Can an Open Marriage ever really Work?

POLYAMORY

Can an Open Marriage ever really Work?

People come in all shapes and sizes. They have different wants and needs. Anthropologists say what was traditionally supplied us by a whole village such as warmth, guidance, financial sustenance, understanding, passionate love and eminent friendship we now seek solely in our spouse or significant other. But that’s a huge burden to carry. Due to the high divorce rate, the need for sexual novelty, the desire to try the same gender or emotional needs that their spouse can’t supply sometimes pivots them in the direction of an open marriage. It’s often when the needs of one person cannot be met by the other. It’s no one’s fault. Instead, it’s usually just a mismatch. For others, it’s a need to explore further with love, a mindset that requires free will, strong confidence, good communication and a non-jealous personality. Surely, there are dysfunctional open marriages as there are dysfunctional closed ones. But can an open marriage ever really work? Experts say there are such that can work but it takes the right kind of couple and the proper mindset. Open and honest communication is the most important aspect. An open marriage doesn’t mean a person can have sex with whomever, whenever. Instead, a certain set of pre-agreed upon rules are made and adhered to, with each mate’s preferences in mind.

According to psychologist Deborah Anapol an expert on polyamory— practicing intimacy with more than one partner, though many couples who in an open marriage struggle with jealousy from time to time, very few say they regret being able to share intimacy outside the confines of their relationship. There are many alternative romantic and sexual couplings going around nowadays. People are getting married later on in life due to the time it takes to get a proper education and work your way up. The new generation prefers lots of choice and not getting tied down. In the wake of the sexual revolution and the explosion of dating and hookup apps, people have freedoms and opportunities they’ve never had before in the history of humankind. That and the elevated divorce rate has non-traditional people looking for new ways to have their needs met, explore their sexuality and enjoy their life with others.

Still, the reason for entering into such a relationship is important. One party should not be pressuring the other into entering into such an agreement. Another party should not be going along with it when they really don’t like the idea, just for the sake of saving the relationship. Instead, this is something that both parties have to be sincerely interested in. For some couples, it’s a way for a person who has a large sexual appetite for instance to have his or her needs met without disenfranchising their partner. For others, it’s a way to express their freedom. They believe the human heart has the capacity to love more than one person and in more than one way. They feel that commitment and fidelity are not synonymous. Besides intermittent jealousy, the potential for a stream of uncomfortable conversations and lots of chances to be tempted to lie to your partner, cause many to steer clear of the idea. Others fear the chance that no matter what rules are in place their spouse could run off with another. Really it’s all about how you feel about one another and your relationship. If it’s a way to renew the marriage or explore new dimensions of love and freedom, go for it. If it’s to placate someone or a last ditch effort to save the marriage, you may be setting yourselves up for a terrible fall. For more pick up a copy of the book, The Seven Natural Laws of Love, Polyamory in the 21st Century by Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D.

Ethical Non-monogamy or Polyamory

POLYAMORY

Ethical Non-monogamy or Polyamory

With so many options today and many professionals independent and not interested in settling down, people are looking for new romantic options that fit their modern day attitudes and lifestyle. Though it isn’t a significant part of the population yet, ethical non-monogamy, also known as polyamory, is a growing trend. So what is polyamory? It comes from the Greek meaning many loves. There is no hard and fast definition. The practice is having more than one loving or sexual relationship at a time, which all parties involved knowledgeable and consenting. No one should be pressured into entering into this kind of relationship. It should be an arrangement all parties are interested in. Another definition less often used, it could also mean a couple taking part in non-monogamous activities such as swinging. Many believe that the human heart is too wild and free to be tamed by a certain social construct. Outside of such expectations, no one can really say who they will love or how many they have the capacity to love, be it one or twenty. Though we have familial love and friendship, polyamory refers specifically to having romantic relationships that include intercourse. The point is to grow strong relationships, enjoy the powerful feelings and the act and have deep, profound intimacy in all of them. Everyone involved has to be consenting. These need to be open-minded individualists. But they also need to be good communicators.

It isn’t a competition. No one should be keeping score. Instead, it’s about making an emotional connection with others and not dictating to the heart who and how. Some believe that we have the capacity to love many others without constraints. They say this is a way to escape serial monogamy. In monogamous relationships there is the problem of the relationship going sour. Another problem is cheating, lying and hurt feelings. Here, those things are eliminated. Of course, there can be jealousy. But it’s how that jealousy is managed that counts. Really jealous people should steer clear of this sort of arrangement. There are all kinds of poly relationships. What most people are looking for is the freedom to love how they wish without hurting others, and the ability to determine what kind of arrangement works for them. How long does such a relationship last? Just like all relationships, it depends on the people that are in it and how they relate to each other. Some last for years while others only for a short while. Each person in any type of relationship brings baggage and pre-conceived notions. Communication is really what it all comes down to. You don’t have to be bisexual to be poly. Some couples are looking for an extra to form a triad. Some triads are open, others closed.

For those who live together, arrangements such as everyone having the same bedroom and bed, to each person having their own separate bedroom, to certain people maintaining a schedule where they sleep in a certain bed on a certain night are all well-known arrangements in poly communities. If it’s a closed triad, it’s important that each member relate to the other, and spend time with each other so no one feels left out. Each person’s relationship has to be strengthened. Sometimes a schedule is formed so each member can have quality time with each other. Some people practice polyfidelity or polyfi meaning their triad is closed. But others are more open. There is also a unique term called compersion in the poly community. This is when someone you love is being loved well and taken care of by another, and it brings you great joy. Certainly there is no test of whether or not you are poly. Most are of a very open-minded, progressive mindset and nonreligious and so not tethered to monogamy as such. Many are intellectuals and professionals. To learn more of whether or not polyamory or ethical non-monogamy is right for you read, More Than Two: A Practical Guide to Ethical Polyamory by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert.

What Exactly Is Cheating?

WHAT-IS-CHEATING

What Exactly Is Cheating?

One person’s cheating is another’s playing the field when it comes to dating. In a relationship things are more clear cut but there still may be some areas of ambiguity. Is having an office spouse cheating? What about emotional intimacy, can that exist outside the couple? What exactly is cheating? It turns out infidelity may be determined by your gender and age. In a recent poll 40% of men and 56% of women said that if their partner kissed someone other than them on the lips, it was cheating.

But as women got older the number that shared this opinion dropped. 75% of younger women ages 18-29 considered their partner locking lips with another cheating. 53% of women age 30-44 thought so. 38% of women 45-64 shared this same view, and for the 65 and over crowd, only 30% considered it cheating. For sending a sext, that is a sexy photo or text message to someone, 74% of men thought it was cheating, compared to the 80% of women who shared the same view.

When it came to developing a deep connection, women and men’s opinions were divergent. Only half of men considered this to be cheating compared to 70% of women. The participant’s age played a factor in whether or not forming a deep bond with someone was cheating. 52% ages 18-29 felt this way, compared with 69% of the 65+ respondents. Political persuasion played a factor as well. When polled about whether going to a strip joint was cheating, 19% of Democrats said so, compared to 35% of Republicans. 51% of Republicans said it wasn’t cheating while 86% of Dems agreed. What about reconnecting with an ex on Facebook, is this cheating? 21% of guys thought so, but 56% didn’t. For women, 26% thought it was cheating while 42% thought it wasn’t.

When it came to Facebook, a political bend played a factor as well. 19% of Democrats thought reconnecting with an ex was cheating, 51% didn’t. For Republicans, 29% considered it an infidelity while 44% thought it was okay.  Talk with your partner on what you consider cheating at your particular stage in the game. Have a conversation and establish some ground rules. If you aren’t exclusive realize what that means, and if you are outline what that means too. If you and your partner have experienced infidelity read, After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring, Ph.D.

Things Guys end up Regretting

regrets

Things Guys end up Regretting

Fellas, have you ever been with someone whom you ended up revealing something that shouldn’t have been said, or made a commitment you shouldn’t have made? These can put a really big damper on your relationship. If you have, take a gander and see if the slip up you made is here, and learn tips on avoiding a different one. If not, why not read on and figure out what things guys end up regretting saying or doing in a relationship, so you can avoid falling victim and keep you and your special lady on the right path together.

Has your gal ever asked you to go to the OBGYN with her? If you two are expecting, congratulations! You should definitely be a part of every phase. But if she’s only having a checkup, don’t go with her. It’s emasculating. Your guy friends will call you whipped. Why does she want you there anyway? What’s the point? Is it some sort of revenge for not having to go? Another problem is that if you hear and see your women’s special place stripped down to biological and medical terms, it may lose some of its mystery and appeal. Put this issue in its place. Otherwise, she may ask you to do all kinds of things you shouldn’t. Establish borders and she will respect you. If not, she’ll walk all over you.

Don’t take her to guys’ night out. It’s no longer a male bonding experience if your girlfriend or wife comes along. It undermines the entire point. You will definitely be called whipped. You and your friends won’t be able to completely be yourselves around her. In every relationship each person needs time apart to explore their own dreams, hobbies, interests and to be with their friends. And why does she want to come along? Is she the hyper jealous type? Is she too needy or clingy? The fact that she wants to tag along may be a red flag. Talk with her more and explore further. Don’t attend girl’s night with her either. This is female bonding. She needs to be the star, sip wine with her friends and gab. And they won’t feel comfortable with you around either. How can female bonding truly take place with a guy around?

Don’t pressure her into certain sex acts if you two are physical and don’t have her pressure you into any. Otherwise someone will feel resentment, guilt or regret. Instead, talk about and take baby steps up to it. Make sure each person is comfortable. And don’t do it if both of you aren’t 100% sure. By avoiding these common pitfalls you’ll be able to move forward confidently in your relationship and be able to establish healthy borders. For more advice read, 10 Mistakes Men Make With Women and How to Avoid Them by Marni Kinrys.

Are you a Pushover?

pushover

Are you a Pushover?

Are you dating someone that you think is taking advantage of you? In a relationship, for real love to blossom there has to be mutual respect and if there isn’t, then it’s merely a relationship of convenience. You can’t have a real relationship where one person takes advantage of the other. But what is the difference between being sweet, considerate, understanding and showing your appreciation for your significant other and being taken advantage of? Read on to find out whether you are a pushover or not.

Are you in a committed relationship? If not, are you interested in being in one? If you haven’t established exclusivity, you two have been seeing each other for a while, you want to establish a commitment but you are afraid of being left, you are a pushover. Of course, when you are first dating and figuring things out, you don’t want to push a relationship. It should develop naturally. But if you’ve been seeing each other regularly for months with no signs of commitment on the horizon, talk to your significant other. If they still don’t want to give you a commitment, when that is what you want, let them go. They aren’t serious about you. Discuss the issue, in depth to make sure there aren’t any extenuating circumstances. But by and large, if this is the case they are taking advantage.

Does he or she have friends over all the time and you feel more like the wait staff than their romantic partner? If you are cooking, cleaning, and taking off so they can have guys or girls nights at your place all the time, you are definitely a pushover. Why can’t they prepare all this themselves? And what about times when people aren’t coming over? Do you do his or her chores in addition to your own? If so, your significant other treats you more like a servant than a partner. Unless this is some type of weird fetish or you are female and very traditional from a certain ethnic or religious background that causes you to do all these things, you are a pushover.  Everyone goes out of their way once in a while for their significant other. But if you are always making accommodations, allowances, and keep saying to people that’s how he or she is when confronted by what they see as an injustice, you are definitely a pushover. Is this person loving, attentive, and do they surprise you with something, a little sweet text, a gift, take you out, something like that? If you feel perpetually taken for granted, while you do all the little niceties for your partner, you are a pushover.

If you avoid conflict and every fight ends with you backing down, you are definitely a pushover. Now what are you going to do about it? There are two problems here, your significant other is taking advantage and you are giving them more than enough opportunity to do so. Instead, sit down with them. Have a chat. Set some ground rules. Go over everything that is unfair and tell them what you think would make it fair. Hear them out. But if they aren’t willing to bend you have to be willing to walk. Instead of investing all that energy in your relationship start investing it into yourself. Work on your goals, your dreams, your career, going to college or whatever it is that will enrich you. You are worth it. If they don’t see how worthwhile you are, be brave and lose them, and find someone who does. For more advice read, How to Be More Assertive: Quit Being a Pushover and Boost Your Self Confidence in Any Situation by Alfred Hale.