Monogamy or Designer Relationship – what works for you?

My book, The New Monogamy, lays out a practical vision for couples, where each partner can negotiate and communicate their needs with one another, in a caring way, where conscious decision making is a part of marriage and partnership. The implicit assumptions about monogamy can create heartache and betrayal long before couples ever cheat or betray one another. We all know the statistics on life-long monogamy (it’s possible, but difficult). My suggestion for preventing and healing the heartbreak associated with betrayal such as infidelity is to have clear, honest, respectful communication regarding what monogamy means for you and for your partner. With both of you on the same page, it’s easier to honor your relationship agreement, and your marriage. For some people, sexual fidelity with one person may not be the option that fits. The same clear, honest, respectful communication around needs and boundaries can help couples define their relationship agreement when other possibilities might work better. These options might be something defined as “monogamish”, swinging, polyamory, or a mix of all of the above. Dr. Ken Haslam, founder of the Kinsey Institute’s Polyamory Archive, has termed these pre-negotiated relationship styles, “designer relationships.”

Are designer relationships the way of the future? Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson discuss how Life-Long Sexual Monogamy Just Isn’t Natural — Here Are Some Other Options

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