Break Up Pattern
It seems as if there is a pattern: I find a suitable secondary and integrate them into my life. This time it was really nice: Wolfwood and Russo got along really well; they were friends. Secondary and I get extremely attached and fall in love. Things are lovely for awhile with everyone happy... and then the pain starts. Secondary wants monogamy and can no longer handle the situation. Imminent break up.
How do I stop this pattern?
Last night Russo told me we couldn't see each other anymore, because he wants monogamy with me. It hurts him too much to think about me being with other men; even if it's just Wolfwood and no one else. I'd decided not to see anyone except the two of them. We'd spoken about his wants and needs before, so it wasn't entirely unexpected. The timing was, though.
I'm happy in my relationship with Wolfwood (~2.5 years); but I'm really torn up.
That was the beginning of considering going back to monogamy. Wolfwood requires an open relationship, although he has recently said otherwise that this is negotiable. I have to trust him when he says he'll be ok with monogamy.... but I'm really not so sure.
I'm just so tired of hurting because being poly is unacceptable. When I started with Russo, he went happily into the poly frame.... so I thought I'd corrected the mistake I made choosing a monogamous secondary (like I did with Legs.) Little did I know what a traditionalist Russo actually was.
Can I have some advice about avoiding this pattern?
I think you did what you could with Russo.
When you ask in your dating process "Are you willing to be in a polyship with me?"
...if the answer is somewhere in the area of "I do not know. I am willing to try though, and find out."
...you could choose to not accept that standard. You have in the past and you are no longer willing to be disappointed in a monoamorous person trying you on for size and coming to the conclusion that they are monoamorous after all and polyship is not their deal.
Because you have chosen as a standard a more enthusiastic "YES! I am willing, I love polyships, and no I will not ask you for monoship. If we break up it will be because of something else not working out. I know my own self and the shape I want my romances to be in and it is polyships for sure!"
Not a guarantee that the relationship will be a runner but then at least you are no longer dealing with THIS part of it assuming person is being honest.
And if a person comes in flying false colors -- that is on them. Not being honest with you or themselves. The only way to not deal in that for sure is to not date at all. You cannot control other people's honesty. This is the price of admission to ANY dating -- regardless of what relationship configuration a person seeks. If your are no longer willing to take that risk, do not date.
I am sorry you are feeling sad. :(
I think it's human nature for most people, when they fall in love, to want exclusivity and to not like the idea of the person they love being intimate with someone else.
Based on what I've seen, the surest solution is to only date men who have their own primary.
I think your best bet for finding a longer term secondary is to be explicit in your questions the way GalaGirl suggested. Or look for a secondary who already has a primary and therefore is less likely to miss the aspects of a relationship that a primary can provide.
I wonder if some of your secondaries who broke it off saw any other options.
I am a secondary-only. It's not easy. I, too, wanted to end my relationship with my SO because it was very painful to want/need some of the things that usually go with monogamy or a primary partner (moving in, sharing day to day life, having a foreseeable future, kids, etc.) and not have those options available in my loving relationship.
I recognized that my yearning for something more was not tied directly to my SO. Ending my relationship with my SO wouldn't change my wants/needs. Granted, having my SO so close and yet my needs be just as far out of reach was and is tough.
I work on these feelings, much the way I see others work on jealousy. They're not constant. Anymore, I'm doing great, with occasional pangs. No relationship is perfect.
My SO helps, he can be a tireless ear. The passage of time helps. The one year mark (about where my past monogamous relationships usually either got serious or ended) was particularly tough. I posted about it here a while back. Iím happier now. I got through it. A person can get used to just about anything. :)
I've even read how those with primaries can go through the same thing, wishing they could have more with a secondary when that's not always an option. We deal.
I toss this out there to give your future secondaries another option and a smidgen of hope, if they're up for it. Best of luck.
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