Saturday, July 07, 2007

Post Thoughts

Something about my last post, as honest and as soberly written as it was, scared me. I read it and re-read it. I checked for signs of smugness and inflated stability, but I couldn’t find any; I wouldn’t change a word. And yet I woke up feeling cautious this morning, a feeling that this whole thing could come back to bite me.

I think it was the way I ended the post, the way I so soberly stated the possibility of a marriage crumbling that stuck in my craw. I don’t take that lightly, though the possibility is there in even the best looking marriages.

Last year, when I first got together with my lover, his wife made a comment early on when she realized that the feelings her husband and I shared were bigger than just the sex she had expected us to get together for.

“I hope I’m not going to lose my marriage over this,” she told me over the phone. And I said, “You might lose your marriage, but not over this.” Which is to say the ending of a marriage won’t probably, in our case, be the result of our open marriages, but instead because of the marriage’s own trajectory over time; the issues, the potholes and the changes couples go through.

You could blame the open marriage but I think that would be a mistake.

So it’s not the open marriage that scares me so much, though it does trigger painful experiences, which is why you have to have your eyes wide open if you’re going to do this. As I said in my earlier post, because it operates in the theater of love and intimacy we bump up against our deep woundings all the time; mommy and daddy stuff and who loved you and who didn’t and whether you got enough. But the opportunity here is to wake up, to realize that we each create dramas and stories in our life that mirror our deeper work, our wounding, so that we have something tangible to work it out with. The mistake most of us make is confusing the story and the drama with the deeper work. The mistake we make is hoping that other people will make changes that will make us more comfortable, rather than realizing that we created the very world we inhabit. Manipulating other people to change only keeps us from doing our deeper work.

So if I’m scared about anything, it’s that I’ll get trapped in the story instead of recognizing the deeper river of my work that runs underneath the drama. If I’m scared of anything it’s that I’ll focus on the ways people aren’t loving me enough and I’ll forget that my job is to show up for myself, because people will never love you the way you want to be loved, even if they love you very much.


Maya Stein said...

"people will never love you the way you want to be loved, even if they love you very much."

- wow. this struck me like lightning, but not in a destructive way. in a "i'm responsible for myself way." and i think that whether one is navigating the open relationship or the primary marriage or the kid-rearing or whatever it is, it's about remembering to love the self through it all.

i loved your "regarding open marriage" post - not smug at all but a testament of an alert and hungry heart on a brave journey of discovery and healing. thank you, dweezila. your honesty is...not only beautiful and inspiring, but necessary.

Dale said...

What Maya said. But also, I'd say trust the instinct that tells you something is wrong -- just because you rounded up the usual suspects and they were all innocent doesn't mean there's nothing to track down :-)

It's so true -- they'll never love us the way we want them to. Although of course most of us have those luminous moments when that seems like it's exactly what's about to happen. Or exactly what was about to happen, when... whatever. Something went unaccountably wrong.

dweezila said...


you're a good virtual friend. Always good for me to stay open and stay intuitive. It's such a juicy path, this one. The triggers strike so deep, seem so real; they're so compelling. And yet, it's actually, eventually, only just me out here in this big throbbing echo chamber of the heart.

when are you coming to california for a visit?

Anonymous said...

So you think this really applies to the man as well as woman? Can a man really love a little bit, I wonder? You seem to think so from the way it sounds in your post. But there is incredible learning to be had, I agree, and part of it is indeed learning to love yourself no matter what. I love your ability to dig deep and write it in an understandable way.

dweezila said...

i like your question about whether it applies to men as well. I think it depends on the man. For me, if a man can let himself fall in love a little it just makes loving him, being with him so much nicer. But with anyone, friend or lover, if they're keeping their emotional cards to themself it's harder for that sweet merge. These thoughts of mine are all mine and not to be confused with by-laws or agreements that the whole group has made.

Martine E said...

"You can make an impression, but you shouldn’t leave a mark." I think I read something like that in the Kama Sutra (in the section about fingernails). And that's kind of what you've written: a Kama Sutra for the frontal lobes and open heart.