Shift from Poly to Mono (Long)
Journaling just to get it out. Not seeking feeback, but if you must, feel free to bash away on me.
I was poly when I met my partner, then grew monogamish, now just want mono.
I never knew one partner could fulfill all my needs - emotional, physical, etc..
Have determined that, for me, poly was a way to cope with an emotionally abusive and physically distant spouse. Poly was a safe way to continue with my head in the sand and not face making the hard choices of leaving someone I loved and cared for regardless of how dysfunctional the relationship was.
Changing the "rules" from poly to wanting mono seems as devastating to me as the stories I hear of mono folk coming out as poly. Not fair to my former partner, and we are trying to navigate our future as friends.
We both still love each other, but I'm hurting every day. For the moment we have agreed on that we are not "dating", but are best friends and will remain fluid bonded until one or the other of us is no longer. FWB "for now"
I WANT to feel poly again. I would give my left tit to feel poly again (and I really like my boobies!)
Here's our story to date (Skipping some details just for brevity, though it will likely be a tome anyway):
Childhood friend "P" and I connected as my marriage had ended. Discovered we were both poly and began a relationship. I was living part-time apart from my spouse, but was not filed for divorced yet.Within months I had finally feared my spouse enough to move out full time and then file. "P" was now my only partner.
I had a hard time coming to grips with feeling responsible for the health of "P's" his marriage. That took a couple years. I had never had a married partner before, generally my own spouse (who dated others platonically) and a monogamous OSO. I still feel twinges, but not so much guilt, having come to terms that their relationship will thrive or fail on its own merits, but still wishing I felt his marriage were a solid and fulfilling relationship for him in its own rights.
For first time in my life I felt what the arm of Vee does. I DID NOT like it, and my desire to have a secondary or OSO of my own vanished. As much as I tried to want to date others, my personal ethics and desires had changed. I could no longer put someone in the position of "less than" again, even if they agreed to it upfront. I would NOT treat anyone as I did not like being treated.
Partner "P" kept telling me he was satisfied with just me and his wife, only wanted me physically.
Then one of his friends "F" asked what she had to do to sleep with him. I was upset that either he had not been clear to her that he was not available or he had changed his mind about not seeking others and failed to inform me. Got over that & now "F" and I are online buddies.
Fast forward a year, and partner "P" finds a new out of state friend "C" on OKC. I was thrilled for him to have someone new to connect with, to giggle with. But quickly it appeared he was falling in love. I was NOT jealous, and was handling knowing it was emotionally good for him even when it detracted from our activities together (Damn I hate texting interrupting activities rudely.) Then suddenly he announces that she is flying cross country to visit and they will be spending Thanksgiving weekend together.
My Mono bells went off and that night I cried and told him I was feeling insecure, and was clear that I felt I needed to know
~ What were his intentions for the visit?
~ Had he changed his mind out wanting only me and his wife as partners?
~ If he had not, had he been clear to "C" that he was only interested in her as a platonic friend as he had assured me he was.
~ I wondered aloud if he was hedging his bets, grooming her to move in quickly/further in his heart if we broke up.
~ I was concerned that she might arrive with romantic/sexual intentions only to be disappointed and feel led on if he was true to his word to me of platonic buddies.
Then I asked him if in fact I was over-reacting, could he reassure me by messaging her and being clear what his intentions were, and letting me see her response, so I could know in concrete terms that both were clear on intentions.
Partner "P" held me and wiped my tears and told me he was sorry for my reaction and that he would.
Except he didn't. And a week went by. When I asked, he said it was never far from his mind, but he wanted to do it over the phone rather than text. I again asked for it to be in writing, so I could really know and feel it.
To try to ease my insecurity, I thought if I at least knew "C" was seeking friends on OKS, that I could breathe a bit easier. The OKC profile I saw was from a gal in "C's" area with same education and photos very, very similar to C's pics on facebook -down to glasses and pierced nose - that declared to "only message me if you are ultimately looking for a relationship" . I asked "P" is "C's" screename was "XYZ."
"P" blew up at me asking me what I was doing looking at her profile, and that he felt like I was checking up on him. I was devastated. Asked him why he would message someone who was not even seeking friends and to only message for a relationship.
He said he liked her profile. I felt like my fears of being deceived were true.
With his repeated assertions is was only platonic, I calmed down and asked him again to message her to clarify his intentions.
And another week went by, and he didn't. And I'm getting more insecure, thinking if it were just platonic intentions, why was it so hard just to tell her something along the lines of "A partner is feeling insecure, and she wanted me to remind you that I'm not seeking more than friends."
Again, not jealous, just feeling hurt and betrayed, feeling even more like "P" was either lying to me or to "C" about his intentions.
We argued, and he asked wasn't it enough he had verbally told C that we were "exploring our relationship." This time I composed a note for him and requested if he could to send to her by message and let me see the reply:
"I am thrilled Tom has found such a wonderful and supportive friend in you. But I am concerned me may have unintentionally misrepresented his motives to you, and I would hate for you to be disappointed.
On OKC you say to "message you if" one is seeking a relationship. I understand P has told you that he and I are "exploring our relationship" when he has told me that he is not seeking any further relationships beyond platonic. For my own comfort level, I have requested that he clarify with you that he is not seeking a physical relationship, and giving you full disclosure in the event you have misinterpreted his intentions.
P is a wonderful, loving man and a shameless flirt, which I adore. Yet he has difficulty saying things bluntly when he fears rejection. And I would hate for either of you to be hurt if his representation of his intentions were misinterpreted."
He told me to send it, but I said I wanted her to know in no uncertain terms that he was aware. And he agreed.
Except the next week when he showed me the message and her reply, she replied something like "Wait, what?" and big gap followed by his replying "Goodnight my sweet C"
To be Continued..
I blew up, that he had immediately picked up phone to call her (he doesn't even do that for me), and I felt like he had done so to do some fast talking and keep her from getting mad at her.
I told him I wanted to break up, over feeling betrayed, and let her know he was no longer my partner and free to pursue.
Again he reassured me enough for me to reconsider,
I told him my offer for her to stay at my home when she visited was still valid. He informed me that no, she didn't feel comfortable coming regardless whether we had broken up (or not).
When things were calming down P casually mentioned C still coming.
Wait, I though C wasn't. - Yes, she was, she only declined my offer to stay with me. I felt further betrayed, that he had misled me about the visit being off.
We went back and forth and I called him a liar for telling me he wanted only me & the wife, messaging someone that appeared to have betrayed what he told me about platonic, and then this. I packed up his things and returned them to him, effectively kicking him out of the home he lived in almost half-time rent-free for almost two years.
Crying to each other for a while, he admitted that yes, C had been disappointed when she discovered he was only a potential friend, after what I saw as messaging and calling so intimately and planning to fly cross country to meet him. (Yet she still planned the trip after I broke up)
I agreed to see a counselor with him only so he could understand how he had crushed me by lying to me, how deceitful I saw it to lead one or the other of us women along. Except I loved him and ended up with us agreeing we would try to continue as friends. The counselor tasked us with creating a list of relationship expectations. (which I had already begged for for over a year without fruition).
Before our second counseling session we discovered that the profile I was so upset over was, in fact, not "C's" and "C" did indeed have friends listed alongside long & short term dating on her OKC profile. Our relief over discovering the error was huge, and that part of our fiasco mutually forgiven.
But the respite was short lived. Even with "friends" listed, I still would have wanted clarification.
As we have come closer to Thanksgiving, it has gotten worse. Like this is a focal point of all my hurts. A huge reminder of how he refused to I still feel betrayed when he so vehemently dismissed my insecurity and refused to offer an alternative to soothing my nerves.
Even when C messaged last week and told him she couldn't afford the trip. He thought it would make me feel better that she wasn't coming. It actually made me sad, he had been looking so forward to her visit and I wanted for him to have some happy moments, even if not with me.
We argued some more. He just can't understand how I could feel dismissed or betrayed. I asked what would have happened if I hadn't insisted he be totally clear.. if C had arrived with romance and sex on her mind and we were still together with him telling me it was only platonic.. would she have been devastated, felt misled or betrayed herself, would he have gone with the flow and broken our fluid bonding - and if he had would he even admit it to me?
I just want to be Mono, or at least to live mono, with a mono partner.
But all this aside, I love him more than anything in this world except my son. We emotionally supported one another, physically matched to a niche, encouraged, yadda yadda yadda. And he says he loves me.
We are both clingy and emotionally needy.
I don't want to think about life without P. I don't want to date anyone else. I don't want to lose him as my best friend. But until he can tell me he understands just why or how I or others might see his actions as a betrayal to at least the spirit of what he was telling me, I ache.
He says it wasn't an affair. No it wasn't, but it still hurts me as deeply as if it had been.
I would have handled it it if he had said he no longer wanted to honor being monogamish with me and his wife, it may have changed things or it may have ended it - I don't know. But this feeling of betrayal and deception, regardless if it was intentional, was worse for my heart than when my ex-husband put a gun to my head, loaded it, and took off the safety.
If some day, he can understand how & why I hurt so much over this, then I can start to heal.
We are just human. And we all make mistakes. Lord knows I added enough of them and perhaps P can forgive me for them some day. There are no victims in this, we both had our eyes open.
I still believe in poly. I just don't believe it is for me any more.
Maybe some day special someone(s) may convince me otherwise, but if it does happen, everyone will ideally have strong, healthy relationships before adding more loves to the mix, and be totally open and honest with themselves and with the others - or at least willing to disclose when agreements change.
So, for now, I dream of getting over the man I want to grow old with by my side, and perhaps one day being open to finding a partner who can live up to the emotional and intellectual intimacy I had with P. No one will ever match the level of "soul mate" as I believe he did.
Thanks for letting me pour my heart out.
FWB "for now"
Tonight I read a post reply to a blog of someone feeling her mono-ness:
"Yeah, it is getting quite silly now. You obviously do not want to do this and your reluctance is starting to have a negative impact on other people. He should be making a decision now about whether being poly is more important to him than your individual relationship and ending the relationships that won't result in the people in them being happy."
~~except I turned it around and inward and I read it
"Yeah, it is getting quite silly now. You obviously do not want to do this and your reluctance is starting to have a negative impact on other people. You should be making a decision now about whether being mono is more important to you than your individual relationship and ending the relationships that won't result in the people in them being happy."
Is being mutually mono more important to me than our relationship? No.
Would our relationship result in the people in it (us) being happy?
Any more I don't know how to answer. Superficially yes. Deeper would depend.
While he didn't have an affair (yes, poly folk can cheat or break agreements and understandings too), I hurt as much as if he had, and I fear that if he never grasps my hurting and can express remorse, that I will be unable to forgive, and would continue hold myself back in protective mode and be sensitive to being hurt in the same manner over and over again.
I ask myself if it really is more ethical to try to walk away and us both have broken hearts, or to try to live a lie that I don't hurt and am on edge constantly.
I once left a poly partner when he pushed for me to leave my abusive spouse. I would not ask P to leave his wife - only they can decide if that would ever be right for them.
So, we continue as FWB "for now" so we may both temporarily avoid the pain of truly breaking up, prolonging our misery of wanting each other and not really having it, and I have asked him in our relationship agreement to acknowledge that at this time I believe if he ever finds himself single and willing to try living mono with me, that my heart would be be open to trying if we get counseling to for me get over the pain and feelings of betrayal regarding his representation of our partnership/relationship to others and his subsequent reaction to my request to clarify with the others.
Possible mistake tonight & a realization
P's wife was at work, and I swung past his house for hugs on the way home from my family thanksgiving. I haven't seen him in person in about two weeks.
It may have been a mistake to see him tonight. It felt so good to be in his arms. I love him and I only want to be with him. Even though we are "not dating" I want only him in my life as a romantic partner.
He showed me something on his computer and I saw the OKC logo on a tab and it felt like a knife through my heart reminding me that I am not enough. I started crying, then sobbing so much I had to run to car and bawl until I was cried out enough to drive home.
Months ago I had offered a compromise to try to help rebuild my trust... to go ahead and keep messaging new women on OKC but to be clear early in messaging of what his intentions were, and to show me that message and the woman's reply. He was angry, that I wanted to monitor his conversations - No, I just wanted reassurance that he could be clear to prevent this from happening again, that my KNOWING in concrete terms that he had been clear would go a long way to my emotional security.
He had in a haste said he was going to delete his OKC account. I begged him to, to vacation mode it until he thought it through, knowing if deleted it would be a heck of a lot work to put it back up and I was happy with him finding friends who understand poly to chat with. He did vacation mode it.
But then was when I broke up with him and almost the next day, or was it the next day? he had reactivated it. I felt like I was so easily replaced.
I feel like unless he can understand how I feel betrayed, it would likely happen over and over again because he would not know how it could hurt me (or another OSO). He says he is trying to understand. Will he ever?
Is the only way to protect him and protect me from hurting more to cut all ties? Rip the bandaid off in one swoop and just let it heal in the open air? Even trying to be just friends reminds me of how I am not enough for him, of how he cannot understand how refusing to reassure me by being totally honest of his intentions with others can feel like he is hedging his bets, being misleading to one or another of us women.
And yet he tells me that hurts him, the thought that he might mean less to me if we are not constantly messaging and declaring our love for one another. I have friends that I love that I would give my life for that I don't see for years, speak to for months at at time, much less message many times daily. I wish he could see that friendship is not in quantity of connection but depth - shouldn't a truly poly person who declares that splitting time between loves and not being there day to day can still be fully committed and loving to a committed partner or spouse understand that?
If I do eventually get over him and find another love, I have always been one to put my partner(s) first in my heart. That would mean my partner gets first dibs on family activities, festivals that mean a lot to me, etc... And if my new partner did not want or was not available to share those with me and was comfortable with me asking P to join me, then yes, P would be my second choice to join me. It would not be because he would be loved any less than I love him right now.
Wow - writing this out explains how I feel the time and activities he was able to offer me as his supposedly committed co-primary felt so often like table scraps to me - leftovers of what he had available after his offering his time to his wife first. I now feel like I was never really a full co-primary, just a secondary to so often fill the voids he had emotionally, physically, and time-wise with his also-poly wife. Time with me felt so often like, "Let me see what my wife's work and other-love schedule is so I can see what leftovers I can toss your way." and even when was living with me half-time, he couldn't commit to a set schedule. He never presented it to me as leftovers, that was all my interpretation and feelings.
He feels like if he is not my highest priority and I want to offer the best of me to my potential new partner (if I ever get one), that he gets are leftovers. And he would be right.
Damn, I'm feeling more monogamish every day.
And wishing I were more poly to just shrug it off and not want more of him and not want to be able to share more of me with him. I offered all that I am and all that I have, and was found lacking.
I tried to go online, putting up a profile on a dating site. But I feel such a fraud when I love and want to be with him. And yet I feel that the only way for us to move on is for one or both of us to make emotional connections with others.
A possibility to his understanding
I'm supposed to see P again on Saturday.
I'm going to invite him either here to the boards or to discuss with his poly female friends he has made on OKC what happened with my feeling hurt and betrayed by his reluctance to disclose openly to others what he told me his intentions were in only seeking platonic friends. To hear his side and to see my view of the events from this blog, and offer their opinions to him, that he might get some insight as to how it hurts me.
What of my polypartner, what do I want for him?
Yes, I've grown monogamish, yes in this moment I believe I want to by physically monogamous/fluid bonded with a partner in future relationship, yes I want my future partner to be physically mono/fluid bonded to me.
Yes, I still want "P" as my grow old holding hands, farting in our wheelchairs together forever partner.
Yet, I don't want him to give up his nature. Does compromising who you are ever makes anyone fully happy? I don't think so.
Although he has time & time again given me the impression that he is not happy with many, many elements of his marriage, he also is very devoted and committed to it. His devotion in spite of those things endears him to me. I would never want him to divorce or leave her unless it was something he/they decided was right for them without considering my needs.
I want him to be happy.
Asking the ether how one reconciles those two desires. Wanting to be with him, and not wanting him to change for me?
Compersion & random thoughts
Today my former partner is coming up to help decorate the tree & maybe stay the night. We're trying to navigate if we can work as a couple, but unless that happens, I need to think to him as a former partner, FWB with potential of future partner.
He was going to arrive at 9, but yesterday messaged that he was tired and was going to sleep in instead. I wished he had suggested still heading up at that time and napping in my arms, as I had done for him at his home on several occasions. That morning naps when his wife had early work pretty much ended when I realized that every time we had sex, and I was just NOT comfortable being intimate in the THEIR bed just as much as I would not have been comfortable sharing OUR bed with anyone else had I wanted to be intimate with anyone else.
Now I get a message that he is finally up but not feeling well, and was going to take a some sinus meds and have a leisurely coffee and be up around lunchtime. Tree decorating is at 2.
I'm reminded this morning of how when he was living half-time with me how he whenever he got sick at our home, he would run to this other home because he felt more comfortable there. I understood that, end encouraged him to do what would help him get better faster. Like a little kid getting hurt and daddy won't do because he wants Mommy's comfort. But it still freaking HURT, a blatant reminder that I wasn't good enough and this wasn't really his home. Especially when his wife doesn't hold him and comfort him or have the skills to reduce or eliminate his head and body aches.
He admits that when he gets a bad headache that I can eliminate it in minutes. So why would he choose to live the day in pain when I so much want to help him feel better? He never verbalized it, but in those cases I hear "I would rather be in pain and with my wife in my real home, than with you and physically feeling better."
Even with those reminders and the emotional pain I feel, I still wanted him to be where he felt he would be most comfortable. Compersion.
He is happy and comfortable and I am alone and rejected, and how am I supposed to be happy for myself too?
Your actions are interpreted in a way that makes me feel like crap and yet I'm happy for you. Piss on poly, I want mono if it gives me fewer opportunities to be reminded how much I have to offer and it is rejected.
I Don't Understand Chasing Relationships
As I left my husband and was no longer confined by his rule of DADT/keep it a secret from everyone, I started to meet more self-identified poly folks other than swingers I knew. I was amazed at how many, if not all seem to chase relationships, even when they have not fully developed the one(s) they already have or addressed issues they may be having with current partner(s). I don;t understand it.
Before I started to identify as mono, my own wiring was simply to be open to potentially exploring a new relationship that came along. I never ran around chasing them. Now that I also identify as single (how I wish a partnership might be workable with P, even as we utilize counseling to figure it out), I'm not even interested in chasing *any* relationship. I tried OKC and POF, but it just feels so forced and unnatural.
When I was with P as partners and even while planning our handfasting that never happened, I even tried forcing myself for a while to meet others to try to make P happy and to fill the void in my heart and my time when he was not with me. It never felt right. I'm not a casual sex kinda gal, not since I was a teen. Yes, I enjoy making intellectual connections, even non-sexual physically intimate connections - I'm very kinesthetic. Yet the thought of casual hook-ups and even dating that would not lead to a long-term relationship just feels icky (for lack of a better term.)
When I tried POF, I only lasted about a week before I shut it down.
I understand and accept that people are on different spots on the poly-mono spectrum. I embrace that. Yet I still will never understand chasing quantity of or casualness in emotional and/or sexual relationships for myself.
On the other hand - even harder wired monos call my comfort zone for physical intimacy too much... hugs, non-make-out type kisses, joking gropes, snuggles, holding hands, cuddling. I never intend to give that up, yet would be willing to greatly curtail it for a mono-mono relationship that equals me & P in emotional & physical connection if the new partner were uncomfortable with it. Yes, I would miss it with non-partners, but assuming new partner's physical intimacy/actions towards me were as fulfilling as I have felt with P, honoring a more conservative partner's needs would be more important to me.
Even now, I have a close male friend who freely admits he would love a sexual relationship withe me, and he also knows in no uncertain terms that that ain't never gonna happen. He KNOWS that 1 - it would be him cheating on his wife and I won't date a cheater -period! 2 - I'm not attracted to him physically or sexually. 3 - I only want P as a partner.
Yet, he is a great emotional support to me when I need to sit and cry about my relationship with P, and for whom I would drop what I was doing if he truly needed help in return. He and I can sit and lean against each other, occasional clothed spanks or gropes - but never genitals, hugs & a peck on the cheek hello or goodbye. He knows that when I am with P, I'm not gonna sit & message for an hour, and may not even look at his texts until P leaves, but if he really needed me for an emergency to call.
And he enjoys being a domestic boy and serving me in chores and household repairs while wearing his panties. I'm not his domme. But I do allow him the freedom to express that aspect of his personality without judgement, even if "I can't unsee that."
And I have a close female friend that on occasion I enjoy snuggling up to, holding hands, and watching a movie. Yes, I'm bi-curious. Yes, she also wants me sexually. Yes, she is physically HOT. But she also knows that will never happen and we have discussed why -because I'm fluid bonded, and even if I weren't she is a swinger whose STD precaution level is not one I would ever be comfortable exposing myself to. We respect each other's choices and comfort levels.
Yes, for the right partner, I would give up having my male friend wash my windows in his undies, and snuggling/holding hands with my female friend if it were needed to reassure the partner that I am sexually bonded to him. I would not give up talking to & doing remodeling stuff with my male friend, nor would I give up sitting on the couch and watching movies with my female friend... but the partner would always be welcome to tag along. I have nothing to hide, and just because he may have insecurity would not always be a reflection that I had done anything to breach my word or trust, but I would do my damnedest to understand what his needs were to got over it.
P was over yesterday to work on our volunteer stuff and have dinner.
It was nice to see him and spend time together.
I've finnaly found a space where I accept I am not a priority and time with me will only be when it is convenient for him and will never be a partnership. To manage not yearning and longing and acheing wanting to share my life, I have finally squashed all those emotions.
What comes along comes along.
And it sucks. I'm not crying or acheing.
I'm reminded of how sexually men are often referred to microwaves.. turn em on and they are on until the ding, and women are crock pots... Slow to warm up and slow to cool down. Sexually I've always been a microwave. And now emotionally I fell like a crock pot... I've managed to cool down, and while I still love him and want him in my life, I know it cannot be, and fear that our short encounters will not allow me to warm up emotionally to show him what I feel, and he will take it as rejection.
Working together and dinner was nice, and I appreciated the time. And at same time I felt little connection, as if I were simply going through the motions.
Is this the "manageably unhappy" that some mono with Poly partners refer to?
I could see myself surviving like this, but never again feeling the intense joy, connection, and happiness that was a constant when I offered my whole self to the relationship .
Knowing "I am alone" vs feeling lonely
When I am remind of P loving me it is harder to stay n the mindframe of "I am alone" and makes me long for him. I don't want to hurt and feel lonely.
Knowing "I am alone" and feeling lonely are two different things... I'd rather keep forcing myself to feel empty. and simply try to enjoy the times he is with me *when* he is with me.. if that makes any sense..
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