My dearest companion and lover,
I know we have tried to talk about this and I understand how uncomfortable it makes you feel. Please believe me when I say that I understand the confusion and fear it can stir up, the feelings of inadequacy and even outright rejection.
They are all feelings I have had to deal with in order to get to a place where I can even broach this subject with you—and they are still feelings that emerge from time to time, no matter how articulate and comfortable I may appear discussing it.
Do you really think I could sit, if the situation was reversed, and hear that you love another without feeling some of those emotions myself?
Like you, I have often wished I didn’t feel the way that I do—wished the whole thing would go away, or that I could bury my head in the sand.
There are times I wished I could be totally happy and fulfilled loving only you for ever and ever, amen. But that’s not who I am. And to pretend otherwise would be to condemn myself to a life half-lived, to deny my deep ability and desire to love.
I’m not sure if I’m more capable of deep love than others are, or if I’m just more willing to admit it openly. Maybe we’re all just wired differently.
Sometimes I feel as if I’m caught between a rock and a hard place, wanting to honor what we share while also needing to honor love as and when it springs up between myself and another outside of our relationship. I know you don’t really ‘get’ this, much as I hope you will—though, if I’m being honest, maybe that hope is more so that I can feel comfortable rather than for your sake.
You’ve often said that one lover is enough for you, that life is complicated enough without adding further complication. And I have to accept and honor that as being your truth, even if part of me wishes it were otherwise.
But there are things I’d like to say to you—things I’d like you to hear clearly from me— and I’m offering these in writing so that you can take them away and digest them slowly in private.
Honey, loving another doesn’t mean I don’t love you or that I love you less.
Long ago I had to reconcile the inner conflict I felt when I first experienced the strange situation of loving more than one person deeply. I now know that my heart and mind are wide enough to encompass more than one at a time.
I’ve also come to believe that it is a more natural way for us all to be, although I accept you may not agree.
Loving another doesn’t mean I’m dissatisfied with what we have either. I know we have our ups and downs, same as every other couple. And I promise I will always do my best to address whatever comes up between us within the container of our relationship rather than ‘escaping’ to the arms of another simply because it’s easy.
Funnily, I actually find it more difficult to love others when things aren’t good between us—somehow it seems to stem the natural flow of love which I feel when we’re strong. I’m more available to love’s energy in general when it is flowing well between us.
Loving more than you doesn’t necessarily mean I want to be involved sexually with other people.
There are times when I might like to, times when it feels like a natural extension of what I feel—and I know that is really hard for you to hear. But there are also times when it isn’t the natural thing to do, when it feels more natural to share love simply through friendship and non-sexual closeness.
This is something I’d like to be able to talk to you about more. Every relationship has its boundaries. For some, they lie tightly around the couple. For others, they are wide and broad. I would dearly love an opportunity to talk—without drama—about where our boundaries are, about what each of us needs and can live with.
Most of all, though, loving others doesn’t mean I’m going to leave you.
Our relationship, while founded on love, has many other aspects to it as well. We share a life together not only because we love each other deeply but because we get on well together on so many other levels too—and I am committed to continuing to share that with you and to protecting what we have.
This is but one difference between us and we have so much more in common. I know there are no guarantees in life, but the way I feel is not a threat to what we have. If anything, I feel that allowing love to flow with less conditions can strengthen our connection and bring us closer.
But I have to admit to being scared myself as well. I’m scared that my openness may prompt you to ‘retaliate’ by closing down on us. I’m scared that if I acknowledge to you my feelings for another that you may deliberately go out and sleep with someone just to ‘balance the books’, regardless of whether you feel any love for them.
And I’m scared that you may feel pressured into trying to love another but won’t be able to sustain both your love for me and your love for them.
See, we’re both scared, really, when it comes down to it. Maybe you’ll take comfort from knowing we have that in common.
I hope you read this and take it in the spirit with which it’s offered. If it offends or hurts, please know it wasn’t intended to.
And I hope that, when what I have said has settled, we can sit and talk with open hearts and minds about how we can grow the container of our relationship enough to accommodate the wide expanse of who we both are.
With deepest love & respect,
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Wiki Commons