Fight over poly rules, on the verge of breaking up..
I posted this over on the reddit poly forum but was hoping for more feedback; I am feeling so lost and stuck right now....
Even though I went into my relationship with my partner wanting/planning to be poly, it has been a horrible experience for me. I don't know how much backstory to include here so please feel free to ask if more details are needed.
After a lot of terrible miserableness, we agreed to try dating people together rather than separately. We had 1 rocky attempt, but it was better than dating separately had been.
Recently my partner expressed interest in a friend of mine. I said that I did not think dating her was a good idea because:
--I am not interested in her
--She is not interested in my partner (I avoided saying this during our fight, but she specifically dislikes him)
--She is strongly, strongly opposed to participating in poly relationships (fine for other people, definitely not for her)
--She is a virgin
At the time we discussed it, he said ok, not an option, and let it go. A few days later he flirted with her VERY blatantly, and I was annoyed, feeling like he completely disregarded what I said, but I didn't say anything.
I have recently had some issues with the same friend (flaked on plans last minute, didn't invite me to a social thing, said a couple rude things). When I was chatting with my partner about this, he asked if I was upset with her because of his feelings. I admitted that his feelings for her did make me feel chillier toward her, but that my frustration with our friendship was mostly about these other issues.
He got very upset and pointed out that I have a pattern of tearing down anyone he's interested in. This is true, and it is something that I am trying not to do, but it would help if he would be interested in people who were appropriate or good options.
From there the argument spiraled out of control. I think the main issues are:
1. He thinks the only acceptable response to him finding someone he's interested in is enthusiasm from me, since that is what he gives me. I don't know if I can ever achieve this, even though I agree it would be the most desirable response.
2. He thinks that if I am not interested in dating this girl, I am not behaving acceptably (within the framework of being poly) by ever saying no. I should have given it a shot, despite the issues I raised, or encouraged him to date her on his own since I'm not interested.
3. He does not think he should have to "police" his behavior, e.g., not flirting with her after we discussed and agreed (or so I thought) that she was not a good option for dating. In principle I agree with this, but a huge trigger for me feeling jealous/insecure is when I feel like my feelings are not being considered, which is how the flirting made me feel.
My takeaway from all of this is that there is no fucking way I will ever be "poly enough" for him. I am willing to work so hard to try to find a middle ground, and I thought that agreeing to date people together and me seeking out people who I thought were good options (which I have been doing) showed that I was committed and trying. I am in therapy trying to get over my jealousy/insecurity issues and most of it centers around not feeling loved/important in my relationship. I agree that the things he's asking for should ideally be happening, I would love to be able to be happy for him, and for him to date separately, and for everyone to be happy. But since I can't do that now, and am working toward it, I feel like he is being a huge spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum since he can't get his way all the time.
I hope that all made sense. Please, any help or advice or words of wisdom would be appreciated.