Open relationships: the best path to the one best relationship

Open relationships best relationship
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The end of my marriage started with my wife wanting an open relationship. It was the best thing that happened in our marriage.

Through her desire for an open relationship, I found the best relationship ever.

Many people going through what I went through feel scared, or insecure or betrayed. I felt eagerness. What did I know that others don’t? Something extraordinary was happening.

Feeling fear, insecurity or betrayal, you miss the extraordinary.

I started Positively Focused so people could get what I got: When your partner wants an open relationship and you don’t, or vice versa, an extraordinary thing is happening.

Open relationships: either partner may want one

Many years ago, it was me who wanted an open relationship. My wife (now ex-wife) and I were in counseling, doing what many couples do: trying to fix things not needing fixing.

I married her because she needed to be married. I loved her, but that’s not why I married her. I didn’t want to be married.

She did not like not being married. I’m always the bridesmaid but never the bride, she’d say. Her mother convinced her she’d never get married. Her mother claimed her daughter had unlovable qualities. That’s accurate. But ironically, those qualities came from her mother.

I know now everyone chooses their parents. My then wife chose her’s and the path we walked together. She didn’t know this during our early years together. Neither did I.

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Back then I thought “maybe I could help her get over this upbringing by doing the one thing that would show her mother she was wrong.” So I gave her what she wanted. A ring and a marriage.

It didn’t help. That complaint went away. But other things happening in my wife, and in me, made our relationship….let’s call it…typical.

For one, when we met, I was looking for a transgender partner. She was looking for a woman. I am out and proud about my trans-attraction, having created a website, The Transamorous Network. My online dating profile clearly expressed my preference.

She said she knew we were a match regardless.

That’s true. We weren’t a marriage match. We were a match for other reasons. Reasons driving us both towards our authentic selves.

I see that now. You are on the same path.

• • •

Don’t think this is unusual. Many things bring couples to the alter. My father, for example, once married a foreigner so she could stay in the US. I know a guy who married a transgender woman for the same reasons. They don’t live together. Never have.

A Transamorous Network client of mine, who is himself trans-attracted, knew he was trans-attracted well before marrying his cisgender wife. He married her anyway. He feared telling her the truth because he didn’t want to lose her. It’s not likely their counseling will fare any better than me and my ex-wife’s.

Many people marry while not wanting monogamy. But like my trans-attracted client, many people hide who they are out of insecurity or inauthenticity. Some people not wanting monogamy get married anyway. Marriage will test inauthenticity. My client couldn’t handle being inauthentic. So he (seemingly unwittingly) sabotaged his marriage. He hooked up with a trans sex worker who outed him on Facebook.

Your life experience trumps your marriage. It (your life experience) demands your authentic self. It finds ways around your inauthenticity so your authenticity can shine.

That’s the purpose of all human relationships: they point us to our authentic selves. They aren’t meant to give us love, belonging companionship and security, although some do temporarily. Relationships are processes. They’re verbs. Not nouns.

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Most believe relationships endure. “Death do us part” go the vows.

But relationships are “until growth do us part”. You may ask, growth towards what? Towards greater authenticity.

Some people understand this: relationships reflect who we as individuals are. They do that so we live authentically. Relationships represent physical examples of our inner ideals, concepts and beliefs about ourselves. Those ideals, concepts and beliefs get presented to us through our relationship dynamic, warts and all.

People get bored in their relationships because their relationships have become, as someone I respect says, “like gum you’ve chewed all the flavor out of.” When someone decides it’s time for a new piece of gum, relationship-wise, it means they’re growing into more of who they are.

Open relationships do what one-on-one relationships do, times 1,000.

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One way or another it’s going to happen

While in counseling, I wanted my wife and I to explore open relationships together. But I knew back then she wasn’t ready. She was far too insecure to give that a try. Later, when she decided she was going to have an open relationship, it was no question whether we’d do it together. She was going to do it. Without me.

I think she justified her decision by first telling me I could sleep with whoever I wanted. I described how that happened here. It was effortless how it happened from my perspective.

But, by the time it happened, I was so far into the spiritual life evidenced by this blog, I wasn’t interested.

Instead, the growth that had my wife demand and act on her open relationship desires, flung me further into my relationship with my Inner BeingI haven’t looked back. And I regret none of the journey.

The best relationship I could ever want

My Inner Being relationship brings more satisfaction, joy, peace, security and a sense of invulnerability no other relationship can match. What’s more, my Inner Being relationship allows a reality, a life experience, in which everything I want comes so easily, it’s ridiculous. I write about these experiences in this blog.

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This Inner Being relationship enriches me spiritually too. New dimensions I discover about me and life astonish me daily. I can’t imagine a human-human relationship matching that.

What’s really interesting though is how much love I feel. I feel a total, unconditional love moving through me…for me…from me…from my Inner Being.

I get it now. Through my experience with my wife’s desire for an open relationship, I now have the best relationship I could ever want. It’s not with another person. It’s with me. The inevitability is clear. I got the best life through my wife having sex with other men.

These days, for me, people relationships pale in comparison to the relationship I have with me.

Think about it: what human being can and will give me literally whatever I want? No one!

What relationship with another human can give me the unconditional love I feel from my Inner Being? A wife is not going to do that. A husband won’t. It’s not another person’s job to orchestrate the Universe in ways that bring me what I want. Or to give me unconditional love.

Love I might get from people can’t match what I get from my Inner Being. My Inner Being relationship makes being in relationship with another person…well, not as high-falutin’ as society makes it.

I know that’s because generally, people don’t understand love, let alone why we have emotions in the first place. They don’t understand unconditional love. Another person will never love you unconditionally.

Why? It’s not their job.

A lot of relationships are based on that premise though. That’s what relationship failure looks like before a relationship fails – people looking for (unconditional) love in the wrong place: other people.

You get that from yourself. Not others. Getting lasting, inexhaustible love from yourself not only is easy, with results that are immediate, it’s also fun. You’d think it magical, if it weren’t so eminently logical. It starts with being Positively Focused.

Many people going through what I went through feel scared, insecure, betrayed or some other negative emotion. They don’t know something extraordinary can come from what’s happening. So they get pain and frustration instead of joy and freedom.

Which is why I started Positively Focused.

When your partner wants an open relationship and you don’t, or when you want one and they don’t, you’ve come to a crossroads. What happens next can be extraordinary.

 

Bonus content:

After writing this I received a question: “But what if I want to keep my marriage?”

The answer is, “That depends on how you think about marriage”. You can keep your marriage. But not if you think that means it stays how it was, with the person you’re with.

Marriage brings comfort, security, peace, relief from being alone, perhaps, companionship, and sexual satisfaction (for a while). But a person doesn’t need “marriage” or a relationship to have these things. In fact, relying on another (through a relationship) to get these things is a sure recipe to sooner or later, lose them.

The best place to get these things is from yourself. When you do, people relationships that come through that connection are far stronger and more satisfying.

Remember, your marriage or any relationship reflects back to you stories you’re telling that create the marriage. Fixing your marriage doesn’t work if you’re oblivious to stories you’re telling that create the marriage you have.

If you leave your current relationship or marriage for another, while not doing anything about the stories, you’re just going to get more of what you had. Only with a different person. Or a number of different persons. Open relationships don’t solve anything. Nothing needs solving.

Stories create reality. Change reality by changing stories you tell about reality. Including the reality that is your marriage.

Want to know more? Write me. 

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A Beginner’s Mind Makes Everything Possible

Johnny Sanchez invincible
Photo: Johnny Sanchez

 

Ever notice when you first do something, you’re really good at it? Whether it’s playing a game or trying a new skill, that first time often is our best.

It happens so often we call it “beginner’s luck.”

But it’s not really “luck” at all. It’s innocence.

Such a mind state is so powerful, it can even upset the seasoned players’ balance. The beginner has no stories/beliefs standing between her and virtuoso performance. No contrary thoughts, no fears, no expectations.

She’s innocent.

She doesn’t know any better. And that’s a good thing.

In a short time, however, her performance settles into the mean. She becomes a common mortal. Which is what she expects, of course. As do those around her.

(This is not a Christian writing, but we’re going to pluck a few stories from The Bible. You’ve been forewarned. 🙂 )

There’s a reason Jesus suggested¹ that in order for people to experience virtuoso performance in all they do and to have all they desire (e.g. enter the kingdom of heaven) they have to adopt a beginner’s mind (be like a child).

A mind dominated by positive expectations, to the exclusion of all else creates realities consistent with that: positive outcomes, to the exclusion of all else. A mind in a state of bliss is even better: it is open to all potentials consistent with All That Is, which leans or has a predisposition for “value fulfillment”.

You are All That Is. So cultivating a beginner’s mind brings you in concert with your essence, thus enabling you to achieve that which your stories may say is impossible.

Of course, cultivating a beginner’s mind is harder than “a camel passing through a needle” as Jesus² would say, because a “rich man’s” mind ( i.e. a worldly person, steeped in modern society’s stories of what’s possible, and more specifically what’s not) tends towards pessimism, frustration, “can’t be done”, cynicism, negativity and a whole host of other disempowering stories.

But even a common mortal faced with significant urgency can accomplish “the impossible”. A common mortal also can break through “truth” born of dominantly held societal beliefs and become, even if only for an instant, invincible.

All it takes is for one common mortal to unwaveringly believe and the entire world will bend to her bidding. Then she becomes a Buddha. Then anything is possible. For she has become a child.

The master knows after the 10,000th time, she is still a beginner.

Do you?

 

¹The actual verse: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (https://biblehub.com/matthew/18-3.htm)
²Again, the actual verse: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (https://biblehub.com/mark/10-25.htm)

Taking fulfillment beyond the yoga mat

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There’s something about yoga that keeps many Portlanders coming back for more.

Maybe it’s concentrated focus borne of asana mastery. Or maybe it’s realizing skills, confidence and strength built from years of practice. Or, perhaps it’s love for a particular instructor.

What keeps you coming back?

While yoga can be fulfilling, many Stumptowners lose what they’ve gained once they’ve left the yoga mat.

Common mortal hood waits just outside the studio, with daily stresses, anxieties, relationship drama, work “to dos”, personal insecurities….sheesh…enduring fulfillment can be as fleeting as a chocolate high.

Yoga was meant as a spiritual practice leading to higher consciousness states. How is it it rarely comes that? And when it does, it leaves us as soon as we return to daily life?

Is permanent, ongoing happiness attainable in modern society?

The answer is: yes.

And it’s available to everyone.

It doesn’t require any physical mastery, yoga or otherwise. It just depends on discovering what you’re made of, where you come from, and then living from that.

From there, seemingly miraculously, everything starts to work in life. Negativity disappears as does anxiety and fear.

Long-held and forgotten dreams and desires begin to be fulfilled too.

Happiness becomes the theme of the day, every day. Before you know it, life becomes what it is supposed to be: amazing.

Positively Focused clients, like Stefano, used to think happiness was a fleeting emotion, with no rhyme or reason why happiness came, or went. One moment it’s here, the next gone.

In fact, many Portlanders just like Stefano, never really experience even fleeting happiness.

Many deal with anxiety, depression, seasonal affective “disorder” and runaway substance consumption habits as they try to manufacture a facsimile of real happiness, contentment or distraction at the very least.

And can you blame them?

We have to deal with Portland winters after all. Hello?

What are emotions for anyway? And why are the good ones so fleeting?

At Positively Focused, we know happiness not an end state. It is just the beginning.

Human life holds the potential to deliver not only happiness, but a joy that has no ceiling. That increasing joy can be a continual moment-by-moment experience.

And, that joy can create a life experience where desire after desire is fulfilled. No desire is too small, or too big.

“You wanna die today?”

The other day we were enjoying this state, walking along the Max Station at Pioneer Courthouse Square. We were greeting those around us with our smile and our eyes. We were in joy, understanding that all that is is working in our favor. The next moment, we caught the eye of a young man.

What you looking at faggot! You wanna die today?” He yelled at us.

Do you?” we immediately replied.

Yes!” he said, as he averted his eyes and hurried off.

A shocking exchange of to say the least!

Clearly, this young man, by the look of his dress and the anger in his voice, was struggling. We couldn’t tell whether his struggle was emotional, financial, relationship-related, substance-related or a combination of these.

What was clear: he craves fulfillment and happiness. We all do.

Yet that was not his life experience. Our reflecting his grief back to him, in the same intensity, but through the opposite emotion left him exposed. Not to us. To himself.

His attempt to destroy us with his words revealed him to himself. Faced with our in-the-moment happiness, our young man had no other choice but to speak truth: his life experience is so unfulfilling, he wanted to die.

This brief, intense encounter, showed us, as life always does when you’re positively focused, evidence of what’s possible for everyone: life mastery. A freedom and personal invincibility so profound you become impervious…even to violence.

Happiness and invincibility: everyone has access to such states. It is how life is supposed to be. Yoga is great. It’s as “Portland” as Blue Star Doughnuts.

Like doughnuts, though, it can’t compare to a life filled with lasting happiness, invincibility and a joy that becomes more and more day after day.

How to become invincibly happy

The key to lasting, invincible happiness is simply learning what you’ve forgotten, then practicing daily habits that restore your memory. You are surrounded by everything you need to cultivate these habits. The internet offers tons of information about them.

Like yoga, a daily practice is required. Picking out peacock from a list of asana pictures is one thing. Knowing how to do peacock is another. Actually doing it is yet another.

In the same way, cultivating daily habits leading to invincible happiness comes from daily practice. You may intellectually know the daily habits (you do). Maybe you even know how to do them. But results come from doing them. Regularly. Consistently.

The good news is, unlike learning peacock, lasting happiness doesn’t require learning something new. It only requires remembering what you forgot.

The bad news is it’s hard to know something you forgot. That’s why we offer assistance.

Back to the habits.

One of these habits, for example, is expressing appreciation. Super simple, right? That simplicity masks a bewilderingly powerful habit. Habitually acknowledging all the great things that make up your life, by itself, can do wonders.

Ever heard the phrase “the best place to hide something is in the open”?

Life is like that. We are surrounded with an unlimited number of things worthy of appreciation. Especially in Portland. Can you name a few? We think so.

And in the naming of just a few of those things, with the right mind set, you automatically get a glimpse of what being consistently happy can do for you. Whether you’re on, or off the yoga mat.

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