An Actions Impact on Relationships

Actions speak louder than words.  This statement has truth to it, especially when it comes to the negative side of things.  For example we can quickly pick out the person who we have most recently applied this old adage to.  If I tell someone that I will be somewhere at a certain time and place, then either don’t show up, or show up late there is a negative reaction.  I would be judged based on this action showing either my insensitivity or absenteeism, correct?  We asses and categorize a person’s past behaviours in such a way that it will reflect how we interact with that person going forward.  If a person is late for dinner more than once, we will either respond by being late ourselves, manipulating the time of the events to prevent this occurrence but rarely would we resort to cut out the person from our lives for tardy behaviour.  We like the person and we will be lenient for their shortcomings, hardly do we demand them to swear up and down that they will never present this negative behaviour again.  But we also recognize that this is simply a negative action and we do not let it cloud our overall judgment of our relationship with this person.
Here is the interesting part of this, would you say this universally holds true for a positive action?  More to the point, what actions does your partner have to display that you react and know that they love you without having to say so?  Here is my reason for asking this.  I have at times felt that my partner did not love or care for me.  He verbally said he loved me, but there was no clear cut action that he took to make me doubt his words, however the words were only words.  Often there are not actions to back up his words, rather just a sufficient lack of negative behaviours towards our relationship.  Further to this, I have felt unloved because of one tiny little misunderstanding and the mere words were not enough to dispel my doubts.  Now this is a troubling thought when looked at rationally.  Why do we expect our partners to constantly show that they love us, or display emotions of affection, support and tenderness?  And why does just one tiny little situation have the power to undo our whole support system.  Are all relationships just based on a house of cards? A precarious list built solely on loving words which all fall to the ground after one unpleasant gesture?  We don’t lose all the cards, and they get easier to build as time goes on, but don’t we get tired of re-building the same thing?
It’s funny that when I was trying to write this post, I was taking a stance that positive actions really do not get noticed nearly as often as negative ones.  Sadly today I learned the cold hard truth of that.  I needed more time to show my actions, and instead had one of my favorite relationships end because of the impact of the negative ones.  So I guess the short of it is that actions do speak so much louder than words, and unfortunately positive actions have less weight than negative ones.  

Why I Am Conflicted About Marriage

I have previously debated the idea that cheating is the deadliest relationship sin, but I think there is more to it than that.  You can always find a reason to break up if you wanted to, but the trick is staying together.  We are self invested individuals constantly looking out for the number one, so to morph our thinking to including someone else’s interests into that equation almost doesn’t seem natural.  And yet we seek the social more often than the solitary situations.  Western society wants us to find an opposite sexed partner, marry, then have 2.5 children and never talk about the affairs that made it possible to maintain this façade of happiness.  Because the ideal of staying faithful to one partner is intrinsic to the foundation of rearing well rounded children.  Yes, this is what many of us want and need to believe.

I have heard a few times as of late this idea of being loyal to a partner for piece of mind, even when faced with a reality that the basic need for happiness are no longer being met.  So it almost would seem that marriage is only artificial glue, created by society to aid us in obtaining safety, love, security and absolute happiness, with no real science to keep it bonded for life.  But these may merely be the words of a marriage cynic.  Shouldn’t the dream be to ride off into the sunset and get married to your prince charming which would result in all your dreams coming true?  I personally made a vow when I got engaged a few years ago that nothing in the relationship would change, that we would still be who we were and that marriage was merely a way to throw a big party and celebrate our current happiness.  If I was to get engaged again, I would only accept on a similar basis, that marriage would not be about changing the relationship, just celebrating its strength.
So I ask, what actions are we missing from our partners that would allow us the freedom to love and be loved without the sunset and the white horse?  Why do I feel like society will judge my relationship until I validate it with marriage and children?  I am battling with myself and this idea that I need a stable commitment from my partner in order to truly be free to experience a few “outside of the norm” pleasures.  And the battle stems from not ever having a true reason not to trust that he will be true to his word, versus the implication that if we are not married or living together in a stable environment that he is free to walk away at any time.  But the reality is the even married or co-cohabiting the walking away is still just as easy.  Financially you will take a hit, but we are free to still do as we please.  I think the only solution is to default to the idea that we are responsible for merely making ourselves happy.  And perhaps hope that over time the conscious thought comes to include that person with whom you have been with and that they want to include you in a ceremony in front of family and friends. 
Let me honestly express a great fear, being that I may be risking the happy ever after fantasy that I am not sure I want, for the open relationship that I have found.  But knowing what I know now, I cannot possibly close my eyes to the freedom I have and go back to a life of monogamy.  There are incredible challenges in every relationship especially when it comes to planning the future.  And while I do envy the couples, who right from the start wanted the 2.5 kids, white picket fence and the golden retriever in the back yard.  I personally have never experienced that type of symmetry in myself, and therefore in my partners.  Life is too fluid and so full of possibilities that I lack the resolve to settle for any one path in life.  I love options, and I love juggling many different situations at once to find the best possible fit for the moment.  And yet there is a sadness knowing that my relationship is not “real” until that ring is on my finger and I have said my I do’s.  This isn’t a position that I stringently want to fight for my right to be acknowledged in a loving relationship, outside the confines of marriage.  Just more to express that my current attempt is to love as fully as I can with or without marriage.  I know that this post is a little all over the place in thought process, however I think there is purpose in not having a solidified view on the subject of marriage just yet.

Can Unconditional Love exist in a Relationship?

I have discussed the unforgivable sin, the poison that is cheating or doing something outside of relationship rules that you and your partner have created.  Thus that leads me to my question about what love is actually defined as in your relationship.  I would argue that we are not willing to love our partners unconditionally.  There is far too much risk involved in the area of heartbreak and emotional anguish for that.  Thus we love based on conditions.  These conditions are put in place for our protection.  The norm for our society is that once we get married we are to start having children. 
Without any practice in having unconditional love for our partners, accepting that they are fallible creatures we then bestow upon our children a pre-supposed unconditional love.  So then what do we say to the child when they ask do you love mommy or daddy the way you love me?  The answer seems to be no, especially with such a high divorce rate.  Does that not seem strange to anyone else?  Here we have merged our genetics with a partner whom we do not love for better or for worse, but the spawn of that love will be enriched with the unbreakable love from both mother and father.
I personally wonder if perhaps we are going about relationships in a bizarre way.  Is there the possibility of actually saying and meaning I do, for better and for worse? This is the one situation where I would look to my catholic friends who are married and live this lifestyle with the aid of shared love and devotions for God.  They have made a covenant not only to each other, but to a higher power which they entrust to protect the most vulnerable emotion, love.  Is there a way for the non God fearing soul to reach the same level of open and forthcoming love?  I do not believe in a higher power, but there would be a greater temptation to find the merit in one if such belief could yield this mystical relationship with another human being.   To me this would be the un achievable goal that I would take the leap towards achieving with my partner.
To put another way, do any of you have an ex out there that is some small way you will always love?  In the English language love encompasses every type of more than friendship feeling.  The Greek had 4 different forms of love, Storge – affection between members of a  family, Philia – friendship, Eros – romantic love, and Agape – love towards God or a person’s neighbour.  Here is a language that depicts much clearer the definition of love, and yet none of these terms quite describes that unconditional relationship that I think many of us would ironically kill to obtain.  So then I ask, what are you looking to achieve from your partnership if unconditional love is off the table and unachievable?  Or do you go into a relationship and strive towards one day finding this peaceful existence in each other?  Perhaps this is the next step in our sexual evolution, finding an unconditional loving partner with whom we can achieve anything and everything with full support.

But How Can You Know What You Want…?

“But how can you know what you want, till you get what you want, and you see if you like it?” (Into the Woods the musical).  This quote pretty much sums up where I am at right now.  Some new questions and very few answers have sprung up on me and I am trying to determine the yays or nays to the scenarios.  My biggest critics are those close to me.  My best friend used to ask me once a week “so are you monogamous yet?”.  My answers were always the same but I found myself answering with a range of different emotions ranging from calm laughter, to annoyance, to an almost childlike defiance, to an acceptance that people just may not understand.

One thing I have learned on my journey is what I do not like.  I do not like being told what to do or how to do it.  I have always been someone who needs to try out different paths on my own and experience things for myself.  If nothing else I come out with a greater understanding of where others come from.  So what question is really plaguing me right now?  The idea of where to take my relationship from here.  What are the next levels that I want to take it too.  I was recently talking to a gentlemen who was a swinger.  I was being my usual inquisitive self, and one thing that struck me about his lifestyle was how he was able to befriend the women that he and his wife brought back into the bedroom.  I was absolutely intrigued by this level of respect that he had for the other women.

Could I ever find a way to love or even have a friendship after intimacy with someone other than my lover?  This has been a stickling factor for me.  Being raised with the notion of one lover and one relationship at a time fear and panic has scared me out of any opening up of things as a couple.  I know this is too much information for any of my readers who actually know me and I am really sorry that you have to make eye contact with me in the future after reading this.  This is a legitimate fear though.  I am not married, I do not have implicit security in my relationship so I realize I need to artificially create that aura.  Once I create that sense of independence and confidence within myself I think things will get easier.

And yes the hard cold reality is that I may not like it, and I may for a short while dislike myself, but what if I don’t?  Are the risks involved really worth not taking a chance and experiencing what thousands of people have experienced for hundreds of years?  And here is one key difference between myself  and out there, I want to share where I am at.  I do not want to be secretive in my desires and chances that I am taking.  The gentleman I was discussing this with holds his anonymity first and foremost.  He said he is most grateful for never meeting anyone in public that he has played with.  His life is on his terms and in a secret box.  Therefor there is limited access to acceptance by society.  There are stories out there of all of these open relationships gone wrong.  And that is how our society demands it.  Politicians ruining their marriages or political careers because of infidelity, and the like.  But where are all the success stories?  Where partners are striving and being better lovers and parents because all their needs are being met?

All I ask is put your judgment on the shelf and consider the possibility that I am not the only one out there who fantasizes about more in my relationship.  I have questions and few answers, but I am taking a leap and making sure that I get to taste all that I can in my short time on this planet.  Perhaps some of you will live vicariously through me, or perhaps I will lose many readers.  Either way I can only be who I am.

How Can I Say I’m in Love?

I was presented with a bit of a challenge while I was discussing my blog with a friend recently.  He asked me if I was in love, and I said yes.  He gave me a really skeptical look at my response and said that if I was in love then my partner would be the only man I would want and vice versa.  Further he went on to say that we live in a society in which we pay taxes and follow the natural order.  There are rules and guidelines that we must abide by in order to live in this society.  I am paraphrasing a bit here as there was a large quantity of booze during this interlude.  Suffice to say though; I completely understand where he is coming from.  I have family who have stated quite clearly that I must be missing out by choosing a man who doesn’t put me on a pedal stool.  That I am somehow settling by being with someone who may stray from time to time.
This is a very hard viewpoint to argue against, so I will only make a few little points or examples that are not to be taken as persuasive.  But more or less illustrate that I am living my life with eyes wide open and there are many benefits to my level of thinking.  I have previously provided the dictionary definition of love, but for kicks here is the urban dictionary definition.  Which of course the first one make me giggle.  I read through about 5, and the answers submitted are so varied it can really makes me wonder why that is.  As a society we cannot cohesively agree on what love is.  Yet we can very quickly judge someone else and tell them that they are not in fact in a loving relationship because they are missing x,y, and/or z.  This sort of hypocrisy is fully accepted in our society, as a judgmental being that has the rights to tell us who and how to love.
That being said, I still talk about myself being in love.  My point of reference for this is that I am truly happy and generally in a great mood and my life is moving in a positive way.  Also when I say I love you to my partner it feels great and hearing it does the same, very simple and honest.  I try very hard to take preconceived notions out of my life and that includes others definitions of love.  I live to make myself happy and when someone is making themselves happy alongside me, there is an opportunity for an amazing journey.
The next little point is one that I have blogged specifically, a man’s nature, which in discussion with quite a few of the male variety they agree with.  Well I should clarify, they admit to agreement on the preface that they are not married.  If married then the rules change, to complete and utter monogamy… But prior then yes men have a tendency to stray.  When they cheat in marriage it’s a “one time” thing and will never ever happen again… until the next time.  Ok so I am being a little sarcastic in my tone, not out of anger, but more or less I get frustrated with the lack of honesty.  But this brings me to my conclusion which is living in a relationship where my partner knows who he is.  This does not mean that he loves me any less than any man out there, or any more.  Just that I won’t make him come crawling home begging for forgiveness and promising that it will never happen again.  I won’t emasculate him for being himself.  For me the true test of a relationship is honesty, and this includes being honest with yourself first and foremost.