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The “New Monogamy” Hits the News

 

The Networker made the news earlier this week with one of the leading stories in our July issue, Tammy Nelson’s “The New Monogamy.” The Washington Post featured this piece in their Health section, displaying some of the more controversial ideas covered in Nelson’s article.


The Post reporter mentions in the article, titled “Monogamy 2.0?” that, “The juiciest part of the article is where Nelson explains some of her patients’ unconventional arrangements (while maintaining their anonymity, of course) such as the couple who agree they can each have sex with other people, but only while on business trips.” Read the rest of the article here.

Although I was more than thrilled to see this month’s magazine cover presented in The Washington Post, along with a summary of Nelson’s article that’s bound to generate interest, I don’t think that Nelson’s article can be summed up with the idea of simply sleeping with other people. I feel that Nelson clearly explained her idea that breaches of fidelity are more commonplace than most of us like to believe, and that a new form of committed relationships are becoming more accepted.

In her article, Nelson says, “It isn’t that there’s an epidemic of mate-swapping liberties out of 'Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice'…in fact, most couples practicing what I call the ‘new monogamy’ still want a desire a committed monogamous marriage.” She writes that the definitions of terms like commitment, fidelity, and monogamy are more “expansive and varied than what we’ve long considered the norm.”

I think many readers took in this article to mean that Nelson believes that marriages are going in this 60s-style of “swinging” or “open” marriages—and some couples are exploring these options—but that terms, ideas, and relationships are changing, and that therapists should be aware of shifts in society so that they're better equipped to handle anything that comes their way inside the therapy room.

What did you think about Nelson’s article? How do you think therapists should handle situations of what Nelson labels “new monogamy” relationships?

 

07.23.2010   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Jordan Magaziner
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