When I was a little girl I always dreamed of falling in love and getting married. I don’t think I understood what marriage really was, but I knew I wanted to wear a wedding dress and have the ring. The odd part was that all through my teens I was convinced that I did not want children, and being an only child I really put my mom through the ringer with that. Now in my mid 20’s my views have almost flipped completely. I want children, and a family but perhaps not the whole marriage part? Getting married is a confusing topic in my little coconut, especially when divorce is almost guaranteed and costs a flipping fortune.
I worked with a woman who would joke that her husband and her signed a 25 year contract when they got married. At the end of the 25 years they could renew for an additional 25 years or they could both go their separate ways. Thinking outside the box like that really makes a lot of sense in this day and age. 25 years together would ensure that their children grow up with stability and security, but that the adults could still be adults when all was said and done.
I was engaged for 4 months, and my personal experience was that the fairy tale of getting married was much more pleasant than the reality. And of course the amount of work and money involved in the whole process seemed unnecessary. The cards are stacked against marriage, a small fortune to get in, and a large fortune to get out. The moral, in plain black and white, don’t get married.
But there is that fairy tale aspect, that little girls dream to be a princess for one day, and get carried off by prince charming and live happily ever after. From an emotional standpoint I know first hand how frustrating it was living my teen years with unmarried parents. It felt like our house was less secure and stable somehow. Also I had the last name of my biological father and not that of my step dad which I think played towards the lost sense of belonging at times. That sense of what family meant for my friends versus what I had seemed different especially on paper.
The idea of marriage is one that I am very curious what I will end up deciding in a few years. I know the emotional ties to it, and I am well aware of the black and white reality for the institution. Also I vividly know that trapped feeling when I was planning my own and I am not sure I can entirely rule out that it was not for more reasons than just the wrong man. Perhaps the only answer is small little contracts of time, with agreed upon renewal dates where ever children come into play. If no children, just live and enjoy who you are with for as long as it works for both parties then end things regret free with a mind full of knowledge and memories.
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I gave my best shot at an 8 year long monogamous happily ever after type relationship. The house, the ring, the dog and cat, and the future of children all with one man. I should point out that the man loved me in his own way, and that was made even more apparent after I ended things, but back to the point. He was strong, intimidating, opinionated, and a very sociable male. I slowly turned into a woman who no longer felt attractive and free, but rather just a woman on a pedestal whose life was turning into that of woman in the 50’s.
Let me explain, we had many mutual friends and friends of friends which happens when you are together that long. Each and everyone of them was afraid of flirting or taking anything too far with me for fear that the ex would “kill” them (melodramatic I know). I was only around these same men, over and over with absolutely bare minimum attention from anyone, and in public even less from the man I was with. So I had to make the first move to get that ego boost with these men. I was not looking to cheat, just to get a high that flirting gives. That adrenaline burst, or better put, that rush and excitement.
I found myself in compromising positions that I initiated and the guilt and remorse that followed was unbelievable, but the longer I went without that rush the worse I felt. Well lets just say I ended things around year 7 to chase what I needed and keep myself from “cheating”. I was getting that much needed attentiveness and kindness from a male friend who was not a fan of the ex. It was exhilarating to have something new, something fresh, someone seeing you with whole new eyes. However shortly afterwards the ex and I got back together, but inevitably ended things a year later, permanently.
It took me a long time to add everything up about why that relationship failed so miserably. He was jealous every time I was alone or slightly flirty with any other male resulting in my complete isolation. The only male giving me affection was him, and he was bad at it. The self esteem and confidence was being replaced by an emotionally starved stranger whom I hardly recognized in the mirror. And I now know why. Men and woman need that extra in life, that something new, fresh and exciting. It also strengthens and keeps fresh that love you have at home. That love that I am missing terribly right now.
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The only person’s frame of reference I have for not living in the cookie cutter form of monogamy is my own. Oddly there is little female perspective on the subject and even less free of biases with regard to religion or social influences. So here I am trying to stumble through in my own way finding love outside of monogamy.
I can tell you the exact moment when things went downhill in the relationship I currently am aching over and what I have learned moving forward. At about month 9 or 10 I said late into the evening “I Love You”. It was the first time, so of course there was absolutely no expectation. However I did say it again a few weeks later, which lead to a discussion between the two of us, whereupon I was told that he wants to keep things simple and that his focus needs to be towards his education. After a few more weeks of various other tangents playing upon this base my brain started overworking.
I started feeling jealousy and it turns out there was a chick that was flirting with him via text. I became even more jealous and started fixating on the relationship and how to fix it, rather than enjoying it, while said jealousy was taking over. The bottom line that comes from all of this? For a female to truly be able to enjoy this lifestyle with one main partner, there must be a mutual basis of love and respect, at least in my humble opinion.
This alleviates many problems in the emotional realm for both the female and in part the male. If two people can open up, be loving, supportive and a partner for the other sex, it is so easy to want the most and best for each other. The jealousy is easier to overcome as there is a solid base for the two main parties. In the respect level, there is a trust that the other person will always want to protect both themselves and their main partner.
We are a complicated species and each individual wants different things within the framework of our society. I have learned from failure that there is a formula that will work for me within an open relationship. I want my rock to come home to, but I want to be free to flirt and meet new people in all possible ways. It is really important to find a way to keep jealousy out of the equation as I have just experienced, it is a killer of relationships.
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One key trait that I strive for everyday is to ensure that I do not live with regret. I stand by my actions good or bad. If there have been cruel or intentional acts of malice, and there have been many throughout my childhood and teenage years all I can say is I have learned many things from them. It is very interesting how people react to negativity and further what it teaches you with regards to your own reactions or in many cases how not to react. I personally have very limited foresight and find myself constantly in situations that I call my lessons learned. The one balance is that I do learn from my mistakes and peoples reactions to them. It is very rare that I will err more than once in any situation.
In saying that though, I find myself replaying a situation with many similarities but with a completely different man than I was used to for so many years. Unfortunately I tried a new tactic to avoid ending up with him angry and me hurt, but ended in the same result…alone and not by my decision. Dealing with the opposite sex is tricky business and it is so easy to forget and let your guard down. The seduction can never end or become stagnant. I chalk this up to a life lesson and I should have known better, but here I am learning yet again. Trying to ensure that the next man or perhaps a second chance with the same man will yield much happier results.
Not allowing myself the luxury of regret or feeling sorry for myself may seem arrogant to some people, but truly there is not an ounce of it. Things have happened in my past that could have sent me into deep depression if I allowed them to become a real part of me. Things that hurt others I try not to repeat, which of course allows for whole new ways to hurt in some cases, but that is my life and my outlook on it. It is amazing the ability each of us has to internalize a situation, grow and make alterations for the future. A life does not have to be one of repeated mistakes, as that is how we can too quickly dig holes and end up in hopelessness.
All I can say is I am sure people out there believe that I should regret certain decisions, but they are mine to make. They are also mine to make again or to learn from, to be the person that I want to look back on fondly and have my grandchildren respect in even the smallest of ways.
Typically I have been told that blogs should start at the beginning, however I think it’s more beneficial for me to start right at the point that kept me up last night thinking about writing this down. I was either dumped last night or given a 2 week no contact by my boyfriend of almost a year. I showed emotion and perhaps jealousy over a chick that he has been fooling around with. It is unattractive to display these qualities and I have been bogging him down with this anger and moodiness steadily, for over a month.
Now for a little back story, I do not believe in monogamy. We are in an open relationship or were as it might be in a few weeks. In my experience everyone cheats at some point in some way (emotionally, physically or both), and feelings get hurt, marriages end, etc. So the research started, and the idea that animals and monkeys especially, are monogamous is nothing more than a myth. My culture, being Canadian, lives repressed, with a real fear of judgment, constantly fighting our natural tendencies. A great book to read on this is “Sex at Dawn” by Christopher Ryan.
So this is the point at which I start writing. I will go more into the research I have done, both in real life relationships and in printed word. As well, I will give more back story on myself, explaining how I have ended up at the life conclusions that I have. Either way, I hope this can be a resource for at least one person who is struggling with thoughts of cheating or has recently been cheated on. We are human and sex is a lot of fun, and we all have a blogging reason.
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