Friday, October 17, 2014

Communication


In my last post about loving good questions I mentioned communication being our triad’s biggest challenge. In August I spent  three weeks in the hospital. During that time we got to "test" our communication skills.  

I thought I would take a moment here and go over some of our communication challenges and how we work together to overcome them.

First let me say I am feeling MUCH better.  I have gone to the Mayo Clinic and though I have a long road ahead of me I am hopeful.

Okay, onto the original topic!
Communication Mishaps
"I thought I told you."   - This probably happens to us the most.  Anne and I are together throughout the day so often times we fall victim to Randy not being in the loop on something.  Nowadays it's not such a big deal but in the early days moments like that could cause some tension and ruffle some feathers.  It could be for simple things like the tree guy coming to trim our palm trees or me mentioning something about an appointment. Back then we dealt with this issue by reassuring one another there was no intention of leaving someone out.  Now we are all a lot more secure with each other, the reassurance isn't necessary.  We just try to keep everyone in the loop. When we goof up and don’t tell someone something we apologize and correct the situation pausing to make sure said person is up to speed.

"I assumed or I thought"  - We just went through this one.  This last flare up was difficult and lasted much longer than most.  I was flaring for almost two months. No fun.  It's not just hard on me though; it is hard on everyone!  During this flare, Anne felt like she needed to be the one to keep it together.  That she too couldn't express frustration, not at me, but at the illness.  It really put an extra burden on her that she didn't need to carry.  
When we did sit down to talk about it after I got out of the hospital there were some built up tensions that we could have avoided. Now, instead of assuming or believing, we check in with each other and communicate things, even when it seems unnecessary.

Going to Abilene -  While writing this blog Anne reminded me of a story Randy tells about going to Abilene.  Early on in our relationship this happened a lot because one or all of us didn’t speak up for what we wanted.  This happened for a lot of reasons.  No one wanted to hurt anyone, no one wanted to always be the one to decide something are just two examples.  Now we say “⅓ of the time.”  One third of the time you get to pick where we’re eating or what activity we’re doing.  Now we don’t actually follow that every time, but remembering that helps us to remember that while letting others pick the activity is fine most of the time, it’s okay for us to speak up too.  

Anne says, “I tend to be over-concerned about upsetting someone else by expressing a potentially dissenting opinion. I'm trying to take that risk more, by asking the Abilene question. My growth in communication has been about making sure there's nothing building under my surface, waiting for a volcanic explosion which takes everyone off-guard. If I'm checking in, I'm letting my partners know not just the bad, but also the good. "Hey, when you said that about needing time with me, too, that really made me feel good." My partners can meet my needs better, if I tell them what I like along with my dislikes.”


The important thing to remember is to never leave anyone out. In our experience we have found that conversations about important stuff need to be transparent between the three of us.

Why do we feel it is important to communicate everything?  For one thing to make sure someone doesn't feel left out.  It also allows us to back each other up if necessary.  Usually I am the one who handles things relating to the home (like the tree guy coming) but if I am sick, Anne or Randy are able to step right up without missing a beat.

What's our solution?  Google Hangouts, email, and weekly (or more, if needed) meetings. We also have a daily board we use. Aside from those tools we also use laughter.  We use laughter a LOT.  

 

The picture is an example of our board last fall.  Everyone in the house has a specific color and the board is like our family's daily planner. 


We all had some growing pains in the first year of our marriage.  I don’t hide nor deny that it was difficult.  I had a LOT of baggage to work through.  Other people had baggage too.  At the end of the day I think what keeps us together through that first year and now is our love and commitment to each other.  All three of us want this relationship to work.  All three of us work at it so it is successful.  <3

Thursday, August 21, 2014

ALS Awareness

I admit I was once one of those people finding myself a little bit frustrated at all the ice challenge videos.  I'm human. Shoot me.  But then I watched this video and felt completely humbled by what Anthony shared with us. It was a true raw emotion that can only be felt when you've just realized your life has radically shifted its course.  That's an emotion I know. SO share on my friends.  Share this video, share it a thousand more I will gladly watch them all and smile right along with Anthony.   


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Love good questions!

Randy recently had to have a routine procedure.   While he was in recovery the doctor came in to report his findings and started the conversation by asking who Anne and I were.  Anne said "We are his wives."  The doctor said "Excuse me, what?"  So that starts the typical process.  Anne leaves the initial explaining up to me because I have it down, or so she says.  I'm pretty straight forward about it.  I identify us as a poly-fi triad basically explaining that we are just like a monogamous couple but there are three of us.  I love her and him.  He loves the two of us.  She loves me and him.  It's pretty simply when you get right down it. 

A lot of people at this point will typically leave it at that.  A common response is "Oh, interesting."  Sometimes people will ask more questions.  Usually from the guys it tends to hint towards something sexual and for the women who will ask it tends to lean towards jealously and wondering how two women can share one man. 

This doctor went beyond that and asked really good questions.  He genuinely seemed interested in learning about our relationship structure. He said we are the first he has ever encountered.  LOL.  We are indeed a special breed I do suppose!  He asked what our biggest problem was.  Simple.  Communication.  (Thank you Google Calendar and Hangouts for helping us there!)  What happens if two of you split up? For us that is also simple, we'd still all be under one roof, but we don't see that happening! 

At the end of the conversation he congratulated us on seeming happy and wished us well.  It was beautiful.  I LOVE answering questions.  Most of the time if asked in a non crude way I'll even answer personal questions.  I firmly believe that knowledge is power and in sharing our lives with others we educate and hopefully make alternative types of love not so scary and more accepted!

Is there anything you've been wanting to ask?  Ask away!!  I'll do my best to answer. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Coming out at work

I hold few firm beliefs in my life.  While I think there is a part of me that yearns for a black and white world, I also thrive in the gray.  Here is one firm belief I have:  Your sexual preference has NO bearing on how well a person can do a given job.

So with that firm belief I never really felt it necessary to "come out" at work.  What am I coming out about exactly?  How does that affect my job?  Even before entering the world of poly I never really spoke about my sexual preferences at work.  Did you?  Do you?  Do you have co-workers that do??  I once had a co-worker tell me about a "wet dream" she was having about our Vice President.  I couldn't look him in the face for at least 3 months without thinking about him bending her over ya da ya da and it wasn't even my fantasy.

I had formed a friendship with a co-worker who ended up leaving the company on bad terms and forced me into a position of doing my job or protecting him.  I did my job.  He threatened to tell our bosses that I was a bi-sexual in a poly-fi triad.

Since, I like to address things head on I beat him to the punch. I called my immediate person of contact and explained to her basically what I said above. She was really the easy one to tell.  Closer to my age.  Female. (No offense to the men, but something about telling them my sexual preferences seemed even weirder to me) Can you guess the reaction?  The owner of the company, her father, called me and told me that my work has always been spot on and that my sexual preference has absolutely no ability to do my job.  The Vice President echoed the same thing.

I am no longer working, but not because of that company, just my health.  I was fortunate to have their support and wish for everyone else it was the same.  Whether triad or not.

In other nice being out at work news, my husband started a new job last August.  He heard of and got the job through a social circle in which people already knew of his marital status.  It's progress folks.  It may be small and there may be a super long way to go, but it is progress.



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Where to take this blog?

I started this blog with the intention of providing a straight forward glimpse into our world.  Early on when things were a little rockier I was as blunt and transparent as I felt I could be.  There were times when a blog post provoked a conversation in our house but that usually ended up being a good thing.  I had complete permission from both of my partners to write what I wanted to write in the blog.  

Then life happens.  I got sick.  Then I got a little better, but then I backslid.  It's hard to blog about being sick.  I don't really talk about being sick on Facebook.  I don't really talk about it with family or friends.  The only people that know how sick I've been are the people in my immediate world.  The people that have had plans changed at a moments notice.  The people that have seen me wrench and curl in pain, vomit until there was nothing left, then vomit some more.  These people, my partners, and a few select friends have seen me through some very dark moments.  I don't know how to blog during those moments.  I don't know how to put on a face so I haven't been blogging.

One thing is for sure.  Illness either brings a family together or it tears them apart.  Lucky for me and mine,  it brought us closer together.  We were fortunate to be strong beforehand.  Even through that first year of bumps I knew deep down these were my peeps.  The loved they showed me was unlike any other I have ever experienced.  It was truly unconditional and still is today. We are also fortunate that we have pretty darn good communication skills and have no problems laughing at ourselves. 

So, back to that original question.  Where to take this blog?  Friday, October 18th will mark my last day working in the professional capacity in which I was trained.  I can't do my job anymore.  I could be sad and maybe even mad about that but what point would that serve? Anger only hurts me and the people I love.  Instead I am going to try to focus on the things I do enjoy.  This blog being one of them. It is my hope to soon come out with a LONG update blog.  

Until then...

Monday, July 2, 2012

When both wives are sick

Boy oh boy have we had an interesting week here a couple of weeks ago.  On Monday Randy came down with a bug of some sort.  First time he's thrown up in 18 years.  By Tuesday night I had it.  Annie being the loving awesome wife that she is stayed up with me every time I got up to throw up.  She was there with more puke bags (I don't do cans or toilets) and fresh water and wash cloths.  Finally around 5am I knew I need to seek help.  I was throwing up so hard I couldn't catch my breath.  Randy got up to take me.  Poor Annie had been up all night with me, really needed sleep and I was pushing the bounds of her vomit meter.  That's certainly a benefit of more than one partner, lol.  I ended up being admitted into the hospital because I was so dehydrated my heart rate was in the 130s and the ER doctor didn't feel comfortable releasing me.  Then as we are somewhat getting me settled into a room Annie starts to get sick.

I felt so bad for her, I wasn't there, Randy wasn't there.  We were relying on our son to help her and he did of course.  That night once I got settled Randy went home and took care of Annie for a little while, then he showered and brought me back some things that I needed and stayed with me for a bit.  Then he went back to take care of Annie.  Luckily the hospital is pretty close to the house.

I admire him for being so thoughtful to both of us.  What do you do when both wives are sick and one is in the hospital?  Well, you do the best you can.  His selflessness reminds me every day why I love him so much.  Her selflessness in telling Randy to care for me is just one of the reasons I love her so much.

The bug went through everyone in the house with our son being the last to get it.  Hopefully that won't happen again any time soon.  It took five bags of IV fluids to make it so things were normal enough to be released.  Dehydration is definitely a problem I have.

Fast forward a couple of weeks we are all feeling better now, life is good, and I'm a grateful girl.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I'm not sleeping well.

Every morning I wake up and am pretty much ready to go right back to bed.  More days than not I find I have to force myself to get up and get moving.  Today at my pain management doctor recommended and then ordered a sleep study.  *Sigh*  She went on to explain that good sleep helps with pain, Fibromyalgia,,, depression, and a list of other things.  A CPAP machine has also been shown to greatly reduce your risk of cancer.   I guess I'm not getting out it.  Both Anne and Randy have CPAP machines and they both rave about how much it has helped their sleep.  I however get a little freaked out about the thought of wearing a mask on my face every night.

Then of course, not just that, but I have to spend a night away to have the study done.  A small part of me says "Oh, how nice, a bed to myself", but the rest of me dreads the emotional angst that I'm feeling about me being alone for a night and Anne and Randy having some real time alone together.  Not to mention they will expect me to go to bed at 10pm.  REALLY????  10pm.  You've got to be kidding me.  I ask myself what is the worse that can happen??  They might have sex...okay, no big deal.  They might cuddle together....okay, no big deal.  They might talk to each other....Okay....can you see where I'm going here.  There is nothing they can do that is really a bid deal.  I love them, I want them to be happy in their own relationship with each other.  That includes cuddling, talking and having sex.  Right?  I struggle to understand why I have trouble with it.  I want to be like "please, have a great evening together and enjoy each other's company", but in reality I'm not quite able to say it.  Well, I can say it, it just doesn't sound quite how I want it too.  

I think in some ways I struggle with feeling like personal attention between Randy and I is strained and limited over my fear of how Anne will handle it.  In the past there have been a lot of times where it has not been handled well.  There has been some pretty noticeable improvement in this area, yet my fear seems to have not caught up with that.  I think I've gotten to a point where I'm gun shy about showing him too much affection.  I do feel like I'm able to show her affection without censoring how much or what kind in front of Randy.  He has just always handled things like this better.  

At the end of the day, we are all a work in progress here.  I, and to some degree Anne, come with some pretty heavy past baggage that at times weighs in on our current relationship, but it's okay.  We work though it together.  I still wouldn't trade the combined love I have with the both of them.  I feel like I get things from both of them that I wouldn't get from any one person.  The combined things make the struggles we do have worth it.  Plus they love me for me and well, that's just awesome!  <3