Are You and Your Partner Wanting to Open up Your Marriage to Create More Novelty and Excitement?
Does one of you want an open marriage and the other one doesn’t?
Does your definition of an intimate relationship mean loving more than one person at the same time?
Are you considering polyamory counseling because you are unsure of how to handle the jealousy, hurt and conflict that polyamory has created in your relationship?
You may find ideas such as polyamory, non-monogamy and open relationships to be intriguing and wonder if these could enhance your life. Perhaps you have been together a long time and are looking for ways to add a little spice to your marriage. Or perhaps monogamy has never felt like the right choice for you. You may have always believed that being open to more love in your life means the possibility of loving more than one person at a time.
What is Polyamory? What is Non-Monogamy?
Polyamory and non-monogamy are two non-traditional ways of being in intimate relationship that have become increasingly popular over the last number of years. In a non-monogamous or “open” relationship, couples have sex with other people but do not date or get romantically involved with their sexual partners.
By contrast, in a polyamorous relationship, couples may pursue relationships with more than one person at the same time. Polyamorists believe that one partner cannot possibly fulfill all of their needs. They feel most comfortable loving and being loved by multiple people. Polyamorous relationships can include flirting, dating, romance and emotional intimacy. Although there are many types of polyamorous arrangements, the most common one is when a person has a primary partner with other partners being secondary, or of lesser importance.
Polyamory and Non-Monogamy are Tricky to Navigate
You and your partner may feel curious about the idea of polyamory or non-monogamy. But like many couples, you may find that putting these alternatives into practice is fraught with countless problems. The fact of the matter is, being in relationship with more than one person at a time, whether it be a brief sexual encounter or a deep emotional bond, is very tricky to navigate. Polyamory and non-monogamy can bring up feelings of jealousy, rage and fear for both partners. It is usually difficult to figure out how to pursue these lifestyles without doing great damage to your primary relationship.
Fortunately, polyamorous and non-monogamous relationships can work. A trained polyamory friendly therapist can help you create the kind of relationship configuration that is best suited to you and your partner, so you can both experience love and connection the way that is most aligned with who you are as a couple.
You Can Create a Successful Polyamorous Relationship
Studies show that emotional safety and security are the most important elements in making relationships work. This holds true for all couples, whether they be polyamorous or monogamous, gay or straight, young or old. As your polyamory therapist, I can help you and your partner build this foundation of safety and security.
If either partner is feeling threatened by any aspect of the polyamorous arrangement, it is critical that the threat be taken off the table, so that both people can relax. When couples have this foundation in place, it opens the possibility for them to explore new horizons of experience, including sex or intimate relationships with others.
The term ethical non-monogamy has been used to describe a non-monogamous relationship that is based on principles of honesty, open communication and respect. The couples counseling that I provide for non-monogamous and polyamorous couples is in line with this trend.
Here are some of the tasks that we will be doing in therapy to help you and your partner create emotional safety and security:
Putting your primary relationship first: Studies show that nobody does well in relationship when they do not feel that they come first in the eyes of their partner. Relationship counseling shows you how to avoid causing hurt and resentment by making each other the number on priority. This means learning to protect your primary relationship from any destructive influences, including encounters or relationships with other people.
Never threatening your primary relationship: Couples get into trouble when one or both partners threaten to end the relationship when they are feeling insecure. This only creates more insecurity, further damaging the relationship. In session, you learn not to threaten the relationship when you are having problems. Instead you learn effective strategies to discuss your concerns with each other that protect the relationship, resulting in greater clarity and connection.
Creating rules of engagement: In order for polyamory to work, it must be based on mutual agreements between partners. Therapy helps you create a polyamory agreement with clear limits and expectations. Your polyamory agreement applies both to how you behave with each other as well as in your secondary relationships.
This agreement can cover:
—What kind of relationships and/or sex you feel okay about you and your partner having with others
—A plan for having safer sex
—How much you share with each other about your other relationships
—How you handle finances, children and practical commitments in the case of having more than one partner
Finding solutions that work for both partners: Couples can succeed at polyamory when they understand the way their partner works and what they need in order to be their best. Relationship therapy gives you a deep understanding of you and your partner’s attachment styles—your unique relationship blueprints. Having this knowledge will teach you how to fuel their self-esteem, relieve their distress and foster their well-being.
You May Have Doubts About Whether or Not Alternative Relationship Therapy Can Help…
My partner wants an open marriage and I don’t. How will we ever resolve our differences?
Couples often do not agree on whether to have an open marriage or engage in polyamory. In order to create safety and security in your relationship, it is very important to resolve this issue so you can make a clear agreement one way or another. Couples can only truly move forward with polyamory if both of them agree. Anything less will create suffering for both of you. With the right support, partners can be remarkably creative at finding solutions to their problems. Therapy is an excellent place to get help resolving your disagreements and figuring out the best choice for you as a couple.
People are always judging us for our decision to be polyamorous. How do we know that therapy will be non-judgmental?
I am a couples therapist with over ten years experience. I’ve worked with a full spectrum of hetero and LGBTQ couples, helping them navigate monogamous, polyamorous, and non-monogamous arrangements. I have a non-judgmental, open mind when it comes to your lifestyle choices and what you want for you relationship. My goal as a therapist is to help you and your partner get the most out of your life together and as long as it works for both of you, the sky’s the limit!
Polyamory has deeply wounded our relationship. Can therapy help us recover?
If you and your partner have already tried polyamory or non-monogamy, you may have done so in a way that created hurt, resentment and even trauma in your relationship. This can occur when one or both partners has engaged in sex or an intimate emotional relationship with another person behind their partner’s back or without their partner’s agreement. This constitutes infidelity and is entirely outside the parameters of ethical non-monogamy.
If you or your partner have been unfaithful, you may be in need of affair counseling. You may require help from a skilled couples therapist to heal from the betrayal and deception. In this case, it may be important to focus on strengthening the relationship between the two of you before you consider bringing third parties into your relationship. Once safety and security has been established, you can reexamine what feels right to both of you with regard to polyamory or non-monogamy.
Your Love, Your Way
Every couple is unique. As a couples therapist, I honor the way that you and your partner choose to express love. By applying the principles of fairness, justice and sensitivity to your primary relationship, I believe that polyamory and non-monogamy can bring beauty, excitement and fulfillment to your life together. My conviction that couples should have the freedom to create the kind of relationship that works for them, combined with my deep understanding of what makes intimate relationships work makes me especially qualified to help polyamorous couples create the kind of lifestyle they desire.
You Can Create the Relationship You Want
Please click on the orange button below to set up your free 30-minute consultation so I can find out more about what your goals are and how I can help.