Our Poly Life

Our life as a Polyamorous Quad, with 10 kids.

To What Never Was and Still Could Be

on January 24, 2009

When the four of us “coupled” over three years ago, we had it all figured out.  We talked so much about roles and expectations I figured there was no way we couldn’t make it happen just the way we’d planned.  We all had it down – who would do what, how we would fill in the gaps, how we would all have more and not less in this arrangement.  This is where I could sight so many clichés about how life rarely becomes what you expect, and how each day is a surprise despite one’s better intentions.


But I don’t have designs to wax sentimental or paint rosy pictures about what I hoped our lives would be; I’m hurt and I’m angry and I’m currently living in a situation that is so far less than ideal for me – or any of us.   I haven’t posted a lot about what is or is not going on in our family, because apparently sharing thoughts, ideas, and opinions tends to ruffle rooster feathers around here.  But since there isn’t a lot of communication going on anyway, I’m just miserable enough not to care if my words raise the ire.  It’s going to happen whether I cause it or the wind blows sideways, so I might as well voice my opinions.


I know none of us are happy about our present circumstance, and I think I’d be safe to say all of us are feeling unsettled and understandably irritable at the lack of resolution to what has been a rocky and ongoing roller coaster ride for the last two years.  I’d even venture to say some days we look further from likely solution than we did when we thought things were unbearable.  I guess it goes to prove you never really know how far you can fall.


What bothers me the most is how 95% of what we’re going through could have been avoided somewhere along the line.  It’s a choice for any one of us to keep their mouth shut, to say kind and peaceful words, to follow through with promises, to avoid double standards, to keep a civil tongue, to be proactive on offers or invitations, to remember life isn’t always fair, to take turns, to forgive the past, to focus on what’s important, to be a giver rather than a taker, or to say “I still love you” even when we’re feeling wounded.  Come to think of it, those things could totally reverse our fortune even still.


I’d love to wake up one morning to find past hurts forgiven and forgotten; to truly be able to move forward without old mistakes haunting us.  I know that it is possible, but I don’t know if it’s probable.  We’re all carrying a tremendous amount of hurt and a certain amount of guilt.  None of us are innocent here, and no one is any more or less to blame.  We all had parts we played.


I had a poly friend once use a fascinating analogy for how poly relationships work.  She said relationships are like balancing on a ball.  When two people are involved, they learn when one person bends, moves, or shifts the other must move in a comparable way.  Over time they learn together to predict the other’s move, and how that change effects what they must do.  With poly, as you add more people, every move or change affects each person in turn.  One person moves, so person two moves, that requires person one and three to move, and that move requires persons two and four to shift, which means person one and three have to readjust, and it goes on forever…  Sooner or later, all four are doing this continual tap dance just trying to find stability.


That analogy is a great visual for me.  It mentally reminds me of standing on the bow of my father’s fishing boat as he navigated the wake.  Not only do you have to have your sea legs, but you have to sort of anticipate the wave’s movement and depth.  It can be a fun ride if you’re prepared and experienced, and those are two very large IFs.   Our quad was totally experienced and stable as two sets of two.  But we were TOTALLY ill equipped to be a cohesive four.


I think we’re  now stuck in that perpetual tap dance mode.  We’re so busy shifting and adjusting we can’t find our stability.  One person can’t stabilize the ball alone, even two can’t do it.  Even all of us working independently won’t do it.  To repair us, to find our security, it will take all four of us working together at the same time, in the same direction, and with the same understanding.  It will take a lot of effort, and I’m quite afraid we’re all exhausted.


We tried for a while, and then one of us would get distracted, or get our feelings hurt, or get frustrated, or let anger build.  Or we would all do those things simultaneously.  Those were “everyone go to your own corner and calm down” moments.  Sooner or later, we’d begin to begin…  again.  The fear I have is that eventually, everyone will quite trying at the same time.  Apathy will set in, or the wounds will be too deep to fathom healing.


I cannot and will not speak for the Big, Temptress, or Fix, but from where I stand right now, tonight, I know what I want.  I can see it, I can feel it, I can put it into words.  My opinion is that not all of us want the same thing anymore.  Not all of us think this arrangement fills the gaps or gives us all more.  Our realities have diverged; our attitudes and outlooks have been tainted by heartache.


What really keeps me awake at night is how four people with such a common goal and vision come to a place where we feel so far apart.   So what do we do now and how do we proceed from here if any one of my loves cannot accept my reality and I refuse to exist in theirs? 


Did I change that much?  Did they?  Did the NRE blind me to certain truths?  Did I sacrifice more than I could live without?  Did I promise more than I could follow through?  I have to determine my own truths again before I can be a part of the bigger whole.  And what am I willing to risk this time to bring it all together again?  And what do I stand to loose if we all stop trying?


How does one go from having all the answers to having nothing but questions?  I’m beginning to wonder if that isn’t the most enlightened form of evolution.  “The more I learn the more I realize the less I know.”   I once thought questions brought answers, but I see now that ignorance and arrogance is the most dangerous combination in human existence. 


~ the laundry goddess, January 24, 2009


4 responses to “To What Never Was and Still Could Be

  1. Temptress says:

    I know what I want my love. I want my husband, I want you, and I want my SO. We all were and are a great team. Our strengths and weakness’s paired nicely. When we are together and strong nothing can beat the four of us. I know you feel tattered and torn. So do I, we all do.
    I promise, I will be more careful with my words,and actions. And try each day to make certain each of you knows of my love. Even when none of you want to hear it. I still beleive in us… I always have. Now more than ever I need you three in my life, I want you in my life. I love you… each of you for the wonderful special things you bring to me. I hope I bring something to you as well.

  2. Amanda says:

    I love you guys…

  3. ourquad says:

    LG, I hear me in your post. That’s where I’ve been in our quad and where I’m trying to move from. I’m trying to be more positive about our future. Past hurts that have never been resolved can be a problem for me. I want them settled. And by that I mean addressed. One of us just hopes things will go away, one is too nonchalant about things, one agrees things should be addressed most of the time but fails to follow through and I get tired of them never being talked about. How can you avoid the same mistakes if you haven’t acknowledged and tried to work out a way to not to do things that way again?

    I just get tired sometimes of having to try so hard. Not often but, on the rare occasion, I wish I hadn’t loved Gator enough to even try this. Then I remember all that we’ve found that’s good out of this relationship. Some of our problems could be improved if we lived together. but I’m aware that would cause some different ones as well.

    I firmly believe in the live we are trying to build for our quad. It’s just hard making the quad as strong as the couples were. But then I have to remember we haven’t been in a quad anywhere as near as long as each couple has been together.

    Hang in there. And I promise to try to do the same here.

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