How To Have The “I’d Like To Open Up Our Marriage” Conversation?

How To Have The “I’d Like To Open Up Our Marriage” Conversation?  Have you been married for a couple of decades or been in a long-term relationship and your love life has flatlined?  You’ve heard of people “swinging” or even, worse, having affairs, to spice up their sex life.  Rather than cheat, having a conversation about possibly having an open marriage could be an alternative.  Typically one person in the relationship wants to open the door to outside connections and the other hasn’t ever even considered the possibility and is totally shocked by the idea.  A lot of people don’t even think about monogamy until they make a connection with someone and don’t necessarily want to give up their primary relationship (husband/wife) or get a divorce and split up the children and any other resources the couple has acquired.

As a Marriage Counselor who understands and works with non-traditional relationships, I help people who are experiencing a dry spell in their sexual connection who come in wanting to know how to reconnect or enhance what they once knew was an intense bond. They are conflicted as their relationship was established under conventional and need help with other ways of relating that require care, thought, practice and work.

Without threatening your primary relationship by acting out your fantasies with others through affairs with people you find interesting or sexually attractive, having the conversation with your partner is much more appropriate.  Betrayal and deceit are much more difficult to recover from than merely having a discussion about what it would look like to open up your marriage.  The mere fact that you are having a dialogue about the subject makes you both more vulnerable.  This risk-taking interaction can bring about an intimacy which creates a positive change in the way you interact emotionally and sexually. Feelings of closeness and preferring to be with your significant other can surprise you as a result of the conversation.  When you are free to “be” in a relationship rather than “obligated to,” or “have to” due to a sense of “duty,” the choice enables you to want to be with the individual who is ok with your choice.

Open Up Our Marriage

Case in point, As a Marriage Counselor, I work with non-traditional relationships that include LGBTQ and Polyamory relationships.  In my work helping this population, I have come to appreciate the many different ways in which people can develop caring and loving relationships.  In that I believe not one person can satisfy all our needs, perhaps it is necessary to open up our realm of how we get other needs met in good and thoughtful ways with other people while exercising ethical non-monogamy while in our primary relationships.  As those who believe and want to be in Monogamous relationships, I am reaching out to those who want something more than what has been handed down to us about Monogamy by its definition.

I don’t believe people are wired to be monogamous.  Monogamy is a choice that I respect. As with all choices, I respect and want to assist those who are looking for something as an alternative. If you believe in consensual nonmonogamy and a non-traditional relationship is what you are looking to develop, please contact me at (858) 735-1139.  I can help guide you to make thoughtful and informed decisions about how you want to live your life.



Is Non-Monogamy Infidelity?

Is Non-Monogamy Infidelity? Infidelity is the action of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner. When spouses find out about their partner’s infidelity they say it’s the worst feeling they’ve had to endure. When the infidelity is disclosed; meaning the person confesses, the feeling is devastating and surreal.  When the infidelity is discovered the feeling is much more intense as anger and rage are coupled with all the other range of emotions that you can imagine come with that discovery. The aftermath of an affair is said by some to be the emotional equivalent of being hit by a truck.

To understand the intense reactions to people’s feelings it’s helpful to understand the true nature of infidelity.  The actual pain caused by infidelity is not the actual sexual act, instead, it’s the pain caused by the lying, manipulation, and secretive behavior that stems from the psychological distancing and loss of trust from the relationship.

So then what is Non-Monogamy?  Simply put, non-monogamy is anything other than monogamy which is the exclusive sexual and usually marital relationship between two people at a single point of time.  There are a variety of types of non-monogamy but are usually divided into Polygamy (multiple married partners), Polyamory (multiple romantic and/or sexual partners not married), Open Marriage/Relationship (agree on extramarital sexual relationships), Threesome (three people, combination varies), Swinging (partner swapping),  and Hook Ups (a fling, one night stand, casual relationship).

So, is non-monogamy infidelity?  As a Marriage Counselor, working with couples in the above-mentioned relationship-styles, I say, it is not accurate to say that non-monogamy is infidelity as long as there is an agreement between both partners within the primary relationship specifying the way in which they want their relationship to work.  Answer being “no.”  As a Couples Counselor, specializing in Affair Recovery, I work with couples who want to start a dialogue about what it would be like to open up their marriage.  In affair recovery and relationships where the sex has “flatlined” it could be possible for the couple to remain together where both can find fulfillment by way of some agreement that works for both husband and wife.  It is important not to suffer from a failure to meet the external and societal expectations for what our relationships should look like.  Many people face feelings of jealousy or insecurity regardless of what relationship style they choose.  I favor a more hopeful outlook with open, honest communication, and mindfulness, to develop a relationship of one’s own design—monogamous or not—can provide more satisfaction than a prescriptive one.

For more information on possibly opening up your marriage and how to develop polyamorous relationships please contact me at (858) 735-1139.