I’ve put off talking about my separation for a lot of reasons I think. I mean, it just fucking sucks, right? A relationship ending, especially a long-term one, isn’t a great experience at the best of times but throw in the fact that there were also massive boundary breaches along the way, a tremendous breakdown of communication, gaslighting, lying, manipulation, yelling and screaming, feelings of betrayal, and yeah… it hasn’t really been something I’ve been keen to blog about very much. Especially since there are also a lot of memories of my marriage on here right now in past posts that, while not negative, are very hard to interact with given the context of how things fell apart between us.
During the worst of it all, roughly about this time last year, I found myself living in a home that no longer felt safe in any regard. I wasn’t leaving my bedroom, wasn’t eating well, and wasn’t resting. I was constantly stressed, depressed, unhappy, unfulfilled, anxious, and struggled with severely intrusive thoughts. Yet I was also desperate to save what I could of my marriage even though, despite working at it for months, I was seeing nothing but diminishing returns from the couples counselling that my spouse simply wasn’t as invested in as I was.
On top of it all was the increasingly toxic situation with my metamour, who lived with us and not only made me fear for my physical and emotional well-being, while simultaneously constantly asserting that I was burden to the house, but who I felt had also disrespected and completely overstepped all facets of my relationship to my spouse, as well as my individual home life, over the course of 2020.
I had to get out.
And eventually I did, thanks in large part to my partner Verne and my bestie for life, Kate. They were all instrumental in helping me slowly come to terms with my situation, to accept that things weren’t improving or changing for the better, and to find the strength to leave for my own health and wellness. Still, I had hoped that my spouse would come with me.
For months I had asked them to help change our living situation to one in which I didn’t feel so completely isolated, unsafe, and uncomfortable. I tried to express to them the severity of my mental health and the effect that living with my abusive metamour was having on me. In the end though, they just weren’t with me on changing our living situation despite all three of us having agreed that it was utterly unbearable for us all.
And yet, the metamour stayed… even when they agreed to move out last September following an explosive arguement. And my spouse wouldn’t look for places to move with me… even after they agreed they would once it was clear in November that things weren’t going to otherwise change.
That shit was fucking hard, and much of 2021 has been spent doing all of the emotional labour needed to unpack that, heal, and move forward.
I still struggle with a lot of insecurity, disassociation, and trauma over it though. I still have stress dreams and nightmares about my metamour screaming at me while I was trapped in my room, about the huge verbal fights that I had with my spouse, and when it’s extremely late at night, and I’m laying in bed with my thoughts, my mind often runs me through a gamut of self-flagellating and denigrating thoughts about myself.
It’s on one of those nights that I finally decided to sit down and write this. Because I’ve put it off far too long.
A Really, Really Hard Year
There’s a lot that I’m not proud about with how things ended. I’m not proud that I became angry and yelled a lot. My spouse and I had never, ever yelled at each other like we had near the end, screaming and swearing and crying as we desperately tried to be heard and understood by one another. I don’t want to fight like that with a partner ever again. No matter how unhappy we are, or how upset, I don’t ever want to feel that out of control of my emotions, that angry, that misunderstood, devastated, unable to manage my reactions in a respectful way.
Although, I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that I eventually completely broke down like that. Honestly, as much as I’m not proud of the way I fought, I’m also not proud of how long I stayed.
From almost as soon as the metamour came into the picture in early 2020, there were some pretty big warning signs about them not respecting my boundaries and those of my relationship with my spouse. Despite this, I convinced myself that I was fine, that these were just “growing pains” and that things would even out over time. Of course, they didn’t. Things with my metamour got much, much worse, especially after they moved in with my ex-spouse and I in July.
At the time, their move-in was a whirlwind as they expressed that they were fleeing an abusive partner and they would only be staying with us for a month or two while they found a new job and a place… but that very quickly, without much of any discussion or input from me, became 3 months, then 4, then 5, and eventually 6. On top of it, their child came to stay with us too. That was also supposed to be short term, “for the summer”, but became “until school started”, and eventually stretched into the very late fall. In many ways this put me out of my own home as I had to change everything about my living habits, self-care, and sex blogging efforts to cater for a situation that made me uncomfortable from the get-go, and yet I felt guilted and pressured into agreeing to as not doing so would have put the metamour out.
To make matters even more challenging, the metamour also didn’t actually break up with their abusive partner at all. At least not for long. They kept dating her and eventually expected to spend time with her in our apartment. I was not okay with this given the threats she’d made toward all of us, as well as her history of verbal and physical violence. But there she was, slowly visiting more and more often, even though I had very clearly expressed not wanting her in our home and I was being told that I was being unreasonable for it. In fact, at first everyone seemed fine with my boundaries, but within a month or so that was all backtracked and it went from her not being allowed in the apartment, to literally being in the room next to mine on a number of occasions.
That sadly became a consistent thing. Whenever I tried to express feeling frustrated or upset about the constantly changing terms of our living situation, or about not feeling considered in the house at all, I was called “destructive”, “dramatic”, “chaotic”, and was even compared to my metamour’s abusive partner. My spouse even once “teased” me about it, saying that my sending them some frustrated texts one night was me “pulling a [metamour’s abusive girlfriend]”. They told me that they, along with my metamour and that abusive girlfriend, all had a “laugh” about it, in a sort of very dismissive and patronizing “oh Nillin…” sort of way. So, I just… stop expressing my feelings and concerns at all. I started to feel like I couldn’t say anything about how I felt anymore, that there was nobody in my home that I could turn to for support anymore, and for a while I even began to believe what they were saying about me.
Meanwhile, my spouse had formed a family dynamic within the house that consisted of them with the metamour, and the metamour’s kid. They all got up together, ate together, spent their whole days together, went out together, all while I, along with my belongings and autonomy in the house, were pushed further away to the confines of my bedroom. I’d never felt so alienated in my own home before. Come the fall, my spouse had just stopped spending quality time with me like they used to. They stopped watching shows/movies with me, we stopped playing video games together, stopped going shopping, stopped visiting my mom or any of our friends, and they even started to say things about how they “didn’t want to just sit around with [me] not doing anything”.
And that hurt a lot because for years we had, what we both expressed to one another was, a really great balance between staying in together and going out to movies, shopping, for food, or to socialize with friends and our community. All of a sudden though, none of that was good enough. The way we spent time together wasn’t what they wanted… and yet I saw them doing those very same things with my metamour instead. They watched shows/movies, played games, hung out all day chatting and doing their own thing while I sat in my room, hearing all of that in the room next to me through the wall behind my head, feeling alone and confused and like I wasn’t even in a marriage anymore.
Things actually hit a near breaking point last September when, after my spouse and I had an argument, the metamour cornered me, yelled at me, antagonized me, called me names, attacked my character, and then, later that night, asked my spouse to leave me.
Nothing changed though. The metamour stayed in the house, even after saying they couldn’t stand to live with me anymore, and my spouse just… did nothing, basically. They just let things be, status quo, while I continued to ask for updates on the metamour’s moving out status. I was well and truly trapped. Stuck in a miserable limbo until, finally, early this year, after yet another instance of my metamour coming down on me with gaslighting, intimidating messages, and threats, I broke.
I remember my spouse begging me to stay the day that I left, even though we knew how bad things between us really were. But with my partners and friends there for me, after months and months of them slowly helping me come to terms with things, I finally realized that enough was enough. I couldn’t stay there another moment.
Growth Through The Hurt
That was 10 months ago, now. Shortly after leaving, my spouse cancelled all of our couples therapy and hasn’t spoken to me in person, or on the phone, except for the one time I came by in late January to pack as much of my belongings into a friend’s car. In fact, we never even directly stated we were separated. They just… abruptly stopped talking to me, insisting that I needed to apologize to them for speaking out about how unwell I was, and about the toxic home situation I was experiencing, to my friends and partners. Since I wasn’t willing to do that, wasn’t willing to pretend like none of it happened and let myself be gaslighted even more, that was the end of it for them. They didn’t want to try to repair things or speak about our relationship, or about anything at all really, again.
As I edge closer to the one-year mark of my leaving, and thus closer to the inevitable divorce proceedings to come in 2022, processing all of the convoluted and challenging emotions that come along with that, I’ve been having a lot of hard thoughts about it all. A lot of self doubt, fear, insecurity, sadness, and more. The relationship nightmares have been coming back in big waves too. But it’s not all bad…
Truth is, that since leaving I’ve been able to be myself more than I ever have before. I feel like I have the right amount of space to myself, and I’ve finally been able to embrace myself as an aromantic person. I’m also experiencing a vast array of deeply fulfilling friendships and relationships that I simply couldn’t until now. Over the last several months I’ve been able to reconnect with my best friend, Kate, who I’m now enjoying an incredibly happy and intimate datefriendship with. I’m also still dating Verne having celebrated my one-year anniversary with them this past spring, and I’ve found a few other partners now too!
First, there’s my girlfriend, BB, and my partner Queer Prairie Kitten, who’ve I’ve had a major crush on for years and excitedly started dating in September. And most recently, fuckmeat and I decided to make it official as partners too! Plus I’m hosting exciting sex parties on the regular now. All without any of the overwhelming, and often double standard feelings of pressure, guilt, shame, and more, that were put on me for seeing any of my partners or friends while I was still living with my spouse and their metamour.
Where once I felt trapped, now I feel free.
And no, I don’t deeply regret my marriage. It wasn’t all bad. There’s a lot I’m thankful for from great roller derby adventures to late nights laughing and sharing our favourite passions together. Most of all, it was through that bond that I was able to fully understand and accept myself as nonbinary trans, queer, and polyamorous. I’ll never forget all of that!
But perhaps that’s what makes the whole thing feel so much more devastating on those harder nights. Though I’m happy to report that they’re happening less and less as time goes on.
Thanks for reading, folks. I’m sorry that I kept so quiet about it all for so long. Just know that despite it all, I’m safe, I’m happy, and I’m healing.