Another Mono in Polyland
I've been reading this forum for around two years but my struggles with poly have increased lately and I'm trying to use every tool to work through my discomfort.
Upside to writing here: there are some smart people on this forum who opinions I respect and perhaps I'll get a welcomed different perspective, if i can live through some of the harshness. My hope is that by continuing to change myself (my view of poly) I'll become more comfortable with my partner's desires. I've committed to him and to what is important to him and believe in a person's right and necessity to freedom, it's just that i react at times so painfully to his choices. I want to change that. Plus I know that I have huge blind spots and I need help finding them.
Downside to writing here: it can be an enormous time suck. I already spend all day at a computer, I don't want to increase time on my butt. I also fear that as I write I will entrench myself deeper into my position and mono-mindset. I love to be "right," I kind of think I am "right" and in articulating my thoughts and defending myself I'll just be hardening my position. And I already use private writing as a tool.
I decided to go ahead against my better judgement (hey like poly) because I'm trying to force myself to do new things. Thanks for creating this great environment for it!
Hi and welcome to the forum!
Hope the amount of time you put into this will not be wasted. :) This is probably one of the very best places to post your thoughts about poly-related issues and get new perspectives and advice.
a good day
My reactions to his interest in other women is so mixed. Often I'm delighted that he is enjoying something yummy -- their interest in him, a surprise kiss, fun possibilities. Then other times I'm furious. I not feeling that way right now, but here's where I'll go when it hits. And that's what it feels like, being slammed with inarticulate fury. Of course now that I think of it, I have no problem with flirtations and fun fucks. But I get pissed when it seems like he's at 70 percent in several areas in his life and he wants to start another relationship.
But now all is fine. I got a little grumpy this morning as I was gardening...somehow when I work too much I go to "this is not fair, I provide all this and he wants more" meaning he wants poly. I can work myself into a self righteous evil frenzy but really I don't want to go there anymore. I tend to work very hard and a lot, both at the office and at home and he is much more casual, much less a perfectionist and so I work overall more than he does. But I have to remember that it is a choice I make, he doesn't make me. If I want to have more fun I should, not try to make him have less fun! Really we need to meet more in the middle, I need to lighten up and he needs to focus more I think.
Enough for now, I just wanted to be sure to write when all is well so there is a baseline for if it hits the fan again.
Thanks for the welcome! I wish I had titled my thread differently, there is someone who already was a similar title. Maybe I can change this title?
how bad does it have to get
My stance with poly is that I have to deal with it, I knew he was poly going in and I don't want to limit him and I'm willing to do the work of coping with the feelings. Then after several mornings waking up with a sad heart, for the second week, I wondered how bad does it have to get? How many days of heavy heart, even after journaling, meetings, reading the forum, examining my feelings? How much time to do I have to devote to functioning through these feelings?
Just read some more posts now and was reminded: my stuff, my responsibility. Ugh sometimes I have being an adult.
I've been in my relationship for two years. My experience is that the first few months were spent turning over the same problems again and again until we really dug down into the meat of the issue. If you're not used to this type of introspection, it's hard, and you may get through parts of it, work through those, and realize you're still not done.
At two years in, I'm still turning over stones that we've turned over before (my latest has been wanting to feel publicly validated, to be seen as his partner by his family and friends, even though I'm not local, and even though my head hears what he's saying, and sees them treating me kindly, I still get worked up that M1 ends up getting that time to bond with them and I don't).
You'll probably find that the things that get triggered every day are the ones you'll work through first (his having a partner, his time management, the things he says in front of you, public affection to his partner). And by working through them, I don't mean "he does what he wants and you suck it up." I mean you both work through them together and find what works for the both of you.
The things that don't happen all the time will be the ones you'll revisit again and again later.
For me, it's still a bit of an emotional roller coaster each time it happens, but it's less frequent than it was at the start. If your partner is supportive, hang in there, do the work, and it should get easier over time.
Hello YouAreHere. Thanks for your post. And sorry I titled my thread so like yours. I should looking to changing that.
I do feel like I'm processing the same stuff over and over again, thanks for sharing that was your experience. I often relate to your experience as I had similar - I was the live away single and he was married. Now it's different and million times easier, as I no longer experience that heart ripping drive home each week and the Monday emotional hangover from dealing with his wife and the sad goodbye.
Our life is very peaceful now, he is awesome, he has a huge heart, some free time and and he just loves his ladies. He is kind, attentive, patient, playful and I seethe with resentment or move through my days with heart heaviness and intermittent nausea at the thought of him with another. So who is the freak here? But stop, just as I don't want to judge him, I have to stop judging myself.
It always goes back to the same thing: my feelings, my responsibility to deal with it. But how come no one posts probing questions for polys to answer? How come no one asks why the need for so much romantic stimulation? Are they avoiding anything? Suggests an inventory of their lives, a real hard look at their emotional, physical, spiritual and financial health and level of participation? I don't know other people's stories but I think these issues need addressing for my partner. Whoa but here we go again with me being in his stuff - his life is not for me to evaluate. I believe that on some level but I have such a hard time implementing it!
Okay enough for now....off to work.
I think the answers you seek are probably all different for each person. I've seen folks who really just want a dating type of thing with multiple people, and I've seen people who want multiple committed relationships.
In the case of my partner, he doesn't go actively seeking anything, but can and does fall in love with people as he gets to know them. It's like me finding a new friend - it just happens; we just click. I just don't click in the "romantic partner" way with more than one person. He does.
If anything, my parter isn't avoiding commitment, he's taking on too much and is close to overloading himself in the process. Others don't want such entanglements.
Clear as mud, right? :)
Maybe it would be worth having that conversation - what does it mean to HIM to be "poly"? What things in his nature are being fulfilled? Having that kind of discussion makes it more "what makes you tick" than "why must you do this", which I think puts a more positive feeling behind it.
Maybe you should post those questions if no one else does; I'd suggest the General Poly Discussions section for this. I would be happy to dig deep inside of me trying to answer them from my POV. Many of us here do have a mono partner and have had to face these concerns in one way or another.
Hard Questions versus Different Priorities
Nadya, thanks for the validation that those are reasonable questions, but I'll leave it to someone else to post elsewhere. I'm thinking though that if my partner were to do that inventory, he would ultimately come to the conclusion (actually he said as much) that while he has work to do in various areas of his life, it would not and should not preclude him from having fun. It gets down variances in values and how each of answers the question of what is good enough in a certain area.
YAH, what you said about you "clicking" with a friend and his click to be more frequently with them as romantic partners, that was helpful. Put that way, it's very neutral, less loaded. We did have one conversation as you proposed, more along the lines of what does it mean for him to be poly, what does he get out of. That was much more productive than the "why must you do this" vibe I was indeed creating. Thanks for that clarity.
All this great clarity and I still don't want to have sex. It's been going on for about 12 months but it's even worse lately. During that time I managed to have sex about once a week and enjoyed it once we got going. But right now I just can't manage it. All this intellectual understanding of poly and my body is not buying it - it goes rigid, I have to control myself from cringing. I have other stressors in my life - work, menopause, vanilla relationship issues, rampant eating - so I'm not really sure it's because of the poly stressor or all that came before. More work to do. Gotta run.
My partner of six years, who I serve in a D/s relationship, is considering a local woman. Though I appreciate polyamory on a theoretical level, my own love inclinations are very focused - mono if you will. When my partner tried to reassure me with the second child illustration of poly love I wrote him a little vignette to illustrate how our situation was feeling like to me. His is the busy mother, I am the six year old, this new girl is the baby.
A single mother has a six year old who she loves very much. They have
had rough spots through the course of six years but of course she loves
that kid to the end of time. It has been tough though because the
little girl wants to talk, play, asks so many questions, is challenging
and too smart for her own good. The has always loved children, baby sat
for money and just for fun through her whole life. She always imaged
that she would have at least two children, maybe more! Her heart is so
big she has plenty of love go around, she has fun dating, has started a
new business, works at a day job as much as she can to make ends meet,
is going to school - really the mother is amazing.
The mother has to work so she found an inexpensive babysitter who takes
care of the 6 year old. The baby sitter isn't perfect -- she doesn't
talk to the kid much, puts her in front of the TV too often, but she's
okay. The mother is just grateful to have her kid safe while she is
works, dates and volunteers and when she gets home she makes sure to
cuddle the little girl. The mother knows that reading and talking to
her kid will help her eventually in school but she is so exhausted when
she gets home, she does her best. Lately it has been especially
difficult because the girl has been kind of a pain - asking when she
will be home, will she read a story, can we go to Disneyland, why are
you gone so much. She loves that little girl like crazy, but she kinda
misses that baby stage, she had to admit it was more fun than this.
In the meanwhile, the mother starting dating someone, she doesn't want
anything serious but it is a nice reprieve to from all her
responsibilities...really she feels like she deserves this. She ends up
getting pregnant which was completely unplanned. She loves children but
she is barely getting by as it is. But if she is honest with herself,
she remembers a couple times when maybe she wasn't as careful as she
could have been. She realizes that if she was truly not planning to have
another child, she probably shouldn't have used the rhythm method. She
had to admit that while she didn't plan to have another other child, the
prospect of another baby made her so excited!
The baby came and it was so yummy to be raising an infant again,
delicious, exhilarating, made her so happy. Of course she still loved
her older daughter, of course! She noticed that her eldest was being
especially quiet lately, not so demanding. She entertains herself for
hours on end in front of the TV, which is helpful. The mother did
notice a distance, that the little girl didn't seem to be so excited to
spend time with the mom any more. The girl pretty much stopped talking
and she started wetting the bed again, which is really inconvenient.
Sometimes the mother wonders if the girl is having trouble adjusting to
the new baby but she doesn't know what to do about it. With the added
responsibility the mother just can't read to her anymore and she's so
tired, she lets her eat tater tots every day since she makes a fuss when
she's offered anything else. The girl is looking like a little buddha
but it's cute. The babysitter was kind of vague about how the girl was
doing and the mother suspects that she spends a lot of time on her phone
with her friends.
The mother is taking care of the both daughters in her demanding circumstances. But how is the older daughter doing? Is the relationship vibrant and engaging? Is the girl being given what she needs to thrive? She is
surviving but is that standard we want to use? How responsible was the
mother to allow herself to become pregnant in those circumstances? How
control does she seem to be of her life?
I told him I don't want a custodial care relationship, which especially important in a D/s relationship. Gotta a run.
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