As I watch three long term relationships, in my tiny little social circle, coming to an end, I begin to panic and draw concern for my own. Granted, the situation is already convoluted and strange. It breaks all the social norms and we are basically treading in uncharted territory. If it is not known, I am married, have been for the past 5 years (together 15), and I also have a boyfriend, together for 6 months.
There are no secrets. Both of them know of the other. They have met a few times and once all three of us went on a “date” to see Crazy Rich Asians. Even now, as I look back on that event, I don’t recall any emotional awkwardness. It was strange in a sense because with both men there are two very different sets of actions that typically occur. What I’m referring to is with the boyfriend I am very much more “hands-on,” for lack of a better term. He is just more physically intimate than my husband. For instance, when the boyfriend (Josh, because I don’t want to keep saying “the boyfriend”) and I go to Disneyland together we hold hands almost the entire time and in general are more physically affectionate. That would NEVER happen with my husband. Not even for a second. Well, maybe, if we were in a gay bar, located in a very gay neighborhood, and he was thoroughly liquored up. Otherwise the husband (Charlie) is not a touchy-feely kind of person.
This weekend all three of us (and Charlie’s ex/current/”who the fuck knows” boyfriend) will be going to Disneyland for gay days. And for once I am filled with anxiety. Josh and I have set a precedent that will not be met because it would seem cruel to do so in front of Charlie, or vice versa. I am sure it will be fine and it will play out the way it plays out. Fuck, the whole thing is an experiment in just trying shit out and see how it goes, like some kind of emotional Russian roulette. For instance, the movie date and this other time when we all got together to play Pokémon Go. Those times were fine. Surprisingly so. Which is why I don’t understand my feelings for this little excursion.
I think part of it is linked to watching my friend’s relationship break apart. They’ve been together for 9 years and they’re now agreeing to separate. The crux of this particular relationship was that they too were in a “throuple.” My husband (ever the asshole) jokingly asked “who got the boyfriend?” Is their break-up a warning sign for things to come in my own life? But even when I go down that line of thinking I begin to wonder am I just asking this because of societal expectations of what a “relationship” is and should be? Or, in this case, is it just how it played out regardless of situations/factors. All I have to go off of is what is known, and all that exists is the common “couple.”
Then there is another couple that broke apart a year ago. Their break-up has been 100% amicable and up until a week ago were still living together, in separate rooms. What preceded their ultimate end was that they opened up the relationship. Did that relationship end because of opening things up? Or was it already played out before that and having trysts on the side was the final straw?
I like to think of myself as this scientific observer, looking at situations and trying to find the commonalities and what point brought it to where it finally fell. But, I am working with a very limited number of examples to gauge. And at the end of it all, I don’t think I want to know. Not now.
Sometimes, I think that it is SO obvious that I am an idiot for not seeing the fact that I am sitting in a pool of purple Jell-O, as I wonder where am I going to get a gelatinous dessert.