Originally Posted by LadyMacbeth
I had a hunch, so I asked if he had a date. (I had actually encouraged him to date, just asked that he tell me if he decided to do so.) He admitted he did have a date. I was very hurt, not because he had a date, but because he cancelled OUR date and further, didn't tell me. He apologized for both. He said that he was worried it would upset me, and that it was "no big deal" anyway and was confused as to why this would be a problem for me. I explained that in poly, this is "cheating." He could almost understand, but not quite.
"Are you seeking an addition to our relationship, or a replacement?" And he can't or won't answer. He became very defensive. I felt it was a reasonable question. I was so hurt that I impulsively issued an ultimatum, stating that if he was seeking "a monogomous life partner which by definition would preclude our relationship," then I could not see him while he dated for that purpose. I stated that if he was seeking to "add a partner to our poly relationship" that I was a-ok and he would have my full support.
I later said I needed to reconsider my ultimatum, because I wasn't sure if that was fair. Anyone have experiences in these relationships? I feel compassion and want to treat him with love and respect, but am not sure I could deal with the emotional turmoil that would come from constant uncertainty about whether or not he had just been on a date with my replacement.
Hi LadyMacbeth, I see how he'd be confused in all this. I think that confusion began when you said you would be okay with him dating. In my experience with Mono, dating would mean that he is looking to replace me and would go underground to do that as in a mono relationship there is no dating option.... Essentially, if he is really mono then you were telling him, "you can try out other women and see if I am the one for you." It's a bit of a double standard to then get jealous and angry because he did just that in his mono way.
Yes, I see his actions as cheating, but to me you told him that it would be okay to cheat, that you expected it.... if he was struggling to understand that you
were not cheating then somewhere along the line he began to believe that cheating is okay..... not how poly relationships work. He really does seem mono to me if this is how he handled the whole thing. Especially if he thought he should do it behind your back and break a date. I think you really need to look at him with mono eyes in your empathy, not poly ones.
I think his lack of being able to answer is a two-fold thing.... he was looking to see if he could replace you and is guilty about that, and he is confused about the message you gave him because he is mono in nature. I agree with Mono, he needs tons more poly education to accept that it's different than a mono relationship because he has somehow missed the point.
I have no problem with what you call and "ultimatum." I think it finally clarified for him what it means if he is to date others. It means that he is looking for a replacement. I find in my mono relationship with Mono that these boundaries are needed for his mono mind to understand. It isn't a control thing, but an emotional need that makes sense to a mono person. I don't think you made an ultimatum so much as you were finally clarifying for him something that he was confused about. Actually it was something he already believed, that you suggested could be different. It may just of been the only thing that made sense to him. I don't know what you changed about the ultimatum you gave, but I suspect it put him in a place of confusion again....
Really I think that if I were you I would tell him that you require him not to date any one but you and that you are sorry to confuse him. You can also tell him I think that if he would like to explore the possibility of poly because he really thinks he might be then you can do it together including talking about women he finds attractive, women that you think would work in your relationship and find a woman/situation that you both can accept so that he can continue to love one another?
This last statement has been based on how we conduct our relationship and in no way do I think that it works for everyone. But for what it's worth I hope it helps.