We’ve all seen it.
That friend, family member, or just someone we know who is in a relationship and they do for their SO (Significant other) but that SO doesn’t ‘do’ for them?
Maybe they care for them, take care of them, clean, cook, work, etc. Maybe it’s an emotional give, maybe it’s sexual, maybe it’s something else. But it’s always one-sided.
I know that for a decade of my life I was in this kind of lifestyle. I worked 3 jobs to care for a loved one because they “couldn’t” work. Only to find out after the relationship dissolved, and my anxiety went off the charts with worry for them and their ability to care for themself, that they picked up work and did just fine. A ‘DECADE’ of my life that I consider worked to death. The amount of life I gave up for them because they couldn’t do anything only to discover they just didn’t WANT to do, and were happy for ME to do.
But… I learned a lot about myself in that time. What I was capable of.
With bipolar and ADHD you struggle with things that most people consider simplicity itself. Now, granted I didn’t know I had either at the time. But I know I never could lock down those things that most people found difficult but doable. College, Marriage, 2.5 kids, Job, Car, Vacations, Family Life, and more.
These things bewildered me. I just assumed that I sucked at ‘regular’ life. And in a way? I did.
Sure… I learned how to spin fire, I can write, draw, do photography, paint, sculpt, program in over 15 languages, build web maps, websites, graphic art, I’m ordained and do weddings, and so much more. My skillsets are legion. When it comes to creating things? I’m off the charts. But those mundane, regular life things? Mystical to me.
So those years of caregiving were stolen from me, true. But I learned that I could do ALL of that AND I did it with style. Panache. Grace and Zen.
The trick I’ve learned is the struggle has to be shared. Your SO doesn’t have to do half of X that you do. They have to BE half of the partnership. Whatever they can do, they should. Whatever they want to do, they should be allowed to do as long as it’s within the boundaries of the relationship. You have to work together. Communication should rule the day, not frustration and argumentation. If one of you is yelling at the other and you can talk calmly? The questions needs to be asked as to ‘Why?’
I’ve never understood yelling at an equal.
Whether it’s an employee, partner, child, or otherwise. All humans are equal. So what gives one human the right to yell at another? What gives one human the right to raise their voice at another? What special privilege allows one human to demean the spirit of another human and require submission by the other outside of a D/s relationship?
Sure, if you are a Dom and they are your submissive and they ENJOY that kind of dynamic? Yell as much as they want. But no child, employee, nor partner deserves to be yelled at.
This is a shared struggle, this life. This path we all share is a human experience with no rules, no guarantees, nothing that says one person deserves more rights than another so why do some people assume more rights than another? This is why I embrace anarchism as an ideology. It equalizes all humans and demands equal treatment.
So share your struggle with your partner. Demand they do the same. Don’t be left holding the tools, doing all the work, carrying all the load. If it’s not shared? Then you are a babysitter of an adult child. And if so? I hope you are getting paid for that service.
Sex can be a key component of a relationship. Not always, there are asexual relationships. Asexual partners.
Fly those asexual flags and make those relationships work. Hell, there’s aromatic relationships as well.
The point is, equity is what is important. But… for the sake of this post, I want to discuss sexual equity. If your relationship is a sexual one, I wanted to discuss the sexual dynamic as I’ve seen it played out at the club, in my friends lives, and more.
Too often I hear in the BDSM community, especially from new submissives, that their Dom expects their submission to come in the terms of ‘taking care of the Dom’ and any sexual release of the submissive is left for the submissive to handle on their own after the Dom is fast asleep, or headed out to the bar after the scene.
I just kinda try really hard to hide my shocked face when this comes up.
But it’s not just BDSM that this comes up in. I know plenty of vanilla and ENM (Ethical Non-Monogamists) who find partners that seem to find some way to justify getting off at the expense of their partner and then leaving their partner to care for their own needs sans them (without them involved).
There are situations where this might fly. If your partner has some sort of medical situation, struggles to get off, can’t seem to get past their anxiety, or whatever… and they require a soft touch and sometimes can’t function and sometimes hit their point and can’t assist? Sure. I can get behind that. However, this is why vibrators were invented. This is why the dildo was created. This is why the pocket pussy was made.
If your partner gets off and then can’t, for WHATEVER reason get you off with their body? Maybe they have arthritis and their hands don’t work right? Maybe they have ED and their penis doesn’t function? Maybe they have a prolapsed vagina and sex is painful after orgasm?
Have them … Use. A. Toy.
Sex isn’t about service. Loving sex isn’t. Sure, again, there are situations where service sex can BE about service. Hell, there is birthday sex, quickies, dirty backseat car sex where only one person can POSSIBLY get off because someone is pulling up next to you in the parking lot and holy shit we have to go right now!!!
But… if your partner is CONSTANTLY leaving you to take care of yourself? A conversation is necessary. A hard discussion needs to be had. It doesn’t have to be EQUAL. Not everyone CAN meet you halfway physically, emotionally, mentally… this is what EQUITY means.
Equity : the quality of being fair and impartial.
A paralyzed partner can’t do as much for you physically, but emotionally and mentally they can still meet you. They can still be a part of your world and connect, and if you want a meaningful relationship with someone that isn’t your equal in all aspects of their humanity and yours? You need to work together to create the equitable connection.
Find the connection point, how to meet, how to make those needs get met in a way that everyone can walk away happy and content as possible.
If I’ve learned anything in my ‘almost’ 50 years of life it’s that communication stabilizes EVERY type of relationship. Whether it’s business, personal, familial, or whatever. Talk. About. It.
In one of my favorite book series, the Wheel of TIme, Eye of the World, Chapter 3, the father (Tam Al’Thor) of my favorite character (Rand Al’Thor) is discussing heretical topics with another character (Padan Fain). Padan Fain tries to sway the conversation away saying they shouldn’t discuss such things, to which Tam Al’Thor says, "I never saw or heard or smelled anything that couldn't be talked about."
Truer words were never spoken.
Deciding that certain topics are off limits is how resentment, discouragement, impatience, unhappiness and much worse begins to grow within the heart of those around. If you want to create the cracks that will dissolve a relationship just declare that you will not discuss certain things, ever.
There is literally no reason for this.
So talk… find a safe way to talk and talk.
Get a marriage counselor, find an unbiased third party and talk, get a union rep and talk… but talk.
Nothing improves by ignoring it.
You can do this Blinksters. You got this. The world is open and exploding before you eyes. The stars are revolving around your very world.
Find your power, find your peace, find your voice, and speak.
I believe in you.
Peace, Love and Articulation