by SweetShynCurious (Kasidie, SDC)

Life is a trip. Life with someone else for a long time is even more of a trip. 

We met in high school and the early years were easy. Way too easy. Our friends who also married early and young tended to fight and argue, but we didn’t. We felt bad for them and tried to help. But in truth we couldn’t relate, so had no foundation from which to assist. Many of them didn’t make it as a couple. For some reason, whether it be family, faith, or money — both too much or too little — we stayed together when everyone else was pulling the plug. In the blink of an eye, 34 years went by.

Now we know everyone has hard times. Without exception. Even us. And when we hit difficulties that we thought we were immune to, we were completely unprepared. We had no skills to manage it. The church tried to help, and it sort of did…for a while. Friends and family tried to help, but they suffered from the same lack of context we did years earlier when trying to help our friends.

At some point we wondered, why are we still together? From what we have learned from parents and church, you stay together no matter what. But we’ve also seen the soul robbing effect of that. We want each other to be happy. Culture says we should have gone separate ways long ago. Is it the lack of money, we just can’t afford to divorce? Others do it. Is it the kids? Others do that too. Why are we still together? Perhaps it’s the good times, the amazing times that surprise and sustain us. The tiny islands of paradise that appear on the horizon when all seems lost in the ocean of despair. But then we are forced to set sail again. And the seas are still rough. Will this constant pitching and rolling never end?

It makes no sense in life that sometimes the solutions to challenges are those things we have been taught to believe are assured destruction. I guess that’s the perfect hiding place for solutions really. Genius. 

When nothing else works, why not get a little crazy? We are worth it! Could opening our intimate life to others, as a team, really be the thing that brings us together?

Fast forward.

We have made more progress in our relationship in the lifestyle in the past twelve months than we ever made with any other “solution” in a decade on the rolling seas. We still don’t know exactly why, but each week brings more illumination and communication together. Together. That’s new. So damn nice to feel that again. We didn’t think we would ever feel that again.

I think the lifestyle may be like a slingshot at times. For lack of a better illustration, when you are with someone a long time you build things, perhaps without even realizing it. They may not all be good things. I think we started to build a structure that would serve as securing points of the elastic of the slingshot. We either didn’t or couldn’t address our issues honestly, so kept building the elastic and the leather pouch. Every argument we had was another rock placed in the pouch and then we started pulling it back. As our stress rose, the elastic stretched. Something had to give at some point. 

Many times we have seen on dating websites, “Don’t call us if you’re trying to use the lifestyle to fix your marriage.” And we get it. Nor did we want to use anyone or make them feel uncomfortable. But, why is it that the more we delve into the lifestyle, the more we communicate? The more we fuck. The more we make love. We have known for a long time those were different things, but with much greater clarity and purpose now.

Why do we seem so much more comfortable and clear than our friends? Maybe, just maybe, that slingshot kept stretching, and the lifestyle helped us to relax enough to let it go. As our problems were flung into the air we were pulled right along with them. We had a choice. We could hang on to our problems and be pulled apart to wherever the hell they would end up. Or we could hang on to each other. Be it out of habit, instinct, or a love still very real, we held on to each other. We learned things that kept us flying as our problems dropped. Now we could look down on them and see them from a different perspective that gave us a new insight. The higher we got, the smaller they appeared. 

Why has this helped us in ways our friends have struggled to find help? Honestly we may never know. Perhaps they have not relaxed enough to let go. Perhaps they are flying through the air and not holding on to each other, instead flailing and causing them to lose momentum and stay among their problems. We so wish we could help.

All we know for certain is we have held on to each other tightly. We have talked and decided how best to reduce resistance, to fly through the air. That decision has caused us to be propelled to a place far better than we ever knew was possible.

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