What is emotional monogamy? How do we define what fidelity might look like? What really helps you feel secure and embraced in a relationship? And what would constitute betrayal for you?
I ask because as I encounter more and more dialog around relationship- I hear the word 'should' over and over. It seems that people walk around with a general consensus that the majority thinks as they, themselves think. I'm starting to get the impression that these assumptions are also preempting some very important conversations.
In reality, we do not all 'relationship' the same. We come from different stories/journeys/paths. And honestly- those stories/journeys/paths have left some feeling more supported/loved/nurtured or violated/lonely/raw than others. Not all of us were a protected priority. While others of us may have felt protected and knew they were a priority yet didn't learn how to stand on their own two feet. It is even rarer that many feel they came out of their story, unscathed and whatever whole is.
Then- we got out into life and meet a someone who sparks our interest. We start looking forward to enjoying their company. Make more room and more time in our lives for/with them. We get wrapped up. Even fall in love.
Their are some amazing communicators who feel at home with language and experience little conflict when engaging in growth with a partner. And then their are the rest of us. Those who self protect, deflect, haven't ever considered where we stand on an issue until right this moment- and to be honest- just aren't ready to look inward about it while feeling as tho they are standing naked in traffic in the middle of a rain storm.
This is where the questions come in. There are all sorts of ties that bind between people- small and large. And what is small or what is large can be different to different people. In reality, we desire different types of interaction; and have differing views as to what is essential to US.
Do you discuss these topics with your partner as they come up?
In the many couples I speak with a few roles and dynamics stand out: K and M were married for about 8 years when M had an affair. K was incredibly hurt and felt betrayed. M couldn't understand why K felt so hurt when K wasn't really showing M affection. Didn't share their day, or talk about things anymore, etc. M felt that K was getting love and connection from elsewhere and so M felt a need for those connections elsewhere also. K was very hurt. Felt that quality conversation elsewhere was NOT an infidelity yet sex elsewhere was. M felt like this. 'I feel loved by intimacy and touch. You feel loved by conversation and mental stimulation. You don't talk to me (albeit for the baggage I may have helped insert into the relationship) yet you do connect with many others- on a deep level. I feel alone, hurt and betrayed by that. So why is it you can go get love from other places when I feel inadequate for not being the place you come to for those things- yet when I go to get filled up with what I need- you trump all the emotions with your betrayal?'
Does M get to request intellectual fidelity? Does K get to request physical fidelity? Is there a way of looking at this that reaches a common ground where emotional and physical monogamy are concerned?
Historically, a large part of the world has lived from a social structure that considered sex with one partner to constitute monogamy and hasn't considered that we have different love languages- and therefore are filled up and emptied by different things. Not all relationship is defined by the same set of rules/parts as others.
It is my invitation that we look at relationship again- from the perspective of different love languages. And the different weights and values that we each may put on different things.
I am in relationship to a someone whom I deeply love, yet, we are not labeled by nor in behavior toward the social standard. The intimacies between us are not your run of the mill, cookie cutter intimacies either. I receive her love best when she allows me to massage her feet, or do her laundry. If someone else touched her feet or did her laundry it would break my heart. I believe she receives my love best by me allowing her the space to take time for herself. In no way would it be ok for me to make ultimatums or request a shift in the way we BE in relationship to eachother. Perhaps less a re-write of an over-played love story... and very much more a carving out of what honors US.
For me, emotional monogamy is in large part my own confidence that we can deeply love people, humanity, without it being romance. For another, that love may be a threat to their value system. For me, I do not need a label or even a traditional way of expressing or receiving love. For another lines/boundaries/contracts may feel very important.
In the end I see a tangled web of starch lines mingled thru-out words or a lack of words where ideas like commitment and betrayal are concerned. What I have learned in all of the diverse exchange I've embraced around these ideas over the years is- it is increasingly evident that we are to first have ourselves in perspective before we can see anothers perception. In all- we are all really living from our own experiences/needs/desires/intentions. Perhaps we haven't shifted our view enough to better see the other side... I do feel confident, tho, that less of what we receive was ever put in place to harm us; it is more that the person we are in relationship to is simply doing them. (with the tools they have collected up until now.)
What we are monogamous to is different for different people. We make love in different ways. Eventho making love has socially been limited to the idea of sex. What if sex is only one little bitty piece of making love? What if love is in the laundry, support, understanding, faith, language, personal stability, the ability to save touch for a time it can be received, or living without succumbing to social pressures to follow a historic lead with a not so good rap?
How loved do you feel and are you willing to truly look inward for the answers as to what really creates warmth and security for you? Is it possible that when you have felt wounded in relationship, it has been less by your partners intentions and more by your own expectations?
I very much look forward to your feedback.
I left the light on for you every night you were away.
Sent love to your becoming and blessed your evolution-
Even if that meant you may not ever again be pretzeled in my arms
On lazy afternoons
Or hold your feet in my hands.
To Listen to their stories.
And because of the way my parts work-
I could feel all the other embraces,
At night when we were sleeping-
In separate beds,
Next to the echo of another’s dreams-
i talked you down
Thru night sweats and wars with your past
Sometimes- your past won…
Today- love has.
Your Love makes sure that none of my pieces feel broken
Not even in the moments I peel myself back from the edge of your eclipse
Would you Introduce me to myself like we were born for this hello
As tho tomorrow wont arrive without the language we create.
ill bath all your papercuts in pixiedust kisses.
Show you all the ways before truly, lovingly, serves your most beautiful today
Honestly, I can no longer bare to stand by and watch you linger on the outskirts of your bliss- I wanna dance in this fire with you- conjure up a little rain- sip on some honey wine-
collapse on the bellies of our having come undone.
lets Teach eachother the pieces we carried with us for the other
And bow to the romance of our entwined dirt roads.
I always knew id meet you at my table
Saw you coming from so far off in the distance
That my life was full of your love before I even opened the door….
The moment you walked thru- I only knew you were home
recognized you by our matching hospitality
Id been saving you a branch on my family tree
So we could hang your porch swing
On the edge near the garden
And watch all the babies grow.
all we have is THIS NOW-
lets stop hiding.
we have stepped out of our silence with Peace
And wrapped our arms around a broken goodbye.
To be introduced to this morning.
I will shelter you. Be your refuge from the years the lies held you hostage to the nightmares.
… if we allow the dawn to embrace our maybes then the gold of the Sun can ignite our daydreams.
I am in love with good lives. People who choose happiness. The ones that walk into the sunset in peace, even when they haven't eaten- but they are full because they witnessed love. And lived to tell about it.
I crave to be the witness. The one that is told. Please speak it to me. Even in silence. Allow me the Honor of deciphering all the parts where the sun bursts thru your seems. Afford me interpretation I can apply to my own highway miles- open up my beatnick soap box and start spilling my perceptions. Let me spill the perceptions I've absorbed from the overflow of all this collective love.
I want to tell them how I've watched Refugees leave countries with the clothes on their back and their last dollars sewn into their underwear- and after a long journey of treacherous mountains and fear- crossed battle lines with smiles to be breathing. Fell into the arms of country after country that didn't really want the burden of no water to moisten such parched lips- still they smiled to see freedom.
I want to tell the story of the grandfather who walked the streets all night asking every household if they had seen his family he wasn't willing to believe were lost in the carnage of fleeing. I want to tell you he found them by morning after never doubting his love could still feel his daughters heart beating.
Pull up a seat. My love has bear witness to so many wounded who would feed the dead before sneaking a crumb of bread. Bathe the shunned before holding a mirror to their haggard, tired eyes.
I watch the joy we continue to spread. My favorite people are the ones who have NO idea how vibrant they are. They keep tending to their poetry, kilns, garden soil. Cultivate words and nurturing.
Let me tell you about the mothers who have only 4 walls to call their own still raise a Harem of Goddesses- Empowered. And Kings- with enough strength to love gently and with Service- never in need to squash the Light out of anyone.
I want to tell you that the lost find their way home. They knock on your door and in ReUnion brothers collapse into 20 years of held breath with finally sharing air from eachothers lungs.
When will we want for our brother what we have for ourselves?
I want for you to have joy in what may seem like little things. Marveling over a blowing leaf. What breeze feels like on summer skin. The amazement in the flicker of candlelight on the small of her back at 2am while you match your breath to hers and become One for the hours she is sleeping. Nevermind her fear of commitment in the morning! Our Perceptions of NOW are a choice. Steal moments. Feel water flowing thru your toes and be reminded of the promise of tomorrow. Create. ReCreate.
If I could stand up and speak on the Essence of the Humanity that wraps its arms around my side view and promises me the landscape of my life- I'd tell you that we have more moments of light than dark. Its a simple math equation. We are kissed by the Sun.
The mystics teach: The sweetness of any mystery is the duration of its unfolding. Be willing, with me, to remain in the mystery.
Bliss is in our gentle nurturing of the unknown. We have no idea how any of this will end. We just keep loving.
Ima fold up my soapbox... Pull up a seat and enjoy this view. Got so much love on my horizon... All my witness doesn't leave me much time for sleep... and besides, I have a sunrise to chase.
Most of what I learned about being in relationship actually clicked years into the divorce. Ive spent the last year making apologies. It took me 2 husbands and 15 collective years of marriage to finally learn:
a lot of amy's ability to serve as a bridge for people comes from her poetic observation. as a writer, poet, coach, mother, friend and peace agent- she lives a passionate life of authentic after authentic moment that includes a spectrum of color, growth and humanity supported by Spirit.