How Sleeping With Other People Makes Me Love Being Married
“My husband … is not a very romantic person — more of the sardonic, raised-eyebrow type, which is why he is my best friend and I'm glad I married him. I'm not terribly sentimental either, and we are perfectly matched in that we are more likely to play practical jokes on each other than stare into the other's eyes. But since deciding to pursue relationships outside our marriage, I'm also craving a little drama — something foreign, sexy, passionate, and intense. I could certainly get used to the idea of having a lover. A bearded lover. A handsome one with tattooed forearms and soft brown eyes. That is, if I can bring myself to say the word with a certain amount of finesse.”
“My marriage has been officially open for over two years, but only recently have we decided to act on it.
“It was nerve-wracking. I was telling him, essentially, that I was worried he would never be enough for me. I told him on faith that we would be able to figure it out together, unsure if a solution was possible or if this meant we would, eventually, break up.”
“Our framework is seemingly ever changing. We have learned not to take our first reactions too seriously.”
“And then there is the fact I have become rather attached to my guy, which was initially considered the uncrossable boundary and continues to be a difficult road to navigate. My husband wishes things hadn't progressed so quickly, and he isn't wrong. But he does not ask me to end it, even though he could, probably because that would be the path of least resistance. Instead he is hanging tight, choosing to be honest about his insecurities, to ask me for my attention when he feels like he needs me. We are not looking back at what I should have done differently; we are looking ahead, figuring out how to live with this new person in my life.”
“Every day, I trust more that doubt, jealousy, and resentment are not going to kill me or my relationship, and what little we feel of them is worth the incredible joy that comes from pushing my relationship outside of its comfort zone. What I know now is that feelings will always shift — that's a fact. And they most often will pass if I share about them. So instead of doing what I thought strong women did and swallowing my insecurities, I talk about them in blunt terms with my husband. What if you stop wanting me, and what if we start to hate each other, and what if you fall out of love with me but are too afraid to tell me, and what if . . . My husband listens, nods, understands me a bit better, kisses me, tells me he loves me, and the fears start to fade away.”
In order to build a connection with anyone, you need to have the following
If you don’t know who you are and what you want/need and do not want/need, then it will be difficult to build tangible, meaningful connections with individuals
People in any type of relationship need to feel cared for, especially when it comes to emotional issues.
A lack of empathy often points to a lack of an integrated sense of self
Self-Awareness (owning your shit)
If you are angry, why are you angry?
This can be difficult for some people who grew up in abusive households, or were too busy taking care of others at the cost of their own well being.
Be in touch with your own feelings and emotions, this way you can avoid self-destructive behaviors and allow yourself to be more intimate
If you are looking for long term intimacy, you should consider avoiding hookups
If a relationship advertises itself as “no-strings attached, just add water Instant love” and you are looking for a one-life stand, you should stay away
You can engage, however understand that while this is something you can enjoy, you should set those expectations/have a conversation with the other individual(s) involved.
Don’t rush intimacy
While NRE can give a sensation that everything is fine, take time to allow yourself to get to know the other person
Don’t overload your mate(s)
Try to put your best foot forward. It can be overwhelming to a new partner if you unload all of your dirty laundry at once-- while many people have negative life occurrences and you shouldn’t be ashamed of your own, try to find an appropriate time and place to have that discussion (definitely not on the first date)
First, build self-compassion
If you feel lots of shame and guilt, odds are you are self-punishing and haven’t forgiven yourself for something
Once others have forgiven you, remember that it is okay to forgive yourself
CBT teaches us that ruminating on negative self-thoughts and turning to memories of the past in order to relive past negative emotions is in fact self-destructive
Realize that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved or to be in a relationship
It’s okay to be a work in progress
It’s okay to make mistakes
When possible, make it right
Try to learn from it
Then forgive yourself and move on!
Do not dwell/ruminate
It’s okay to change your mind
It’s okay to feel however you feel
Accept your emotions
once you accept them, you can put them into words, analyze them, address them logically, and move past them
You won’t always be able to meet all of your partner(s) needs, and that’s okay too
You can do your best, but no one can perfectly meet their partners’ needs all the time
Sometimes you will need to disappoint your partners, and that doesn’t make you a bad person
You are allowed to prioritize yourself
You are allowed to prioritize friends / family
You are allowed to prioritize work/ school
Refer back to Ep. 26 and the guide to not giving a fuck!
Getting out of an abusive situation is not the same as healing from it
Practice compassionate self-care
Learn to recognize when you are hurt
Develop a motivation to heal or improve
Do not devalue your anger, but use self-compassion to guide you down a path of healing versus a path of vengeance and retaliation
It is okay to not love past abusers
It is near impossible to gain respect, compassion, value, and intimacy from a loved one who is hurting you (or who has hurt you)
While they might make amends and reform down the line, you are within your right to not feel love towards them
Don’t be afraid of love, even if people have used it to hurt you in the past
To love one another is to collectively open your hearts and together decide on the best path forward. When people use love to hurt you, they were not truly loving you.
Don’t feel like you don’t deserve kindness or affection from a new partner
You don’t have to earn love, or act a certain way to deserve it
Don’t feel like you have to protect your mate from your past
Let your mate into your life and don’t be afraid to talk about past experiences
Metriko: I tend to wait until it seems to be a natural point in any relationship (romantic or otherwise). By letting people in and having that vulnerability, I am able to explain quirks that I have, and it allows for us to grow closer. It’s not something I really get into until I know that the person I am sharing this information with has my best interests in mind
Viro: I agree with Metriko for the most part; I often wait until there is a reason to refer to something from my past, then explain the situation so that I can use it to explain my current feelings. I think turning to the past mostly for its explanatory power is a good way to approach things in a new romantic relationship.
Don’t be afraid to ask for space from time to time
Intimacy can be scary, especially if you have trust issues. Be open about your inner thoughts, and allow yourself space and time to move past the immediate negative thoughts so you can re-enter the more positive reality.
Don’t give up
No one is ‘too broken’ to love, or be loved
Subject: How can a young, shy furry find a relationship or just some friends?
Question / Message / Feedback: I am a young furry, I'll be turning 17 this May, and I've been very lonely lately and want to try to find some new friends or start a relationship. I already have a very small group of friends but being a furry I don't have anyone to talk to about those type of things or to share what I love with since I feel like they don't really understand those things or feel how I do about them. But I have some concerns and questions regarding starting a relationship. I am a very shy and introverted person and I don't do well with people, and I just don't know how to start meeting people, how can I start? How do I know when I am ready for a relationship? And how are online friendships and relationships different from face to face relationships? What If I can't always be there for them with my busy schedule?
Next week’s topic: Calming your emotions
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