Should I even be here? Mono needs help please.
I feel like I've wandered into somewhere I shouldn't be... I hope I'm in the right place to ask a couple of questions and get a bit of advice, even though I'm mono.
I'd like to thank the person who first coined the phrase "hard-wired mono" - during my research on this forum and other sites, the frankness, sense and security in what you have all chosen as your lifestyle has made me feel as if there's something wrong with ME - reading that someone can be described as "hard-wired mono" has made me feel a lot better about what I am, as if it's deep in my make-up and not my fault.
I don't have a poly story as everyone else on here seems to, and I haven't been able to find anything matching my feelings in the posts (though I have only looked closely at the "new to polyamory" section) which is why I have decided to post myself.
My problem is simply this: a few months ago I was chatting with my partner. We've been together for years, exclusive, hetero and monogomous, and he mentioned a female friend had a new boyfriend and that her new guy was polyamorous and had another long term partner. A pause in the conversation ensued while he explained the term polyamorous - I was familiar with the concept of "open relationships" but had not heard it called this before, or realised the permutations and subtleties possible. It seems that his friend was excited to be in the new relationship but had hopes of taking over the role of "primary" pretty soon. [Incidentally, from what I have read on this forum, it seems to me that she was already missing the point of polyamory if she was hoping for this?]. I was interested immediately, as I always am in finding out new things I haven't heard of before, but as soon as I did the thing where I imagined myself in the situation, I felt disturbed and agitated. After searching my feelings and discussing this with my BF for a short while, I came to the conclusion that I was, as I put it then, "very monogomous" and we left it at that. I never found out if his friend stayed with her new partner or managed to become his primary, as he lost touch with her shortly afterwards.
My problem is now this: I am attempting to explore the reasons why, nearly a year and a half later, I'm still feeling so frightened and disturbed about that conversation. It's as if the last few months haven't happened; I'm just as - yes, I will use the word: *horrified* as I was when I first heard about it.
Now, don't get me wrong, please... I'm not in any way passing judgement on the way you guys are doing things. On the contrary, I still feel the curiosity and interest in polyamory that I did when I first found out, and in fact I've been awed by the thoughtfulness and respect which has gone into many of your situations to ensure that everyone is completely happy and there is no deceit.
No, the problem is entirely with me, and I hope a couple of you might be able to stay with me while I work this out. The above-mentioned curiosity and interest are entirely to do with Other People - I'm delighted that a group of people can be so fulfilled and happy, with all the pleasures of relationships enhanced by adding further dimensions. The horror and fear come exclusively from the thought that this lifestyle might touch my own life in some way. I feel a little apologetic saying this somewhere like a polyamory forum, but what I want from my relationship is absolute sexual and romantic exclusivity on my own part and also from my partner, and a commitment for it to stay that way. And up to now, I have believed that my partner wants the same as I do. I've believed this because it's been discussed between us. What, therefore, could the problem be?
I have searched my feelings on this, and I may have come up with half an answer, at least, which will lead to some questions. So here goes:-
I think what's worrying me is that I feel I may have, without knowing it, been approached by my partner with a view to possibly opening up our relationship. I know him well enough to know that if he had been thinking about this, he would broach the subject in general terms first (for example, passing on news about a friend's new poly relationship) to gauge my reaction. If that was favourable, he would proceed to more specific discussions about the two of us. In this case, if that is what he was doing, he fell at the first hurdle because of how I reacted. Now, I fear I may never find out if that was what he was leading up to.
What's also crossed my mind is that in telling him about her new relationship and all the details, that SHE might have been hitting on HIM in the same way, whether or not he realised it.
(A third explanation might be that he himself was in fact the boyfriend referred to in her story, and he was trying find a roundabout way to tell me. I think this one is just me being paranoid, but it's out there as a possibility. I've had a long time to think about this, remember!)
I know without any of you having to tell me, that I have to talk to him about this. And I will! Soon! We do have excellent communication, but he has lied in the past, and he has also avoided telling me things that would end up awkward for him. My reason for going on here first is to:-
(a) do some research so I feel ready and know what I'm talking about, and
(b) ask the following questions:-
- How does a polyamorous person go about getting a new partner, whilst remaining completely honest and transparent throughout? Could it possibly be the way I described? The subject is brought up generally first to prepare the way, then a person reveals they are polyamorous, then the relationship can develop on the basis of complete honesty? Am I at least justified in suspecting the possibility this might have happened to me, or does it strike anyone that I'm barking up the wrong tree?
- Doesn't starting a dialogue about the poly lifestyle often result in a "sorry, but I couldn't live that way" ending? Or am I quite unusual?
- Do mono people sometimes end up in a poly or "V" relationship simply so they won't lose the partner they adore?
- If a hitherto mono person spoke to their mono partner about potentially opening up the relationship and got a bad reaction from them, is there any going back? Will that person always have an interest in polyamory from then on, or can things go back to the way they were?
This man is my whole world, and I feel as if I couldn't live without him, yet I know for a fact I would end the relationship rather than agree to share him with anyone else. I know how possessive that sounds - even though I have read a few times on here that poly people have been despised for the way they live their lives, I bet there are a few of you guys thinking that my own attitude to my relationship is pretty despicable too. Reading it back, I'm not sure I wouldn't agree, though I can never, ever change my feelings about it.
So now you all know how mixed up and confused I'm feeling about things - I hope a couple of you will be able to offer some answers to my questions. There is a lovely atmosphere on this forum, of tolerance, acceptance, friendship and good plain common sense. I admire you all so much - you are such good people to let love rule, rather than sexual jealousy and possessiveness. Thank you for reading this.