Counseling for Non-Monogamous Relationships
Monogamy traditionally refers to relationships where each partner maintains an exclusive relationship with each other to exclusion of other people. Monogamy is a mainstream value that is embedded in our culture and social attitudes. Culture and social attitudes that we are exposed to as we develop into adults have a large impact on the management of our emotions and behaviours.
Non-Monogamous Relationships refer to relationships that are not exclusive and may involve more than one other person in a romantic or sexual relationship.
Non-Monogamous Relationships cover several types of relationship styles. Statistics suggest that the prevalence of non-monogamous relationship styles are increasing as the primary choice for individuals navigating the complex world of modern relationships. So too there is an increase in the number of people who struggle with issues related to alignment with their chosen lifestyle.
Polyamory is an increasingly common choice of relationship style that is defined by intimate or romantic relationships with more than one partner, importantly it is qualified by consent, knowledge, and agreement between all partners in the relationship. From the Greek, Poly for ‘many and Latin Amor for ‘love’, it translates to ‘many-loves’. It is sometimes described as ethical non-monogamy.
People who identify as polyamorous reject the beliefs that exclusivity and fidelity are necessary for deep, committed, long-term loving relationships. Polyamourous relationships vary in structure from three people in a ‘V’ or triangle arrangement (triad) up to multiple variations of connections and levels of intimacy.
As Polyamory is based on the consent of all people within the relationship, infidelity still exists in the form of partners who do not know about other partners or if someone in the relationship (often a previously monogamous partner) does not consent to identify as Polyamorous. In this situation, the relationships would not be considered Polyamorous as this style of relationship is defined by the consent and knowledge of all partners.
For some Monagamy meets the values and needs for a deep love connection, for others exclusivity and fidelity are not compatible with a satisfying connection with their partners.
Despite intentions, many individuals find they are not equipped with the skills to communicate with the level of honesty required to maintain healthy polyamorous relationships. WorldTribe specialises in helping individuals address their needs and skills development to a level where they can manage the communication for healthy relationships,
Our programs address assertive communication, honesty, identity, and values. Issues that counseling can help with:
- Boundary navigation
- The potential for jealousy
- Safe sex practices
- Communication skills
- Feelings of inadequacy or neglect
- ‘Coming out’ to partners
- Opening previously monogamous relationships
- Navigating different partner values around Polyamory
- Family support dealing with Polyamory identification