April 27th, 2012
From a recent article in the New York Times Magazine to a column in The Advocate, the idea of non-exclusive sex in committed relationships has been receiving a lot of attention. This idea may make you cringe. Or it might be “old news” as far as you’re concerned. In either case, the idea that committed couple relationships can take many forms is can be a huge relief for some people.
Folk make decisions regarding monogamy and open relationships for many reasons, including stability, sexual satisfaction, and romance. The idea that an open relationship will necessarily destroy a couple is just not true.
Traditionally, therapists have suggested that an open relationship means that folk are incapable of committing. Not only is that idea simply wrong, it is also changing. More and more therapists are helping people negotiate the emotional landscapes of nonmonogamy – not simply telling clients to avoid this option.
From my work with clients, I find that the qualities that make a monogamous relationship work are those of an open relationship. Those qualities include, respect, communication, authenticity and commitment.
So, if you are considering or living in an open relationship, know that the common cultural assumptions are not correct. And if you need a therapist to work with, there are many of us out here.
If you’re looking for a therapist or couples counselor in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC – feel free to call me at 202/460-6384 or email me at Mike.Giordano.MSW@gmail.com.