Listen to “163: Joyful Monogamy – Lynne Sheridan” on Spreaker.
Lynne E Sheridan, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist after being an international transformational trainer for 27 years is here today to talk about Joyful Monogamy from her book, “The Birds and Bees of Joyful Monogamy: Nine Secrets to Hot Partnering”. She dives into the topics of monogamy as a basic nature, what leads us to choose monogamy, advantages of a monogamous relationship, and how to keep it alive over time.
Definition and what monogamy means
Lynne defines a monogamous relationship as ‘a mutual endeverance’ of a couple that stems from an urge for fathering and mothering a child and to have a partnership. A father’s need to know that the child is their own and a mother’s need to have a partner who supports them throughout, historically has driven people to choose monogamy.
Lynne talks about the romanticizing of monogamy in Hollywood. She declares that Hollywood represents a relationship to be easy and it’s merely a fantasy to think that’s how a monogamous relationship is in reality. This representation encourages couples to go unprepared with the expectation of it to be a natural process.
Monogamy as our inherent nature
While answering questions about our inherent nature of being monogamous or open, Lynne says we are intrinsically pulled both ways. Our personality, formed from several factors of our childhood experiences that draw our unconscious beliefs, leads us to make choices. As we repeatedly make the same choices, they form a pattern.
We repeat negative patterns rooted in our unconscious beliefs that we don’t recognize until we see the result. Lynne talks about how these patterns result in whether we choose or not choose monogamy by sharing a personal example. Lynn states that monogamy itself is not the problem but our relation with it is. We have to make an authentic choice that isn’t coming from an old pattern but from a clear conscience.
Gifts and struggles of Monogamy
The goal here is not to solve all the problems in a relationship, it is to communicate them. She says that it’s about sharing your troubles and healing each other’s wounds constantly. When a person is willing to work through what troubles you or them and is still there to listen to it over and over again, that is the gift that monogamy brings-to put in the effort. As Lynn puts it, “it’s about transference and counter transference”.
She talks about intimacy as being totally transparent, to be our authentic selves all the time. More than just sex, intimacy is to constantly catch yourself and acknowledge when you are being someone else. Lynn poses a question on how one can be in an intimate relationship when we don’t let ourselves be seen. It’s a continuous process where we repair and move forward and get better each time.
How to keep a thriving, passionate sex life alive
Talking about keeping your sex life alive in monogamy, Lynn quotes Esther Perel, “We have this conflicting desire with mystery and adventure and security”. She says it’s about balancing between both monogamy and wanting more adventure. It’s also passion that drives sex. To ignite that passion we have to be willing to open up to risks, adventures and keeping the mystery alive. She presses the need for sensuality without orgasm or penetration. While out of habit we look for a quick release, Lynn suggests reinventing sensuality by blindfolds, exploring each other’s bodies without an orgasm or a quick fix. She emphasizes prolonged pleasure that requires time and space and the freedom to pick a tone of the encounter. She gives a number of exciting ideas to keep the fire burning such as role-play, dress up, picking each other up at a bar and titillating.
As important as it is to keep the fire burning in a monogamous relationship, it’s also of great importance to rekindle the fire within yourself. Lynn talks about “dating herself” by exploring all of her possibilities within, for as long as it takes. It’s easy to fall into a rut just like the habit of sex, but learning happens when we push ourselves to grow constantly. As Lynn states, “The work I do is outside of my comfort zone, that’s where possibility exists”. The excitement lies in areas that you haven’t explored, where growth happens.
During Covid-19, more than ever, Lynn advises the importance of self-care. She says self-care for her is not just about commonly practiced routine but it’s about surrounding yourself with people who stimulate you, it means not to overburden your partner, rich conversations, pushing to do transformational programs and pushing the boundaries of your beliefs about everything.
Resources for Lynne:
“The Birds and Bees of Joyful Monogamy: Nine Secrets to Hot Partnering”:
Lynne’s website: http://www.lynneesheridan.com/
‘Couples Thriving Practice’ – 12-week program: http://www.lynneesheridan.com/index.php/partnerships/couples-thriving-practice
Couples Intimacy Practice: http://www.lynneesheridan.com/index.php/partnerships/couples-ip
VIP Couples Customized Retreat: http://www.lynneesheridan.com/index.php/partnerships/couples-vip
Access the Free webinar: How to help your partner want more sex without making them feel pressured or obligated- https://jessazimmerman.mykajabi.com/opt-in-e1c80391-fe9b-414f-937a-16daae78061a