The peanut gallery takes the spotlight
I don't even know where to begin. After years of marital discord, isolation and silence, and half-assed conversations about fuller lives in regards to polyamory and other issues, a short time ago my husband and I had a ground-breaking conversation finally, at a point that I felt there was nothing left to lose or try.
It's funny(tragic) because we have always been so close, talking honestly about so many other things as they have come to the surface in our lives, but we could never figure out why it was so hard to approach the fact that we had a very veiled and undeveloped sexual life- when it is good, it's good, but there have been huge intimacy issues and times of sexual frustration and starvation that have led to very painful days. We had tried talking exhaustively about what was happening in our relationship(obviously we were both leaving a lot out that we were afraid to say) then couples counseling, and finally living apart over last winter.
We have never doubted our love for each other but never understood what was threatening it until very recently. Denial is an amazingly powerful force.
So when he asked me what I want for the millionth time, finally, thank the gods, I told him. I was finally unwilling to hide who I was and what I was thinking- I finally faced one of my biggest fears.
I had met someone, as I do every now and again, that I wanted to be free to see again, and this time I didn't want to lie about it or just swallow it as I have always done in the past- dealing with it by writing in my journal which is very much like talking to yourself, and masturbating while I imagined touchingly romantic situations with the person who intrigued me. My husband was frequently a part of these fantasies, and I would come just thinking about lying in someone's arms, feeling their physical presence and sharing thoughts and smiles.
I mustered all of my bravery, rejected the scolding voices in my head screaming that he couldn't possibly understand, that no one could, that I was wrong for having these feelings and desires, that I should just keep my mouth shut and leave him so he could find someone "better", so I couldn't hurt him anymore with my unrealistic fantasies and hiding, and I told him about what I was feeling and what had triggered my confrontation of it.
It was a short conversation because as soon as I said it, he was on board, totally in agreement that we should explore it, and I had to stop the words because it was such a catharsis- I couldn't stop smiling because I felt freer than I ever have in my life. And to think I was in control of that all along.
I posted an introduction about a week ago on here, as did my husband (damncatfish), and have since learned so much about myself that I feel like I have gone into spiritual/emotional/sexual overdrive, releasing so much hurt from the past, finding so many connections between ideas and feelings and all of it.
I am overwhelmed in such a beautiful way- as I look around my life, I realize that what I am finally doing is being honest about and loving myself. This opens up my heart and mind to so many possibilities, so much forgiveness and acceptance of myself and others. I still can't stop smiling, and I think I speak for both of us when I say that our sexual selves, which were made to suffer for so long by our fear and self-doubt, have been freed, and we have reconnected just as strongly with our bodies as we have with our minds and spirits. We are tuned on all day thinking about each other now and we are enjoying our time together in a way we haven't enjoyed since we first met, when anything was possible.
There is so much more to this story. So many connections I am making between my own self image and my relationships with so many people and situations. Isn't it wonderful to find something, some passion, some journey, that you know you could never stop discovering deeper knowledge of if you devoted every waking moment for the rest of your life to exploring it? I have also just started to commit to exploring other things in my life- my writing, my artwork, my education, all kinds of rich experiences that make me more fully who I am- it is not surprising when I start to connect it all that opening myself up to other forms of self-expression and self-love has led me to this amazing discovery in my relationship with my husband.
The only thing I can think to be sad about right now is that we had to go through five years with each other and a lifetime before that without this kind of clarity, and that it was so painful. I am certainly not saying life is free of pain and sadness now, or that I think this endeavor will be easy-not at all. But it is a challenge I am starting to feel strong enough for now, and I guess we needed all of that time, and pain, and experience to get to this glorious time in our lives, and understand how to (and how not to) approach it.
I am just starting to understand how well I have chosen, and how lucky I am to be loved by this beautiful man I married four years ago.
I will share an experience that was our first toe in the pool- our first experience with interacting with others, now that we have opened ourselves to one another in this way- this way that I believe is the key to the next evolution and deepening of our love for ourselves, each other, and all of those around us.
After a week of heavy discussions, awesome sex and one or two arguments, we decided to play a little game to test each other's comfort level in a safe way- when we went out we told each other who in the bar appealed to us and why. So every now and then, one of us would whisper something in the other one's ear about who we saw that was attractive- we were pretty much in agreement- dark-haired exotic-looking ladies- which we laughed over because I could be described as such. It was a good experience and we both ended up talking to one girl we had been spying, didn't hit on her,just chatted, but it was fun to both be interacting with her without hiding our physical attraction to her from each other.
The next night we went out again, and our new-found openness manifested itself in another way. There were lots of old friends there as well as friends of friends that we met, and the next day we talked about the marked absence of policing each other, keeping distance from other people so as not to upset the other. We both felt much less social anxiety than usual, and were able to enjoy our old friends more, and show our love for them as well as be ourselves with people we were introduced to. We danced and laughed and hugged and kissed and I even got a massage from two of my girlfriends at once- I think our happiness was palatable and just invited meaningful, free interaction from others who are used to the fact that my husband and I are usually much more guarded, especially when together, and that there has always been this cloud of desperation hanging over us that makes us unapproachable at times. It was a beautiful night- one of the best I've had in a long time, and I look forward to all of the growth and blessings that our new-found freedom will bring us if we can continue to reject fear as the decision maker in our lives.
Thanks for listening and thanks for being out there to validate, reassure, educate, and share with us- this forum has been a wealth of perspective, insight and strength for both of us. In your generosity and spirit of self-love and honesty, you have made a difference in our lives, and I'm sure the lives of many. You have helped to change the world.
Many of the posts we have read have made it so much easier and comfortable to talk about our own thoughts and feelings. I am very grateful!
"Rocks will open and make a way for the lover."
~Hazrat Inayat Khan
I love Catfish and Charlie.