"Unlearning Toxic Monogamy" is a carousel posted on Marjani Lane's IG page. This is the all text version of all of the slides.
What Is It?
Toxic monogamy is the unethical, unhealthy, and abusive ways monogamy can manifest in relationships and society. It can range from normalizing abusive jealous behavior to seeing significant others as property. Non-monogamous people sometimes practice toxic monogamy without even noticing due to how deeply ingrained it is in their perception of relationships. A big process of establishing a strong foundation for a non-monogamous relationship is unlearning toxic monogamy
How Do You Unlearn
Awareness of toxic monogamy is one thing - unlearning it is a whole other task. Unlearning something means you must hold yourself accountable. you must follow through on personal goals, boundaries, and education. You must be willing to ask hard questions and be in the headspace to receive hard answers. It can be difficult to accept the fact that some of the things one has subjected others or themselves to is toxic. thus saying, taking the time to forgive yourself for prior abuse and trauma should be incorporated into unlearning toxic monogamy. Pace yourself in the process. you will not unlearn toxic monogamy overnight or in a few months. Unlearning is a process and sometimes new experiences will trigger toxic monogamous traits that were dormant. be kind with yourself when this happens.
Commitment = Exclusive?
Commitment does not mean someone has to be romantically and sexually exclusive. Being committed to someone is being dedicated to respecting their boundaries, their self growth and the overall health of the relationship. Your partner wanting to have an open triad or seek other another partner separate from you does not mean they aren't committed. Take the time to understand why you feel like commitment must mean exclusivity?
Jealousy Means Love?
Jealousy does not directly correlate with the presence of love, especially if it is displayed in a toxic manner. This shows its fangs in non-monogamy with people sabotaging their partners' other relationships, unethical hierarchy and rules.
You Need No One Else!
Oddly enough, in non-monogamy, people do feel like their partners need no one else other than them. This is mostly expressed in restrictive boundaries to protect insecurities and some closed dynamics. The concept is "if you love me/us, you will need no one else or be attracted to anyone else". this thought typically leads to a lot of issues. Limiting and manipulating your partners ability to pursue other relationships is problematic.
Love Overcomes All.
The romanticization that love will overcome any issues in the relationship from general incompatibility to abuse is common in popular culture's portrayal of relationships. Sometimes in non-monogamy, people will push their limits to stay in a relationship, even when it is becoming more and more destructive. This idea gets more inflated with the fact the community is so small. once someone finds a partner, they are more likely to fight through the discord out of fear of searching for another partner.
We Are One!
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be aligned spiritually and emotionally...however, "oneness" to the point of lack of self identity is romanticized in toxic monogamy and often carried over into non-monogamous relationships. In toxic monogamy, people feel like their partner's identity should not be independent of them. that they are 1/2 of a whole and without each other they are nothing. In non-monogamy, especially polyamory, this is expressed in how some polyamorists refuse to date separately out of fear of loss of self. It can rear its ugly head in controlling rules and unexplained expectations. "they cannot have sex without me present" or "we are supposed to do everything together!"