I have a bad tendency to clam up when I am angry or hurt or scared, keep those feelings held in my chest like a ball of stinging hornets until they become like heavy vibrating cement and I swallow them. They weigh me down and keep me from moving forward, and every once in awhile, a piece breaks off and rises back up like rigid bile, refusing to be ingnored. Resentment.
I used to go along with things because I thought I I had to to make people happy. And making them happy seemed so much easier than telling the truth…that I might not want or need the same thing.
In a short-term relationship or one-time interaction, this might not be so horrible. At least it would only impact me, because the other person would never know. But this habit became destructive in my marriage.
Years ago, when Mr. D and I embarked, at His behest on our journey into swinging, it freaked me out at first, and I was pretty open about my feelings. I cried, believing that He was just looking for a clever way to replace me and feeling as if I wasn’t good enough or even “enough” at all. Of course, over the years of being with Him, all our conversations about it and all the things I’ve learned from reading other people’s blogs, I realize one person is often not “enough” to fulfill every single need someone might have.
My Husband and I are different in our philosophies there. We come from different backgrounds and have different expectations of a relationship in some ways. For Him, love is big enough to incorporate more than one person, and it is obvious that one individual could not possibly be another person’s “everything.” For me, one person is enough, not because He perfectly fulfills all my needs, but because I accept Him as the one I chose and have made the choice that the needs He does not fulfill are not as important as the ones He does.
But, when I first became aware of this deep difference in our philosophies, I panicked. I felt jealousy and fear fill my every cell. Sometimes I shared those feelings, but often, I held them in, trying to be the kind of wife that would be open to Him exploring sexuality with others, having a relationship with someone else. I tried to be that “cool.” I tried to act like none of it bothered me…that I blessed His forays into the unknown and would willingly and happily await His return, eager to hear the details of His journey. But He wanted me by His side. So I learned to go along.
On the outside, I smiled, but on the inside, I was seething. I felt “less than,” like I didn’t measure up. And I was afraid that He would find something better than me, less difficult, more adventurous, more open to experimentation. I was afraid He would find all the things I wasn’t…which was exactly the point, right?
I’m not going to say that I’ve suddenly seen the light. But, what I have done is accepted my Husband for who He is…and myself for who I am.
And as we re-enter our D/s roles fully and begin exploring our sexual possibilities, on more solid ground, our relationship stronger for all the shit we have mired our way through, I will never again hold my feelings in.
It isn’t worth it. All the angry fights…the counseling that didn’t work…standing on the cliff looking down at the mess of divorce waiting below.
I will speak up as soon as a feeling presents itself, even if I don’t understand it.
This makes me uncomfortable.
I feel jealous.
I don’ want this.
Sometimes, it’s a knee-jerk reaction, but I’d rather be upfront, talk our way through it and realize that my intial feelings were born of nothing and that I no longer feel that way now that we’ve communicated or addressed them in some way.
Other times, those feelings my be true and valid and nothing is going to change them besides putting an end to whatever is happening.
But, bring them up right away is more likely to lead to a quicker resolution than hiding them and hoping they go away or that I learn to “deal with them.” Because sometimes, I do that, believing I’m being unreasonable or unfair and that if I just sit on those feelings for awhile, I’ll figure out a way to be more accepting and open. I throw whole cans of self-judgement at myself for not being more like others (in whatever way relates to the particular situation). Why can’t I be more adventurous…more trusting…more social…more open sexually…more…more…more. Because these are all the things He seems to want to much. And because I am not these things, I often feel like a disappointment…and that this is the reason He is interested in finding others to play with and be with.
It’s not. That’s not what polyamory is. I know that…theoretically. But, I’m not talking logic here. I’m talking subconcious emotion, and that beast doesn’t have to make a damn bit of rational sense. It’s one thing to understand something conceptually, and a fully other to feel it in your bones as right or true.
But, here’s the most important thing. I love Him. And I love myself. And I love “us.” We are different people with different needs and different ways of being in the world. But, we are also very much a part of one another. And as we move forward, slowly, honestly, openly, I can say with clarity…
I will never again keep my concerns to myself.
There are bad reasons to change – to simply make another happy, to avoid discomfort, to avoid speaking truth. And there are good reasons to change – to create a relationship that grows and becomes everything that it has the potential to be…for both people.
That takes communication. Lots and lots and lots of communication. It also takes lots of reflection, because it isn’t unheard of for me to realize that something I thought I hated has now become something I like…or even crave.
I have to come to things in my own time, but quite honestly, there many things I would never have “come to” if someone else hadn’t pushed me to it in some way. Sometimes we need encouragement. I would likely stay holed up in my living room for the rest of my life happily and safely reading books and writing filth. If it wasn’t for my Husband, I would never have a real experience to back up those dirty stories. So, I realize I am the type of person who needs more than a gentle suggestion. Sometimes, I need a shove.
I know this, and I’m okay with having someone “force” me out of my cocoon from time to time. It’s just that now, I’m ready to be a bit more vocal about how I feel about it after.
I’ve always been an internal processer. And I take an inordinate amount of time to sort through complicated emotions, mulling, journaling, blogging, etc. until sometimes I muddle things up even more than they were to begin with.
Shifting to being a somewhat more verbal processer, upfront and when the stimulus is presented, will be different for me, but I think it is necessary to mee the demands of my Husband’s processing style (which is much quicker and much more upfront).
Asking for what I want and need is another thing I’ve got to learn to do better (no one around me can read my mind, thankfully). And this weakness is related to my unwillingness to share my negative emotions. It’s all an irrational fear of rocking the boat, disappointing others, or being rejected.
I’m worthy of the things I want and need. Therefore, those wants and needs are worth asking for. My Husband is also worthy of the things he wants and needs. He’s just better at asking for them. He’s also better stepping forward and explaining how He feels when He doesn’t get them.
So, I’m going to take a few pointers from Him and do the same, no matter how hard it is for me. Because I’m worth it. And He deserves it.