“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
R. Buckminster Fuller
There’s a shadow side to Monogamy.
For all its good— sense of security, continuity, deep knowing of your partner— there’s a mythos and fairy tale ideal that society encourages us to follow, one which can leave us feeling broken in our relationships, like a record stuck on repeat. We keep trying the same things over and over, and get the same unfulfilling results.
This fantasy of ‘perfect partnership’ foisted upon us has deep roots. But how relevant is it today, when we know that partnerships are not necessarily life-long, or exclusive? When we experience cheating, a breakup, or the opening of a relationship, a struggle starts between our hearts and minds. That struggle can result in feelings of shame, an experience of being emotionally frozen. You may feel like you can’t respond to things you know you should. It might interrupt your flow of communication, or keep you from feeling like you can freely express yourself. You might even find that you are unconsciously self-sabotaging yourself.
I call this struggle the “Monogamy Hangover”- and in order to reach our full potential in relationships, we need to detox from the mythology that got us into this hangover in the first place. And the good news is, there’s a detox plan you can do!
“I walked away with much more than I had anticipated: I came away with a lot of tools to work with, and also a comfortable understanding of who I am and how I present myself to others. Mel is nothing short of awesome at what she does!”
This course is for you if:
- You have felt burned by the fairytale mythology of ‘one true love’ and ‘soul mates’
- You want to get out of patterns of codependency
- You have recently experienced a breakup, separation, divorce, or the death of a partner
- You have survived an abusive relationship
- You have stayed in a toxic relationship because you didn’t think there was another option.
The Monogamy Detox will support you by:
- Introducing you to new models of relating, and tools for communication.
- Giving you access to direct coaching and feedback specific to your situation.
- Include you in a community of individuals who are also working on their Monogamy Detox.
- Give you first access to exclusive content from Radical Relationships.
You get to complete the course at your own pace- once you’ve registered, you can return to the course any time and every time it is offered.
How The Program Works
Register once, repeat as and when you need to.
The Monogamy Detox includes:
- Live weekly evening calls for 6 weeks, with video playback available the following day.
- 6 weeks of assignments and reading materials.
- Life time membership in an online community to connect with peers.
Register once, repeat as and when you need to: you get to take this course at the pace that works for you.
What You’ll Get from this Course:
- You’ll recognise the unhelpful stories (mythology and fantasies) about relationships that are holding you back
- You’ll learn how to have independence while being in kind, loving relationships
- You’ll discover how to balance deep emotional relationships alongside social and sexual ones
- You’ll identify your needs in the four dimensions of intimacy and relationships
- You’ll begin to feel whole and healthy as an individual, as well as in your relationships
“I don’t even know if I have enough words in my vernacular to express the feelings, thoughts, vibrations after this… I can’t thank you enough… I will be processing for some time. A shift has happened!”
Week One: Love Is A Verb
- Examining the Toxic Monogamy Culture
- Identifying the Mythology
- The Relationship Escalator and Redefining Relationship Expectations
Week Two: Intimate Landscapes
- The Four Dimensions of Intimacy
- Mapping Your Relationship Landscape
- Working With Your Monogamy Hangover
Week Three: Diving Into Desires
- Recognising Your Core Needs
- Your Emotional and Social Landscapes
- Communicating Your Needs
Week Four: Jealousy, Boundaries, and Unmet Needs
- Boundaries, Rules, and Agreements
- Discovering Strategies
- Recognizing Embodied Consent
Week Five: Courageous Relating
- Your Sexual and Practical Landscapes
- Courageous Conversations
- Navigating Non-Escalator Relationships
Week Six: Your Personal Landscape Vision
- Finding Clarity in Times of Transition and Change
- Navigating out of Toxic Patterns
- Visioning Your Relationship Landscape
Frequently Asked Questions
How much is this course, and can I pay on a payment plan?
The course is priced at $250USD. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are experiencing financial constraints and wish to pay on a payment plan.
How long do I have access to the course?
Forever! Once you’ve enrolled and paid, you’ll have access to the course material for as long as you like. You can retake the course with the live calls every time it is offered.
WHEN ARE THE WEEKLY CALLS, and what will they include?
The calls will be an hour long, and on Tuesday evenings at 6pm PST. We’ll meet using a video conferencing program called Zoom, and will have a chance to go over the practical exercises and assignments for the week, as well as address specific questions in the group.
Is this course only for people wanting non-monogamous relationships?
Not at all. I have designed this course to be for everyone, including folks who want Monogamy, just without all the mythology that’s often tied to it.
Is there a discount if i take this course with my partner?
Because this course offers ‘life-time’ membership— and there is no guarantee to the longevity of a relationship— each individual must register for the course separately. If you are experiencing financial constraints, please contact me and let me know a little about your situation. I am always happy to extend individual discounts to those in need.
I still have a question, how can I contact you?
I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have. Send me an email at email@example.com.
My Personal Journey
How Did I Get To Know So Much About This?
I got married when I was 22 because I thought that was what you were supposed to do when you were 22 and in love, and wanting to start a grown-up life.
What I didn’t realise was that I had a pattern for co-dependency that would end up being toxic to our relationship, and I had no idea how to express my needs and desires. Wouldn’t my husband magically know what I needed? Surely if I had to say it outloud that would mean something was wrong between us!
These stories I told myself held us both back, and for many years I felt like I was flying on autopilot.
After two miscarriages, a botched attempt at an open marriage, and an affair, we realised neither of us were happy existing in a relationship that didn’t meet either our needs. Instead of fighting to exist in a state of compromise (you know how that feels, right?), we amicably went our separate ways.
Excitedly, I jumped right into a non-monogamous life, aspiring to be polyamorous (a form of honest non-monogamy that happens with the full knowledge and consent of everyone involved). Early on in my dating experiences, I met someone who I felt was my soul-mate. The connection was intense, and we both felt like we’d known eachother for lifetimes! But, we had totally different lifestyles. Complete opposites. I was vegetarian, he only ate meat; I liked to go to bed early, he stayed up late; he lived in the city, I loved being in the country. Needless to say, that relationship didn’t last long, inspite of the great sexual chemistry (don’t you just hate it when that happens?).
Nursing a broken heart, I found myself feeling lost and uncertain about how to engage in relationships for a while.
I came to realise that what was holding me back was also holding a lot of other folks back too. It was the mythology I’d been fed since childhood— not just the ‘one day my Prince will come’ stories— but all the expectations and stories about what a partner would do for me, and how a successful relationship was defined by social norms. I started to examine my own experiences and how often I’d put aside my own needs and desires while trying to become who I imagined my partner wanted or needed me to be. I began to see that the people I was dating were doing the same with me too!
While I was studying counselling for intimacy and relationships, I noticed that there was plenty of information about codependent dynamics, but very little had been written about why those dynamics were there in the first place. The traditional models of monogamy seemed tailored to lead to codependency, and few alternatives were given.
I began to find this addressed in the writings of relationship anarchists, and in the work of Indigenous scholar, Dr Kim TallBear. Studying with NVC teacher Kelly Bryson, I was introduced to the ideas of Dominance Culture, and have expanded my understanding of the psychology of the social scripts around gender, community, and relationships with the mentorship of Marcia Baczynski and the guidance of Reverend Teri Ciacchi.
In my coaching practice, I found that almost all my clients were working with some form of ‘Monogamy Hangover’, a murky cloud hanging above them, filled with unspoken and unconscious expectations, which was holding them back from happy and fulfilled relationships. For the past few years I’ve been refining the tools I use with clients to detox from the Monogamy Hangover, and this course is the result of that work!
For all of us, not only Indigenous people, monogamous ideals and standards are encouraged and rewarded by social structures…Despite my personal and intellectual commitment to nonmonogamy, I understand that monogamous conditioning and indoctrination may always be with me. I often return to Mel Cassidy’s notion of a “monogamy hangover” in order to process how compulsory monogamy conditions my thoughts and habits.
— Dr Kim TallBear, Associate Professor, Faculty of Native Studies, University of alberta
About the course creator
With two decades of experience teaching and facilitating in groups small and large, Mel Cassidy has a reputation for innovation, novelty, and being able to guide others to think— and live— outside the box
The grandchild of refugees, Mel has lived on three continents. She has professional experience in theater, education, special needs, management, holistic wellness, psychology, counselling, meditation, and yoga— all of which she applies within her coaching and mentoring. She holds a certification in Counselling for Intimacy and Relationships from VCCT, is trained in Cascadia Holistic Peer Counselling, and is an experienced ZEGG Forum facilitator.
Taking a trauma-informed approach, Mel helps individuals discover new dimensions of their relationships to themselves, and the people in their lives.
Mel is queer, loves cats, and experiences her relationships as a solo polyamorous individual. She lives on the traditional and unceded Coast Salish territories of K’ómoks in British Columbia, Canada.
Mel has been FEATURED IN
Your work has reminded me that perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with me at all. I am amazed at the deep levels of shame we carry as human beings because we don’t fit into the construct that is given to us as a model for our life. It feels exciting because I can now explore what I want for my life rather than be gifted something that just doesn’t feel right for me.
— CRAIG, COURSE STUDENT, AUSTRALIA
I was struck straight off by Mel. She is able to withhold judgement and apply the goals and values of the client, rather than their own. She draws from a diverse set of tools, and selects those appropriate to the issues at hand. She is empathetic, while still providing clarity. I’ve been doing this work for 20 years, and rarely have I come across someone so adept. I would work with her again in a heartbeat.
— Akien MacIain, Relationship Coach
Mel’s skill and comfort with questioning and reformulating beliefs regarding relationships is contagious. If you want to open up to new possibilities, she can be a resource for you.
— NICK woolsey, international poi instructor