you twinge is a good start. Communication and true transparency must be the cornerstone of your commitment. Make a decision to put your childish things away and walk into your adult world prepared for your inner child to occasionally tug on your sleeve.

~Goddess and Temptress, 5-25-06

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