Originally Posted by Tonberry
Anyway, to me a mono/poly relationship is poly, but the mono partner is still mono, and I don't think it's him being poly but holding out. In my opinion, while there are probably more polys that one could be led to believe from the societal norm, there are definitely monogamous people as well.
I feel it's important to trust these people when they say "I'm mono" and not try and convince them they're polys on the wrong track or something, because I wouldn't want them to tell me I'm a mono who's lost her tracks, either.
Yes, that trust is important! It's not an option to question anyones' self-identification. It may, however, be important to try to look more exactly into what it is. And there is no doubt that a huge fraction of all people are sexually monogamous. While, in principle, this could be seen as conditioning, most behavior could be seen as that - so it should be taken as a basic phenomenon, I think.
It seems to me that it is this sexual behavior you use as the basis for declaring you poly and your partner mono. It's perfectly natural to do so. But is it possible to be polyamorous and still sexually monogamous? I would tend to say yes, and here is where the borderlines seem less clear to me than in the case of sexuality.
My partner through 30+ years is sexually monogamous, but still very interested in polyamory principles, and she has (lots of negotiations) accepted the way of life we have now. So at the very least, she is not a typical monogamist. Is she poly or mono?
To me, accepting your orientation makes your husband appear a lot less monogamous than he had been hadn't he accepted it. And while not questioning the sexual part at all, an approach along the lines of general exploration of the aspects of love might uncover, for example, that he is not that "mono" oriented in general, just emotionally and sexually. We have had this kind of dialogues at home, and they have been quite fruitful.
And when you mention how the situation with having to cater for his needs has stressed you, to me that's an illustration of the need for air, some distance, and maybe some alternatives. Monogamy has a tendency to be self-destructive in this respect, but that does not mean sleeping with others has to be constructive, most often the opposite, I would believe. Unless the whole situation is more resolved. There will often be a need for opening up in such situations, but I think the most important element in this is just getting fresh perspectives on the situation, like you exemplify. I think polyamory can often help with fruitful perspectives, but only if used with understanding and great care.