This is not junk mail and I have not directed you here as part of a marketing campaign. Most importantly this is MY point of view composed and listening to my partner.
This post begins with a caveat - for you the reader.
Your life choices are not wrong, nor are ours nor is this an exercise in comparison. We are not judging you or anyone else for the choices you make in your life, nor are we asking for you to judge us anymore than you enjoy being judged yourself.
I wrote this post and Magali contributed to it in a bid to be OPEN about who we are and respect you may be offended by who we are but frankly we don't care if you judge us, particularly those with locked belief systems.
This is a steep learning curve for us both and all we have done different is write about our personal experiences PUBLICLY rather than secretly pretending to be that which we are not.
So....Magali and I both have chosen 'freedom' as the core living truth in our life which we discussed at length at the very beginning of our connection and continue to discuss.
Freedom as in free to be, as we define it, not what others tell us to be. Freedom within constraint of law but always pushing up against societal norms, status quo - Libre D'etre.
We both recognise that we had never (ever) have considered that our life experience and our relatedness as perhaps the greatest legacy or giving back to the world, different to our career aspirations. That realisation that your life story is the inspiration for others.
So it is I write tonight reflecting deeply on something that has happened recently, something so deeply fundamental and (for others) radically untenable in traditional relationships. I say 'radical' only in that myself I know I took a giant leap forward which for some they have always inherently felt they had anyway.
But first some background to this post.
In February 2015 I grappled with fundamental awareness points stating:
"....So, after 46 years of living in every known conceivable arrangement of relationships I have come to a non-binding awareness of the following. I have put them as dot points in a list because I know some of you might like to consider them as separate things but in essence they are all the same and interwoven as one."
I then went onto make a list of all the factors I believe make up who we are and the very constitutions of what relationships are for Magali and I including:
- We are single, always.
- The most powerful relationship we ever have is with ourselves;
- We have many, many, many relationships in our lives and those we have sex with make up a very small proportion of the total count of who we related too;
- We have only the capacity to have one bonded, fully articulated, affinity centred, trusted relationship - a partner, who essentially is our witness in our life;
- We can have sex with as many people as we want but we cant have as many people as we want having sex with us;
- In being open with our partner, in being open with our Family, friends and the world we can be in ourselves;
- In each relationship (of all descriptions) there are only three things that matter - treat each other well, respect each others differences and to show on a constant basis in an explicit way gratitude for each other;
- Above all, trust - trust is the core essence to any relationship especially with ourselves.
In late 2016 I went as far as I could dare go in speaking of which we both now speak freely and open publicly. The post at that time focussed on the concept of compersion - https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/compersion
I've also written about:
- Trust - https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/trust
- Freedom - https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/freedom
- Monogamy - https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/two-becomes-none
- Love - https://www.alexanderhayes.com/journal/love-unlocked
So....the following is an account of how last week I let go and let myself grow.
Strikes at the heart, head.
That hyperventilated feeling, anxious and grabbing for coffee, cigarettes and all those things I know do nothing to quell that fear. A visceral snake-sliding-woosh-feeling that surges from the soles of your feet to an explosion in your head. Everything I had ever read, heard, been advised of punched into me psyche and fear permeated.
It cut my day in half and as I tripped into lunchtime I know everything that anyone who had ever taught me to fear letting go...well this was the show. This was the moment I was being challenged, the deepest undoing of my mapped monogamy, my possession of partners, my condescending and hurtful comments made in fear, disguised, heavy salient syrup of fear.
Marriage after marriage, relationship folding furiously from one to another and each time my PTSD saying 'run' yet my soul saying 'stay'.
Magali has always encouraged me to be me (from the very beginning of our relationship).
As a result, with trust, I have been connected physically, emotionally, spiritually and intellectually with many people over three years.This has of course affected Magali deeply and yet I recall many times my almost unfathomable gratitude that she respected my own needs to connect fully with others which in turn grew our relationship, stronger. We had both expressed numerous times to each other and around our lovers that we are NOT IN AN OPEN RELATIONSHIP where one, either or both people in a partnership give the other permission to become physical with other human contacts.
We both assert that we have as a single person always had and always will have the FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT to be with anyone at anytime.We are in fact exercising our rights as single people to practise ETHICAL NON-MONOGAMY.
The concept of ethical non-monogamy is both rich and rewarding as described in 'Why ethical non-monogamy is AWESOME and totally worth the extra effort' by http://offbeathome.com/ethical-non-monogamy/
Ethical non-monogamy is often most closely aligned with polyamory, yet again we do not subscribe to that popular definition either as Magali and I share a complex and dynamic relationship which also challenges the polyamorist paradigm.
poly • am • ory
The fact of having simultaneous close romantic relationships with two or more other individuals, viewed as an alternative to monogamy, esp. in regard to matters of sexual fidelity; the custom or practice of engaging in multiple romantic relationships with the knowledge and consent of all partners concerned - Oxford English Dictionary, 2006
Here are some other great reads in this often contentious discussion area:
- More than Two by Eve Rickert & Franklin Veaux, published by Thorntree Press
- Stories from the Polycule by Dr. Elisabeth Sheff
- Christina Parker's Many Hearts, Many Loves, Many Possibilities: The Polyamory Relationship Workbook
Compersion is literally 'letting go' in order to grow. As the opposite to jealousy true compersion, practised and in action enables our unhealthy attachments to our partners and those we love to disappear.
So I turned to Magali and said "...you are blessed. Free to be... always were, are. No permissions needed. Not shared as you are not owned. Go connect, enjoy and be yourself in this world."
I found myself standing there actually saying it.... hearing my own voice knowing it is the other compassionate, spiritual and soulful me the one I had buried away in those fear folds. That 'me' I always instinctively knew was the way forward.
I instantly felt excited, turned on, connected...back in a better space. The day prior amidst a flood of tears I'd scrambled together two pages of notes written mainly to myself, saying everything I'd felt in fear...a string of irrational needy throwaways. These feelings are perfectly normal I'm told and jealousy, fear of abandonment, comparison and self worth flooded through me like a virus.
That list went through the shredder 48 hours later after a long discussion with Magali.
Then there was that meeting in the airport, that intense rush of happiness for you Magali. Seeing you happy, chirpy and back in yourself, radiant and happy.
Flushed cheeks. Swagger. Coy grin. Flick of the hair. Thin lip. Naughty laugh. Giggles.
It all makes sense. Seeing your partner happy in themselves and fulfilled is greater than any shared lover tryst. Now a reality and no longer some benign fantasy.
Free to be. Do what you want wherever, with whomever however....with respect. With an intent to grow your relatedness with others. Approaching love and life as a series of relationships good, bad and everything in between. Deep lust. Love. Loss. Grief and the coming back. Growing our connection.
Trust. Always returning to trust. Trust above all else.