One thing that has continued to take me by surprise, despite the overwhelming evidence that suggests it shouldn’t, is how many benefits there are to being open and honest in your relationships, building a trust that makes so many other aspects of the relationship so much easier.
What that really means is being honest with yourself and that’s one of the things that being poly has really helped me with. I’m forced to look at myself, raw and exposed, to face up to my own shortcomings and issues rather than putting them away in a box.
This is nothing to do with being poly of course, it’s something I should’ve been doing for years but those boxes were so easy to use, so much easier than facing up to the facets of my personality I didn’t like.
Journaling, aside from being a horrid bastard of a word, has helped. In the past I would write reams and reams of self-analytic prose, reading it back I can see the beginnings of where I am today, the pain and uncertainty, the fear of change, the hope and pity all mixed up into ramble after aching rambling.
I’ve talked about it all since then, twice over.
Kirsty and I talked a lot during our early days together as we reeled into each others arms after the ending of our relationships. We discussed love, jealousy, trust, desire, selfishness, and more as we each explored our basic needs and expectations both within the frame of us and of ourselves. We stepped back in time to dark places, uncovered them to the light and watched as the dancing shards of the mirrorball reduced them to dust. We talked it all through. It was painful, brutal at times, but it got easier. We slipped, stumbled and recovered. Each step back a chance to check our place so we could walk forward together.
It got easier and easier but still, to this day, retains the surprise of what it reveals.
When I met Clare I still had some realisations to come, a second love amplifying the first and I latched on to what we had. A bonus in so many ways, a tribulation in others as we dived once more into the dark places of our pasts, finding new routes through them, out of them. The more we talk the easier it gets, the more evidence we show each other, the more accepting we are.
It gets easier and easier to talk. The surprises stay because of my fears write large in my imagination.
I write all of this after talking to both of my dearly loved partners, to tell them I needed a little more space than I currently had, that I wanted to step back a tiny way to give myself what I know, deep down, that I need. It is a time change not a time for change that I hesitantly proposed. It was a conversation, an offering on the table to discuss and reason with. It could be altered and changed, compromised to their individual needs.
The hard work of being honest with myself got me to those discussions. The realisation that I taking a little more time for myself doesn’t mean I love them any less, I know that is true because I asked myself that question. Was I pulling away because the love was fading? Was the distance being driven by something else that wasn’t in my view?
No. I am managing my own need pure and simple. I am being honest and trusting that they would indicate if it impacted them in a way they did not like, if they were not happy.
There are many benefits to being open and honest in your relationships, but for me the main advantage is the trust it builds, the trust that makes so many other aspects of the relationship so much easier.