In the end, I was poly - or thought I was - for about 18 months. That's about the length of time it takes for a crush to run its course, which seems about right.
My "conversion" back to monogamy has been as swift and thorough as my "conversion" to poly back in March 2011. It's a little like waking up from a pleasant dream in which anything is possible to the dawning realization that I'm still earthbound, but that it's all right.
What turned me, in the end, is the inescapable conclusion that I cannot really do justice to an additional intimate relationship without doing an injustice to my wife, my daughters, and all the others to whom I have commitments. I really do mean "justice" and "injustice" in a full-blooded, ethical sense of those terms.
As I've written, I have responsibilities I ought not to shirk. If I take the additional responsibilities of an intimate relationship with someone else, I will fail in upholding one or another - or all - of those responsibilities. I will end up using someone, taking someone for granted, for the sake of mere desire.
I also understand, more deeply than before, that my own happiness, my own striving to live a rich and full life, is not best served by indulging my libido, chasing after the thrill of falling in love, or giving in to the delusion that I can have or do or be anything I want.
Still, eighteen months of thinking I could be polyamorous has had its effects, and they will be lasting. Before, I tended to take monogamy for granted: I was monogamous because that is what one does.
Now and into the future, I am and will be monogamous consciously, deliberately, ethically. It is the most responsible choice available to me.
That my wife thinks of herself as polyamorous, and will soon be leaving again to spend a few weeks with her boyfriend in Europe, is a serious complication, but her circumstances are different from mine, and I cannot choose for her. She will have to judge for herself whether she can uphold all her responsibilities, and she and I will have to keep working to find our way together.
Now, I think, I really am done here. I've learned a lot from this forum, really.
Thank you all.
Last edited by hyperskeptic; 09-21-2012 at 12:03 PM.