Intentional Living, Intentional Loving

At the beginning of this year, my hubby and I decided we were going to get serious (again) about diet and exercise. We’ve been good in the past, but seem to struggle when our routines get out of whack. One slip day would lead to another, and pretty soon we’d be back to our old ways. So, this time we knew we wanted to handle things differently. When we began to eat healthier, we chose to account for cheat days. We accepted they’d happen, and when they did, we’d acknowledge them and get back on track.

Approaching our diet this way allows us to splurge on special occasions, and take care of that pesky sweet tooth when it pops up, without the guilt and negative self-talk. We’ve lost a combined total of 105 pounds, and we don’t feel deprived.

Being intentional about what ‘bad days’ looked like (by treating them as reasonable and necessary), made the process easier. This holds true for relationships, as well.

Being poly has required me to be more intentional in my relationships. To avoid jealousy, confusion, and hurt feelings, there has to be consistent communication and transparency. It also requires balance:  balancing needs for personal time and space with partners’ desires, and vice versa; balancing couple time with throuple time; and, balancing our support of one another during times of stress with what’s on our own plates.

Since I’ve been involved with my boyfriend, my attention has been brought to areas of my marriage where I’ve been complacent. Being with my husband for the past 20+ years, I’ve slipped into the comfort of routine, and not stopped to consider my hubby might want to do the same things (social outings, dinner dates, and the like) I’ve been doing with my boyfriend. So, while I believe my marriage to be super-healthy, I realize there’s still much more I can be doing to fan the flames at home. This is an area where intention makes a dramatic difference. It is by prioritizing marital romance I can promote greater harmony among us. By increasing my engagement one area of one relationship, our overall dynamic improves, because everyone’s wants and needs are being balanced and satisfied.

I’m extraordinarily grateful for the many ways polyamory has “forced” me to get clear on my own wants and needs and to get comfortable communicating things that seem unpleasant. For example, too much peopling, hormone swings, or the odd stretch of intractable headaches can leave me in a low-energy, irritable state. When I share this with my husband and boyfriend, I lower their stress levels. If I’m pissy or sad or have ‘that look’ during the day, they know it has nothing to do with them. They also know I’m still there to support them, I just can’t give as much as I typically do.

It may seem like a trivial, silly thing just to say, ‘here is how I’m doing today,’ but it really is that important. Being honest about your emotional state is an act of love. And, as I stated earlier, being intentional about what ‘bad days’ look like (by treating them as reasonable and necessary), makes things easier.

What areas of your relationships and your life could improve through the power of intention?

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