Welcome back to Tuff Love with Rob Kandell. The show today is special because Rob’s love Morgan is on the show. Together they talk about their relationship and how things work for them.
They explore Morgan’s early beliefs about relationships and monogamy and then take questions from the live audience:
- Growing up, Morgan had no knowledge about anything other than strict monogamy. She was married and with her ex-husband for 9 years, they had 2 children.
- She had 2 sexual partners before that, a few boyfriends and didn’t really think there was anything other than getting married, having children and strict monogamy. She got that message from society. She didn’t know there were any other possibilities.
- She met her husband at 21 and got married at 23. Had the first child at 24, the second at 26.
- Throughout the relationship, stuff came up. She started reading and learning. Christopher Ryan’s book Sex at Dawn changed her life. She realized there were other possibilities, creating or tailoring your life the way you want it.
- She asked her ex-husband if that was possible and he was a firm no. That’s when Morgan knew the marriage was over because she knew she couldn’t live the rest of her life in a tiny box.
- She started exploring, learned about One Taste, oming and learning other sexual and relationship options. Now, she’s in this crazy world with Rob.
- She decided to go against the status quo and everyone said she was crazy. But Morgan had been going against the status quo for her entire life in other areas like food, nutrition, health, so it wasn’t strange to her. She got a lot of backlash, her family thought it was strange, so she kept a lot of it to herself.
- Rob met Morgan 18 months ago, they started dating. Rob said from the start that he wasn’t monogamous. He was being transparent but also had a little bit of a chip on his shoulder and he was being an asshole about it. It was non-monogomous for several months.
- Rob’s extra curricular activities were not easy for Morgan. She would ask because she was curious, and Rob would share a lot about them. She wasn’t jealous, but she did feel sad and like it wasn’t safe, so she’d shut down a lot. There was a point where she said ‘I need to figure out what’s right for me.’
- Most of the time she would journal about the feelings and just be with them, not judge them or think she needed to change them but sit in the sadness or disconnect or insecurity. A part of her wanted to get out because there were a lot of uncomfortable feelings to sit in. It was hard.
- 4 or 5 months into their relationship, Rob had a date with someone, and before he left there was distance between him and Morgan. It was very painful for him because he was madly in love with Morgan.
- On one level he really wanted freedom but on another he really wanted to be connected and didn’t want to lose this amazing woman. He felt himself losing her.
- They had an overt agreement that Rob was allowed to do what he wanted, as long as he communicated it. At the same time, it was becoming clear he was losing the woman he loved and that wasn’t worth those experiences.
- Morgan is the most important thing to Rob in this world. She wanted a couple of days of no talking, so she had space, and that was very uncomfortable for Rob.
- A couple of days into it, she called him up and said she wants to have experiences with Rob, not him having the experiences without her. She wants to stay connected.
- It was really hard for Morgan to ask for that because she has a hard time asking for what she wants. She also thought Rob was going to resent her and be angry, and she had to get on board with that.
- She had to disconnect her value as a woman from whether Rob said yes or no. Regardless of his answer, her self-worth and value and attractiveness was independent of that answer.
- Rob said a resounding yes and started this new chapter in his life based on putting the relationship first. This is the first time since his marriage that Rob has put a relationship as the highest priority. Morgan has never felt that any other man made their relationship the top priority.
Rob and Morgan don’t fight, they have heated discussions. They had a heated discussion about their sex life this morning.
- The core of the heated discussion for Morgan is that she would like more sex and they’re not having as much sex or the type of sex that she wants.
- Rob realizes every single day he has to choose to be in this relationship and confront the things that are challenging. Sex is a lot to have. After a period of time there is a routine around sexuality. It’s a human problem.
- Plus they co-parent 2 kids part of the time. For Rob, when the kids are around, he’s scared to engage in sex incase they walk in. The experience of living together, the familiarity of it, is also a big piece of the puzzle in terms of Rob’s libido.
- No matter where you are in a relationship and how deep it is, you are going to face challenges. It’s not the challenges that will make your relationship great or not great, it’s how you respond to the challenges. What makes a great relationship is not avoiding the challenges. We’re all dynamic human beings, our wants, moods, biology is constantly changing.
- Your ability to say to your partner, ‘this isn’t quite what I want, I want to work on it,’ is the greatest gift.
- The ability to say in heated discussions, ‘this is my experience,’ is the most important piece for Rob. Morgan really appreciates that Rob is present wit her in her feelings in those discussions, that he moves towards her, rather than stepping away.
- Feel the feelings, don’t try to run through it.
Rob and Morgan address questions from the audience:
- For Rob, OneTaste didn’t foster the opportunity for him to have the relationships he wanted. It was his choice to be in that situation and co-create that. Circumstance changed, he left OneTaste and ended up by himself. He went into a relationship right after One Taste that he wasn’t ready for. Rob decided he wanted a year of no commitments and he did it, and did it well.
- Then he went to San Francisco with other women right after meeting Morgan, but he felt the presence of the lack of depth. He had his first date with Morgan and felt in that one experience the love and intimacy that was possible. Rob felt be could be received and fully who he was in this relationship.
- It helped that Morgan didn’t have an agenda or make demands. Some people do make demands and society expects monogamy after the first date, even when there have been no declarations about it.
- Morgan gave Rob space to make the decision by himself, and gave him consequences of not choosing this path. She made her position clear, but Rob had the space to make the decision so when he did say yes, it was full agreement of the decision.
- Rob makes Morgan feel safe by staying connected. When she has feelings, he doesn’t pull away, but moves toward her and doesn’t push her through it. Rob gets really curious, asks a lot of questions and works with her so she feels like she has a partner.
- Rob’s advice to guys out there is to confront the feelings. When your woman has feelings, most want to shame her and make her feel wrong, and avoid it. It’s a masculine process. Stay present and be a partner in the exploration of the feelings.
- In the beginning, Rob was very hesitant to tell Morgan about his desires for other women because before they made the agreement, his perception was that if he was attracted to another woman and told her, she would distance herself, and that was painful. We do this to ourselves a lot. If we don’t feel safe to share, we hide.
- They made the commitment in August, and on that there was a new foundation of security between them. Rob felt he could reveal himself to her and she would stay with him. Now it feels like he can tell her all the time about his desires.
- Morgan does not tell Rob about all her sexual thoughts and desires, because she has a lot of them and is afraid it will freak him out. She wants more than he does, and she judges herself for having so much desire. Women are taught that their desire is ‘too much’ and that it will overwhelm men.
- In Rob’s experience, it is true that men only have so much capacity for sensation and emotional experience, and it’s less for men than women in today’s society. But at the same time, a woman’s ability to reveal more gives a man the opportunity to grow and expand.
- By women withholding, they’re robbing men of the opportunity to grow and expand and step up as a man. It happens a lot in today’s society, women think the male ego can’t handle it, so protect it, and in doing so, men are dumb and women are angry.
- Morgan created distance as a protective mechanism for herself so she could continue to move away from Rob if she needed to. It was creating a barrier to stay safe because she was preparing herself to be hurt. Now she does feel safe because they have a commitment.
- John asks a question about using sex for validation to avoid intimacy. Rob says being aware of that is the most important step. Intimacy is scary. It’s putting your heart and soul at risk. The willingness to confront it and say, ‘This is important and I could really be hurt,’ is what makes it so powerful.
- In order to feel more whole without the validation of sex, Rob advises building a practice around it. Self-esteem is built on esteemable acts. If you want to be more whole, be truer and bring what’s inside out.
- Morgan does share her desires for others with Rob, but not immediately, she lets it simmer and thinks about how to say it. Rob suggests she just share it straight away.
- The chaos of the modern age is the confusion with polarity and roles between men and women, masculinity and femininity. John wants to support his woman’s feminine to come out and Rob recommends the phrase, ‘I’ve got it’ or ‘I’ve got this handled.’
- Women in their masculine are often thinking they have to control and handle everything. If a man’s got it, they can unclench their mind. But, do not say ‘I got this’ to things you don’t or can’t handle!
- If you have sexual desires outside the relationship, the first step is to talk about them without the need to do them. Communicate fearlessly and honestly about your desires to your partner and feel right about them.
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