I’ve Become Monogomish

monogamishHow did I get myself into this one…

My confessions: I’m a hardcore romance junkie, like heroin and crack. And I can’t seem to confront myself directly without going through a man to do it.

What is it in here that is so disturbing to me that I can’t face it?

Perhaps the squirming snake of my own immense hunger, endless and ready to swallow the nutrient it craves whole. The moral-less flavor of it, the disregard it has for human life, for values, for ideals, for feelings, for “where people are at,” for slowing down and for “holding space.”

It’s this coiling boa constrictor of appetite that is simply meant to eat. The hunting predator in the woods doesn’t think at all except to calculate distance, how to make sure the wind doesn’t carry her scent to her prey, and how to have it be that her final powerful leap lands her right on top of her target.

This is the one in me who craves the romance. I don’t know why romance is the thing. I don’t know if it is because my dad used to drink and he used to leak emotion all over me when he was in his cups deep, emotion that had this thick sweet cloying romantic quality to it. Well yeah that’s probably it. All I know for sure is that it’s still something that has dominion over me, for better or worse. And now I find myself winding my way through another romance.

The stage is set. We have been seeing each other for a few weeks and while it’s new, there is a deep spot of involuntary that got touched in us both.

So there’s me: unconventional relationship practices for the last decade, anything close to monogamous not among them. And there’s him: if you love someone and they love you, and you have sex, you are now monogamous. And if that changes or goes off-course it equates total psychic devastation.

Some might see this as an impasse, but my mind is in heavy play-mode these days, so… I came up with a game. Thirty days of research – I am monogomish (I still practice Orgasmic Meditation with others) and he has to sleep with other people.

This is a huge edge for both of us on each side. For him, having me and having other women totally cracks open his concepts of conventional relating. What woman would afford her man these luxuries? Does it mean I don’t want him enough? Does it mean he might become some kind of “lesser” man who just likes to fuck loads of women?

And for me, well… I’ve prided myself in being a free woman for a number of years now. Free in her thinking and in her sex, a rare breed we call “turned-on women” who won’t allow themselves to lock down into too much conventionality lest they lose their ability to move freely in the world and liberate others. This looks different for all of us but for me a huge component of it was non-monogomy.

My sex is my furnace, my generator, my power; to hand the satisfaction of it all over to one person feels terrifying. Does it mean I’m not free anymore? Does it mean I’m going to sleep inside of my addiction to romance? Does it mean I won’t be able to produce enough fuel for my fire and my power will dwindle?

It’s day three. All I know so far is that there is a vigilant hunter that usually sweeps through the area as I walk through London, as I chat with people in a room, as I surf the internet. And this hunter is suddenly quieting in the arena of searching for prey.

Some part of me is softening into allowing myself to be pet and taken care of. This was so not the stroke for me in the past but now here I am and it is.

I can feel my insides relax into it unexpectedly and sink into a deeper sense of femininity and reception.

ORIGINAL POSTING @ Orgasm Daily

15 Things You Should Give up to Make Your Marriage Work

15-Things-You-Should-Give-up-to-Make-Your-Marriage-Work4Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your married life a lot easier and a lot happier. We hold on to so many things that cause a great deal of stress and frustration in our relationships – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing our relationships to flourish and blossom – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today you will give up on all those things that no longer serve you, and you will embrace change. Starting today you will make your marriage work. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your unrealistic expectations

Give up all your unrealistic expectation about marriage being this beautiful box full of all the things you have always longed for and see marriage for what it truly is – an empty box where you and your partner MUST put all the things you want to take out. Accept that if you want to have love in your marriage, you have to put it there. If you want to have happiness, passion, intimacy, companionship, trust in your marriage, you have to put it there. Relationships take work, a lot of work and if you want to live a happy, beautiful and loving life next to your partner, you will both commit to making your marriage work. Always remember, relationships don’t work unless you do.

2. Give up control

People are made to be loved, not controlled. The more you try to control your partner, the more you will push him or her away from you and the less love there will be left between you two. Give up control and allow the ONE you love to just be. Allow the person you love to be who they are and not who you want them to be.  

3. Give up possessiveness

No matter how long you two have been together and no matter if you are married and have 10 children together or not, you do not posses your partner. He/her is not your propriety. You both are two separate entities and just as you are separate from him, so is she separate from you. Give up possessiveness and allow your partner to breathe. Give him/ her the space and freedom they truly deserve and watch how much more beautiful your relationship becomes.

4. Give up criticism

Give up the need to criticize every little thing your partner does or doesn’t do and instead start appreciating those many things that made you fall in love with this person in the first place. Seek to praise not to criticize. Keep in mind that you attract more bees with honey than you do with vinegar.

“Compliments and criticism are all ultimately based on some form of projection.” ~ Billy Corgan

5. Give up the need to fix your partner

Relationships aren’t about fixing one another, relationships are about loving, caring and supporting one another. You might think it’s your responsibility to “save” and “fix” your partner but trust me, that’s not really the case. Give up the need to fix your partner and work on growing, improving and evolving together instead.

“Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” ~ Albert Einstein

6. Give up your jealous behavior

”A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein

The root cause of jealousy is insecurity. Work on letting go of your insecurities and you will immediately understand the futility of a jealous behavior. You will immediately give jealousy up. 

7. Give up on your fears

Give up the fear of cheating on one another, the fear of falling out of love, the fear of having your present relationship become as toxic as the previous ones and so on. Get out of your fearful head and into your loving heart. Give up on all your fears and love with all your heart. 

“Perfect love casts out fear. If fear exists, then there is not perfect love.” ~ A Course In Miracles

8. Give up the chase for perfection

What screws us up the most is this idea we have in our heads about how relationships should be like and how our partners should behave. Instead of savoring, loving and praising one another, nurturing the relationships we have, we waste our precious time and energy seeking perfection, in ourselves, in our partner There’s no such thing as perfect relationships simply because there’s no such thing as perfect people. Your marriage is and always will be a reflection of who and your partner are – two perfectly imperfect people.

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” ~ Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years

9. Give up on blame

Believe it or not, it’s not the other person’s job to make you feel all the things that you yourself can’t feel on your own. It’s not the other person’s job to make you feel loved, happy and whole when you yourself feel unworthy, unhappy and incomplete. That’s not their job, that’s your job. Give up the need to blame your partner for everything that goes wrong in your world, for why you aren’t feeling as loved and as happy as you would like to feel and start taking ownership for your own thoughts and feelings.

“Tell everyone you know: “My happiness depends on me, so you’re off the hook.” And then demonstrate it. Be happy, no matter what they’re doing. Practice feeling good, no matter what. And before you know it, you will not give anyone else responsibility for the way you feel-and then, you’ll love them all. Because the only reason you don’t love them, is because you’re using them as your excuse to not feel good.” ~ Esther Hicks

10. Give up the need to always be right

Remember when you and your partner first started dating? Remember how beautiful and how lovingly you spoke to one another? Back then you didn’t care whether you were right all the time or not. All that you cared about was to make the other person feel loved, appreciated and happy. So why change now? Give up the need to always be right and choose to be kind, loving and supportive instead. 

“Common courtesy plays a big role in happy marriages. People who are permanently married are polite to one another. They don’t want to hurt one another’s feelings, and they don’t try to make the other one feel humiliated. People who are married for life are extremely kind to one another.” ~ Frank Pittman

11. Give up living your life according to the other person’s expectations

It’s true that relationships require compromise but when you compromise too often, living your life according to the other person’s expectations, you risk losing yourself and that’s how you start feeling bitter, depleted, frustrated and very unhappy. Don’t lose the “I” in playing the “We” game. Compromise when needed but not so much that you lose your sense of self. Balance is key.

“The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.” ~ Mignon McLauglin

12. Give up your clingy behavior

There’s nothing less attractive than a person who clings onto his/her partner expecting the other person to provide all their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Take the “pressure” off of your partner’s shoulders and put it on your shoulders instead. Seek to become the provider of your own their emotional, physical, and spiritual needs. Be the source of your own happiness.

“You have so little faith in yourself because you are unwilling to accept the fact that perfect love is in you, and so you seek without for what you cannot find within.” ~ A Course In Miracles

13. Give up asking for more than you give

“Some of the biggest challenges in relationships come from the fact that most people enter a relationship in order to get something. They’re trying to find someone who’s going to make them feel good. In reality, the only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take.” ~ Anthony Robbins

If you enter a relationship expecting to get a lot more than you give, chances are that you will have many marriage regretsThe only way a relationship will last is if you see your relationship as a place that you go to give, and not a place that you go to take. Give more, ask less.

14. Give up your emotional baggage

Make peace with your past. Make peace with your “stuff”. Don’t carry the heavy weights of your past with you into the present. If you want to build a happy, loving and healthy relationship, you have to start fresh, you have to leave your emotional baggage behind.

“The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.” ~ Lao Tzu

15. Give up attachment

There is a huge difference between love and attachment and what most people call “love” is nothing more than attachment. Attachment comes from a place of fear, while love is pure, kind, and selfless. Love is ready to detach and let go if the relationship between two people becomes toxic and detrimental to the healthy growth and evolution of both parties. Attachment on the other hand loves to hold onto toxicity, feeding itself with the pain and suffering of people.

Deepak Chopra says it best with these words: “Love allows your beloved the freedom to be unlike you. Attachment asks for conformity to your needs and desires. Love imposes no demands. Attachment expresses an overwhelming demand – “Make me feel whole.” Love expands beyond the limits of two people. Attachment tries to exclude everything but two people.”

And these are the 15 things you should give up to make not only marriage work but also any romantic relationship.

P.S. It’s very important to understand that some people, no matter how much they love one another and no matter how much they want to make their marriage work, might not be able to do so simply because they both learned the lessons they had to learn and now life calls them in different directions. To paraphrase Elizabeth Gilbert, soul mates, they might come into your life to reveal another layer of yourself to you, to help you see a part of you that you did not know was there, but when the work is done, they will leave, making room for something new, for something better to come your way.

This is why it’s so important to listen to your heart and intuition and make sure that you don’t stay in a relationship that makes you feel dead on the inside simply because that’s what society and everyone around you expects you to do. Your peace of mind, health, happiness and wellbeing are more important than anything else. So stay happy!

“The real act of marriage takes place in the heart, not in the ballroom or church or synagogue. It’s a choice you make – not just on your wedding day, but over and over again – and that choice is reflected in the way you treat your husband or wife.” ~ Barbara De Angelis

If it’s true that marriages are meant to last for life, why is it that so many people divorce? What do you think is the key ingredient to make a marriage work? I really want to know what are your thoughts on this. You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below :)

With all my love,

ORIGINAL POSTING at Purpose Fairy

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sex Coaching (Includes Tantra Educators)

IMG_3128 editThe mysterious land of sex  and relationship coaching does not have to elude you anymore, matter a fact you may be surprised at just how beneficial this service can be in your own love life.

As a practitioner of Tantra, a real life sex educator (basically this means I pull NO punches on the facts and am a realist) and the mother of six children, I have experienced my fair share of interesting events in the sex and relationship world and that is not even taking into account the time frame I spent dating 10 gentlemen all in unison or the 17 year marriage that I had the pleasure of learning from. All providing me with an authentic, loving eye to the BIG world of sex and relationship and how taboo it is for us as a society to speak of these intimate and empowering or dis-empowering moments in our lives. I have come to see how hard it can be for many single’ and couple’s to open up to a therapist or teacher and even how much more courage it takes to become vulnerable with their lover(s) and self. Below are 10 things that you may have not known about sex therapy/coaching/educating that will help you to evaluate the practice as the healing modality that it is, hopefully releasing some of the preconceived notions and taboo’s of it as well.

So what do sex coaches do (or don’t do), what issues can they help solve, what happens inside their office or sacred space (even a coffee shop)?

1. Your Sexual Confidence Overflow’s Into Your Daily Life – Sex Coaching Can Help Empower You in Both

I hear a lot of the time from people that they don’t need sex coaching because they have a good sex life, no hangups or trauma but what they do need is a life coach or a coach that will help them with an issue that has nothing to do with the bedroom. One of the biggest issues that we have in society today is our need to compartmentalize everything, not embracing the fact that everything is interconnected.

“What people don’t expect from sex therapy is how strong, confident and assertive they become in every area of their lives,” says Marne Wine, a licensed professional counselor and AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists) certified sex therapist in Westminster, Colorado. “Sex therapy is just life playing itself out in the bedroom. Are you willing to be OK with yourself because you don’t know everything or have all the answers? Are you willing to put yourself out there and risk ridicule and failure? Once you learn to do that in the bedroom—naked—you can do it anywhere.”

When you are feeling connected and are able to receive as well as give properly, in love and sexually, you feel like you can do anything. Our fulfillment in our intimate relationships, both emotionally and sexually transfer out into all other areas of our lives. Our intimate relationship are a reflection and a stage on which we can choreograph our full life expression: weather that is showing up in our love life, our work life, with our purpose, our children, friends or in our health. When things are not aligned and harmonious in your sexual relationship(s), it drags all the other parts of your life down with it.

2. Being Naked With Your Sex Coach Does Not Involve Nudity

Through the years what I have found to be one of the biggest hurdle’s for people to get over is their own predetermined thoughts of what they “think” sex therapy or coaching even Tantric work is. Most of the time, clients are either one of two things: fearful that the therapy/coaching might involve physically intimate situations or hopeful that they will. To set the standard straight, traditional sex therapy/coaching (talk therapy) is just that, talk therapy and DOES NOT entail any sort of physical nudity. When coaches refer to being naked in this sense they are speaking of the emotional/physiological vulnerability of be naked, letting down your guards and fulling being authentic with your coach.

When you move into the world of Tantric practices and teaching you do open up the gateways of more vulnerability and nudity. Often Tantric work is a pseudo label for bodywork that deals with the genitals. This sort of ancient practice is along the same belief systems as acupressure, acupuncture, reiki, and massage. For centuries it has been known that the human body stores stress, trauma, and even memories in the cellular tissue of our muscles yet in modern times we are told that it is wrong to treat the genital areas of men and women as though we would treat their backs, necks, legs or feet. Tantra teaches that we must heal the entire body and not ignore or separate one aspect of ourselves from another but instead embrace and heal all parts in order to unite them and restore harmony to the whole-being. This being said, each Tantric Coach is an individual and practices are as unique as the teachers themselves. It is best before stepping foot down the Tantric path to fully explore what the style of the teacher is that you are pursuing and make certain that you are comfortable and in alignment with how they practice.

There are other types of people who work in the sex therapy world as well, such as sex surrogates, but there are very few legal certified surrogates in the United States at this point.

3. Authenticity and Healing the Sexual Self is Taboo, but NOT in Your Coaches Presence

I have worked with individuals and couple’s alike who  face their shadow’s on a daily routine in my care. Everything from repressed memories,  sexual hangups and fantasies or  issues of abuse that frightens them to talk about, there is truly no subject too taboo for a sex therapist/coach. We have heard it all and many of us have been through our own shadow lands and know how hard and painful these things can be to vocalize. The truth in the therapy is that when you become vulnerable enough and find the courage to lay it all out on the table to your coach or therapist; you have finally stepped into releasing the shame, trauma and suffering in the victim-hood and have made way for empowerment and healing.

Often I hear from my coaching clients, “I feel so comfortable with you. I don’t normally share like this and especially about these sort of things.” This safe container that is made between the client and the coach is there because we sex coaches and therapists have experienced ourselves and with our clients so much that we have learned the valuable lesson of holding space free from judgement and criticism. It is in everyone’s best interest that the container be safe and full of unconditional love.

4. Finding the Right Sex Coach/Therapist or Tantra Teacher Is The Foundation Of Your Healing

Are you considering a sex therapist because they have a license? Are you wanting a sex coach because they have a certification from some institution or center somewhere? Are you wanting a Tantra teacher that claims to be trained by such and such leading tantra school?

Certifications, licenses, and other formal schooling are all powerful resources and I believe that they do help in the client healing process. But they are not the foundation of what makes a good healer, coach, therapist or educator. A truly good coach will be one who has the moral standards that align with what their clients needs and desires are. They are individuals who know that they do not hold all the answers but know how to hold the space needed for their clients to discover the right answers for themselves. They speak not just from the formal education and intellectual understanding that they have gained through their certifications but also from their life experiences and personal healing journey.

To ensure that you are with the right coach/teacher/therapist for you:

  • Explore your coaches background.
  • Get testimonies and references.
  • Meet your coach/therapist for a consult in person prior to any therapy work.
  • If your practitioner does any group events/talks/seminars, attend at least one prior to working one on one with them so that you can get a feel for how they relate to people and what people think of them.
  • Get your questions and concerns answered and BE direct in what you are wanting or not wanting in your experience.
  • And if, after the first appointment, you don’t feel comfortable with the coach/therapist, find another one—or ask for a referral. A good coach will keep your best interests at heart—not there ego.

5. Sex and Relationship Coaching is Not Just For Crappy Lovers or Traumatized Individuals

But we already have a GREAT sex life and deep intimacy, so what can you do for us?

“Most people believe that something has to be broken, or that they do, in order to seek sex therapy. What I do is more about sexual and emotional enhancement, making things better, than it is about Slot A and Prong B. The most frequent therapeutic outcome of any sex therapy is the relief that comes with being able to talk about sexual feelings, thoughts and fantasies, just putting them out there to be examined.” according to  Isadora Alman, a marriage and family therapist, and a board-certified sexologist in San Francisco and I would have to agree with her 100%. Many of the couple’s that I have worked with have come to me to have support and learn new skills in their sex and emotional relating with their partner, others have come in hopes of healing an issue or misunderstanding even a desire for saving their relationship, but I would say about 40% of my couple’s clients are coming to me for enhancement not fixing. These couple’s want to go deeper in their already dynamic relationships. They want to feel more, love more and they want to explore their partners hearts, souls and bodies with more passion, understanding and empathy.

6. Your Marriage May Not Be Lost After All

Sex is the backbone to the marriage or intimate relationship(s). When we loose respect, connection, empathy and desire for our partners during our sexing it takes a major toll on our whole relationship. When a couple is having troubles with their sex life, a traditional marriage counselor might say, ‘You need to make time for you two to connect’ when it’s way more than just connecting for sex. If desire is no longer on the table and trust has been broken in the relationship or one party has experienced something traumatic or the couple is just feeling blah toward each other any false forced attempt to revive the sex or relationship will just fall prey to the wolves of the issues that are there already or possible even cause further damage.

This sort of advice often leaves couple’s wanting more or feeling misunderstood and lost. A sex coach or therapist can exceed the normal harnesses of coaching and therapy that a traditional coach has to abide by providing the clients with an ‘outside of the box’ approach to possibly heal their relationship issues and their marriage.

Instead of waiting till you have tried all other paths of healing and therapy to save your relationship look at sex coaching or therapy work among your first and get the advice you really desire.

7. Sexual Positions to Physical Dysfunctions and More Can Be Solved

In my many years of practice I have worked with many issues from men with broken penises (literally broken from rough sex) who no longer knew how to properly penetrate their lover to women who with no ability to orgasm and couple’s who wanted to swing but keep one party monogamous at the same time.  These issues as well as to low or high libido, sexual difficulties and dysfunctions, sexual issues from cancer treatment and surgical procedures, ED, premature ejaculation, inability to orgasm (men and women alike), intimacy issues, dating issues, rape and abuse victims, virgins, couple’s who have not had sex for months or even years, kink fetishes and other adventurers as well as so many more.  And then there are the one’s who just want to learn a new skill or position. 🙂 Yes, what can sex coaching help you with? I don’t know, but if your alive it most likely can assist you in living a better one.

8. Communication Equals Intimacy and Better Life Skills

Sex coaching is NOT all about sex acts and functions. Many of the people who come into sex coaching walk away with an improved ability to communicate and learn how to respect themselves and others through authentic communication skills taught in a session. So if you are fearful of confrontation or want to dive right into the fires, sex coaching can help you learn loving communication that can share your desires, needs and boundaries as well as skills of how to empathetically listen to everyone in your life not just the one you sleep with.

Ask yourself this: Was my last verbal exchange something like this, “Bring me the remote” or “Grab those bags of groceries for me, hun.” Remember that the keys to a gourmet relationship and sexing start with gourmet communication.

9. Back To School You Go

Most people believe that they know all they need to know about their bodies parts and their lovers bodies parts but in reality most people have not a clue what is between their legs or how to treat it, let alone their lovers. Science is in the beginning stages of unearthing the mystery of the clitoris and the research on that one small piece of a woman’s body is just a little over 15 years of study so far.

I do art therapy classes, both group and individual with many of my clients to help them reconnect to their sexual selves. In these classes we explore sensations and draw or paint how we may need to express them during a class. In other instances I work with clients and have them take a mirror into a bathroom or private spot and look at themselves. One of my softer approaches is to use stand alone models of these parts of the body and teach what each area is as I discuss deeper issues with a client.

In my practice as a sex coach I offer what I call Show N’ Tell Sex Ed Classes to people where they get hard core education blended with live model demonstrations. The value of knowing your body and being comfortable in it is one of the most important steps to regaining confidence and releasing trauma as well as stepping back into an intimate relationship.

10. Brings Back The Honeymoon Phase

There is nothing like a first kiss or first glance and especially nothing like the first time you have sex with a new lover that is floating your boat, but over time the NRE (New Relationship Energy) fades and we take our partners and relationship, including the sex for granted. We stop courting each other and slowly the desire leaves or is masked bythe day to day grind of life. Well, sex coaching can help with all of that! Sex coaching can help couple’s reignite those flames and make room for snuggling and making out, getting frisky in the car and even planning out sex dates. Sex coaching can help couple’s go from friendly pecks call a kiss to passionate first date kissing.

BONUS Item!

When you enter into a coaching therapy with  a practitioner you must be prepared to invest time and energy into yourself in all ways. As you can see, sex coaching takes into account lot’s of things not just sex. Often one of the issues experienced is a lack of commitment from the client. Coaches (no matter the field) are here to help YOU, the client find your own way to healing, NOT give you all the answers. There are no set guidelines or times that can be stated for your transformation or healing to occur. There are no guarantee’s that you will be healed or that your assumed expectations will come about. What is for sure is that anyone who truly wants the guidance, support and education can have it but must be willing to expect homework, which might include writing exercises, communication exercises, intimacy and, of course, sex. And must be willing to step out of the box that has been holding them back for all this time.

– KW

*Some quotes found on google from glamour.com articles

The last word: He said he was leaving. She ignored him.

When Laura Munson’s husband asked for a divorce, she ducked instead of fighting. He needed to learn, she says, that his unhappiness wasn’t really about her.

couplehandholding

Let’s say you have what you believe to be a healthy marriage. You’re still friends and lovers after spending more than half of your lives together. The dreams you set out to achieve in your 20s—gazing into each other’s eyes in candlelit city bistros, when you were single and skinny—have for the most part come true.

Two decades later you have the 20 acres of land, the farmhouse, the children, the dogs and horses. You’re the parents you said you would be, full of love and guidance. You’ve done it all: Disneyland, camping, Hawaii, Mexico, city living, stargazing.

Sure, you have your marital issues, but on the whole you feel so self-satisfied about how things have worked out that you would never, in your wildest nightmares, think you would hear these words from your husband one fine summer day: “I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did. I’m moving out. The kids will understand. They’ll want me to be happy.”

But wait. This isn’t the divorce story you think it is. Neither is it a begging-him-to-stay story. It’s a story about hearing your husband say, “I don’t love you anymore” and deciding not to believe him. And what can happen as a result.

Here’s a visual: Child throws a temper tantrum. Tries to hit his mother. But the mother doesn’t hit back, lecture or punish. Instead, she ducks. Then she tries to go about her business as if the tantrum isn’t happening. She doesn’t “reward” the tantrum. She simply doesn’t take the tantrum personally because, after all, it’s not about her.

Let me be clear: I’m not saying my husband was throwing a child’s tantrum. No. He was in the grip of something else—a profound and far more troubling meltdown that comes not in childhood but in midlife, when we perceive that our personal trajectory is no longer arcing reliably upward as it once did. But I decided to respond the same way I’d responded to my children’s tantrums. And I kept responding to it that way. For four months.

“I don’t love you anymore. I’m not sure I ever did.”

His words came at me like a speeding fist, like a sucker punch, yet somehow in that moment I was able to duck. And once I recovered and composed myself, I managed to say, “I don’t buy it.” Because I didn’t.

He drew back in surprise. Apparently he’d expected me to burst into tears, to rage at him, to threaten him with a custody battle. Or beg him to change his mind.

So he turned mean. “I don’t like what you’ve become.”

Gut-wrenching pause. How could he say such a thing? That’s when I really wanted to fight. To rage. To cry. But I didn’t.

Instead, a shroud of calm enveloped me, and I repeated those words: “I don’t buy it.”

You see, I’d recently committed to a non-negotiable understanding with myself. I’d committed to “the End of Suffering.” I’d finally managed to exile the voices in my head that told me my personal happiness was only as good as my outward success, rooted in things that were often outside my control. I’d seen the insanity of that equation and decided to take responsibility for my own happiness. And I mean all of it.

My husband hadn’t yet come to this understanding with himself. He had enjoyed many years of hard work, and its rewards had supported our family of four all along. But his new endeavor hadn’t been going so well, and his ability to be the breadwinner was in rapid decline. He’d been miserable about this, felt useless, was losing himself emotionally and letting himself go physically. And now he wanted out of our marriage; to be done with our family.

But I wasn’t buying it.

I said: “It’s not age-appropriate to expect children to be concerned with their parents’ happiness. Not unless you want to create co-dependents who’ll spend their lives in bad relationships and therapy. There are times in every relationship when the parties involved need a break. What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?” he said.

“Go trekking in Nepal. Build a yurt in the back meadow. Turn the garage studio into a man-cave. Get that drum set you’ve always wanted. Anything but hurting the children and me with a reckless move like the one you’re talking about.”

Then I repeated my line, “What can we do to give you the distance you need, without hurting the family?”

“Huh?”

“How can we have a responsible distance?”

“I don’t want distance,” he said. “I want to move out.”

My mind raced. Was it another woman? Drugs? Unconscionable secrets? But I stopped myself. I would not suffer.

Instead, I went to my desk, Googled “responsible separation,” and came up with a list. It included things like: Who’s allowed to use what credit cards? Who are the children allowed to see you with in town? Who’s allowed keys to what?

I looked through the list and passed it on to him.

His response: “Keys? We don’t even have keys to our house.”

I remained stoic. I could see pain in his eyes. Pain I recognized.

“Oh, I see what you’re doing,” he said. “You’re going to make me go into therapy. You’re not going to let me move out. You’re going to use the kids against me.”

“I never said that. I just asked: What can we do to give you the distance you need … ”

“Stop saying that!”

Well, he didn’t move out.

Instead, he spent the summer being unreliable. He stopped coming home at his usual 6 o’clock. He would stay out late and not call. He blew off our entire Fourth of July—the parade, the barbecue, the fireworks—to go to someone else’s party. When he was at home, he was distant. He wouldn’t look me in the eye. He didn’t even wish me “Happy Birthday.”

But I didn’t play into it. I walked my line. I told the kids: “Daddy’s having a hard time, as adults often do. But we’re a family, no matter what.” I was not going to suffer. And neither were they.

My trusted friends were irate on my behalf. “How can you just stand by and accept this behavior? Kick him out! Get a lawyer!”

I walked my line with them, too. This man was hurting, yet his problem wasn’t mine to solve. In fact, I needed to get out of his way so he could solve it.

I know what you’re thinking: I’m a pushover. I’m weak and scared and would put up with anything to keep the family together. I’m probably one of those women who would endure physical abuse. But I can assure you, I’m not. I load 1,500-pound horses into trailers and gallop through the high country of Montana all summer. I went through Pitocin-induced natural childbirth. And a Caesarean section without follow-up drugs. I am handy with a chain saw.

I simply had come to understand that I was not at the root of my husband’s problem. He was. If he could turn his problem into a marital fight, he could make it about us. I needed to get out of the way so that wouldn’t happen.

Privately, I decided to give him time. Six months.

I had good days and I had bad days. On the good days, I took the high road. I ignored his lashing out, his merciless jabs. On bad days, I would fester in the August sun while the kids ran through sprinklers, raging at him in my mind. But I never wavered. Although it may sound ridiculous to say, “Don’t take it personally” when your husband tells you he no longer loves you, sometimes that’s exactly what you have to do.

Instead of issuing ultimatums, yelling, crying, or begging, I presented him with options. I created a summer of fun for our family and welcomed him to share in it, or not—it was up to him. If he chose not to come along, we would miss him, but we would be just fine, thank you very much. And we were.

And, yeah, you can bet I wanted to sit him down and persuade him to stay. To love me. To fight for what we’ve created. You can bet I wanted to.

But I didn’t.

I barbecued. Made lemonade. Set the table for four. Loved him from afar.

And one day, there he was, home from work early, mowing the lawn. A man doesn’t mow his lawn if he’s going to leave it. Not this man. Then he fixed a door that had been broken for eight years. He made a comment about our front porch needing paint. Our front porch. He mentioned needing wood for next winter. The future. Little by little, he started talking about the future.

It was Thanksgiving dinner that sealed it. My husband bowed his head humbly and said, “I’m thankful for my family.”

He was back.

And I saw what had been missing: pride. He’d lost pride in himself. Maybe that’s what happens when our egos take a hit in midlife and we realize we’re not as young and golden anymore.

When life’s knocked us around. And our childhood myths reveal themselves to be just that. The truth feels like the biggest sucker-punch of them all: It’s not a spouse, or land, or a job, or money that brings us happiness. Those achievements, those relationships, can enhance our happiness, yes, but happiness has to start from within. Relying on any other equation can be lethal.

My husband had become lost in the myth. But he found his way out. We’ve since had the hard conversations. In fact, he encouraged me to write about our ordeal. To help other couples who arrive at this juncture in life. People who feel scared and stuck. Who believe their temporary feelings are permanent. Who see an easy out and think they can escape.

My husband tried to strike a deal. Blame me for his pain. Unload his feelings of personal disgrace onto me.

But I ducked. And I waited. And it worked.

This essay originally appeared in The New York Times. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

This post comes from Theweek.com August 13, 2009

 

The Hidden Issues of Marriage- How Care, Respect, Interest, Play, Attention, and Power Determine Success and Failure in Our Relationships

Money, sex, in-laws, vacations, communication, children–these head the list of explicit concerns couples struggle with in their marriage. But there are deeper and more significant issues. Often these are hidden from direct discussion or awareness. Care, respect, interest, play, attention, and power are the real issues couples have. These are the themes that make for happiness or misery, that fulfill or destroy dreams. Couples who have harmony in these realms have relationships that hold together, breed vitality, and foster creativity. We are creatures driven by invisible currents, often imperceptible to the casual or the inattentive observer. A case-in-point: What may seem to be a couple’s routine argument about which movie to see may be a hidden power struggle. One partner feels that she has been capitulated too many times to her husband’s preferences, even though in a less competitive moment his first choice would also have been hers.

In this article I will define and illustrate what I consider to be six below-the-surface issues in marriage and offer observations on how we might approach consciously living-out these themes in less destructive and more positive ways.

Care

John and Sarah (All names and identifying data have been changed.) are starved for caring. John grew up in a love-deprived home without a mothering mother. His mother, in and out of mental hospitals during his childhood, looked to her elder son to take care of his three brothers. After doing his own school work, he would make sure his siblings did theirs, clean house, and make dinner for his depressed mother and his exhausted and overburdened father. His parents were so absorbed in their mental and financial survival, respectively, that they did not even thank him. His sole comfort was managing to keep a semblance of sanity in the family and save his mother some visits to the hospital. When he met Sarah, a lovely young woman with a soft voice and an appreciation for his good efforts, he was joyfully overwhelmed. Here at last was one who understood, here at last was one who wanted to create a family in which thought and feeling and aspiration could be shared and executed together. He felt cared for.

For Sarah their meeting was equally promising. She had also been brought up in a family devoid of emotion–an austere mid-western family, in which mother never hugged and father sat remotely over ceremonial occasions, but had little else to offer. Sarah suffered from diabetes and John’s sense of order promised to help her maintain a regimen for optimal health. She believed she had found the man who would warm her heart and take care of her temporal needs. They, of course, fell in love with each other–for what is “falling in love” but finding another whom we believe meets–and will continue to meet–our needs. They married and, alas, a failure of “caring” soon began.

Sarah, it turned out, notwithstanding her gentleness and eagerness to be helpful, had only a rudimentary sense of empathy for emotional nuance. She knew how to do what she believed were “caring’ behaviors, but lacked a heart that matched John’s sensibilities. In their first year of marriage John’s brother was made paraplegic in a car accident. As he lived in the same city as John, he balanced his own families needs with attending to his brother, returning to his bedside and taking on his care much as he had looked after him when he was a little boy. Sarah attempted to be supportive, but John’s absence from the home, his drives across town twice a week to fill in for the nurses, his continually being on the phone to doctors, began to sink Sarah’s heart, as she wondered what happened to the man she married. She no longer felt John’s caring.

Caring is the constant and tender ministrations that we all look for in our partners. In many couples the most fundamental question is: Does she or he care enough? How precious is the statement that “He really does care.” How poignant the transparent defensive posturing, “I really don’t care what she does.” We need for persons to intend the best for us and to have us in their minds and to carry out acts of caring. The absence of caring breeds shame and worthlessness. Explicit issues of being home for dinner when expected, taking out the garbage, driving slowly when one’s partner is anxious about speed, or speedily when one’s partner is anxious about dawdling, are not “little things” but significant carriers of caring feelings. These are as intensely important, as urgent as the deepest demands of the human heart. In fact, that’s what they are.

“I care for you.” “He doesn’t care for me.” These are among the tenderest, most sought, and most feared sentiments persons express to one another. When caring behaviors become sparse, couples are fading in their vital attachment to one another. Caring behaviors are those acts subtle or blunt by which we convey to the other that we wish his or her happiness, safety, fulfillment. It is caring to feel deeply for our partner’s most searing fears and griefs; it is also caring to listen to her talk about her high school reunion. Caring is wishing the person well and acting to back up that wish. When we care we go the proverbial extra mile. Caring also conveys, implicitly, commitment, for caring is being present to the other as long as we are needed. We “are needed” a long, long time. Few in-love couples pre-arrange their breaking-up.

Take a look at your relationship. Do your feel cared for? Do you care deeply about your mate? Talk with your partner and let him tell you how he feels. Summon the courage to hear that she may not feel nearly so cared about as your have imagined. In fact, you may have forgotten actually to care, and you may have become so used to being in an uncaring marriage that you aren’t even paying attention to the state of caring between you. Examine what has happened to your caring. Did it evaporate? Was it ever there?. How does your caring interweave with other themes of your relationship–with power and respect, for example? What do you need to do, to have your partner do, before caring can be revived? Do you need the help of a guide or therapist? Is it worth your investment of energy? Are you really serious about trying? And if so, how will you begin? How much energy will you give to realizing this possibility?

Respect

After their first idyllic months together, Ellen and Newton composed a gradual crescendo of disrespect which climaxed in a bitter divorce. What began as a story-book romance–a chance meeting in Key West where each had, uncharacteristically, taken solo vacations for introspection and R&R– she seeking refuge from an abusive marriage and he solace from a series of failed relationships. Newton was present and comforting to Ellen as she recounted the emotional and physical abuse she had suffered for years in an attempt to keep the marriage together for the sake of her children and in deference to her family’s pressure to avoid, at-all-cost, divorce.

Ellen, at first enamored of Newton’s vast intellect, and proud of his talent at engaging any person in fluent conversation, came to despise “his narrow academic interests” and his “pompous colleagues.” She deplored his long work hours and his extended field trips. She panicked about his regularly having several drinks before dinner. He showed no desire for children of their own. Fundamentally, Ellen did not respect his interests, his style, his friendships. Though she “tried” to persuade herself that she could learn to admire him, that he had a “right” to do what he did without her standing in judgment. Yet, in her soul she was negative to and threatened by many of the ways he lived.

Newton, at first attracted to Ellen because of her needfulness, after a few months of marriage began to see her less as loveably vulnerable than as one whose unhappiness was a drag on his contentment. He began to realize that he who had begun the relationship as the “white knight” for helping her escape from her unhappy and entrapped marriage had now become the oppressor. Her vulnerability became, to him, a contemptible craziness and instead of being with her in sympathy for the way the world was treating her, he became part of the world that was tormenting and abusing her.

The relationship, having made an 180 degree turn from affirmation of each other–their styles, looks, habits, values, commitments–to denigrating practically everything about one another, found itself on a steady course of decline and, eventually, divorce. To be trapped on a path where each partner judges the other as not living an admirable life is fatally demoralizing. Ellen “tried” to see Newton differently and the more she tried the more it was evident that underneath her posturing sweetness and positivity, there was repulsion. Many times Newton resolved not to attack her with “crazy-making” accusations, but when she would get upset at one of his absences or pretensions, he would forget his resolutions and “go for the gut.” Newton and Ellen had neither power, nor awareness, nor will to face straight-out that they did not admire one another. They repeatedly fought over mundane differences, ignoring the deeper angers and judgments that made them crash-bound. Hardly a marriage survives in this atmosphere; none happily. Theirs did not.

Respect means liking and affirming your partner for who he or she is in the world. Of course, being separate creatures with our own prejudices and definitions, some things about others we like, some we do not. But loving relationships that are truly satisfying are founded on mutual respect. We need to feel that others believe the attitudes we have, the professions we pursue, the charities we support, the jokes we tell are, for the most part, pleasing to them. If this is not happening, then there is a major problem brewing. People kill each other when they feel disrespected, and couples kill their marriage when disrespect prevails.

If you feel that respect in your relationship is becoming thin, take a long look at yourself and attempt to understand just how deep this disrespect goes. Have you, for some time, been feeling negative about how you partner leads her life, and have you been less than direct about it? Or perhaps you can look within yourself, at your own values. If you are failing to respect your partner, you may want to examine your behavior and see if you are emphasizing negative things to the detriment of the positive. Sometimes things are correctable, but you must address problems before the toxins of disrespect have ravaged your connection. If you want to develop respect, there is no better way to begin than frankly talking with your partner about your failings in this arena and beginning to construct a new basis for respect. If you can’t find it, then you are indeed in trouble.

Interest

A common way of describing a relationship is when persons acknowledge being “interested” in each other. “Interesting” covers a lot of territory. Though nature may have first created interest to assure replication of life, sex, recasts as interest, extends far into realms as diverse as intellectual complexity, athletic skills, winsome personality, and playing a mean game of chess. One of our strongest drives is the compulsion away from boredom. Losing interest defines depression.

Mitchell and Lori had only been married a couple of years when Mitchell lost interest. In the beginning their fascination for each other never cooled. He was strong and quiet, she, shy socially, but super-active athletically. She led him out of himself into a new world of sports and outdoors. He offered her a quiet refuge and protection from the many times she over-extended herself with activities. All went well until her job began to keep her into the evenings and weekends. He depended on her for stimulation, for keeping things going that were fun and engaging. Only a few months after Lori’s absence-making schedule began, Mitchell initiated afternoon dalliances with a coworker that quickly blossomed into a passionate affair. When Lori discovered his infidelities, the ensuing struggles, the threat of loss, and the reminder of their strong early attraction to one another reignited their desire to make a satisfying marriage.

Research indicates that affairs are seldom primarily sexually motivated. Most often they are persons’ attempts either to stimulate their life, or having lost a feeling of being desired in their relationship, discover if one can still be attractive to other partners. Nothing flattens a couples energy more than to have lost interest in one another–if the trend continues downward, persons can lose interest in being alive.

How can you make the uninteresting interesting? By paying acute attention. Anything looked at up close and personal is interesting. If something is interesting it sparks our creativity, it brings out our most primitive organismic sense of pleasure in relating to reality outside of ourselves. Interest brings us into heart and mind augmenting connection with the world. And persons are infinitely interesting for they are in continual ferment, discarding old and taking on new forms in a cacophony of novelty and growth.

Love is continually renewing interest. How many good films do you see where there is no “love interest.” (Note, “love-interest”–it’s almost a single word.) Interest is the life of relationships. Lose interest, death of the relationship. How do you retain and engender interest? By being willing to be open for it. By not expecting the other person to carry the full responsibility of being “interesting” to us. It is just as true–and perhaps a truth of more import–to say that you are responsible for your own ability to be interested. The lazy brain is the uninterested brain. Further if you are not interested you hardly accept the other as he is, for you are always looking for “something else” to carry you out of your stupor of disinterest.

Play

Play is the purest and fullest expression of joy–the most basic positive emotion. There are many forms of play. Sexuality may head the list, but not far behind is walking around the block, enjoying family rituals, laughing over the comics, watching a child grow up, matching rhythms and harmonies with one another. Play is pure; it is without pretense; it aspires to be nothing but itself. It is nature’s way of letting us know we are in the flow of experience. To play together is both to be in sync with the world and one another. We become couples, in large measure, because we play well together. Whether we are attending a lecture, going to the beach, or venturing into Eros, the compelling meeting between two persons can best be described as play. Persons are attracted to each other, not because they work well on projects together, but because they enjoy playing with one another.

When Rosemary and Spaulding met they were beautiful and talented young people who enjoyed parties, romance, and fanciful dreams of success. After their marriage they moved from a small town in the south to a large eastern city for Spaulding to attend law school. It turned out that he had talent for patent law and paternity, and before long his practice was successful and his home full. Rosemary bore five sons and gave herself to twenty years of active and consuming motherhood, along with making a home for her work-laminated husband.

Rosemary craved play. She didn’t know its name, but she knew she needed something. She tried tennis, encounter groups, therapy, religion, dancing. She discovered she liked all of them. Relieved of the demands of her large brood of children, she was ready for grown-up play. She learned to look people in the eye, talk about her feelings, claim her sexuality. She desperately wanted to engage her husband with her in her newly found playfulness. Rosemary urged, demanded that Spaulding join her, but his manner of play was to sit quietly with the newspaper, worry about the stock market, keep up with sports, and follow his sons’ progress. His games she could never play, and as for her parenting, it was time for a change of venue. She needed a playmate–i.e. a man to share with her in the new pleasure and creativity she had discovered in her life, and he hardly filled the (play)bill. For Rosemary play was the avenue to closeness and Spaulding’s inability to play with her caused a severe gap in their happiness together.

From the beginning we play. We virtually come into the world playing. Play is losing ourselves in unplanned pleasurable abandon of mind and body. Play feels good. Play expands the body, loosens the breathing, rushes the blood, releases endorphins and epinephrine and dopamine. When relationships form there’s a lot of playing. So many activities for couples are play activities. Dating, dancing, going to the movies and…sex are play. Sex is high and vital adult play; when it’s work it’s no fun. Play is an accepting activity for it exists for its own sake. This is perhaps why play often gets such a bum rap.

You and your partner probably don’t play nearly enough. As heirs of Puritanism, you may feel that everything should be “purposeful,” that present activity–even play–should be leading to something else that justifies your effort. But acceptance is not future oriented; it is receiving and enjoying with your partner what is in the present–and no activity is more “in-the-present” than play. If you can’t play, you are much too anxious about what is “not yet.” Play releases, it transcends a “not-now-consciousness” to enter an “experiencing-now-consciousness” that is pure enjoyment. Being able to share the play-moment makes you indeed partners in living life freely and for fun.

Attention

Jerry wants to be “heard.” He has countless stories about how Jennifer repeatedly paid no attention to what he told her. On the first thanksgiving visit to his uncle’s (the grand-old-man of his family) home when he implored Jennifer never to reveal that they had lived together before they were married. He knew that his bachelor uncle was notorious for his Victorian morality, which dwelt alongside a great mind and loads of money to distribute solely to his two nephews. Jennifer, after several of glasses of Chateau Rothchild, let the secret of their cohabitation slip. Uncle abruptly asked them to leave and seven years later has neither spoken to nor about them.

Jennifer’s story is of her futile attempts to have Jerry listen to her terror of his family. Again and again she had stressed to him that his family’s loud and condescending ways made her shrink with discomfort and fright. She told Jerry that the only thing that could help would be to medicate her anxiety with wine, and that she knew that she sometimes got out of control. Jerry paid little heed. Through their failure to listen attentively to each other, they lost family and inheritance… and gained anger and disappointment with each other.

From our beginnings, we must be attended to. Children not “heard,” neither mirrored not understood, whose sense-of-self is grossly handicapped by the indifference of others, literally do not survive their childhood. Did you ever speak to someone when you thought he was in the room with you, perhaps voicing a thought about a shared experience, and found he had walked out of the room leaving you talking to air. You felt disappointed, foolish, annoyed. That is what it is like not to be heard, not to be attended to. You begin to think that actually you don’t exist.

Like so many who do not feel heard, Jennifer and Jerry resort to aggressive and sometimes ruthless measures to gain attention. Jennifer demeans Jerry’s manhood, talks about old boy friends being more appealing to her than he is–“They listen”, and threatens further havoc on his family, aimed this time at his parents. Jerry scowls and yells, or alternately he takes a passive, withdrawn stance, hoping to invoke such guilt in Jennifer that she will pause and listen to his side of things. Both are so caught-up in trying to force the other to hear them, that they are like the United Sates attempting to save Vietnam by destroying it.

As a marriage therapist, I see an endless parade of persons who drag their partners to counseling with complaints about how they are not being attended to. The complaints come in many forms: not being heard or listened to, not being seen or sought out, not being thought about or remembered. All of which make the unattended-to person very insecure about whether she or he is truly valued by the other.

If you are to learn better to attend and be attended to, you must become aware that listening, indeed, is your deficiency. You need to check out your narcissism to see just how self-absorbed you are and how effectively you take in what is real about your partners. In many households, persons go weeks without ever so much as inquiring after their partners feelings or even their everyday experiences. Are you one of these? And if you feel you are rarely attended to, pay close attention to your experience, are you often wishing for more or different than your partner can give? If all else fails, ask your partner if he or she feels attended to and known. If you and she are not reassured by her response, then undertake a course of training–with friends, therapists, family, books–to see if you actually want learn and develop the courage and skill of empathy.

Power

Human beings abhor feeling “less-than.” We can’t bear for another to get the upper hand. We have many ways to even scores. The recent popularity of “First Wives Club” and “Waiting to Exhale,” gives strident witness to the “fun” and satisfaction we have in seeing others get their comeuppance when they become too powerful for the good of both partners. We fear that our partner may be ahead of (translate better than or superior to) us, or worse, that she or he may be “feeding-off” us. We attempt to correct this by conscious and unconscious balancing designed to make sure we do not end up on bottom. We work, all out, to stay on top. Case in point: Paul washes the dishes and points out to Anna that she should appreciate his efforts; he claims that what he does more than compensates for her vacuuming the house; she then agues that, not only did she vacuum but she shampooed as well and this puts her ahead….and on it goes.

There are several varieties of roles that are used in the power struggle. A couple of favorites are the victim and the saint (variations: nag and “Nice Guy,” wimp and the tyrant). The victim is always “down” and refuses to allow the other person to enjoy their “up” position. Victims blame; they invariable see the problem as the bad behavior of the other. Elizabeth is an assertive and demanding victim, as she approaches most of their talks with Brian, her husband, with a full agenda of grievances for his “failures” in treating her well. Brian is ever eager to please, but nothing he does ever seems to be enough, nothing ever seems to work. If his behaviors are “right” then his timing is “wrong.” Always, he is either agreeable or compromising, yet what he does is bumbling and only succeeds for Elizabeth half-way. If he comes home early one night, she reminds him that his job is less secure this year so he had better take no liberties; when he is late she speaks of the children feeling neglected.

Brian is the model “Nice Guy,” a sort of Sensitive Man version of a saint. He listens to Elizabeth; he “empathizes” (i.e. he insists he “understands what she means”); he smiles at her with sweetness and reassures her of his love. But there is a darker side in this hidden power struggle: he is “injured” that she does not appreciate his efforts more fully, for underneath he feels “put-upon” and “had-it-up-to-here” about her demands and pleadings. He neither lets himself or her know just how disgruntled and resistant he is. She tries to get him to admit it. She tells him “Don’t you resent my going-on all the time about wanting more from you?” He responds, “A bit, but I understand that you are really hurting, and I want to do the best I can.” But, from time to time his real upset is apparent even to him, when he says flat-out to her insistence that he interrupt his racquetball to be home “on time” for dinner–” Well, I just can’t do that.” Underneath this “Nice Guy” trait there resides the resentful mind of one who feels he is being more misunderstood than is his wife. His attitude is strength and availability, but beneath the surface there is determination not to be “used,” not to be made accountable for what he believes in his heart-of-hearts is more her “fault” than his. He is fighting her and she him. The explicit issues of their marriage, his time availability, his forgetting anniversaries, his financial instability are rendered trivial by the velvet war they are raging for dominance. Bit by bit they have lose confidence in mutual good will and caring. And without this assumed reciprocity of energy and love, a power struggle sets in.

When the dynamic themes of your relationship are suffering from failures of loving connection, developing “power-over” often becomes by default the mode of choice. Power is the booby prize for failure of respect, care, et al. If we can’t be with our partners, at least we can exercise power over them. So we become obsessed with being winners. There are so many ways to have power struggles: they can be well disguised as content discussions or battles over “important” things–when the deeper theme is showing who can win: we may feign willingness to give our partner what she wants, but our deeper intention is to dilute her justifiable anger for our inconsiderateness; we can bring up issues in public that have not been worked out in private in order to get help from one of our friends whom we know shares our opinions.

You probably did not fall in love with your partner because either of you demonstrated power over the other–relationships are rarely fueled by the winner enjoying being related to a loser. Should you find yourself lost in power trips, ask yourself just what are you feeling inferior about that you might go for the “win?” Know that your love and positive connection are out of kilter, and you have surrendered to a power trip disguised as a marriage. Are you willing to invest in the delicate and vulnerable reinvention of a balanced and reciprocal marriage?

How it all adds up….

In all of these hidden issues there is a common theme, whether care, or respect, or interest, or play, or attention, or power: acceptance. We are social creatures and the central question of all human existence is: Do you accept me? Am I OK with you? Do you embrace me, or do you push me away? What is my future with you? Are you a refuge, a safe harbor? Or do I have to worry about being alienated from you? At the core of the human psyche and soul is the yearning for the continuation and fulfillment of the unconditional love often provided for us as infants. We are born of parents whom nature, at its best, provides with instinct and wisdom that they may lovingly respond to our needs–simply because we are. Beginning within the womb and beyond, when things go the way nature intended, we experience ourselves as given-to as though we were a pure gift of joy to our human companions who are pleased with us and we with them. This is the imprint by which all our social life, and most centrally our marriage life, is measured.

The hidden themes of marriage are variations on acceptance. Unconditional acceptance is life’s first gift, and our lifetime task is to recover and amplify, in the specifics of our relationships, the infinite variations on this theme.Care is acceptance as we recapitulate the mother’s tender loving gaze and gentle ministrations for each others’ well being. Respect is acceptance as we honor the particularity of our partners in ways that they feel their life “as is” is highly esteemed. Interest is acceptance as we let our partners know that they draw our energy positively and vigorously. Play is acceptance as partners’ flowing, mindless, expressions connect with high pleasure with one another and all life. Attention is acceptance as we feel heard and known by one another, and by this experience confirm our entitled place in life. Power is the energy of acceptance fostered when one surrenders to being with one another, never dominating thus relieving fear, and gathering the synergy of true mutuality.

 

ORIGINAL POSTING HERE

Robert Caldwell, M. Div. has a private practice of individual, couple, and group psychotherapy in Bethesda. He is a Licensed and Certified Professional Counselor.

That Shameful Yoga Ass

Sometimes you have to question the reasoning that people have to allow for such improper events to occur. What am I speaking of?  Parenting choices and the personal level of respect that we help our children to have for themselves. As a mother myself this very thought topic effects many of my choice’s day to day. What sort of example am I setting for them? How do they perceive my happiness, comfort in self, self-esteem and love of self? Are they seeing a strong, morally sound, well centered, loving woman or are they seeing an ill, repressed, confused, emotionally unstable, blaming woman who cannot get through her own garbage?

The fact of the matter in my life is that I have come to a state of being where I am who I am in each moment.  I am an emotional creature as god wired me so, but I am not quick to erupt or tormented by past traumas that I cannot seem to release to the shadows of a time gone by and lessons learned. The harmony outside of my physical body stems from the inner peace, self-love, acceptance and realization that reality is what it is in the present moment.  I have learned through the course of time and many harsh lessons that I am perfect and divine just the way I am and in however I choose to show up in the moment. There is no need to make apologies for being.  This is what I hope to share with my children, peace, acceptance and self awareness.  But how do we share these lessons? How do we make certain that we are walking the walk of the internal guru? How do we really know that our children see and hear these valuable life models of being?

Let me share a story.

yogaass

“It was a cold dreary day and the power kept resetting as the storm blew through causing our clocks to be off by who knows how many minutes. Mornings are always a quick moving, testing time within my home as three of my children have to be awoken from their slumber, eat breakfast, get lunches made, signatures in planners and the biggest ordeal, their shoes on. Like all mornings this was happening except with the time being wrong, we ran late and I decided that I would drive them the two blocks in the rain and wind instead of them getting cold and soaked as well as any later by walking.  We get to the school and they say goodbye and I love you as they slam the car doors shut and make a mad dash to the front doors of the school. Just then my attention goes from mommy mode and taxi driver to a deep breath. As I inhaled my ears opened and I tuned into the radio station that was playing in the car. The hosts on the station were having a deep conversation about some of the current events happening in some of our local schools. They were sharing that a few middle schools and even a high school (I think) were passing new dress codes, as the schools had come to the conclusion that yoga pants should not be allowed to be worn as every day dress.  

One male host shared his take that the parents allowing their daughters to wear yoga pants were just trying to be “cool parents” instead of instilling in their child a proper way of dressing and how when one dresses in this uncouth manner (yoga wear/exercise wear/COMFORT wear) that they are actually causing issues for others.  The focus was not on the girls comfort and ability to JUST BE THEMSELVES but on how the boy’s in school were being tormented by the yoga booties and that girls need to take full responsibility for the boy’s reactions. “

What about jeans?

Who remember’s the perfectly fitting, beautiful ass showing Rocky Mountain Jeans from the 80’s?

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Okay, so I get that I am not the average parent or individual for that matter in my viewing of things and how I process what the world brings to me. I get that I am far more open and a realist to life when it comes to everything especially my children and them growing up. But seriously, this whole talk seemed to be on shaming young women ages 11-18 for wearing yoga pants.  And to this the shame that is being bestowed on this group of young women carries out into the world to ALL women. And effects ALL males.

My questions to this topic of shameful yoga bootie are:

Is there anything that does not turn on or side track a young man when he is in his hormone high season?

What is more empowering to young men and women: teaching that someone else is responsible for our thoughts, feelings and actions (thus happiness or lack thereof) or that we are the creators of our inner world, it is OUR choice to focus on what thought, feeling or action we have or make?

Is socially shaming anyone or a group for something really benefiting the morality of the whole?

If a woman or girl who is wearing “yoga pants” is raped or sexually assaulted should we let the poor blinded boy/man off the hook because it was actually the girls fault?

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By shaming a young woman for this or a young man for something else are we really creating a healthy sexual future for this person(s)?

If we allow tank tops, tighter fitting t-shirts, yoga pants, or whatever else comes up to be illegal attire for everyday wear for young women because it side tracks the boys then should we also start having young women bind their bosoms so that their forming breasts do not side track the young men?

How about we just cover young developing women up from head to toe; only allowing their eyes to be revealed so that the boys can learn how to suppress and get a grip on their hormones and desires?

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The fact of the matter here is we exist in a sexually repressed culture.  One where more and more people are turning inward and shutting down. Depression, anxiety, sexual issues, mental illness, anger, fatigue, and dis-ease are all at an all time high. More and more cases of people suffering from being bipolar, ADD, ADHD, and stress induced illnesses are being reported.  Sexual crimes and abuse in many fashions are also growing at phenomenal rates. Our fear for the young women in yoga pants is that they will fall prey to someone who has not learned how to deal with their sexuality in a healthy fashion. We also fear that if young men are surrounded by too much mental stimulation that they will burst and become one of these ill acting sexually challenged souls.

As parents, teachers and a society we want the best for our youth but we really have no clue of how to create it. The reason for this is because we are all victims raised by victims and has been programmed to believe that our sexuality is the source of all evil. Okay so maybe you were taught that money was the source of all evil, well money and sexuality is what causes ALL the worlds’ pain, suffering and demise.  MmmmHmmmm! Sure.

Pain, suffering, ill behaviors, war, terror, rape, and more are all caused not by money and sexuality but by power hungry ego thoughts that manifest into actions of control. When we start to believe that someone else is responsible for making us happy, providing for our love, our bliss, our stress release and that if they do not do the right things and give us what we “need” then they are causing us suffering in some fashion so we have to TAKE it or at least try taking it (forcing our will onto another), we have the true culprit of suffering.

By teaching our young male population that a girl should not do this, say that, wear this, listen to that or act some certain way we are in fact teaching the young male population that their thoughts and actions should be based on what someone else is “causing” them to feel or think. This is not being proactive for the self. We are also sending mixed teachings to young men saying that it is okay for a man to speak, do, act, go topless, etc.  But not a female, thus teaching that man rules woman. In the same essence we tell boys to respect women and treat them like ladies, yet we pump our media, games and movies full of the reverse. We worry about young men seeing a girl in yoga pants and a t-shirt at school and getting a hard on but we have no worries about the porn he has on his phone, his computer or the virtual women he is in combat with that are almost naked and portraying women in a plastic sense. We tell young men to not act on their sexual desires as they are sinful or sex is only for marriage or a committed relationship, that masturbation is nasty or dirty, yet when we walk into a store or turn on the TV we are bombarded with sexual advertising and shows and games that show the opposite. The same goes for young women.

The policy change on yoga pants for some schools will not prevent boys from being sidetracked or have sexual desires and act on them, but these policies will go to feeding the sexual shame and repression that so many women suffer from. The next generation will have one more lashing of shame to overcome. Sadly the young men of today who are being tormented by this shameful yoga ass will in future years  be tormented in a much more severe way. That once hot yoga ass girl will not be able to open up to deep loving penetration and orgasm with her lover because through the years the suppression of who she was and the ability to be comfortable in herself and in the pants she chose to wear will cause her to block physical and emotional feeling. She will need healing for shame and taught how her sexuality is empowering not sinful. That is IF she awakens to why she feels so lost, so ill, repressed, confused, emotionally unstable, blaming  and possibly even suicidal. IF she can find the courage 20-30 years down the road to deal with her garbage that was tossed into her youth by a sexually repressed and ill society.

Some do, most don’t. Welcome to the world of pharmaceutical drugs, street drugs, alcohol, 70% divorce rates, affairs, domestic abuse and emotional whirl-winds!!!!

–KW

Between the Sheets: When one boyfriend just isn’t enough

DoublePenetrationNoJeansWe’re getting into our 20s — that time society deems suitable for graduating college, getting a good job and settling down with a partner. Just one, and preferably of the opposite sex. Just one partner to meet your social, sexual and emotional needs until the day you leave this earth.
Is it just me, or is that a little daunting?

Monogamy is sold to us everywhere we go — in the media, in the Bible and in our own households. The pairing of man and woman is, to some, the glue that holds our nation together.

But with the United States marriage rate at an all-time low of 51 percent (compared to 72 percent in 1960), it seems our generation is reconsidering its commitment to monogamy. In its place, a few alternative lifestyles have come to light — everything from cohabitation to civil unions to eternal spinsterdom. I’d like to introduce a relationship structure I find particularly intriguing and under-reported — polyamory.

Polyamory, according to Polyamorous NYC, means participation in long-term, romantically committed, multiple-partner relationships. For example, two women and two men all date one another. Each group member involved carries on romantic and sexual endeavors with whichever other group member he or she chooses, provided the person has the full consent of the group before the act is committed. They aren’t swingers or polygamists — just little clusters of folks all around the country for whom one partner is not enough.

A 2009 Newsweek article speculates there are more than half a million polyamorists living in the U.S., and they’ll be rising to the mainstream in the near future. There are now blogs, non-fiction books, Showtime specials and match-up networks dedicated to polyamory.

mfm-kissingDr. Kenneth Haslam, poly-activist and author of “The Twelve Pillars of Polyamory,” attributes the emergence of polyamory to a human need for variance. Take, for example, a long-term couple in which only one party is interested in bondage. Does the interested party repress that desire in an effort to preserve the sanctity of their monogamous relationship? Or does the person work with his or her partner to find a solution that’s acceptable to everyone? Perhaps a solution involves the consensual incorporation of an outside party.

You might think embracing this idea means sacrificing the unconditional love and trust one builds from sharing a life with another human. And maybe it does. But there are a large number of people out there, including former French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, who have declared monogamy doesn’t work for them. And if you’re one of those people, it might be time to look into something a little further from the beaten path.

Don’t get me wrong — I’m not discrediting monogamous relationships. I, too, have apron-donning, childbearing, husband-loving fantasies about my future self. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t inform ourselves about the alternatives. Doing so on a wide scale will foster the eventual acceptance of polyamory — and similar lifestyles — into the mainstream. Experts say that after the battle for gay marriage is won, the battle for multiple partner marriage could be next. So suit up and keep your mind and eyes open as we ride into 2013.

By TONYA STARR in The Daily Midwestern

Orgasmic Womb-man Hood

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“When I gave birth, that was the first time I truly let go and surrendered. And it taught me how amazing that feels. Giving birth made me realize the power of being a woman. I have so much more substance in my life.” – Beyonce

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Orgasmic Womb-man Hood one of the most divine blessing that the feminine has been bestowed and yet we have been programmed to believe that these deeply spiritual and even orgasmic events in our lives are horribly painful and that we should not surrender ourselves to them but instead block these precious orgasmic moments of life transformation with anesthesia or short-circuit the whole event and have a C-section. This naked musing is posing the question to all women and men who dare to consider another side to the Miracle of Life. And in the questioning of the possibility of orgasmic birth we may also discover a different take on pain and suffering in our lives in general.

In pain you will give birth to children so claims the Holy Bible. But does that make it so? According to many for hundreds of years, yes it does. The bible said and therefore it is. But then why can over 21% of women surveyed say that they actually experienced orgasm during birth?

Being a mother, myself and having experienced labor five times and soon to be six, I can say that suffering and pain are not always there. At least not in the way that we perceive them and truthfully the lesson here is just that. Our expectations change the way pain is perceived.

Pregnant Mother Nature 019When we look at the orgasmic gift of birth we will discover that the same organs that are stimulated during sexual orgasm are also being stimulated during labor. As Christane Northrup, M.D. author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom has said, “The molecules of nature’s ecstasy are released in high quantities during labor.” Therefore it is simply science that a woman can have an orgasm during child birth and many women today are looking at possible ways to increase their chances of doing just this. I am one of them!

In my previous labors I did indeed feel pain, however I never experienced the sort of trauma that Hollywood would have us believe it is. Unfortunately for many women that I know they did not have the same more pleasurable experiences that I had. There is a lot that goes into it though and much like in other areas of life when we expect to experience pain we tense our muscles and our stress levels go up, causing our pain to increase.  But what if we actually learned how to surrender to this state of human experience?

What if we actually found romance and a sensual aspect to the painful events that all human beings must and do live through? What if instead of dreading pain and KNOWING that we were going to suffer, we decided to lose our fear and inhabitations and move toward the pain?

On the other side of ALL pain in our human experience is human ecstasy.  But we can only experience these points of high yummienessPregnant Mother Nature 078 if we are willing to surrender fully into it and transform the pain into sensational life energy.  When we surrender and give permission to those we are with to also surrender with us into our humanness we open the doorway to Orgasm. Weather it is in laboring a baby, a business, a divorce, or something else we step into our manifestional vortex of transformation through the power of surrender.

The SAME surrender needed to experience ORGASM!

A key note to this process that is among one of the most difficult for our society today, is to NOT medicate, mask, block or numb the pain of experience. In today’s world we are constantly being fed someway to “prevent” or “stop” painful events. We are told that we should want the highs in life but not the low’s and in order to achieve this we can pop a pill, have a drink, veg out to our favorite numbing event, or discharge our stress energy through unconscious sex or over indulging in some other way. All of these “anesthesia of physical experience” do nothing more than cause harm. They do not provide more highs and less low’s, they bring us to ground NUMB.

But when we look out into this world what do we see?

Zombies.

Pregnant Mother Nature 051Our world is a waste land of human zombies. We are plagued by a sexually repressed culture.  One where more and more people are turning inward and shutting down. Depression, anxiety, sexual issues, mental illness, anger, fatigue, and dis-ease are all at an all time high. More and more cases of people suffering from being bipolar, ADD, ADHD, and stress induced illnesses are being reported.  Sexual crimes and abuse in many fashions are also growing at phenomenal rates. This is what “Lost” looks like. This is what “numb” looks like.

Most people never tap into and harness their greatest resources: their “procreative” life force energy which can give increased energy, mental clarity, creativity and fulfillment in our lives. It is this same energy that a woman can tap into during labor and transform her pain into Orgasm. It is this divine energy that can catapult our world and heal us at levels that traditional medicine and therapy cannot even perceive. Rapidly too!

So how do more women experience Orgasmic Womb-man hood?

How do more people in general embrace this powerful liberating force and stop the insanity of being a zombie?

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We have to learn how to surrender in grace not fear to ourselves and our intimate relationships first. Followed up with embracing the fact that we HAVE NOT been taught how to love, sex or labor in life, but that there are people who can help. We have to be willing to step into those dark spaces of our subconscious and allow ourselves to really be seen, heard and felt. And we MUST recognize that how learning to harness our sexual potential is a Master Key to harnessing our life potential. Just as with the final contractions in labor we know that our sweet innocent angel will soon be in our arms, we also must know that with the final contractions of our sexual orgasm WE will soon be in the arms of our dream life.

Everything is interconnected and there is nothing that has not come from mind.

Our Divine Power to Create like the Creator is housed withing Our Wombs and in the embrace of Orgasm.

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Create the life you desire! Live Orgasmicaly today and every moment and transform those rough, edgy spots that could be perceived as pain and suffering into surrender so that you can bask in Orgasmic Bliss. 

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The Tormented Devil- Jealousy and Rage

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“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity.” – Robert A. Heinlein

One of the most feared emotions in relations and yet it seems to run rabid in society and many actually have grown into the belief that this monster is a deeper sign of love for someone when in fact it is an ego statement saying,” I am insecure in myself and untrusting of love in general.” This monster is often the awakener of its side-kick that can not only harm emotionally but also physically. When a person is under the possession of these two, they may feel trapped, chained into an internal world where they are no more than a witness in a prison cell to chaos and torture being inflicted upon their lives and loved ones.

What am I speaking of?

Jealousy & Rage!

According to the dictionary jealousy is:

1. Jealousresentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself.

2.Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.

3.Vigilance in maintaining or guarding something.

4.A jealous feeling, disposition, state, or mood.

For the sake of today’s musing I am going to focus on the second definition of this emotion. Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc. When we look at this definition we see that jealousy is mainly caused out of a lack of being present in the moment or within our relationship. Anytime mental uneasiness comes forth and you find yourself buying into the game of fear you know that you are not dealing with love or spirit. What you have here is nothing more than ego tapping at your mental window and pulling at your past traumas and insecurities to make your heart pound stronger and your gut tighten. If you allow ego to play this movie for you then you will certainly be handing over the reins of your life to a nasty monster that can and most often does destroy relationships.

anger expression and christmas 035Jealousy that leads to rage is not always brought on by the threat of a physical rival in a relationship such as another lover or mate. Often jealousy raises its head over other events such as a spouse who wants more attention from their partner and is jealous over what seems like excess time being spent with the children or a project. It can rise up big time when one partner decides that they want transformation and healing in their life and start to take the steps toward achieving this. In this action the partner who is seeking growth will be changing their personal vibration to life and if their mate does not decide to keep up there will be a pulling apart of energies and the mate that is not growing or is growing at a slower pace will feel a tremendous pull in the energy between them and their partner. This energy will start to act like an ever growing canyon separating the two. When this happens fear strikes and jealousy sets in shortly followed by anger and rage. This is why we see and hear so many tales of horrible relationship break-ups and even physical, emotional and mental abuse happening. These tactics are ego’s attempt to pull the growing partner back into the same vibration as the one who is not wanting to advance in that same direction.

anger expression and christmas 070I can share personally a time of my life that this very act of ego happened. Years ago I was introduced to the spiritual technology of Kabbalah, I fell in love with the teachings and quickly found myself at home within the community. Excited each week to attend my study group, get tutoring from my teacher and connection with my study buddy and mentors I would eagerly get everything on the home front ready and settled, kids school stuff taken care of, dinner, etc. before I would make the mad dash off to my meeting. Under the belief that my partner supported my growth because after many years of being together we had both been big crusaders of personal growth and advancement. Sadly in this particular case my growth was causing a vibrational upheaval and calling forth the darkness that had grown in our relationship and in each of us. My partner was now being faced with insecurities, jealousy and mental uneasiness. Fear had set in and ego was now his master many a night at my return from class. It became so that I would find myself hating the drive home, I did not even want to face the music of his wrath, I dreaded walking through the doors of our home to find him drinking and sulking, giving me the third degree on things and treating me as though we were in a court of law and I was on trial. At this time of my life I could not understand what was happening. I did not know why he was always so upset about my practice, what I was learning and what I was bringing back to share. As my advancement in my studies grew I came slowly to the awareness that our relationship was on VERY rocky ground and I found myself being posed with some hard choices.

Do I keep growing on this spiritual path and pushing forward regardless of anyone’s acceptance or resistance to it? Or, do I succum to his wants and walk away from the Light that I was experiencing from this path and growth?

Looking back on our past, on my path and on what I wanted to manifest in this life I knew that I could not step away from my core desires for growth again like I had done repeatedly in the past. I knew that if I chose to turn my back on my soul that I would most likely throw myself into another dark night of the soul and who knows what might happen, so I pushed forward in hopes that his perspective and feelings would change and even in hope that he might open to this path as well and we could be a team.

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Alas, this was not in our cards.

Jealousy ate away at him. Fear kept hold tight and the fires of rage slowly were fed until they one night found the fuel that they had been hoping for and we both found ourselves faced with the dark possession of the soul in physical form.

anger expression and christmas 043“It was late and we had been fighting all night until these wee hours of the morning. The focus was on my commitment to my classes and my lack of time and attentiveness to him. The fear was based on me possibly flirting with other men after my meetings while enjoying a glass of wine with my female study buddy at the hotel bar where (the study class at this time was being held at a local hotel chain in the city). No matter how I tried to assure that there was nothing more going on the fear would not let hold and he by this time had drank enough alcohol that any rational was gone and the soul had officially been suppressed. The final moments of this night of rage ended with me lying down in bed, crying and breathing. In my head I worked through my tools that I had been taught so that ego would not completely destroy my internal world. He paced back and forth as he always did after drinking and getting caught in ego. Bathroom to bedroom. Bedroom to bathroom and back. All the while yelling and dancing in a pity party. His pain body was on fire and I was in his eye responsible for this. I recall begging him to calm down and lower his voice as to not wake our sleeping children. This only caused more outrage. Now he was feeling as though I was controlling him and after screaming that he would speak as loud as he wanted he slammed his fists down on the end of our bed. Pounded his rage into the mattress and then without a moment’s notice the man I had known for many years disappeared into some dark dungeon and this tormented devil flung from the shadows of our bedroom wanting me to feel his pain, his fear, his rage, his loss of control of life and all the insecurities and judgments, lack of love that had been bottled up for perhaps a life time or more. In this moment as I lay there I was no longer another human being, I was not the woman he loved, I was not his friend, I was not the mother of his children, I was nothing but the reason for his pain and fear, something that was controlling him and he HAD to regain control of. Without time for a breath my heart skipped and my body tensed. I could not stop my own fear. My own internal terror. The covers were tossed off of me and he grabbed me harshly. At first I thought that he might just slap me and yell some more. But no, his ego had bigger ideas. My night gown was forced upward, his shorts were dropped and without anything more he forced my legs apart, ignored my begging and pleading he penetrated my body. As he did this I could feel my vulva lips tear from the lack of lubrication, I could feel my heart shut down as my tears cascaded down my cheeks onto the mattress. His hands pressing me down, his breath on my shoulder and cheek. Each thrust of his cock was like a dagger into my heart and soul.

 

Jealousy may have started this war but, rage finished it.

 

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After the physical event was over, he rolled over and passed out without a word. I lay there crying. Now angry, full of distrust, fear and not understanding how my longing for personal growth and attending a class could cause this sort of reaction. The next morning I wondered what would happen. To my surprise he acted as though nothing happened other then he had drank too much. Time passed, I continued to close myself of intimately and emotionally to him. Months went by and I found myself trapped in a dungeon of my own with my own tormented devil. Should I have fought more? Should I have called the cops on him? Should I bring it up and ask what the hell happened and why, WHY in god’s name would he hurt me like that on so many levels? All I knew was that this action was out of place and that it was slowly tearing me apart. Tearing us apart. The trust I had in him was after this event completely gone. The violation of my being on ALL levels was now the catalyst for me to escape and move forward in whatever fashion I must in order to not feel like this anymore.

 

The rage he felt in that heated moment that one night that forced him into black out and possession of something evil now filled me. The seed of rage had been planted within my womb and its embers lingered in my thoughts. The path of healing personally and for us together had taken a turn for what seemed to be the worse.”

 

“Jealousy is a disease, love is a healthy condition. The immature mind often mistakes one for the other, or assumes that the greater the love, the greater the jealousy – in fact, they’re almost almost incompatible: one emotion hardly leaves room for the other. Both at once can produce unbearable turmoil…” – – Robert A. Heinlein

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Sadly to say events of this nature happen in over 70% of relationships according to studies done. And even more sadly the “victims” often feel as though it is okay that this sort of violation happened because they blame themselves for perhaps not fulfilling their side of the marital contract, or that they should not be doing what their heart desires and instead focus more on self-sacrifice and doing what their partner wishes. The victims fall into the belief that their partners rage and jealousy is a sign of how much they are loved and that if they themselves would just do and be everything for their partner then theses acts of violence would halt.

To think that we can be everything to our lover or any other person is expecting too much. If we ever look for another to be everything we need and want in a relationship then we are putting unrealistic expectations on those we love and we are increasing our chances of disappointment.  In these sorts of expectations we pull ourselves out of the NOW and we lose our ability to appreciate what we have and cherish the love that resides in our life. Each time we look to another for our happiness we are but only closing ourselves off from the reality that the ONLY person able to make us happy or responsible for our happiness is OURSELVES. As long as we put blame on another for how we are feeling and for our actions we will continue to allow ego to hold the ownership papers on our life.

Make a commitment today to yourself, to your love and your happiness that you will release yourself from the chains of this tormented devil and enjoy a life of freedom. This can only manifest if you learn to remain present in the moment and know that the emotions that you are feeling are coming from within yourself. There is no one responsible for your actions, your feelings, your thoughts other then YOU. And it is up to you to make the decision to act in unconditional love and not let the monstrous face of ego distort your image of reality.

It is up to you to release the chains of this demon that wants to posses your heart and soul!

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Freedom is the release of control…(Response to Serenade of the Boogie Monster)

Freedom is the release of control…

I thought this was a beautiful add on to my tale Serenade of the Boogie Monster. This allows all to see both sides of the story as well as the transformational aspects that occurred and are still in process. As with everything in life the path to enlightenment and expansion is never ending. Each step we reveal new aspects of our self and we see those in our lives through our new eyes. Our lessons are put before us so that we may expand personally but also so that we may openly share and have empathy for our brothers and sisters. It has always been through story that we learn.

“You must learn to let go. Release the stress. You were never in control anyway.” 
― Steve MaraboliLife, the Truth, and Being Free

I as the husband in this story would like to share my side and also take the opportunity to explain what I have learned. Perhaps in doing so some of the regret I have will wash away. I am still doing the work of discovering my particular issues referred to in Kabbalah as Tekkun. I have had a sense of not being good enough, not worthy, a very common human trait. Kendal had a very special spiritual/sexual love connection with her first lover. They where to run away together and he disappeared and left her devastated. She quickly turned to me wounded. For me it was as if God had handed me an Angel. The life partner I had been dreaming about. I could not believe she had chosen to love me and I felt like I could rope the moon. Neither of us understood at the time how much of a needs based relationship it was. The problem is anytime we are getting our needs met by someone else, if they stop filling them there is a feeling of loss. We humans when we feel loss strive to get it back, to get that need filled. This is where control comes in, what once was free we need to take. We take through manipulation, guilt, fear and sometimes physical abuse. Looking back this happened very early on in our 18 marriage and it is still happening today as my desire to be close to her causes her to feel controlled. Back to the story. My needs and insecurities increased by the fact that I compared myself to her first lover. He was taller, had a bigger penis, a better connection energetically then we ever had. I tried to make up for it through performance, to fix it. I would get her to love  me more by making more money, taking romantic trips, fucking her harder and deeper and lasting longer. None of this worked of course. I would fantasize about our friend having sex with her, the two of us having sex with her. His penis was bigger so maybe he could please her and I wanted her to be pleased yet this surfaced all my insecurities. I could see and feel the energy she had with him. I needed to be the one to please her. My need would not be met, or would it? She was not open enough to talk about it and it would have brought my negative ego control issues to the surface like an atomic bomb, so she lied. I knew she was lying.

“Chaos is what we’ve lost touch with. This is why it is given a bad name. It is feared by the dominant archetype of our world, which is Ego, which clenches because its existence is defined in terms of control.” 
―Terence Mckenna

 

An absolute energetic relationship death. We continued on in this dead end disaster for 13 more years before her soul had had enough and she did what she had to do to heal herself and turned to Tantra, Kabbalah, her soul guide, and other men in a desperate attempt for freedom. I am sharing this in hopes that someone reading might be helped and get understanding. I want everyone to know how proud I am of her and how thankful I am that she had/has the courage to strive for soul integrity. She is and always will be my spiritual teacher. We can’t go back in time yet as I work on my healing I reflect on how different it could have been had I the courage 13 years ago to do the work on myself. To open up to Tantra as a spiritual path and also to polyamory. Looking back the only thing wrong with my fantasies is that I wasn’t emotionally or spiritually strong enough to handle it. It’s a matter of consciousness. I look around at relationships and can see and feel the pain these control issues are causing. I am looking forward to having many lovers as I continue to heal and grow my consciousness. I hope one day to be lovers with Kendal again knowing all the negativity that would have to be released because I would not want her to live out of soul integrity to fill my needs. I can desire her love open and free but I can not need it. Currently I still feel loss, needs unmet. There is much work to be done so here is my shout out to the world, stop the insanity. Do the hard work. It’s going to be really fucking hard and your demons will surface, but the world needs you to do it. Dive in the water is cold but you get used to it and it is why we are here. To  heal, love openly, grow, expand love, expand ourselves.

Namaste’