April 26, 2012

Communication | Have You Had The Talk

I think everyone has their own idea of what couples should discuss as their relationships develop, grow and evolve over time. The experts suggest it is a good idea to communicate about life’s complexities, such as money issues, marriage, children, careers, and a laundry list of other subjects. While I’m not expert in this area, in a small way, I consider myself very successful at maintaining a relationship – especially when I see example after example of others falling apart.

And I’m not sure where, or how, I can point to the secrets of my success. The all-too-simplistic answer is that I married my best friend. But it is more complicated than that.

I was reading one of my favourite trashy women’s magazines again and stumbled across one of those articles that suggested the standard “conversations you need to have with your spouse.” Yeah, alright, we do need to be on the same page as a couple with the day-to-day life issues, but too many people never have the rest of the important talks.

Andee’s Four Forgotten Talks Couples Must Have

The Sex Talk
You might confuse this with the “sex” talk, but it’s more than that. Deeper than that, if you can pardon the pun. Can you identify the last time you cuddled after an amazing, mind-blowing, sweaty romp and say it was original; and I don’t mean “original” by breaking tradition from the usual Missionary Tuesdays. Or when was the last time you learned something new about your partner’s sexual desires and willingness to experiment?

People change, grow and along with that, so do their sexual appetites. For example, when I first started dating my husband – and even into the first couple years of our marriage – there were some sexual activities I did not enjoy. One was anal. It hurt like hell and it was not something I cared to attempt, even with a gallon of tequila. And while it still doesn’t rank “frequent” on our list of things to do in bed, lately I have been absolutely enjoying a lot of “in addition to” playtime back there during intercourse.

The other was oral. I was never comfortable with it, and probably held a little apprehension to it following some early sexual experiences with another man. Of course, it might have to do with that sex partner’s particular approach to it, but again, it was not something I was very comfortable with – never mind the end result and what to do! These days I have a reputation … a very well-earned, often-practiced and never-a-drop-spilled reputation.

Experience, confidence and courage … they all add up to a much broader sense of sexuality and desire. It helped immensely that I took a workshop on how to blow his mind in bed.

The Friends Talk
Typically the area better recognized as where the green monster of jealousy rears its ugly head. Yes, couples talk about his leering beer-league buddies, or her ultra-bitchy BFF. But what about, for example, her flirty Office Guy? Or his mini-skirted Lunch Lady?

Friends of the opposite sex can expose a whole bunch of insecurities within couples, especially if these friends are not mutual friends. It’s important to be upfront and honest with your husband or wife about those individuals with whom you share a somewhat sexually-charged friendship with – but not necessarily a sexual relationship. That would be the Friends with Benefits Talk, which is a whole different conversation.

The Fantasy Talk
If there is one conversation I have learned more about from my time on the Internet, it is how this subject is the least talked about topic between couples. Guys will share with me some of the sexiest, naughtiest, erotic thoughts during online chats, but when I say you should tell your wife, they respond with how “she wouldn’t understand” or “she would kill me if she knew.”

The Fantasy Talk is probably the most difficult conversation to have because of how vulnerable to judgment it can leave you. The last thing anyone wants from the person they love is that shocked downward glance of disapproval after you have just admitted to a fun idea involving a pair of high heels and the college football team.

Never mind your fantasies; right now can you list five on a sticky note that you know for sure that your partner has? Three? One?

They don’t have any, you say? I call shenanigans on that one. Everyone has at least one fantasy, but rather than open up and expose themselves to ridicule, it’s easier to say “I have everything I want.” The psychology of it all can be rather daunting.

Understanding – and not judging – your partner’s desires are one of the biggest keys to a healthy and lasting relationship. Fantasies are what keep the mind engaged, and don’t always have to be about mathematically impossible predicaments. But you’ll never know as long as fear in the relationship is greater than communication and understanding.

The Regrets Talk
I was reading an absolutely heart-wrenching blog recently, written by a woman who is battling through ovarian cancer. I’m not going to hit on all the entries that made me pause to catch my breath and calm my heart. But the one big underline in this is living life as much as you can without the “What ifs” and “Should haves.”

Suffice to say, her blog just validated the adventure I am trying to have.

Ask yourself one thing today: if you had to confront your own mortality right now, accept that every day you lived from here on in was going against the odds, what question do you wish you had the courage to ask your spouse? What one action or event stands in your mind as something to be achieved, but fear is holding you back.

It doesn’t have to be about the typical “bucket list” items people talk about … hell; it doesn’t even need to involve a fabulous pair of stilettos and 30 freshly-showered buff college athletes in crisp white towels. Or in my personal example an afternoon hall pass with my Office Guy. It can be as simple as returning to the spot where you shared your first kiss.

All it has to be is “Honey, there’s something I really want …” Then let the words and your imagination take you from there.
Andee     xoxo

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