Originally Posted by vanille
...my graduation date (and hence work start date) depend in how much time I practice on my court reporting machine. Since I quit working and we combined our finances, I didn't put in as much effort as I should have. ... he supports me completely still. He worked really hard to get out of school. He makes good money. There's a huge inbalance in terms of finances. We don't struggle, but that's because of his work and effort.
So if he is uncomfortable with "paying for my dates", I think it might actually stem from him knowing that there is a deeper issue at hand - that I did not live up to my end of the deal.
This is real meaty relationship stuff the two of you need to discuss and work on. It's really not about poly. It's about feeling like equal partners - for him to not feel taken advantage of, and yet also to understand that sometimes things don't go as planned, and for you not to feel guilty or like you did something wrong by not sticking to the schedule. I can tell you are beating yourself up about it, and this is feeding into your insecurities (about your chosen profession versus his, about you not "working as hard" as you feel he does, etc.) and pissing you off because he's letting it feed into his insecurities about poly and being unfair to you. Don't let that stuff fester.
The one important element of any game plan is that the plan can change. Sit down and have a heart-to-heart. Let him know how sorry you are about not graduating early or when you had hoped. But tell him that he is not allowed to hold that over your head. Forgiveness means forgiving and moving on, not holding onto stuff and throwing in someones' face later on. Hash it out, renegotiate, keep talking. The poly is a separate issue.
And besides, remind him that just because you two chose to embrace poly, doesn't mean you are going to have sex with everyone you date. Poly isn't all about the sex, and you can start out going on dates without doing anything physical. While it is unfair that he doesn't want you with another man after you encouraged him to visit a hooker in Amsterdam, just because he felt the need to fuck someone other than you in order to find out if you were okay with poly, doesn't mean you have to run right out and do it too. It doesn't have to be tit for tat. You can take it in stages. Lots of poly people do that, slowly allowing for whatever they are comfortable with, kissing, petting, whatever - there's alot in between having coffee and having sex.
I think you two both need to be more gentle with yourselves and each other, and at the same time, be willing to own up to and call each other on your shit (issues). You may very well both need more time to proceed, and to do so slowly, but do it with eyes and hearts open.