Soulmates…

The idea of a soulmate sounds romantic, and some do believe they’re out there – but you know me… I always have to share another perspective. Notice I said PERSPECTIVE, not ultimate TRUTH.

So, if you’re struggling in a relationship, or question the one you’re in, or you’re single and waiting for the “special one” – this post may be for you.

My opinion on the matter goes like this…You CREATE the relationship that works for you. Some can accommodate, some cannot. Considering 50%’ish of marriages end in divorce, I’d like to think there is more than just one person we can spend our life with. Otherwise, those divorced folks are screwed if they want to find love again – and I have EVIDENCE that is not the case. Actually, I know several people who have found INCREDIBLE partners AFTER their divorce (more on my thoughts on that another time).

Thinking that ONE person has to have every single thing you’re looking for will inevitably lead to disappointment, and is truly unfair to your partner (and to you!). Your partner may not be the best lover you’ve ever had, but they have other things that you value more (and you can always hire a sex coach – ahem, ahem 🤷‍♀️). You may have different parenting styles, but the loyalty and trust you have is in a different league. You may wish you had a partner with a similar family life as you did growing up, but the way they handle your personal struggles is second to none.

Like most things in life, I see relationships as a give and take. Could you find someone else that has some of the things your current partner doesn’t? Of COURSE! But will they ALSO have everything you love about your current partner? Probably not. Additionally, we change. You could be riding along problem free for 10 years, and then someone loses a job, gets sick, changes sexually…and then what? You need to adjust. More than once.

Focus on your core values. If you don’t know what those are, take time to think about them. When I coach recently divorced, or single people, it’s one of the things we always discuss. What are your hard NOs and MUST HAVEs? Most of the peripheral stuff can be pretty malleable if approached correctly. I don’t believe you should settle for some toxic relationship. That’s not the message. The message is that NO relationship is perfect. HUMANS aren’t perfect, so how the hell can putting TWO of them together be perfect? I often wonder if our focus shifted on seeking compatibility versus perfection, we’d fare better?

As I said to a friend earlier today, I believe the pillars of a strong relationship are based on honesty, trust, vulnerability, and communication. And even more importantly – totally aware that shit shows happen, and you both need to grab the wipes to clean it up.

Much love,

Me

The “Perfect” Relationship Myth

I want you to know something. I personally believe (read: this is an OPINION) that long-term relationships have moments…and even phases (think months, or even years) where you swear you’re alone. Yes – even while you’re IN the relationship. Your sex drives don’t match. Your communication styles are polar opposites. You argue over parenting techniques. You barely recognize each other, and you feel like you’d be better off apart. Then one of two things happens: You either move through it and stay together (and that move through process looks different for everyone), OR one or both decide to go your separate ways. Sound familiar?

There is SO MUCH SHAME around relationship struggles. I see it ALL THE TIME. That’s because somewhere along the line, we were taught that relationships/marriages just sorta “happen”- and if it doesn’t, then you’ve “failed” at relationshipping (it’s a word. I just made it up.) Like, if it was a “good” relationship, it would seamlessly happen with no effort required.

Can you imagine how your perspective would be different if we were taught to EXPECT difficult times? To EXPECT to desire other people? To EXPECT to question if we are in the right relationship? To EXPECT to argue over parenting, sex, and money?

Maybe we wouldn’t be so afraid and avoidant when it comes to conflict. Maybe we’d learn more effective communication skills, and focus on self-awareness. Maybe we wouldn’t have as much guilt about totally normal thoughts.

The human experience for most of us (if not all) is a series of shit shows, fu*& ups, and painful lessons. It’s ALSO a series of elation, excitement, awesome sexual experiences, and butterflies in our stomach. It isn’t supposed to be one or the other. You can actually be a totally worthy human being and have BOTH the good and the crappy. Imagine that! 🙄

If a relationship doesn’t work out, you’re not a failure. You’re human – welcome to the damn club. If your relationship is going through a rough phase right now and you want to fight for it, then fight for it. If your relationship has agreements that differ from your friends/family, but works awesome for you guys, rock on!

None of us are immune to relationship struggles. NONE. OF. US. So, can we just sorta throw the shame stuff out the window? It has no place here. 

From the Boxing Ring to the Bedroom: Couples and COVID-19

fighting couple angry marriage

There is no beating around the bush here. Being held hostage in your home with your partner is no walk in the park. And, if you’re like me, you also have kids to (pretend to) homeschool, all while working and trying to keep everyone alive. Nothing about this situation screams sexy. As a matter of fact, everything seems like ONE. BIG. LIBIDO. BLOCKER. Sound familiar? You’re not alone.

When disaster happens in life, regardless of what it is, we tend to focus all of our energy on it, and neglect everything else…even our relationships. It’s sort of backwards, considering what we need MOST right now are our relationships – intimate, and platonic. So, how do we stay connected to our partners during a time of high stress and internal (and external) chaos? Here are a few tips.

  1. Carve out time for yourself, without your partner. I know it seems counterproductive, but living on top of each other is more of a desire smasher than you think. Absence makes the loins grow fonder…or is it heart? or both? Color, paint your nails, shave, take a hot bath, read, clean out your closet, watch Netflix, etc. If you have kids, take turns doing this.
  2. If you have children, keeping life as “normal” as possible will not only help them with their anxiety, but also you with yours. Getting them to sleep at the regular time gives you and your partner time alone. This leads me to my next tip…
  3. Make time to connect. To be honest, if your sex drive isn’t off the charts right now, (understandable) do something together that doesn’t necessarily involve sex. Maybe watch a movie together. Laugh at your favorite YouTube clips. Play a fun couples question game (there are thousands online). Set up an adult friend virtual hangout on Skype, Zoom, or Facebook messenger!
  4. Communicate. Holy hell, communicate. Everyone deals with anxiety and fear differently – especially within heterosexual relationships. What may come out as anger, might really be underlying anxiety, fear, or overwhelm. Sometimes just checking in with your partner is a nice opening to a vulnerable conversation. Something as easy as, “Hey – how are you holding up with all of this? I know we haven’t talked about our personal feelings much. Is there anything I can do to help you (and ultimately us) get through this with less anxiety?” Especially with kids, we tend to focus on how they are adjusting, and we forget that adults are just as impacted by the disruption in our “normal” life.
  5. If your sex drive is there but you require a bit more to get in the mood due to so many blockers, you can use this time to up your game! Buy a new toy! (Bellesa is having a 20% off sale right now, but when it’s over you can always use my code NINA15 for 15% off AND free shipping! Just sayin’…). Try out a new genre of porn together. Read erotica. Write your own erotica and share it with your partner (this can be super hot, by the way.) If you are both still working, or not together for any reason, sexting is a big YES in my book. Just make sure your partner is ok with receiving messages of that nature while at work (NSFW, anyone?).
  6. Try to get some exercise. Yes, sex is exercise, but beyond that, too! Go for a walk, do some fun YouTube dance fitness classes, hell – some of these TikTok fads I’m seeing are practically cardio!

Bottom line is this – give yourself a break, go easy on yourself, and go easy on your partner(s). It’s all one big cluster fu*% at the moment, and we may be here for a little bit before things settle. Anytime there is a disruption in our norm, our brain spazzes out a bit. It’s OK. It’s Friday – grab a drink with your partner tonight and do something after the kids go to sleep. If you’re sober, nix the drink and do the rest. After all, we really are all in this together.

Should I be a #HotWife?

sexy wife hot woman
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Q: Hey Nina. So my husband and I have been married for 15 yrs and together for 22. Very recently, he’s talked to me more about me having either like a boyfriend or just another person that I have sex with and then come home to him. He has mentioned that he thinks it would be so hot to watch someone have sex with me. We’ve been talking about it more and more.

At first, I thought this might be a way of him getting to have sex with someone else. I’m the only person he’s ever been with. He says it’s not, and that he hasn’t really found anyone that he would be interested in anyway. He works with a bunch of people who are younger than us, in their 20’s, and I guess this is more of a thing with the younger generation. He says we have our relationship and our love and this would be just a pleasure/fun thing.

I’ve been thinking about it more and more and was confiding in a male friend of mine that doesn’t know my husband. He thought it was interesting too and we wound up sexting the other night. I must admit, it was really hot. And my husband thought it was hot too! I think I’m into it now and my friend and I are working on a meetup time to kinda Netflix and chill. He says there is no pressure.

My husband is an analytical person and says he has thought this through thoroughly. What are your thoughts on this? I’ve expressed my fear to my husband about this possibly ruining our marriage, but he says no. Is this just another way to spice up a long term marriage as long as all parties involved know the terms and agree to them?

A: Hi there! Ahhhh…the infamous hotwife fantasy! The desire for a man to see his wife with another man is usually referred to as “cuckolding”, or being a “hot wife”. It can take many forms depending on what you and your husband are seeking out of the sexual experience. Some men enjoy being humiliated as they watch their wife with another man. Some men love to see their wife as the object of desire of another man, knowing she is “his” to reclaim afterwards. My best advice for this is to think about what exactly you want out of this. If it is to “fix” a marriage, I would advise against – big time. If it’s to spice up a marriage, I would think about what could go wrong and see how you would both handle it.

Questions like: What sort of contact is allowed with the other men afterwards? Does your husband want to know these men, or do they have to be strangers? What happens if you start to have feelings for another man? How will you navigate it if you start to feel that this is pulling you further from your husband, rather than closer? How will you communicate negative feelings?

Bottom line is this – consensual non-monogamy is becoming more openly discussed as we learn more about human sexuality. It can absolutely spice up your current relationship and enhance communication. On the flip side, there is also a risk that it can go south (and not in a good way), and you want to be prepared for that before jumping in. I would suggest starting slowly. If you are both comfortable with sexting other people and sharing that together, then go for it! Talk about the next steps as you go. Always communicate about your feelings and be honest about what does and does not work for you.

Best of luck!