New Year New Monogamy

New Year New Monogamy. Ringing In The New Year With A New Monogamy.  What exactly is a New Monogamy?  Monogamy is defined as the practice or state of being married to one person at a time or having a sexual relationship with only one partner.  Some literature on affair recovery suggests that infidelity is a symptom of some fundamental problem in a marriage or committed relationship when perhaps another reason could be monogamy is not possible or even desired for some couples.

New Year New Monogamy

As a Marriage Counselor who specializes in Affair Recovery, I see couples who despite the research indicating 60% of men and over 45% of women cheat at some point in their marriages (Atwood and Schwartz 2002) are still unhappy about cheating.

Staying faithful to one partner for many years isn’t easy.  People are living until their 80’s and 90’s and staying monogamous is becoming more difficult with the use of the internet, online dating apps, and access to infinite amounts of people being able to communicate with each other throughout the world.

As a Marriage Counselor working with people who think they may no longer want to be monogamous, I help initiate that process through developing New Monogamy Agreements.  These contracts are explicit agreements created by each partner to openly, honestly, and safely share desires, expectations, and limitations for moving forward in a way that clearly states how they may behave.  The agreement is an obligation that you willingly support your relationship and want to meet both your partner’s and your own needs.  This can mean agreeing on a Traditional Monogamous relationship (closed marriage), Open Marriage, Semi-Open Marriage, Polyamorous Marriage, or Polysexual Marriage.  Each to be discussed with an open-minded Counselor trained in knowing how to talk about and follow through with opening up a relationship. And whose goal is to guide the couple to develop and negotiate an agreement that works for both of them without transference or countertransference of their own biases.

Coming into the 21st Century we no longer have the marriages/relationships that our parents or grandparents had.  There are hundreds of “How To” lists for relationships and they all seem to say the same thing.  Why not put something together that works for you and your partner?  We live in a diversified and dynamic world where everyone is unique.  As a Marriage Counselor who understand non-traditional relationships, I help couples develop New Monogamy Agreements to rebuild trust after an affair or to re-establish intimacy in a relationship that feels stale like roommates when you want to feel like lovers.

When making your New Monogamy Agreement it can be like renewing Vows.  Realistic behavioral promises that are explicit rather than implicit to better care for individual and relationship needs.  As a Marriage Counselor developing New Monogamy Agreements, couples have the fluidity and variety to renew at will and to prevent unnecessary discord.

For more information about developing a relationship that works for you or on New Monogamy Agreements please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Is It Time To Look at A New Monogamy?

Is It Time To Look at A New Monogamy? Is It Time To Move Your Relationship Into A New Monogamy? We’re in the 21st Century.  We don’t have the marriages our parents or our grandparents had.  There are less people married now than the past 30 years.  Many people are marrying later in life and 40% of Americans think marriage is obsolete.  70 years ago people married much younger and had a shorter life expectancy.  Longevity of marriages in the 20th Century averaged 10 – 15 years.  The average life span for men about 75 years ago was 60 and 65 for women.  Today everyone is living much longer into their 80’s and 90’s.  The divorce rate is at 50% for first marriages, 67% for second marriages, and 73% for third marriages.  About 45 – 60% of partners will cheat – women 45% and men 60% (Atwood and Schwartz 2002).

Love triangle in Vilnius town Bernardinu garden on autumn. Lithuania.

As a Marriage Counselor working in Affair Recovery, affairs affect 1 out of 2.7 couples (Janis Spring “After the Affair”). There’s definitely a shift that continues to lean toward making marriage more appealing as people are still wired to pair and bond.  Which leads to the question is monogamy even possible for the average person?  According to Tammy Nelson, author of The New Monogamy, most material on affair recovery assumes infidelity is a symptom of some fundamental problem in the marriage or committed relationship.  Infidelity as devastating as it may be for relationships doesn’t necessarily have to end in divorce.

As a Marriage Counselor, people typically come into see me after about 10 years of marriage and again after about 16 – 20 years.  Becoming parents and raising a family can create distance between couples that cause sexual energy to become lost or mundane.  Libido can change for individuals in relationships that are not always conducive to meeting each other’s needs.  Situational circumstances can come up and the sexual connection may or may not exist for whatever period of time.  That doesn’t always mean you want to end your relationship.  Perhaps having the discussion about opening it up may be a viable option.  Most relationships work in that couples still love one another, enjoy their family time and other activities they share in common.  It’s just the emotional and sexual connection can get lost throughout the process of living life as we know it.  Familiarity can breed into a comfort zone that makes sex and romance not so hot and exciting.  And after all who doesn’t want to feel those butterflies in your stomach every now and then instead of feeling like you’re just roommates and even worse, bad roommates.

In Marriage Counseling I help my couples look at several options.

Option 1:  Status Quo – do nothing live life the way you know it and have mediocre to ok sex.  Sometimes that includes bad sex and no sex.

Option 2: Open up your marriage – talk about what that would look like, what are the feelings associated with that idea and talk about possibly developing a New Monogamy agreement that works for both you and your spouse. Whether you act out the possibilities or not will change the relationship’s status quo.

Option 3:  Separate/Divorce – losing all the positives the relationship has to offer.

It’s never that black and white.  Of course, there are pros and cons to any of the options but being able to have a dialogue about your feelings is the important part of the process. Whether you open up your marriage or not, having a discussion about it shows you both trust one another enough to take into consideration how the other feels.

 

If you want to start a conversation with your spouse about possibly opening up your marriage please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

 

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