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-   -   Help, how to make him understand :( (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7211)

Idlovetwo 02-26-2011 11:38 PM

Help, how to make him understand :(
Hi folks

I'm female with a male partner, trying to make him understand I'm poly. I've always been, even if I didn't even accept it myself. I kept falling in love with other people while still loving my partner, and now I've decided to be myself and not hide it from myself or from others anymore.

I introduced myself here so you can see my boyfriend is mono, and I'm trying to make him understand that I love him all the same even if we open up to other relationships. I wish he was poly too, but no way. I can respect they way he is, but it can be a lot harder for him to understand the way I am.

I see there are mono people in poly relationships in this board, so maybe some of you can help me. What should/shouldn't I say or do, to make it easier for him? We are having a hard time now. I don't want to pretend I'm something I am not, but I don't want to lose him either. Do you think it's possible? :(

Thanks a lot!

MonoVCPHG 02-27-2011 08:20 AM

There's nothing you can say to him to truly get him to understand...but that is based on my experience over the past two years and a bit. Your best bet is to take a look at what each of you want from this relationship. Once you establish that then you can see if you meet each other's criteria to invest more.

A major part of my success and happiness in a poly relationship as a mono person is that the life experiences I needed to achieve in a monogamous relationship were already met. What are both your needs?

The following link deals with some things you might want to ask yourself before trying to explain it. You're poliness isn't likely to go away..nor is his mononess...you'll be dealing with it for as long as the relationship last quite possibly.

Survival guide for dating a mono

Idlovetwo 02-27-2011 07:54 PM

Thanks a lot Mono. Your survival guide is really good, made me smile :D Plus it helped me make some things clear about myself. For example, I feel I'm the poly-fi kind, rather than about complete openness. Maybe this will make him feel less insecure.

Let's see in the next days. He feels my being poly means I don't love him that much, because if I loved him, I would be mono. I don't blame him for feeling that way. I hope he'll start to understand if I manage to show him how much I love him. But sometimes he goes all sad and doesn't even feel like a little cuddle :(

redpepper 02-27-2011 09:50 PM

Hello Idlovetwo. Welcome.

In my experience it is best not to limit yourself with phrases like "I think I might be the poly-fi type." I have found that creates false hope that there might only be one more, or two more and that they will be forever and once you have them, you will stop and I can just be okay with them.

Chances are that you might date a few people over time, in a quest to find someone who fits your life... and even that might end or you might want to date again in addition to them... you just don't know and someone who is monogamous, it seems best to just leave it all up in the air for that reason. It is crazy making, but not as much as the result of changing it up as you go along. That is more crazy making as often mono people see it as "you changed what you said you were going to do," rather than seeing it as you just following the natural flow of your heart.

I wish I had some words to say that would make him feel better. Mono has covered most of what I would say. Really, all you can do is be as constant as possible and keep negotiating your boundaries as best as you can... both of you. It is likely there will be huge compromises that you will have to live with for a long time if you want this man in your life. It is your choice as to how much of your nature you can either put on hold indefinitely or for as long as you are with him. There is no answer to that other than your own.

Idlovetwo 02-28-2011 05:15 PM

Thanks redpepper. Wise advice :) If something I've learned in this past thirty something years (lol) is that you may know how you feel now, but you don't know how you will feel next year, or next month. And, "follow the natural flow of my heart"... I like that sentence. It's what I've decided to do. It has taken me years, decades, but now I think there is no way back. So, only time will tell. Lovers can come and go, but my freedom to be myself is here to stay, hopefully.

Things look pretty screwed up today though... Ok, I still have my other love, even if he is a thousand miles away. That's some upside to poly... :p No, just kidding, I'll do my best to save my relationship. Just because I love him, even if he doesn't believe me :o

Mahogany 03-01-2011 03:56 AM

I hope this reply doesn't upset you....but I am struggling with the man I love. I am monogamous....and I crave the monogamy back. I am so angry and bitter about this whole situation we are in.

I don't know if you gave him monogamy in the beginning and now that he is in love with you, you have switched it all up....or did he know from the beginning? How much choice did he have in whether or not be in this situation?

The pain I feel associated to my love loving and wanting another person cuts deep :( At times I even feel I am dying slowly....

For me, it is sad to say. But TODAY I believe my only happiness lies in leaving my husband :(

I wish I didn't love him sometimes, that way I won't ever have to feel this pain or see her (his gf) again :(

The only thing that has made this bearable is that my husband constantly shows me and reminds me how much he loves me. Also we have set boundaries that I can live with (simply put, they can only do certain things).

Establish boundaries.....and be patient. Allow him to talk, talk and talk, and you return the favor. He is probably going to have bad days and good day. He is riding a roller coaster I know all too well :( and right now (no disrespect to anyone) but a ride I would not wish on my worst enemy :(

Idlovetwo 03-01-2011 06:35 PM

Not only it doesn't upset me, Mahogany, actually "listening" to you is almost like listening to my partner, so it helps a lot. You have described exactly how he feels (or how I think he feels). I wish I could allow him to talk. But he is so sad/angry that he doesn't even feel like talking. I keep telling and showing him how much I love him, but I can guess how he feels. :(

When our relationship started, we didn't think about poly or mono. We had never heard about poly, so, our relationship was supposed to be mono because that was the only option, wasn't it? Monogamy is taken for granted. Now 5 years down the line, I finally get to understand what happens to me. I'm not weird, I'm not a bad person, I'm just poly. Sometimes I wish I wasn't. But it's not something that can be helped. And I can handle all the pain on me, but it's really hard to handle the pain I'm causing.

He seems to think this is something I choose to do, and that I could just be mono if I had more "willpower". Eeek :eek: I don't blame him for thinking like that, it's just the way we all have been raised. But it's like thinking a gay person could become straight if they had more "willpower". Or, viceversa!?!

Or, could he become poly if he had willpower? Obviously not. But he says he is mono because he "wants" to be mono. He thinks it's his choice. And, I reckon, this is a deep question. Can one really choose what to "want"? (Does this make sense?) Can one force oneself to be a person one is not? Maybe it can be done, but it will make you unhappy, for sure. And other people around you would be unhappy too.

For the moment, there is no negociating, because he doesn't want any boundaries. Not even talk about it. :( He just wants me to be mono "again". At times he feels (like you Mahogany) the only possibility is just leaving me. And sometimes I really feel like I could "force myself to be mono" because I don't want him go through all this pain, and because I don't want to lose him. But then I would be just pretending, and I don't think that living a lie is any solution. Also, there is another person I love too, and I don't want to lose him either. Both my men are wonderful and I love them to the max.

How hard is this? And there are not many people out there to talk about it. I'm so glad I found this board (and thanks all for your warm welcome) :o

pollyshari 03-01-2011 08:09 PM

Ok, I'll take a stab at it
When things started changing in my relationship I started to educate myself about human sexuality and I learned that monogamy has not always been the way and that monogamy is not necessarily always the best love.

One thing I now know for certain, my husband does love me so entirely that it seems impossible that he could love another, but he does love another. These two loves exist, just as a mother can love more than one child without taking any love away from anyone.

It may be easier for me, however, because I am in love with her also. But watching them fall in love and all of the joy that they both are experiencing brings me great pleasure. Totally strange, I would have never thought it. I just needed the permission (which I got from researching) to be opened minded and then my heart could accept it.

redpepper 03-01-2011 11:46 PM


Originally Posted by Idlovetwo (Post 68869)
Can one force oneself to be a person one is not? Maybe it can be done, but it will make you unhappy, for sure. And other people around you would be unhappy too.
sometimes I really feel like I could "force myself to be mono" because I don't want him go through all this pain, and because I don't want to lose him. But then I would be just pretending, and I don't think that living a lie is any solution.

I think you answered your own question here. Yes, you can force yourself to do all kinds of things, but is it what will make yourself be healthy? That is the question. I force myself to go to my job every day because I am a night person and I would rather stay up late and get up late... but my job starts at 8.30am... so I get up. It's healthy for me to do that because I need the job in order to do things in life... I go running to be healthy, but I hate it... and love it at the same time. I visit my ex wife's parents when she is in town. I am not big on that, but it makes her happy and them happy and it shows good faith that I am family to here and she to me. Our divorce was the healthiest for us because she wanted to travel and I wanted to buy a house.

There are all kinds of things we do that we don't like that are not "us" but we do anyway. The question with poly is; will this activity or this person (possible person) be the best choice for all and can I put up with it for the sake of others? Will this make me feel depressed, anxious, angry, resentful and eventually create illness and dispersement of my friends and family because I am not healthy? or can I be fine with letting it go for the betterment and closeness that will grow for others?

I have had to make a hard choice this past month. I chose to not continue a relationship into the natural course of action for me and the other. I choice not to start something sexual with him (no touching, no kissing, no closeness, etc). I did this because the result would be too much of a detriment to too many people. I would of happily tried the sex thing on for size to see how it would be, but didn't. I discovered that I really have enough at the moment and that the partners I have are far more precious to me in terms of their comfort level with me being with this man. He was also not necessarily a good choice for me right now. In essence, my comfort level with dropping this relationships path was stronger than the upheaval of pursuing it. (see my blog from last month)

Now if PN had asked me to hold off or not see Mono that would be a different story all together. That path would of lead to divorce, joint custody and heart ache with eventual balance and friendship. I would of been more healthy with it that way. I would not of been able to let the possibility of Mono and I being together go. I would make a choice that would be for the betterment of all. It really would of been better for me and PN to split up our marriage and work out a different way so that Mono and I could be together... people get divorced and remarried or have long term partners all the time right? I prefer what I have now, but it could of been done that way had I been faced with a mono husband with a problem with me being with Mono.

(sorry this is rather scattered. hope I am making sense. :o)

BlackUnicorn 03-02-2011 03:26 PM


Originally Posted by Idlovetwo (Post 68869)
He seems to think this is something I choose to do, and that I could just be mono if I had more "willpower". Eeek :eek: I don't blame him for thinking like that, it's just the way we all have been raised. But it's like thinking a gay person could become straight if they had more "willpower". Or, viceversa!?!

Rant ahead!

I think the comparison is right to the point. People used to be treated for mental disturbance if they didn't graduate from childhood diffuse bi/omnisexual potential to 'healthy' adult genital heterosexuality. Women who couldn't orgasm via vaginal stimulation alone were treated for frigidism. Today, both 'practicing homosexuals' and 'practicing polys', people who work in the sex industry, pretty much all people who fail to live up to the healthy adult genital monogamous heterosexuality model are threatened with losing the custody of their children if they don't change.

Just like women were told they could orgasm if they just loved their husbands enough, and gay people were told they could become heterosexuals if they just wanted it hard enough, people who discover they are polyamorous are told they lack the willpower, self-discipline and love for their partners all normal, monogamous people have. Of course, the only way to upkeep this ideal of monogamy being the only responsible relationship style is if you conveniently choose to ignore the rampant cheating and resulting serial monogamy, it's impact on people's mental health, children's well-being etc. All ideologies have their victims.

Rant over, thanks. Feel much better now.

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