Cheers Sexy People!
My last post about forgiveness and moving forward after infidelity got some lively conversations going, both here in the comments section and in Facebook forums as well. I received the following comment from a Facebook friend:
You talk a lot about trust – the question is, trust that your partner will do what? Do what s/he wants to do? Or trust that s/he will not do something out of co-dependency?
…The trust that I am speaking of is trusting that my boyfriend wants to and will honor his word, his own integrity and our agreements / boundaries (thus not cheat or lie) moving forward, even if we have to amend our agreements so that they work for both of us. He has said that he WANTS to be in a relationship with me, and wants to work through issues, as well as seek outside help for deciphering why he chose to cheat, lie and break our agreements that he had previously happily agreed to (We both are aware that he may have old wounds from his PAST – that partly lead him to lie and cheat in the PRESENT). I was perfectly ready to let him go, and move on with my life and not be in a relationship with him any longer if we could not come to a place of common ground on this issue, respecting each other’s views and feelings. After all, it is perfectly normal for two people that once used to be compatible to now not be compatible as we all grow, change and evolve. But based on many heartfelt conversations, we have both decided to stay and work through this (and do our best to have fun, rebuild our trust and enjoy each other’s company in the process. Because FUN is a great healing element as well as needed element for any healthy relationship! Let’s not forget that!).
In terms of co-dependency, I also recommended an excellent article I shared here called Letting Go of Attachments that I personally like to refer to often. It is worth the time to read it (and maybe print it out and keep it somewhere handy! Great stuff!). I agree that co-dependency is a bad and an unhealthy habit. This article has helped me not only in terms of romantic relationships, but also in terms of the loss of a loved one through death. It’s important to remember that everything in life is transient – though some days, that is a hard pill to swallow. It is also a great reminder to live in the present moment, cherishing everything about it, and the joy that we can find there.
My Facebook friend also asked me to consider Relationship Anarchy and shared with me the following link:
Here is an excerpt:
Relationship Anarchy… dismisses any preconceived ideas about relationship structures, drawing clear lines of separation between “friendship” and “romantic-sexual relationships,” relationship hierarchy, or categorizing relationships according to their behavioral and/or emotional qualities. Relationship anarchy rejects monogamy and the idea of love being finite or limited, in the same way that polyamory rejects that paradigm. Relationship anarchy, however, seeks to dissolve rigid emotional distinctions between sexual and nonsexual relationships, romantic love and friendship, in a way that polyamory usually does not. Relationship anarchy rejects emotional hierarchies of relationships: both the ranking of one romantic-sexual relationship over another and the ranking of romantic-sexual relationships over nonsexual and/or nonromantic relationships.
[Relationship Anarchy] is an open and evolving process of negotiation, so I often check in to make sure everyone is happy with where the relationship is. I think everyone can practice this as relationship anarchy is about treating others ethically and with respect and acceptance…
To me, my coming to relationship anarchy has to do with my romantic orientation, which makes it difficult for me to distinguish between different kinds of affection. However, I also consider it an excellent model for ethical relationships in general, and I encourage all people to take these principles to heart whether or not they choose to identify as a relationship anarchist. To me it’s more about what you do, and the most important thing to do is respect others and their boundaries.
For me personally, I do not identify as a relationship anarchist. I identify as polyamorous. Why? Well, first because it is my choice to do so, as it yours as well. But also, because though I do see some overlap between relationship anarchists and polyamorists (in the context of infinite love, ethics and respecting boundaries), I do not personally subscribe to the rejecting of emotional hierarchies of relationships as well as categories. From a young age, I always knew that I would like to be in a satisfying relationship and preferably get married to a man that I deeply loved. I found that man in my husband, and we chose to get married. Therefore, I am proud to call him my husband (a category / label). And I’m pretty sure he would not be fond of the idea of me deciding one day that I no longer wanted to refer to him as my husband, and treat him and introduce him that way to my family, friends and society. We have put in alot of work, love and legalities and financial maneuvers to be husband and wife together. The same goes for my boyfriend, in the sense that it has taken alot of time, devotion to each other, diligent work on communication and identifying as polyamorous (both privately and publicly) to be able to have my boyfriend in my life, proudly introduce him as such and enjoy that relationship structure. On another part of the spectrum, though I deeply love my platonic friends and the specialness of those relationships, to me they are in a different, non-romantic category and the love that I express there feels different to me, and gets expressed differently (though still profoundly and awesomely). The same goes for familial love, at least in my world. I love my sister to the moon and back, but in a different way compared to say, my husband.
Also, I am happy to see the words “ethics”, and “respecting boundaries” as well as each other described above in Relationship Anarchy. And if this relationship structure and self-identification works for you, then by all means, enjoy the hell out of it! I think that is absolutely wonderful! Live and let live. Love and let love. Be happy, find joy, and I hope lots of giggles, smiles and big bear hugs while you are at it too!
What about you? What are your thoughts on any of this, such as co-dependency or relationship anarchy as it compares to polyamory? How are you most comfortable self-identifying? Caring is sharing (and we all learn in the process).
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)