A psychologist and relationship coach has shared her secret to her long and happy marriage with her husband.
Dr Lori Beth Bisbey, 60, has been in a romantic partnership with her husband for 14-and-a-half years, and the pair have been married for almost nine.
Through her relationship with him, she realised what had been missing from previous entanglements and what is now present in her healthy marriage.
The missing piece? Being allowed to date other people.
Dr Lori Beth is bisexual, and didn’t want to give up a part of her identity by being in a monogamous relationship. And so, being polyamorous has helped her to stay connected with her sexuality.
Both her and her husband were ‘non-monogamous’ before they met and decided they wanted their relationship to reflect that.
‘We both love it as we get more needs met, have wider support and more places of joy,’ she explained. ‘We were together for five years before we were married and have had other relationships throughout.’
Explaining that she has two other long-term relationships outside of her marriage, Dr Lori Beth added: ‘We meet people in the course of daily life. Neither of us spends time on dating apps. We have gone to events that are sex and relationship-positive and met people there.
‘If I am at a sex positive event, people talk freely about their relationship status (and I do as well). Otherwise, it is really not different than how you approach someone if you are interested in them.’
The pair have one rule when it comes to external relationships, and it’s something that divides opinion in the polyamory community. They uphold a veto rule, which means that one partner can choose if the other is allowed sleep with someone else.
‘Though it is controversial, we do have a veto rule because of the structure we agreed in our relationship,’ Dr Lori Beth said. ‘Otherwise, we practice safe sex and see consent as the key to establishing safety.’
But do feelings of jealousy come up?
‘In my professional experience, jealousy arises from insecurity about yourself and feeling insecure about your place in the relationship,’ Dr Lori Beth explained.
‘My husband and I are both secure about ourselves and about our place in our relationship so we don’t really experience jealousy. We experience envy sometimes.’
She continued: ‘For example, if I am working and don’t get the opportunity to go and have fun, but he can. Or if I travel somewhere he would have liked to go with another partner.
‘We spend time talking about the feelings, allowing safe expression. Then we will look and see if any behaviour needs to change.’
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