What is The Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda Syndrome?


I chose to focus on this topic this week as especially with things getting semi back to normal post-pandemic, I am seeing more often than not, couples staying together for all the wrong reasons and I can already predict what the future holds for them.

With my experience of over ten years in the Lifestyle community as a couple, a single lady, a club hostess, and the owner of a Lifestyle community, I come across couples where it is blatantly obvious that one of the partners in the relationship is not interested in being in this lifestyle.  I have seen situations where one partner just comes along for the ride, having no interest in any aspect of the lifestyle, or worse, one partner even being tricked into attending a Lifestyle function unbeknown to them.

Let me start by saying, that Lifestyle is not for everyone.  Your relationship, trust, and communication with your partner need to be so strong when indulging in this lifestyle, otherwise, you will not succeed.  Over my years, of hosting my events,  when I check in a new couple, I can see that one partner is not mentally ready for this Lifestyle. The worst thing I have seen numerous times is a couple will attend my event, check in, go through the orientation of basic information for newcomers, and the entire time one partner has this glazed look of utter confusion.

Imagine for a moment, your significant other tells you that tonight’s plans consist of a house party your friend invited you to and the theme is back to school so dress up like a schoolgirl.  Upon arrival, you are given a wristband, told how to check in your alcohol with the bartender, and then you are given a tour of the venue.  You begin to see certain things in the rooms,  maybe condoms in a basket, or a sex swing hanging in the corner.  What would your initial reaction be?

Every one of us handles things differently and for someone completely thrown off guard, the saying, Has the cat got your tongue is quite appropriate.   I know for me personally, if I began to feel things were not right, I would be very verbal with my partner and get to the truth very quickly.  However, I guess I am a bit different than the rest.  I have had one half of the relationship practically chase me down when the other half was using the restroom to ask what kind of event this is.  The crazy thing is, 9 out of 10 times that I provided an explanation and an apology on behalf of their partner,  they actually think their partner was also unaware of what type of event this was  and their friend must have kept it a secret.

For the record, not one time in my experience has the imaginary friend shown up with an explanation of , “Oh, sorry I thought you knew it was a Swingers party”. So, what does a couple do if one half is intrigued with consensual non monogamy or another variation of the lifestyle and the other half shows no interest?.  Should the interested half verbally express that this is something they want to try and risk an argument or even the possibility of losing their relationship? Or is it better left unsaid and swept under the rug either never to be discussed or to be done secretly behind your  partner’s back?

My conclusion is very simple and we are probably in agreement on the first way to address this is to present the idea to your significant other and if it is a no then it’s a no, right? Well, I dig a little deeper than that.  If you are a regular listener of my podcast or  if you have attended any of my seminars I often refer to a Syndrome, “ I shoulda, woulda , coulda, but now it’s too late.

How many times throughout your lifetime have you met someone who said they stayed in a marriage for the kids or in a job for the security and ended up losing the job or the marriage years later and wished they would have broken ties sooner.

 Working as a webcam performer and chat agent, my clients wait for their significant other to fall asleep then they sneak down to a bathroom, garage or spare bedroom with headphones and a flashlight never actually allowing themselves the chance to relax and let reality go because they are in constant fear that the door will open and they will get caught.

Is this how life is supposed to be?  Should you wake up day in and day out for a miserable job, a sexless or loveless marriage just because you think it’s too late or you have no other options.

We have also seen this in a friend or family member and I can safely say to this date, when I teach my seminars, I can not recall one session where an attendee said that everyone they know have stayed in their job or marriage by choice and were happy.

If you take the year 2022 and imagine being a 65 year old man or woman, newly divorced after a 35 year miserable marriage and getting thrown into the dating scene, I think we can all agree it can be quite a culture shock.  Online dating was  unheard of, apps where you swipe left or right and try to make a match before communicating and what about cat fishing, face timing and the need to background check.  It would almost feel like you are a newborn baby learning to function all over again.

Sadly, I would say that at least 80% of my clients that I coach, chat with or offer webcam shows are in this exact position.  They do not have a clue about how to tell if the photos on a profile are stolen or if they are actually talking to a human, a bot or someone who is just getting paid an hourly rate to be a fake profile.

This is why I feel so strongly about getting my message out there.  If I can help someone realize that if they are truly in a bad situation and it’s not going to get better, why wait till they think it’s too late.  As we grow we learn, we change and we never stop learning and changing. If one partner is having a change of heart on the way they see things and the other is not interested, do you think continuing to force the situation or hide it will get you what you want in the end?  Maybe initially, but in the end, the cheater always gets caught.

Leaving a relationship or job is a hard thing to do, as although it may be toxic, you are walking away from security and taking a risk.  Stepping into unknown territory that you are curious about and petrified at the same time is hard to do.  However, there comes a point in everyone’s life that you realize, you only have one life to live and you must take control of that life and live it the way you want.

In the end, even if you are trying not to hurt those around you initially, everyone involved will suffer emotional pain, but time does heal and you do not want to be another statistic added to the I shoulda, coulda, woulda syndrome.  Ponder that for a moment and let it sit.

With Love,

Coralyn Jewel

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