AMBER LOVE 15-FEB-2014 What does it mean to be a mistress? First, I will clarify I’m speaking of the denotation of the word “mistress” meaning partner or companion to someone who is married and not the dominatrix version. Obviously this is only about my personal experiences and your mileage may vary.
Mistress: Expected to wait around until it’s convenient for a lover.
Poly Partner: Treated like a member of the family with full considerations as a whole person.
One of my friends who enjoys occasionally sexting with me despite his very long term relationship with a great woman, remembered to text me: Happy Mistress’ Day which is unofficially “celebrated” on February 13th. I once talked extensively with his long time girlfriend and I know his flirtatious behavior bothers her but she doesn’t say anything because it’s always been his personality. From my own point of view, I don’t consider myself a mistress just because some men like sexting outside their relationships but this is a grey area for sure and you should discuss that with your partner. Side note: I detest hearing from people only when they are lonely and horny. You have a significant other; go fuck her or get an open relationship.
Also for Mistress’ Day, I also received a couple naked photos from one of my paramours who didn’t realize at all the significance of the date; he is a polyamorous married man that I had been friends with for years and we decided to escalate the relationship last year.
Then I got a phone call from the person I’ve been in a rather committed relationship with. He called on Mistress’ Day and it was two hours of I’m not quite sure what. It was a typical, “It’s not you, it’s me” break up conversation which was exhausting and was left unfinished. He asked if we could talk in a couple days to see if we are going to try and work out some sort of new relationship parameters. Last year on my birthday, he broke up with me via email after I confronted him with some hurtful secrets he’d been keeping from me that I discovered through months of internet searches. I had developed suspicions things weren’t what they seemed. We made up a month later and were on the same page with where our relationship stood and wanted to continue as long as things were honest and open. We had a pretty great autumn and worked out what we could in terms of a long distance courtship. Then things went south again and I’m not even sure why. We passed Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yule, and New Year’s without so much as a courtesy text wishing me well on any of those days; at this point no one should wonder why a solo poly person like myself hates every holiday. When I called him out on that, he said he didn’t think holidays were important. Things were talked out and we seemed to be on the same page yet again. It was good enough that we scheduled a work weekend together where he’d fly out to a convention near me. He’d get the flight and I’d book the room and help him with his merchandise and logistics but we’d have our evenings together alone.
I mentioned the news on Facebook, Twitter and on my podcast. We’d be together for our first 2014 convention. He said nothing to his legions of fans. He added the convention to his calendar along with other known stops he’ll have this year and that was the extent of announcing this convention. I thought something had to be off since I’d seen his announcements and bromances for shows like C2E2 and Appleseed. This was brought up in the February 13th phone call. He said with things being so rocky again, he wasn’t sure if he’d even make the trip out. This was one week before the convention.
Suffice to say, Mistress’ and Valentine’s Days sucked spectacularly as far as romance is concerned.
On this Valentine’s Day 2014, I was at my day job and kept crying. I would not be having any romantic dinner plans nor a night of unbridled pleasure. I wouldn’t even get a movie night, chocolates or flowers from the men in my life. By Saturday (today), the mail delivered a rather frozen card from one of the paramours but I didn’t get a romantic text or anything on Valentine’s Day. Instead last night, I decided to meet up with a friend for dinner since she’s rebounding at the moment as well and we had a great Galentine’s time.
It’s hard to blanketly write off all my paramours as insensitive or neglectful although that’s exactly what my friends think. The one in the legitimately polyamorous marriage contacts me every day through texts and I appreciate the mundane stuff as much as the naughty stuff because there’s a balance. He lives the furthest away yet he’s the most considerate. Poly Guy acts as a sounding board when the others have upset me or if I’m having stress for other reasons. He’ll come up with random gestures of kindness like when he sent me an expensive bottle of whisky after he got a bonus at work. He’s made it known that he’d love to arrange a visit if we can make it work around our day job requirements, finances and his family life. To me, it’s clear “poly” is better than “cheating.”
What this experience has told me is that the men to whom I’m a marital embarrassment are scared and non-committal with making plans. They seek the companionship of someone like me only when it’s convenient. The one who is honest with his wife and me has confidence and security. There are less questions. There are no secrets between us. The cheaters (let’s admit that’s what they are) have secrets not only with their wives but with me. They don’t communicate. They shut me out when I ask if they need to talk. They say they dream of seeing me but don’t take any action comparing calendars and booking reservations; or as is the case of this coming week, the reservations are made and they want to cancel.
“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
I’m not handling this well these days bearing in mind, I was once a mistress to a coworker for two years and it was solid until I met someone I wanted to be monogamous with. I believe people when they say things to me. When a man tells me he loves me and that he can’t wait to see me, I think it’s terrible to be suspicious and cynical. I don’t like the person I am when I feel I have no choice but to question everything. I’ve become untrusting of all people through years of broken marriages and intimate relationships, even friendships and professional relationships.
I’m not the mistress you see on television or in films. No one has ever secured an apartment for me to be a “love nest.” No one has given me a job to keep me close by. No one has given me a car. No one has left their wife “for me.” In fact, many marriages improved after men got involved with me because they realized what they had at home. No one showers me in gems and lavish nights out on the town. No one is “there for me” like they claim they will be. I’m very much trying to survive without sinking and giving in to the mental illness that haunts me every single day. I’m a grown woman with my own life and responsibilities. I’m not a prostitute that you check out like a library book. I deserve the respect any girlfriend does because I often have to go the extra mile in being forgiving and understanding.
If you’re a married man reading this and find yourself interested in a mistress, you’d do well to remember to treat her like a person.
If I were reading this story in an advice column, the writer would easily without any hesitation say those particular neglectful relationships aren’t beneficial to the person. The columnist’s advice would be to get out of the toxic arrangements and focus on the good ones. Easier said than done when you’ve spent years cultivating a relationship like a precious bonsai tree and have deep feelings for someone. The problem is that with every relationship, when it’s brand new, it seems better than the last.
With tongue firmly in cheek, I suggest anyone with a mistress pay attention to their “care and feeding.” No, we’re not pets but I bet anything you treat your pets better. You can’t go a day without caring for a pet – so why would you do that to a loved one? You can’t abandon a pet for days or weeks and assume they’re fine because someone else might come along and care for them – so why would you do that to a loved one? You don’t ask your pet for favors/”tricks” and not reward them with a “treat” (e.g. a thank you). This is the bottom line: A pet is not something you get if you only plan to pay attention to it when it’s convenient and your mistress shouldn’t be either.