Monthly Archives: June 2014
“Without independence in a marriage people feel trapped.”
I read that quote the other day and it resonated with me quite a bit. As someone who recently celebrated two decades of marital bliss, it seems second nature for me to have an expectation of independence. Now, it wasn’t always that way. I was someone who struggled terribly in the early days of my marriage. I had just graduated from college, was truly on my own for the first time in my life and jumped into a major commitment with the man I loved.
Fortunately it all worked out. And funnily enough, it worked out only because we worked on it. My husband said the other day – as we were talking about the demise of the marriage of a couple we are friends with – the struggles we faced would have been the end for a lot of young couples. People have a “disposable approach” to relationships as much as they do common household items; we refused to throw ours away.
Part of the strength in our relationship is that we have both a strong connection to each other, but a healthy level of independence. I hazard to say, my husband has also been the primary reason why I was able to find my independence – and not just in marriage, but in my life as a whole. It’s a balance between having someone need me and me need them AND the freedom to be myself and pursue my own path.
I’ve said it before in my blog, and in conversation online, that I have discovered more about myself, my desires and passions because of my relationship. I have experienced things I believe I would have never had the opportunity – or courage – to have ever tried. From accepting and exploring my bisexual side, through to the freedom to fulfill my fantasy with my Office Guy, that sense of independence played a key role. My reliance on my husband in those first days of discovery – pushing me forward and being there beside me to prove I would be safe – built on my strength of character to accept that I, as a healthy woman and sexual being, could pursue some adventure in my life. In essence, it removed the fear most of us have when it comes to admitting our sexual interests extend beyond hardline monogamy.
But the question remains “How can you find it?”
A journey of self-discovery with someone leading the way is one place to start, in my opinion. My husband introduced me to many new ideas in life – from social activities to bedroom gymnastics to creating fantasies. And those, in turn, opened my mind and gave me the confidence to take my own first steps. Independence came from the building of trust that occurred during these experiences.
Many couples (or at least ones I seem to know) don’t have a sense of trust in their relationship that they would even dare admit to silly, normal things such as flirting with a co-worker, or talking intimately about a fantasy. Having trust allows you to have some separation in your relationship; room to move, so to speak, and discover things on your own.
If you can’t trust, you can’t discover that independence.
How did it work for me? Hours upon hours of talking, sharing … finding creative and silly ways to share confessions with each other. We used every outlet we could think of to open those doors – and went back through them often. It’s easy for me to say, “just communicate” and expect it to work. I know enough about relationships to know it isn’t that easy.
Accept your sexual desires
If you want your spouse to trust you and give you some sexual independence in your relationship (whether that means exploring beyond the traditional or not), you need to come to terms with your own desires. If you can’t accept, for whatever reason, your own sexual thoughts then it will be hard to be open about what you want. My own example: I grew up in a small town, where anything you said or did became public knowledge in a hurry. I would never have admitted to having bi-curious thoughts for fear of being judged and having my reputation smeared by small-minded people. It took my husband a good couple years of constant reinforcement and support for me to finally “come out.”
In the beginning my husband encouraged me to keep a sexual diary – something close to those things that teenage girls write their high school fantasies in, but mine was meant to capture the thoughts that popped into my head, to draw my imagination out and help me build on those momentary flashes of horniness. That eventually morphed into my blog. But the point was to find a way to connect my consciousness to the subconscious and fuel my sexual desires more openly.
Open your sexual soul to your spouse
My husband knows exactly what turns me on and what doesn’t. He could describe my sexual fantasies better than me, right down to the kind of man I would love to invite into my fantasies. He has cast aside his jealousy and been tells me the greatest reward was being able to watch me be sexually satisfied by a man I wanted a sexual encounter with. All of this is because he taught me how to expose my sexual soul to him, how to share my intimate thoughts with confidence and even act of some of those to turn fantasies into realities.
You have to own your sexuality; it can’t be something someone else determines for you. Does that mean I’m open to trying something just for my husband? Absolutely … but it also means I’m confident enough is expressing to what limit my sexual adventure is willing to reach.
Find your sexual creativity in how you communicate
My husband is a creative man; he needs to be from a professional point of view, and doesn’t give it up on a personal level. In the 20 years we have been going down the path of discovery together, he has:
- Created personal surveys/questionnaires for me on my sexual fantasies which I have been asked to provide written answers to. Sometimes we have just made long drives into amazing moments of sexual 20 questions.
- Created handmade invitations for dates, and turned the experiences into “magical mysteries.” The effort is worth far more than the environment. My husband found a way to turn a date to a casino into one of the most erotic dates we’ve had as a couple in recent years. Neither of us really gamble … with money.
- Created “treasure hunts” for dates, where I have been given a certain amount of time and money to find and buy an outfit to wear for a date that night. A woman who has had a riot being pampered with a new outfit AND a night away from the children is a woman whose libido is soaring like a rocket.
- Arranged for dates to places where I could be sexually liberal without fear of being judged. My husband’s idea of fashion for a night out with me frequently exceeds my personal level of fashion bravery – especially if I have a feeling that I will be leered at. So when he wants that micro mini and skyhigh stilettos planted on the dance floor instead of pointed at the ceiling, he plans to take me places where the men are well-behaved and the women equally attired. In other words, if you want your woman to wear those thigh high boots and tiny demin skirt when you go play billiards, you better be willing to accept every man in the pool hall to be checking her out.
Never close the metaphorical door
Almost everyone has the ability to keep an open mind. I’ve learned when you are pursue something new in a sexual sense, it is absolutely vital you make that a conscious thought. There is nothing that will slam the door shut on exploring new experiences than an inconsiderate comment, hint of jealousy or feeling of being ‘thrown under the bus.’ Most women still need to feel that their partner will “protect” them. Not necessarily in just the physical sense and warding off any unwanted come-ons from guys who may have the wrong impression (it happens, trust me), but she wants you to protect her fragile sense of confidence. Most of us don’t wear skyhigh heels and napkins for skirts on a daily basis. That is really putting our sexual self on the line for judgment. We don’t just want to know you’re turned on; we want to know you’re an equal partner in the adventure.