I am polyamorous, not just polysexual like I had originally thought when we started in this lifestyle. I had always believed that I was monogamous by nature, and even if other people enjoyed different types of relationships that it must mean that they had something missing in their primary relationship. In the past, when I became interested in someone new, I always lost interest in my current partner at the same time, so I had always wondered why people cheated. Why couldn't they have the respect to end things with their current partner first? When I look back and think of how black and white my thought process was then, I'm a little disappointed in myself. But, we were all young and started somewhere, so instead I will choose to focus on how I am willing to learn and grow and adapt.
When Mark and I had been in the lifestyle for about six months, I met Patrick. Back then we had rules about the types of connections that we were comfortable having, and I knew nearly immediately that this was going to become something that would go off the rails. I am not sure I believe in love at first sight, but I do believe that sometimes you will recognize someone that you have intense chemistry with immediately. I also believe that some people are meant to be in our lives- we just have to figure out their purpose. Patrick was both of those to me.
I will confess that regardless of our rules, I decided to meet Patrick. I had those feelings prior to our first meeting and told myself that it was just lust and the excitement of someone new and nothing more. The conversation and physical desire between us was intoxicating, and the first meeting was mindblowing. We spent a lot of time in contact online, and saw each other as often as we could, given that we had a long distance relationship. The sex continued to be amazing, and he introduced me gently to the world of kink, which had always fascinated me but I'd been too scared to explore my desire. This showed me that "real, normal" people did kinky stuff and piqued my interest.
It was only a few months later that we realized that we had fallen in love with each other. I knew I had strong feelings for him, but I had continued to tell myself it was just the excitement of a new relationship with a compatible person. It had been getting harder and harder to convince myself of that as time went by, though. When we had that conversation, though, it was an amazing moment. Nothing really tops hearing someone you love telling you that they love you, for the very first time.
At that point I knew that Mark and I really needed to sit down and talk. He generally had preferred not to hear details of my encounters, especially with people I was seeing on an ongoing basis. He told me that he truly knew what was going on but he didn't want to think about it. The conversation we had was difficult, because he didn't understand this need of mine, and neither did I. We both agreed that our marriage had gotten stronger over the past few months. He told me that opening our relationship was the best decision that we'd made, short of having our son. We were both happy and madly in love with each other. We agreed that we felt like we were falling in love all over again, but with the wonderful feeling of being in a secure, established marriage. This was clearly something that had bonded us, not driven us apart.
So, we worked on things and made some adjustments to our relationship structure to allow for more flexibility in my relationships, rather than just limiting them to casual hookups. Patrick and I continued to see each other, although not as often as we would have liked. Then things all went to hell. Without going into detail, basically God or Fate or whoever took a giant crap on his life and he got crazy busy. Since he lives three hours away, that made it difficult for us to see each other and cut back on our time online as well. He kept telling me that he hoped things would change soon, and that he was doing his best to make time to see me, but months started to slip by and nothing changed. And I cried at night but wasn't ready to let go and move on.
It's been ten months since I've seen Patrick, and I finally feel like I am ready to let go. We still haven't had the chance to speak in person, which is something that I really need to close this chapter in my life, but at least I am finally ready to organize my thoughts now. Hopefully at some point we'll be able to sit down together and talk the way I need to, but I accept that is entirely outside my control and that may never happen. This was a terrible way to end a relationship, but again, that wasn't fully in my control either and I need to accept that, too.
For the longest time, those nights when I cried, I kept asking myself, why? Patrick and I shared the belief that we had been meant to meet and be a part of each other's lives. We had a very intense connection and passionate and deep love. How could it have been meant to be so brief when Mark tells me he had never seen me as happy as I was that summer? It's only now that the pain and loss is starting to recede that I have the perspective to really think about what I learned and how the relationship helped my growth and development as a person. Did it hurt? Fuck yes- but it helped to make me who I am today and has opened me to so much more.
I don't know that I would ever have gotten the courage to start exploring my kinky fantasies, especially with respect to power exchange, if I hadn't met Patrick. Right now learning to be a Domme is something that I am really enjoying, and I have met some wonderful people and feel like I am really becoming part of the BDSM community. That is an incredibly valuable gift that I received from my relationship. And, I learned that I am in fact polyamorous; that I am happier when I am in multiple loving relationships and this is something that is part of who I am.
I also realize how many mistakes I made in my first poly relationship. I was infatuated with Patrick, so I was willing to compromise my needs to suit the situation since I knew that I couldn't have him any other way and I thought that I should take what I could get rather than just scrap the relationship. I was willing to accept less contact, both verbally and physically, than I know that I need. I allowed him to keep me a secret from his BDSM submissive, even though I made him aware it bothered me. I didn't put my foot down and insist on the transparency that I believe is right. I was willing to accept his excuses about how busy he has gotten and give him a pass on not being able to see me. While yes, I understand that life sometimes throws us curveballs- we make time for the things that matter to us. Clearly, I should have understood that meant I didn't matter to him enough for him to make some time for me.
And from all that, I have learned how I want things to be in the future. I am no longer willing to compromise myself in such a severe way for another person. I have a wonderful and loving husband- I don't need to sell myself short on a secondary relationship. I can wait for someone who meets my needs and wants what I want and have to give, because he is out there. I don't know if it was low self esteem before or if I worried that I just wouldn't find anyone that I clicked with quite so intensely, but I think I continued to hold on long after it was rational because of those worries. I remembered how happy I was and was afraid to walk away. But I see now that even if his availability went back to the way it used to be, that the relationship would no longer meet my needs and I am no longer willing to compromise when it affects my happiness so much.
I hope that one day I will be able to look back and cherish the wonderful memories I have of my relationship with Patrick and all that I learned from him without the pain. But, for now, at least I can say that I know what I want and that I was lucky to have an experience that has helped me grow.