Poly me, mono him?
I am a serial monogamist who has often found myself intensely attracted to other parties. Being mono, I haven't acted on my attractions, though I have pushed the limits a couple of times. I finally realized I feel as bad about the emotional wandering than if it were physical, and began discussions with my husband.
We've been a couple for almost seven years, mono the whole time. We are very happy and very in love, with probably a stronger relationship than ever before. Our talks help build closeness, though I don't know that actual action will turn out so well. My husband is philosophically in agreement with an open relationship, but I don't think he's truly poly since he isn't interested in dating relationships with others.
I think his perspective is colored by the fact he doesn't have any women in his life he can envision a relationship with. He isn't really attracted to any of his female friends, and doesn't seem interested in trying to find any to be attracted to. I'm fine with that, but it makes the reality of the situation difficult in that I'm asking him to indulge behavior I don't have to deal with in return, and he can't pit himself in my shoes and see what it feels like to feel non-mono. Again, he's philosophically open, I just don't think he has the non-mono drive I do.
Right now I am very, very attracted to a friend of ours. He shares a lot of common interests with both of us, and a few with me that I don't share with my husband. One of the interests is expensive and time-consuming, and my husband is jealous about the potential of my time being divided as I pursue said interest with someone I have feelings for. It is not an interest my husband can participate in, however, and I'd be pursuing it regardless of feelings. So, that's one concern: not wanting this thing I love to be viewed as taking me away from my husband for another man, rather than for the sake of the activity itself.
There is also the fact that I am more open to the idea of relationships (instead of just outside sexual encounters) than he is, and I'm not sure how to handle that. I don't know if I should even start anything with the friend if it has to bs confined to sex, as I'm afraid that will just leave us both wanting more and causing stress with my husband. I'm not sure if having nothing is better than having only part of what I desire?
My husband thinks it is important to work through his feelings of jealousy and be open to outside relationships, and I believe him. I absolutely adore him Nd hate the idea this can hurt him; however, I also don't think it's right or fair for me to stifle feelings forever in the interest of pretending at being a good mono. I figure if I'm not mono in mind, then I'm not mono and need to own that.
I think my husband's biggest fear is losing me or falling into second place. I understand and sympathize, and don't know the right words to reassure him I'm capable of exploring this without doing that kind of damage. I know that my husband is a fantastic partner, lover, father, and my best friend, and I still struggle with guilt that I'm selfish for not just stuffing away my inclinations and focusing 100% on monogamy. I just know that I am so much more relaxed and open since broaching this with him, and feel that--while it may mean some time division just by the nature of the universe--this really has the potential to make our relationship even better via increased mutual and personal fulfillment.
Anyway, I guess the real questions I have are whether anyone has experience restricting a relationship to physicality when they might wish for more, and whether anyone is happily poly with a happily mono partner? Any associated advice would be great.