I am delighted to share one of my “Dear Kitty” columns that was previously published in “Ethical Non-Monogamy Magazine” (ENM), which, unfortunately, is no longer being published. We are honored to have permission from ENM to keep the love going by sharing from our archives.
With all my heart, I absolutely love our cherished Loving Without Boundaries community. For the greater good of all of you living your most authentic lives with joy and bliss (with the least amount of suffering as possible), we are thrilled to share this response to the reader’s question as a gift to you.
My wife and I have been together for four years and married for one. I got together with her knowing that she was polyamorous. She said that she didn’t have an issue being monogamous for me, but with the understanding that it wouldn’t last forever. Well she has finally brought it up to me that she wants to start sleeping with other guys again. She has explained that is only for pleasure, not relationship. She says that she loves being with me and wants nothing more than for our love and life to continue. She also says it is also fair for me to sleep with anyone I want as well. The problem I am having, and it’s hard for me to admit, is that I have a fragile male ego. It is very difficult for me to be ok with her having sex with other guys. I want to change that, but it’s not easy. I will do whatever it takes to make our marriage work because I want to spend my life with her. Any suggestions on how to basically get over myself, so that we won’t have too many issues?
First off, I LOVE the can-do attitude and willingness to change in this lovely human’s question. That is half the battle! It illustrates the understanding that in a healthy relationship, we can only change ourselves in order to grow as we respect other loved ones’ truth, values, and boundaries. Asking other people to change for us or blaming them for the way that we feel or for the challenging emotions we are experiencing is counterproductive as well as disempowering. By owning your feelings and your thought process as YOURS, this creates a fertile ground for personal growth, positive change, and increased intimacy and connection. Yes!
Here are some tips and suggestions to best navigate opening up your relationship as your wife explores her sexuality:
1) Focus on Abundance vs. Scarcity Thinking. Understand that love/sex is not a bank account that gets depleted. We all get that we can enjoy having multiple good friends, doing various activities that sometimes don’t overlap with those friends. The same can be true in other relationships, such as intimate ones. Enjoying different activities with multiple lovers or simply cherishing variety works much the same way, and some of us are simply wired or orient this way. When your beloved spends time with other lovers, she very likely will bring home that energy, joy, and passion back to you. Passion, sexual energy, and one’s erotic skillset can GROW unlimited, not get depleted. Look inside your heart and mind to find compassion and empathy for your wife, stepping into her shoes to understand her perspective and desires.
2) Forgive yourself for being a human living in a monogamous world. Having a “fragile male ego”, comparing ourselves to others’, and entertaining “I am not enough” thoughts are natural and normal. They are also ideas often leftover from monogamy. De-programming those compulsory monogamous beliefs and opening your heart to multiple intimate relationships takes time as well as some inner work. You can build this muscle a little bit more everyday by getting clear on your current day value systems and beliefs. One belief that you can deepen daily is “I respect my wife’s sexual and bodily autonomy, and understand whole-heartedly that we do not own each other.” As you do this work, give yourself permission to be human, with some grace and empathy for yourself along the way. Some days will be better than others as you keep trending up!
3) Write a “50 Stack” Belief System of “Why I Am An Amazing Lover, Deeply Cherished by my Wife.” Thank you for your vulnerable sharing that you feel your ego is fragile. Just like we build muscles at the gym, you can also build up your confidence and strength, putting less focus on your ego and more on your higher self – the Superhero inside of you! I invite you to write down 50 reasons why you are an amazing lover who is deeply and soulfully loved by your wife! You can start with just 10 reasons, and keep adding to it. Read this often until the disempowering thoughts start to dissipate. If you find those thoughts still creeping in, either read the 50 stack more often, or write another 50 stack! Engage your wife in the process for added fun, intimacy, and connection!
4) Give thanks for your wife clearly expressing her truth, values, and boundaries clearly. This is such a gift to you! So many people struggle with living their most authentic and inspired life, or don’t take the time and do the work to get to self-mastery and self-acceptance. You wife seems quite clear on who she is, and also that she chooses YOU to be her partner. Her ability to share her truth, boundaries, and light with you is amazing! Having great communication skills to express one’s needs compassionately, kindly, and respectfully is a beautiful thing. Celebrate that, letting yourself be filled with gratitude!
5) Work with a professional – such as a relationship or sex coach, counselor, or therapist. Sometimes reaching out for help is the bravest and even the most rational thing to do. Why go it alone when you can have a professional holding your hand and guiding you through this process of opening up your relationship? That’s exactly what professional coaches, counselors, and therapists are there for! They can help you move past obstacles and rise above any limiting beliefs that are holding you back from success, quickly and even joyfully. Otherwise, many folks may stay stuck or worse, just give up altogether not realizing their full potential. Don’t let that be you. Having an expert guide and a step-by-step proven plan may be just what you need to live your most authentic life.
Lastly, have faith in yourself that you will build the muscle and grit that you need to rise to the challenge of this situation. You got this! I’m already proud of your courage and bravery to color outside of the lines of traditional relationship structures in order to enjoy the marriage and life of your dreams, for both you and your wife. Nice work!
Until next time, cherished community …
With love and gratitude,
Kitty Chambliss, PCC, CPC, ELI-MP
Founder, Loving Without Boundaries
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