The End All, Be All  

CuteePie74 45F  
4 posts
5/24/2017 3:42 am
The End All, Be All

In a traditional paired relationship, are both parties expected to take care of all of the needs of the other? I know that friendships serve their purpose separate from the primary relationship, but we wear so many different hats in our marriages or partnerships: lover, friend, provider, homemaker, parent, is it realistic to expect us to meet all of those needs for each other a majority of the time? Traditionally, many of us were raised with those expectations of marriage or partnership as well as the notion that seeking to have your needs met, be that emotional, mental or sexual, outside of your primary relationship is wrong, whether your primary partner is aware or not.

I'm fighting in my head the notion that my current SO has to be the person fulfilling all of my emotional, spiritual and sexual needs. More specifically, he feels he needs to be the person fulfilling all of those needs and that there is something "wrong" if he is not. He worries he is "not enough" is what he has told me and wonders why I need more than he can give and why I want to seek sexual connections with others while still staying invested in my relationship with him. He isn't actively seeking to fuck anyone else currently, he doesn't feel the need, he doesn't feel the drive and frankly, he doesn't have the time or energy. He doesn't understand that in giving to others I am not taking from him. Unfortunately there are issues of his to work through that are not mine yet I have to work with him if I want to continue to nurture this partnership of ours.

My background is in the mental health field and so it's easy to pathologize everything that comes up. It's taken me years to just allow what is to be in my own life, I can't figure it out for someone else. I've found he is more understanding and relaxes when I explain that the sex I have with others is what it is and nothing more, I approach each connection that I make with openness and whatever happens happens. I believe it's possible to share intimacy without falling in love. And what's wrong with falling in love for love's sake anyway? I am not seeking to break up my primary relationship but simply to enhance it and support it. I am not seeking to break up anyone else's relationship. What if, like one of the authors of The Ethical Slut, we "made sure to be affectionate, let people know what (we) loved about them...most would find a way to be comfortable with (us) without needing to be territorial", doesn't that stand to reason?

I don't share details about any experiences with my SO. He knows if I'm talking with anyone and I always check in when I'm meeting someone, especially for the first time. I've had a number of first "dates" recently since I've just jumped back in the pool. I think there is this fear of the unknown when it comes to opening up a relationship. There is a hunger for details: what did he look like, was he taller than me, bigger than me, what does he do, did he kiss you, did he touch you...all things I would be curious about myself if the roles were reversed. I'm reminded of a question given to me by a friend who is more experienced in the poly world: "tell me if I have anything to be worried about." There are rules laid out, there is communication between all parties, if either of those have been broken or jeopardized then it's time to be worried.

So I powder my nose and touch up my lipstick and offer a kiss before I leave. If he's feeling insecure, I get the question: "tell me if I have anything to be worried about." The answer is always "no, my love. you have my heart first and foremost."

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