Emotional Rollercoasters and Shame Spirals: When Compersion Isn’t Enough

When Viktor first told me that he was in love with Justina, it hit me hard. It took me several weeks to process the intense emotions that were unleashed. I was very confused as to what I was specifically feeling and struggled to determine if I truly felt compersion for my partner despite saying that I did.

It hurt… a lot, and I wanted to make sense of everything so I could understand and move forward. Heal. On top of all of this, I was grappling with the loss of Sam. We had initially been texting three to four times a day with the added intensity of our sexting, which then dwindled to an occasional text every few days. What was up?

I missed the interaction with Sam, not just the fun, flirty, sexual innuendo (and the more overt conversations), but also the contact and friendship. Of course, I created all sorts of scenarios to explain Sam’s telephonic absence and tried in vain to stop thinking about him. I felt the loss acutely, which felt even more painful in light of Justina and Viktor’s budding romance. I felt so alone.

I vacillated between the two poles of pain, both equally unwelcome, as Viktor and I headed out of town for our anniversary. We bared our souls, our bodies and our hearts, leaving nothing unexamined or unsaid. At last I spoke my truth: I was afraid that Viktor would leave me. And, in exploring envy and jealousy, it became clear that I was deeply and fully jealous(fear!) as well as envious that Viktor had a girlfriend when I had only had a series of play partners. I wanted more.

But, could I handle more? Sam’s departure, finally confirmed at the airport post-weekend, left me uncertain on that score. If his exit at this early stage could induce such painful feelings, what if I truly fell in love?

Yet my uncertainty with Viktor had been dispelled thanks to our candid conversations, intimate encounters and close connection all weekend. I left Miami feeling surer of our love and marital bond than ever. I felt my heart open and softened and compersion flowed easily and with abundance.

With the amazing energy of our weekend away buzzing inside me, I started the week on a high. I was in love with Viktor. I was happy for him and Justina.

And then everything fell apart.

That Wednesday, Viktor and Justina had their first BDSM scene and sex date. I spent the evening at my dance class and then out with a friend, coming home cold, wet and miserable. Viktor had said that the door to the guest room might be open, beckoning and welcoming me to join them. But when I arrived home, the door was firmly shut. I felt it slammed in my face even though it hadn’t moved or made a sound.

I removed my wet clothes, put on warm, cozy pajamas and crawled into bed, too upset to really cry. Viktor came to me sometime later and I desperately wanted him to stay with me – to choose me – but, but I felt too selfish to ask and I sent him back to Justina…sleeping alone and waking alone.

I awoke the next day feeling miserable. And I have remained miserable for the past four days. I can’t get over it. I can’t stop the pain. I feel the shame spiral spinning out of control, coupled with agony and heartbreak.

I feel discarded, used and unloved. I can’t stop comparing the superficial nature of my dating relationships  — seeing them as cheap and tawdry through a cloudy and distorted lens — with those of Viktor and Justina’s intense love connection. The pain of seeing him with her in my mind’s eye, making love to her, it is unbearable.

I spent most of Saturday curled up in bed on one long crying jag before I eventually fell asleep for the day and then the rest of the weekend on a roller coaster of emotion soaring from intense heights of self-hatred to extreme lows of depression; I almost wish I were dead, but I am not going to act on such intrusive, negative thoughts.

A big part of me wants to simply put an end the open marriage, but I am truly trying to be fair and balanced to Viktor. I hate the way I am feeling both in terms of the pain but also its impact on him. This is not my intention, but I need to protect myself and my sanity.

Throughout this weekend, we have continued to talk, keeping our options open, knowing that I am not in my right mind to make any major decisions at this moment. Baby steps as we take it one piece at a time – helping me to heal and make sense of what has happened and why it hurts so damned much. After that, who knows. I just know that we will get to the other side of this together and have no doubt that we will come out even stronger.

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While happily married to my soulmate for 20+ years, after years of body shame and sexual shutdown, I am ready to step into my sexual power as we open up our relationship and explore the possibilities.

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