Alternative relationships, or non-monogamous relationships, are similar to monogamous couples in that they too have their share of problems. It’s difficult enough finding the patience, understanding, and humor to keep a partnership between two people, which is why couples juggling more than one partner often struggle to find balance.
According to Zhana Vrangalova Ph.D in her article “Who’s Really Interested in Alternative Relationships” published on Psychology Today:
“Consensually (or openly) non-monogamous relationships are long-term committed relationships where the partners have an explicit agreement to have outside sexual partners and/or romantic relationships. Some, like swingers, are more focused on multiple sexual partners; others, like polyamorists, are more focused on multipleloving relationships, but they all share a commitment to honesty about their nonexclusivityâ€”as opposed to the typical approach of cheating.”
Many people consider it an open-relationship, which, due to a lack of understanding, can come with an array of social connotations. Often, couples transition from a monogamous relationship to an alternative on to keep the romantic spark alive. This is much more than having a threesome; most alternative couples aren’t non-monogamous just for the sex. That being said, society isn’t always understanding and accepting of these types of relationships, which adds extra stress on the individuals involved.
In addition to open-relationship, an alternative relationship is sometimes referred to as polyamory. Whatever you choose to call it, it’s crucial that both you and your spouse/partner are on the same page. For instance, if you decide to try an open-relationship to help save your marriage, make sure your significant other completely understands what you’re proposing and is entirely comfortable with it before in engaging.
Similar to other sexual and romantic preferences, the desire to remain non-monogamous is based on the individual. Some people find the concept of one person fulfilling all their needs for the rest of their lives unrealistic. As a result, people who prefer alternative relationships seek out other individuals to satisfy the needs one partner can’t. Keep in mind that this is not cheating, since healthy alternative relationships thrive on honesty, communication, and understanding.
Like any other type of relationship, the actions that make an alternative relationship healthy are often difficult to sustain. For this reason, many alternative couples seek the help of therapy.
Just like any other form of couples therapy, alternative relationship therapy sessions are all about communication. As stated earlier, a non-monogamous romance must begin with complete understanding from every individual involved. Though it may seem everyone’s on the same page at first, emotions can be strained once one or more of the individuals realize it’s not what they expected it to be. Instead of forcing the relationship to work, or keeping issues private, it’s important to seek the help of therapy so that everyone can vocalize how they feel. With my help as a West Hollywood Alternative relationship therapist, you’ll be able to find out what is and what isn’t working in your relationship and enforce the positive.
Whether you’re a couple interested in trying an alternative relationship or already in one and it’s not satisfying, seeking the advice and expertise of a therapist is in your best interest. It’s time to choose to be happy and participate in a relationship that leaves you satisfied and fulfilled. Even if all individuals in the relationship aren’t willing to participate, it’s still important to communicate your frustrations and reach valuable insights as a result.
Please contact us or more information on alternative relationship therapy in West Hollywood.