Curing codependency with polyamory

Lola Phoenix
Jun 12 · 4 min read

I was in a three-year monogamous relationship recently. I had an experience with the entheogen/psychedelic ayahuasca that helped me see that many of the issues in that relationship and all my previous relationships had roots in co-dependency. I realized that exploring ethical non-monogamy could be a powerful tool to help me release some of my own co-dependent habits, mostly around clinging too tightly to my own standards and expectations of my monogamous partners to take care of themselves in certain ways that didn’t always have a direct impact on me and that I had a new-found wish to simply accept and hold space for change (or not-change).

This thought process was also sparked by a friend who expressed a desire to enter into a romantic relationship with me. So, I wasn’t just introducing my existing partner to the general idea of non-monogamy, but also to my more immediate desire to begin a relationship with another man. My existing partner tried to the extent that he could, but it was overwhelming for him and he acted out in ways that I found fundamentally unacceptable and I ended that relationship.

The problem now is that the man I began a new relationship with was also never interested in non-monogamy. He was ok with me continuing my existing relationship, but once I was out of that relationship and exploring the possibility of others, he expressed discomfort. Finally he asked me to choose non-monogamy or him.

I see great potential in my relationship with him that I haven’t seen in my other relationships. The communication and openness has been wonderful and he’s someone who really takes care of himself — and the lack of that in my last relationship was one of the things that sent me on this non-monogamy journey. I recently told this person that “I can’t do monogamy” in response to his request that I choose. In the absence of a clear answer, I felt that choosing a personal principle over an individual might be the right path. But I find myself wondering if I’m holding onto an ideal instead of being present with what’s in front of me. I don’t know for sure yet whether non-monogamy is the right fit for me — I haven’t had a chance to fully explore it yet. I have a sense that it’s the best path for me, but I’m not clear on whether or not it’s so important for me that I want to choose it over someone I have grown to love.

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Lola Phoenix

Written by

Lola is a non-binary (pronoun: they) queer future best selling sci-fi/fantasy novelist. All writing projects: http://about.me/lolaphoenix

Non-monogamy Help

Advice for people in non-monogamous relationships written by Lola Phoenix with consult from a 10 year experienced therapist. Submit your question to nonmonogamyhelp@gmail.com.

Lola Phoenix

Written by

Lola is a non-binary (pronoun: they) queer future best selling sci-fi/fantasy novelist. All writing projects: http://about.me/lolaphoenix

Non-monogamy Help

Advice for people in non-monogamous relationships written by Lola Phoenix with consult from a 10 year experienced therapist. Submit your question to nonmonogamyhelp@gmail.com.

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