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Caree Brown L.C.S.W. Psychotherapy

Individual, Couples, & Family Therapy


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The Challenge of Monogamy

Relationships can provide some of the most rewarding experiences of our life. But nowadays, as use of technology increases so too does isolation and jealousy. While functioning monogamy is completely healthy for most people, it may not be the only right answer. Below we dive into why monogamy is such an increasing challenge and how you might work around it. To learn more about couples therapy and to find the best marriage counselor near you, get in touch with Caree Brown today!

Expectations & Co-Dependency

Oftentimes, the expectations we have for our partner or vice versa can be unreasonable. We want them to be happy when we’re happy, to be invigorating, but stable, to be generous but not needy, to satisfy us sexually. We want them to make us laugh, and keep a deep connection with us while also managing bills, sick children, and life’s numerous curveballs. On top of all that, we want them to keep this up for years and years without fail.

One of the best things you can do in a monogamous relationship is to lower your expectations. Your partner can’t be or necessarily provide everything for you. Of course, there are certain requirements for a healthy and fulfilling relationship. Once you have found a mate that meets certain attributes that are important to you, remember to remain flexible.

Humans are not robots — they are ever-changing beings. In order to maintain a healthy monogamous relationship, growth in your partner should be celebrated. It is when we pigeon hole others into one idea of “who they are” that we run into problems. This may scare people, as they fear that giving their partner space to change will lead to them leaving.

However, lending this space to each other creates a stronger bond and trust. A great way to maintain this space for growth is for each person to create boundaries. Communication of these boundaries is key to an ever-growing and honest relationship.

Another reason why monogamous relationships are such a challenge is because of co-dependency. It is impossible for one person to be “everything” for us, which is why it’s necessary to have other meaningful relationships that meet those needs in our life. It’s important to have friends who will be able to share certain experiences with you that your partner may not want to or be able to. This leads us to our next topic: sex.

Sex Life

We can’t expect our significant other to be everything to us, and this may include sex in some circumstances. At the beginning of any relationship, there should be an open and honest conversation about sex. Discuss needs, fantasies, and boundaries. It’s also important to continue having these conversations as the relationship grows. Our needs and desires may grow as well.

Polyamory or consensual non-monogamy is the practice of having multiple sexual relationships but with the consent of all involved. It is becoming a more widely accepted option for people in monogamous relationships who are sexually unfulfilled. Read more about this idea here.

How We Can Heal Monogamous Relationships

Two of the most important things to save or heal a monogamous relationship is honest communication and healthy dependency.

Some level of dependency in relationships is important because it is, after all, a relationship. However, co-dependency can breed all sorts of negative emotions and outcomes. The reason why we develop relationships isn’t so that our needs can be met by someone else. It is so that we can meet ourselves.

Relationships are great mirrors that can teach us great lessons about ourselves and spur a level of growth unachievable on our own.
Open and honest communication is also extremely important. So many couples struggle with monogamy because they’re not open and honest about their needs to themselves or to their partner. As a result, they end up betraying themselves by betraying their spouse and committing acts of infidelity.

Ashamed of their betrayal, they hide these acts of denial and the problem continues to grow. All of this can be avoided if we listen to ourselves and our needs, express them openly and honestly, and come to a compromise.

Looking for the Best Marriage Counselor Near You?

If you’re struggling in your monogamous relationship or looking for the best marriage counselor near you, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional therapist. Licensed therapist, Caree Brown is rated Best of the Bay and only a phone call away to leading you to a healthy and healed life.