Have realised that I am poly. Now how do I tell my fiancÚ?
This is my dilemma.
I'm 22 years old and engaged to a man I love very, very much. But I am unhappy. I never saw love and sex as exclusive to one another, and I guess I never thought much of it. However I am slowly becoming more aware of how I feel about physical monogamy. It goes against every instinct I have. I'm distracted by desire for a physical relationship with other people to the point where I cannot function and I am becoming unhappy in my relationship as I feel like the monogamy is against my nature.
My fiancÚ knows nothing of this. He is quite insecure and easily made jealous and don't know how to tell him. I don't think he is going to understand that I love him to no end but am not wired to only have sex with one person for the rest of my life.
It's at the point where I find myself preparing to justify cheating to preserve his happiness and regain my own.
That said, just because you are not wired to be exclusive does not mean you are incapable of monogamy. You're an adult and are in full control of your own actions. There is no excuse for cheating.
The real question is: if your fiance wants a monogamous relationship and you don't, can you abide that? Which do you want more? If you would be willing to be monogamous to keep him, then I think you can approach the topic more slowly, knowing he may never consent (and accepting that). My hubby would not have consented to poly when we were engaged, but it didn't come up until we were well established as a couple and very secure in the relationship. We felt so secure, and trusted each other so much, that we didn't get jealous. That naturally lead into poly for us. But if it hadn't, it would have been ok.
If, however, you determine that you want an open relationship more than you want to be with your fiance, you should tell him as soon as possible so that you can cancel your wedding based on this new information. If you are definitely not willing to be monogamous and he is definitely not willing to be non-monogamous then you are fundamentally incompatible.
Hmm, upon a second reading, I realize I sounded harsh. Sorry about that, its a bad habit of mine. I'm sorry you're hurting - the situation you are in is a very difficult one, there is no easy solution.
I don't know you're fiance, but it might help to make the analogy of having multiple friends or children. A parent doesn't love their first child less just because they have a second, their heart just expands. And no one would expect a single friend to meet all a person's "friendship" needs, so why do we expect one sexual partner to meet all our sexual needs?
Even with good analogies, expect the conversation to be a difficult one. You may have to do a lot of the emotional heavy lifting while he processes this new information, and it will likely take multiple talks to work through everything. It is a major paradigm shift for most people, and even more so when it is coming from someone they thought they were going to be exclusive with forever. Patience and gentleness will be the name of the game - assuming he is willing to consider it at all.
You are Engaged. This is TOTALLY the time to face these things about yourself and himself to see if you are compatible for long term marriage commitments together. Better an engagement period that concludes "Nope, we examined closely and decided this is not it after all. Better as friends" than entering into a Marriage based on Lies, and/or cheating.
You could expect better behavior from yourself. You could expect yourself to talk to your fiancee seriously about your possible married future when you are Engaged.
Give yourselves the time and space to discern and ENGAGE in serious conversation! That is what the engagement period is FOR.
Engagement Time is not just about examining your desire for Open Marriage vs (maybe) his desire for Closed Marriage. But about examining your conflict resolution skills with each other, your readiness, your future plans, etc. Take is seriously.
If your families are not giving you the guidance you need through Engagement... and you don't know how to guide yourselves? Could plan to take a pre-marriage class at your county extension office, online, or place of worship? Any of those often give such prep classes.
Conflict resolution skills come into play your whole adult life and certainly in a healthy marriage. It is not that having a conflict is good/bad. That's just Life. Conflict happens.
It is the HOW you weather conflict out together -- that's a litmus test for how things will be in the long term marriage commitment. Largely harmonious or largely tumultuous? Avoidy and resentment building? Or deal with it as it comes?
Do not withhold information from your fiancee. Do not block clear communication with your fiancee. Could choose to ENGAGE properly and take bull by the horns.
I am a fan of loooong engagement -- at least a year. See your intended through a full cycle of seasons at least. More is better -- like 2. How else will you find out he turns into a werewolf every Thanksgiving? (I joke to keep it light, I'm not minimizing your feelings here. But engagement is serious business. Be serious about your own Engagement.)
Conflict is opportunity for growth if you let it -- as a couple weathering it out builds trust/confidence in the couple. For the individuals, it builds confidence and trust in your "I can handle it" bucket.
Could embrace rather than deny opportunity here.
What is your fear?
That by talking about it during your Engagement Time you will learn things? :confused:
That if you learn yucky things about him, you will be able to escape a marriage to a wrong fit partner who is an insecure/jealous man who CANNOT handle his emotions appropriately toward you? :confused:
If you cannot handle one conflict with one partner, how will you handle it with many partners?
You can learn do this and can learn to get confident in your own communication skills. Just spit it out. Don't worry too much about the HOW. Just DO.
Or if you need help with the packaging...
Maybe something like
"I'd like a moment of your time so we could talk about our various wants, needs, and limits for a long term marriage. I'm not sure we want the same things in all areas and I would like to talk for an hour or two to air out my worries. When would be a good time for you? Good times for me are...."Then when you get to the appointment...
"Look, I feel scared to bring this up. But we are in serious Engagement Time here. So this is the time to bring it up before entering into Marriage. Please listen to my fear and understand that this is hard for me to speak. It may be hard for you to listen. But I want to feel safe in my marriage with my partner. I want to be able to share everything with my marriage partner, not just the sunny side up bits. I want to built trust with my marriage partner.GL!
Very long, sordid story short: hardcore mono and emerging poly do not mix.
If you want to know the details and feel like they'd help, shoot me a PM.
Thank you everyone who has replied so far. The help is really appreciated.
I think the friendship/children analogy is a fine idea. Any other on ways to explain things in a similar fashion are greatly appreciated.
I understand that my partner most likely may never change his position on monogamy, I suppose I feel like I owe it to us both to discuss it.
The difficult part then will be deciding between committing to the closed relationship and getting married or moving on.
This is awfully difficult isn't it?
Have you visited our Golden Nuggets forum yet? Lots of good resources there. People have struggled many times, and started many threads here, about how to bring up the topic of polyamory with a loved one. Maybe the links in quote below will give you a good bunch of ideas and food for thought:
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