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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.



Tapestry, thank you for offering your input about I appreciate your trying to help us find an alternative to the AA cult, and that might provide an alternative way for me to shed the unwanted drinking behavior.

We looked at Smart Recovery back in September as we were then working together as a family to try to find a solution to the problem my drinking was creating for Sue and Teresa. I discounted it. The primary premise of Smart Recovery is that the non-problem-drinking family members come together to develop an ultimatum to the problem drinking family member. They then inform the problem drinker that his/her drinking will end or he will be ejected from the family forever. Having encountered that, I ended any involvement with Smart Recovery as an alternative.

You will note that I framed this as the problem my drinking was creating for Sue and Teresa. Drinking is not a problem for me. It is not only not unwanted behavior for me, it is behavior that is very much desired. This has always been about Sue and Teresa's continued and on-going ratcheting up of their needs to control me and our relationship. I have worked with them to incorporate new behavioral regimens over the last few months as is well documented in previous Blog posts here to try to incorporate their wishes into my life to make them happier, despite this being antithetical to our supposedly D/s lifestyle.

I have no desire to live in a family in which my inclusion is subject to a behavioral sanction to be "voted off the island" because of my drinking or any other behavior. That is precisely the essence of Smart Recovery.

That is my present situation, however, and I have now to decide what to do about that. I am at impasse. I find going forward without either Teresa or Swan in a relationship, horribly wounding and unimaginable. I feel similarly about going forward in a relationship in which they dictate the terms of my existence unlivable. Reality is, as was aptly pointed out by my therapist, (to Teresa's and Sue's great mirth and joy) that is exactly my situation. This is just one more heart breaking injury to add to my recent series of losses.

Our relationship has for the last 12 years in Teresa's case and 8 years in Sue's case been predicated on an intentional power exchange. That exchange was a contract that was hugely important and a source of huge intimacy between us. I know they both wear symbols of that exchange ("collars") that we all feel deeply about as symbols of us as a family, not unlike the way others feel about their wedding rings.
I have not been able to bring myself to deal with the emotions of receiving those back, even though it is clear that that premise of our relationship together has become a lie, if it ever existed to begin with.

I do have choices as commenters have pointed out...............just not any I would ever choose to have. Those commenters obviously can not see the absurdity of this as an expression of any sort of self-determination or life worth having.

I have to choose at this point between living as my two and the courts mandate I live or I lose my family and will be imprisoned. I also have the choice no one ever seems to conceptualize of deciding life is not worth living on this basis. I find that equally a viable, and at this point, an attractive option. None of the others make any rational sense, other than they allow me to avoid my cowardice in the face of death,.....which too is no minor argument.

So I am at impasse.

My two have felt that their life would be perfect if I didn't drink, and was never violently angry. I am not drinking nor will I. I will engage in no behaviors anyone could even construe as violent. They have sought help from, and allied themselves with the police and courts, such that were I ever to violate their wishes I will be immediately imprisoned. I surely hope they are reveling in the joy of our new life together now 34 days old.



  1. Pity that SmartRecovery gave the impression it did to you, that was not at all my experience of the site.

    Whatever path you take I wish you peace. I think perhaps, your supporters are readers are surprised to read that you don't view the effect of alcohol upon you as the root of the problems you've encountered. I'm glad you clarified that for me, I had missed that part.

    I'm also acutely aware that we cannot ever choose another person's issues for them, and so it seems futile to me to try to force someone to change. Until the subject desires to come to terms with an issue and change a behavior, there really is little that anyone else can do which is meaningful or lasting.

    As always, and with no answers, I wish the 3 of you all the best, always. If support and concern and encouragement help, your readers clearly offer that to you all.


  2. Tom,
    I have refrained from commenting before now, because I was struggling with what to say. I want to be supportive and not critical and I am having trouble doing that. There is a great deal of my past which has influenced the way I am viewing your situation. Years ago I was in an abusive relationship, which was also affected by substance abuse.

    The dynamic of your relationship and the D/s relationship I am in now is very different. I know I could not or do not desire to be in a relation like yours. That is not a judgment, it is just my desire and preference. I do feel and have always felt, that a Dominant needs to be able to be in control of their own actions before controlling others. A Dominant has responsibility in the relationship to the submissive, not just to themselves. For whatever reason, be it your drinking or a number of other things, you were losing control of your own actions more and more frequently. One thing you are right about, your choices have been limited by others at this point. Not really your choices, but the outcomes have been narrowly defined. I also see you responding in anger and in self-pity to that. I suppose that is natural. What I do not see is your accepting any responsibility for anything that has occurred. You are placing the importance of alcohol on the same level (or higher) of everything else that you value in life. Seriously? Is drinking as important as those that love you? You really have NO JOY in your life without alcohol? You think you should be able to drink as you wish or life is not worth living? I hope that I am either wrong in my assumptions or that your struggle has warped your reasoning. No one, not a Dominant, not a Master, not a king, has a right to do as they please and trample over the rights and well-being of anyone else, especially the people they claim to love and be responsible for. You are now dealing with the fall out of your own actions, not those inflicted upon you by others. You say that others are ratcheting up their control of you, though you seem to refuse to take control of yourself. You say you have been betrayed, yet it seems you betrayed your responsibility to them. I do wish you the best, I hope you can see your way through all of this. I am pained by your outlook and take on things, as I am sure anyone who cares about you is. I will admit that my sympathies lie more with sue and t. They are dealing with as much or more than you. They have lost more than you have. You ceased being their Master when you allowed alcohol to become your Master. I know this sounds harsh, I admit to being prejudiced and jaded. I wish I had something more constructive to offer, I will certainly understand if you choose to delete this.


  3. sweetsassyT9:29 AM

    Tapestry and Alice, I think you both are brilliant.

    Tom, I lived an abused life as a child. My father stopped drinking 6 months after I married at 21. I was the catalyst that kept the family together and when I was gone, the family reacted. Our family was throwing him off the island, Tom, as you say, or he could stay and never drink again. Fortunately, he CHOOSE the family. He realized what he had missed in my life in the last years he had of me as his child, and he didn't wish to lose those years with his remaining children. He is a religious man, but could never have gotten sober with AA. As you aptly point out, it is not effective. In fact, highly trained mental health professionals and social workers can testify all day long that it creates a desire rather than deters it by the simple fact of discussing it at length. It relies on giving the control to a deity and not the individual. It is a travesty that this country orders people into its grasp. For whatever reason, it is marketed as sold as the solution, when it is not, nor has it ever been. My father was blessed to have the resources and the availability of an education program through the hospital system. There were no 12 steps, just hundreds of statistics and data. Science led my father to sobriety. Perhaps when you are collecting your data, you can find some of those things.

    I, too, find you to be a whining spoiled child, perhaps made worse by the fact that you were an only child. Is this the first time in your life it occurs to you people actually live what is not their choice? I have two siblings that both are parenting terminally ill children, four of them in fact. Do you suppose they 'chose' this life? Do you suppose they have the luxury of lamenting it is not their choice? They must wake up every day and face this. They must find happiness in every moment because it will not be their choice if those moments are no longer available! So please forgive me if I don't get my violin out and join your pity song.

    I mentioned before that there could be a reason for all this. Perhaps there are lots of people that will need a better way to end this nightmare in their lives. AA started with a single man. Are you not still a man? Perhaps you are to create the next path to healthiness. I sat back and listened to Swan describe how she was struggling with acting as switch to 'help' you. Any of us who have dealt with addiction of any kind knew it wasn't going to work. It was your attempt to grasp on to a last thread, have your cake and eat it, too, and beat the system. YOUR CHOICE, not hers. You found out, like everyone does, that you can't win that game. There is no moderation with addiction. The tell tale sign is always what happens while drunk. Lots of people can drink on and off, because they don't have the addictive gene, they don't change personalities. You do. End of story. I suspect you have much more grieving in this as it has defined you. Such a shame when there was so much more to you and what you have accomplished in life than a man who could lift a glass to his mouth, and infant can manage that.

    My greatest sympathies to T and S. Wonderful ladies who most assuredly have survived. They will have battle scars that will take years if ever to heal. Look up those statistics, Tom. I thank you for the opportunity to speak here. I can't imagine it will make a difference, but I did need to give voice to my thoughts. Others are reading who it may help in some small way.

    Blessings to you, Tom, should you ever wish to find them, they are there. Look into the eyes of child who suffers, perhaps you will find yourself.

  4. When I read this in the previous comment: "Look into the eyes of a child who suffers, perhaps you will find yourself" - my eyes filled with tears.
    Then I thought of my own children who suffered and died.
    Then I thought of my own, dear, youngest 14-year old son, who likely will lose me before he grows to manhood.
    It has been very heart-rending reading about the Heron clan's troubles, knowing that there is little I can do about that. Time does heal, though, and we move on - that is, if we are able to let go of the past AND the future and live in the present.


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