Feel, Need, Want, Value: Therapy for More Satisfying Relationships

Other times, certain topics feel off the table because of social stigma or taboo: sexuality, kink, non-monogamy, infidelity, mental illness. Stigmas and taboos are so powerful in part because they amplify the feelings of shame that keep people isolated, and they silence alternative ways of understanding things that can serve to connect people. How can I share this with someone else when they’re definitely going to think I’m a terrible person, or at least a weirdo?? What’s wrong with me that I can’t just be fine with the things that everyone else seems happy with??

How It Works: Therapy

I’ve been thinking lately about the work that I do. About how I actually help. I started wondering, Is there a way that I could summarize the work that I do with every one of my clients, in simple terms, regardless of their starting point?

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.

Consensual Non-Monogamy: I Didn’t Sign Up For This Sh*t

…But right now I want to talk to those of you whose first reaction to the idea of consensual non-monogamy was “Oh, hell f***cking NO!”
I just want to say––explicitly––I’m here for you too.

Revert To Saved: Closing a Consensually Non-Monogamy Relationship

“What do we do if one (or both) of us decides we no longer want our relationship to be open?” This isn’t a question that always gets discussed explicitly when partners are weighing whether to open their monogamous relationship and explore some form of consensual non-monogamy. Unfortunately, even when it is discussed, sometimes partners endContinue reading “Revert To Saved: Closing a Consensually Non-Monogamy Relationship”

Relationship Culture Clash and Consensual Non-Monogamy

To support my point that Hookup Culture doesn’t just go away even when people leave a college campus for the “real world”, I’m going to make a claim for which I have no actual evidence or support other than the fact that it makes intuitive sense to me: “ghosting”* is not a random or accidental or even super-mysterious trend—it’s the natural, entirely-predictable result of a central tenet of Hookup Culture being applied to “real-world” dating. Hookup Culture actively discourages communication, on-going interaction, acknowledgment of another person’s internal emotional world. I would argue it’s impossible to get “ghosted” in Hookup Culture, because ghosting is the absence of communication when there’s the assumption that there should be communication; within Hookup Culture, that absence of communication isn’t a bug in the software… it’s a feature.

Reflections on “Little White Lies” and Consensual Non-Monogamy

In my post last week exploring some ideas about how to bring up the topic of consensual non-monogamy with a partner, I used the question “Do these pants make my butt look big?” as an example of how many of us have been socialized to tell “little white lies” in order to avoid hurting someone’sContinue reading “Reflections on “Little White Lies” and Consensual Non-Monogamy”

Opening My Monogamous Relationship: Just a Terrible F***ing Idea, or What? Part 2

In my previous post, I outlined a few factors that can make the process of transitioning a previously-monogamous relationship to some form of consensual non-monogamy easier. In this post, I want to explore the other side of that: factors that make a transition more difficult. UrgencyA sense of urgency—we have to act now!—is one factorContinue reading “Opening My Monogamous Relationship: Just a Terrible F***ing Idea, or What? Part 2”

Opening My Monogamous Relationship: Just a Terrible F***ing Idea, or What? Part 1

Is it a terrible idea?  Maybe. I dunno. It depends on your relationship. On you. On your partner. On why you want to open it to begin with. On what you’re hoping to get out of it. On what alternatives you and your partner feel you have.  How’s that for an evasive answer? The realityContinue reading “Opening My Monogamous Relationship: Just a Terrible F***ing Idea, or What? Part 1”