What Does ME need?
For once I'm certain
There's the usual replenishment
But nothing significant
Stirring great gratitude
What does ME want?
Those few I care about,
I want them all.
In different ways,
And for different reasons.
She has a kind husband
She is supportive
Talented and amazing
In her own right
She has time freedom I envy
She feels like family already
She has a beautiful wife
She never did want kids with 2 legs
4 legged ones filled the role
She is supportive
Talented and amazing
In her own right
Loving and independent
She has flexibility in life I desire
She feels like family already
He has a girlfriend
A huge circle of friends
He has a cool collection
He has freedom and fun to spare
He's independent and jet setting
Talented and amazing
In his own right
He is successful and financially independent
He has all the freedoms to stir jealousy
He feels like family already
They already feel like family
I know I can screw it up
I already did with my biological family
I cherish them because they are them
If I leave everything just as it is
I can just be me
Having the family I dreamt of for decades
I hope they all know I love them
I hope they all know I'm just scared
Of doing something wrong
Of messing up or failing again
It's easier to just BE in each moment
Hear my inner ME
Respond to each moment as it comes
Play Switzerland with my Self
Cherish each moment
Honor each person as best as I'm able
Do my best to keep up
With life as it comes at me
Some days are easier than others
I respect myself
Even and especially with my limitations
I do my best
One foot in front of the other
One moment followed by another
My path is now
And I love them
~ Treasa Cailleach
I see a lot of ink in my job, in fact sometimes I recognize somebody’s face, but I don’t really remember who they are until they get on the table and I see their ink. This week one of my irregular clients was in. I’ve seen her 2 or 3 times over the last year and half, so I didn’t immediately remember her. She has a tattoo that reads: “I am my own before I am anyone else’s”. That helped me remember and in prior sessions she was fairly quiet.
Her tattoo, however, made me think about commitments in a big way. Not just the commitment of ink, but in the message it, and she, conveyed.
She spoke of having a fiancee, someone she cared about and was committed to, but then she also spoke about not getting married ever. She referenced all the problems that happen in regards to marriage. She spoke mainly of financial concerns based on a book she had read encouraging people to navigate the system in beneficial ways. They were all thoughts that had crossed my mind early in mine and Nathan’s relationship. She’s right, there are lots of reasons to not want to get married. I have experienced some of them in my own marriage and in watching my parents marriage. Financial concerns, strife and arguments being the biggest factors that I’ve noticed in mine and my parents marriages.
I admired her commitment to herself, and genuinely hope that it works out for her. For me I see the compromise that we make just living life, and acknowledge that myself comes first in most ways, all which I’m able, but it’s still life. My goal is to live my best life and take care of myself as best as possible, but in some cases that means extra challenges. It is that which leaves me acknowledging there are also lots of reasons to do the commitment of marriage. That is why many of the old masculine paradigm are still drawn to it.
Even the government acknowledges that once you’ve lived together, shared finances for so long, and had children, you’re essentially already married. And let’s face it if you’re that entwined, augments are inevitable to some degree. Most states acknowledge this with “common law” marriage rules. And let’s be honest if you’re having children, either you’re living together and sharing everything anyway, or you’re separated and one parent is automatically the non-custodial parent. Said parent has limited visitation and limited rights and required financial commitments (child support). States do frequently pursue child support from non-custodial parents even when marriage was never addressed, and often when there were supposedly amicable agreements. On the other hand, if you’re living together you share all the rights and all the responsibilities, and it’s still up to both of you, as to how that is handled. The choice of getting married or staying unmarried doesn’t do anything to solve the puzzle of having children. There are pros and cons to both sides of that fence, and if you want to be an active participant in your childrens’ lives then common law or traditional marriage are your only real options. Otherwise you get the short end of the stick in most ways, and still have to pay for them.
In mine and Nathan’s marriage it has meant a big factor was making certain that his daughter would be cared for should anything happen to him. Right now due to legalities he is solely responsible for education and medical concerns for her, and has been since her mom died. However because her mom is already deceased, if anything happened to Nathan, all I would have to do is present both death certificates to proper governing bodies and assuming there were no other petitions for custody, I would be granted legal guardianship. It has been a huge relief factor considering Nathan’s health concerns beginning early in our relationship, starting 6 months after we decided to marry. There have been other concerns over children as well, since I’ve now produced two more of them.
Yet we are polyamorous.
Polyamory struggles with this conundrum because in most of the United States only one marriage is legal. So, you play the dance of trying to decide: 1-do I marry one person and call everyone else my significant other, or 2- do I marry none legally and just have a bunch of significant others, or 3- do I marry no one legally and hand-fast my partners to have multiple non-legal spouses.
It creates hierarchical structure concerns, and then when children get involved, it creates further custody and responsibility concerns for every adult in the family. United States law simply has not addressed polyamory in any way to date. So, most polyamorous families end up attempting to solve the problem with legal guidance, and legal documentation, to sometimes still have biological grandparents/aunts/uncles throw kinks into postmortem processes. There have been more than a few polyamorous families, and many polygamist families, end up in long legal battles after one adult passed away.
That is why Nathan and I drug our heals at making the commitment. We both acknowledged that marriage was a huge risk by itself, and being poly from the onset of our relationship made it an even larger risk as a commitment. We discussed it for hours on end, many times over 4 years, before finally sealing the deal. We weighed pros and cons and all the risks of both sides.
For me it boiled down to love. I knew I loved Nathan and his daughter enough to take every last one of the scary risks we had acknowledged, especially after his miserable divorce completed. I was willing to walk through fire if it meant they knew I loved them and wanted the best that I could manage for them.
I also knew that my own health battle meant I regularly fought both inside and outside of myself. My brain was frequently intent on making me see the worst in everything and it would often cause a strong desire for either death, suicide, or escape, no matter the circumstances. I knew that for me the commitment had to be extra hard to get out of, mostly to make certain I would fight hard enough to win the war waged in my brain and emotions. I wanted to make sure that my inner me, who loved them truly and deeply, had a trigger in my mental sphere to encourage the fight for good. I didn’t want the negative ninny in my brain to win simply because it was easy to escape. Marriage ultimately became my insurance to fight for my own life and to keep reaching for the love I knew was there.
I knew my love for Nathan and his daughter was worth fighting for. Every good moment felt amazing. Every time my brain was in a good space, there wasn’t a shred of doubt that I loved them. It was a deeply felt knowing, that when my brain was clear, was easy access. I wanted to preserve that even when my brain malfunctioned, and being married with divorce as a consequence enabled me to win against my brain over and over again.
To this day I still acknowledge that divorce really would do me no good. It won’t solve the role of finances and could make it even worse. It won’t solve my brain’s function. It won’t make taking care of myself any easier. It won’t be helpful for children, and could potentially traumatize all of us. Divorce simply won’t fix anything that is broken, and could lead to even greater damages. So it is still my safety net to continue to fight the good fight for love. May it always work and love overcome all.
I hope that one day there will be another that feels as I do, and we can commit through all of those legal hoops, to make a solid attempt at protecting a poly family. Anyone willing to go through that definitely has love and all of our best interests at heart.
May you always know how to put yourself first and care for yourself as fully as life allows. May you know that occasionally legal commitment is the route to enable that. May you know that not all commitments must be legal to be truly valid, that a commitment is really demonstrated in many ways on a daily basis, sometimes as simply as surviving the rough parts. May you know that everything has a reason and a purpose, and that our goal here on Earth is to find ways to improve upon everything as best as we are able. May you see that improvement in yourself and know that you win a war every time that your brain would prefer you don’t. Regardless of your decisions may you see that everything works out just as you need. Above all my you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.
Call it as such, a distraction, a forray, a useful tangent to discuss something different, something more enjoyable, something I can dream of.
My simple thought was that I wished polyamory was fully legal here. It is in Massachusetts now, but not here.
I’m not afraid of the commitment, and my desire is definitely fueled somewhat by financials, but it is so much more than that.
See, at this point the masculine paradigm has shifted enough that there is no longer the weighted benefit of being head of household. I know that because I file as head of household, and it rarely nets me enough to really care. My spouse didn’t come with a dowry, there was no massive parental input into the wedding on either side, and my spouse gets no great benefits from anywhere. I literally have an insignificant benefit playing what is traditionally considered the man’s role, as a woman. Still, I know that the paradigm slowly shifted enough that head of household is genderless. It wouldn’t matter if I was a man or woman, I would still have minimal financial benefit from being head of the household.
Compared to centuries past where men were gifted sums of money by wealthy in-laws or straight up given dowrys. Even more recently there were times where men would use the power to control spousal finances, especially when banks required a male consigner on any bank account. My mom always complained that she had to hide money from dad to even buy Christmas gifts and things her or us kids needed. That is wrong and society acknowledged that problem enough decades ago that it would be difficult to accomplish in this day and age (nothing is impossible with enough motivation and resources). So now, the only real benefit you get is on taxes, and nowadays that only really means anything if you have kids. The point is if I was relying on financial benefit to marriage I fell for the old paradigm when it no longer existed.
But I know I didn’t fall for it to begin with.
I wanted love enough that I took a risk marrying an older divorcee of another race, despite both of my parents arguing with me to try and change my mind. Mom was against the age and being a divorcee with a daughter. Dad was against his race. Mom was the most correct at nailing down the hazards, because half of our financial problems linked back to his marriage and child support, the other half linked to the health concerns from a broken heart.
My source of love has cost me quite dearly, because even if I wanted to go back to school my only hope would be to test high enough for a free ride to grad school, no easy feat. I am unable to obtain student loans due to my two current ones still being in a decade of default, combined with already being leveraged to the hilt with home and vehicle- the result of being head of household. My only hope would be full scholarship on merits.
So, I took the risk and ate it. It has tied my hands in many ways, but I still have my loving husband as long as he shall live. I am still 100% grateful for his love and our years together. Tough as they were, I still have hope for better to come.
And that is where I would love poly to join us. Many days will improve with more hands, more finances to share, new ideas, and more perspectives to consider, new things to try. Beyond all of that though, more hearts equals more love; if I managed to survive everything else to experience that love twice over with much less difficulties, then I say it’s worth it. That’s why I wish poly was legal.
At this point I do still love my husband despite everything, and walking away would break my heart and cost me even more because I would become the one with the child support bill. I simply refuse to do that to myself.
Yet I still want the twice-love and less-responsibility dream of a poly family. Finding a significant other when you are already so committed to someone, is a challenge because the divine masculine still hasn’t relinquished the idea of the old paradigm. They still want the power and financial draw that is promised by the old paradigm of marriage. It’s supposed to be the reason for the ceremony and legal paperwork, the security behind the commitment. I don’t enjoy bursting bubbles over and over again, and I don’t enjoy the ripple when someone’s expectations are shattered. It has turnicated one too many attempts for me, and I don’t think I can muster another try.
But I still have hope. I still desire the loving committed supportive relationship of another. And that is why I wish poly was legal here. I could fulfill that pretense of the old paradigm of marriage committment, and still get my twice-love and less-responsibility of the poly paradigm. Plus I genuinely do wish for all the reasons anyone wants a new relationship, especially one as strong to hope it last many years. You know, the love, the new relationship energy, the going and doing fun things, the exploring of another person’s mind, personality and body, the kisses and hugs, and everything that a new relationship entails. It’s all very daydreamy for me and it’s definitely a good nonsequiter from my current reality.
So yes, I’ve pondered the shift that being able to fully commit to another partner would entail. I would love to have dates without the fear of shattering another person’s hopes, desires, or expectations. I would love to just be able able to be me and still look forward to getting to know someone new. I can daydream right?!
I love my husband and he will be my loving caring supportive companion as long as he lives. It’d be awefully nice to have better days too. So I daydream for now and leave the rest up to the divine.
May you have pleasant distractions when you need them. May your daydreams matter and help make the world a better place. May you have all the love you seek, and the fun and enjoyment too. May you enjoy your life mostly and make the best of what you do have. May we all see improvement continue in all ways. Finally, may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.