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Old 08-16-2010, 11:40 PM
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MindfulAgony MindfulAgony is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 192

When my wife and I first started talking about an open relationship, she sheepishly asked me "what if I wanted to go out with a guy I met?" I was actually shocked at the question. My shock was that she viewed all the conversation we had about this up to that point (many, many conversations over many months), as only about what I could do. Wow, talking about an eye opener on the importance of clear communication. I had gone into as a given that "what's good for the goose is good for the gander."

I think my problem with hearing your description is not about that sharing her is a problem for you, but in the way it is stated. It gives me the sense of blunt force versus partnership and negotiation. Those kind of hard edges can be very difficult to manage through, leave damage and engender quite a bit of resentment. Figuring out how to communicate your boundaries and discomfort in a way that is clear, open and encourages a full dialogue and self-expression is very important and hard when you're uncomfortable with an idea.

When I'm in that situation, I try hard to manage how I communicate my needs, that I allow for the idea of optionality in my partners willingness and ability to meet my needs, and convey the willingness to work towards a path that works for both of us. Coming in with hard edges to that discussion cuts more than it produces reasonable shared boundaries.

As stated before, instead of taking your unwillingess to share her at face value, ask yourself the question of whether you love her enough to get a deeper understanding of that unwillingess? Do you love her enough to explore the possibility? That doesn't mean you will. Just means you're willing to sign up for some hard emotional work and suspend judgment on what lays on the other side. You may be surprised by what underlies that discomfort. This self-insight may allow you to have more flexibility, draw the boundaries differently, or create new boundaries that better meet your needs while meeting hers.
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“Instead of getting better and better at avoiding, learn to accept the present moment as if you had invited it. And work with it instead of against it. And making it your ally rather than your enemy.”
-Pema Chodron

Last edited by MindfulAgony; 08-16-2010 at 11:45 PM.
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