Why shouldn’t we want to be our partner’s everything? I mean isn’t that what we are all taught is supposed to happen when we find our “soul mate?” We will be their everything and they will be ours? That we will have finally found that one person who fills us up?
John and I were having breakfast with another couple one morning when this very topic came up and during the course of the conversation our friend said, “When you feel like you have to be the only one who can provide your partner everything, you make them very small.” There was a combined silence as we let that sentence hang in the air. Wow! I had never thought of it from that angle.
What are some of the ways that I could make my partner small? Do I do that through trying to control them? Do I do it through my jealousy? Do I do it through my anger? Do I do it through assuming that since we are now partners that I’m the only one that can provide their happiness, their sexual relationships (if any), their love, their time?
I believe we are an accumulation of our experiences with countless others….hmmm, I would wager that I am who I am and believe what I believe as a result of those I have come in contact with…everyone I come in contact with. I love the broadening that is created when we are free to explore others views and beliefs whether physically or mentally. Now that being said, can you imagine only receiving this from one person? For the rest of your life? Neither can I.
I read a line in the book, “The Ethical Slut” that said,
“I promised my partner that I would share my life with him, and that implies to me that I have a life to share-a complete life. And it’s clear to me that he’s here because he wants to be, wherever “here” is. We are with each other, every day, because we really want to be. Our choices are real.”
What I love about that statement is it talks more about acceptance and love for our partner, not ownership. Just because I am someone’s partner doesn’t give me license to dictate their lives…nor should I want to, because in doing that I miss out on the person I fell in love with. I never want to create an environment for my spouse that is restrictive or binding or depleting of whatever fills them up and I definitely don’t want my partner to do that to me.
My intent is to share in the expansion and growth of my partner in whatever capacity that may be whether in knowledge, friendships, sex, beliefs, to throw my arms open wide to the love we share.
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.