Sunday, December 11, 2011

"If I Didn't Have You", I would probably...have depression and maybe be a slut

This will be a weird post...

A couple weeks ago, I celebrated my 21st wedding anniversary with my husband. I’m 39. I have been married twenty-one years. Over half my life. We were just kids when we started dating. We have both grown and changed into essentially different people. Luckily, the person I’ve become still likes the person he’s become and vice-versa. I think that is pretty amazing and we are quite lucky. Love also has a lot to do with it. Marriage is often trying, and we often disagree, but we really love each other and want for the other's happiness, and that gets us through a lot.

Tim starts out in this clip saying that he lost his virginity to the girl he married and how that is uncommon. It is pretty uncommon, and I’m not sure it is always wise, but that is my situation as well. I’m going to post some personal details about my sex life. Not like, details about SEX, but just about what it has been like for me to have only had sex with one man, and some of the goods and bads about that for me. If that is TMI, just watch the video and move on. If you want to read some mixed up, but very honest feelings about monogamy, or lack thereof, see you on the other side.

Ah, so, “If I Didn’t Have You”. Tim implies that it is not a song about love or relationships, but rather a song about maths. This may be true, (I guess he did write the song and would know what it is about), but it does have some amazing insights about relationships. Of course, it makes the point that the idea of “soul mates” is a myth. I think it is a myth that there is someone out there specifically designed for someone else. I do think I am now with my soul mate, but he wasn’t my soul mate when I met him. We’ve become best friends who have been through so many joys and sorrows and passions and pains, that now, after all these years, he is part of my “soul”. As the song says,

“And if I may conjecture a further objection
Love is nothing to do with destined perfection
The connection is strengthened; the affection simply grows over time
Like a flower or a mushroom or a guinea pig or a vine
Or a sponge or bigotry or a banana
And love is made more powerful by the ongoing drama of shared experience
And the synergy of a kind of symbiotic empathy or something...”

So funny, but so true, and our “ongoing drama of shared experience” really has been dramatic. I’m not proud of this, (but I try not to be ashamed of it either), but I went through several periods in my young adulthood of mental instability and was not the most pleasant person to be married to. In fact, I was fucking batshit crazy. I was already prone to depression and had jumped right from a pretty fucked up childhood into marriage at eighteen with a lot of baggage and issues and was pretty immature. (Of course I was immature. I was 18. Right?) After the birth of my children I suffered severe postpartum depression. Finally, when my youngest was about 6 months old, my husband convinced me to seek some help. He probably saved my life. It definitely saved our marriage.

After spending several years on anti-depressants, and after growing up a bit, I finally became a normalish person, more like who I am today. Mentally ill Me was extremely needy, ultra possessive, terribly jealous, over emotional, painfully shy, and basically all around psychotic. Normal me was happy, independent, confident, able to think clearly, and starting to experience the hindsight that comes several years into adulthood. I always try to be honest with myself and with my husband. I believe honesty really is what has helped our relationship last. I realized a couple things about myself and had to be honest about them. First, I had this curiosity about what it would be like to be sexual with other men. Second, I fall in love with people. Rather than, "If I didn't Have You",I began to consider the possibility, "Even though I have you, someone else will do too."

There are a couple types of non-monogamous relationships. Swinging is focused on sex, having another sex partner, but (from my understanding) it is usually about recreational sex. Polyamory is about love, or being in a relationship with more than one partner. We started to kind of explore these concepts. I'm actually NOT going to go into a lot of details, but I'll say we went through some amazing and amazingly trying times as we bared our souls and feelings to one another and asked ourselves many questions about love, commitment, jealousy, possessiveness, freedom, control, autonomy, and sacrifice. This was a process that lasted a couple of years. There are still lingering and unanswered questions which may surface again someday.

We learned some important things. I know I can say anything to Lee and he will listen and try to understand. That's an amazing feeling and an amazing trust to have in someone. I learned I need to be true to myself, and I don't want to be loved for pretending to be someone I'm not. I learned monogamy is right for me, for right now. I read a Tim interview, in which he said he is a "philosophical vegetarian". I feel like I am a philosophical polyamorist. I think it is a beautiful concept, the idea that the heart has the capacity to love more than one, that loving one person does not diminish your love for someone else, but I don't have the fortitude or for the energy for it. I am content. I am in love. Still. Probably forever. Probably.

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