Tuesday, August 10, 2010

A letter from Vincent

Hello everyone. I've been away from the blogs for a while now and returning, even briefly, reminds me of how much the real, true, painful world is part of this one. My heart is with those who are suffering immense tragedy right now. My situation is solve-able; theirs is not, and I clearly see the distinction.

All that said, I wanted to offer you an update, especially to those of you who've been so supportive. After the shock, dealing with the hurt and confusion, watching me descend into a horrible emotional place, Vince decided to "stop talking" so that he wouldn't say the wrong thing. Instead, last week he told me that he would write a letter so he "could be sure he was saying what he really felt, and not just reacting" to conversations. He gave it to me this morning.

I asked him if I could post it here because, as one friend told me, we often gloss over the harder and more difficult parts of our individual journeys for various reasons. Here's a small look into his. And just so you know, the movie reference at the beginning is an inside joke. He always makes me laugh with his off-the-wall references, and this is one of them. I eliminated some names but for this is what he said.

It starts with "Dear Ivey,"

“No matter where you go, there you are” said 80’s spoof sci-fi adventurer Buckaroo Bonsai. I believe that I’m much better at divining my take on myself and my life with the written word so here I am in my attempt to find my true feelings and share them with you. I do this to understand myself better, and to share my inner self as we regroup and move forward after the events of the recent past. I now find myself somewhere, Buckaroo, and it’s time to figure out where exactly that is.

This last week for me has been a hard one in feeling remorse for losing my temper and causing you pain. “Hold your tongue in a time of anger and you save yourself a hundred sleepless nights” is fortune cookie advice but in this instance, for me, true. I am deeply sorry for the loss of my temper and any pain it caused you. I’m sorry for acting towards you with suspicion and abusing your trust of me. I regret causing you the pain my words brought. I love you deeply and only want the best for you in life and to protect you as my partner from any such pain. Hopefully you empathize that I’m someone who rarely loses their cool to that degree, and pride myself and not being so, and to say I’m deeply sorry is what I can offer. You don’t need to feel that pain and I wish only love for you. Truly. Madly. Deeply.

I think that nuclear moment, like most cathartic moments, aren’t caused by the immediate event you may find yourself in but the release of what has been building for some time. Our foray into what we have been exploring for the last year has been of different emotions for me. When you brought up the notion of swinging with me a year ago I was completely caught off guard because we had never shared fantasies or desires of something like this in our marriage. Moving forward for me not really sure of how these things were going to come about and uncertain why they were coming about was the first thing that I had to come to grips with. Why was this happening? What was lacking in our lives that this pursuit was going to fill? Why were you showing desire for others? I can have sex with other women? Again, I can have sex with other women? These questions were some of the many that I attempted to address, process and understand. I wanted to be as supportive as I could be for us to have these experiences and as you know I didn’t want to be a roadblock to your happiness and agreed to cautiously move forward. But moving forward for me can be challenging for you because as much as I think I know what my feeling are, I just may not be fully, completely aware of them. Like a jazz musician I improvise scales of self-expression of my true inner self all the while hoping that the music I’m creating is connected to the others around me.

But as we are a very compatible pair we are also different souls with different capabilities. I’m a private person at heart and the idea of intimacy with strangers isn’t one of my strong abilities even with the promise of new sexual partners. Also I had a pre-conceived idea of what swingers were like - glib, shallow and self-centered – solely based on the people I had encountered in the past that were ‘rumored’ to be swingers. I just didn’t see myself as that type of person and did so because I had reservations about the culture and community. As we progressed past our first stages of evaluating what it was that we were doing -- and there were many moments of working through my reservations of moving forward -- I learned to trust you in your message of ‘experience over exclusion’ and how opening up the greater ideals of communication, trust and generosity shape individuals to a greater life, not lesser. Your enthusiasm, love and generosity moved me and I agreed to follow.

So we moved forward together, and you being the more enthusiastic person, patiently (mostly) waited for my own self-discovery of our path. It was slow going for me but through the trials and tribulations our communication was becoming better. Our sense of our greater sexual confidence from our awakening was showing. Our confidence in ourselves and our relationship had been tested and we had emerged stronger and better for the quickening. Our sex life improved with more frequency and passion. We became more playful. We became better connected to something sexier in life and our marriage and can even laugh at things that most other couples wouldn’t be able to fathom let alone celebrate (our disastrous meeting with [removed] and [removed] for one.) Over time I found that the nature of what others shared in their open relationships showed pride, connection and support in each other’s personal joy and most have haven risen above base elements of the human condition – fear, jealousy – in turn offered to me a greater perspective and outlook on life. I embrace this aspect of the people and community we have encountered and I am still in awe of the ones who seem to have met and exceeded these challenges in their relationships. My hat is off.

So why did I react as I did? Over the last year I saw us growing and being made stronger from the challenges we faced. But you being more intrinsically adapted to this culture found more outlets for your experiences while I did not. You were supportive for me to also have other contacts but, being more reticent and less communicative than you, I wasn’t as successful in doing so. So I was faced more and more with the differences in how we were evolving – you moving forward with greater and greater confidence with others which helped accelerate your journey while me still struggling to find my acceptance of where we were at and how to move forward. ‘Thrive, not survive’ was the motto I held because I didn’t want to enter this pursuit without the ability to pursue it with gusto. And being of a more reserved nature it was harder and harder to do. I could talk the talk about “progressiveness” and “openness” and “support” for what we were doing but always found reasons to be frozen to action and not move forward with most people we met. I now realize that these were fears of my own choosing and in not being totally honest with you made you misunderstand our cohesiveness. But I was still willing to find those perfect moments with you and chosen others. The experience we’ve had was a good one with people who I felt comfortable with and without jealousy.

So it’s not jealousy that roots me to inaction or to rage. It’s not a threat of another that causes me concern. What I believe happened was that I finally snapped from the pressure to do something that I wasn’t ready for – namely you moving farther and farther forward while I remained static and not progressing: I wasn’t ready to accept this new normal of what you and I were evolving to because I just wasn’t there yet. I came to see what you were doing and how you were progressing as being in a state of imbalance with me and I felt more and more pressure to adapt to newer and bolder ways when I wasn’t ready to. I believe my outburst was my way of venting my frustration to release inside me what it was that I was dealing with and like a compressed spring, I sprung. I’d be lying if I wasn’t hurt that you were corresponding with others and I had to try to cope with these entities taking up some of your affection and attention. I feared that they had surpassed ‘dildo’s with personalities’ and in my mind were becoming more of a presence in our lives that I was comfortable dealing with. These new friends were becoming daily visitors and reminders of the fact that you were progressing farther and farther from me.

That also goes for the sense of imbalance that I thought you were displaying about your pursuits of blogging, nudism and HNT – innocent endeavors but in my mind and more and more they seemed nearer the forefront of our focus and I just needed to break away from the pressure of my inability to connect with these things seemed to present. Why was this hard for me? Why didn’t I embrace the collection of worthy souls and fun pursuits and relish the community they offered? All I can offer is that deep down I wasn’t at the same level as you to find that this was what was needed for my joy. But there have been good moments. Reading their stories. Garnering their wisdom. Creating and posting good pictures. Seeing you blossom into a bold, fearless individual with greater joy and confidence with herself and life. But I think as an occasional diversion these things are more in tune with my interest for them but I felt more and more that you were more enchanted with these activities and therefore evolving past me. I guess I just hit a point where I needed to slam the brakes to curb the pace of what you were moving so fast on with me fading behind.

So where do we go from here? The things I do know are that we love each other deeply and have a truly great relationship. I want you in my life and am overjoyed you are here to provide it the spark, intelligence and good humor it brings. What I do ask from you is understanding. Understanding that I am not like you and it’s not as easy for me to share these same enthusiasms and therefore have my own likes and dislikes and to please not judge me or hold me in contempt for my fears. My inaction is based on my comfort level of what I feel and I’ve found that the opposite is true and when I’m in, I’m all in. I know that you crave and need a connection with others and I will try not to be threatened by things I don’t fully embrace and nor see these things as examples of my failure to keep up or disavow your dreams, hopes and desires. Not to box you in or expect you to change for me is my goal and I will live up to that promise to the best of my ability to make our lives richer and fuller.

Much, much love for you. More than I thought I knew I could.



  1. What a beautiful, supportive letter.

    I hope you both continue to have that type of meaningful communication.


  2. All the best to you both. That you are communicating and wishing and wanting only what the other wants is a privilege to which to be privy. I'm happy for you both, and probably a bit envious. What a wonderful thing you both have.

  3. I don't think I have ever read anything more honest and open.

  4. what a great expression of feelings. I hope this is a start of healing. We wish u the best in your journey. C-Man

  5. Thanks for sharing! We hope that you can both build upon your shared loved and honesty to find a place that fulfills and allows you both to continue grow.

  6. Dear Vincent and Ivey,
    So much love in that post for you. These explorations are forges that test us all. He sees you. He really sees you. And that is a rare gift. He's showing you such honesty, trusting himself, and you with who he is while seeing you for who you are.
    Much much love to you both.

  7. There's obviously much love in this relationship and I have no doubt the two of you will move forward - together - and end up much stronger than you've ever been. Thanks for sharing the journey with all of us. xoxo

  8. You know how much you and Vince are in my thoughts. Thanks for sharing this with us.


  9. Wow. What an open letter. Good luck to you both.

  10. A wonderful letter... thanks for sharing it with us.

  11. I am so glad that you are working through things. I am thinking about both of you.

  12. That letter took so much love and thought and I'm so glad you shared it with us. I do wish you both the best as you work through this.