All you need to know about men and monogamy.

All I wanted for myself as I was growing up was a family. A wife and child(ren) that loved me, and I loved them back. I have that now, but it’s not been without it hiccups and learning curves. To say that our relationship has been plain sailing would be a lie. We’ve had arguments, and we’ve had disagreements. There’s been one or two times that have threatened to break us up. But it’s thankfully due to our commitment to each other that’s kept us together for nearly 12 years, and we’ll probably still be together until one of us kicks the bucket.

In a relationship it’s never always just about you

Sometimes it’s hard to see past our own needs and wants. I know, because there has at times been some painfully tedious head locking moments when we’ve both been unmoved on certain issues in our relationship. She’s wanted one thing, and I’ve wanted another, and when no-one gives way it can cause quite a bit of friction. I’ve written before that to get a man to listen to you, then you need to learn to listen to him too. One thing I’ve learned that is that a relationship is serious give and take. One person needs to give way on certain things for both of you to learn and grow.

At the beginning of our Marriage Natalie has always been a frugal spender, and me? Well I’d barely have it in my hands before it was whittled away on something nonsensical. It was always a problem between the two of us until it all came to a head one fateful day when I decided to go out and buy a Computer without telling her. I think I spent something like £500. At the time we were both earning and it wasn’t a serious dent in our finances, but the fact that I purchased it without telling her sent her into a fiery rage. In her mind we should always discuss big purchases, and granted, she’s always lived by her word on that one. Never buying anything of value before she discussed it with me first. So after about two or so days of arguing I finally gave way and decided to talk through big purchases with her before I make them. The result of which is that I’ve become more careful with my money. I can now save! And well.

We give way, and we grow from our experiences.

That’s not to say that it’s always been me that has given way. It’s been her that’s had to make room for me on an equal number of occasions. Like I say. It’s never always just about you. Sometimes you have to give into what your partner wants.

Freedom is important

I’ve never actually been in a relationship before I met Natalie where I felt (bar the rules we drew up at the beginning) that I was significantly free to think what I want and do as I please — this is true in our relationship and something that I think is quite a goldmine. Have you ever heard someone say I am free to do as I please, yet I choose to be with my partner every time?

A healthy relationship should be about choosing to be with your partner. You should feel that you could adequately navigate life on your own outside of the relationship that you both have, but make the personal choice not to. You should want to be with your partner; not because of some obscure event, or that you feel guilty for him, or even that you couldn’t survive without him. Being in a loving relationship is about freely choosing to be with your partner each and every single day. Some people get trapped in this negative cycle and it’s very unhealthy.

Discussion is always free at our table. We all have our differences, but also come together on similar things too. I don’t feel that she needs to think the same as me, nor do I feel she needs the same Political and spiritual beliefs, because we don’t, but it makes for a good discussion at the dinner table. We disagree wildly on some issues, but at the same time agree on many other things. I’m not threatened by her beliefs, I’m more inclined to learn from them, rather than judge her for them.

Diversity is huge in relationships, but so is familiarity. A good balance between the two helps.

My needs ARE important

If you want a man to commit to you for any length of time then you’re going to have to take him seriously.

I remember after about three months into my relationship with Natalie I was telling my work colleagues that being with her was the first time I had ever felt as if I was being taken seriously as a human being. Not minimized, not laughed at, and not disregarded — every thing I said was thought about and acted upon. It was a feeling I wasn’t very familiar with, saying something then having it wrapped up in a nice bag of awesomeness. It felt good.

Beforehand it always felt as if I was being pat on the head like a good little boy and then set on my way, without really listening to me.

“Aww, there goes Raymond. Isn’t he cute? He talks shit. But he’s cute”

And I didn’t get that with Natalie, there was always that initial respect I got from her before I even learned to respect myself. The feeling was new, and welcomed, and I loved it. Through her I learned that my needs were important, as were hers.

Have sex when you “feel” like it. Not when you think you should have it

Sex is still a bit of a taboo subject in a lot of households because of the way it was seen only a few generations ago. Now the world has got up in a big hurry and humans are playing catch up. Some more than others.

Sex should be something that you both enjoy to have. I wrote a few weeks ago on how to heal a marriage with no sex if you’re interested in reading that. I’ve heard of women using sex as a bartering tool, that sex is the husband’s reward for doing something that the wife wants, or, on the other side of the spectrum the husband is giving his sex out too freely, and with other women. Okay, let’s talk about this.

If you want your man to stay faithful and monogamous then you’re going to have to have a good sex life with him, but that doesn’t mean that you need to “put up” with his advances one or two nights a week — it should be something you’re both excited to do. It should be something you both learn from each other until it becomes a joining of two people lost in their own trances when having sex. Sex is personal, and it’s very intimate between the both of you.

Contrary to popular belief, women DO enjoy sex just as much as men do, if not more. It’s time to explore that notion if you haven’t explored it before.

All my needs are covered

So you see? Maintaining a healthy and monogamous relationship is about covering all the bases with your partner. Make them “feel” that the grass is never greener on the other side. Make them truly know which side of their bread is buttered.

Do that and you’ll live happily.

That being said, sometimes you can have all the bases covered on your end but you may end yourself up in a difficult situation with someone that doesn’t want to compromise, doesn’t care what you think, and uses intimacy to toy with your feelings, and make you do and feel certain things you don’t want to. If that’s the case then I’d suggest getting some help with a trained professional. Maybe a relationships counsellor or something similar!