One of the things I learned in my open relationship with John is that relationships are about balance.
An understanding that without this balance the “load” becomes a struggle as you try to keep it from tipping. Without this balance the relationship will start to fall into survival mode…with both parties struggling to maintain their side not realizing that the issue is not in the “load” itself but in how it is stacked. If one of the parties in the relationship for instance, wants a certain amount of freedom, but doesn’t want to afford the other partner that same freedom then it is out of balance…hence the struggle.
What can make this difficult is it can be a shift so subtle to one of the parties that they aren’t even aware it is out of balance, while it becomes painfully visible to the other partner. Now I’m not saying that it has to be this neurotic 50/50 balance, where everything is dissected down to the minute, but more of an overall balance of whatever the two parties have agreed upon. Those things that bring out the best in both parties, creating a balance that enhances those involved. That is when communication becomes so powerful. The ability to get to the heart of whatever the fear is, because that is a lot of times what creates the imbalance, fear.
Now fear is an interesting creature. Our ego will try to convince us those fears are coming from outside of us. That the problems stem from the other person. That if that other person would just do what we want them to do, we would be problem free. Our ego will also tell us that revealing those fears will create a vulnerability that will be viewed as a weakness. But when we respond out of fear, we end up trying to control the other person, which to our great surprise doesn’t make us feel any better about the situation. Whereas if we reveal those fears to our partner amazingly enough, we can create a vulnerability that actually brings the relationship closer. We become an ally for each other…a balance.
Sometimes when we struggle, it’s our mind’s way of telling us something is not centered. And that centeredness ultimately comes from within. Of course in a relationship there should be conversations and working towards combining two trains of thought onto a common track. There will be times of compromise as decisions are made regarding the significance of certain topics, because one of the assets of a relationship is it gets us out of our ego.
To see other points of view, to grow and learn. And just as someone can teach us something new, we too are a teacher. Each relationship creates an expansion. This is yet another reason I believe in open relationships. Each new interaction grows us in some way. Either by showing us what we want or by showing us what we don’t want. Both results move us forward.
One of the great things about partnerships is they get to be tailor made to fit the couple. Each person brings something dynamic to the table, a different view, a new and exciting expression of life, and we get to try it on for size so to speak. We also have the opportunity to see ourselves in a different light, to maybe get in touch with certain aspects of ourselves that we have kept hidden, but are released with the addition of this new partner in our life. An opportunity to grow, to further refine what we like and what we don’t, to locate our boundaries and be okay with whatever those boundaries end up being.
I can’t think of too many things more difficult then questioning the solidity of a relationship. But at the same time, I can’t think of too many things more spectacular then seeing our own metamorphosis.
Every relationship we have in life teaches us something, and not every relationship we have is going to remain at the same level as when it began…sometimes it deepens and expands like the roots of a tree and other times it is like a sweet summer rain…providing much needed nutrients in that moment. Both are vital, yet they serve very different purposes. Our growth is when we are honest with ourselves about what we need and want from a partnership…when we are able to remove any fears from our decision.
Remember to stay present in each and every relationship you experience. Stay open and honest with your partner, relishing in the love that is expressed with each new day. Strive to offer the best of yourself and never shy away from learning something new, because when there is balance there is ease.
John and Jackie Melfi are in a consensually non monogamous marriage. They have been featured in ABC News Nightline Special Report “Getting Naughty In N’awlins”, Inside a New Orleans Swingers Convention, and CNN “This Is Life” with Lisa Ling. The Melfis are the force behind the industry famous colette swingers clubs in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston, and Austin. With over 20 years of combined experience, this powerhouse couple coaches thousands of singles and couples through their award winning blog Openlove101.com.