I was temporarily monogamous with my fiancé, Indigo, for the first year and a half of our relationship. We have been gradually moving out of this phase since around Christmas (2009).
I've known I am poly for a long time, but didn't realize it until a few years ago. R is the first person I've been able to explore this with.
From the outset of our relationship, I made it clear to Indigo that I needed to be poly, but was willing and able to wait for him. He has not had many loves in his life, nor sex with someone he wasn't dating (until recently). He was burned badly serveral times in his past by cheaters, one of whom was
Before I'm corrected, I will say that I do understand the difference between poly and open. However, I tend to date ass-backwards and usually go from sex to love, not the other way around.
The concepts of an open relationship and poly were completely foreign to Indigo. He struggled for a long time with the idea that sex didn't have to mean love, love isn't necessarily the same kind of love we share, or that I could love someone else and still love him (still working on this one). He thought that any of those things meant he wasn't enough for me, was less of a man, and that I didn't love him completely.
I didn't push for opening our relationship, but we kept up a dialogue about it. When I started to get the familiar itch around Christmas to find someone else, I broke down in tears. I told Indigo that I didn't want to be a cheater, didn't want to break his heart and lose his trust, but knew it would happen if we couldn't open up soon.
I felt selfish.
I have since come to realize that I was not and am not selfish. Poly is a part of who I am. I cannot control it any more than I can control that I'm bisexual, or that I dislike cabbage! I have realized that as much as I love Indigo, we would have to go our seperate ways if open/poly was not an option. It's not an ultimatum; it's who I am. It is no more selfish than if he required monogamy and could not love AND live with my poly heart.
Luckily, Indigo saw my pain quite clearly. We started with a baby step. I was allowed to date women, because they were far less threatening to him. Obviously, there is no comparison physically between men and women, so in his mind, he was not threatened. Much to his surprise, our love and sex life exploded as I rejoiced when this piece of me was able to express itself again.
Fast forward about a month. On his own, Indigo came to the conclusion that since I am bisexual, I could very well run off with a woman if I loved her "more". But rather than panicking, he realized that if he could trust me to love women, it was rather close-minded on his part (with regards to my sexuality) not to trust me with men.
So naturally, I was thrilled. Men are easier to find, for me. And I perhaps (no definitely) took off from the gate too eagerly. I have since given a most heartfelt apology.
I have been keeping reasonable track of progress! Follow me here: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3447