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.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Sex Date

The Sex Date. This is not a normal Date Night where you go out to eat a big dinner and have a couple glasses of wine.  Usually, after a night like that, you come home full and just want to go to sleep.  Make a date with your partner for SEX.  Sex dates are an important part of creating spontaneity and special time with your partner so scheduling a weekly date shows that the relationship is important.

When the date night arrives know that you will have some type of Sexual Contact, even if you don’t feel like it at the moment. Sometimes arousal comes before desire….don’t wait for the desire to hit.  You are creating the environment where desire can flourish once it is aroused.  Sexual contact can mean a lot of different things.  Laying naked together, soft touching, massage, or pleasure through touching your own body while your partner watches are all erotic connections.

Leading up to the date make sure you put effort into preparing for your special night. Starting about four days prior to the Sex Date use small acts to help create anticipation for the big night.  For example, show your partner physical affection at least three times the first day.  Attempt to connect on the second day by whispering in your partner’s ear the things you want to do to him or her on your Sex date.

On the third day bring home a surprise like a card or small gift you can use for the date.  The fourth day is the important day so create an atmosphere in the bedroom that will remind both of you that this is a sacred and erotic space for you to play safely in together. Light candles, put fresh flowers by the bed, put soft sheets and blankets on the bed. Make extra effort to pick music your partner will like.

When the big night finally arrives keep your expectations open and reasonable.  If the evening goes well then wonderful.  If it doesn’t live up to your expectations, remember that this night can be anything that works for you and makes you feel connected to one another.  Massage, communication, and sharing fantasies can make this an important night of Sensual Pleasures.

In Couples Counseling I help Couples with specific exercises in preparing for their Sex Date nights utilizing techniques and putting systems into place.  As a Marriage Counselor, I have found that incorporating Sex Dates in Couples Therapy help the Couples I work with rekindle their desire for one another.  For more information please contact me at (858) 735-1139.

Subscribe to get relationship tips and insights by being notified when new blog articles are published