Convincing mono partner
I was hoping I could gain some insight or advice on my current relationship. I have read many posts in these forums so it gives me hope that I may get some helpful information.
I have been in a monogamous relationship with my current girlfriend for over 2 years. Last year I discovered the term "polyamory" and I felt it described what I haven't always believed/felt. Enter a childhood friend who I had always liked last year, and I began to develop feelings for her. Following the last experiences of others on these forums, and by doing what I felt was right, I told my girlfriend how I felt. Let's just say she was unhappy. She firmly believed that we should stay monogamous, and doesn't want me sharing love or intimacy with anyone else. I love her deeply, so I agreed to her terms and essentially cut my friend out of my life.
Well now a similar occurrence is happening, where I am developing feelings for a new friend I made. I decided to try talking to her about it again, but this time she considered breaking up with me, and doesn't want me to pursue anything. She said she would rather have me cheat and her not know, but that deeply goes against my morals.
I don't know what I should do, or how I could go about trying to convince her that I am not developing feelings for someone else due to something missing in our relationship, and that no matter what the relationship we have and our connection will always remain sacred. That someone else entering the picture would be ok. I understand that she is afraid of losing me, and just wants me to be solely hers.
To additionally complicate things, we just entered into a long distance relationship.
p.s. please forgive any spelling errors, as I typed this from my phone
i'm in the same boat... my fiance doesn't believe in sharing apparently( though he hasn't said no yet). I tried talking to him about expectation and limit that couples normally and i told him that if he flat out says no we wont be poly he doesn't have to worry about me leaving bc he is more important. i think some people need to have it re-enforced that they are loved and special to you and needed.
The line that most stuck out for me is this:
I'm a mono husband whose wife discovered polyamory after years of marriage. While I could sort of grasp the idea of polyamory, the actual practice of it freaked me out. (That's gotten better.) However, her statement:
Just my opinion.
It's a tough issue to deal with, for sure. There's no one "cookie-cutter' way through it, either, and there is no guaranteed success, either.
I believe that there are some who are most definitely "wired for mono",and there are others who are mono simply because that is what society has conditioned them to believe. (I know there are others in the poly community that have the "everybody is poly deep-down" theory, but I don't subscribe.)
If the person is wired for mono, and you are wired for poly, then no amount of negotiation, persuading or "convincing" is going to change anything - the two of you are fundamentally incompatible, no matter how much you love each other. In a lot of ways it's almost rude to consider one trying to change the other in order to make it work, because it disrespects the needs.
If the person has been conditioned to be mono, then education may work. I say "may" because overcoming conditioning is hard.
But how do you know which it is? There's the problem. There is no sure-fire way to know. They can read all they can, they can do counseling, but in the end, it comes down to them and what they are willing to do in terms of self-discovery.
I think that the only thing you can do is to make two things obvious to them. First, you love them and want a relationship with them. Second, you are poly, and want to be free to have other relationships. You are willing to work with the person if they want to try to negotiate a way through this, whether it's towards both of you being poly or towards being in a so-called "mono/poly" relationship (which is what I have). But if you strongly believe that you are poly, and you feel that this is non-negotiable for you, then you have to communicate that to your partner, and work through the consequences of that.
I wish you luck.
I am someone who is in the same boat as your girlfriend. My wife dropped the bomb on me last weekend, made it clear that she is will consider divorcing me and shattering our young children's otherwise stable home environment if I didn't let her pursue a poly lifestyle sooner than later. Keep in mind that my response is from the POV of someone who feels like poly is being forced onto them against their will before I've had a chance to digest what it even entails.
You have to understand that poly isn't for everyone, and your girlfriend may be one who will never "get it". You have to acknowledge her feelings and beliefs - let her know that you understand and sympathize with her. Bring her along slowly. She will ask some tough questions of you, and you have to be prepared to answer them (and not give her the "that's just the way I am" speech - If you want her to spend the time and energy analyzing her jealousy and insecurity, you'd better prepare yourself for a LOT of introspection on WHY you have to have this). You will fight and argue. It may get to the point where it seems that is all you do (and if this means that much to you, make sure to stay in but do not get angry, and acknowledge her feelings). If she's like me, she's terribly hurt and confused and feels pressured to accept this foreign concept (to her).
In the end, like my wife may have to do, you may have to choose what is more important to you: a poly lifestyle or her.
I hope this was at least a little helpful, and sorry if its not exactly what you wanted to hear (and please forgive me for rambling - I'm a member of the walking wounded searching for answers on here).
Boba said it.
You've suddenly changed the rules of the game. Take it slow and expect it to be hard. The only way through is to stay with that hardness with tenderness. Meaning don't get angry that she just doesn't get it. If she's willing to engage in the conversation, she's doing more than many. Appreciate it.
But it may be a fundamental incompatibility. They sometimes crop up in relationships. Doesn't mean either party is a bad person. When this happens you have to move on, mourn your loss and find a new path.
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