"Balancing faith and lifestyle choices". Mr. Big is one quarter of a Poly-fi quad. His column will focus on his current struggles to find balance between his chosen lifestyle and the faith he was taught to believe. Join him while he journeys the path of enlightenment.

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Ghosts of our Pasts

I find myself pondering about the past life experiences of the poly women in my life, which may have given them more of an inclination towards poly. I have more history with Laundry Goddess than Temptress so most of these thoughts involve LG. I expect when I finish this exercise, these ideas will be considered for a moment and then tossed away with a “nah, that’s not it”. But sometimes, they turn out to be true or they start a conversation that leads to the truth.

When Laundry Goddess and I got married at the ripe old ages of 22 and 20, I found myself trying to measure up to a ghost that never was. It was like the line from “TopGun” when Cruise is talking about his father and is asked “Is that why you are always second best up there?” Many guys feel they have to measure up to the man their father is; I suddenly felt I had to measure up to the man that my wife’s father wasn’t. He had left when she was three years old and had done a poor job of even being an absentee father from 500 miles away. Laundry Goddess was looking for a mate that would treat her children much differently. She needed me to be there the ways he wasn’t. The few times he has visited in the last 20 years has seemed to turned my wife back into the little girl that still hopes her daddy will be there. She has been described by Temptress as a Faberge Egg. The title has proven very fitting at many times in our life together.

Our very first date was twenty years ago today. A mutual friend-girl had introduced us a couple of months earlier. After several failed attempts at asking her out myself, the same friend-girl decided to invite us both to the same movie. The weird catch was she also invited another girl I had actually dated before a couple of times. After four of us caught a late showing of “The Witches of Eastwick”, the friend-girl insisting on the two of them being dropped off first, setting me up to be head over heels in love and engaged within a few weeks. We made it official and public on our one year dating anniversary. We were so young that we had to finish raising each other. I’m not opposed to drinking alcohol. I’ve just had so few chances to do so because LG has been underage, pregnant, or nursing most of our lives together.

Overall, I have been fairly pleased in my abilities as a husband and father to my family, but areas in need of improvement are often pointed out. I’ve bruised her many times over the years often out of ignorance or stupidity. Many of these mistakes are etched permanently on my conscience no matter neither how many times I apologize nor how repentant I am. The question I find myself asking is has LG chosen a poly lifestyle because I failed to keep her believing in me? When she says, “I’m fine with you having friend-girls. You’re going to do whatever you want to anyway” does she really mean that she has been hurt by my actions so much in the past that she refuses to count on me to measure up to that ghost any more? Knowing that Temptress has been through similar situations, is one of the reasons we are now a quad because both women were no longer willing to be positioned where they had to count on their husband in life? I’ve asked these questions of both women and still find myself unsure if they even know the answers themselves.

Even the little day to day things can really stack up. Little issues and hurts that have built up over the years seem to bubble up and really accent our original mate’s flaws. “What If” is a terrible mind game because the challenges we’ve all gone through can’t be taken away without also taking away the good things that have come alongside as well. How many polyfolk have come to this lifestyle because they had been let down enough times before by people that mattered to them, that they were no longer willing to put all of their expectations on any one individual. Is polyamory, for some, an attempt to heal such a lifelong wound? A more positive spin would be “out of every adversity is the seed of an equal or greater benefit.”

I’m envious of the obliviousness of those souls that are happily still expecting to get everything they need from one soul mate. I miss the magic of the season brought on by believing in Santa and the Easter Bunny. As my friend, Firegod, is fond of saying, you can’t un-know something once you know it. Maybe going your whole life without having experienced this enlightenment allows you to still hope for the perfect monogamous relationship where one person can be your all in all. Maybe ignorance is in all actuality, bliss. I still prefer having the knowledge though. In less than two months, I will have spent more time with the Laundry Goddess than I have without her in life. For me then, bliss will be another 20 years with not just her but with Temptress and Fix as well.

Mr. Big is a contributing writer as well as a member of this online Community. He can be contacted here or through our message board Forums.

Mr. Big; July 10, 2007


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