About

I’m Beth and my life, just like this blog, is a bit of a work in progress. I’m a grad student in my 20’s who lives with a male partner in an open relationship. We don’t identify as polyamorous, but in terms of relationship attitudes and styles I find myself often on the side of poly people. My primary partner, Mike, has been ethically non-monogamous since before he and I met, and we have been open since the start of our relationship. Complicating non-monogamy is the fact that I have clinical depression, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder. Those factors have made non-monogamy a monumental struggle for me at times.

When you have a mental illness and are non monogamous, it can be really hard to find good support. The mental health community doesn’t always respect or understand things like polyamory and open relationships, and the non monogamy community can be hit or miss about mental health concerns. Depression or anxiety can complicate non monogamous relationships, and non monogamy can sometimes bring up issues that trigger depression or anxiety.

   

This blog is here because it’s hard to find people who understand the intersection of mental health and alternative relationship styles. I am not a health professional. I’m just someone who have been there and is getting better at struggling through my issues. I wanted to create this blog as a place where I could document my failures and successes both as a record for myself and in hopes that someone else might find it useful. 
 
  ***
If you are struggling with mental health issues that are complicating your ability to practice ethical non-monogamy in a healthy way, I hope this page gives you some good ideas. If you want an actual, trained human to help you, the poly friendly professionals database includes therapists who won’t tell you that all of your problems stem from your relationship style. If you are in North America and worried you can’t afford therapy, Captain Awkward once had a great guest post on how to locate low-cost therapy in the U.S. and Canada. If you’ve never had a therapist you like, here’s another CA post on what to look for and how. Therapy has been a big, big part of the improvements I’ve seen in my own life, so if you think you need it, do it!
Advertisements

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Hi Beth you stopped by my blog the post you read was written in context to be the second part of another post. I would love to ask you some questions about open relationships in general, I am pretty curious. Do you think they are easier or harder than closed relationships? What about them makes them easier/ What makes them harder? Let me know what you think.

    • Welcome, mamaziller 🙂 Whether open relationships (and I can only speak to that, since I am not polyamorous) are easier or harder than monogamous ones is a hard question to answer. I think what it comes down to is that they each have different challenges and so each person has to decide which set of challenges is harder for them to handle. So in an open relationship you have to worry about things like jealousy, sexual health and complicated scheduling. If I were monogamous I might worry about infidelity, complacency and sexual frustration. And of course, in all sorts of relationships you have to worry about trust and communication and compromise. Right now in my life, the scale tips me towards an open relationship, but that’s not to say I haven’t been fine with monogamy in the past. I know that’s probably not a very satisfying answer, but I hope it helps. Another thing I’ve liked about open relationships is that, since I’ve been in one, I’ve been able to form some very close friendships with both my other partners and with my primary’s other partners. I think having a more fluid definition of acceptable behavior outside of our relationship has fostered a really good social network for us. When I was monogamous, there was a more rigidly defined set of rules and that actually sometimes led to jealousy and resentment and confusion.

      • Hi thanks a lot for your answer! And it is certainly true that is a decision that has to be weighed just like any other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s