Issues of Character

Over the last several days I've been mulling over issues of character. I tend to focus a lot on character. Actions, ideas, and belief systems seem truer to me than photographs or outward appearances. What I do, say, and believe constantly reinforces who I am. And lately, I guess I've been disappointed.

Inherent in Polyamory is the practice of loving more than one person. Great, rah-rah: I'm a big fan of abundance and the lifestyle has brought me much good. I don't think I'd trade it in. Still, I question:

  • What kind of husband am I if I'm to leave my wife to be with someone else?
  • What kind of boyfriend am I if I can't be everything wonderful in somebody's life?
  • What kind of partner am I if I can't be around?
  • What kind of husband would find thrill and happiness in seeing his wife find emotional and sexual fulfillment with others?
  • What kind of friend am I if I hurt somebody else?
  • Am I a terrible partner to somebody if I have to constantly set limits to thereby "balance" the rest of my life?
  • Who am I to want every benefit? And who in the fuck am I to ration it for others?
  • What kind of guy am I to say "I love you" but can't promise everything?
  • Why would I want to be the cause of suffering - even if it's unintentional or indirect, it still is a condition that I'm responsible for?

Like I way saying, I think my actions speak louder than words and these certainly aren't the actions of a Prince Charming. On outward appearances, these are these actions of a selfish, honorless bastard who refuses to make traditional commitments to people he cares about. I feel like a cad; a dick; a scoundrel  a real jerk. Not really somebody who I'd really want to be. Not anybody I'd encourage a friend to date.

In my gut, I feel there aren't easy answers in this. There can't be. Sure I've been up-front, have permission, transparent in what I do, and so on, and my partners may suggest that they're involved with me willingly, but the more I try to rationalize my way out of the paper bag, the more I feel I'm convincing myself that what I'm doing is right. As if there's something noble, important, ethical, intellectually-or-morally-superior, and justified in what I'm doing. I think it's a slippery-slope. If I were to over-rationalize it too much a blindness would set in: a sense of self-righteousness and purpose that extends a license for me to bring harm and pain to others. I'd consider nothing of my actions which allow me to think exploitatively and opportunistically about the Universe. Meanwhile, if I stay where I am now - overly concerned about what damage and harm that I'm doing to my friends and lovers - I might as well resign myself to avoiding the risk of love all together.

It's a tough call and I wish I had an answer. I just don't. At the end of the day, I just feel like I'm letting everyone in my life down, and that sucks.