re-stressing importance of openness and honesty

Partly to appease irish-girl’s voyeur-like interest in the subject of non-monogamy and jealousy therein, I’m going to take a little stab at reiterating the importance of openness in open relationships.

I think that secrets are the downfall of every relationship. Both secrets of the traditional, unspoken variety, but also imposed secrets. For example, if you at any point find yourself uttering the phrase “I just don’t want to hear about that.” to your partner, in my opinion you have at least one unhealthy aspect of your relationship. Because that issue will resurface, no matter how small, and when it does, it’s going to haunt you.

For many people/couples, the whole concept of your partner dating someone else is something you don’t want to talk about! Something you don’t want to think about, and certainly don’t want to address it in conversation! Then when your partner goes and “cheats on you”, the subject has never even been broached! The couple doesn’t know how to react, and consequently (sometimes) fails.

Last night I watched Bowling for Columbine. I had read so much about the parts of the movie that are factually inaccurate (or anyway questionable), that I was totally unprepared for the flurry of other powerful messages in the movie. Underlying the entire thing was one overwhelming question: What makes Americans kill each other far more than citizens of any other country? And the answer, at least as put forth by the movie… seemed to be fear. We’re spoon-fed reasons to fear and loathe our fellow Americans, so much so that we’re more likely to pull the trigger on them when things turn sour.

Interesting parallel in open relationships: What causes jealousy? Fear.

I think ultimately the bulk of jealousy in relationships is fear of abandonment, but there are also smaller and more subtle fears that cause jealousy in open relationships specifically. Fear that you are not as important as you once were. Fear that other things will change negatively in your current relationship. Fear that the “other” party is better than you are in some way.

In my personal experience, it’s been incredibly important for me to talk about all of these possible fears with my partner, get them out onto the table, and break them wide open. Once you’ve faced a fear, and talked about that possibility and what it would do to you and your relationship, it is often much easier to deal with the fear… and consequently the jealousy.

Earlier this week Laura was jealous of my new fling. But when we talked about the subject, it became immediately obvious that she wasn’t so much jealous of what we were doing, or what was happening, but rather afraid of the possibility that this new person was going to somehow make me less enamored of her. (We also hadn’t spent enough time together the week before the fling started, and communication had been too scarce for either of our tastes.)

I don’t know if any of you have already heard about this, but I ran into this site yesterday dedicated to John Titor. This guy posted on a public forum, claiming to be a time traveler from the year 2036. I mentioned this, not because it’s incredibly fascinating stuff (which it is, in my opinion), but because, when I began writing this paragraph I thought I was going to tie it in with the discussion of openness and honestly. I have since forgotten how I was going to do that. Maybe it was just that Titor had some good messages, whether he was from the future or not, but I really can’t remember.

And with that mental derailment, I’ll conclude this tirade by saying that (unless some elaborate practical joke has been played on me,) I think laura and e took a shower together earlier today. All the while, I was here. At work. Lather in my imagination.

4 Replies to “re-stressing importance of openness and honesty”

  1. hmmm… you talk about relationships in a very logical, almost mathmatical nature… i am not sure relationships can be measured like that unless we are talking about ideal business relationships… ;)

  2. After I point out the irony in the above comment not even using an alias, (fear of discovery?) I’ll respond anyway.

    I should really devote an entire entry to this topic, as I know I can go on and on about it, but since I’ve just posted something that I feel was particularly interesting this morning, I’ll save that entry for later.

    Basically, the short answer is that yes, I fear commitment. But not, I don’t think, for the reasons that said anonymous poster no doubt thinks I fear it. Rather, I fear disloyalty. I fear for the committed relationship that I would get into and then fuck up because I basically don’t even want a monogamous relationship, and how could I possibly lie to myself and my partner and expect to stay in one?

  3. Coming from a country that isn’t the USA, I can see John Titor for what he really is. A right wing conservative American, who thinks that guns are great and that big government (with their taxes) corrupts the real crux of civilisation, the small community. He’s from Florida, or another southern state, no surprises there and thinks that he should have the right to do whatever he wants, whenever he wants with noone to tell him otherwise. Believe me, it’s clear if you’re not from the U.S lol. Just check out his “suggestions” for life. ‘Get comfortable with a gun’ or how there are no income taxes in 2036 hmmm *para*. Yeah, ok.Freak.
    He comes from 2036 where everyone lives on farms in little communities and die when the time is right, rather than trying to live, where factories are rare. Yet the internet is bigger than it is now, with faster chips etc etc and of course time machines. Obviously there must be some real dynamo’s working the fields during the day and making mother boards by night. Tops.
    His comment that pop-music (and other forms of culture that he doesn’t respect) is extinct in 2036 is just laughable and that’s of course before you get to the civil war, the nuclear war and then the 5 presidents in Omaha thing.
    Of course he is right even when all that stuff doesn’t happen though, because he’s on a different “worldline” raaaaah

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