Developing A New Monogamy

Developing A New Monogamy.  So 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 the actual problem could be monogamy is not possible or even desired for some couples.couples in love

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 cheating 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.  Couples have to learn relationship skills which include reflective listening, empathy, validation, conflict resolution, and how to be kind and considerate. People are also living longer these days and staying monogamous is becoming more difficult with the internet, online dating apps, and access to infinite amounts of people being able to communicate with throughout the world.

New Monogamy Agreements are Contracts that are Explicit Relationship Agreements created by each partner to openly, honestly, and safely share desires, expectations, and limitations for moving forward in a new way of behaving within their Relationship.  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 or more specifically, a Polyamory Kink counselor, whose goal is to guide the couple to develop and negotiate an agreement that works for both of them.

Working as a Marriage Counselor for over 25 years, there is never be any judgment or criticism in Couples Counseling in developing these agreements.  We do not have the marriages/relationships that our parents or grandparents had.  There are hundreds of “How To” lists for relationships and 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 Monogamy Agreement it can be like renewing your Vows.  It’s important not to just make promises like you did when you got married and pledged your fidelity.  This agreement will have the fluidity and variety to be renewed at will to prevent unnecessary discord.

Some of the questions to ask in your New Monogamy Agreement will be based on your cultural and religious beliefs, as well as your upbringing and traditional sex roles, family history, and personal moral values.

Utilizing Tammy Nelson’s Book “The New Monogamy” I help Couples in the Moving Forward process answer questions that include:

  1. Thoughts
  2. Fantasies
  3. Desires
  4. Arousal
  5. Flirtation
  6. Emotion
  7. Action (Behavior)
  8. Connection
  9. Sex
  10. Love
  11. Detachment
  12.  And anything else you want to add that is important to you

You and your partner can now move forward as you have created a way of life that works for you.  As your Marriage Counselor, I help you acquire important tools for effective communication so you both continue to talk openly and honestly to further implement the new lifestyle of your relationship.

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


Polyamory And Jealousy

Polyamory And Jealousy.  Jealousy is probably the number one problem for most people who venture beyond monogamy.  Jealousy is not unique to polyamory.  The difference between jealousy in a monogamous relationship and jealousy in a polyamorous one is that there is an either or proposition for choice of a mate and jealousy is a reasonable strategy to keep others away from your partner or to discourage them from pursuing others.  In polyamory, other lovers aren’t necessarily a danger but can be.  When partners agree that including others would enhance their lives, jealousy and possessiveness are obstacles to their ongoing happiness rather than functioning to protect a twosome bond.

The main issue regarding jealousy is the fear of losing something, whether that’s exclusive sexual access, love or attention.  This threat coupled with feelings of betrayal, deception, and lies break the trust and faith in relationships as agreements have been broken either implicitly or explicitly.  So many people are dishonest about their attraction to others or unilaterally break their monogamous commitments to have secret affairs, that jealousy and betrayal are linked together.

When engaging in multiple relationships when is it betrayal and when is jealousy justified?  When practicing polyamory appropriately individuals are to be upfront with their partners and share information about what is expected and what is not expected.  What are the implicit and explicit agreements and what do each of the parties agree upon when it comes to each individual relationship.  Defining your expectations with each other will clear up any misunderstandings and confusion and will help diffuse the individual triggers that we all possess when it comes to jealousy.

In my practice I help Couples who believe that love and intimacy with multiple partners can be successful when boundaries and expectations are put in place.   Developing New Monogamy agreements do just that.  If you would like more information on adjusting or improving your current relationship please contact me at (858) 735-1139.