Inviting In, Accepting To© is a workbook for those persons who are considering inviting other emotional, mental, or physical relationships with others into their lives through the practice of consent, power, and communication. In my experience, thus far, with consensual non-monogamous relationships the aforementionend skill set is not given enough attention. You may be asking yourself, what the hell is she talking about? How is power a skill? How is consent a skill? Some maybe, how is communication a skill? Power in this sense is about self awareness of who has the imbalance of more or less voice, more or less finance, more or less experience, more or less to lose, or more or less to gain? This can be the single person who comes into a coupleship with a power differential based upon couple privilege of history, availability, and living situation. Or, this can play out when one partner wants to explore other relationships with more enthusiasm and gusto than the other partner. How does one navigate this differential with compassion, vulnerability, and consideration? How do I share the power to have negotion, compromise, and justice within my relationships? How do I give power when power is implicit? How do inventory or check my intention, attitude, fantasy, and behavior?
Consent, resignation, and resolution are concepts that can playout behaviorally in a multitude of ways within ourselves and with others. For example, one can resign within themselves that the only way to be successful within longterm polyamorous relationships that my needs will not be met fully within one relationships. Let's make sure that one parses out needs, wants, and desires.
You may notice that there are many how questions. This is purposeful because this is a skills book to develop those tools that I have found most lacking within ALL relationships and how this applies to multiperson relationships.
This section is from my Unpacking the Mononormative Lens:
Sorting and Conceptualizing
Restructuring the agreements of relating sexually, mentally, and emotionally, is an ongoing and sometimes challenging process due to the mononormative lens that has been a part of your relationships. The pitfall that many individuals fall into is not considering how the social construction of sexual, emotional, and relational norms can create tremendous internal and external conflict when considering open relationships. The reason can be that your partner (s) witness the unexpressed erotic, emotional, and sexual wants, needs, passions, and desires that you experience as the result of vulnerability and risking with relating with others. This can be a surprising and terrifying experience for you or your partner(s). For some, these unexplored or newly explored areas may have been suppressed due social stigma, fear of being judged, or self-judgement. Let's explore by answering the following questions:
Define commitment. How does your partner demonstrate commitment to you? How would you describe your commitment contract within your relationship currently? How do you feel it has been violated and upheld within your marriage?
Define acceptance (as it relates to yourself and others). What is easiest and most difficult for you to accept about yourself? Your partner?
Define needs and wants. Within your relationship, are these equitable in consideration for you and your partner?
Describe connection and intimacy. (Use adjectives and action verbs – for example, passionate kissing, enthusiastic greeting, and patient listening)
For those in open relationships, I would love feedback on my trajectory for the workbook.