Wow! First of all thank you for all of the thoughtful responses. This was way more than I could have ever imagined. I will go through and provide my feedback and also show these to my girlfriend as well to see if this brings her any insight as well!
Sagency wrote "If I read that right, I'd ask why she needs to be poly? There are many happy mono-poly relationships. The pressure of her adopting your nature may be a major stressor."
Yes you did read that right and I have often asked her this question as well and her response has been that she wants the relationship to be more balanced. I have always held the stance that if she wants to be mono then that is completely ok with me and I will support her in that. I never would want to push my values and belief onto her and ask that she change her behavior to reflect that. So that is her thing to want to be more poly.
Sagency wrote "The issue of anger at not adjusting better is much like a self-esteem issue. Be supportive. Comfort her when she struggles. Reassure her when she fears. And most of all celebrate with her when she improves. She may feel you're examining her or judging her for not moving fast enough. Instead, use your observations to find good things. Tell her when you think she's doing well--cheer your partner on."
As much as I can I am supportive when she struggles. Let me qualify what I mean. It is very interesting though as to "How she tends to struggle" She is very sneaky. For example sometimes she will appear to get angry about something totally not related to the poly/mono dynamic such as maybe a comment that I made and she didn't like the tone of my voice, eventhough I considered to be a very calm guy, rarely ever raise my voice at her or call her names. When we talked about it she will bring up poly/mono dynamic type things in an attacking way. She will then later apologize and say that it was because she has been stressed at work and that everything that she said was totally made up and I should forget all of the things that she said. She then will get upset if I bring up any of those statements that she claimed to have issues with as if they were real. So I have tried many different ways to deal with that and the most effective way to date is to simply agree with her and forget about it. This can be challenging since some of the things that she says to me can be quite abusive. So that's what I mean by "as much as I can"
Sagency wrote "Your frustration is a you thing. Spilling it on her can be toxic. From some of what you wrote, it sounds like you have a lot of you work to do as well. If I were to hazard a guess, I'd say she's feeling pressure to change, and that pressure is making things worse. The only suggestion I can offer there is that sometimes we have to release the grip and have faith. "
Yes I understand that as well and I would agree with you around what she is feeling although I could be wrong. Releasing the grip is precisely where most of my work has been. Thanks for this.
"In your place I guess I would just say that these people have feelings too, and barring an emergency, you won't cancel plans with them because it would be rude and they deserve better. If you stick to that kindly but firmly, hopefully she will stop requesting you cancel."
Yes I am in the process of working on this negotiation. Her stands seems to be in the moment that she doesn't care about the date since my focus needs to be on the relationship between me and her. I'm probably wrong though and to her defense though we haven't solidified anything clear here so I'm sure we can figure something out here. Thanks for putting your attention there
Redpepper wrote "Thirdly, it sounds to me like she is monogamous and thinks that in order to keep you she needs to be a super star girlfriend and learn to be okay with your dates (the sex the night before etc makes me wonder about that). "
I would agree somewhat with you here. I think she is monogamous and that she not only feels like that, but also in that she feels that she herself needs to convert to being poly which isn't true. It seems as there is no amount of specific reassurance in this department seems to curb that for her which leads me to...
Redpepper wrote "We have just learned to feel uncomfortable sometimes and that it is what it is. Neither of us have been able to figure the other out around the issue of me needing more closeness and connection to others in the form of sex so that is where my relationships stop growing. I haven't been able to understand that he doesn't get that it has nothing to do with my love for him."
YES! This is a very tough challenge for me as well. As I am writing this I am noticing that this is where I need to work a lot on myself and change how I am viewing my world. There is an answer to this riddle but it is comforting to see that I am not the only one who struggles with this one. And to comment on your earlier statement I can be impatient I know, I am just trying to figure out what being "patient" looks like within our relationship.
Sage wrote "In relationships where the polys were active the monos weren't happy and in relationships where the polys were inactive or minimally active the monos were happy or happier but the poly partner was unhappy."
In my experience this seems to be the case with us, however overall this doesn't translate into it not working for us. I think rather it translates to more work on ourselves for us to focus on the bigger places in our relationship where it is working. There are places where we haven't figured it out and places where we have. My question that comes to me for me is what does successful mean to you?
Sage wrote "Your girl friend's responses seem emotional rather than rational and I think this is a symptom of loving someone who loves differently to the way you do."
I agree here as well and thank you for your feedback here.
Polyexplorer wrote "So in some ways our experience adds some weight to the thought that it is very hard for a strictly mono person to be with a poly person. Even though my wife definitely leans more towards the mono side, if she is going to accept me being and practicing poly, she feels she needs to be in on the action at least to some degree too... "
Thank you for chiming in. You situation seems similar to mine. I find it so fascinating the subtle differences in beliefs within people. What's interesting is your wife's desire to "not miss out on the fun". My girlfriend has more of a desire to "keep things separate" and she doesn't require a lot of alone space at all.
MonoVCPHG wrote "If someone says, "hey I want to have my end of the relationship on my terms then should we not expect and afford the other person the same rights? Especially if the new terms go completely against the original terms of the relationship?"
I love this and that has been my position both intellectually and emotionally. For my girlfriend she has that position intellectually, but has a challenge with that emotionally. Because of that she gets mad at herself which then leads to bad places. So this sparks the question of "if that is your position how do you negotiate the emotional aspect of this stance with the behavior of one side or the other?" This has been another puzzle that I have yet to solve. Great insight!