PQ 3.5 — Am I imposing consequences that will make others feel unsafe saying no to me?

a chain link fence with a sign hanging on it that says "unsafe area, do not enter"
Image by fronx / CC BY

PQ 3.5 — Am I imposing consequences that will make others feel unsafe saying no to me?

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When I first started talking with Rob, I knew that he and his wife Michelle had been polyamorous for about 8 years. I myself had only been at it a year. Although it had been a truly exciting year. Some of it went well. Some of it not so much. But one thing was for sure: I’d learned a ton.

Of course, a lot of the drama had resulted from the fact that most of my love interests had been some form of monogamous. It was the Maine woods, after all. So not only was I dealing with the stress of dating, but I was also acting as the emissary of polyamory. Its poster child.

So when I met Rob through my girlfriend (who was monogamish/polycurious), it was a kind of relief just to speak with another person who not only knew what polyamory was but would say, “Yes, I’m polyamorous.”

And for 8 years! They’d both slept with others, and Michelle had had a serious relationship during that time that had lasted for years. I couldn’t imagine all he and his wife knew that I was yet to learn. A high level of personal security and communication skills.

And yet, when I eventually started dating Rob, I was shocked to discover that Michelle was prone to repeat jealous outbursts at the smallest things.

And one time, in order to appease her, Rob had even offered to delete me from his life. Take me out of his phone. Block me.

And, yes, he told me about it. I still wonder why he did that. It was cruel enough to offer. Why let me know that he was willing to? It was honest, yes. Open. But it also placed me in a dilemma: Did I stay and accept that I could be summarily discarded by my lover at the whims of my jealous metamour?

Or did I cut my losses and leave Rob?

The heartbreak that I suffered at the thought that I almost lost him was enough to make me cry for days.

I loved him. And I decided to give it a shot. Michelle was probably just insecure because she didn’t know me so well, I reasoned. Maybe if I could win her over, this would all work a little better.

I should have run in the other direction. Sadly, the heartache and stress continued well into the next year.

It wasn’t that Michelle didn’t like me. In fact, my efforts to win her over worked a little too well.

Though Michelle identified straight, she fell for me.

And one night, I found them inviting me to bed with not just Rob but both of them. And I was forced with another tough choice: Did I say no to a man who could easily delete me out of his life if I did anything that threatened his wife’s sense of personal security? A man I couldn’t imagine living without?

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This post is part of a series in which I answer each of the chapter-end questions in More than Two with an essay. For the entire list of questions & answers, please see this indexed list.

 

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