Saturday, 6 December 2008

Monogamy, Part II

Hey, thanks for all those thoughtful comments on my last post. I'm not sure posting it was as courageous as you give me credit for--it's nothing that FG and I haven't already talked about, at length, in one form or another, for one thing. But I'm not sure my balls have ever gotten that much praise all at once, so thank you on their behalf, too.

One point I want to clarify is that I absolutely don't think monogamy is correlated with boredom. We've had boring times and toe-curling, hair-standing-on-end, scream-so-the-neighbors-across-the-street-can-hear exciting times and everything in between, through a decade and a half of monogamy. And my current thinking is not fuelled by a sense of boredom. I don't write about sex too much here but... boredom, not an issue in these parts at the moment. (FG's cough & ear infection? The two wisdom teeth I had extracted on Wednesday? Those are the obstacles to fun & games here.)

LL Cool Joe and others pointed out that there are other ways of defining faithfulness and intimacy as well, and maybe that's really the larger point I'm trying to get to: connection and intimacy (not necessarily sexual) with people outside of our singular relationship, which will hopefully strengthen us, singly & together, rather than tearing us apart.

This is a huge deal to me, perhaps more than to a lot of people. (Including, I suspect, the ever-patient FG herself.) To say that my childhood was characterized by solitude would be a serious understatement. I went to school, I had friends, but I spent unusually large swaths of time strictly alone and at home. And I also spent a lot of time being my mom's main companion. So this business of connecting to other people, and especially of finding for myself, in a variety of friendships, the emotional sustenance and support I need... well, it is a big freaking deal, and I'm all over the map about it.

I'm feeling a little radical, too, perhaps in a long-overdue reaction to my convent-like upbringing, and not wanting to place any limitations on us from the start--friendship is ok but crushes are not, flirting is ok but touching is not, this part of you is yours to share but that other part is mine alone. I'm feeling tired of relationships as possession, and perhaps it's not really about monogamy at all, but about shaking off some very, very old chains.


dolphyngyrl said...

"I spent unusually large swaths of time strictly alone and at home. And I also spent a lot of time being my mom's main companion."

OMG, that is so familiar to me. Like it was taken verbatem out of my childhood.

And I remember, quite distinctly, that the fantasies I had, as a kid, of being in the "perfect" relationship as a grown up, of having the "perfect" life always, always involved snuggling up three to a bed.

I absolutely get where you're coming from, it's something that I have been going through, as far as getting the interraction, support, and contact (physical or otherwise) from someone who is not my wife. There has been a certain amount of negotiation on that point, and I'm positive there will be more to come.

Primarily, I think what's important in these situations is boundaries. Figuring out for yourself, and sitting down with her and figuring out as a couple, what those boundaries are. Not just "flirting ok, touching not", but even breaking it down further: these types of touching are ok, but these are strictly not.

And maybe I'm talking in circles. I don't know. Also, I'm totally not an expert on anything, so maybe don't even listen to me. :)

CAB said...

I don't honestly know if I entirely understand what you are trying to say, but I do understand the need for a larger circle of people to connect with. My partner and I each have our friends and interests and sometimes they overlap. We believe that having some of these non-sexual connetions actually makes us stronger as a couple. We come home and share our days and our interactions with other people. For us that prevents boredom, our combined worlds make us better. If that makes any sense at all.

femmeismygender said...

It's really good to hear your inner voice Leo xx fimg

LL Cool Joe said...

I've always believed the way to keep someone, is to give them the freedom to go.

I agree, a relationship should never be a possession. The book "The Road Less Travelled" talks all about this.

I think that when you are with someone for a long time we need that feeling of being desired by someone else. Especially if there have been some gender adjustments too. Sometimes we don't want buddies to be buddies we want them to fancy us, and flirt and make us feel good about ourselves, and for us to do the same to others too. Doesn't mean you will end up in bed together, it means you could. I wanna feel there's life in this old dog still, because I know my partner will accept me whatever I'm like. I actually like it when someone flirts with my partner because it means they are still attractive to others, but at the end of the day they still chose to be with me.

Nothing worse than trying to "own" someone because eventually it makes them feel like a prisoner.

Anonymous said...

Flirting is really good I've come to realize. I never flirted when I was married - I used to think that I was just a "good girl" about those things but now I realize that I wasn't interested in flirting with boys. ha!
It just feels so good to be seen as sexy and to really see myself that way.

You are shedding some skin and doing a fine job of it. :)

sarcozona said...

Thanks so much for writing these posts about monogamy. I've been thinking about the kind of relationship(s) I'd like to have a lot recently. I agree with dolphyngyrl - it is all about figuring out boundaries. That's a pretty scary process, in my opinion.

Once you realize you want such and such boundary you start thinking about why it's there. And in my experience that boundary always has to do with bad experiences I've had and don't want to think about or my own insecurities or pure selfishness. I'm still trying, though, because I think it'll ultimately help me have better and more honest relationships.

Like you said, "perhaps it's not really about monogamy at all, but about shaking off some very, very old chains."

agente said...

thanks for the comment you left me. i'd like to comment reguarding yr last few posts about making connections. i think its always a good idea because it give us the oppertunity to be stronger people, in our relationships and just for ourselves. and so whatever it takes to motivate us to get out and do that is a good thing as long as we are honest in all our dealings.