When I hear about a lifestyle couple going through trouble, I’m always taken back a bit. I mean, here is a couple that had the courage to discuss and act on their deepest, darkest thoughts, wants and desires. All of that sharing, honesty, and vulnerability generally spills over into everyday life scenarios. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t all have our moments, we absolutely do! And as I hear about these troubles I’ve noticed a particular commonality. Usually someone in the relationship is feeling neglected in some way. They don’t feel like they are being put first. They don’t feel like they are #1. When a partner feels wronged or mistreated it can lead to a whole slew of issues. Feelings of doubt and insecurity arise. Although this is true of any relationship, if you layer on sex with others and things like flirting and sexting, it’s going to compound those problems. While I’m no expert in this area, my husband and I seemed to have figured some things out that makes our relationship run pretty smoothly.
Build Up, Don’t Tear Down: I’ve learned the hard way that being negative about your spouse/partner can have a detrimental effect on your relationship (see: previous marriage). Since my husband and I have gotten together I aim to be as supportive and as positive as I possibly can be. Even in times where I don’t necessarily agree with/like what he is doing. And he undeniably does the same for me. I also make it a point to not talk pessimistically about our relationship. When I want to gripe, I try to choose my words carefully and speak as positively as I can about the situation. It helps to keep me optimistic about the scenario and reminds me of how much love I have for him.
Check In: This is something that we do regularly in each sexual scenario that we are presented with. We don’t like to give carte blanche permission when we go to a party or on a date. It’s been really important to us to make sure that we are both on the same page when making a decision about a couple or single. It not only prevents animosity later on but keeps us connected throughout the process. We’ve mostly figured out a way to do this discreetly. Sometimes it takes nothing more than shared eye contact to know that we are both ready to go! (or not).
Let it Go: I have found this to be applicable in both sexual situations and throughout our relationship. There are times that we are presented with exploits and we may misread each other’s signals, or we thought we’d be OK with something that happened and we were not. It happens. We’ve found it best to talk it through, try to figure out why something bothered us, how can we prevent it from happening again, and then drop it. No continuous harboring on what someone should or could have done differently. I apply this to our life at home as well. No resurrecting old stories to prove a point or to add a dig. It’s not healthy for anyone.
Be Honest: Honesty is the foundation of a healthy relationship, especially when it comes to inviting other people into your bedroom. There is little room for lies. And lies of omission are just as bad. If you feel like your partner is going to be mad at you because of something you did or didn’t do, sexually or otherwise, tell them. Sometimes this is the hardest of them all. Not because we’re running around doing things purposely that will upset them, but because sometimes our selfishness gets the best of us and we do what we want anyways.
I’m a very fortunate person to have learned these things and been able to apply it all (most of the time). They help to provide a layer of trust and honesty that then allows us to explore the entirety of our sexual desires. Doing them as consistently as possible has helped to ensure that my husband feels like he is #1. And he absolutely is.