help with mono/poly relationship
I've know that I'm poly for over 9 years now. I foolishly got married and had a family thinking that my mono partner would eventually be open to allowing me to express my poly feelings. After suppressing my emotions for the past 9 years during our relationship I've finally separated from her and am living on my own now. Finally able to venture out and experience what life has to offer I find myself involved with another mono partner who is very jealous and possessive and not okay with my polyness. I've been upfront with her from the start about my poly feelings.
Here's where bad gets worse. She has a boyfriend who doesn't know that she is seeing me. She is not being exclusive to me but demands that I be exclusive to her. I've talked with 20 people about this and they all said to leave her alone and find someone better. On an intellectual level I completely agree, but my feelings for her are keeping me in this relationship even though I know it's not going to last very long or I am going to be stuck in another mono relationship and be miserable with myself.
I've started to become involved with another woman whom she hates and I get a lot of drama from her when I hang out with the other woman. I don't want to let her choose my friends for me, and I feel that if I let her choose for me this time it will be much easier to let her choose the next time the issue comes up. I'm not in love with the other woman, but if I stopped seeing her she would be crushed. I wish that I could just wave a magic wand and everything would work out. But right now I could really just use some good advice from the mono/poly folks out there....
I've been married for 19 years and though I love and get along fine with my wife in most ways have felt cramped, uncomfortable and even depressed to an extent trying to fit into the mono stereotype ... it got to the point where it was almost a continual ache to find some outside femanine company to enjoy (even if it not specifically sexually, at least as boyfriend/girlfriend with sexual tension/overtones).
I don't know how strongly your feelings are, but if you left a previous marriage over the issue then it seems you're likely in the same boat - I've felt better all around for almost half a year now simply by letting myself flirt around a bit with other women and me and many people I know have noticed the difference.
I'm just saying all that because it appears you're similar though you've recognized it earlier ... though I can tell you from the long-term perspective that it's not something that appears to go away or let up.
If you were upfront from the beginning with her, then she's likely made the mistake of not having been upfront with her feelings (apparently she's not very honest with her other boyfriend either).
You don't necessarily need to leave her, but I don't think trying to cater to a double standard is going to work out well and you should continue to be what you're most comfortable with. (She sounds a bit possessive and manipulative - that's a combo I've tried to avoid in women I've dated). If she truly can't accept it and leaves, well that's her loss. If she's willing to accept it and deal with it over time, then likely things can get better, though I'd assume it more likely that with the state of things between the two of you, you'll probably find someone more accepting of you and better in terms of a long term relationship.
Yes, sometimes emotions are frustratingly stubborn LOL :D ... can't always "talk sense" to the heart, but from personal experience, if you make emotional appeals to yourself instead of trying to purely use logic ... feel what you want, and the emotions can line up better with the logic. When you can find a way to line up emotional desires with the intelligence to find a solution to satisfy them, life can be great :)
Good luck, David.
I don't quite understand why you refer to your new girlfriend as mono? You identify as poly and she has a boyfriend. There's nothing mono about this...or am I completely confused?
I've been married for nearly 11 years. It was mono to start.
It was frustrating and heartbreaking and I felt stifled and broken (often used the Eagle in a cage example).
My life ONLY improved when I did the following:
I quit pretending to be something I wasn't. I compassionately explained that I had failed in THIS marriage, because I simply hadn't done the TRUE "dirt work" before hand. I wasn't cut out to meet the commitments I had promised to.
I explained that yes I do love him. Yes I always will love him, but I can't be the kind of wife I PROMISED TO BE.
I gave him the promise that if that meant divorce, I would respect that and honor him by NOT dragging him through court b.s. with our 4 kids, I would settle with him and ensure that I NEVER put in place something that would make his relationships difficult (like moving away causing battles over custody).
I then committed to having NO LOVERS WHO WERE NOT FULLY ACCEPTING OF WHO I TRULY AM.
THEN I went about discovering WHO I TRULY AM. Because "being poly" is only ONE aspect of a person. I identified my TRUE "world view", values, morals etc. MINE-not the ones I thought were mine because that's what I had lived my whole life. (this required a great deal of reading).
THEN I started looking around my life to see who/what was in it that was COUNTER to my TRUE world view, values, morals etc. I started gently "weeding these out".
Additionally I began looking at myself to see what actions I was taking that were counter to my TRUE world view, values, morals etc. I made a list and one by one I have been "discontinuing" those actions (hard work that one!).
I also began looking for what things I wasn't doing that I SHOULD be doing-and began DOING those (like working out, eating healthy, being considerate FOR REAL ALL OF THE TIME, controlling my emotions instead of letting them control me, controlling my behavior and not saying/doing ANYTHING that was counter to those goals).
It sounds like you REALLY need to stop yourself and take a long hard look at what it is you REALLY WANT FOR YOUR LIFE. Not for the bedroom, for your LIFE.
Do you want casual sex partners, a great job, a small studio apt, a fishtank full of expensive fish...
Do you want to have a poly-fi relationship with two women, or 3 women and 2 men, or 6 men and 4 women or (just made all that up).
Do you want to be free to have a couple deep meaningful sexual relationships AND some deep meaningful non-sexual relationships AND some casual sex partners?
Do you want to live in the city? Country? Another country?
Do you believe in a "bigger picture" like the "Gaia Theory" or "deeper enlightenment" for everyone??
Do you have children you need/want to stay available to limiting your ability to BE where you prefer? If so how are you planning to negotiate this in the long term?
What do you want to impart to them in regards to relationships, lifestyle etc? Would you like them to NOT make the "mistakes" you have (and are)? Do you want to impart to them the importance of continued learning after formal schooling ends? Or that loving people unconditionally is more important than having what you "want"? Or that you must always be true to yourself?
(no push for any given thing from me, just trying to brainstorm thought provokers for you)
The thing I would suggest, you said you started a family, so I assume you have AT LEAST ONE child, and you were married 9 years and been on your own for a little bit.
SO it stands to reason that the "at least one child" isn't grown yet-
Therefore I wonder if you've considered what you are teaching them with your ACTIONS.
For starters, divorce is devastating, more for the child than the parents-they need EXTRA support, reassurance and attention from both parents to ensure that they INTERNALLY feel that they will remain secure, even though the biggest security they had has fallen apart (their family support system).
But more then that, they need to know "what does a great man do as an adult" and "what does a great woman do as an adult".
OBVIOUSLY you can't teach them what a great woman does. ;) You've implied already you aren't a woman!
BUT-if you insist on allowing women who ARE NOT suited to being with someone like you, to "punish" themselves AND YOU by being with you, you teach them that there is something WRONG with your type of "loving" (poly-ness).
You also teach them that relationships aren't "sacred".
(not lecturing on being one way or another per se, but if you and/or she isn't happy with the relationship but you stay in it, that isn't "sacred", even a one night stand where both people leave with no regrets is more "sacred" then a lifelong marriage where one or both partners is obviously miserable)
Additionally you teach them that THEIR NEEDS DON'T REALLY MATTER, becuase you aren't standing up for your own. AND you teach them that EITHER their mother isn't worthy of respect OR you weren't worthy of giving it and/or are a liar.
BECAUSE-you left her "due to being poly by nature" but you are with someone else who can't accept that so OBVIOUSLY there was either some other issue OR you are just f'd up.
It may seem like a "young" child wouldn't be able to figure these types of things out-but I assure you, they do.
I did when my dad left my mother (for good reasons I might add).
My son did at age 4 when his father left me (I was cheating). I know he did because he was VOCAL to his father about it. When his dad left it was obvious to our son (we didn't fight, we remained VERY amicable) that his dad was mad "or he wouldn't have left the house" as he said.
He told his dad, "you tell me and D (his older 1/2 brother) and A (his older 1/2 sister) that if we have a fight we need to get over ourselves 'cause we're family. YOU and GreenGecko (log in name here for confidentiality) need to get over yourselves 'cause we're family!"
A very 4 yr old view-but the underlying message was "dad you are a liar and I SEE IT".
It broke my husbands heart to say the least (about the same time it caused him to lose his temper because for the first AND ONLY time he thought I must have been "talking shit" about him to our son-but I wasn't).
The bottom line is-kids DO "create" themselves based on what they see their parents doing.
You are disrespecting YOURSELF and the other women AND the "unsuspecting boyfriend" with your actions. Your child(ren) will pick up on that and it will color their future too.
YOU DESERVE BETTER.
The women deserve better.
The other boyfriend deserves better.
You can't do much for making the women or the other man going out and seeking better.
BUT you can hold yourself to a standard that respects yourself, your needs and your rights.
You can hold yourself to a standard that shows your
child(ren) the types of relationships you want for her/him.
IF you have a daughter(s), you can show her how you expect a man to treat her and how you want her to treat men (see below).
You do this by treating her mother (as your "ex") AND ALL OTHER WOMEN with respect-even if they don't respect themselves enough to insist on what they need (don't date women not cut out for poly) and treat your ex with the loving (not sexual or misleading) kindness you would show your mother.
IF you have a son(s), you can show him how you expect him (as a man) to treat women and how you expect women to treat him, by doing the above AND by insisting on being true to yourself and only being with women who are healthy and whole and capable of compEmenting your life, not women who bring unnessary drama, headaches and heartaches to your life.
She isn't poly or mono... You said it well... let me go find it real quick...
Well, I am going to throw out some red flags here and discuss what I see. Some of this may sound harsh, but if 20 people have already told you stuff and you need further advice, maybe it needs to be direct....
You need to work out what is really important for you in life. Some people call it their "bottom line", others call it their needs. If you are someone who enjoys making lists or bullet items, then I could recommend a technique I have used before to sort things through - I wrote about it on my blog so please forgive me for not rehashing it here, I will just provide a link: Getting Your Priorities Straight
Understand what is really, really important to you - whatever that is. Really know that about yourself. Then don't enter into relationships that don't respect that bottom line. Don't expect others to change for you, and don't get into relationships that expect you to change your bottom line for them.
It is as simple and as complicated as that.
I hope you found some use out of this. I wish you luck on your journey.
I think David should forget that he wrote that post and go read it as if some random stranger on an internet forum wrote it.
If that doesn't get his head out of where the sun doesn't shine, then he should just settle back and enjoy his drama-filled "love"-life.
22 people, prob'ly more.
Thank you all for your responses. Very direct and to-the-point.
I discovered I was poly when I was dating my wife when I was 19. We got married after being together for 5 years. We were together for 9 years until we separated 6 months ago. We didn't separate because of our differences with polyamory, we separated because we were constantly fighting with each other and things weren't getting better. We have a 3 year old daughter together.
I'm not sure what I want my poly life to look like. I'm single for the first time in almost 10 years, and I want to go out and experience different configurations, because I really don't know what I prefer. I view monogamy as a single configuration, and polyamory has so much more variety that I'm not sure what will work for me until I try it. I just know in my heart that I can't be with just one person.
I asked several questions in my original post - they weren't rhetorical. You really need to answer them, at least for yourself. If you feel comfortable doing so, answer here, but that is optional. If you do not then I feel you are doomed to repeat your patterns of behaviour and not achieve what you say you want to.
What is wrong is trying to experience that with people who aren't TRULY into poly.
Also-you still need to do what I suggested about really, consciously sitting down to decide what you do want in your life.
MOST people can't identify a "configuration", but there are many other parts of your life to consider-and that's NOT the most important one.
More important is HOW you want to operate your relationships. Ceoli has a shitload of comments on this board about that.
I have spent WEEKS working on this. Deciding what's most important to me.
A good way to do this is to consider-what do you want someone to write (of their own free will, not because it was in your legal Will) on your headstone?
Think of something clear and specific that really identifies what type of person you want them to see you as.
THEN put your WHOLE LIFE on path to BE that person. As you practice you will find that there are more details you want to cover.
ALSO-if you do this, you will also attract more mature women who are less interested in "playing the game" of ownership, disfunctionality, insecurity etc; because the more mature women are also looking into themselves and identifying what in life matters to them, and striving to BE the kind of women who people look at and say "Damn, she's totally on top of her game." Not because she has a hot body-but becuase her CONSCIOUSNESS in running her own life is so dramatically beautiful (still may have a great body, but believe me a woman who isnt' acting like a highschool girl is sooo much better a lover!)
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