The Alchemy of Emotion

It’s amazing to think about how much has happened in just a few weeks! In late September, I was hit hard by Viktor’s revelation that he was in love with his new girlfriend, Justina. I took some time to recover from the shock, further bolstered by our wonderful weekend away in celebration of our 23rd wedding anniversary. I thought all was fine…until it wasn’t. From there, it was a deep dive into depression, with many crying jags, endless discussions and an emotional rollercoaster that truly threw me for a loop.

Eventually, I knew it was time to pick myself up and dust myself off, knowing that this painful place wasn’t where I wanted to be. I hated the selfish nature of what I was feeling and was very conscious about not derailing Viktor and Justina’s relationship. Yes, I was struggling with jealousy, envy, shame and doubt, but I knew that I needed to allow these emotions to move through my body if I was ever going to heal and move past them.

I welcomed the sadness and the rage, nearly drowning in them, but also using these deep, dark emotions to call in the love and support I needed from my sisterhood community. I shared my feelings in safe forums and was held with loving arms as I mired in the muck and mud of the swamp. Those aware of my situation reached out via text to check in an offer kind words and just generally let me know they were there for me as needed.

I also contacted two friends who have much more polyamorous experience for advice and perspective.  For one of them, the idea of Viktor’s being in love with Justina would have been a violation of the rules she and her partner have. Yet, she didn’t judge; she merely lovingly offered me a number of things to consider with respect to the agreements I have with Viktor and the current situation with Justina. Another friend talked about how he wasn’t wired for compersion and suggested that I might not be either. I was grateful for to both for their candor and willingness to share their knowledge with me.

In addition, I knew that it was important to strengthen my relationship with Justina and invited her to meet with me. She readily agreed and we had a lovely lunch on a Friday afternoon. While we spent a lot of time just getting to know “fun facts” about each other, I made sure to address the elephant in the room. Justina was aware of what I had been feeling through her conversations with Viktor, but I wanted to tell her in my own words. She was very willing to hear me out as well as modify her behavior as needed. I appreciated her offer and told her I would let her know if there was something that I wanted from her. I felt reassured by her respect for our marriage and assured her that I liked her and liked her for Viktor. I just needed to process this new experience for myself.

And throughout it all Viktor and I continued to talk. And talk. This is not for the faint of heart. It is challenging to tease out the tangle of emotions that this experience has thrown at me. It is difficult to determine how best to balance self-preservation with selflessness for one’s partner. It is and will continue to be confusing to figure out my role now that I am no longer my husband’s one and only.

With all of this self-exploration, I know that I have alchemized most (definitely not all) of my jealousy and negative emotions. And, thankfully, this transmutation has enabled compersion to flow more easily and freely. I generally feel good about Viktor and Justina, but I don’t pretend that it will be all smooth sailing from here on out.

In the wake of this rollercoaster ride, I have good days and even some really great days. And, yes, there are dark days, too. Seasonally, this is a tough time for me, so I am not at my full strength, but I coping as best I can and, I have no doubt that I will find myself on the other side of this journey stronger and happier. This is a work in progress and, like me, it is not perfect. But, it is wrapped up in love and trust and beyond that, I simply need to let go and feel into that trust…trusting myself, trusting love, trusting Viktor and trusting the universe.

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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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