Relationship Counseling

J and I decided to start seeing a couples counselor, mainly to help ask questions we perhaps haven’t considered with regards to getting married and the negotiation of our open relationship. We wanted to find someone who supported people in open relationships, especially since I has had some less-than-supportive comments from my individual counselor. For example, my counselor has said a few times that I should be prepared, because of our open relationship, that J will meet someone else he likes better and leave me. However, everyone, regardless of being in a monogamous or open relationship, has to be prepared for that possibility! J would also argue that because of our open relationship, we are at less of a risk for that, because we are both more satisfied with our relationship and feel more strongly connected to each other. My counselor had also assumed that our open relationship was an “experiment” until she finally asked me if we were planning on carrying it into a marriage, at which point I felt some more judgement from her.

Anyways, J and I decided that finding a counselor who specializes in LGBT counseling would be a good place to start. It took calling down the list, but we finally found someone who could see us soon and also was comfortable with and supportive of open relationships. I had one counselor who I called who, after explaining to her what we were looking for, said, “I’m sorry, that’s not my forte” and hang up. Yikes!

The counselor we saw decided after our first appointment that we will basically walk through premarital questions, but not make our open relationship the focus of our sessions since it isn’t causing any problems for us. I think that approach makes sense; our open style is one, although a fairly huge, part of our relationship, and we can negotiate and answer premarital questions as they are informed by our open relationship. Our main concern with this particular counselor is that she hasn’t had a lot of experience working with people in open relationships. Hopefully she can still be as supportive as she says she is!

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