If you follow me on Twitter, you know that recently the Mister and I came out to my parents as polyamorous. It was not a planned event, we didn't sit them down at a table and lay it all out for them, it just happened. I'm actually glad it was spontaneous, because this way no one was able to back out at the last second.
Over the summer the Mister and I struggled with our relationship quite a lot. My Mom is my go-to sounding board, and she was the one who listened to me cry, and let me complain, and then told me to suck it up and work to save my marriage because marriage is hard work and not something you throw away. After a while it became hard to confide in her because I couldn't really mention the Libertine, so I started to draw back a bit.
Fast forward to a few weekends ago. My parents took the kids camping, and it was my Dad's 50th birthday. We were supposed to head up there and have dinner and cake to celebrate. I was not feeling well that day, and the Mister told her that I might not come but he definitely would. This set off all kinds of warning bells in my Mom's head, she seemed to think things were still really bad and that we didn't want to be in the same place if we didn't have to.
I ended up texting her that things were okay, that her fears were unfounded, and that while there was something big going on, it was NOT divorce. She poked and prodded me for a bit before I finally sent her a novel's worth of a text message explaining who the Libertine is, how important to me he is, and how the Mister and I have been non-monogamous for quite a while now.
She didn't say anything for 35 minutes. Total radio silence. Finally, I asked her to at least acknowledge that she heard me, and she responded with:
"You and the Mister have to live your life in the way that makes you happy. I am worried about the kids and don't want them to get hurt if something happens and the Libertine goes away. But mostly, we just want you to be happy."
Since that afternoon my Mom hasn't brought it up again. She has not asked to meet the Libertine, nor has she asked about him. I'm not sure if she is simply pretending he doesn't exist, or if she is just adjusting to the idea of her daugter being in love with more than one person. She has not asked about any other relationships.
I understand that this is hard for her. She is very politically in the center, so I'm sure that she'll be okay. But in the meantime, I have to worry that things I say are hurting her. I have to worry that she is going to be upset when she asks us what we're doing on a weekend and I say that we're celebrating the Princess's birthday with the Libertine (awesome weekend, I'll recap another time). But mostly, I think she is upset that she has lost some of her daughter time.
And that's really what every relationship boils down to, isn't it? How much time we make for each other.