Yesterday, after visiting my parents - my dad is feeling a little stronger now, even though he will need some radiotherapy on his back after all - I spent time with my sister in law.
In truth she is an ex, since she and my brother are no longer married. She is in another relationship now, one where there has been a great deal of lying by omission. We spent 3 hours and I drank 3 cups of coffee (something I never usually do these days) discussing and analysing both our marriages and her current relationship. The common theme was a lack of communication, or an inability to find a common way to communicate with each other. The difficulties I have experienced in trying to communicate effectively with hubby are well documented here and so I won't repeat myself. But I have been wondering about the common threads for us both and how, if at all they are different in my current relationship with Sir.
My brother caused my sister in law great pain. He was unfaithful, he became addicted to cocaine and in order to support that habit he spent a great deal of money that they didn't have. He lied. In the end she called a halt to things and he left. Soon after she got together with someone she had known before her marriage. 5 years on, while he spends most nights with her, he also spends part of each day at a home that he shares with his sister. She apparently suffers from severe depression and he feels a great responsibility for her care. The problem is that my sister in law is desperate for him to prioritise her, and to commit to her. He has omitted to tell her the reasons he feels so responsible for his sister, whose call he always jumps to, often without telling his partner. The means he may go out for half an hour, and not return for hours or longer. No matter how hard she tries she can't get to the root of the problem, and she can't get him to articulate his long term intentions. She fears that if she does nothing, in another 5 years she will be in the same position. We agreed that the thought processes and actions of the men in our lives often puzzle us and that somehow it left us feeling like failures.
Driving home though, I began to think about the past 3 months with Sir. About how open we have needed to be about ourselves and our needs. About how well we need to know and trust each other. In particular how much I need to be able to trust him in order to submit to him and to release myself into his care. Of course, this still feels a little one sided, since in order to be his submissive I have opened myself up much more than perhaps he has. To a certain extent he has tried to protect me from his other relationship, but bit by bit details do emerge. The ability to try not to judge what is revealed to you seems important, though very very hard at times. Especially when you know what it is you want, but also know that might not be what you have to accept in the end.
Sometimes it feels we have known each other for so much longer than 3 months and that is something both of us keep reminding the other of. But the depth of understanding and of trust in our relationship already feels greater than hers after 5 years. The other sad thing is, that while my brother is now clean and is in a new relationship too, that isn't very happy either. I can't help thinking that this couple could have remained together and in love if only there had been more honesty and understanding of each others needs. What I do know is that none of them have fulfilment in their lives and that is sad.
Despite my problems, and the uncertainty about my longer term relationship with Sir, I feel submission is bringing me a freedom to communicate in a way that can only be positive and help me be the person I want to be and in a relationship that is right. In the end I will have inner peace and happiness, but will they?