Davis Therapist and Relationship Consultant for Ethical Non-Monogamy
For several years, I’ve focused my helping services on the cultivation of more satisfying and empowered relationships – romantic, sexual, and platonic. Through my own personal journey with relationships, I broke free from the monogamous script that did not work for me. Love and intimate connection exists in abundance. Exclusivity is not a requirement for strong commitment to a relationship.
Below, I have taken a risk to be more revealing about my experience with monogamy and opening up to non-monogamy.
Self-Disclosure: My Journey
I am Non-Monogamous
Figured I’d get that out of the way. For me, this is an orientation, not just a lifestyle choice (though the latter is perfectly valid too). Like many, I spent years and considerable effort trying to follow the monogamous script. It never seemed to fit. I’m so relieved to better understand this about myself now and have the opportunity to live more authentic to how I connect with people.
Overcoming Denial About this Identity
Despite deep commitment to and love for my partner, attraction and desire for others persisted. Strongly. When they popped up, I felt great personal shame. I loved my partner and did not want to leave; yet I wanted other types of relationships as well. Why was I so selfish? Why couldn’t I just do what was expected? These and other nagging thoughts kept me in a constant state of unease.
Through a combination of denial, suppression, and self-deceit, I overlooked the hard truth staring me in the face: this just is who I am! It’s not that I can’t choose, am ungrateful for what I have, or always look for greener grass. Rather, I now realize that exclusivity is not actually required for me to offer affection and commitment. Love is abundant!
After two decades of not seeing clearly (or mislabeling the problem), I broke through this denial. I found my true nature. And with it, a fierce determination to live an ethically non-monogamous life. This awareness led to a path of deeper authenticity within myself as well as some painful bumps in the transition.
Coming Out is Scary as Fuck
When I first came out to my then spouse, it was one of the scariest fucking things I’ve done in my life. When you try to open up an existing relationship built on monogamy and try to change the fundamental rules of engagement, you have zero guarantees that the relationship will survive. As a matter of fact, my marriage did not survive this opening up process as my partner ultimately concluded that she is monogamous and being with me as non-monogamous was not something she wanted. This was a major incompatibility that neither of us recognized all during our marriage until starting down the path to opening up.
In the course of my marriage dissolution, the reason for the amicable separation emerged. Not exactly how I planned to share this with people but that’s how it played out. During the separation, I felt the distance from certain friends and family. I’ve been on the receiving end of all sorts of projections stemming from others’ personal relationship baggage or just internalized (and often toxic) monogamy beliefs. One part of me strives to “not give a fuck” and “if people can’t accept me, well…” But you know, I’ve learned that some people won’t stay close to me and may have judgments about this no matter what I say or do. Others will take their time to come around.
Coming out can have some real painful experiences like that. Yet I’ve also expanded my pool of supports in the process (more poly friends!), discovered a strength inside myself I didn’t know was there, improved my communication and willingness to be vulnerable and real, had opportunities to educate others about polyamory and correct myths about it (yes, it’s fucking exhausting!), and most importantly, I am able to be me without tip-toeing around it. Was it worth it? Fuck yeah it was! But I can fully appreciate if you’re facing the downsides and struggling to see how it will get better. But it will!
Paradigm Shift from Personal to Professional
My own journey illuminated how I can make an impact professionally. I know many in the non-monogamous/polyamorous community experience difficulty finding a therapist they know to be 1) affirming of the non-monogamous lifestyle, 2) familiar or knowledgeable about it, and 3) who may themselves be non-monogamous (this matters for some). Part of my intention in coming out and orienting my practice in this manner is to make that a lot easier!
If you are non-monogamous (or think this orientation/lifestyle may fit for you), you do not have to struggle alone. Relationships of any kind can be challenging and non-monogamous relationships have some added complexity. I am determined to help you navigate relationship challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities that come with non-monogamy. If you’re considering whether this is right for you, I would love to be a resource and provide a safe and confidential space for you to explore.
You may be wondering if I’m on some kind of warpath against monogamy, marriage, etc… Not at all. For those who find a better fit with conscious monogamy, I say “you do you.” I’m not here to glorify non-monogamy or denigrate monogamy. No matter how many partners are involved, relationships can thrive or face significant problems and benefit from some wise assistance.
Using Privilege for Good
Being self-employed (among other points of privilege), I feel a degree of latitude to be open about my relationship orientation and non-monogamous lifestyle. I can appreciate that not everyone has this same freedom (or feels they do). Unlike sexual orientation, being non-monogamous or polyamorous is not a protected class. I have chosen to use my privilege to educate others about non-monogamy and challenge the stigma and discrimination out there. I want the norms of society to shift so that all can love who they love without fear.
License and Education
I hold an MFT license in the state of California (LMFT #98109) and earned a Masters of Counseling degree (MFT Specialization) from California State University, Sacramento. As a life-long learner, the education never truly ends, however, and I regularly attend advanced training to improve my knowledge and skills. And, perhaps most of important of all, I’m committed to my own personal growth right alongside my clients.
- American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)
- American Counseling Association (ACA)
- California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT)