What Is It & Is It Right for My Marriage?
Open, modern, polyamorous, polyfidelity, throuple. These are all terms you may hear used to describe versions of consensual non-monogamy, which is a type of relationship that extends beyond the mono-typical partnerships that are often considered the norm in our society. If you’re considering consensual non-monogamy for your current relationship, you’re thinking partnering with a non-monogamous couple, or you’re just curious about how all of this can work and contribute to healthy, fulfilling relationships, you’ve come to the right place. You can learn more about consensual non-monogamy on this page, and if you’re interested in exploring how this practice can improve your daily life, it may be beneficial to consider scheduling a session with me. I’m Dr. Michael Stokes. I’m a Rhode Island Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist. When you’re ready to chat, I hope you’ll reach out to me at my therapy practice, Rhode Island Sex Therapy.
Is Consensual Non-Monogamy Just an Excuse for My Partner to Cheat?
No at all. There are many reasons why committed partners may want to engage in consensual non-monogamy and none of them is that they want to cheat on their spouses. Instead, consensual non-monogamy is a way of acknowledging and accepting that one person can’t necessarily provide everything that another person needs to feel fully satisfied. This is true and more readily accepted when we’re discussing emotional support, but it can also be true sexually. Instead, it can be beneficial to your partnership to explore non-monogamy, allowing for a fuller range of sexual experiences while still remaining in and supporting your committed relationship.
Does My Partner Wanting Consensual Non-Monogamy Mean I’m not Good Enough?
This feeling of rejection or feeling not good enough stems from a cultural pressure for people to be in monogamous relationships. It’s the expected norm, so when someone acts in a way that’s outside of that, negative stereotypes are often applied to maintain the status quo. This is certainly true when it comes to monogamy and non-monogamy. Monogamous relationships are the accepted norm in our culture. Narratives surrounding non-monogamy often take on a negative connotation, including things like one partner isn’t good enough. The truth is no one should be expected to meet every one of your needs at all times. Relationships and sexuality grow and evolve over time, and if that means you and your partner would be happier including others in your relationship in some way, there’s nothing wrong with either of you.
Do We Need Therapy Before Beginning Consensual Non-Monogamy?
Consensual non-monogamy requires radical transparency. That means we have to trust our partners and ourselves to be completely honest about wants and needs for the relationship. In many cases, one or both partners, even if they are doing their utmost to be honest, may hold back or fail to consider every aspect of this type of relationship. Therapy can help you think through the logistics, consider how certain experiences may feel, and talk through any hesitancy or concerns you may have. Therapy sessions can also help to foster a safer environment where partners feel more willing to share with complete honesty.
How Do I Get Started?
I want every aspect of your therapy sessions at Rhode Island Sex Therapy to be simple, easy, and straightforward. That begins with scheduling your visit. You can reach me over the phone at (401) 236-5021, email DrMichaelStokes@gmail.com, or use our simple contact form. I look forward to hearing from you soon.