Is this even a real word? Language evolves to meet the needs of a society or community as it changes over time. When I Google Metamour definition, the first thing that pops up is an entry on Urban Dictionary. Next you will find a plethora of polyamory related web pages, in fact the 11th and 12th entries link right back here, to Poly Nirvana.
Metamour relations can be tricky. They can be downright difficult. I liken it to in-law relations, mainly because I still view many things through the glasses of traditional monogamy, in that I make sense of poly things by relating them back to mono things. Anyway, you don’t choose your in-laws, and while it isn’t absolutely necessary to be best friends with them, it sure does make things a lot more peaceful, and a lot more fun if you do genuinely enjoy each other.
So what’s the etiquette for interactions with a metamour? Should you meet early on in the relationship or later? Should you give them a card or a gift on their birthday? Is there a basic assumption of obligation to your partners’ other partners, as there would be with, say, a mother or sister-in-law?
(I don’t have the answers to any of these questions. I can offer no deep insight. I’m figuring it out as I go, and, I’m afraid, not very gracefully.)
The latest of my less than gracious reactions to a metamour, included me, sitting with tender feelings and a bruised heart, because although I have had an abundant show of support and love in this week since my car wreck, via text, internet, and in person, from both friends, and family…. I hadn’t heard a word from CC. I didn’t need anything. I didn’t want anything. If I had texted her for any reason, I know she would have done what she could for me. But I didn’t want to ask. I wanted to be one of her Important People, and if the roles were reversed, I thought, I would have contacted her immediately, and I projected that onto her. My feelings were hurt.
It wasn’t fair for me to put that on her.
But I stewed about it for a few days, as I began to feel more and more isolated, with my slowly healing body, and my labile emotions. I felt left out and forgotten, as SMF made another date for a big party that I had been looking forward to, and was now not going to be able to attend. I was mad. Mad for reasons that I was making bigger in my head. I was left out. Circumstances had conspired to shrink my universe down to my body, on my bed, in my house. And life went on for everyone else. And I wanted someone to stop and notice that I was missing.
We really are the centers of our own little universes. It’s easy to realize that the world doesn’t revolve around me when we are talking about things or people far away and unknown to me. But it takes self awareness and mindfulness to stay on top of the fact that there are lives that overlap mine, that affect mine, but that I am not a priority.
So I had a meltdown, or rather, several small meltdowns. Both Special Man and CC tried to fix it. But it was too late, and I had to start putting myself back together. I’m processing. I’m being gentle with myself. I’m trying not to berate myself for not handling this unexpected speedbump better. I wanted to run away from everyone last night, especially SMF, and there was a small sane part of my brain that switched into logical nurse mode and said, “Wait. This is the pain meds, and the trauma to your body and to your spirit. Wait.”
So I waited.
The anger faded, but the hurt is still there. I am weary of taking care of myself. I want to be kissed on the forehead and tucked in to bed. I want to know that when I wake up, someone who loves me is still there, waiting for me. I want to be taken care of. Just for a little while.
“She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! Alas! She must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.” ~Jane Austen, Persuasion