When we start this journey off with healthy and positive intent, we have such higher probability of success. Reasons NOT to enter into an open relationship at this time:
- I am no longer interested in my partner and am looking for someone else to have sex with.
- My partner and I are having serious relationship difficulties and think that bringing in a “spark” will help.
- I am feeling angry or hurt and want my partner to feel as hurt as I am.
The fluidity of energy given and energy received between two people is the core foundation of interpersonal fulfillment.
- Stephanie P. Bathurst, LCMFT
For those of you who have read my article on Repair from Infidelity, this statement will sound familiar. An infidelity is ANYTHING that drains vital energy from the dyadic relationship. To prevent a non-traditional relationship structure from being experienced as an infidelity, it requires us to be mindful and conscientious of how we allocate our energy to each partner(s). This mindfulness of energy exchange can be solidified in a therapeutic and transparent way through the review of my Open Relationship Contract Questionnaire, breaking down the process into 3 vital components: Boundaries, Safety, Communication. All of you Kinksters out there will connect with this last bit. Consent, Consent, Consent. There should be no secrecy, no shame, no judgement when entering into a new structure together.
When we are healthy and stable individuals, we can then create a healthy and stable system. This system should absolutely include exploration and excitement. For some, that goes beyond monogamy. And for them, that is wonderful!
Stephanie P. Bathurst, MA, LCMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist