Monogamy is like the color yellow. I can prove it. Right now, I want you think of the color yellow. What shade is it? Goldenrod? Egg yolk? Sunflower? Maize? I know that when I say the color yellow, everyone reading this is thinking of a different shade. Even if the shades are only slightly different...they are different. So it goes with monogamy.
Early in my work with folks that want a monogamous relationship, I spend a lot of time trying to understand what does it mean to them. An example of when this becomes an important exercise is when one partner partakes in pornography for personal sexual gratification and the other partner disapproves, is resentful or feels disconnected because of it. The partner will say something along the lines of "It is coming between us...It is ruining our sex life...you have all your sex with your porn!" For this partner, the behaviour can often have the same affect as if their partner had an affair. The partaker will often say to me "I haven't cheated...I didn't have sex with anyone else! What is the problem?"
Monogamy is based on more aspects than who you can or cannot have sex with. There are elements of trust, intimacy, social engagement, non-sexual physical touch, and more. Creating open communications to discuss all of the important elements of trust/sexuality, physical and not, will allow couples have more meaningful, connected relationships based on accurate expectations and the ability to weather behaviours that are challenging.
If you are dealing with relationship challenges and/or are trying to negotiate the sexual boundaries in your relationship, contact Elliott at 617-834-4235 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org