Lately, it seems like there is a lot of talk about ENM, ethical non-monogamy. What is it? For the most part it is a lifestyle choice that allows for a person to have a primary intimate partner and then additional partners, the part that makes it ethical is that everyone is supposed to know and agree on the shared nature of their relationships. This can easily be confused with polyamorous, which is having multiple partners in a relationship, with everyone aware of the other. The difference between the two is that polyamorous is meant to be about multiple love relationships, thus the amorous root word, where as ENM is more about consensual multiple sexual and/or intimate partners.
Why the trend? Meh, there are as many reasons as there are people engaging in the behavior. I am all about honesty, if you can’t commit to a person and a relationship being open and honest that you are unable or unwilling to do so is crucial. The other side of this coin is infidelity/cheating and that is a very conscious, selfish, and cruel choice.
ENM means everyone is informed, as does polyamory. Cheating is about lies and deceit and getting away with something. Perhaps someone cheats because they are unsatisfied with their partner and don’t think their partner would be willing to try different sexual things to spice things up. Folks, if your relationship can’t handle your honesty about your needs then cheating isn’t the answer, your relationship isn’t healthy for you it is actually a good thing that it comes to an end. You can end it with respect or you can cheat and have it end in a mess.
For those that cheat because they are afraid to leave their partner, that implies abuse and that means you need help to get away. Cheating might be your awakening that there is more out there, but cheating isn’t the answer to an abusive relationship. It could also put you in more danger if your abuser finds out and becomes violent. It is scary either way, however, getting help and support is crucial and there are free services out there. Every state and area has local services, there is also the National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233, they even provide a number for those in fear of having internet monitored (800) 799-7233 and they have a website that is easy to navigate and use and can be found at https://www.thehotline.org/.
Sometimes people create a mess when they are scared or don’t feel like they have the skills to have the difficult conversations, sort of like it is easier to have a fight when someone is leaving than it is to just let them go. The root of all of this is feelings, and fear. Fear keeps us alive, but often it keeps us in chaos.
Today I challenge you to take a look at your life and see where you have chaos, and take a deeper look to see if there is something there you are afraid of dealing with. You don’t have to deal with it if you aren’t ready, just identifying that it exists can help you breathe a bit easier.
Have a wyrd and wonderful day!