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A House of Cards

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A House of Cards

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My boyfriend's wife is doing better now. We had been terrified because they found meningitis (fluid collecting and causing pressure) in her brain. The doctor said he was 90% sure it was the cancer again and that this time there was nothing he could do.

Even typing that brings it all back. Everyone was distraught. We are very long distance when I am at school so even though I wanted to be there for both of them I couldn't. He has health issues of his own too, and his mental state has been understandably unstable, so it was really important that he had someone with him. His brother came over and I'm glad he got support, but I wanted to be there to help. Just there and part of everything. When the second tumor came I was on summer break so I spent every minute that they needed me right there by their side. I was with him and her son the whole day while they had her in surgery. I came back when his mother called me at work to help with an emergency house cleaning so she could come home from the hospital. Me being there for him to lean on made me feel stronger. I've always dealt with stress that way.

That has to wait though. I'm moving to be with them when I graduate. They want me to join their household as another wife! To solidify ourselves as a poly family. It's overwhelming...we've been together for over 4 years but I never expected this. I would never have challenged her place in his life, but she brought it up! Still, I don't know if marriage is the right decision for me. I can't imagine being without them but there are a few big issues that are left to be resolved.

In addition to everything else, her illness makes the decision even more complicated. It's horrible but it's true. Part of me wants to take it slow, move nearby and have a regular (not long distance, seeing each other several times a week) relationship for a while before moving in. I also know that if she were to die, he wouldn't be able to live in that house by himself, financially if for no other reason. I know I would move in if that happened. Part of me really wants to jump right in anyway. Like he said "if we aren't ready to live together after 5 years, when will we be?" He has a good point.

The decision is still a year away, but I'm a person who likes to have some rough plan for the future. The more I think about it, the more moving right in with them seems like the best choice financially AND emotionally. If I decide to plan for that, I don't know. I was so sure that she had less than a month to live...then the 90% sure doctor's test results came back. It's not cancer! Great! But it's also not a bacteria or a virus. Huh? Then what is it? They don't know. So we are left again with this tenuous future.

I'm so afraid to hope again. After the first cancer we had really gotten settled back into our lives when the cancer came back. It was horrible. But it was treatable, although not curable now that it had returned once, it *will* come back again. Then, so soon after the second tumor was removed, we've had at least two false alarms. They thought the cancer was back again and then it isn't. I'm glad that it isn't back but these scares just emphasize how fragile everything is. Like a house of cards that could collapse at any moment...

As of this latest development I'm trying to see the long term future with her in it. But I don't know where that ends. Is it a year? Five years? Ten? She had talked about raising children, being a "stay at home mom" for her retirement while I work outside the home. Nevermind that my differences with him about wanting children is the single biggest doubt in our long term relationship, would she even be there if and when it happens?

His health isn't great either. And they are both older than me. When I talk about a long term future with them, almost everyone reminds me that I will outlive them, probably significantly considering their health. And do I really want to use my youth caring for sickly old people? Many put it in a nicer way, but it is a repeated question I have gotten. It is a reasonable one too.

I don't know. I keep building that house of cards and it keeps shaking like it's going to fall, but it doesn't. When it comes right down to the basics all I know is that I love them both, more than I ever though I could, and I can't imagine life without them.
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