Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have an affair? To kiss or have sex with someone other than your spouse? Have you ever longed for more variety? Have you thought about it, maybe even met someone, but chose not to explore it further because you didn’t want to hurt your partner or break your vows?
Lots of people experience similar thoughts. But what if you could follow through on some of those feelings with the consent of your partner? Would you do it?
More people today are starting to experiment with a new kind of marriage, a way to experiment with the possibility of opening up their marriage to outside partners, without giving up what they have at home.
I coined the term, “the new monogamy” many years ago, after working with a number of married couples “whose ideas about fidelity were more lax” than those I’d encountered at the start of my therapy career decades ago.
In my book, I give couples a new way to talk about their concerns, needs, thoughts, and feelings about their relationship and their sex life, without the risk that they might break up as a result. This communication tool can help them explore a dialogue about opening their relationship in a safe and respectful way.
This week, my almost yearlong interview with Susan Dominus, journalist from the NY Times Magazine was published. She explored several long term committed partnerships, several of which I had known and worked with, both professionally and personally. When the article came out this week in the New York Times, it focused on this idea that couples could actually explore consensual nonmonogamy as a way to improve their marriage, instead of using lying and cheating to erode the connection between them. I spoke with the New York Times about the couples who identified not so much as “polyamorous,” but saw themselves as monogamous, but with open sexual behaviors.
In the article, I talk about how consensual nonmonogamy works for some couples, how meeting the outside partner can decrease some of the stories that create anxiety in the married partners, and how to work with jealousy. It takes negotiation of time, attention, affection, and sex to deal with the many challenges of this type of relationship. I offer expert guidance and advice to both the author of the article, and to the couples in the story. Feel free to contact me to get your own help and support and talk more deeply about how opening a relationship may affect your life, love, and marriage.
You can get my book and read about how to create a monogamy agreement and/or reach out to me for a session or a couples intensive. I also have a Couples Workshop coming up soon. I can help you envision where you want to go with your relationship and guide you both on the exciting path to getting there.