This is a continuation of my last post where I laid out some behaviors I feel we should try not to do in open relationships. This post is more of a list of affirmations and positive things to remember when working through the challenges that often come up when you’re involved in a nonmonogamous relationship. These are what work for me. I would love it if people could post what works for them!

  • Try to learn trust your intuition. This is the lesson I’ve been working on for my entire love life. I’ve been cheated on in the past and I knew intuitively that something was going on but my ex constantly reassured me that nothing was. So I learned to dismiss my inner knowings and I’ve been trying to unlearn that lesson for a long time. If you can learn to discern between what is your actual intuition and what is just a story you’ve manifested in fear you will be good to go.  
  • Try to communicate more than you think you should. If you ever have the question in your mind “should I talk to my partner about this?” The answer is always yes and sooner than later! It takes guts to be honest about your fears and desires but that’s where true intimacy comes from.
  • Try to validate yourself first then ask your partner. When we see the reasons for and the solutions to our difficulties as coming from outside of ourselves, it robs us of our power. Take back control and remember that much of your pain is self-chosen and the answers lie in your choices about how you react.
  • Try to remember that people make mistakes. I have a good story about this. My partner was recently interested in a woman and they started talking about a solo hang out. My partner and I had some stuff to process first so he let her know that a date probably wasn’t going to happen this week. she became upset and proceeded to subtly degrade me and my relationship. At first I was pissed but then I realized that she was just disappointed that she didn’t get what she wanted when she wanted it. Her reaction was a normal reaction and didn’t mean she’s a mean, manipulative person. Have compassion for why they may be acting like and do this for yourself too.
  • Try to compromise.  Conventional poly wisdom asserts that you should go at the speed of the person whose least comfortable. So even if you have to put off going on that exciting date for a while to allow time to process then be willing to do that. There’s no hurry.
  • Try to ask the advice and support of neutral experienced parties or trusted understanding friends. It’s amazing how much more impact a person’s words outside of your relationship can have. I know sometimes I’m trying to get my partner to understand me and I say it a hundred different ways and he doesn’t get it. Then a friend says it and it totally clicks.
  • Try to trust that things work themselves out in ways that you can’t predict. Ultimately we have no control (more about this in another post). And sometimes things work out to teach you something that you needed to learn but didn’t know you needed it. Just let go of trying to figure it all out and just watch it happen.
  • Try to look for the lessons in everything. And I should add, try to see the lesson as it’s happening not just in hindsight but hindsight is a good place to start. This happened to me recently. A situation I wasn’t happy about recently came along. I tried to resist and control it but when I let go, I learned one of the most important lessons of my life and now I’m grateful it came.
  • Try to remember we’re only human. Have patience with yourself first and then extend that to others. Don’t shoot the second arrow. For example, if your partner is interested in other people, that can be scary enough without that voice in your head reminding you of all your insecurities and then judging you for being insecure too. Give others chances too and remember that we are all doing the best we can.
  • Try to  get some space, even if you don’t want to. Recently my partner and I were stuck on a recurring issue. We talked for hours and hours about it and we were just spinning our wheels. Fortunately, I was forced to go out of town for a training and we got some space. We both had time to reconnect with ourselves, get some perspective and come back to our relationship refreshed. Everything that felt like the end of the world when I left were just no big deal when I got back. It was awesome, you should try it.