how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Opening Up Will NOT Fix Your Relationship

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If you’re not getting what you want and need in your relationship, opening up will be tempting.

But will polyamory actually fix your relationship?

95% of the time, the answer is NO. In fact, opening up at the wrong moment can destroy the relationship—and family—you already have.

So how do you know when it’s the right time to open up?

And what is that 5% of cases where opening up WILL help?


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Cassie 0:01
Okay, awesome humans. So today we're going to be talking about why opening up your relationship is not going to fix your relationship. So often, we have folks who come to us and are like, You know what, we've had some shaky times, you know what we're going to do? We're going to open our relationships. And we're going to tell you today exactly why that's not the case.

Josh 0:22
Stay tuned.

Cassie 0:44
Here at Touch of Flavor, we teach non monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:50
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you're in the right place.

Cassie 1:03
All of this information is 100% free, so please subscribe to and review our podcasts.

Josh 1:13
All right, so Cassie, what are we talking about today?

Cassie 1:18
We're talking about why opening your relationship isn't gonna fix it. And this is a big, this is a big thing, because we talked to so many folks who are non monogamous, who are polyamorous, who are like, hey, you know, we've had challenges, we decided to try this opening up thing and fix our relationship. Because like, yeah, that sounds like a good idea. We've had issues, we've had challenges, maybe that'll help fill the gaps in our relationship.

Josh 1:48
Yeah, and I know you're saying it kind of, I mean, you're almost saying in like a ridiculous way. But this is something that we see really regularly. And if you're here, and you're listening to this, or watching this, or however you're choosing to consume this episode, you may be wondering that yourself, you know, will opening up fix your relationship, because so often people come to us, and like Cassie said, there's a gap. Maybe it's in the connection, you know, maybe I'm not feeling connected enough, maybe I'm not getting enough time, maybe I'm not getting enough intimacy. And really, there's, it's a needs gap most of the time, right, there's some kind of a gap in the needs in the relationship, and people come to us and they wonder, you know, will opening up, fix that, like will opening up, not only give me the things that I want and need. But maybe, just maybe when I get that it'll actually make this relationship better. Because you know, now I'll be getting my needs met, and won't be so snappy, we won't be going back and forth on this so much. And we're constantly like pestering my partner, to give me what I need to feel loved. And then now it's turning into a fight. And now we're feeling more disconnected. And so a lot of people wonder about that. And a lot of people try that. Right, a lot of people that we talked to are thinking about that, or they're trying it, or one of those things. And, you know, we want to really dive into this question of will opening up fix your relationship? Because the answer is, and I know we start off with the answer is no, the truth of the matter is, I would say there's very few clearly defined circumstances where opening up would fix your relationship. And 95% of the time, the answer is no. So let's go ahead and we're going to start diving into that stuff. And why that is, and what those circumstances are, or opening up will actually help the many more circumstances where it won't. And answer that question we're gonna tell you why most of the time, it is really a bad idea. So Cassie, want to start with, I guess the the problem that people have here?

Cassie 4:08
So I'm going to take one of the examples that you use, right, like you were talking about trying to fix a sexual gap in our relationship, right, like, Okay, we haven't been able to get our intimacy down. We haven't been able to work that out. It's had a lot of negative conversations and arguments and we've been having a lot of stressors around that. So if I who has like, the bigger you know, like bigger sex drive, goes and gets another partner. Things will be better. What's the face?

Josh 4:43
Was sex drive what you were going to say?

Cassie 4:46

Josh 4:46

Cassie 4:47

Josh 4:47

Cassie 4:49
So, you know, I the one who has the bigger sex drive and the one who is wanting more more sex, right? If I just go get another Her partner, it will resolve the issues between me and my partner. And while like in theory, like maybe that takes a little bit of pressure off of like me trying to get that here, what ends up happening in the problem is, is that they're still the bad feelings behind it. They're still the negative conversations that we've had, they're still the fact that I'm not getting my needs met in this relationship. And then, a lot of times, what ends up happening is not only does it not fix the initial problem you're trying to fix, it makes it worse, because now I'm still not getting my needs met here with you. But now I've got this other relationship over here that you're seeing me more happier in that I now have a comparison of like, this is how great sex can be over here. And I've got to deal with your shit. Right? So there ends up being this comparison that ends up growing. So rather than helping the problem, it actually ends up creating more issues, on top of the ones that didn't get resolved by trying to open up the relationship.

Josh 6:10
Yeah, so I think it's helpful with this to start with like a why, why would we wind up in the spot? And as I said, it's a pretty simple thing. If I'm, there's lots of reasons I might would open up. But if I'm looking to open up to fix the relationship, the reason well, so there can be two things. It could be that I just think that like something new and fresh, will stabilize things here. If our relationship really rocky, most people, I don't think that's how they're approaching this, the bigger thing that we see is, there's something that I need that I'm not getting here. And it's something that I need, it's something that I know that I need, I'm not happy, I'm not healthy, I'm unfulfilled. I'm going through life feeling like I'm, you know, like living in a prison, I'm going through life, feeling like I'm not really living. And I know that I need that. And I do not see a way to get it here. So I want to stay, I don't want to leave, you know, I love you, I care about you, maybe we've been together a long time, maybe we have a life on the line, right? We have a family on the line, a marriage on the line. And we don't want to go through all of that we don't want to lose each other. We don't want to go through an expensive, a devastating divorce or have our kids go through the trauma of splitting into two separate homes. So a to b, I'm not going to get what I need, like I have something that I can't be happy without getting. And a lot of times that thing that I'm unhappy that I'm not getting is causing stress here, right? It's causing fights, it's causing hurt, it's causing pain, it's causing guilt, because you can see that I'm unhappy, and I'm not getting what I want and need. I don't want to leave, so then I have to try and get that need met somewhere else cuz I don't believe I can get it here. And a lot of people might even tell you that this is a good idea. In some ways, you know, if you have something that you're not getting in your relationship, and you can get it somewhere else, that just seems to be common sense. Like it seems, on the face of it, that would work. And that's why, you know, at the beginning, when you were saying it little ridiculously, you know, it's one of those things that when you say it in a ridiculous fashion, it's easy to pick out the problem. But really, for a lot of people, this just seems really logical, it just seems kind of A to B to C. And it seems like a really reasonable way to keep our relationship from falling apart. And for us, still to be happy. And with that, as I said a lot of times you may be I see a lot of and you can talk more about this Cassie, then I have a couple of things throw in. But I do feel like I see a lot of this kind of being pushed around or like, well, if you're not getting into your relationship, just go get it somewhere else. That's totally cool. I feel like that's a pretty common myth that's floating around. Would you agree? You spend more time on the socials than I do?

Cassie 8:53

Josh 8:53
I don't. So try and stay off as much as possible.

Cassie 8:57
It is so common, especially in like, the non monogamous communities. For someone to be like, I'm not happy because I'm not getting ABC in my relationship. And people are like, well, then go get another relationship and get ABC there. Right? And it's this idea that like, you should just go find it. Right, just well, if you can't get it here, just go get it somewhere else. And something I want to point out that you've mentioned, we talked a lot about intimacy, but I want to take just like one second, when I'm talking about I'm not getting ABC it's not just sex, right? We use that as an example. But it can be I'm not feeling valued here. I'm not feeling loved here. I'm not feeling wanted or desired.

Josh 9:43

Cassie 9:44
I'm not feeling heard, right. So it starts becoming these things that are fundamentally things that we need in our relationships to feel good in the relationship.

Josh 9:58
Well, and that's so-- so there's two problems with this kind of myth that I want to hit and I want to break down. And there is people not understanding the difference between needs, I have period needs I have in this in this relationship this is something we talk to our clients about. Right. And I'd love you to hit that and talk about that. And then also, there's the problem of the magnification. So if you want to talk about that piece of people not understanding, not really having a good grasp of how needs break down like that, and I can hit the, the magnification side of things.

Cassie 10:39
Yeah, so there's often confusion around the idea of needs, right? Because there's, there's the needs that we have in life. And this is without this thing in my life, I'm not going to be a happy, healthy human. And then there is the needs that I have within a relationship that I have. And that means if I don't have these things within this relationship, I'm not going to be happy in this relationship. And those are two very different things.

Josh 11:15
When we talk to our clients about this, we talked about in terms of like the needs we have in life, the needs that you have in any relationship, and then the needs that you have in this specific relatio0nship.

Cassie 11:25
Yeah, so I always like to give a couple of examples of this. So for example, a need I have in life is to do art, and to be like expressive through art. That isn't a need that I have for any particular relationships. That's something I can do on my own. I don't need anybody else to do art with me. But I need to have space and time for me to do that.

Josh 11:50
I think an example that might be even closer to home for a lot of you're watching us would be your bisexuality. Right, like you have a need to be able to express that part of yourself. It isn't something that you obviously can express here in this relationship.

Cassie 12:08
Yeah, I mean, I was going from, like, what I need in the world versus what I need with other partners.

Josh 12:14

Cassie 12:14
Yeah, you completely threw my whole analogy.

Josh 12:16
I didn't realize we were talking about non partner needs.

Cassie 12:18
Okay. Yeah, yeah, threw me, like way off there. So like, I was gonna go with boobs, but...

Josh 12:24
Go for it.

Cassie 12:26
But so starting with, like, what I need in life, right? There are certain things that like, it doesn't matter, if I have anybody else in my life who's contributing to that I can get that need met, then for some of you, that might be things like fitness or art or like you, it's like Jiu Jitsu, you don't really need any of your partners to take part in that you need to.

Josh 12:48
It'd be hot, if they did.

Cassie 12:49
It would be hot. And just like with art, it's really awesome when like, we all have like a group date night where we paint, but that, you know, like, if that doesn't happen, I'm still going to get that need fulfilled with myself. And that's the first thing, right, there's the things that we can fulfill on our own without any particular people, then there is the needs that we have for relationships in general, right? Like, I need an all of my close relationships, for there to be honesty, for there to be like a certain level of trust, right? Like, I don't want to be friends with you, I don't want to like be a family member with you if I don't have those things. And then we start moving into particular relationships. Right. So you are talking about bisexuality, so that's something that I need for myself. And obviously, I need as a person who is bisexual, to have relationships and to be able to have physical expression with people of various genders. So that's something I need. But I'm obviously not going to be able to get just in this relationship, right? So I can get that in various relationships, in different relationships. Now, going a little bit further, in every relationship that I have, that's a romantic one, I need a physical component. That's just who I am. I need touching and things like that. That's who I am. And if I didn't have that in my romantic relationship with someone, I wouldn't be fully happy in that relationship. So while I don't need you to have boobs, right, because I can get that in a different relationship. I do need for Josh and I to have a physical component to our relationship for me to be happy. Just like I need that like truth and that honesty that I need in any kind of close relationship. And so if I didn't have that, or that appreciation and that love, me going and finding it somewhere else is still not going to make me feel happy here. And that's the difference like me finding someone else to go do art with? Sure. But me trying to find something to make me happy here, that really is a fundamental thing that I need in this relationship to be happy, isn't actually going to fix that.

Josh 15:15
And then what would be an example. So you've talked about needs in life, needs in all your relationships, right? Things that you just need somewhere in a romantic relationship, but not in a specific one, things you need in all of your romantic relationships. And then I would be curious for you, what would be an example of something that would be such a need that you have not necessarily in all of your romantic relationships, but a need that you have in a specific romantic relationship?

Cassie 15:46
So I think for some folks, this would be really helpful that are like in the power exchange community. Like, one of the biggest ones I could think of is like, for me, like, in a more entwined relationship, like ours, I like a more of a power exchange relationship. If I have someone who's like a friends with benefits, or a different relationship, that's a bit less entwined the power exchange aspect isn't important to me, right. But like, in more entwined relationships, someone that I'm living with all the time, I would like to have that, in order for that relationship to be a good one.

Josh 16:28
Okay, it might-- So it might be easier for me to flip actually, to use myself here for this example. So for me, in a relationship with you, I would really need a power dynamic and a relationship with pretty much anybody else, that wouldn't be the case, I think that's maybe a cleaner example of it. Right? So, because for you, that's almost more like a level of relationship rather than with a specific person. But this is where-- oh, go ahead.

Cassie 16:52
I can give one, that's a better you and I's relationship.

Josh 16:55

Cassie 16:56
Because of how physical our relationship has been, and like the chemistry and the makeup of our relationship, if say, like, we just stopped having sex with each other, that would be something that I wouldn't really be happy in this relationship, like, the physical aspect of the relationship is really important, right? Now it could fluctuate and be higher or lower, or something like that. But like, if we didn't have any physical, like, in this relationship, I wouldn't be very happy.

Josh 17:30
So this is where most people get this wrong, we gave you all that breakdown of the spectrum that needs fall across, to kind of bring back around to talk about where people get this wrong when they're like, Well, if I don't have a need that I'm getting met here, I can just get it met in another relationship. The problem is, most of the time, when people are talking about that, they're talking about things that they really need from this relationship. Right, they're talking about feeling like they're not close, or like they don't have a romantic connection, or like they're not intimate, or they're unloved or unheard, or they can't communicate. All of these things that, that you would need from any relationship that you can't replace, just by going somewhere else. And also some of the things that people want or fall more into that spectrum of things that you would need, specifically in this relationship. Like, again, if we're, we have a kid together, and we're shitty co parents, me having another relationship isn't gonna help with the need I have for us to actually be good co parents together. So the problem is what most people wind up doing is they try and fix things in their relationship by filling in gaps elsewhere. But it doesn't actually fix the problem, because you're still not getting the needs met in this relationship. And that's what needs to happen. If and maybe one of the cleanest examples I can give because I hear this all the time, if I'm feeling unloved in this relationship. Sure, getting that somewhere else may help me feel more fulfilled as a person, but it certainly isn't doing any favors for this relationship. And like, it doesn't make me want that love here any less. And in fact, and this is the second piece I wanted to talk about this. It actually a lot of times makes it worse. Because I think the longer we've been doing this we've been talking about this a lot lately about non monogamy the single biggest challenge in non monogamy that Cassie and I have discovered and like to talk about the single biggest challenge in non monogamy. It isn't jealousy. It isn't communication. It isn't scheduling, it isn't overcoming societal norms. It isn't any of those things. The biggest challenge in non monogamy is that non monogamy magnifies any area that your relationship is already weak. So let's go back to that example of feeling unloved. Now, if I'm feeling unloved in this relationship with Cassie, I feel like a roommate like, you know, I walk through the door, she ignores me, we're laying in bed, we're not touching each other, we haven't had sex in six months. That sucks. And a lot of people ignore that for a long time. And a lot of monogamous people ignore that forever.

Josh 20:26
And that's fine. Like, I mean, it's not fine. I take that back, it sucks. But the point that I'm making is, you know, I'm unhappy, I'm unfulfilled, I'm going through life, I'm really miserable in that. But sometimes there can still be a level of stability in this relationship, we settle, we suck it up. We go through life. It's not the life we want. We're not really living, but we tolerate it. The problem is, when I now have a new partner, and it's hot, and it's passionate, and they're jumping on me and kissing me when I walked through the door, and we never want to stop talking. And we want to spend all of our time together. And it's intimate, and it's fun. And I have that passion, that connection. Well all of a sudden, that when I'm home and I'm sitting there and Cassie is ignoring me, you know what I'm doing in my head. Maybe I'm comparing? Wishing I was over here, not being ignored. And in addition to that, Cassie is now seeing me have all this fun and love with somebody else. And she's comparing. And she's upset and she's irritated. Maybe she's not getting that at all anywhere, now. This is where jealousy comes from. At the end of the day, and we did I think the last episode that we did was on jealousy. So if you haven't listened to that, definitely go do it. But I will just say in a sentence, the single biggest thing that people don't tend to realize about jealousy is a lot of times behind those feelings that we need to deal with, there are real challenges in the background. And if I'm in a place where-- we're now using Cassie's example-- where like I said, like we haven't been loving and connected for years, and now I'm going and I'm fawning over this other person. And I can't wait to spend all my time with them. And I'm coming home and talk about how amazing the sex is here and our sucks. I mean, listen, I don't care how good a grip you have on your emotions, I don't care how "poly-enlightened you are," I won't even do the air quotes, it doesn't even rate it. She's gonna feel shitty about that. So kind of summing this up, anything you want to add to that, that piece of it? The magnification piece.

Cassie 23:05
And it's not just, you know, the problems in our relationships. It's also it magnifies all of our insecurities, too. If I was worried, because I felt unloved that you really didn't love me. I'm going to be worried more, right? If I was concerned that you might leave me, now seeing you super excited and happy to be with somebody else is going to feed that. So it's an amplifier of not just the problems, but all of the insecurities that we're building from those problems too.

Josh 23:41
So the fact of the matter is most of the time in most circumstances if you try and open up to fix your relationship, it will implode spectacularly and it's not all but certainly some of the horror stories that you hear about people who are like, Oh, we opened up in our relationship imploded. I mean, sure, like some of that is because people are trying especially they've done relationships for the last 30 or 40 or 50 years and they have no idea how to do it and they hit feelings they weren't expecting they step on landmines, their agreements aren't good and, and they run into all this problems that certainly some of it but some of it really is. Our relationship was lacking. We opened up whether it was with the intention of fixing that or just we opened up anyways. And it really not only didn't fix things, but cast the light on what had already been lacking and subpar in our relationship and all the places that we had been settling and if you just just bottom line if you try and open up to fix your relationship, you are going to blow your relationship up. I don't I mean...

Cassie 25:09

Josh 25:09
Okay. I don't feel like I need to belabor that point.

Cassie 25:14
So you might be sitting here, but didn't you say, there was some things that like non monogamy could fix. So let's talk a little bit about those.

Josh 25:24
I mean, part of me wants to find other things to talk about with the you'll blow your relationship up. But, I mean, I feel like it's pretty simple. And it's pretty obvious when you think about it, you will blow your relationship up, don't do that. Just don't, fix your relationship. And by the way, that doesn't mean you can't fix your relationship at the same time. Under certain circumstances, but don't open up to fix your relationship. Just don't, it will not work.

Cassie 25:56
And also, the thing that I will also add on is don't think if right now your relationship is Rocky, and in poor condition, that opening up is going to solve things. Because that's way too often what we see is folks who are like, we are in a desperate spot, we're feeling hopeless, like we don't know what else to do. So we're going to try this thing is like a last ditch effort.

Josh 26:19
And those are the situations where you see the stories where Cassie and I start dating somebody else. And three months later, Cassie and them are together, and I'm gone. That's how that works. So where are those situations? Where it does actually make sense, open up the relationship where that can solve problems that are there, because again, I said they maybe like 5% of the time, that is the case. So what are those specific circumstances where people can look at that and see that as a good idea, rather than an awful one?

Cassie 26:52
So the first one is, the only issue that we're having right now, is that we're non monogamous, and we haven't opened our relationship. That's the challenge, like we've discovered it. And we want to open our relationship. Well, then what are you doing here? Like open your relationship? Like seriously? Like, if that's the only problem, then yes, opening your relationship? is the next step. Right is the next thing, if you're recognizing that the two of you are non monogamous, or that you need to open your relationship?

Josh 27:24
So I actually, I want to talk about this. I don't think it's just if the only problem that you're having is that you're non monogamous, I would say if one of the problems that you're having, if the fact that you're non monogamous, and you haven't opened things up is hurting your relationship, then opening up is a good idea and will help it won't fix your relationship if you have other problems going on. But so let me explain what this might actually look like. If you're in a situation where you are non monogamous, and you are living in a monogamous relationship, whether that's because you knew you were non monogamous before you came into this relationship, or maybe it's something that you discovered along the way. And it's something that is a part of you, it's something that you need in order to be happy and be fulfilled, and you are shoving that piece of you down. Then you're building up unhappiness, and you're building up resentment, and that causes challenges in your relationships. And if that's there, so how would you how would you your workshop this Cassie? Because like I said, because a lot of the clients that come to us, I have to say the opening up isn't the only problem they have other problems.

Cassie 28:48
You started talking but I was gonna kind of segue this.

Josh 28:51
Okay segue it for me.

Cassie 28:52
So if otherwise, your relationship is great, you're discovering your non monogamous and you're like, hey, this is something I need, then open it. But that's if you and your partner are 100% in a place where your relationship is secure. Everything has been going well, there isn't all of these other things that we were talking about in return in regards of feeling unappreciated, or there's been resentment that has built up from me not being who I really was, if this really is just a matter of discovery. Sure. But the problem is, typically, that's not the case. Very seldom is it hey, I discovered I was non monogamous. We had a chat. We both feel fantastic about it. Everything's great. We're feeling prepared and we're going to try to open this.

Josh 29:45
One more thing I have to throw in here. I don't want to give a false impression. If the only thing that you have going on in your relationship is that somebody has been monogamous, then yes. theoretically, opening up will then fix the relationship, A follows B.

Cassie 30:06
We'll fix that problem.

Josh 30:07
We'll fix that problem, right and we'll help the relationship. Realistically, though, I have to say, you know, if this is what you've been doing for 20, 30, 40 years, and you don't know how to do the non monogamy successfully, which is where most people are at then you tend to run into problems, opening things up. And we have, again, an entire episode on getting started with polyamory. So I won't go into that whole piece. But go ahead.

Cassie 30:35
Yeah, so, you know, that can help that specific circumstance. So there's a couple of things that it can also help with.

Josh 30:48
Yeah, so some of the other things where non monogamy can help, rather than just the well, we just haven't, I'm just upset and resentful, because we're non monogamous. And that's all that's going on. There are actually a couple of other situations, specific situations where opening up can help. So what are those Cassie?

Cassie 31:10
So I'm bisexual, and I'm not getting those needs met. Or I'm, I have other types of relationships that I need power dynamics, things like that, that maybe me and you just don't match with? Right, I use my bisexuality as a example. Right? Like, that's a need that I have. So exploring other relationships that can help resolve that. And, you know, other ways of this being a positive impact is if there's activities or things that like, you don't enjoy, that I would enjoy having with someone else, right? It can help with those certain things. Now, what I will say is you mentioned, you know, if all I am doing is feeling bad and resentful about non monogamy. And I would say no, if all that it is, is you haven't explored non monogamy not if there's been resentment or upset about that. We'll talk about that later.

Josh 32:06
Okay. So, okay, so then, what are those places because we said, you know, 95% of the time, bad idea. 5% of the time, there are some places that non monogamy and opening things up can help a relationship. So what are those places?

Cassie 32:24
Yeah, so the first thing is, obviously, if the two of you recognize that you're non monogamous, and you want to open up, right. And that's been something that you've been kind of like, oh, that's been kind of like, you know, something that you've been wanting to do or needing to do, and you haven't done and your relationship is been in a good place. There hasn't been arguments around that there hasn't been anything else built up behind that. It's just, there's this need. And that's what I would say, under very certain certain circumstances, opening up your relationship can help you get certain needs met, which can help your relationship.

Josh 33:07
One of those needs may be the need to be non monogamous.

Cassie 33:10
Yes. So if there wasn't any problem there, right, and there's there hasn't been any issues around it. And we're going to talk about a little bit more about that in a minute. But if it's solely, you know, I've recognized I'm non monogamous, and that's something I need. Well, then, yeah, opening up is a good idea. If everybody is on board. And there hasn't been any issues around that in the past.

Josh 33:35
I think really, when we're talking about this, the places that this is a good idea. And makes sense. are I mean, taking back to that conversation about needs that we had earlier, right? If there's things that I need, that I don't specifically need to get from you, that I'm not getting in this relationship. So some other examples of that beyond just the need for me to be non monogamous power dynamics, you know, we see quite, you know, I know quite a few relationships, where one of the things that's being filled in the non monogamy is, you know, we're together, and maybe our relationships really good. And, you know, we're happy and I'm getting most of my needs met here. But you know, I have this one need for it's doesn't even, it's gonna be weird to say, there's one need for dominance that isn't getting met here in this relationship.

Cassie 34:20
Would never happen here.

Josh 34:21
Right? Actually, this is a really good example. Because if I if I had a need for dominance, rather than just the top occasionally, that would not be a need that I would get. I don't get actually I don't get my need to-- actually it's a perfect example.

Cassie 34:31

Josh 34:31
I don't get my need to top met in this relationship. So that's a perfect example. Like, I have a need to top. I don't get it in this relationship. Other than that, I'm getting all my needs met here. Okay, I can take that one need and get it met. somewhere else. It would be kind of silly to you have this whole relationship, like, fall apart over that. Yeah, right. But here's the important distinction. But that isn't something that I need in every relationship that I have. Like if if it was it was something like being loved or honesty or something like that, and that wouldn't work. What are some of the other things? Oh, there's other specific needs, that people can sometimes get met other places.

Cassie 35:08
Um, it can be things like, certain relationship dynamics. And when I'm saying this, I don't mean like power dynamics. But like, for me, I really have a need to be sort of the, like, romantic, like, Prince, knight kind of person, right? I don't need it in this relationship, like, you totally would not be down for me like showing up and trying to be all like, you know, opening doors for you and getting you flowers like, but like...

Josh 35:38
You could try it.

Cassie 35:39
Aw, I might now that you said it.

Josh 35:42
It would be funny.

Cassie 35:43
But I have that need, like, that's something that really fulfills me. But it's not something I need in this relationship. So I can have someone else that like I get to explore that part of myself with and that's actually one of the awesome joys of polyamory. And non monogamy is being able to explore some of those different parts of yourself that you don't get to do in a particular relationship.

Josh 36:10
And the other two places, I feel like I see people really where this works for they have like, again, there's nearly to find needs if they don't need every relationship, but they need to here or there bisexuality.

Cassie 36:20
Their sexuality in general, just like meeting different types of partners.

Josh 36:28
So I'm curious, like, What do you mean, not in the context, cuz typically, when I see that I see that as somebody who's like, I need, you know, I'm with X, gender of person. And I also want to be with y gender of person, and I can't I mean, it's like you and boobs.

Cassie 36:45

Josh 36:45

Cassie 36:46
Okay. So while that's true, there's also just because we're getting into kind of like a different topic. But there's folks who have not just a need for different, like genitals, but also like masculine and feminine and it also, identity, like, I need relationships with people who are demisexual. Right. And maybe I don't have kind of that Demi interaction here. So when I said not just bisexuality, but being able to explore different sexualities and different relationship styles.

Josh 37:26
Gotcha, yeah, just wasn't clicking until you said it. And then the other piece is sometimes libido. And another actually perfect example of that is in our own relationship with Amanda. Right, like, I love Amanda. And if it was just Amanda, and I was forced to rely on her sex drive, and I wasn't allowed to explore outside of that relationship, that would not work. Our partner Amanda is asexual, for anybody who hasn't picked that up before, or listened, really, anybody hasn't listened to the show, or heard or on here or anything like that. So that certainly wouldn't work in and I do see that occasionally. Again, but that only works if it's something that I don't necessarily need in this relationship, but I have to get met, period.

Cassie 38:17
And that's the thing that I want to bring and, I said, I was going to talk about this aspect of our relationship and opening up. And the libido is exactly the same sort of thing, right, which is, when we are seeking other partners to get that, we actually have to be in a place where our relationship is good, where our relationship feels good, where our needs are getting met. And really, there's this one piece, that is the problem, right? It can't be, oh, you know, there's a bunch of hard feelings around this and that and the other, and you're resentful, and I'm angry at you. And now you're getting your libido needs met somewhere else.

Josh 39:09
Well, and again, I really have to specify this because and I know I'm beating this drum. But this is so important. It's not just it's that one piece, it's that one piece that I don't have to get met here. It's that one piece that's a need that I have in general, but not a need that necessarily has to get met in this specific relationship. Because again, I what I don't want to see people do is like, Oh, well, it's just, I just don't feel loved here and like a romantic partner. That's the one piece I'll get that somewhere else. That's probably not going to work. Right. But I just wanted to really, again, make really clear, the one piece and the one piece again, that does not have to get met here, I think is even more important than it being one piece.

Cassie 39:58
And the other kind of twist to this, right? Is that opening up, and this is why we keep saying the thing about opening up doesn't actually fix the relationship, it can solve a need, it can solve a small issue, but it doesn't fix the relationship because even if you don't have an I'm gonna say sarcastically, a real problem, right? When you do open your relationship, and it was oh, it was just the libido. Just the sexual difference. If there was problems there before, like you resented me for it, or I was feeling pressured or not loved because of it. That not real problem, it was just the libido ends up turning into a bigger problem, you start to see more issues, and also just opening up itself. And this is one thing that I want to put there and you to put a pin in opening up, it's opening up a relationship itself, can cause its own set of new issues.

Josh 41:14
We have an entire episode of this show on getting started with polyamory. And I really encourage you to listen to it. But I will just in this piece, say that even if there were no other problems in your relationship, everything in your relationship was absolutely perfect. I don't know a lot of people who are there. But even if that was the case, and there was no place for, you know, a new relationship to shine a light to unfavorably and magnify problems that are currently there, or, you know, just something that's subpar. The truth of the matter is, when you're opening up, if you've been monogamous for 30, 40 years, or you know, you've been monogamous, and they maybe even you are non monogamous before, but you've been monogamous and this relation for 10 years, 15 years, 20 years, whatever. And you're opening up and you're making a transition, and you're switching. And now you're going into a space where you haven't done it before, where you don't have tools, where you're having to unlearn everything you've learned from society, about relationships, where you've never had any models before of how to do this correctly. And now your tools don't apply. And you have to relearn how to communicate about things, you have to relearn how to make agreements. And you have to now navigate jealousy and you go into all those things. For most people, that is not a smooth transition. And it pretty obviously not like you don't change what you've been doing relationships 30, 40, 50 years on his head, and expect that to be smooth. So in the background of this, I just want you to remember, it's not only that opening up isn't a fix, it's an opening up. And I'm not saying it's not rewarding. I mean, obviously, we're here and we help non monogamous folks every single day in their relationship. I mean, half the people we work with are new to non monogamy like that's what we do. And it's it can be beautiful. But it definitely isn't clean or easy. And it definitely comes with its own set of challenges.

Cassie 43:09
Yeah. And I was gonna say, I know we've we've talked quite a bit in the show about like, you know, don't open your relationship. But that's not what we're saying. We're saying don't open your relationship to one, fix the problems. And two, don't open your relationship thinking that it is going to be easy, right? Non monogamy is amazing, it is wonderful. It is such an added thing to people's lives, especially if that is who you are. Right? It is a huge thing for those of us who identify that way.

Josh 43:48
Right. But again, going back to what you're saying before, it also really is a place that more than anything else we can ever do in life magnifies our own weaknesses and our own insecurity. So if you're, you have things and like I said you're feeling or you've been settling or you're feeling hurt or unloved or unheard or any of those things, and you've been feeling those before it will be magnified. Right? So again, it isn't we're not saying don't open up, we're not saying any of that. But if you are opening up with the expectation that doing so is going to fix your relationship. First off, that just will never happen. It will never fix your relationship. There are again, a very few defined circumstances that it can help as long as you are, you know, getting the assistance and support to not cause a whole new set of problems with opening things up. But do not, do not, do not try and open up your relationship to fix something in it, it will not work.

Cassie 44:53
Yeah, and as we said like we're not telling you like we're not gonna be like don't ever open your relationship. That's that's not true. Right, you absolutely should, especially if that is who you are, you should not force down your non monogamy and like just, you know, be unhappy for the rest of your life. But what we are saying is that you have to fix the entirety of your relationship, you have to work on what's going on in your relationship. And opening up if opening up is something that you want to do if it is something that you are actually wanting to do, because that's who you are. And that's what you want to explore, right? That you're doing that while also working on the other things in your relationship, because the opening up on its own is not going to resolve that. So when you're doing that, you need to make sure that you are focused on that. Because when you do open, if you have these challenges, you have these issues, then you're just going to create more. And that's one of the problems that we see quite often is when we're talking to folks, they're at this place where they're like, yep, this is what we're going to do. And rather than approaching the challenges that they need to approach, they're deciding to open up, and then it ends up being more of a snowball.

Josh 46:16
I want to frame this actually how I do for our clients. So opening up can actually make your relationship better. Right, but just not in the way that most people think. Opening up can make your relationship better because of that magnification process. If you are in a spot where your relationship is hurting or you're feeling unloved or unwanted, you have needs that aren't getting met, like you know, stuff's been suffering, you've been settling. And now you're going into non monogamy, you're having that light shone on the places that things are weak. The reason that it can make your relationship better is twofold, right? Number one, because it shines a light on those places that you're weak in those places that you may have, in fact been settling, and you may have been willing to sit in for the rest of your life. Right. But number two, and again, this is what I tell our clients, when we're first starting to work together, it can make your relationship better. Because if you are opening up a relationship and your relationship has challenges, the only way for your relationship to make it through to the other side for you to actually get to a point where you're still together, at the end of that process of opening up is to improve your relationship. So in that sense, the non monogamy, the opening up of a relationship can actually become a launchpad for your relationship to be better than it's been in years or maybe better than it has ever been before. But it certainly isn't guaranteed. It doesn't happen by accident, really, what I'm saying is it gets better because now you have to deal with the problems. Right. And, you know, what we find with people is that when they're in that place where they've been settling, and they've been challenged, great. So you end up in this place, you have this opportunity where you can see the problems, you have to fix them in order to survive to make it through, it's like trial by fire, basically. And you still don't know how to solve those problems that have been there for 5, 10, 15, however many years, you know, it's cool to have that impetus and to be like, Okay, now we have to do this in order for our relationship to survive and not get divorced and lose our family that we have to figure this out and stop settling, that can give you a lot of energy, what it doesn't give you is the tools to actually change whatever it is and wherever it is that you have been stuck, right certainly not the tools navigate now the opening of this relationship, which you may have never done before and don't have the tools to do period. So it can be a launching off point. But really only if you get the help that you need to actually solve those problems. You know, you jump out a plane without a parachute. It's kind of a this is a really crappy analogy. I'm kind of making this up as I go along. But you know, if you if you jump out, it's kind of like saying like, if you jump out of a plane, like you will definitely need a parachute to get to the ground. Right? And you can have an amazing experience do that if you have a parachute. But if you jump out the plane without a parachute, wow, that was such an awful analogy. Do you have a better one? I'm just doing this in the moment here. I told you once I had somebody tell me. He was gonna learn to fly the plane. That's after he took off and he learned as he went, I was like, I would not want to be on your plane.

Cassie 46:37

Josh 46:55
Maybe that's a better analogy. I don't know. It doesn't matter what the analogy is in this moment, folks. You get what I'm saying? The fact of the matter is like I said it can be a launching point it really can be a place to improve your relationship. Because if you do not improve your relationship and you have things that have been, you know, bad in the relationship, you won't make it. So in order to make it through the opening things up, yeah, your relationships gonna have to improve. That's pretty great. But it doesn't, it doesn't happen by accident. And if you, you know, you've been stuck in a spot of feeling unloved or feeling unheard, or, you know, the your intimacy has been down for the last however long it's been, it's not magically going to change, just because you move into the non monogamy, if anything, said, it's gonna get worse, because now you're gonna have that light shone on it, and you're gonna be just less willing to put up with it. Right? So if you are in a spot where anything you want to add to that?

Cassie 50:44
No, I think you've summed up really well, I'm still like trying to figure out an analogy for you.

Josh 50:51
I'm gonna get off here, and I'm gonna think I want to,

Cassie 50:53
I will correct your analogy a little bit. It's more like getting on a plane, having the parachute, and have never taken any kind of instruction or knowing how to actually jump out of the plane. And not doing a tandem jump, right, where you have somebody else who knows what they're dealing, but jumping out of the plane, and trying to read the manual on the way down. That is the analogy. It's it's taking that big, big leap, and not actually knowing how you're actually going to figure this out when you get there.

Josh 51:26
It's a better one feel like it's still needs to be cleaned up a bit.

Cassie 51:28
I was trying to clean up, I was trying to clean up your analogy.

Josh 51:31

Cassie 51:33
We'll get off and then we'll be like, ah!

Josh 51:35
But here's the thing. And again, I don't want to leave on a on a bad note. Because here's the truth, like non monogamy can be amazing, it's not going to fix your relationship by any stretch of the imagination. But non monogamy can be amazing. You know, if it's who you are, then honestly, the longer you you don't have it right, just the more resentful you're getting an upset you're getting anyways. But non monogamy can be amazing. And again, going into that process of opening up it can be and really has to be if you want to make it out the other side, a launching off point to heal your own relationship and to make that better than ever. But it takes help. And it takes assistance to do that. Because whatever those problems are that had been in the background, it's not like you haven't been trying to solve them more than likely you've been trying to and you just haven't known how and you're not suddenly going to know how now. So if you need some help doing that, we help folks do that every day. Go ahead, grab up a time to talk, you can go to, take you to our calendar. You know, find a time that works for you. You know somebody from our team will get on the phone with you at the time that you picked. And it will be the best hour you have ever spent on your relationships, we'll walk you step by step figuring out what exactly the problems are that are there. What needs to be fixed to survive, we'll bring this up. Right How you get back to having a thriving relationship. It will be awesome. So yeah, like I said,, pick a time on the calendar, it will take you to a short little application, some information we need. Fill that out. And we'll hop on with you and talk through what needs to happen for you to open things up successfully and just as importantly, to actually heal whatever it is that's going on your relationship to fix those problems. And to have a thriving relationship. Anything else you wanna throw in there, Cassie?

Josh 51:37
No, I think that about sums it up.

Josh 53:14
All right, so everybody have a fantastic week, and we will catch you all here next time.

Josh 53:25
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe

Cassie 53:31
if you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us. Here's what I want you to do next, head over to and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour. And we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 53:59
We talked with hundreds of non monogamous folks like you every year. And here's the truth, building loving, thriving relationships that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you are building relationships outside the box, that's impossible to find and we get it but that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families, get the passion back and become best friends again.

Cassie 54:23
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to I'm Cassie

Josh 54:30
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon