The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, And Desperately Wicked

Posted on April 5th, 2009 in Emotional Angst, Mating And Relating, Polyamory

During my hiatus from the computer I did a bit of journaling on paper, particularly in relation to Jack and the couple I mentioned some time ago, here.  I’ve decided to publish two of those entries now, as many of the discoveries I made during those days are rather important to our ongoing poly life.

Originally Written: March 21, 2009

I’ve finally seen ‘the other side’ of this poly thing.  Last night Jack had sex with that couple I mentioned recently.

I wish I could say that I was unaffected, and just happy for him.

I kept up a brave front as he left.  V and I watched movies so I wouldn’t just sit around wondering what Jack was doing.

Far earlier than we expected he texted that he was on his way home.  As it turned out he fucked both of them, but it was all over rather quickly.  She’d had too much to drink and got sick, and the male half (of the couple) was unable to preform again after his first orgasm.  So, they called it a night and Jack left.

He called en route and shared very briefly what had happened.  I was still holding it together pretty well.  I was feeling somewhat anxious, but overall, I was ok.

When he got home V and I were downstairs.  He went up to our bedroom to shower and then fixed himself a drink and a snack before wandering downstairs to the basement to join us.

When I saw him it seemed to become more real.  He reached out to take my hand, but I pulled away.  I wasn’t angry with him, and I’m not angry at him now.  I just didn’t want him to touch me.

After the movie was over we all went upstairs to put things away.  I said goodnight to V and followed Jack upstairs.  I had no idea how to explain myself as we crawled into bed.  He could tell that something was not right.  He didn’t try to cuddle me, and I was over as far as possible on my side of the bed.

A few minutes passed and then I broke the silence by apologising for not handling it better.  I told him that I was genuinely glad that he’s had an experience, but that I could not stop picturing him with this other woman.  I didn’t want him to touch me after he’d had his hands all over her.

I could tell that he was sad, but he remained gentle and understanding.  He stayed over on his side and just listened while I cried softly and talked some more about how I was feeling.

I wanted to be held so badly, to be stroked and petted, by anyone but him.  I felt quite alone, and there was nothing to do but lay there and hope that I’d feel better in the morning.  Eventually Jack fell asleep and I laid there for a long time, wondering how to manage this.

When I woke up today I lay there again, watching Jack sleep.  I wanted nothing more than to snuggle up beside him, pressing my skin to his.  I couldn’t do it though, I would only think of him fucking her.

I am NOT worried that he loves me less.  I am not concerned about her being ‘better’ or any of that.  It really just comes down to the fact that the idea of him with another woman is disturbing to me. 

Is it deeper than that?

I’m not sure.

Why does it bother me so much?

No answer to that either.

All I know is that I love him and that eventually I will get past this.


Originally Written: March 22, 2009

That old adage about it being darkest before the dawn still holds true in many situations.

Yesterday, after I journaled about what happened, in the comfort of a local coffee shop, I met V at the mall to do some shopping for our Vegas trip.  We talked some about my feelings, and about where exactly they are coming from.

“Sometimes it’s not really any deeper than what it appears to be” she said, when I wondered out loud about the source of my negative reaction.

When it comes right down to it, the idea of Jack having sex with someone is kind of hard to stomach.  It’s like having something really special to you, something precious, handled by someone else.  Someone you don’t know, who may not care much about your precious object.  Perhaps it’s just me, but I feel like that something becomes tainted, less special, and certainly less appealing.

No, that does not mean that I love Jack any less, it just means that I feel like something between us was lost.  I suddenly felt less special because I’m not the only one he’s having sex with.  Yes, I know that he’s not the only person I’ve had sex with either, but this isn’t about that.  This isn’t even rational in any way.  It’s just…the way it comes together in my brain.

Jack asked me to go to dinner with him once V and I returned from the mall.  He took me to one of our favorite restaurants.  During the drive we talked some, but I was distant and he seemed at a loss for what to say.

Over dinner we were able to joke around and laugh with each other.  The mood lightened considerably.  He did not attempt to initiate any touching, although I know it was difficult for him.

Note: In case there is some confusion, Jack and I are normally VERY touchy persons.  When we were close in proximity we will generally make a conscious effort to be touching in some way.  For us to not touch each other sends a stronger message than anything else we might do in anger.  It’s very important to the story, so I wanted to draw that to your attention before I go on.

During the drive home we were quiet again.  I wanted very badly to let it all go.  I missed my husband.  I missed holding his hand over dinner, and having him close to me.  At the same time I couldn’t stop myself from imagining him on top of her, of his hands on her, and it made my stomach turn to think of it.

I cried silently for most of the drive.  I don’t think that Jack noticed, as I was trying very hard to keep it to myself.  I have a somewhat ridiculous habit of keeping my pain hidden, even with people I am close to.  It felt good anyway, to acknowledge those feelings and to let myself just experience the pain and sadness.

When we got home V invited us to watch a movie with her.  Jack declined, having already settled himself in front of his computer.  After a few moments of consideration I offered to cuddle with him if he would join us.  Naturally he accepted, and we all settled in to the living room.

It wasn’t easy to have his arms around me.  There were several moments when I allowed my thoughts to wander back to what happened and my guts lurched uncomfortably, but I made it through the movie.

Later, we crawled into bed together, me on my side and he on his.  At first we were quiet and then we began talking about poly and about where we have been and what we have experienced along the way.  More tears were shed on my part.  We talked for the better part of two hours.

Jack shared with me some of his feelings regarding the sexual experience he had.  How it hadn’t been at all what he thought it would be and how he felt awkward and used.  During that part of the conversation I reached out across the bed and put my hand against his back.  After a moment he paused and then I felt him shudder and he began to cry.  I hesitated for a few seconds and then wriggled over beside him and put my arm around his waist and pressed myself against his back.

When he’d calmed some I asked him what was the matter, and he said that he’d been afraid I might never touch him again.  When I reached out to him the dam burst, and he was overcome with emotion.

We cuddled then, snuggled as close together as possible.  The cuddling led to kissing, and then fondling, followed by licking and more kissing.  Before I had much time to think about anything his hand was between my legs, stroking me in that way, making me want to crawl out of my own skin.  Then I was coming, contorting and shuddering for him until I thought I might lose consciousness from lack of blood to the brain.

Almost immediately after I’d finished I began to sob.  Great gasping sobs that make my whole body rattle with the effort.  Jack gathered me into his chest and held me so tight.  He murmured quietly into my ear while all of the hurt and disgust drained out of me.  It was most certainly the sort of moment that one will remember for the rest of their days.

Once I’d become still we remained close together.  There was more talking, and more touching, and after a while we made love.

Today has been almost perfect really.  We are more ourselves again.

“You guys must have worked it out” remarked V with a smile.  “Everything is all sexual again”.

Indeed it is.

Since then things have been pretty well back to normal.  Jack has decided after his experience that one-nighters are not for him.  He says that he couldn’t really get into it, as if he were just going through the motions, because he really knew very little about these people.  It was awkward and uncomfortable and not at all like he’d hoped it would be.  It doesn’t pain me to talk about it or think about it anymore.  Sometimes, when we are being intimate, if I think about him with her it’s more difficult for me to relax and get into it, but in those moments I force myself to clear my head of those images and focus on he and I, and I work through it.

We’ve both grown from it, which is always for the better.  I feel like I’m far better prepared for the next relationship he may get into, like I know the steps I will go through to deal with anything I may feel about it.  Jack was impressed by how quickly I was able to examine my feelings and put them into perspective.  All around, it was a positive event in our relationship.


Published by Shasta

12 Responses to “The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things, And Desperately Wicked”

  1. LillyNo Gravatar Says:

    Forgive me, I haven’t read enough of your blog to know YOUR stance on poly and outside sex, nor if this is the first Jack has had sex outside the relationship. So I don’t want to ask quantifying questions, but I can truly sympathize with your feelings.
    When I feel that way it makes me wonder if I’m truly poly, or just selfish and greedy (wanting it for myself, not being able to handle the reverse coin)

    Reply To The Above Comment

    ShastaNo Gravatar reply on April 6th, 2009 6:13 am:


    Thank you for taking the time to comment :)

    Just to clear up a couple of things you mentioned. Jack and I have been poly for over three years now, but this was his first ‘all the way’ sexual encounter with another woman. As for my stance on poly, I’m all for outside relationships and sex, it’s just not always easy ;)

    I TOTALLY, TOTALLY relate to wondering if I’m ‘truly poly’ when I get these feelings. I think, however, I’ve come to the conclusion that the willingness and determination to struggle against such things and to work past them is what really shows how poly we are :)


    Reply To The Above Comment

  2. niaNo Gravatar Says:

    first off, <>to both of you.

    the one thing i’ve learned about poly in all my years of exploring is that there is no “normal” way to react to a partner’s new relationship. not even for any one person. what i mean to say is that some hook-ups with other women have bothered me while a committed relationship involving that same partner has not. in another i was jealous that two of my play partners started dating each other, other times that’s made me happy.

    our emotions defy our logic, our preparations, and even our other emotions at times. sometimes there’s a lot under them, sometimes there’s nothing.

    i think it’s worth noting too, that sometimes intrusive thoughts like that can just be blips – like the same kind of contamination fears/obsessions that make me want to shower after using certain chemicals. it just feels like your partner has some unseen residue of some other partner.

    whatever the reason i’m super glad you worked through it. you two are so awesome together :)

    Reply To The Above Comment

    ShastaNo Gravatar reply on April 6th, 2009 6:20 am:


    You have been missed around here. Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts, and for your compliment on our joint awesomeness ;)

    All very good points you made. It’s so true that logic and emotions seem to part ways with alarming regularity in poly relationships. For women, in particular, it could just boil down to where they are in their cycle and which hormones happen to be messing with their normal emotional state, so really, the whole thing is like Russian Roulette.

    Also, I totally know what you mean about chemicals and showering. I get that compulsion over things like too.

    Thanks again for stopping by!


    Reply To The Above Comment

  3. RoxyNo Gravatar Says:

    Thank you for writing this – it mirrors so closely what my husband and I have experienced, each of us toward the other, as we’ve stumbled our way through poly. It’s one thing to know how you want to behave and believe you’re going to be fine, but being confronted with sudden, unwanted, confusing emotions is crushing when you want to be “better” than that. It’s so good to talk about the less glamorous moments – what you’ve written resonates with truth.

    I’m so glad you found your way through. :)

    Reply To The Above Comment

    ShastaNo Gravatar reply on April 6th, 2009 6:23 am:


    You know, I think one of my favorite things about this public writing thing is feedback like yours. When I write something that people can relate to, and they take the time to tell me so, it totally makes my day, so Thank YOU!

    That ‘better’ thing is a hard pill to swallow. The first night, when I was really struggling to manage my feelings, the first thing I said to Jack was “I’m sorry that I’m not better at this”.

    We’re all about the less glamorous over here ;)

    Thanks for the comment!


    Reply To The Above Comment

  4. AdamNo Gravatar Says:

    All I can say is that I understand completely. Me meeting my girlfriend (my first of our poly life) created many the same reactions in my wife. I haven’t blogged about it because it’s not really my issue, but I recognize the feelings completely.

    As you know, one of the wonderful things about being poly is that you have to examine yourself and the way you feel or it doesn’t work. I can’t help but feel that it’s good for people to do this. I think most people just work their way through life never really examining themselves.

    So, my sympathies, since I understand. But my kudos, too. You’ve managed to get to a good place very quickly. I love reading your blog because of how much well you express these kinds of situations. Even though I know your words exist due to pain, they are still a reminder of how we all walk the same path in many ways. Blessings to you!

    Reply To The Above Comment

    ShastaNo Gravatar reply on April 6th, 2009 6:27 am:


    I am always glad to hear from you, since as you said, we often share the same path.

    I agree completely that it is vital to ourselves, and our relationships, to take the time to really reflect and figure out where we are emotionally, rationally, etc.

    Thank you very much for the comment, and for the compliments.


    Reply To The Above Comment

  5. EsinedNo Gravatar Says:

    I relate to alot on what you write on your blog.
    Here however, I have yet to experience being on that side of Poly. Like you, I paved the way in our relationship to being with other people. He has not yet met someone. I always hope he does experience it but also dread how I will react to it.

    I wonder… and will still wonder until he takes that step. Hearing your story and the supportive comments here helps me prepare for the worst and hope for the best on this point.

    You have seemed to rise above the challenges that came your way, I hope I can do the same for this.

    Reply To The Above Comment

    ShastaNo Gravatar reply on April 6th, 2009 11:36 am:


    I know that if/when he does finally cross that bridge you will do brilliantly :)

    Fear of the unknown was far worse, in many ways, than the reality of what happened. Hopefully you can find some confidence it that. Also, you know I’m here for ya if you need moral support!


    Reply To The Above Comment

    AdamNo Gravatar reply on April 6th, 2009 5:08 pm:

    Actually, the fear of the unknown seems to be the hardest part. I and my wife both wondered what the other was up to. Was it better than our usual thing? Fear creeps in and your brain goes crazy.

    And then you talk about it. The truth is always so much more mundane and sometimes sad (as in Jack’s situation) than whatever our imagination made up.

    But even then, your emotions don’t catch up for a while. Then, when they do, you wonder what you were so worried about!

    Total roller coaster. But like any good coaster, you just want to get back on again. I don’t know if that makes us sadist or not, but I can’t imagine ever living a monogamous philosophy again.

    Reply To The Above Comment

  6. Mon-MonNo Gravatar Says:

    Hi Shasta,

    The courage it took to share your most private thoughts during this time is beautiful. I know you’ve had your share of negative comments regarding your poly path and so I thank you for your honest and straight forward presentation of you pain.

    I admit I don’t understand how you can feel the need to pull away from your husband in that moment because he’d been with another woman when I know you’ve been with several other men and I’m somewhat sure Jack has never put you through pulling away. But that’s the beauty of this… I don’t have to understand. I know you won’t take exception to me sharing that because I do not say it to judge.

    Relationships are hard. Believing we are special to our spouses/significant others because we are their only ones is not an easy thought to overcome. But what I see in this post is the love two wonderful people have for each other. You love Jack enough to overcome those painful thoughts and he loves you enough to give you the space you need.

    Thanks for sharing. Truly thank you.

    Reply To The Above Comment

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