Sometimes relationship experts can be so full of shit.
I got an email today from a friend who heard John Gray (Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus) on a podcast talking about how monogamy is the only healthy choice for couples. There’s also Gay Hendricks (best selling author) talking about “Why Polyamory Just Doesn’t Work”. The list goes on of relationship experts who regularly denounce non-monogamy.
Here’s the problem with these arguments.
They are right.
You see, I’ve been in their shoes. Before five years ago I didn’t know anyone that was doing anything besides monogamy and I had the same beliefs. I was convinced it didn’t work, and from my limited life experience, I was right.
It took me being in an open relationship for me to see that it’s possible, and that’s something I’m guessing John Gray has never had.
When a relationship expert like Gay Hendricks comes out and says “polyamory doesn’t work” he’s committing the cardinal sin of relationship experts. He is making black and white assertions about something he has no experience with. And yes, I’m saying that counseling couples is not the same as having personal experience.
In fact, this kind of mental extrapolating happens so often with experts (and politicians) that we have a name for it.
It’s called bullshitting.
Gay Hendricks, John Gray and every other relationship expert that claims open relationships can’t work are talking out of their ass and it reeks of defensiveness, pseudo-confidence and fear.
It’s a fear that if they are wrong about polyamory, it could change the way everyone thinks about relationships, and they are absolutely right, it would. It’s helped me see how I treat my wife as property. It’s forced me to share vulnerably and be a better communicator, and it’s helped me see that being attracted to other people is normal.
Are there valid concerns that these experts bring to the table? Of course there are. In fact, everything they are saying is true, but it’s just not entirely true.
When they say that couples use polyamory to avoid working on their own relationship, they are right.
When they say that people use polyamory to justify an addiction to sex and pleasure, they are right.
When they say that people get jealous and emotionally act out in unhealthy ways, they are right.
But the thing is, it’s not the whole truth.
When Donald Trump says that Mexico is sending criminals, drug dealers and rapists across the border, he’s right too. But it’s also a completely bullshit and racist statement.
Experts like John Gray and Gay Hendricks are no better than Donald Trump when they make black and white statements about open relationships.
Wait… no that’s not fair.
No one is worse than Trump.