sweet spot

April 9, 2010 at 8:52 pm 4 comments

It’s been days since my last post and desperate to find a bit of internet connection I’ve started roaming about the house looking for a signal. The space between the kitchen garbage and the stove was looking promising, but it’s not putting out on a regular basis. After trying every other nook and cranny I was going to give up, increasing the yawning gap between my posts, when I found another sweet spot. If I balance the laptop upon the snake vivarium, and tilt it toward the window, I can eke out enough signal to connect. I’m not sure how long it will last though so I’m typing as fast as I can.

I’ve been thinking about these things:

:: Our future house.  Today I got a visual of Nathan climbing a ladder and standing on top of what will soon be the second story of our house. The crew is slowly but surely piecing together a new and improved home for us. I feel so incredibly grateful for all the people who have helped us pull this off, our friends for giving us their beautiful apartment to stay in (complete with amenities like awesome social interactions and laundry facilities), our parents for helping us financially, our neighbors for putting up with construction racket and for helping us trouble shoot things like pesky power lines, and the sweet men who are building so carefully and conscientiously. We are truly fortunate.

:: The Flow. I’ve heard talk of “going with the flow”, and I even thought I was a person that went with the flow, but the last few days I actually have been doing it, and now that I know what it feels like I know that I have never done it before. Each day I keep a couple of things in mind for what I’d like to do and then I let go of them happening or when they might happen, and sure enough it all comes together, maybe different from I imagined but definitely better than I imagined. What I used to do was create an image of what I wanted the day to look like, and as the day went on I nudged and prodded to get things to go my way, when they didn’t (of course they didn’t), I became frustrated. I occasionally avoided frustration by letting go of the idea of an activity happening at all. For instance, if the dog walk didn’t happen by mid-morning I’d cast Henry a guilty look and mentally cross it off the list. For the past few days I have been open to the dog walk, or any other event happening at any point in the day. I remain open no matter what curve balls show up. It’s been fun.

:: Attraction. I’m curious about what emotionally healthy people do with attraction for others outside of their relationship. Do you turn it into a crush and pine away in secret? Do you “cheat”? Do you tell your partner about it? Do you stuff your feelings down and, supposedly, away? Do you open your relationship up to the possibility of acting on your feelings? Do you do everything but act on your feelings? I like the idea of expressing feelings, and allowing their existence. I also like to think there is nothing wrong with feelings. But how do you put this into play when you are talking about your mates feelings for someone else? Or your own feelings?

I’m dying to know so comment if you feel the urge.

I know there is more. This kind of post feels like I am cheating, just skimming the surface of my thoughts, not truly sharing. Sorry about that. When I’m not writing I stop thinking like a writer. It’s bothersome.

But if this sweet spot sticks around I’ll be back. Soon I hope.

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he’s not a remodel options for less brave days

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Abby  |  April 10, 2010 at 12:03 am

    As for your part about attraction… I believe that you have to tell your partner about it, and then also remove yourself from that situation that puts you in contact with the person you are attracted to. i.e. leave your job if you work with them, move if they are your neighbor, etc. Perhaps this sounds extreme, but if the relationship you are in is the one you want to be in, then removing yourself from possible “threats” to that relationship is totally worth it. Just my two cents… 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Rachel  |  April 10, 2010 at 11:14 am

    My husband and I have always been just as clear about expressing our attractions to one another as we are about any other feelings we have. I might share each aspect of my growing affinity with a good-looking man I work with, he might share how often his eyes linger over a certain starlet on TV, and why. Initially, this can hurt, obviously, but we both recognize that the more we do it, the easier it gets and the more protected and safe the beauty of our relationship remains. By openly sharing, every time, and early, in a non-judgmental environment, we find that attractions tend to naturally and organically get “nipped in the bud”. Once you’ve opened up that part of yourself to your partner, received empathy for your struggle, heard about how they feel when they hear about your attraction and discussed together a plan of action (dwell on it less? receive more empathy about it from others? feel it fully and sit with it for a little while? become conscious about some unhealthy thought patterns causing the attraction? step away from the situation? turn off the movie?) we find that it’s hard for any attraction to maintain its power long-term. Most attractions seem to draw power from the nourishing darkness of secrecy- whereas in the light of an unconditionally loving relationship where even big temptations feel safe and acceptable to discuss freely, attractions tend to wither away and see their own vanity. We’ve accepted that attractions will come and go throughout our lives, but that they mean little compared to our commitment to each other and our family. To us, no fleeting attraction is worth destroying the life we’ve built together. And since we take small steps to let attractions die off naturally, in their own good time, rather than feeding them and letting them ache inside, we tend to protect ourselves from the potentiality of eventually “falling in love” with someone else, which would truly destroy what we’ve created together and hurt so many. That’s how it’s worked for us. I’d be curious to see whether others have tried this with or without success.

    Reply
  • 3. Jessi  |  April 19, 2010 at 5:13 am

    I hope I’m not intruding on what is a very personal and beautiful blog site into the depths of your soul but I came across it on facebook and could not stop reading.
    Sometimes, in fact at all times, finding similarity in someone else is all you need to be reminded of the validity of your own experiences.
    Though this is an older post I was so touched by the honesty and raw inquisition that I felt driven to respond:

    In regards to your topic of attraction:
    In my only healthy relationship (because I’ve had to learn from a few unhealthy ones first) I found that attraction was a very essential piece in the puzzle of our relationship. Our attraction for one another was something we never ceased talking about (a factor that helps immensely in all aspects of relationship building/continuation/and even dissolution). I’m not talking as much about the “oh baby you look so beautiful today” comments (though those are important too), I’m talking more about general, “i appreciate this about you” or more risque “i can’t get enough of touching you/being touched by you” topics that led us to entire conversations regarding our feelings of attraction or lack of attraction for one another.

    Because we both made a conscious effort to keep our ‘attraction-communication-line’ open and active it made discussing things like attraction to other people very natural. In the midst of any given talk we both took the liberty to share an attraction that arose during the day as if it was just another piece of news, a simple tidbit from any given moment that occurred at random during the chaos of our lives. I always, even now after being together so long and slowly breaking apart, felt/feel a little awkward verbalizing my attraction to someone else as though the act of speaking it makes it more real: more of threat to us or to my commitment to him. He always takes it the same way I do when he brings it up *and the response is key*; either he shares something similar from his day or he inquires as to what i was attracted to in that person.

    By sharing we wind up getting lost in what one another was finding attractive in the ‘outsider’ and this somehow always led us down a path of greater attraction for those attributes in one another, which in turn almost always led to intimate action based on those rejuvenated appreciations. And if one of us didn’t share we were allowed the opportunity to hear first hand what the other person was desiring on any given day, which does nothing but allow us the option of utilizing that knowledge to strengthen our relationship or to let it go as something that we may not possess. The fact that we talked about it dissolved any and all threats. We often talked about the fact that we both are interested in having a 3-some at some point, and excited as we both were at the proposition in the beginning of our relationship we never did act on that fantasy. because we dissolved any notion of forbidden-pleasure by talking about it and agreeing on an interest in it we removed the desire for it because our needs were already being met to such delicious degrees. There was no priority or action taken based on that fantasy or any other (the attractions that arose for other possible partners) because we didn’t allow them to fester or harbor any false ideals by keeping them secret.

    Even now that things are ‘over’ and we are struggling to transition from living-together-monogamous-partners to friends we both can’t quite quit one another due to our attraction for one another. The split is a mature and rational response to our differing life goals; though this decision is responsible it is hard to carry out when attraction is still alive and well on so many levels. He was the first person I’ve ever unconditionally trusted, I know this is in large part due to the level of communication we chose to build and nourish between us. And he has told me several times that he has the same feelings of trust in me.

    I believe that regardless of intent for the continuation or dissolution of any relationship the key is to continually touch base on desires that come up along the way. we as individuals change over time and so do our dreams and attractions. If we allow the flower of communication to blossom through these changes we give our partners ample opportunity to understand our changes, acknowledge them as valid, and decide whether they themselves are growing in the same ways. if communication withers than ‘forbidden’ attractions fester in the womb that birthed your trust like a parasite that slowly eats away at the foundation of your communication capacities. For who can truly communicate without trust?
    If nothing else, this being a very late response, it has afforded me a reminder as to one of the key components that i value so much in my continuing relationship (whatever title it might hold) with the man i continue to love as friend and confidant. i appreciate the opportunity to remember and share.

    p.s.
    the discussion about mutual attractions for other people along the way allowed us to find commonality and attraction for one another through our common desires and expand our sex life based on them as they arose. this fostered a physical connection and level of trust that continues to get us through good times, hard times, and all the in betweens as we navigate this existence.
    I have learned that the level of communication and trust that we share has also been instrumental in our ability to peacefully alter our expectations for our relationship and one another. By being able to openly and honestly talk about things like attraction for one another and attraction for others we have overcome the usual ‘break up-hang ups’ like: “he just doesn’t want me anymore”, or “they are secretly running after someone else”. this has allowed us to undergo a transition from romantic to platonic having one another for support. no judgment or feelings of inadequacy are undercutting our continued interactions because we’ve been able to air out all the doubt and self criticisms.

    Reply
    • 4. nataliechristensen  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:58 pm

      Respond anytime you want Jessie, no matter how “late” you come to a post. I am so happy to hear your thoughts, well everyone’s thoughts. This place isn’t mine alone, I’m just the most visible. Thanks so much for sharing.

      Reply

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