J and I admittedly have been going through a rough patch in our relationship. And because this blog isn't the space where we go through our experiences in fine detail, I am not going to describe the specifics. Because the deeper issue is much broader, and much more important, than the specifics.
Do we want the same thing in our relationship? Or, mostly similar things? What does our Venn diagram look like? Where do we overlap and where is there room for negotiation? Are there things that neither of us will be able to get by being with each other? Are those non-overlapping pieces so important that we shouldn't be together?
J wants us each to have a solid vision of what our relationship looks like. And then he wants us to come together and talk about our visions, our goals, our wants, needs, and desires. What things are non-negotiable? What things are we comfortable exploring and what things aren't we comfortable with? I am down with this idea. Although it is difficult for me because I have felt like we have been on the same page since we started on this journey over a year ago, and it feels disheartening for me to know that J doesn't feel that we are.
Part of why he feels this way, I think, is because I have had to do a lot of active, and oftentimes difficult, work becoming comfortable with reaching a new place in our relationship. Many of the principles that I think we both agree on in our relationship seem to come second-nature to J, and so I think it can be challenging for him to see me where I'm at emotionally and understand my perspective on a situation.
Negotiating our open relationship, and how to make it mutually satisfying, has become more difficult lately. Which has created amazing stress and tension for both of us. Which makes the communication process and negotiation process even more difficult. Learning how to be honest and communicate compassionately in the midst of this stress and tension is so hard.
My stomach has been in knots for almost a month now. A lot of food makes me nauseous and I have a hard time keeping anything in my stomach for very long. I know that I can't handle this kind of emotional stress for much longer. Thinking about my life without J is incredibly sad to me, and while I know that neither of us would die if we broke up and both of us would move on, it's something that I can't fathom. And so it's been insanely difficult to handle the thought and all of the accompanying emotions.
I feel peaceful thinking about the incredibly rewarding and positive aspects of our relationship, and about all of the work that we have both done in becoming stronger, happier, and more fulfilled individuals. I feel hopeful thinking about the foundation that we have, and the strength that I feel when I look back on our relationship and the love and excitement I feel looking forward.