It's been three months now since my partner of about a year and a half told be that he didn't think he could continue to function in a monogamous relationship, and that he wanted to be free to have romantic and sexual connections with other people.
I've been struggling with a lot of things in regards to this, and while he's been as supportive as he knows how to be, I still feel like I can't really talk to him about it, because it seems like he's not really hearing me, or lapses into logic or sarcasm when what I need is reassurance... or something. I feel like he gets frustrated with my inability to just get on board with it and feel what he feels.
There's so much going that I just don't understand. His idea of what the relationship model would ideally look like seems to change on a whim, and I feel like our life together is very unstable. There's now always the thought in the back of my mind that "I don't know if I can do this, maybe I'll have to leave", which interferes with my ability to be emotionally open to him. I feel like there is now distance between us that wasn't there when we were monogamous. I find myself putting distance between myself and other women in case he has, or develops, an attraction to them.
I don't want to break up, for various reasons. I'm totally in love with him; he's an amazing person who inspires and challenges and delights me in so many ways. I've never known anyone whose company I enjoy so much. I moved here to be with him, and I keep asking myself if I would have moved for an open relationship. I don't think I would have.
Something I'm struggling with is feelings that there must be something wrong in our relationship if he wants to have others. All my life I've heard "They don't look elsewhere if they're satisfied at home", and I can't help but worry that I'm an unsatisfying partner to him. I feel shamed and insulted. I've been reading a lot on this site and others, and it seems that most people who identify as poly were cheaters in the past; am I just giving a cheater a way to avoid guilt?
I don't want another lover. I feel like it would distract from my relationship with him. I'm trying to recognize that he's "just different" from me, and that wouldn't be the case for him, but there's this feeling that because he wants another and I don't, he must not be as in love, as committed, as serious, as whateveryouwanttocallit as I am. I know this is slightly stupid, and I'm trying to get past it.
Limited time and resources is another issue for me. We're both very busy people, and when we first talked about this, I expressed the concern that he didn't really have time to add another person to his life. He said "You make time", which sounds well and good, but he and I have been trying to "make time" to go see a movie together for over a week. He won't "make time" for me, but will for other women? He immediately balked when I suggested that he limit his time with another partner to once a week, and said he wanted to be able to see them more than that. We live together, but get very little quality time together as it is (not NEARLY once a week), and the idea that he wants to give the majority of his free time elsewhere is very hurtful to me.
I'm sticking with the thinking that this is just growing pains, that this is something I want to give him, that my feelings will get sorted out eventually... but I need some support. Ready, go.