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Monogamy – A Failed Approach To A Happy Long-Term Relationship?

A product of society

About Me

A friend, father and partner on a journey to regain his freedom. A freedom of the mind. A freedom only I can give myself. Would love to hear your opinion on my article.

Before we dive into the topic, I would like you to ask yourself the following question and I want you to be absolutely honest to yourself:

Does your life look different, if you’re in a relationship?

Hold on to this thought for a moment, we will get back to it later.

So where were we. Oh yes “Monogamy, A Failed Approach To A Happy Long-Term Relationship”. Alone by reading this headline people will most likely start judging me so I want to start this article by telling you a little bit about the person behind the question.

Growing up I had to witness my parent’s relationship and thus our family fall apart, leading to divorce and us growing up without a father. And all this even though both, my mother and father say that the other person was and still is the love of their life. This whole event was so drastic for me that it shaped many of my values I held for so long. I decided to become the perfect person, to play by the rules that society forces upon us so that something like this would never happen to me. And of course this included not getting too close to other women.

“I guess if you ask people close to me they would say I am the perfect person, friend, lover, father. But I am not sure if that’s something worth striving for, since society defines what’s good and bad and that’s not necessarily what’s best for you and those around you”

And I must say the plan worked pretty good. Nothing negative ever happened to me. Business wise I achieved a lot in a very short period and I found my soul mate that’s been by my side for almost 10 years now. Together we have the coolest son and live an amazing & free life in Bali. One could argue I had everything.

The Unexpected But Needed Awakening

Despite all the good I had for the last 9 years, I woke up one morning knowing that something wasn’t right. I was confused & lost because I suddenly felt desires that went against the values I carried, that protected and guided me for so long.

I wanted to be free, I wanted to be able to do what I want, when I want and with whom I want without having to feel bad about it. At the same time I wanted to be a good father, friend and lover. In my old picture these 2 things simply didn’t fit together and that was becoming a problem.

So as the days went by the desire to be free grew and with it the confusion, since what I was feeling or longing for didn’t fit the perfect picture society created any more. I started questioning everything, my relationship, my life, me, simply everything.

The conflict got so big that it almost tore me apart and I saw no other way than to talk to my partner about it. It was hard since situations like this all too often end in partners breaking up, but for some reason I knew I had to do it.

So I told her everything. I told her about the sexual desires I had, the freedom I wanted, the experiences I wanted to make and even that I questioned our relationship. I told her all this without really knowing what was causing it or what I wanted to do, I simply had to let it out. The more we talked with each other and other people the clearer things became and I realized it wasn’t the relationship that needed to be questioned but the limitations I decided to live by. It where these that gave me the feeling not to be free.

This completely open conversation was in January 2013 and started a journey with lots of ups and downs, almost breaking up, tears, love, fear … these months where – emotionally – the most intense and hardest months of my life. But they also brought us to where we are today, in search of a new form of relationship, which leads us back to the question I asked initially: Does your life look different, if you’re in a relationship?

If you would have asked me that question 7 months ago it would have been a yes. I would have probably answered that if I wasn’t in a relationship I would party again like back in the days, spend time by myself and explore what other women have to offer. And I know for a fact that I am not the only person in a relationship having these thoughts – it’s only that nobody talks about it.

A Perfectly Flawed System

And this is where the whole problem starts. By entering a relationship you automatically agree to play by the rules of society even if it means sacrificing things you would like to do. But shouldn’t we instead do exactly that? Do the things we want to do? Shouldn’t a relationship support you in whatever it is you are longing for?

Think about this for a moment: If the rules of society where so “good” why is it that

  • a large number of married men/women cheat on their partners at some point? Some studies even speak of numbers as high as 70%.
  • if it happens, the other partner is often left in the dark. Is that the right thing to do?
  • a large number of marriages get divorced? Again numbers are somewhere between 40 to 50% in the US according to the Forest Institute.

These points alone show me that something in our society is not right. Of course you can say: Oh he or she just wasn’t the right partner for me. Then why is it that the divorce rate keeps increasing the more marriages we have? Why is it that we always seem to want what we don’t have? There are cases where I would say a divorce is better but in many cases it could have been better to look for solutions outside of the boundaries society gives us.

All these things got me thinking and I was eager to find a different solution to our challenge. Because breaking up with my partner was not a solution but at the same time staying together with my partner guided by the rules of society wasn’t an option either. So what could this solution be?

The Player In Me I Never Was

The Player In Me I Never Was

It’s part of human nature to explore new things. I can see it every day in its purest form with my 2 year old son.

He is exploring the world everyday without the slightest thought about right or wrong, good or bad. It’s only due to society that this hunger to explore gets trimmed as we grow older. But still, we all love to travel, meet new people, eat different food, read new books, etc.

Wouldn’t life be boring if we had to do and eat the same thing for the rest of our life?

Most people would say yes but still most relationships at some point tend to become sort of an ‘routine’. Is it maybe this routine (missing fire, missing new experiences) that leads to so many couples breaking up? Why is it that most people can’t experience the whole spectrum of what they truly want even if they are in a relationship?

To be honest – I don’t have a perfect answer to this question yet. What I can say is that most of my reactions are taught by society. Created in a materialistic and egoistic driven world. If I had grown up in a different society this could be the most normal thing in the world to say that life should be no different in or without a relationship. And from a logical perspective (I am a very logical person) this absolutely makes sense.

These are just my first thoughts on where things might be going. Our journey has just started, we will see where it leads us and hopefully it will never end. What we can already say is that we will support each other in whatever way we can, no matter what it is the other person is longing for. 

I would love to hear your thoughts on relationship how society defines it vs. a more open relationship.

Update: We have received so much great feedback on this article. We appreciate every single visitor, comment and share. Thanks from Adina & Oliver

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Share Your Thoughts

  • Katayna Grimm

    This was fantastic! Thank you for sharing a male perspective.

  • Viviana Page

    So everything is reduced to the desire of f*cking different c*nts. When I see these articles I just think I’m happy as I am, ALONE. That’s the best way not to deal with the primary instinct ur partner will have of f*cking someone else. This is exhausting and so hard. Life have more things than this pathetic drama.

  • Larissa

    Hi Oliver. Thank you for writing this. Let me just share some thoughts 🙂 .
    All I can say is that I agree completely with the things you write. Being confident and following your own personal intuition is I believe the most important part of all. And I believe in love, I think this is the biggest problem in the world of today. Believing in love; believing in the creation of your own life, of your own soul, of relationships with others: bringing everything back to life. And yes, I also believe in soulmates. (I found mine 6 years ago, and soon we will get married (by our own rules!)).
    Everything has to be open, but I also believe very strongly that every single person has to make their own ‘rules’, ‘boundaries’, in order to survive your own thoughts sometimes (because sometimes the mind gets a hold of the heart). If everything becomes so open, it’s a revelation; but, getting to know your heart, your personal heart and soul, is the only way you will survive this openness. It is not the ‘easy’ way, but it certainly is the strongest and fullest way a person can live his/her life here on earth.
    There is just one thing: I think everyone has to listen to their own personal heart and breaking their own boundaries. But I’m sure that it means something else for every person, and I’m sure that there is one thing that makes us al the same: Love, Love, Love. 🙂

    Much love from Belgium!

  • Isis Grrcya

    My partner and I have a mostly monogamous relationship. However, that is not by explicit demand, but rather by choice. The option to have sexual encounters with others is available to both of us, but usually we prefer each other.

    At the very beginning of our journey together, she went away on a vacation and I made the mistake of cheating on her. I respected her more than anyone I had ever been with, so I told her (which I had never done in any relationship where I had, admittedly, cheated on my partner). This lead us to the discussion of an “open relationship”. I knew deep down that was what I really wanted, but I had never been in a relationship where that was even something to be considered. She, on the other had, had experience with this. So she brought it up, and we discussed it and decided it would be what would work best for us.
    Since that door was opened we have yet to feel the need to be with someone else without the other present, but the option is always open. We have engaged in a few threesomes, without even needing to consult the other; it just happened. What really strengthens our relationship, I think, is that we talk about every thing. Our thoughts, desires, sexual needs, etc. If she feels sexually attracted to someone, she will tell me. And vise versa. We talk about it -sometimes seriously, sometimes jokingly. It doesn’t affect us negatively at all. It just makes us closer. We are friends in that sense. I trust her completely in the fact that I am fully confident in knowing her sexual cravings or desires have nothing to do with how much she loves me. I understand that sex and love, while they each play a very big part in the other, can be successfully separated. I think that is the problem many monogamous couples have. They feel that if the other has sexual desires towards another person, they no longer love their partner. I find that so silly, because I know that nothing could change the way my partner feels about me. If she wants to sleep with someone who isn’t me, that’s perfectly ok! As long as it is openly discussed and I feel comfortable with that person. Everyone sets their own ground rules, so to speak. I think the key is just trust, respect, and communication. If you have that with your significant other, the possibilities of your love and experiences with each other are endless.

  • JillNagle

    There’s a lot of fantastic, sophisticated thinking about polyamory, nonmonogamy and open relationships. Unlike when our parents were coming of age, we’ve got books, workshops, retreats, blogs, coaches and therapists all schooled in how to navigate these waters, whether you’re a newbie or veteran. No one has to go it alone, let alone reinvent the wheel! Big love to you both.

  • Jessica Bingham

    I think that question of wanting to eat the same thing for the rest of your life pretty much sums up the problem. Your partner is never the same thing. Nonce you. Echo me familiar with your partner you have failed them. The soul is unfathomablly deep. Bottomless. And besides our diets are a shallow concoction of many different junk foods or diet supplements, of course it is not fulfilling to eat pizza or green smoothies everyday. A wholesome diet of what is natural can be the same and serve the purpose of sustaining physical health. So if you want to look at monogamy as a never ending, forever falling deeper in love partnership or discipline then it can be very full feeling.

  • It was never my nature to be monogamous. Neither my husband nor I have been. But we have never discussed it. We have discussed why we fell apart, why we got back together, but never what the other people were for. I feel I “used” the other people. I think he needed the other people to learn his own boundaries and mine. Maybe these things are the same — using and needing. I explore it extensively in my fiction, but my own life is just what it is to me, one day at a time, walking the path I am on, trying to see where it goes, what comes next.

  • Raf Ballestereo

    Thinking about the process of polyamoury I begin to wonder.. if we approve the search of other experiences in knowledge of our partner, being him/her our “primary partner” it only becomes a higher form of selfishness as if saying “you may wander as long as you come back to me!”.
    But what if you find yourself better acquainted with mr. or mrs. new experience?
    Would you repress the new love and go back with your primary partner?
    Would you emigrate to this new love?
    Would you keep expressing your love openly to both people?
    Would everyone be satisfied this way?
    Should there be any rules on having the same “primary partner” forever?
    How do we know he/she is our best bet?

    Well; first of all.. I don’t think it should be a bet! and as maybe certain person is making us grow at a precise moment, mabye later there is a better match for me and probably for the other person too as it is important to feel mutually when a cycle has been closed.
    This way the experience can go get digested and doesn’t stay in our stomach making us nauseous.
    Maybe we just need to enhance our communication with our partners to achieve exactly what we want.
    But first; we must know what we want; and we can only know this by getting to know ourselves better.
    We may find we are happy monogamously; this may be advantageous as society currently backs this one up and monogamous people by nature can dismiss the rest as wrong because luckily it turned out that their particular preference is fashionable.
    We may find that we like many partners at the same time.
    We may find that we are better off with one partner at a time, but not the same one forever (this one i find very logical); maybe even going back and forth with the same partner after getting to know other kinds of life with other kinds of people. If both people feel the need to get together again, I don’t think there should be anything wrong with it as long as we remember that we don’t belong to anyone and nobody belongs to us.
    This way people may fluctuate more wisely in the sea of lovers; being more detached with one another and thus creating much more successful and deeper lifelong relationships than our current society’s general state of mind can handle…
    It feels so good reading that more and more people are beginning to break the barriers imposed by customs reaching for a greater and more true love for each of us and the whole.
    Thank you Oliver for making us think!

  • Silenus

    My life partner and I have been together since 1961. We met when we were 18. We began asking the questions you are asking in 1964. In 1967 we transitioned our relationship into what we now call polyamory. Over the years we have had our challenges to be sure, but in the main, polyamory has strengthened our love and allowed us great joy and deep relationships with other partners. We discovered so many wonderful things about ourselves in this process.

    The key for us was our agreement to talk about what we wanted with as little judgement as possible. You say that the “only” course of action was to talk about it. Good for you! For others repression or cheating are seen as the “only” course of action. That only leads to sorrow.

    By now I hope you have found the polyamory community. If not, Bing polyamory and your city, and you very likely will find many local events. Also, Loving More, the primary national poly organization, has webinars, regional conferences, and links to informative sites: http://www.lovemore.com/

    • Jessica Bingham

      I like this post, especially the part where you say polyamory was the way you discovered new things about yourselves. I think staying monogamous does the same. In fact, it sounds like in a way you have stayed monogamous as you are still with the same partner you started out with. Though I know sex is seen as the big factor in the two modes of relationships, I think it has to do with love also, and in that way all relationships are poly, because love is expressed in more ways than sex.

  • Bradley Bachmeier

    Hi Oliver,

    I want to
    start off by saying this was an awesome piece! I am glad to see that someone is
    finally addressing the question of monogamy vs. open relationships / polyamoury.
    I, myself, began to ask myself this when I began my journey towards
    consciousness, awakening and finding my soul mate two and a half years ago. When I started to be brutally honest with
    myself, I found that at my core I know that I have a polyamourous heart. I will share some of my perspectives in hopes
    that at least one person is changed for the better. I realize that polyamoury
    is not for everyone and that you wrote this nearly a year ago, but I hope I can
    still offer some value to you and Adina.

    The way that I interpret and view polyamoury is based on its literal meaning; poly (meaning
    many) and amour (meaning love). So, I interpret it as meaning “many loves”. Thus, I am compelled by loving many people simultaneously. In fact, I am getting to the point where I love everyone. That
    does not necessarily mean that I wish to have romantic intimacies with
    everyone, although there are a number of people I desire sexually. Monogamy, to me, is to essentially confine
    one’s love to only a single individual and that is not how my heart loves.

    From my past intimacies, I know
    that my heart has the capacity to love with great depth many people. Now,
    before I ever enter a relationship I am fully honest to my potential partners
    about my views in relationships and that I am polyamourous. One of the reasons
    I choose to do this is so that my partner knows fully well what they would be
    getting themselves into. I can be monogamous, but I know that at some point in
    the relationship, years down the road, that I will snap and the result would be
    devastating to me, my partner (including the second person I would be intimate
    with) and our relationship would likely be damaged beyond repair if I chose not
    to share this. In my most recent
    relationship, I shared this with my then partner and her response blew my mind.
    When I told her that I may not be faithful, she looked in my eyes and said “That’s
    okay. We’ll deal with it when it comes up”. (I say “may” because I have yet to
    have more than one partner at the same time since I have very high standards
    (the second intimacy must allow my new partner and I to grow deeply as people,
    and this growth must then be able to translate back and impact my primary
    relationship positively)). I was not expecting what she said to me, but what I
    now realize is that by me being authentic with her created a space for her to
    do the same with me. Frankly, I had a huge sigh of relief in that I could
    finally be who I was authentically in a relationship without having to worry or
    stress about what might happen. In a lot of ways it was very freeing to be up
    front and honest about it. In my eyes, as long as I am deeply sourced in my
    purpose, being with multiple people channels through me as a gift rather than strictly
    personal gratification. To hold back one’s deep love or passion in order to
    remain faithful or monogamous is to hold back in the giving of their gift to
    the world (again as long as it is sourced in a deeper purpose). Love like that
    should not have boundaries in my opinion.

    That is my rant. I hope at least
    one person got something from it! I wish all the best to you. With love and
    support – Brad

    • Zul Steadman

      Hi Brad , I have to say that reading the article and the responses were very triggering for me. I appreciate Oliver’s article and point of view but I don’t really agree with the way is presented , he keep mentioning society rules . But what about the other parters preference and feelings ?? I’m a very loving and sexual person and I absolutely could love a few people at the same time but choose not to because I thrive in a relationship with one partner ,it feels safe and beautiful in a non possessive controlling way . Somehow I keep scrolling and reading people’s post and find yours . THANK YOU I am the one person that you spoke to. I very much was able to understand your feelings without judgement and it truly gave me another view and perspective,a loving view. This topic or concept of it so hard for me to even approach or hear . My husband had many affairs and always expressed he loved me , I decided I couldn’t longer stay in that relationship after 12 years . After all the struggle I’m now seeking my personal growth but part of me question why if loved me I couldn’t be the only one? After reading what you wrote I can see that people love differently and everyone should have that choice but the gift that you gave me was how this can be approach from a place of love , respect and honestly since the beginning so both partners recognizing their own personal needs can choose what feels right to them .

  • Heidi Tyack

    Interesting Article, My gut reaction to this article was discomfort and i ‘wanted’ to run ! but i know that society has conditioned these reactions into me. We are brought up being told everything is black & white, but the further you explore yourself & your mind, the more you discover that things are not always the way you thought they were and a variety of colours enter your spectrum of understanding, the further back you view it. I had an interesting upbringing and since i dont know how public this thread is and if all my fb friends can view this, all i will say is most of the beliefs that was forced upon me as a child were in fact false… with no attachment to reality and ive come along way to knowing not to trust mainstream ideas and instead live more truly to my heart. I enjoyed your viewpoint in your article, coloured by your life experiences & i look forward to reading more of yours & Adinas articles 🙂

  • Titine Louis

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year. I’m 28
    And he’s 31. We both explored our sexuality young. I’ve been with many men and he’s had his equal share, if not more, with both men and women. When we met each other , I felt like we were both ready for something stable. Solid. In essence, I feel like we’ve gotten it out of our systems but I understand that people change and in all honesty, it would be devastating for me to learn that he wants to be with other men/women after a certain amount of years. I don’t think I’d be able to accept it. I would respect his decision to tell me first but I don’t think I would stay with him. I’m sure to some ppl my love would be called possessive and jealous and therefore not love but I don’t think that’s what it is. If we started off in an open dialogue about polyamory, I’d be able to accept it more than thinking that the person I love, the only person Im in love with and want to be intimate with and whom I thought felt the same about me to suddenly switch it up because of… urges. Its heartbreaking and I totally feel for the authors wife. To each his own but I pray that never happens to me.

    • M!

      Titine, I am right there with you, 100%.
      I wanted to write something similar but you said it so well already.

      All I can hope is that people can be HONEST and RESPECTFUL in their relationships. I’m glad that polyamory is becoming more accepted/acceptable because it certainly fits the lifestyle that many people need/want, and this way they can be up front about it and find those who want to share their desires. In my case, my current partner and I both openly discussed the idea of polyamory and decided that monogamy is right for us. I, too, hope it does not change, but if it does, I hope that he or I can be honest and respectful enough of the other to have a conversation about it *before* anything happens with someone else.
      Bottom line: There is NO EXCUSE in my book for anyone–male or female–to be deceptive, hurtful, disrespectful cheaters. If that’s in your nature, you should look for an open relationship. Don’t be an asshole.

      I also want to add that I get a bit annoyed on occasion by my polyamorous friends who discuss it with a sort of “holier than thou, more highly evolved” attitude. I’m glad they have found happiness in it but enough already with the self righteousness. Preachiness is just about the least sexy quality in a person, so shut up about it already.

    • janimani

      Rest assured he does it in fantasy. And if you allowed he would do it in reality. So what is the difference if he won’t do it reality, he basically forces himself to not do what he wants, only because you say so. Do you want to be a person who restricts your partner in doing what he would enjoy? Try it, let him do it, you will see the sky IS NOT going to fall on your head. Only a super self centered insecure person could think sex changes anything.

      • Viviana Page

        Sex can change everything and it’s so powerful and beautiful that it surely does. If this happens u just break with this partner and find a new one that feels nice with u and wants to be just with u. So ur actual partner has not to restrict, he just could f*ck whoever he wants!

    • Viviana Page

      I totally agree with u. I actually haven’t been with a boyfriend for so long because they don’t want commitment (although I’m not interested at all in marriage). This article is really scary and sad, it’s a reality ppl must face in some point of their lifes. Men need diversity of c*nts and c*cks and someday it will haunt u. After reading some posts in this site I’d really like to be completely asexual, those ppl is perfect and they don’t suffer because of sexual needs. I’d give ALL to not being interested in men. This will always finish with a lot of pain. It’s really sad and heartbreaking and possibly now I understand why so much ppl is scared of commitment and relationships. It’s always hell at the end. I’m fine as I am, definitely.

  • Steven Redd

    Your post is spot on and I sincerely believe our oldest roots as human males are coming through for you, for me, for all of us as we seek to understand what it is that we are to learn here and pass on as we leave.
    I don’t have the answers but I do have a fine compass and a loving heart.
    I appreciate your open sharing.
    The failure of monogamy’s can be better described as the absence of liberty for men. I find I cannot live in a cage, eat just one thing forever, lie around and wait for what I need or hibernate until life is ready. I’m not trying to harm any others and I’m careful with my progress. I am still becoming me at 50 years old and it is quite exciting as I learn what I still don’t know.
    Thank you for posting your view…it is enlightening and affirming.

    • M!

      Sorry, but your painfully male-centric post irked me a bit and I felt compelled to reply.
      You do realise that the polyamorous lifestyle has been adopted by BOTH men and women, right? That women like sex too and get bored with repetition just as easily?
      The fact that you think that monogamy is this “trap for men” is ludicrous. Marriage was designed as a bartering system for women as property; this is still painfully evident in most (if not all) global cultures.

      Judging only from what you have written above (and assuming you are heterosexual), I have come to these conclusions: 1) you are not in a monogamous relationship and 2) you are sexually active with multiple partners. If this is the case, then you are either having sex with women who ALSO enjoy polyamory or you are lying to them and leading them on in order to get them into bed. If the former, then you need to give your “absence of liberty for men” thing a rest; if the latter, then you are lying when you say “I’m not trying to harm any others and I’m careful with my progress” and you need to reevaluate yourself as a person.

      • Steven Redd

        Often in life, we find reflections of our selves. Perhaps you have found yours in my post. I’m sorry you have negative impressions from it such that you experience pain in your thinking. Please ignore me and my path so that you can use your brilliant mind to work on your own. I wish you all the best.

  • featurex

    Hello Tana, that’s what a more open relationship is all about. Its the same in our relationship. But it was a learning curve to get to that point. For my part I haven’t been with another woman since I am with Adina (10 years now). But its a good feeling knowing that we are now getting to the point in our relationship where there are no limitations. And for me its not just about sex, in fact sex is just the smallest part of this journey.


    PS: Maybe you would like to join our Facebook private group Adina and I have created. It’s a place of sharing, inspiring and supporting each other on our journeys. If you are interested please write me in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oliver.rivers.94

  • tanacollier

    The way I’ve always thought of it was there’s a difference between commitment and monogamy. people always seem to think they are one and the same, but I don’t believe they are. Commitment is the choice to bond your soul to one or a few people for the rest of your life. Monogamy is being with one person for the rest of your life. I am completely committed to my boyfriend of 4 years, but I don’t want monogamy to ruin it. If there is someone he “craves” I say go ahead, just tell me before you do her. I don’t like being left in the dark. If there is some one I want I will tell him before hand. Neither of us had ever needed another person yet. We are both comfortable knowing that if we did, we have the freedom to seek out another and knowing our life mates will have their arms open when we come home. If we find that jealousy gets in the way that only means there isn’t enough love, so you part from the rest of the world to rejuvenate and rekindle your love for each other. Thats what it means to me to be committed, work things out and rebond and continue to explore.

  • Lily

    Maybe people shouldn’t get married if you want to be with other woman or men. How does being with other people when your married FIX things. Its a poor excuse for not knowing how to fix your ISSUES as a partner TOGETHER without screwing other people.
    STAY SINGLE….how about that?

    • featurex

      Hello Lily, getting married is just something that has been invented in recent history by mankind. It is nothing that has been around forever. And there are “rules” attached to being married that simply do not work for many people in a happy long term relationship. Just by observing its obvious to me that the “marriage” and responsibilities that are attached to it in our society are flawed.

      I came across so many people that where in a long-term marriage, loved there partner but still weren’t happy because of the corset called marriage. This article is intended to raise a question. To rethink the way things are. To allow for the thought of loosening the corset.

      Just because its been like this for some time it doesn’t mean that it right or makes sense. If it was up to me something like marriage wouldn’t exist, since it carries no value. Exploring life will not automatically fix things, but it can make it more fulfilling (not just talking about sex). Why not do things if you feel the urge to do them. This doesn’t have anything to do with not loving your partner.

      Would love to hear more of your story … Are you married? For how long?

      All the best,

      • Viviana Page

        So don’t marry then and don’t involve ur children in these problems! It’s not his fault

    • Viviana Page

      Totally agree with u. Stay single, don’t have children, do a favour to planet earth and stop ruining other’s life, that’s more authentic.

  • Brittany

    I have been with my boyfriend for about 4 years. We started dating young, and are still very young. I am 18. I believe that we are meant for each other, aka Soul Mates. Although it’s never for certain. I know things will get rough. And we’ve already been through so much. I’ve been crazy, and wild, and he’s been neglecting… but we are doing wonderful! We both have a lot of flaws, but any advice from anyone? I would sure love to hear any hints, or something inspirational.

    • featurex

      Hey Brittany, it’s hard to give advice on the little you have said. In general giving advice is difficult since every situation is so different. You are still young and there is so much still to explore. Best thing is to stay open minded, don’t simply accept things people tell you are right. Determine whats right or wrong by what you feel not by what “they” are telling you.

      All the best for you two, Oliver

  • The Lovemoores

    My wife and I have been in an open relationship for more than 7 years. We knew early on that it was the relationship style that fit us. Was it easy?…Nope! we had to unlearn the things that challenged our natural desire to love and connect more, and had to learn and practice the skills that have allowed us to do so safely, honestly, and happily. Is it still challenging sometimes?….YES! It is so easy to slip into our old ways; dealing with parenting, careers, etc…does not always leave time for outside relationships, intimate or otherwise….and yes, timing is very important.

    What I do find people could never realize unless they took a similar journey is how it forces you to be an expert communicator and the open communication naturally brings you closer. It is worth the tears, the pain, the jealousy that sometimes arises…and when you have tackled that…FRESH AIR! FREEDOM to BE!

    So, I thank you and applaud you for your courage…as a man and a father myself, I am both happy and inspired to see a reflection…I am reminded that I am not alone. Also It is great to hear another voice in support of the only kind of life I wish to live: Open and Free…Mr. Lovemoore

    • featurex

      Hey MR Lovemoore 🙂

      thank you for sharing your view. Maybe you would like to join our Facebook private group Adina and I have created. It’s a place of sharing, inspiring and supporting each other on our journeys. I am sure you have lots to share. If you are interested please write me in Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/oliver.rivers.94


  • As long as you see relationships as losing freedom, you will never be satisfied whether you are involved with one person or many. Keep in mind, you have the same challenges (if not MORE) in a polyamorous relationship. I am also tired of society being blamed for people’s life decisions. We need to think and live for ourselves and not blame the majority for not being true to who we are as individuals. I am Atheist for example. I don’t go to church, and lie to myself and others by pretending to be Christian. Knocking monogamy and blaming the world is not taking responsibility for someone’s own failings to be true to who they are.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for sharing your thoughts on the article. In my article I am talking about “a more open relationship” not a polyamorous relationship. I personally think its key that we look at society, because I believe its society (that includes friends, family, colleges, etc.), our environment that forms who we are. Especially in our early ages, when all we do is absorb without the capability to filter or judge whats right or wrong.

      It’s only as we grow older that we have the right tools to make our own decisions, but again these are based on what our environment tough us. For me it is a journey, lasting many years already, trying to get rid of so many things; working towards who I want to be. And I am not nocking monogamy nor blaming the world just asking some questions, sharing my thoughts and observations. All the best. Oliver

    • Fair enough. Thank you for clearing that up. I totally agree with what you said. Best of luck on your journey and I hope you and your sweetie have a happy and fulfilling life. 🙂 Cheers!

  • Derek Frazier

    I have been married 30 year and in the middle of a divorce right now and your words ring so true. For me it was not just monogamy but freedom to just BE and not be what the rules said I had to be. We are seperated now which I hope will allow us to grow . The sex 3.0 is great but the book Sritual Partnetship by Gary Zukav has shown me truely what I could not put in words ..The next gear in love and communicating and connection.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hi Derek, for me it’s also much more than monogamy it was just a great example of how “stuck” we are and I am. It’s all just part of a journey we are on for a couple of years now. Rediscovering who we are and what we want our lives to look like. Leaving the things behind other people and society expects from us. The outer shells have been removed already and we are getting closer to the essence. The closer we get to that, unfortunately, the harder it gets. But I am confident I will succeed. I’m so thankful that Adina and I found a way to deal with all these challenges. Wish you all the best Derek. Oliver

  • Pingback: 5 Reasons Why Polyamory is Healthy for You | My Tiny Secrets()

  • there’s a logical flaw within your reasoning.

    you state that if there’s (sexual) dissatisfaction in relationship, it leads or may lead to a divorce.
    but for logic to be right, the reverse is not necessarily true.
    i.e. it doesn’t mean that all divorces are a product of sexual dissatisfaction.
    this can be to a number of reasons. not all connected to sex-related topics.
    sex can be just the nearest thing you can grasp and feel (and blame), unlike for example, social estrangement or lack of communicative skills.
    or even self-content. or integrity.
    of course, sex is easiest thing to blame because you can get satisfaction quite fast (and it’s very “here&now”) but it also passes quite fast.
    unlike satisfaction from self-content and integrity.

    the same goes with reasoning regarding social rules.
    in terms of a community, there must be a set of rules to keep up proper functioning, just like in any living organism.
    rules might limit your freedom (read satisfaction). but for logic to keep right, your freedom (satisfaction) is not necessarily limited by social rules.
    There might be a number of reasons that limit your freedom (your thoughts, your age, law of gravity…)
    Tendency to blame social rules and revolutionize is the feature of youth. It’s the unwise youth that see and blame older generation (parents) as the reason of their dissatisfaction.

    The most interesting thing is that you realize and state the ways out of your own-crafted maze:
    – “explore new things”
    – “travel, meet new people, eat different food, read new books, etc.”

    “Loosing fire”.
    Partnership is not to “get the fire”. Parthership is to support each other on the way.
    “Fire” can be obtained in another fields like speed racing, paragliding, going to museum, travel, meeting new people etc. etc.
    There’s nothing that can substitute a partner that understands you, supports you, wishes you only good and with whom you are feeling comfortable.
    But paragliding can be replaced by cliff-jumping with time with no big hurt to a glide or a cliff…
    Not like with changing a partner.

    Keep it up!
    Yo know the right way 😉

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hey Alex, I totally agree that not all marriages are divorced due to sex related issues. What I was going for was more that by entering a marriage most people agree to unwritten laws, leaving them with less “freedom” as they had before and that can lead to discomfort as time goes by. These are just observation I made. Latest example is my uncle that is getting a divorce and now feels like he missed out on a lot of things. Or a close friend that broke up because he felt like he couldn’t travel anymore. Of course he could have just done it, but he felt like it wasn’t ok to travel alone when married. I think life in a relationship can be as free as without a relationship, don’t you think? At the end its just our mind telling us we can’t do this or that due to our conditioning which we can of course overcome.

      In terms of rules, I agree some rules are ok but I see 2 major problems here. 1. The rules we have today are made by a society that does not have your personal growth and wellbeing in mind but mainly cooperate interest. It’s the goal of the rules to keep this system running, not necessarily to make you a happy person. 2. We get confronted with the rules & values at such a young age that its hard to not live by them. Of course when we reach a certain age and conciseness we can work on getting rid of them but that’s quite a hard task as I am experiencing at the moment.

      Yes I am so happy that I have Adina, that she has pushed me further than I could have ever imagined. Not all things in the article are projections of my relationship.

      Thanks Alex for shedding a different light on things.


  • Oliver, what you are experiencing is simply the re-affirmation of your humanity and the body, mind and spirit rejected what I call Sex 2.0 which is the framework that society, quite incorrectly, told you was the optimum framework for relationships.

    I rejected 2.0 about 12 years ago and have been happily living a 3.0 life ever since in total honesty, integrity and authenticity.

    Type “sex 3.0” into google if you want to know more.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hey JJ Roberts,

      I will be writing a follow-up article since we have received so much great feedback, stories and recommendations on this one.

      Instead of reducing it to sex I would rather call it LIFE 3.0, of which sex is just one element. During the last couple of years we have successfully managed to leave a large part of “societies framework” behind.

      Will definitely look into Sex 3.0

  • I hope it works out for you and your partner. We have been on our polyamorous journey for almost 15 years, and it has worked for us.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hey Steadfast, thanks. I am sure we will find a way to deal with whatever comes our way. We will see where life takes us.

  • Rob W

    I’m so with your article….
    I regularly do ask people the question;
    What you think is better? In a long term relationship, though no monogamy,
    ( while being fully honest and open with eachother instead of lying and cheating) or going from exclusive relationship to exclusive relationship, even just 3,4 up to 10 in a lifetime?
    Tell me what is better!

    I believe if monogamous relationships would be the answerit would work without cheating and lying about seeing other people, or being bisexual and lying about it…seen that with folks. Partners no idea about what is going on in the mind of the other. People often do not share their inner thoughts because they are afraid for the response and the possible consequences for their marriage/relationship.
    I believe in telling what it is you want, discuss those thoughts with eachother, honesty is a great tool to strengthen a great relationship. Lying often is a great tool to destroy something we say is a marriage, yet both live a life disconnected from eachother, and make belief for society.
    If one needs or wants more freedom…including sexual activities….and the other is ok with that, great. If not, still great becauase you both have a better idea what each one involved is thinking, which is valuable.
    If you want to expand together your sexual territory…give it a try and stay close to eachother. Try to do what makes you happy while doing that for your partner too, talk a lot and respect certain boundaries which someone is not ready yet or never to see crossed. Though by following the rules of the game society set doesnt work. Like we all know, look at the divorce rates. It often has nothing to do with loving the other or not.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hi Rob, I totally agree with what you say. Unfortunately our world is full cheating and lying so it would almost be an offense to not question things. I entered the cooperate world with 22 (luckily I could leave it behind with 28). 90% where men and I was literately shocked about was was going on. A lot of them had 2 faces one for their wife & family and one when nobody was looking. I would say this is definitely not better than putting things on the table. Of course you never know how your partner will react but I believe that if the love is true and real you will find a way. We also don’t know where it will take us, but this openness has already brought us so much closer.

    • Bayyinah

      Rob W. I thank you so very much for your detailed post. I often discuss this same points on the Nude Beach with my friends who are free spirits & open minded loving couples whom have been married, in long term relationships or and in open relating relationships. The top line is within your relationship the foundation should be respect ,honestly ,security in love in order for both partners to have their needs & desires met passionately.

  • I appreciate your article. I think this conversation needs to be had. Unfortunately, many have been handed down the idea of a relationship, a marriage and even love. But, I too believe that relationships will differ from person to person. The key to a lasting relationship is selfless love, honesty, and support. However, I will challenge you in one thing:. Your life will Be different in a relationship, whether you are monogamous or not. Especially as a father you must realize this. As a single monogamous or polyamorous person you can and move as your heart desires without a second thought. But a respectful partner either monogamous or polyamorous will openly share his hearts desires with his partner, just as you have done, Oliver. When you have have children In a polyamorous or open relationship this goes even further. You probably won’t be partying like you used to with your 2 year old at home. Just because you are reclaiming your freedom back from a socially acceptable relationship doesn’t mean you do not have other joyful obligations. After all, you are still a family. It doesn’t have to be a socially acceptable family, but do not let new found freedom distract you from the love you have at home. It is all a gentle balance. And again with enough love, honesty and support it can be achieved. Freedom like life is not black and white, it is grey. All that matters is that you and your partner can agree on what shades of grey you prefer. Establish what you both are comfortable with, and what what boundaries are needed especially when it comes to your child. All in all, thanks for your honesty and for the article.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hi Kristin, I very much appreciate what I have and wouldn’t want to miss it. This is something Adina and I want to explore together (an experiment), but it’s just a tiny portion of what I mean by freedom. My challenge is to regain a freedom I can only give myself. Luckily I have a partner that doesn’t limit me. It’s my conditioning that limits me. Let me give you one example. In my old world I would have felt bad if I told my partner I wanted to do something by myself (e.g. go out with friends, or travel by myself for a while). So I simply didn’t do it, or if I did it I couldn’t enjoy it because I felt like I was doing something wrong. Because a “good” dad and partner doesn’t do that. This is the freedom I am looking for, being able to enjoy life as an individual despite being a father and in a relationship. And if my article get’s people thinking it fulfilled its purpose. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  • Christopher Jude

    I totally respect your discipline, integrity, and commitment to being the best kind of person you can be. I understand that the dissolution of your family as a child imprinted you with a strong sense of morality, but as an adult, you can now discern the difference between right and wrong as it applies to your life and actions, vs how you may be judged by others. Morality is a mostly relative gauge that changes depending on many many factors, like culture, community, religion, country, family, profession, whatever, and you can choose to agree with and believe whatever you want. Something that is totally the norm in one place, can be totally forbidden elsewhere. The fear of being “bad” because the people around you will judge you for something, even though you feel in your heart that it is good, can seriously hinder the evolution of your spirit. Trust yourself first, as an intelligent, free thinking individual, capable of bending the rules, because if you just let yourself embody the program, then you’re just running the program.

    Personally, I choose to believe in radical honesty, nonviolence, and love. As long as I’m not killing or physically harming anything, lying, stealing, or being verbally or emotionally abusive, I’m generally not doing anything “wrong.” If I choose love and compassion as my path, rather than fear and separation, then I’m probably doing it “right.”

    I’ve been choosing polyamorous relationships rather than monogamous ones for most of my life. I know myself well enough to know that I love being with many different women, no matter how amazing or perfect any one particular one may be, I will pretty much always have desire for others. Instead of repressing that, judging it, or lying about it, I’m just totally honest, unashamed, and accepting of it. And it works. I have so much love in my life, and I love it that way.

    Sometimes people judge. Sometimes fabulous women will choose to stop seeing me because I refuse to commit to a closed relationship. But then other times, women learn, evolve, and heal the primal burdens of jealousy and possessiveness. Sometimes, I have long-term partners that stay by my side while we maintain connections with other lovers. Sometimes I’m just totally single, and free to date a different girl everyday. Every relationship, every connection is different, and honestly, I feel like I’m made better by each person that comes into my life.

    Unconditional love without attachment is the way, I say go for it.

    • Oliver Rivers

      Hi Christopher, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the article and your way of living. Even though we started the process (doing things different than society wants us to do them) many years ago this phase seems like one of the hardest for me. It tackles my foundation. But it feels so good and that’s why I am looking forward to seeing where it takes us, as you said only I can know whats right for me. For me it’s much more than just the freedom in this specific area, but a new way of living in general.


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