Dingedheart asked me in another thread why Beloved thinks we broke up - was non-monogamy a factor or not. I realized I have no idea and so will ask her at some point. Below is adapted from my response to that thread.
This is going to be unorganized and rambly. Y'all been warned...
From my perspective, we broke up because of not communicating well on sexual issues, because of weakening in our connection caused by physical distance, because we were afraid for various reasons to tell each other the truth, and because we are very, very different people and that, suddenly (to my mind anyway) became a problem and not a strength.
We have always been very different people but when our connection was strong, I - and I think Beloved did too - perceived this as one of our strengths. That we could be so different and yet make things work well. We process things differently, I take a long time to figure out what I'm feeling and how to express that. She is pretty fast about figuring out what's going in her head and what to do about it - a survival technique from coping with bipolar disorder I believe. I think it bothered her that I couldn't share what was going on with me until I had processed it internally first.
We have very different tastes in friends, lovers, art, jewelry, furniture, clothing - just about everything. In fact, if we both liked a chair, we would buy it right away because that was such a rare occurence. We weren't exactly polar opposites in taste but close.
I guess without a strong connection, our differences became magnified and became a much bigger deal to Beloved. For me, I have never worried that we have different sets of friends. We had some friends in common but often, we had my friends and her friends. I liked her friends, and she mostly liked my friends, but we had little in common with each other's sets of friends. To me this wasn't a problem but it became a big one for her. She just couldn't see anything we shared anymore. Not a home, not friends, not a career, no children (neither of us wanted children). Nothing to hold us together. And the lack of common friends was a sympton of that.
For me, we were going through a phase of being less together but not apart. We had been so enmeshed for so many years that I thought both of us needed some space. I would have preferred not 3000 miles away but I felt that this was a good opportunity to revamp our individual-ness. I thought of her, and our relationship, as my foundation from which I would wander about and come back to and report on what was going on. I based everything else on that foundation - I saw it as my base - as a foundation for everything else that I did, saw, thought, contemplated. I tried to explain this to her but I don't think it made much sense to her. She kept asking me what I wanted in a partner, what partnership meant for me. For her, ultimately, it meant more things in common. Shared friends, shared lives, shared everything - not a foundation. Not a place to start from and return to. Stuff in common.
Also, I've known since our first breakup that I came in second in her life to her career. She may not realize that fully but I've been #2 for a long time. I was fine with being second as long as I was a close second. I wanted her to be happy so I supported the move to the West Coast but I also knew she would go anyway.
Once she moved to California, her career took off, as I know it would. She is very, very good at what she does and just needed a chance to shine. And she did. Her best friends live there, along with her well-loved nephew (who is a lovely boy and going to be an awesome man). Her family is closer now - she has missed them horribly, especially her sister. So, I moved lower and lower on the priority list until I fell off entirely. I was replaced by friends and family and work.
But Beloved almost certainly has a very different perspective on non-monogamy and why we broke up. I will ask her.
My dating men really bothered her. I thought she didn't like the men I was seeing but she told me in our breakup conversation that the whole thing -not just who I was seeing - really bothered her. Unfortunately she didn't tell me this months before, when we decided to try non-monogamy, when I talked to her about seeing SW (I didn't do anything before talking it over with her) and so on. I don't know why she didn't tell me. This is something that bothers me to this day. If I had the information I have now, I might have made different choices. It might not have saved our relationship - our problems really were internal and not based on outside people - but I wonder.
Eh. Too many thoughts. Will continue some other time.