I have always been Poly. I didn't know it in High School, but at the same time, I knew there was something different. Those friends who I came out to later weren't surprised in the least. I could have GREAT relationships. In my relationships, I truly gave that person my all. I would give of anything I could, I would be the sweetest, most supportive, most involved girlfriend I could be.
The problem was, I always cheated. And I'm not talking about a fling here and there, I'm talking full on other relationships. I would be in love, or really "in like" if you want to be realistic about High School relationships, with two or three people at once. I never felt like I loved any one of them less than the others. I just felt love for more people than just one usually. And I didn't feel the same jealousy my friends did over their boyfriends/girlfriends. I always felt like if someone I was with was sleeping around/fooling around/getting a crush on/whatever-ing someone else, then if there were still feelings between the two of us as well, I could work around it.
Of course, like most Poly people, I dabbled in triad relationships and all that and always found it so...real! I loved the idea, all the love that was involved, the lack of anger and jealousy that went along with a traditional monogamous relationship.
Then, when I was about 18, I met a guy online, I don't really remember how we started talking, but he was living with two girls and called himself polyamorous. I was floored. I asked him about a billion questions about how it worked, how they lived, how they dealt with jealousy, etc. His original girlfriend eventually left and he and the girl who had entered the relationship later decided to continue their relationship and after awhile, they invited me in. While I was interested, I didn't feel like I was ready to be in an openly Poly relationship and declined, although we remained friends for a few years after that.
I started having "open" relationships, in that we weren't monogamous, but we weren't exactly inviting our "extra-curriculars" home either, except maybe for a drunken kinky night after bar-hopping!
It still didn't feel right. I longed for what my friend had been able to experience. I just didn't know if I could do it.
Eventually, I followed the traditional path and found someone I loved and decided to get married. We were monogamous at first, but both of us felt like we were lacking something. Shortly after our child was born, we realized we wanted a big family, but not with a bunch of kids. With a bunch of adults. We wanted to have a "nest" family. We started talking about it more seriously as time went on and he decided he wanted to do a "don't ask, don't tell" at first, because he wasn't sure he was ready for the jealousy. So we tried that, it didn't work. We were too open with each other and had to tell each other. So we became open. Eventually I had my boyfriend, he had his girlfriend, and we were all very happy together. It was a very healthy place for us and, amazingly, for our child. She was so happy to have such an open, strong family. It was by far the happiest time of my life.
My husband left us one night when he realized he had grown up too fast. It all fell apart. It wasn't the same without him and my boyfriend and I broke up very soon afterwards.
Fast forward to today. I am in a wonderful relationship with a wonderful man who loves me and my child very much and who we feel the same way about. However, he is monogamous. Unfortunately, he is not open to my polyamory at all. He feels that since his is more the "norm" I should conform to him. To him it is simple, don't sleep with other people. To me, being Poly has nothing to do with sex. It's about love, it's about family. Yes, sex is one way to express that love, but it's not the focus. I'm not a swinger, I'm truly a lover. I have agreed to try to be monogamous for him, but I feel like I'm taking a huge step backwards. I want to be with this man, but I feel like I'm giving up a huge part of me to be with him. How can a Poly person become monogamous? Is it healthy? Is it right? Will I end up feeling like I'm lacking some essential part of me one day? Will I end up miserable?