I just wanted to ask a question, after doing a lot of reading the last few days. I am just starting to learn about this, so please be patient if this has already been addressed, I didn't know what to call the topic to search for old threads.
It seems to me that people are arriving here (poly) one of two ways. There are the people who are thrust into this unexpectedly, by a spouse either requesting it, or being caught in an affair they want to turn into an open relationship. They seem to come here in a state of crisis, and confusion. Then there are the people who are coming here after an agreement has been reached between partners, they seem to show up full of optimism and curiosity.
Those who were in a state of crisis seem to have some very painful struggles, but many more of them than I would have expected decide it was a positive for their relationship, after some time has passed. Those who decided in advance seem to have the zeal of the newly converted, and then some discover just how hard it is, and either give up or break up, some others decide it was the right choice and are happy.
The really experienced people here appear to have years of happiness, then something changes and it starts to fall apart. They make comments that perhaps they will give up the poly lifestyle entirely, or end very long relationships in order to break with the lives they have built.
I am curious if the poly lifestyle in general tends to be a phase, and if a person contemplating going into it should expect it will have a natural life span, then end. I undertand individual relationships in any context always have the risk of ending, but I am asking about the general lifestyle.
Could anyone tell me, perhaps using percentages, how many people stay with it for life, and how many give up and go back to monogamy? Is there a "typical" life span for poly before it ends?
Sorry to be long-winded. I would be happy if there is already a thread on this topic simply to be directed to the right place.