We have a friend that has been with his mono girlfriend for about a year. He came into their relationship on the verge of his polyness and put it on hold for her. She and he agreed that they would try out their love and when it ended it ended. Some time later now they are still at it. He has all but dropped out of the community because it can be really hard for him on many levels. He wants to do all the fun sexy stuff that some people in the community do, he wants to be able to find other loves and he basically wants to hang out without her feeling like we are all a threat. She does not want him spending time with us, doesn't want to know us and thinks that he is fine and committed and changed. she seems to think that his staying away from the community events is because he isn't interested, not because he finds it hard because it pushes him to think.
In talking to him, he has decided that he will not push her. Against suggestion to push her a bit, he has decided that the risk of losing her is too great. He realizes he has invested a lot in her and she in him and that when it was make or break time when they talked about all this early on, that he had consciously decided to suppress his nature because his love for her was bigger.
I admire him. I think his love much be huge if he is willing to take this course and suppress his feelings to be with her. He talks with Mono and I often because we are in a similar dynamic. Me with a mono man. The difference is that I have other lovers, albeit no more male sexual ones and Mono has none of the threats or fear that his partner has. Mono and I have made similar commitments and negotiated boundaries around his mono nature and my poly one. I will not take another male lover while with him and if I do, then our sexual relationship will end. I can hang out with whomever I want to and establish loving relationships with whomever I want to knowing the boundary in place.
I don't have a need to take on other lovers. I have enough. I don't need any more variety. It took me awhile to get there. I thought my freedom was jeopardized and that he was unfair. once I understood that I am really fine where I am I was okay and we could allow each other to have the boundaries we needed. But it took a whole lot of heart to heart discussions coming from a place of respect and honesty. I even remember hearing him say that he didn't think we would last.
You can create whatever you want from your relationship with this man if you keep finding the line where the boundary lies. He can push a bit, you can push a bit, until you know where it is and can trust that he knows where it is. I screwed up a bit but got to know where it is. I suspect it will change and move around a bit, and we will keep checking in on that, but for now I know where I stand and feel safe and have all the freedom in the world from that feeling. Commitment to "us" is so freeing!
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