[Transcript of video]
I talk a fair bit about my sex life with my partner within some boundaries, but I generally try to give him a zone of privacy around things to do with our relationship. I feel like I’m the one doing this work. He didn’t necessarily sign up for that.
But he also has been very clear that he’s okay with me talking about personal stuff, because his feeling is that he’s also an open book. So today, I am going to dive a little bit deeper into our relationship stuff because this is something that I’ve been dealing with lately, and I think it might be helpful to others.
Earlier in the year – several months ago – he and I had a really, really tough time. The truth is, we both have trauma in our backgrounds, like most people do. I mean, this whole idea of online dating that “I want somebody without baggage” … PLEASE! Nobody gets to this point in life without some baggage!
He and I both have some trauma. And our trauma happens to bump up against each other. So when one of us gets triggered, the other one often gets triggered as well. It’s complicated. It’s hard. But we love each other. And so every time this comes up, we we go through a rough time, and we work our way through it and then we come out the other side. And we’re really glad that we’re still together.
But earlier this year, we went through a time when it was rough. It was really, really rough. And he was so triggered that he said some stuff that was incredibly hurtful and designed to push me away.
We got to the other side of it. But, to be honest, it planted a seed of doubt for me – a seed that I had never had before. I had always thought, “This is really good, and I want to keep fighting for this even when it’s hard.”
But the things that he said this summer left me feeling like, “I’m not sure that I can have both this relationship and the rest of my life the way that I want it to be.”
Like – I maybe have to choose one or the other. I can choose the life I want to have and that means he can’t be in it. Or I can choose him and then I can’t have the rest of my life look the way I wanted to. And that was a decision that was heartbreaking. And I kept putting it off. I kept saying, “Well, let’s just go a little while longer and see what happens.”
Until about a month or so ago, when I realized I have one foot out the door, and that’s a really uncomfortable way for me to have a relationship. I am somebody who’s really loyal and really committed. And I don’t want one foot out the door and I don’t want him to have one foot out the door. And we’ve lived through that part of her relationship. It was awful for me to know that he had one foot out the door.
So finally I decided I need to say something. And I hadn’t been saying anything for this whole four or five month period, because I was afraid of how upset he would be. I thought he might leave me over me expressing how scared I was.
It finally came down to me remembering something that my teacher said a lot. Some of you may know, I studied with Iyanla Vanzant for two years – a really intensive personal development program that was amazing! If anybody wants details, let me know. I’d be happy to share them.
Something that Iyanla says to us a lot is, “Love them enough to believe they can handle the truth.”
And I realized I was not loving him enough to trust him with the truth. That was not on him. That was on me! That was a failure of my own ability to love and trust him.
And if I really want the relationship that I think I want, I have to step up and start loving him enough to believe that he can meet me where I’m at and that he can handle my feelings, and that he can be present and available to love me through it.
If I’m not loving him and trusting him that much, then I am really saying that he’s not the partner I want to be with.
The day came when finally I kind of lost my shit, and I was like, I can’t do this anymore this way.
He and I went out for dinner. I didn’t actually mean to say it that night – it had been on my mind, but I hadn’t formulated how I wanted to present it or what I wanted to say. But we went out to dinner and he was in one of those reflective, really loving moods and he’s like, “I just love you so much.”
And I could feel it come over me – because I knew I couldn’t respond to him in kind without saying something. And so, finally I said to him, “Remember this summer and those things you said to me?” And he said, “Yes.” And I said, “I’ve been holding on to that. And it’s been incredibly hurtful. And I’ve really been wondering if I should be in this relationship. Because if you really believe those things, I’m not sure that I can do this.”
And his response was, “Oh, my God, I’m so sorry. I said those things in anger and in spite and I had no idea that you had held on to them. I had no idea that they landed so hard for you. And I’m really, really sorry.” And we spent a fair amount of time I’m talking about it.
I made a commitment to him that my job now is to continue being brave enough to love him enough to believe he can handle the truth.
This weekend, I had another opportunity to get really brave and tell him the truth about something that was hard. And that’s still a little bit too new and too raw to talk about. But I took myself back to that commitment. I made a promise to him that I am going to love him enough to believe he can handle the truth. And this weekend, I told him the truth again. And again, he responded with an apology.
I think it made us stronger. I hope it made us stronger. Because I love this man, I love him so much. And it’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Because that’s life! These are adult relationships with human beings. It’s not perfect, but it’s good. It’s really, really good.
And my job to keep it good is to keep showing up and loving him enough to believe he can handle the truth.
I hope that’s helpful for you. I hope you’ve heard something in there that that helps you to get brave, and say the things you really need to say. Because it’s not just going to help your sex life. I talk about sex, but it’s it’s going to support your relationship. And if your relationship isn’t good, it’s going to show up in your sex life. So I hope that’s helpful.
I look forward to talking to you again soon.
Until then, here’s to your better sex life!