So, now that it's ungodly late, and I'm no longer occupied... (Hopefully this makes sense and isn't a total rambling mess)
Are there things that Poly partners just don't get about their Mono partners? In my case, it's a definite YES. He's begun to understand now, but it's taken about a year to get there, and looking back, it explains a LOT about how we would think "why are they doing THAT?!" about each other in certain situations.
It's not just relationship style - it's the love style. When my feelings grow for one, they fade for another. Always have. Never even crushed on more than one person, even back in Jr. High. A serial crusher, I guess.
When my marriage was failing, I was very close to my now-Partner, and I had to push him out of my life while I tried to put my marriage back together (granted, my heart was no longer in the marriage, but I'd fallen for my friend and I had to basically give my heart nowhere else to go so I could work on fixing my relationship with my husband). My friend/now-partner had NO idea why I had to do that. He could "compartmentalize" (back before he had the "Poly" term) - why couldn't I?
And I just had NO idea how he could do that. It was such a foreign concept to me, that I didn't even know how to frame a question against it. In my heart, there's room for one romantic relationship, and no amount of compartmentalizing was going to make it any different. Trying to do so would just make things more difficult.
Now, we've been through quite a bit... We've read a lot, and we've trusted our own experience, and yeah, we differ. We understand some of it, we accept what we don't, and we love each other anyway. And probably even partly because
of it (I fell for him BECAUSE he cared so deeply for his friends - the two are probably just a smidge
related). Heck, I even wrote a piece for his blog
that basically hit a couple points mentioned in this thread.
I do not consider myself less evolved, or less inclined to look deeply at myself. I have done so. I continue to do so. My self-esteem is not that closely tied to my lovestyle or my relationship style. There are many other deeply-rooted things that have affected that, and I have done an awful lot of work now that I'm out of that marriage (emotional abuse is an insidious bitch, to the point where I still question if I should even use the term or not). I had other issues to get through in my Poly relationship, but my relationship is not ME.
That said, disapproval stinks (and I feel for anyone who's been bitten by the "he's a stud and you're a slut" double-standard), and I do feel a bit wonky when people talk behind our backs. But it hasn't stopped me from being in this relationship. It won't.
As far as the term "block", I'll go along with this. Poly is NOT native to me, and it's taken a lot of work to try to Grok. I don't yet, and may never, but I've gotten closer, and I'm glad for it. It's one reason I'm here.