Monogamous and in love with a poly man
I just signed up for the forum and am hoping to get some advice or perspectives from people.
About four months ago I met a man through an internet dating site designed to help people interested in exploring kinks find each other. It was supposed to just be casual fun, but we quickly developed feelings for each other and fell in love despite our best intentions to keep things light and fun.
He's poly and has some existing relationships that are long-term and important to him, if not the same kind of romantic/partnership love we are developing together. I have always been a monogamous person, though I am familiar with polyamory due to supporting my grad school best friend's exploration and research into it.
He believes that it is healthier to have multiple partners so you don't put your expectations and needs all on one person. I feel like I'm lacking in some way or that there's something wrong with me because I'm not enough for him in the same way that he's the only one I want to be with. It hurts to think about him being with other women and I have a hard time feeling like I'm special to him. I don't understand how he can say he loves me and want to be with other people.
I don't perceive that I can even try to work out the kind of primary/secondary structure that I guess people use to develop security and stability, because I am the new one even though I am the one he feels most emotionally close to and with whom he spends the most time, shares regular parts of life with, etc. I'm not sure if I have the right to ask for any "rules" other than that he doesn't tell me details about the other women and he tells me if he starts seeing anyone new.
I want to give the relationship time to develop and to see if we can make it work. I know this will require change of some kind, be it me, him, both, or the situation itself. I am open to challenging myself to explore if I can get some benefits from being poly myself or if I can be happy being monogamous towards someone who has other loves and adventures. I'm not sure he has the same openness to fluidity and possibility or if he is just waiting for me to deal with it or not. That is probably not a fair statement, and it is of course my choice to stay with him despite not being completely happy with the sitaution as it is.
When I read about polyamory and poly/mono relationships online, often the tone is that monogamous people are less evolved and are immature, insecure, jealous, etc. This doesn't make me feel better about struggling to find a way to be happy in my relationship. It makes me feel like more of a failure and like all my unhappiness is my own fault, or that I'm an idiot for wanting to give this a shot.
I guess I'm wondering if anyone has any advice on where to start or if this kind of thing ever works out. Any help or guidance would be appreciated.
Thanks. Sorry this is long and kind of angsty.
Do a search for MonoVCPHG.
He's a happy, mono man in a committed, long term relationship with Redpepper (also a poster). He's got loads of posts on here about how it's PERFECTLY OK to be mono AND how to make it work if you are deadset on making it work. ;)
Also do a "Tag Search" for Mono/Poly, there is a LOT of information.
First and foremost, there is nothing inherently good or bad in either monogamy or polyamory - they are different orientations/relationship styles, that's all. There are people who swing both ways, but most I think tend towards one or the other. To say that poly is more evolved or whatever is like saying that gay people are more evolved since they are not having children in this already overcrowded world - both silly and untrue.
If you're planning to stay, it's so so very important to stop the comparison game, beginning NOW. I know it's not the way most people are socialized, but let's face it; you have very little information on his other relationships, and even if you knew them, there's no way to really know how a relationship feels like to someone unless you are the one having a relationship. Making comparisons with what you IMAGINE is going on with his other partners is an exercise in futility at best and destructive at worst.
If he has outright said it out loud that you are number 1, please consider that it might be NRE (New Relationship Energy) talking. Do a tag search on that. I'm not trying to bring you down, just saying that being IN love with a new person has nothing to do with LOVING someone more or less than anyone else.
Beyond that, start talking with him about what you need and what kind of rules, agreements and boundaries you need to be happy.
All in all, welcome yet again! You are not alone.
There is not a lot of mono bashing that goes on on this forum. Quite a few of our members are mono and very knowledgeable about mono poly dynamics. I do hope you take the time to do a tag search on mono/poly to find some information... as SNeacail has said and LR.
It sounds to me like you are thinking of this relationship as a mono person would. Of course you are, you are mono. Try to think of it as a poly person would. No one is better, no one is more fun, more sexy, more anything... they are just different and worth being with for that reason. His other loves don't compare to you at all. They might have some similarities, but if he is poly he will find all of that interesting, not worthy of creating a hierarchy of who is better. There is no competition going on I would think.
I would suggest meeting his partners, your metamours. Keeping yourself in the dark about who they are and what he does with them can lead to ones mind creating all kinds of scenarios about what they do together and who he might love more... its usually false and just the mind playing games on you... they are just like you complete with apprehension about who you are, jealous perhaps of the time he spends with you and also wondering what you do with him. I would suggest not making it a big mystery but getting it all out in the open.
You have every right to ask for some boundaries put in place that both he and you agree to and his other loves... one of the reasons to meet a loves other partners is to be able to negotiate these boundaries and figure out a way to share time with him. Not everyone does it that way, but in my experience there is huge advantages to knowing what is expected without guessing and knowing where I stand.
In the early stages of a relationship starting it can make or break a relationship dynamic. Negotiating what one would like to see occur, being respectful and considerate of other peoples time and being honest when you communicate likely will mean negotiations will go more smoothly and will set a president for further times of discussion on boundaries. The more practice of this the more fluidity and eventually negotiating boundaries can become second nature... It's good to practice I find as it becomes almost a daily occurrence.
I now identify as poly, my wife identifies as mono
We've been together for 3+ years and discussed often how I have different point of view to other people in terms of how to be in a relationship. For the longest time we both agreed that it was more a need to experiment sexually, and overtime would go away.
This is mostly because when we would talk about it there wound up being ulterior motives to bring another person into our relationship sexually. About six months ago I realized I was polamorous, and came out to her. At first she and I figured it wouldn't last.
As time is going by I feel more strongly convinced that I truly am, but now I am unsure of how to proceed.
I love her very much and stay true. We have no trouble communicating, but as we communicate it becomes clear she is mono and I am poly. For now I am choosing not to change anything about our relationship.
We have a three year old together. Both of us love being parents, and love raising our son together. We met at the end of our freshman year of college, and spent three years discussing if marriage was right, or if we should raise Isaac mutually, but not together.
I wasn't trying to lie when we got married and I wasn't explicitly identifying as poly, just beginning talking about it. That is because I didn't believe myself when I was thinking about it in my head.
I learned about polyamory when I was thinking about having threesomes and other people involved with us sexually. Because of society, I assumed I was just a typical guy trying to get more out of college and sex. Which may be somewhat true. But as I mature I doubt.
Interestingly, my oldest sister is like me. We just recently began being open with each other about it. Our worlds have begun to change now that we can openly talk with someone we cant trust about it.
So a lot of rambling, but it seems my wife as many similar feelings as you do. I don't know what to do, cause I love her and don't want to hurt her. Which I haven't done because I am honest with her and with-holding any new relationships till we are both comfortable.
Thank you everyone--
I really appreciate everyone's comments and suggestions on where to look.
To Black Unicorn--I say more intimate because he's described his relationship with the other women as being about no-strings fun--the women are married, and sometimes he and one of them will go on a date, be on their best behavior, and let off steam with each other.
He said when we started dating he didn't want anything serious, didn't want to get emotionally entangled with anyone. When he told me he loved me he said I'd messed up his plans.
When I was honest that I was having a hard time with the non-exclusivity, his reaction was that we should stop seeing each other because I was in pain. He doesn't want anything that isn't simple and fun, even if I'm willing to try.
Reading the comments here and in other places on the forum, I think the answer for me is to end this and not put myself through the pain. If he doesn't want the kind of relationship he and I seem pulled towards with each other -- one of intimacy and sharing problems and accepting that sometimes relationships aren't all light and fun.
Even though he wants me, he doesn't want what is between us. He's probably ignoring that right now because of the NRE. I'm not willing to be the only one who wants to try. I'm not willing to be the one who's "hard work" and "difficult" and who has to be escaped. I know it's not good to compare (though I'd argue that "just stopping" is really fucking hard)--but it's clear that I'm a lot of trouble and he has what he wants with them -- easy, fun relationships.
I'm going to end this before I get more attached.
I really appreciate everyone's honesty. Thank you.
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