E. Winter Tashlin

Breakups & Friendship [Picture Tells A Story]

Filed By E. Winter Tashlin | April 05, 2014 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: asrik tashlin, break ups, divorce, friendship, polyamory, relationships


Today's photo is a slightly bittersweet one.

The guy featured here is my ex-husband, Asrik. He left my husband and I after eight years in our slightly odd three-person poly marriage so he could explore and develop his own identity independent of us (we got together in college).

That's the "bitter" side of things, if you could call it that. The truth is that he wasn't wrong, and while the way our relationship ended was tougher than any of us would have hoped, it was the best thing for us all.

Where the "sweet" side comes in, is that I took this photo on Thursday. Asrik isn't just my ex-husband, he's also one of my closest friends. When I told him about I am booked to give the keynote address for the Transcending Boundaries Conference, he decided to fly to Maine from his home in Seattle so he could be there.

My mom says that we have "the strangest divorce [she's] ever heard of," which makes me kind of sad.

Getting to a place of friendship was hardly instant of course. There was a good year in which we barely spoke - by our own choice. From there there's been a multi-year process of figuring out how we can and can't be close. We've had to feel out the boundaries of what friendship looks like in the wake of a long relationship and rough break-up, but it has been a process that we've all felt worth pursuing.

I think that in the queer/LGBT community, as well as in the poly and kink communities, we treat breakups and divorces a bit differently than among the cis/heterosexual/vanilla/monogamous world. Maybe that is because we enter our relationships from a different perspective; or perhaps it's just because there are few enough of us that we can't afford to create discord in communities we all have to travel in.

Obviously, not every break-up or divorce in our communities follows this pattern. What works for Asrik, Owen, and I is only what works for us, and everyone has their own journeys.

But I for one am glad this has been the direction we've chosen.

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