Thursday, May 05, 2022

Polyamory-Friendly Therapists in Colorado Springs

 Dr. Justin Lincoln, Clinical Psychologist.

1011 N. Weber Street

Colorado Springs, CO  80903

719-578-9888


Paul Gross, LPC

https://www.4squarecounseling.com/?fbclid=IwAR0iV0CA8D_21xYuJCkos02v20uqIqdFa-D2DzMKBKcMf8K_e2aVOdOI0QU


Dara Hoffman-Fox

https://darahoffmanfox.com/


Dan Johnson

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/dan-e-johnson-colorado-springs-co/198539


Stevi Stephens-Martin

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/stevi-l-stephens-martin-colorado-springs-co/477017


Louis Hoffman

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/louis-hoffman-colorado-springs-co/261056


Michael Moats

https://drmichaelmoats.com/services/


Katie McGuire

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/katherine-m-mcguire-colorado-springs-co/184329


Haley Wise

https://thecompassionatecollective.com/


Erica Henkel

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists/erica-henkel-colorado-springs-co/713900



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Monday, March 28, 2022

Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May


I am sitting here this fine Monday morning, contemplating my purpose and intention for the day. No, actually for the year, and perhaps the decade.

Robert Herrick’s poem, from which the title of this post is taken, enjoins young virgins to marry while they are young, when their “youth and blood are warmer.” In other words, don’t waste time. Take advantage of your opportunities while they exist.


I am 61 years old at the time of this writing. Many people would say my opportunities are past. But I beg to differ. This decade is shaping up to be the best decade of my life. When I ask people to guess my age, they usually say 45 or 50, and I don’t correct them unless there is a need to. 45 is just about how I feel in my mind. Old enough to have learned a few things. Young enough to still enjoy life.

What am I enjoying? I am enjoying the love and attention of men of all ages. 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. And it is glorious.

My husband and I are polyamorous. What does that mean? It means we not only love each other, but agree that others are welcome in our relationship as well. No judgement, no jealousy, just multiple consensual meaningful relationships. We follow the ancient and newly rediscovered paradigm of ethical non-monogamy. 

What makes it ethical to have multiple partners? The honesty, openness, and transparency with which we approach our relationships, and in fact our whole lives. We have no secrets. Each of us knows about what the other is doing, and agree to it. There is no cheating, and no deception. 

No, we haven’t broken our wedding vows. We are not promising “til death do us part” although we see no reason why we would part. We have promised to love each other, support each other, and stay together, as long as it is healthy for both of us. We did not vow to be the only love in each other’s lives, because that would be unhealthy.

As a human species, non-monogamy is our genetic inheritance. Our DNA is encoded with genes that encourage us to bond with multiple partners. For millions of years, this was the norm, until so-called “civilization” decided otherwise. 

Now, instead of just accepting the dictates of society, you have another choice. Multiple choices, really, because polyamory knows no boundaries. There’s no wrong way to do it, and no one way that is best for everyone. 

What this means for me is, I feel gloriously and wonderfully alive. Fully in control of and enjoying my sexual freedom to express myself in whatever way I choose. And taking back the terms “slut” and “whore” from the depths of non-respectability.

A woman, or man for that matter, should not be labeled negatively because they enjoy the full range of sexual experience available to them. And anyone who knows me knows I will not tolerate shaming in this matter.

What does polyamory look like for us? Multiple friends, friends with benefits, non-sexual romantic partnerships, and fully sexual intimate partners. They all meet legitimate needs, and are all perfectly natural and satisfying.

Consequently, the decade of my sixties is looking to be the best of my life. Yes, I wish I had pursued this lifestyle when I was younger, but these choices were not available to me at that time. And now they are. Being free to love whoever you choose opens up so many possibilities in your life. You can’t imagine the exhilaration, the sense of the unlimited. 

As I sit here and contemplate the day, and the decade, my intention is to wring every ounce of meaning out of it that I can. To share my love with as many people as I can, as long as those relationships provide meaningful emotional connections. Because that’s what we all want - connection.



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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The History of Marriage - And a Better Way

 

It is widely agreed that marriage began long before recorded history. Originally, marriages had multiple partners. In both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, marriages with multiple partners were the norm. 

 

The earliest recorded evidence of marriage was in 2350 BC in the Far East. Over the next several hundred years, marriage evolved into a widespread institution embraced by various cultures. Monogamy was first codified as the only legal choice by the Romans between the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Then it became the guiding force for Western marriages some time between the 6th and 9th centuries due to a protracted battle between the Catholic Church and the local nobility, who wanted to take multiple wives. 

X

It’s important to note here that nothing in the Bible even suggests that monogamy was the only accepted form of relationship structure. Monogamy was never mentioned or commanded for the average person. The only exception to this was in the qualifications of bishops/pastors/elders that they be the husband of one wife. This was not a spiritual requirement, only a practical one. If one was going to devote their life to managing the affairs of the church, he would not have the time to provide for and keep happy more than one wife. This was not a command that all people be monogamous. The fact that this requirement was mentioned at all indicates that plural marriage was the norm, or else there would have been no need to specify monogamy for elders. Nowhere in the Bible are plural relationships condemned or prohibited.

 

The main purpose of marriage early on was to act as an alliance between families, for either economic or political reasons, or both. Marriage did not start out as a union between people who loved each other and wanted to commit their lives to each other. If two neighboring countries were at war, they might seek to establish peace by having a son and daughter from each noble family to marry. Most of the time these young people had no say in the matter. Marriage was a financial transaction. The father of the groom paid a bride price, or dowry, to purchase the bride, and she was considered her husband’s property. It didn’t matter if they loved each other or not, and no one cared about their happiness. It was irrelevant. So, you see, marriage was really a despicable institution with a sordid history. Nothing more than a financial and social contract. Another purpose of it was to legitimize offspring, because you didn’t want to pass your land and title to someone that was not your legitimate heir. So once again, preserving money and power were the only goals.


X


My goal in explaining all this is to educate people before they decide to participate in the institution of marriage. It is not necessary to marry because it does not ensure happiness or stability. 

 

Some people think this is hypocritical on my part because I am married. And I then explain that in this day and age, there are legal and financial advantages to being married. But in this case, I am the one benefitting from those advantages. It’s not my father, my husband, or my country that are reaping the benefits, and I am the one freely choosing it.

X

 

If you are marrying for the financial advantages, then great. But do not make the mistake of thinking that marriage is necessary or even desirable for other reasons. Marriage confers a lot of unfortunate, unnecessary baggage. 

 

Truths about marriage:

 

1.   You do not need to marry to commit your life to someone.

2.  You do not need to marry to have sex.

3.  You do not need to marry to live with someone.

4.  You do not need to marry to have a nesting partner

5.  You do not need to accept monogamy as the only relationship structure.

   X

6. You do not need to marry for your child to bear your partner’s name.

7.  You do not need to marry to insure stability in your relationship.

  X

 

Therefore, the only legitimate reason to marry is for the legal and financial advantages.

X

If you’re already married, there’s no reason to seek a divorce, unless there are complicating legal factors. As polyamorous folks, our marital status is irrelevant. If you’re not married, there is no reason to engage in marriage unless you are desperate for legal and financial advantages.

 

Some people might object at this point, saying, “Just because marriage used to be an undesirable state, doesn’t mean it is now. Now people get married because they love each other.” Let me ask you this. Would your spouse love you any less if you weren’t married? How does signing a piece of paper make your spouse love you more?


  X

 

We need to address the widespread problems with marriage that contribute to the 50% divorce rate. According to Wilkinson & Finkbeiner, Family Law Attorneys, lack of commitment is responsible for 73% of all divorces (2). So, our perception that marriage makes a relationship more stable is a false one. 

 

Below are the ten most common reasons for divorce:

 

1.  Lack of commitment

2.  Personal differences or growing apart

3.  Excessive arguing

4.  Abuse and domestic violence

5.  Getting married too young

6.  Substance abuse

7.  Financial issues

8.  Having unrealistic expectations

9.  Impotence and infertility 

I  10. Infidelity

 

Even though “having unrealistic expectations” is it’s own category, the argument can be made that unrealistic expectations contribute to, or are the root cause of, every other category. We are programmed from our youth, through movies, music, commercials, religious training, etc., to expect monogamy, lifelong commitment, and wedded bliss.it simply does not happen. Even those couples who stay married admit that their marriages are not always happy, but they stuck it out anyway.

 

Why do we believe that sticking it out for years while remaining unhappy is more desirable than seeking happiness? 2nd and 3rdmarriages have even higher rates of divorce, indicating that people are dragging their unrealistic expectations into subsequent relationships. Nothing ever gets fixed.

X

 

I would submit that there is something inherently wrong with marriage, and that divorce will not lessen or subside while this relationship structure continues to try to adhere to blatantly unhealthy and unreasonable norms.

 

How do you solve the “lack of commitment” problem? Perhaps by realizing that we are asking too much of people. 30, 40, or 50 years is a long time, and over the course of those years, people do grow and change. Rarely do two people change at the same rate or in the same direction. If I have changed but my partner hasn’t should I expect to somehow bring them along? You cannot control another person, nor should you try. You must simply let them be who they are, and go on with your life.

X

 

This idea of marriage for life is a romantic notion, probably fed by our hormones, but it is neither practical nor necessary. if you can pull it off, great. But don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. In any other endeavor in life, you would change to fit the circumstances. If you chose a career, started working in your chosen field, and found out you hated it, should you  continue in a job you hate for 20, 30, 40 years or more? No, you’d change careers. If you bought a car, drove it for 20 years, and then noticed it was falling apart, would you continue to drive it and refuse to get another one? Of course not. Then why do we cling to the idea of lifelong monogamy? 

 

You can either chuck the whole thing and get a new one, or you can embrace the idea of ethical non-monogamy. An idea whose time has come.

 

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Send us email at:  unhinderedliving@gmail.com

 

References:

 

1.   https://www.apa.org/topics/divorce-child-custody

2.  https://www.wf-lawyers.com/divorce-statistics-and-facts/

3.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012696/

4.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4002864/

5.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2972416/pdf/IJPsy-38-109.pdf