Love

Aug. 19th, 2016 01:08 pm
liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
[personal profile] liv
It's 15 Av today, which is a Jewish love festival with a rather tenuous Rabbinic origin. And here I am very happy and in love, so I shall talk about that a bit.

I have the most amazing wonderful husband. We celebrated our first calendar anniversary this year, four years since getting married on 29th February, and eight since getting together on the previous Leap Day.

One surprising thing that's happened is that several people we know or who are second-degree connected to us have been inspired by our custom wedding contract. Some people have commissioned something with a similar design, often from our own [personal profile] hatam_soferet, and some people have even used our own very personal text (with permission). Even though we wrote it just for us, it seems to resonate with what at least some people want from their marriages. Recently, we learned that it is even being used as an option in a ketubah shop - it's up there with the variant ketubah texts composed by such greats as R' Saul Lieberman and R' Elliot Dorff, as a secular, gender neutral, potentially poly-friendly alternative for people who don't want the traditional Jewish contract. And look how pretty the artist has made it! I love that she's used Picard and Crusher as her example couple in one of the versions.

Our first anniversary gift was supposed to be making details from our illuminated contract into mugs, and it's taken us a while to get round to organizing it. So anyway, does anyone have any recommendations for suppliers of custom mugs? We want a site that has reasonable flexibility in design, not just fitting to a standard template, and we're looking for one-off products just for us, not setting up a shop like Zazzle or similar.

Another heartwarming bit of validation recently was a comment from [personal profile] azurelunatic on [personal profile] alexseanchai's love meme: you have found a model of relationship and being that makes you happy, and have gone after it with both hands and an open and willing heart. Thank you so very much for saying that, Azz. I... generally expect most of my circles to be relatively accepting of poly, but I don't expect to be praised for being devoted to my quad, so I was really really moved by that.

I think in some ways we're playing relationships on the easy setting. Polyamory brings its own complications and the risk of prejudice and judgementalism, of course, but that's very much mitigated because we live in the Cambridge bubble and half our friendship group are poly, and we have access to lots of friendly supportive queer-friendly non-skeevy poly groups not made up of our personal friends, if we need that. At the same time, we look quite a lot like a pair of opposite sex, fairly conventional couples, which isn't even about passing, we actually are that, it's just that we have relationships with eachother as well. Most of our parents are broadly accepting, and anyway we're at a life stage where we're not hugely dependent on parents' approval. Our partners' children have been amazingly welcoming to me and [personal profile] jack, including being really patient with my general cluelessness with children. And they're really generous about giving us space to nurture our various relationships, even when that has to be balanced with time when they get their parents' undivided attention; indeed, they are sometimes concerned that [personal profile] jack and [personal profile] cjwatson aren't romantic enough together (read: at all!)

And there's all the practical stuff, we all have reasonably good to excellent health, we're reasonably well off financially, we have jobs that allow enough flexibility to fit the relationships in. Starting the relationship in our mid-30s, with enough relationship experience behind us to have a reasonable clue what we're doing, but not too much in the way of horrible damage from past bad relationships, has been really beneficial. The children are the children of exactly the people that society and bureaucracy expect to be their parents, so we don't have to fight to get parental relationships acknowledged. Yes, we are going to suffer because of Brexit, since [personal profile] jack and I are only British citizens and it's going to be a real challenge to find a way we can all live together in Europe. But that's very minor compared to couples where one partner isn't a British citizen at all, let alone a poly group where relationships don't have any legal recognition.

Anyway, I can look at all those advantages and be grateful for them, but I can also feel really proud that over a year and a half we've built up a really solid, really mutually supportive and joyful relationship. Not that it's been completely plain sailing the whole time, but the positives far far outweigh the difficulties. We're even getting better at spending more time actually together than we spend on scheduling!

Maybe I'm a tiny bit sad that I'm here spending 15th Av on my own, writing DW posts about how much I love my people instead of walking arm-in-arm in the moonlight telling eachother directly. But [personal profile] cjwatson is coming to visit for a few days next week while [livejournal.com profile] ghoti is off having adventures, and after that we have a bank holiday weekend when we can all be together and that will be very very good for my happiness.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-19 12:41 pm (UTC)
redbird: closeup of me drinking tea (Default)
From: [personal profile] redbird
A relatively easy setting, yes, but there are definitely easier ones: you mention that your partners' children have been amazingly welcoming, but the fact that two of you already had children at home makes this more complicated than it could have been.

There's some other stuff about visibility and what counts as passing that I've been thinking about, and that connects here, which I may say more about after breakfast, or take back to conversation with my partners first. Because some of the shapes in which I'm visibly bi and poly are easier/safer in this part of the Boston area than they would be in a lot of places.
Edited ((removing an unneeded parenthesis)) Date: 2016-08-19 12:42 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-19 04:41 pm (UTC)
sonia: Quilted wall-hanging (Default)
From: [personal profile] sonia
Lovely to hear about your happiness in love!

You might like this story, Dance of the Twelve Sisters, by Rabbi Jill Hammer for 15th Av.
http://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/dance-twelve-sisters-tu-b%E2%80%99av-story

I found it via Lament of the Twelve Sisters for Tisha b'Av
http://ritualwell.org/ritual/lament-twelve-sisters-tisha-b%E2%80%99av-story

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-19 05:46 pm (UTC)
slashmarks: (Leo)
From: [personal profile] slashmarks
The marriage contract is beautiful. My partner wanted to know, are those words in the border?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-20 01:21 am (UTC)
slashmarks: (Leo)
From: [personal profile] slashmarks
Thanks! That's very cool, partner appreciated the information.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-20 07:41 am (UTC)
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
Love, and the practicalities and ethics around it, especially with polyamory, has been much on my mind of late.

Your marriage agreement is beautiful, and resonates with the shape of some of the commitments that already exist in my life, and gives me hope that we're on a path that leads in a direction that could have similar happiness.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-08-20 07:01 pm (UTC)
azurelunatic: A striking pink and yellow hibiscus blossom. (hibiscus)
From: [personal profile] azurelunatic
The intentional decision and discussion seems to be key.

The ground is rough but there are signposts, and it's already resulted in little bubbles of happiness almost beyond compare.

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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