“Sexuality is a human instinct as natural as hunger or thirst.” – Alexandra Kollontai

Are you in a healthy, committed relationship, but want to explore your sexuality a bit more? Do you find that you’re curious about alternative lifestyles, but don’t talk about it with your partner? You’re not alone.

Since opening my private practice in 2014, I have worked with many individuals and couples who have expressed a desire to explore their own sexuality within the context of a marriage or partnership. Perhaps one of the partners is friends with someone who is in a polyamorous relationship, or maybe a couple got married very young and have only been with each other. Regardless of the situation, sexuality is typically a topic that can conjure up feelings of anxiety or discomfort, leaving us squirming in our seats; therefore, we don’t talk about it. Yes, sexuality can be complicated…but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be discussed. After all, open and frequent communication is what strengthens relationships.

As a monogamy-focused society, we often hold the belief that even thinking about alternative relationships is betrayal in itself. I’d encourage a shift to this train of thought: it’s about learning who we are as individuals, both in and outside of the context of a marriage or relationship. It’s about validating where people are with their own sexuality and accepting them “as is”.

If you ask yourself something along the lines of, “Do I want to explore what it’s like to be with ___?” then the question is worth trying to answer. Allow yourself to experience the emotions and thoughts that arise as a result of marinating on this question. People often don’t talk about sex because they’re unsure how their partner would feel or react. Ideally, you should feel comfortable enough to share these with your partner; however, if that’s not the case, counseling can provide a safe, excellent medium for deepening understanding and gaining clarity regarding your own and/or your partner’s sexuality. You might just be surprised by how much more intimate you and your partner become after getting things out in the open.

TAKE-AWAY: No matter the situation, it’s important to remain true to yourself and to acknowledge how you’re feeling. Remember, no marriage/committed relationship is perfect. But, by listening, loving, supporting, and communicating with your significant other, you’re taking the necessary steps towards improving and strengthening your relationship for the long haul. Reach out if you need help navigating the discussion. http://omaha-counseling.com/