When Relationships Evolve

Michael and I had a difficult conversation yesterday, but one that’s been too long coming. See, when we were focused on survival and learning to cope with various medical stuff, and caring for kids, and, and, and… our relationship changed. Honestly, it changed in a way neither of us ever wanted.

The best words I have for it (and this still isn’t quite right, but it’s what I got) is somewhere along the line we stopped being friends.

Wait, What?

A big part of the problem is that we’ve grown in different directions in terms of the things we enjoy doing. So it’s hard to find things to do together when we do have time. Part of the problem is that between health problems and low spoons, we are often simply unable to spend that time together.

And that causes another problem. Because we aren’t spending much time together in a positive way, a high number of our interactions are when we’re stressed and trying to get stuff done. So I don’t see as much of Michael’s humor, but I see a lot of her bitterness and anger. Michael doesn’t see a lot of whatever positives she sees in me, but does see a lot of my jadedness and no-spoons-to-give-a-fuck. And that’s not a recipe for maintaining a friendship.

A last problem has, thankfully, finally been solved by time. The kids are old enough we can tell them ‘Entertain yourselves for an hour/stay in bed and don’t bother us except for emergencies, we’re having parent time.’

And, that’s a hard thing. It’s always hard with a friendship ends.

What’s different here is that our relationship isn’t based on in friendship anymore. It started that way, but it’s grown a lot in the past ten years.

We love each other.
We care for each other.
We are nesting partners.
We are co-parents.
We are each other’s main support and help.
We are life partners with shared goals and dreams we are working towards together.

Don’t get me wrong. Realizing that we’ve lost that friendship hurts. And I’m grieving it.

But the end of one part of our relationship don’t mean our relationship has to end. Doesn’t even mean our relationship is unhealthy or bad for us.

It just means our relationship went in a direction neither of us expected or wanted.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Michael believes that we can rebuild our friendship. If we make an effort to spend time together, if we make more time for each other, etc etc.

I’m doubtful. More than once over recent years we’ve said, ‘You know, we need to spend more time together.’ ‘We really should start doing date nights again.’ ‘We aren’t spending emough time together…’ And we’ll try for a while, but it never lasts.

And of course, what time and spoons we can get, we always have a dozen uses for. What time we’ve gotten to ourselves has gone more towards the physical side of our relationship, be it sex and/or cuddles. Which, really, we need more. We have other friends we can get friendship-type needs met with. But neither of us really have anyone else we can turn to on a regular basis for sex and cuddles are hit-and-miss.

So I’m not sure I want to try and ‘fix’ this. It seems like an exercise in frustration that will make it harder to get other needs met.

Where do we go from here? I think we accept that relationships aren’t domesticated. They are wild things that grow naturally in directions we don’t expect. We go forward from here, enjoying what we had, and, yes, being sad for what we lost. But also remembering that in any healthy relationship, growth is constant. Maybe once the kids are older and more of are family are in the area so we have more support, we’ll have more time and spoons to spend together. Or maybe we’ll become a queer version of the crotchty old couple who are constantly fighting and seem to hate each other but god help you if you come between them or cause trouble for one of them. Or maybe we’ll grow further apart (hopefully not, but it does happen).

I’ve learned the hard way that I’m shit at predicting the future, including the future of relationships. So… we’ll see what happens. But given everything else we’ve been through, I expect we’ll still be together, and still be glad to be together, in another 10 years.

One way or another.

(After some thought, I’m tagging this Polyamory on Purpose because even though I’m not actively advice-blogging anymore, I’ve known a lot of folks who could learn from this.)

Be Careful What You Ask For…

So, Ericka and Nana are settled in, mostly, and plans are apace for Michon, Dilip Numetor Amalia Chetana Waller, and associate kids, to move to the area before school starts. (Possibly later for Michon bc awesome jobs is awesome.)

Rewind a Bit

Anyway, while helping Ericka move, Dilip Numetor Amelia Chetana Waller* told me he was worried his tendency towards impulse spending would screw up plans over the summer. (Or words to that effect, anyway.)

Being the dirty minded kinky dom that I am, I’ve occasionally (ahem) entertained thoughts of Dilip Numetor Amalia Chetana Waller as a sub. My sub, to be specific. I haven’t said anything to him about these entertaining thoughts because the poor guy has enough on his plate adjusting to polyamory and how radically his family changed while he was out of the picture. Throwing kink on top of it seemed a bit much.

Plus, he hasn’t given any indication that he is interested in any kind of relationship with me, much less that kind of relationship. Or any indication that he is kinky at all.

Anyway, it did, um, occur to me that if he was my sub and agreed to findom than I would control the money and overspending or impulse spending wouldn’t be as much of an issue.

I took a minute to enjoy the idea and set it aside as ridiculous. Both for the above mentioned reasons and because findom has never really appealed to me.

Fast Forward to Now

Tonight, I gave Dilip Numetor Amalia Chetana Waller a quick call to check on progress before I (again) became completely nonverbal. (It’s been a bad week in general and a really bad week for communication.) He caught on pretty quickly about how badly I’ve been doing and at some point, after something he said made me giggle, commented on the goodness of being able to laugh.

Conversation continues, finding work in the area, apartment hunting, and the money stuff that comes up reminds me of those findom thoughts. Figuring we could have a good laugh over the absurdity together, I say, “On the subject of making me laugh, here’s a weird thought I had…” and I tell him.

And he takes it seriously!

Didn’t. Even. Realize. I was joking.

He counter-offered that he’s control the money at first, but if he screwed up — the first time he screwed up, I could take over. Even said I could monitor his budget and spending from the beginning so I’d know if he screwed up…

What the hell is a dom to do when someone she’s been having hungry thoughts about offers himself wrapped up in a bow?

I told him, “Okay, that would work, but, um, I was joking you know.” (As you know, because I spoilered, he didn’t.)

So… over the weekend (that would be the weekend before this post goes live, I’m writing this post early, as I prefer to) we’re going to have a talk about what findom is, what it involves, and why jumping in before he fully understands what he’s getting into might be a bad idea.

And I’m… still trying to pick my jaw up off the floor.

Is it too bad of me to hope that this may be a foot in the door for a broader D/s relationship?

*Yes, I am writing that name out, in full, every time. I almost never let myself be petty. But I’m making an exception this time.

Season of Moves

The next few months are going to be crazy, but I think worth it.

Ericka and her Nana will be moving up here late May. We found a mostly-wheelchair accessible place. A friend of Bea’s is building a ramp up to the door (with landlord’s full support).

Then, if things go according to plan, Dilip Numitor Amalia Chetana Waller will be moving to the area in June. He’ll be looking for a job and apartment for him, Michon, Kid 2 and Kidlet to move into later this summer.

So if all goes well, we’ll have most of our fam all in the same area before school starts next fall.

Of course, all this is on top of normal life stuff, end of school year rush for Kids 1 & 2, various health issues, Michael being deep in NRE for new relationships, Michon having con-thing and exciting short-term gig…

So yeah, crazy couple months.

But Worth It!

Luckily, Ericka and grandma’s move got pushed back. It was originally planned for the end of April. Which, in addition to being right after Pesach, would have been way to close to some health issues and MORE life stresses to have gone well. (As evidence of how bad this might have been, I didn’t get a post up last week for the first time since re-starting this blog.)

When it’s done, all of us will have a larger *local* support network, much more access to physical intimacy, and (if I have my way!) regular family dinners. The kids will all have more adults involved in their lives on a regular basis as well as being able to spend more time with each other doing kid things. And the folks moving into the area will have access to the surprisingly decent resources for poor and disabled folks in this area.

Last but not least, we will all be better positioned to start working towards having a place where we can all live together. Our (hopefully) generational home.

My Families

Since I’m going to be talking about my family a lot more than previously, it’s probably time I actually lay out who-all is in my family.

I know family life is always complicated, but mine is a bit more complicated than most, having two families-of-origin and a sprawling overlap of chosen family/polyamorous network.

My families of origin probably won’t be showing up that often, if only because (due to various kinds of distance) they just aren’t an active part of my life these days. Which is a sad.

Family of Origin 1

My birth family, including father, mother (recent deceased), 5 siblings, an aunt, a grandfather, a sister-in-law, and a sort-of uncle (my mother’s brother-of-choice) who I tend to forget exists half the time. (Sorry!)

Family of Origin 2

My adoptive family, including father (deceased), mother, brother, assorted aunts, uncles, and cousins, and apparently soon a sister-in-law.

Chosen Family/Polyam Network

Several of these folks will be coming up regularly. Especially in relation to generational household and old ‘woman’, but also sometimes also the farm. Often enough and enough detail that I went around and asked a bunch of them if they were okay being talked about and what name I should use for them.

  1. Michael — nesting partner, father of two of my children, my BDSM submissive & pet (24/7). She/her. Fursona is a demon.
  2. Michon — cuilmate, mother of two of my children, co-dom to Michael, head of family. Ze/hir. Fursona is a dragon.
  3. Dilip Numitor Amalia Chetana Waller — father of two of my children, Michon’s live-in co-parent, still figuring out where he fits in our weirdness. He/him. Told me to come up with a pseudonym for him, so I used my favorite random name generator. Now he’s stuck with it.
  4. C — girlfriend, LDR. She/her. Fursona is a cat.
  5. Ericka — Michael’s girlfriend & BDSM submissive, my friend. She/her. Fursona is probably a cat.
  6. B — sister-of-choice, auntie to two of my kids, mother to a kid of her own. She/her

Other folks who will also get mention from time to time:

  • The five kids Tween, Kid 1, Kid 2, Kidling, and Kidlet. For those who have been following the blog a while, none of these were part of the custody battle I was involved in several years ago. Tween is B’s kid. The others are mine by birth or by choice.
  • Michael’s brother-by-choice (J)
  • J’s mom, whose become mom-by-choice to me and Michael (MB)
  • Ericka’s Nana

Generational Home: the gang’s all here

Today we’re talking about another one of those lifetime resolutions — having a generational home. I want to live with as many of my US family as possible. I don’t expect to get everyone under one roof, if only because my girlfriend is more of a loner. But we have… Call it a core group of five of us and our kids who want to all live together. And maybe others in time.

Personally, I’m flexible on the how. One big house, tiny apartment building we own together, cohousing set up, I can work with any of it. Just so we are all together.

We’re already working towards it

I’m really excited that we may be taking some big steps closer to this goal. If all goes well, by this time next year, everyone in that core group will be living in the same locality. Michael’s girlfriend and her grandmother will be moving in May, and the other night my cuilmate told me that hir goal is to move within the year, along with hir coparent and kids. (Coparent wasn’t expecting to move so soon, but is mostly on board.)

In my dreams

Ideally (there’s that word again) this would be more than the five of us. It would be (as the name says) a generational home, including girlfriend’s grandmother and my kid’s adopted grandma, Michael’s brother and Mom, and maybe others. It would continue after us. As we get older and step back,¬†our kids or others we invite to join us will step up and, keep the space going.

Ideally, because modern society strains generational families to the breaking point, which is how we ended up with the cultural ideal of the nuclear family in the first place, but we’ll see.

This goal and the Old ‘Woman’ goal are the two that will consume my life. The others all have places where I can say, yeah, I’ve achieved this and I’m stopping now. These goals will only be finished when I pass on responsibility for them to the next generation. Assuming that day ever comes.