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Author Topic: marriage, boundaries
Funnyworld
Neophyte
Member # 32449

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I have been very impressed by the frank, yet caring staff replies on this website, and wanted to contribute. I am more than 10 years older than most posters on this site, so please refer me to an adult board if appropriate. However, in many ways I feel young in terms of my experience with relationships. This first post is long, but I feel the need to do some background.

I had an exclusve relationship a number of years ago where I became engaged. i came to this relationship loaded with expectation about emotional fulfillment in marriage, and had a strong sense of connecting love, sex and marriage. i felt threatened by casual relationships. When we broke up, i understood that relationships don't necessarily work out, but part of my emotional mind was very needy for love that i could not give myself. When i realized i meant very little to her and my feelngs were met with indifference, my whole sense of love, connectedness, my inner world was turned upside down. My logical mind said set new goals, move on, but my emotional mind was reelng and i have had a very long road to feel trust in myself and with a partner.

Part of what helped me was a more casual relationship with a much older woman, and experimenting with selflovng (masturbation). My older friend was very compassionate, and we were able to both set boundaries about how far we wanted to go. Also, to my surprise, i found i enjoyed solosex more than with any of my previous partners and that it helped me to love and trust myself.

The thing is though, i feel like my compass is thrown off - i still want a loving exclusive relationship, and yet i find solosex better than partner sex, engage in a casual relationship with an older woman - and it's more sastisfying and lovng than my engagement! Does this mean further that time in a polyamorous relationship or with a sex worker can be more lovng, compassionate than time in an exclusive bond? i thought the goal was to find a lovng exclusive partner - perhaps it is not the type, or duration of relationship but the love, compasson and openess (and fun!) that you teach/share with each other. i feel like my actions have been wrong, but at the same time the healng experiences were wonderful. is not lovng and supporting one anoher, finding sexual satisfaction in marriage reasonable goals, or are people generally too much individuals to make such a relationship lasting, fulfillng except in rare cases?

thank-you for your help,
Funnyworld

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It is not the things themselves that disturb people but their judgements about those things - Epictetus

Posts: 3 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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I think it's probably a good idea to recognize that there are SO many shades of grey in all this, and it's rarely just an either/or scenario. For instance, plenty (most, really) of people in long-term monogamous partnerships masturbate and also bring masturbation into their partnersex. For some people, the most intimate, closest bond they have with another person isn't even sexual or romantic at all, but platonic.

One tanked relationship and set of expectations isn't a sound basis for saying that whole type of relationship isn't workable. Obviously, for plenty of people, it is. On the other hand, it isn't for others. For the most part, one given relationship model just doesn't work for everyone, period. Too, one model of type of relationship that works for us in one point of our lives may not in another.

I think you really hit the nail on the head when you said:
quote:
perhaps it is not the type, or duration of relationship but the love, compasson and openess (and fun!) that you teach/share with each other.
There are SO many different kinds of relationships we can and may have in our lives, and putting their value in the type of relationship, rather than in the quality of it, what it brings us and others, what have you, is generally an error.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Funnyworld
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Part of it is, i'm fighting a lot of guilt about pleasure vs love. in oher words,if you enjoy pleasure, especially sexual pleasure, outside an exclusive relationship you're a bad person, or easily hurt(emotionally). i know this isn't true, but it's a thought i want to challenge and outgrow.

it seems to me that if you can be a lovng, honest, giving partner in sex, you fulfill a lot of the morals that we attribute to being a good,decent human being. i mean, if you're concerned about the oher person's physical,mental and emotional wellbeng, you can be a great sex partner, a good friend, and have the moral qualities(integrity) we link to being a wonderful human being. Does this make sense, or am i stretching things, [Smile] ?

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It is not the things themselves that disturb people but their judgements about those things - Epictetus

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Ecofem
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I'll just jump in here to say I know where you're coming from, Funnyworld. I think you're right on track in your second paragraph, it totally makes sense to me.

From personal experience, I can say that I also felt similarly. Coming to Scarleteen four years ago "revoluntionized the way I view sex and sexuality" (I took that quote from my bio here. [Wink] ) I'm not sure where the guilt or feelings came from, because my family is quite liberal. Nonetheless, they were there and it took time realizing and being ok with things.

I didn't have Scarleteen growing up; I wish I did. I'm 23, still pretty young; you say you're ten years older than most of the posters. I'm not saying coming to this site is the only place for teens to get an honest, positive outlook on sexuality; however, there certainly are a lot of negative influences and bad information out there. I think back to Loveline, which I used to listen to on the radio at age 13+. It may have helped many people and was one of few sex ed sources available for teens on a major scale, but it put some wrong ideas into my head about bisexuality, for example.

[ 01-27-2007, 02:50 PM: Message edited by: Ecofem ]

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logic_grrl
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 8067

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it seems to me that if you can be a lovng, honest, giving partner in sex, you fulfill a lot of the morals that we attribute to being a good,decent human being.

Well, I'd say it depends on whether you can manifest those qualities outside sexual situations, too [Smile] . Sometimes people behave very differently in different contexts.

But I hear you - there really isn't a "sexual morality" that's separate and different from other sorts of morality, I think.

If you're being honest, taking responsibility for your actions, caring for the people you're involved with, etc. - those are all ethical things, whether it's in relation to sexual partners or people who are part of your life in other ways.

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"Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world's grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it." - the Talmud

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Funnyworld
Neophyte
Member # 32449

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thank-you everyone!

[ 01-29-2007, 07:43 AM: Message edited by: Funnyworld ]

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It is not the things themselves that disturb people but their judgements about those things - Epictetus

Posts: 3 | From: Canada | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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