Conditioning, communication, choice and courage.
If you’re use to travelling in huge swells, torrential rains, cyclonic conditions in a rusty leaky vessel, etc., etc., what’s it going to take to navigate your relationship with your bisexual husband (partner), into steady smooth sailings on calm waters, with sunny days a plenty?
There are a few key areas to look at, which can create the most impact on getting you safely through the storm.
Before anything else, have a good long look at what you value, believe, accept as being your truth when it comes to relationships, the sanctity of marriage and what it is you’ve taken on board as being your own, through unconscious conditioning.
Many of my own beliefs, values and what I would and wouldn’t accept as being acceptable in my relationship, were run by my conditioning, unbeknownst to me at the time. It wasn’t until I started seeking my truth and asking who owns this – belief, value, acceptance or not – that I discovered so much of what I’d allowed into my being, didn’t serve me nor the way I chose to live my life with my bisexual husband, Andrew.
It was other people’s stuff.
For instance, a marriage must be one of a monogamous nature, at all times.
After believing this to be true for decades I asked myself, is this actually true for me?
Is this true for everyone?
If so many people cheat, how can this be true?
So, no, this wasn’t true for me, for us.
Or, once the trust is broken you can never gain it back. You’ll always be suspicious of his whereabouts. Who he’s with, what they’re doing. Your imagination will run wild.
Is this true either?
For me, again, no, this isn’t true.
Think about the values, beliefs and what you will and won’t accept in your life and ask yourself if they are true for you, or if they are even yours to begin with.
I bet you’ll be hanging on to some that belong to others and don’t align for you at all.
Be honest with yourself.
Be kind and gentle too.
There’s no wrongness here. Simply an opportunity to explore and release.
What society says is true, the way you “should” be living your life, morally, ethically, right, wrong, good, bad, under the eyes of the law and so forth, in a relationship built for two, one man, one woman – you be the judge.
Once you’ve established what beliefs are yours, then you can begin to communicate effectively. Prior to knowing your own values, beliefs, acceptance levels, your communication could be very messy, highly volatile, blaming, irrational, going round in circles, etc.
Remember to breathe, put your hand on your heart if need be and do your best to communicate with the facts. Not the story, not from the victims’ voice, the facts.
By all means, if a betrayal has taken place, you have every right to feel hurt, angry, confused and so forth. Please don’t allow those emotions to rule your rationality nor your happily ever after. Surrender to them, don’t allow them to control you.
I get it’s easy for me to say, sitting here, 23 years post disclosure. I’ve been through the ringer, washed ashore and waited for the rescue plane to arrive. I did it the hard way. Starving myself for years, waiting, waiting, waiting to be rescued by someone else.
It’s through this wisdom, my experiences thus far, I can suggest an alternative passage for you to do it differently, easier. I can be your light house to assist in navigating your voyage home safely. If you so, choose.
There are plenty of tools around, books, workshops, websites, when it comes to learning how to communicate effectively, if you’re not already skilled in this area. If it’s too hard at the beginning and you require some assistance, ask for it.
Seek out someone, a counsellor, psychologist, mentor, life coach, etc., who can mediate with you. You most certainly don’t have to do any of this alone. It may take you a few attempts to find someone whom you feel comfortable with and that’s ok. If you’re like me, you don’t usually buy the first pair of shoes you try on. You shop around until you find that perfect fit. Same goes with finding the best person to assist you both in healing your relationship.
Be mindful, communication is a two-way street. Yes, its most definitely about speaking your voice. It’s also about listening and I mean really listening to what’s being said, as well as what’s not being said between the two of you. Don’t feel you have to respond straight away either. Allow yourself some time to digest what your hearing. Take a breath, then “respond” accordingly. I say “respond”, as more often than not, under delicate circumstances, it’s easy to react than it is to respond. Remember to breathe, keep breathing. Calmly. As calmly as you can and respond with ease.For effective communication to take place you both have to be open. There’s no point starting a dialogue if you’re already closed down, fully on the defence or on the attack for that matter, decided on the outcome, not willing to budge etc., or right. It won’t serve either of you.
Set up a time when you both feel ready, willing and able to go there, to the nitty, gritty, deep, dark crevices of the conversation that has to happen. You may find you start with short bursts, until you can both sit comfortably, as comfortably as you can be under the circumstances, then progress for longer periods at a time, with open, effective communication.
And have a satiated tummy too. Don’t ever begin a conversation, a deep and meaningful, when you’re hungry.
Effective communication is key.
Come from a place of love.
Leave your ego at the door.
Deal with the facts.
Agree on the terms that will work for the two of you.
Leave the conversation, both feeling empowered.
Trial and error.
If at first you don’t succeed, have another go and never make yourself or each other wrong if you don’t get it the first time, nor the second…
With every conversation, with every piece of conditioning you’ve allowed, choice is your biggest ally.
Know in every given moment you have choice.
You choose your own meaning.
You choose how you feel.
You choose what does and doesn’t work with the conditions, boundaries, etc., of your relationship. Not anyone else. You along with your husband. You choose the rules and how to play the game. For whether we like it or not, life is a game and it’s how we choose to play it that makes all the difference.
The choice is yours.
Don’t be monogamous.
Create the relationship you both choose to have.
The choice is for the two of you to make. Not me, not them, no one else, you two.
When choosing to stay in the relationship and give it a go, know that this decision is for the two of you to make. One choosing, cannot carry the other if they don’t want to be there anymore. You’ll be fighting a losing battle if you do.
Both hearts have to be in it.
It takes courage to embark upon a journey such as yours.
It takes courage to let go of conditioning and the way you believe your relationship “should” be, look like.
It takes courage to communicate effectively from a place of love when you’re hurting, confused, angry inside.
It takes courage to make choices that may appear radical, unrealistic, detrimental to your health, your children’s health, seen as disgusting, etc., when choosing to stay in a relationship with a bisexual man.
It takes courage to honour your worth, your husbands worth, the worth of your relationship and the worth of your family.
It takes courage to forgive and over time forget.
It takes courage to be courageous.
It takes time too.
Give yourself the best opportunities for a successful outcome.
You and your relationship are worth it.