Hey all. I haven’t been around much in the last couple months due to the lildamnhero eating up basically all my free time. Ironically, now that I’ve returned to work, I may actually have more down time and be around here more, as it’s more common for me to have lulls at work than at home. And something has been eating at me that I would really like to talk about, so I’m glad I have a bit of time to type this up. Bear with me, it’s going to be long and sort of stream-of-consciousness.
As some of you may have been aware, bearddamnheroes and I are poly, and recently entered into a relationship with another woman. That relationship has now crashed and burned, hard, and I’m pretty upset about the way things went down.
She and bearddamnheroes have a very long history of... “sexual tension” doesn’t do it justice. Passion and emotional connection? But the timing has always been wrong. She came directly out of an unhealthy relationship into this one, so the timing was still pretty wrong because I think she carried over a lot of baggage. Plus I was pregnant and didn’t really feel emotionally available to start something new with someone, so the relationship was primarily between her and bearddamnheroes, and I would have characterized her more as a friend than a girlfriend to me.
Things were good for a while. I got to know her better and found her progressive views to generally align well with my own. We talked a lot about feminism and politics and music and food. There were discussions of our future together. She and bearddamnheroes are similar in a lot of ways and I was happy that they seemed to make each other happy. But then there were the fights.
The fights were fierce. When they were in the midst of one, they made each other completely miserable. I was mostly on the sidelines, but would sometimes try to glean what had happened, which could usually be boiled down to a miscommunication and the fact that both of them have tempers. But while I sometimes felt like bearddamnheroes had been unfair or harsh and would tell him so, I always felt like she was being unfair and harsh. Bearddamnheroes would try to go back over what had happened, and accept fault, but she never seemed to. She frequently accused him of being sexist, patriarchal, or controlling. (At the end, this particular fight seemed to be around negotiating the terms of an open relationship, and him being uncomfortable with her sleeping with several other people.) It made him feel like shit, and he would look to me for validation that he was a good person. Honestly I think it may have qualified as gaslighting at times.
A few times after having the baby, one of these fights would start over texts, and he would feel the need to go see her to sort it out (since texting is an awful way to fight), and I would be left alone and stressed with the baby. (He always asked if it was ok if he went out, and I generally agreed because it was better than him being an emotional wreck.) I started resenting her for causing trouble during a really difficult time. It was probably unfair of me to feel like she was unilaterally causing the fights because I was hearing one side. But I spent so much time talking and processing with him, and challenging and trying to find where things went wrong. And he wanted to do that work and figure things out and make them better, but she never seemed to. She would get mad at him for saying things without considering how they would make her feel, but then would also get mad at him for walking on eggshells around her. It started to seem like there was no way to win.
Bearddamnheroes thought, and I agreed, that maybe entering into this relationship on the tails of an unhealthy relationship created too much baggage that was affecting things. She was attributing characteristics to him that seemed to come from nowhere. He met up with her and asked to slow things down, to go back to being friends for a while. They called it a break-up, but the conversation seemed to be that we would all remain close friends and work on rebuilding that for a while. They parted with a hug, and he came home feeling good about it. Then she ghosted.
The two of them had been texting all day everyday for months, and suddenly she wouldn’t respond to him. Bearddamnheroes and I agreed she might need a little time, although she hadn’t said anything to that effect. I reached out to her and we exchanged a couple of texts, and I asked if she would come visit, to which she said yes. More time passed. I sent her another message. Suddenly her response was that she needed time to get over the hurt. It seemed clear that she felt like she had been dumped, which had not been my understanding at all of what went down. It felt like a drastic shift from our last conversation. She continued to ignore bearddamnheroes.
Eventually he sent her another message, which she finally responded to saying something to the effect of “like I said, I need time.” Except she had never said that to him. She had said it to me, weeks after not speaking to either of us. At this point, we both started feeling like she was rewriting history. And bearddamnheroes was getting pretty upset because in the “break-up”, he had asked her to please not disappear on him, as she’s done many times in the past. He has abandonment issues and this is a huge button for him.
More time passed. Suddenly she reaches out with a light message to each of us. Bearddamnheroes at this point has decided he can’t deal with the drama and doesn’t respond. She eventually asks if he’s upset, and he says yes. He’s upset that she didn’t tell him that she needed time, and instead just disappeared on him without saying anything. She mischaracterizes his position as being mad at her because she needed time, and how unfair that is, and how he’s always trying to control her and sorry she couldn’t do and feel exactly what he wanted. She tells him there is no justification for him being upset with her (which seems ironic given how she was always accusing him of not validating her feelings). He gives up and says he’s done, and snipes at her that she should go ahead and keep feeling like she’s never been in the wrong, and she tells him to fuck off. So... I guess that’s that.
It all feels like it went really wrong so fast, though maybe it was never very healthy to begin with. I know bearddamnheroes feels like he needed distance from the relationship to realize how toxic it was, and how miserable it was making him, and that he never wants to go through that again. He feels like she was constantly accusing him of being a shitty person, and said to me last night “How can she have ever actually loved me if she thought I was such an asshole?” And how can she have loved lildamnhero the way she claimed she did if she chose to stay away from us for a month and a half? I’m glad that we won’t still be dealing with that drama, but I’m still really upset about it. I feel like she has this whole version of events that fundamentally disagrees with what I’ve seen. I want her to understand the other side of things, but I feel like that’s a lost cause. I’m tempted to reach out to her, but what would I even say? I want to defend bearddamnheroes but I’m pretty sure there’s no way to do that without her feeling like I’m attacking her, or like we ganged up on her. I also feel like it’s just going to end up being aggravating and solving nothing.
I don’t know. I’m not sure what I hoped to accomplish by writing this all. I guess I thought it would help to vent, but I still feel just as pissed off and disappointed.