Failure is a Great Teacher But Not a Fun Playmate  

bipolybabe 56F
10715 posts
7/31/2006 3:28 pm

Last Read:
10/15/2006 9:41 pm

Failure is a Great Teacher But Not a Fun Playmate

One of my heroes, Robert Kiyosaki, the author of the "RichDad PoorDad" series of business books is a big-time failure. Once, he and his wife were down to their last $50 and very nearly homeless. He's had a business go down in flames due to his errors.

Now a multi-millionaire investor and speaker on financial education, Kiyosaki says he wouldn't trade his failures for anything. He learned more from failure than from success.

I wouldn’t trade my failed relationships either. The unsatisfying sexual experiences I've had have helped me to see more clearly how to create better first and second-time experiences for myself and my partners, which I’ve written about in Using AFF to Get Great Sex, Avoiding Bad Casual Sex Getting to the Good Stuff, Getting to Yes Part One and Getting to Yes Part Two.

And now with my first experiment in polyamory going down in flames, I wouldn't trade that experience for anything. I thought I knew a lot about relationship "deal breakers," so before deciding to move in together, my lover and I talked about kids, politics, religion, money, pets, lifestyle issues and the importance of honesty. Oh, yes, and we talked a lot about sex!

My goal in honestly discussing these touchy issues was to assure that there weren't any major areas of conflict that we weren't aware of. Though we saw our relationship at the outset as only a temporary experiment, since neither of us was sure what we wanted in a long-term relationship, I wanted to be sure that if we decided we cared more deeply about one another, we wouldn’t discover there were aspects of the other that were intolerable.

I didn't think to ask about communication style under pressure, but next time I will. What I've learned is that I can't relate to someone who won't talk to me when there's a conflict. One of my friends, another business coach, always says, "Everything can be resolved inside communication."

Meaning nothing gets resolved if the two parties don't communicate.

I realize I'm an over-communicater, especially in comparison with men. But, I'd be willing to modify my needs and expectations to get along in a relationship if I only knew what his needs and expectations were. Instead, it's a very male trait that I've experienced more than once, that the man shuts down under pressure from me and pulls back completely, shutting me out. I recognize my part in it. I don't see any way around it except to look for someone who is willing to talk when the going gets tough.

This is why my joke that I am attracted to manly men and then immediately want to turn them into lesbians isn’t really a joke! I can’t figure out how to align my need for communication with the male inclination to hide in the cave as the Mars/Venus guy describes it.

I am sad, sure, because I admire and care about this man. My heart was open to the possibility of love and intimacy. I have empathy for the reasons he has less energy currently to deal with my needs, but that doesn't lessen my needs for time, attention and communication. I will go on, learn and look for how I could be more successful next time around. Or I'll be back at it once I get past all the usual feelings of self-doubt about whether I'm actually lovable or not and animosity toward the male of the species for not showing up the way I want when I want it. (I don't claim to be perfect, and don't expect perfection--only a willingness to meet me half-way. )

I don't know exactly what the future holds for us, my current live-in and me, because he won't talk to me. But, I do know that when I knocked on his bedroom door last night and he refused to open it, I heard my heart slam shut as loudly as I heard my fingers rapping on the door.

© 2006 AskAphrodite aka BiPolyBabe


Check out my blog Bi-Poly-Babe for more sensual, sexual pleasure!

rm_song2262 56F
643 posts
7/31/2006 3:50 pm

*hug* I so admire you.

Rideandfun1000 61M

7/31/2006 4:05 pm

But, I do know that when I knocked on his bedroom door last night and he refused to open it, I heard my heart slam shut as loudly as I heard my fingers rapping on the door.

Ouch... I could feel that in you...

You express yourself beautifully and I admire that - especially in such an exceptionally strong and attractive woman as you are...


AstirRelicLatah 66M
1993 posts
7/31/2006 4:39 pm

I would love to be able to offer some advice, but I frankly don't have any. You seem to be an excellent communicator. The only thing that sort of floated through my mind was wondering what your shared outcome for your relationship is. I've not been clear what yours is as it relates to the relationship except the word experiment comes up a lot.

It's interesting that you mention Robert Kiyosaki. Bob used to hang around Vermont and teach a program called Money and You. The intellectual godfather was Buckminster Fuller as channeled through Marshall Thurber. One of Bucky's quotes I use almost on a daily basis is "you don't learn less". So, when I make a mistake or others around me make mistakes, I always ask, what did we learn. I keep asking the question over and over until we get an answer that allows us to move forward.

Does it work all of the time, no. But most of the time it's pretty effective. (((((Hugs)))) I hope it gets better for you soon.

bipolybabe replies on 7/31/2006 4:48 pm:
Waddya know? I've gone through "Business & You" in Colorado and have attended workshops with Marshall Thurber. In fact, I briefly worked for him.

I prefer to live in the Land of Peace and Abundance. I'm going out to visit friends in Colorado who introduced me to the thinking of "Bucky."

About the experiment, we decided to try living together as "roommates with benefits" in an open relationship because I'm not sure I believe in monogamy any more, and he wasn't ready to commit either. I call it an experiment because neither of us had ever experienced anything besides a monogamous relationship. Oh, except for I've had plenty of casual sex, but I wondered what would happen if we practiced a daily sexual connection, had an open relationship and didn't have any expectation of where we'd end up. Our only commitment was to the daily 15 minute practice and to honesty.

It doesn't mean I've lost faith in the possibility of polyamory. And, I haven't even lost faith that it could have been possible with him.

I happen to believe that the single biggest factor in the success of relationships is timing, that both people arrive at the same place with the same desire for intimacy at the same time. That's rare. That's why we're so often disappointed in love, in my opinion.


Panthiest 74M

8/1/2006 12:15 am

Bipoly - the line "men dont' communicate" requires an addeemdum: "Men & women doj't comminicate.". I communicate til women beg for mercy! Ha! In my "relationship form Hell" when we had a problem I would ask her to take some time out and let's talk this out. She would roll her eyes and tell me I could talk but she had work to do and would start moving about the room and then out of it and back in "I'm listening" then back out. Try having a conversation like that. Another great communicating tool of hers was to check her watch and tell me I had 5 minutes. She didn't need any timme because she wasn't going to participate. I've had shorter relationships since where the woman of the duo would say something and if I disagreed, even if I knew because it was in my profession to know that particular thing, she would go ballistic until I asuaged her ego(you see she made more money than I did so she had to be right about things)or changed the subject. Another had concerns but instead of talking to me about them she took action that freaked me out. Ex: We had talked about anal sex and she was concerned about cleanliness. So she put Ex-Lax in my food without me knowing it. I never have taken laxitives, so I crapped for about three days - well it was just water the last day. I drank Gator Aide and it became a waterfall. I couldn't figure it out. I wasn't sick had only eaten what she had eaten. Found a new opened box of Ex-Lax which she explained away in some mumble as I drove to the store to get some anti-pooper medicine which did the job. Then more recently, I had been writing a women here on AdultFriendFinder, talkng on the phone, we had a date, she didn't show, I was cheezed and called her and she didn't want to talk about it. Refused to even pick up the phone.

So...! Pleeeeeeze. You can keep the tired jokes about guys not asking directions. But when it comes to non-comunicaiton, women are right up there with the men.

Panthiest 74M

8/1/2006 12:19 am

P.S. I agree about communicaiton under pressure. I'ts THE big quesiotn I ask of any potential longer term lover. "We all communicate greawt when ecverythign is roses and honey, but how tdo you ocmmunicate when thng s get rough?" Most women and likely guys too,haven't an answer becasue they havne't thought aobut it - they just react the way they always do. ""We'll howz that?' "Uhhh...I don't know."

Who said, "The unexamined life is hardly worth living?" He or she was on to something.

bipolybabe replies on 8/1/2006 9:06 am:
You're right that not all men clam up and not all women will drown you in their river of words.

I now know that asking about communication under pressure is a really important question to ask, but did you figure it out through trial and error?

Sorry about Ex-Lax Girl! What a (I was gonna say "shitty") crummy thing to do,


nightis 54M

8/1/2006 9:34 am

My ex was not a communicator either, but what was worse, when we came to a conclusion, it was like the middle east...she would follow through.

You have to forgive me now when someone says she will do something and then she actually does it! Scary concept.

OK, so what was the question?

I look back fondly, maybe to much so on every relationship that I have ever had. It seems that there is this need to be an advisory to every ex we have ever had. That is just plain silly Iin my view.

nightis 54M

8/1/2006 9:35 am

Oh favorite don't live life by standing on the sidelines.

Give em' hell Poly!

earthShiva 61M

8/1/2006 1:09 pm

Success just gives us a reason to congratulate ourselves without ever really understanindg what went right. Failure is where it's at, if youhave the guts to take it on and learn from it. Bravo to you!

BPB, I highly recommend you grab a copy of Anodea Judith's "Eastern Body, Western Mind" and read it, preferably twice. She does an outstanding job of covering the defense structures that screw up relationships and communication, and how they play out in our bodies and communication styles. In addition to being brilliant and inspired, she is also sympathetic to laternate lifestyle choices. D and I read this book simultaneously, and I think it's safe to say it changed our lives.

bipolybabe replies on 8/1/2006 2:11 pm:
Thanks so much for the book rec.

Requesting it now from my library!

I'm lucky because one of my closest friends is an amazing coach. She pointed out that my stomping around as a way to get attention for my needs is not who I am. It's not the rational, compassionate woman of 44.

The stompiing a really old behavior that goes back to childhood and what I did or didn't get there. When I act this way, I'm not in the present moment, not dealing with my LIP, I'm back in the past working things out with my parents. So, that's why he and I will try to--gently--remind one another when we catch ourselves falling into old habits that may not serve us well.


Panthiest 74M

8/1/2006 1:39 pm

"...I now know that asking about communication under pressure is a really important question to ask, but did you figure it out through trial and error?"

Yeah, pretty much. And having a great next door neighbor while I lived in Humboldt County to reason it out with. She and I had the greatest talks because we could open up completely to each other about our lovers, feeling good and bad etc with no judgement and what had been painful would then seem funny and we'd laugh allowing insights to come then or later. (I wanted us to be lovers but she was afraid we'd loose our special friendship.)

"Sorry about Ex-Lax Girl! What a (I was gonna say "shitty") crummy thing to do,"
Shitty would be be right on. I think she meant for the best, but although she could discuss anything about her sexuality, she was/is bisexual, she couldn't .....hmmmm you know I think it may have to do with being unable to discuss things we aren't sure of. Would he like this, would she accept that, and rather than coming out and asking ... hmmmm... maybe it has to do with things we really want and can't find a way to honestly ask because it comes out as a demand? Gee this communication business can get complicated. But good sex can make it all worth while. Ha!
You and your lover seem to be reaching higher ground. Good for you!

ProtonicMan 49M

8/1/2006 10:21 pm

Hi, BPB.

I respect your experiences, and I like your open, up-front, and honest approach to getting difficult topics on the table early on. I think that is a very valuable thing to do.

I'm really sorry that your experiment isn't turning out the way you hoped. I think it is very wise of you to recognize that you can learn a lot from this.

However (and I'm probably speaking out of turn here, so feel free to rant and rave if I push some buttons), it seems to me that you are trying WAY too hard to CONTROL all the aspects of the relationship. Guess what? You can't!

I will grant you that I am not a relationship expert (I have two divorce certificates to prove it!), but I believe that one of the biggest problems that my ex-wife and I had was that we just didn't accept the other person for who he or she was. Actually, I blame her more for that, but in all fairness, I wasn't really being myself and I was caving in to her. That's a recipe for disaster.

However, since then, I have learned that just as I couldn't be or do enough to make my ex happy, neither could she be or do enough to make me happy. Are you with me? My happiness is my responsibility. Your happiness is your responsibility. It's an inside job, 100% of the time.

If you keep focusing on the things about your partner that piss you off, you will get more of those. My plan for my next relationship (whenever it happens) is to make a determined, conscious effort to focus on all the things that I really LIKE and APPRECIATE about my partner. I'm going to try to accept the things that I don't like with the realization that it really is MY problem.

OK, I'm stepping away from the pulpit.

In all honesty, I wish you happiness in whatever you do, and I hope it finds you quickly.

Many, many hugs,


Become a member to create a blog