First, let me say I'm an advocate for ethical non-monogamy. Ethical non-monogamy, according to Kelly Gonslaves in her article, "What Ethical Non-Monogamy Really Means and Why People Practice It," is "an approach to relationships wherein people can have more than one romantic and sexual partner at a time, and everybody involved is aware and enthusiastically consents to the dynamic. Polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all forms of ethically non-monogamous relationships, which are also referred to as consensually non-monogamous relationships." The idea here is that everyone involved in the relationships is both aware of and consents to the others in the relationships. Ethical Non-Monogamy is my suggestion for how to handle a connection to your twin flame when one or both of you is already in a relationship when you connect. This is not to say that the primary partner must have a close, loving relationship with the twin flame, only that they must be aware of the relationship between the twin flames and agree to allowing it to be a part of their partner's life.
I do not, under any circumstances, advocate cheating on a partner in either emotional or physical ways. Nor do I advocate breaking up relationships to make room for yourself. Keep in mind that a twin flame connection is not meant to be permanent. Once the shared trauma bond has been healed, the twin flame connection fades until you are often left wondering why you were with the twin flame at all. Why would you destroy a primary relationship through infidelity or ultimatums (it's them or me) for a relationship that has an expiration date? I feel to attempt to do so is unethical and carries a karmic debt you may be unwilling or unable to pay.
The central concept behind ethically non-monogamous relationships is open, honest, and transparent communication. Without this, the partners cannot hope to be successful in either relationship. You have to talk to each other, all of you, regularly and without filters. You have to feel comfortable sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings with not only your twin flame, but also with their primary partner, or your own. Failure to do so negates the concept of ethical non-monogamy and leaves everyone open to pain and heartache.
Radically transparent communication covers all three kinds of communication needed to make ethical non-monogamy work. Radical transparency can also be a conduit for sustaining intimacy and connection in your relationships. You can also use it to restore and rebuild relationships when they've broken down. It should also be a central part of your twin flame relationship as it is a way to get to the root of the trauma bond you share with your twin flame.
The two parts of Radical Transparency are: Being open and revealing about yourself to your partner and being open to your partner's reality in the way you ask them to be for you.
Radical Transparency means letting go of any inhibitions or defensive feelings you harbor about what you haven't revealed to your partner, as well as acknowledging your reluctance to reveal these things to your partner. It also means being open and receptive to your partner's reality--their feelings, wishes, desires, fears, and differences from yourself. It means openly encouraging your partner to express these things with you.
Research supports the value of Radical Transparency because studies have found that those who are truthful about themselves experience more relationship intimacy and wellbeing, and better romantic relationships. These studies have also shown that positive connection and intimacy grow from being transparent about what's inside of you, but not from making negative judgments about your partner. Your communication should focus on the positive in your relationship rather than zeroing in on the negatives and bombarding one another with them.
Radical Transparency can be painful, and even relationship-threatening, but it's more likely to strengthen the foundation of your relationship, especially if it is present from day one of the relationship. Transparency in your intimate relationships can have wide-ranging and long-term impacts on your physical and mental health.
Radical Transparency is meant to be a connective process to help you stay close to your partner. It should help you feel more connected and less alone in your relationship. It's about opening up your private, inner life to your partner and sharing
Boundaries To Set
When you engage in an ethical non-monogamous relationship, you're likely to spend a lot of time laying down "ground rules" and setting up boundaries to make certain everyone involved in the relationship is having their needs met and fears alleviated.
You need to set boundaries on how much time you'll spend with your primary partner and how much time will be spent with your twin flame. You need to be transparent about the level of intimacy, both emotional and physical, that is acceptable between yourself and your primary partner and yourself and your twin flame. Often the emotional intimacy level is more difficult to maintain the boundary for than the physical intimacy is. It's hard to say, "don't fall in love with your twin flame," and have that boundary maintained, so keep that in mind when you start talking with your partner about having your twin flame in your life.
You also want to discuss the levels and methods of communication for the twin flame to use. Is your primary partner okay with you getting text messages from your twin flame during dinner with your family, or in the middle of the night? These are things to consider as you decide when and how you and your twin flame can communicate while you're with your primary partner.
And finally, there needs to be a method for calling all the partners together to calmly discuss necessary changes in the boundaries set at the beginning of the relationships. Over time, you may find you need more time with your twin flame, or your primary partner may feel they need to be more involved in your connection to your twin flame. Before you get defensive when your primary partner asks for more from you than your initial negotiations did, consider that this is the person who will be with you after the twin flame connection fades. You have to choose whether or not you're willing to give your primary partner what they need while you're connected to your twin flame. If you are, be prepared to have your primary partner ask for hard things—things like no physical intimacy between you and your twin flame, little or no emotional intimacy. If you cannot honestly say you can give these things to your primary partner without reserve, you may be better off ending your primary relationship rather than attempting ethical non-monogamy.
If you are the twin flame coming into a relationship between your twin flame and their primary partner, know that there will be times when you feel left out. When you feel like your twin flame has higher priorities than you. The fact is, they will. They are attempting to integrate you and your connection to them into an existing relationship. Sometimes you won't be your twin flame's top priority and it is okay to have feelings about that so long as you can discuss them with your twin flame as part of your radical transparency.
What the Twin Flame Connection Brings that the Primary Relationship Does Not
One of the toughest conversations you and your twin flame will have with each other and any primary partners will be about what the twin flame connection brings into your life that the primary relationship does not and likely can not. This is a difficult discussion because it involves sharing the trauma the twin flame relationship is meant to heal, as well as explaining why the primary partner is unable to do the same thing(s) for you that your twin flame can.
This is a discussion that must happen, but also must be conducted with compassion and love. Consider how hard it will be for your primary partner to come to terms with the idea that there is something in your life for which they do not have the answer. How difficult it will be to reveal your traumas while simultaneously showing your primary partner that they are not the key to your recovery. Now see it from the primary partner's point of view and have empathy for what they are going through.
You may not feel the same kind of connection to your twin flame's primary partner as you do to your twin flame, but try to leave room in your heart for love for them. Jealousy and envy will not serve you or your twin flame when it comes to the primary partners in your relationship. Only love will help those primary partners feel more comfortable with your relationship with their partner, and therefore allow more of what you need to be part of your twin flame relationship.
How to Explain Why You Need Your Twin Flame
Sometimes it is hard for a primary partner to understand why you might need your twin flame in your life as well as them. The easiest way I've found to explain this is to use specialists as an example.
For example, if you have an ingrown toenail, you're not going to go to a dentist, right? They don't have the skills you need to fix the problem, nor do they have the desire to learn those skills. Only a podiatrist can give you what you need to fix that issue. The same is true of twin flame connections.
You don't want your primary partner to feel burdened by helping you heal the trauma you share with your twin flame, so you need to have that twin flame connection to work through your trauma. Ask your primary partner if they feel comfortable helping with your trauma, once you've shared with them what your trauma is. If they are interested in helping you work through your trauma, include them more in your twin flame relationship. If not, you'll see how relieved they are to have the burden of helping you with your trauma lifted from their shoulders.
Integrating your twin flame connection into your primary relationship is not going to be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. You or your twin flame are with the primary partner for a reason. Healing your trauma with your twin flame does not justify destroying that primary relationship on either side. The temporary nature of twin flame connections should be enough to to help you see that the relationship should not overwhelm and replace the primary relationship, but that may become difficult to see when the heightened emotions and depth of connection between twin flames comes into play. You have to choose, in the very beginning, to approach the separate relationships with ethical non-monogamy or break off the primary relationship before engaging with your twin flame. The idea that the universe brings twin flames together is not justification for hurting others or breaking up happy relationships. Choose the ethical path, either choice, or you'll be left with yet more trauma to heal.