Psychology Today columnist lays an egg of dumb.
In the March/April 2009 Psychology Today, longtime columnist Hara Estroff Marano displays some chip-on-the-shoulder un-informitude:
Q: Can an open relationship work?
My partner and I have been together 10 years.... we are eager to give it a try. We are both open-minded individuals in creative professions and don't believe in putting restrictions on each other. Do you think this can work?
A: The short answer is no. At least not for the long haul. Sooner or later someone will form an outside attachment.... I'm wondering what you two expect to get out of your escapades, whether you two are secretly hoping to find some Peter Pan escape.... If you are so creative, why don't put that energy into the existing relationship and use the trust between you as a springboard for endless inner and outer exploration and excitement? Of course, it takes guts; it's much easier to look outside for excitement than to find the source within.
It's not on the magazine's website (yet), but to read the whole thing, here's an image of the page; it's the second item. (Thanks to Michelle of the National Polyamory Leadership Summit for finding this.)
You can send a letter to "comment on the magazine," or snail-mail it to Letters, Psychology Today, 115 E. 23rd St. 9th floor, New York, NY 10010.
True, open relationships often don't work. Marano's stupidity is in saying they don't ever work. Telling that to us is about like telling a romping American Atheists convention that atheists do not exist (as I've seen some evangelicals claim). God help the poly couple who wastes their money on a therapist like this.
By the way, here's a list of poly-friendly professionals; here's another list; here's another. At the very least, sound out a therapist about his or her knowledge of, and openness about, matters that are important to you before you sign on.
And here are two articles to give therapists to read (on their own time, not yours):
What Psychology Professionals Should Know About Polyamory, by Geri D. Weitzmann.
Working with Polyamorous Clients in the Clinical Setting, by Joy Davidson.
However, Marano does say something in her column that is true: "Often, one partner wants an open relationship more than the other but presents it as something for the benefit of both." Note the qualifier "often." Of course, when discussing relationship changes you need to talk about it with your partner at length, showing genuine respect for his or her wants and needs, and with no hurry, and with no bullshit lines about what he or she should want.