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Old 07-02-2010, 01:41 AM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Question Feedback please! Can you convert back to being mono after discovering you are poly?

So, an online friend proposed that poly works (he does not identify himself as poly), if it is “done well”. Well, I think I can safely say that I have “done it” quite poorly (we are about 4 months in).

There have been flags along the way, that I have not given the attention they deserve. And please do not jump on me for that, I admitted it remember? That's the past and none of us can change it.

Where we are now is that I have been dating as has dh, though it has looked very different:

I started out with one partner, and that has grown to another and a potential. I recognize that things moved way too fast. I didn't plan it that way; my mistake was naivete and my own insecurities (in not believing that I would be desirable to others).

Dh has been seeing a woman who is not poly, and not really comfortable with poly. She seems to operate as if she wishes I would somehow miraculously go away ;-). Well, her questioning of the poly lifestyle has only deepened dh's negative feelings toward it.

It is hard to boil this all down. I'll probably leave out important details, but just ask...

He came home from a date last week and told me that they had “fooled around” (this, as it turns out, is a lie). I responded positively, although I did admit that I had to grapple with my own insecurities, which I did gladly.

It was at that moment that dh recognized that our fundamental problem is that I am poly and he is mono.

He doesn't want me to date other men, but recognizes that this is true to who I am. The analogy he and his best friend came up with is similar to the process of coming out as gay (this man is gay). One can choose to hide who he/she is, but it would be just that, a major deception.

So, what dh and I laid out today is that I'm poly, he's mono, neither one of us has any desires or plans to leave the other (if you only knew how much we adore each other!), and obvee we have trust issues that need to be addressed.

So, now what? Can I just “go back” to being mono? Regardless, I know that I need to put things on hold with my secondaries, but damn if that's not hard on many levels...

I could really use advice and support right now. Ask for any necessary clarification.
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:18 AM
immaterial immaterial is offline
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Poly people can be successfully monogamous, as polyamory is not non-monogamy. It seems interesting to me, however, that loving many but being sexually focused on only one can be done. I have never been able to do that. Of course, I am an admitted non-monogamist, however.

This is a bit garbled. What I mean is: you don't have to "go back" to being mono if you are polyamorous. You can be polyamorous and mono. Does that make sense? I guess you could even recognize you are non-monogamous and just choose not to act on it. I haven't had much success with that, however.

Immaterial
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Old 07-02-2010, 02:55 AM
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SourGirl SourGirl is offline
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I would think, it depends where you are at, as a person.

Life Ebbs and flows. Sometimes we feel more social, sometimes we hermit. Sometime we feel more active, sometimes lazier.

Same goes for sexual prowness, or how 'poly' we feel at that particular time.


If you are feeling like you could easily gravitate to having focus on your husband solely, and you feel happy with that, then yes, you could possibly enter a state of monogamy. For however long it works for you both.

On the other hand, if you are feeling more poly/love, or truly caring for people in more then one place....it will prove to be more difficult.


The biggest question, would be asking yourself if you are doing this because you want to, or to appease others. Also, to make sure you won`t have regrets later.

Might be best to 'take a break' and revisit it later on.
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Old 07-02-2010, 12:38 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Superjast View Post
I would think, it depends where you are at, as a person

If you are feeling like you could easily gravitate to having focus on your husband solely, and you feel happy with that, then yes, you could possibly enter a state of monogamy. For however long it works for you both.

On the other hand, if you are feeling more poly/love, or truly caring for people in more then one place....it will prove to be more difficult.

The biggest question, would be asking yourself if you are doing this because you want to, or to appease others. Also, to make sure you won`t have regrets later.

Might be best to 'take a break' and revisit it later on.
Let me clarify--I am most definitely in full-on poly mode. Were I to choose to "go back" to being mono, it would be a major sacrifice for me. One I am willing to make, but I would have to work really hard not to resent him.

I would be doing this to please him and to honor his wishes. Again, this is not out of the ordinary for me, but this would be the first time that I can think of that it has felt like a major sacrifice to me; and I do mean major.

As for taking a break, how does one do that irt secondaries? One has already told me that he will wait, the other does not yet know. The potential knows just the bit I felt comfortable sharing over email. He is in a long-time open marriage, and has exchanged several emails with dh, so has a really good grip on where he is at.

The problem is, he/they could wait for a long time only to have it never happen. Do I just recognize this as their choice? I don't know. My stomach is in knots...

Christie
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Old 07-02-2010, 07:57 PM
SayYes SayYes is offline
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I totally sympathize. I was the one who made the push for poly in my marriage, and I knew for years that I was poly but tried to push it aside because my husband wasn't comfortable with it. I don't know if it's possible to make that shift back to mono, but I do know that if I would have continued trying to repress that part of myself in my marriage, we would have ended up divorced. There is no doubt in my mind. I told myself I was "willing" to make the sacrifice, but sometimes "willingness" to sacrifice something is not enough to mediate the damage that sacrifice does to you and your relationship.

When we finally did open things up, I made it pretty clear to my husband that this was not a "trial period" that he could change his mind about. I will do everything possible to help him through periods of insecurity he might have, but that does *not* include suspending or ending my other relationship. He knows that if he couldn't handle poly anymore we would be done, not because I would be choosing my boyfriend over him, but because I couldn't possibly go back to monogamy and make our marriage work.

You *can* make it work with one of you poly and the other mono. My husband isn't entirely sure yet where he falls on that spectrum, but he knows that I will remain poly no matter what he ultimately decides is right for him with regard to other relationships. At some point, I think it becomes a question not so much of whether you're *willing* to live monogamously, but whether you really *can* have a relationship that is healthy for you under those circumstances.

Good luck working things out!
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Old 07-02-2010, 08:51 PM
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sage sage is offline
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Are you considering a mono lifestyle because of this woman your husband has been seeing? It sounds as if he has the potential of a mono relationship elsewhere and that is why you are considering the change.

A poly trying to be mono is a very difficult thing. Here is a possible (probable) outcome of that. His potential goes away, you cut contact with your secondaries. You make each other miserable trying to be what you're not and either split or you go back to being poly with him a mono husband.

You say you adore each other. If you read some of the blogs of mono/poly relationships eg the Blog of the Mono Wife, Kat Tails you will get some idea of how hard it is for these relationships to work. I hate saying if I were you but I'm going to anyway...If I were you I would stick to who you are while you both have alternate supports and options. Love him enough to let him go then if he comes back to you and is prepared to be the mono to your poly he will be doing it of his own free will because of his depth of love.


Sage
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:53 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SayYes View Post
Quote:
I told myself I was "willing" to make the sacrifice, but sometimes "willingness" to sacrifice something is not enough to mediate the damage that sacrifice does to you and your relationship.
This quote is very salient for me. It is my biggest fear--I've sacrificed a lot for our relationship, not because he asked me to, but because I *chose* to, but it did damage for sure. What damage would this do?

Quote:
You *can* make it work with one of you poly and the other mono. My husband isn't entirely sure yet where he falls on that spectrum, but he knows that I will remain poly no matter what he ultimately decides is right for him with regard to other relationships. At some point, I think it becomes a question not so much of whether you're *willing* to live monogamously, but whether you really *can* have a relationship that is healthy for you under those circumstances.
You lay it out very nicely. This is at the heart of it, isn't it?

Christie
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:44 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Originally Posted by immaterial View Post
Poly people can be successfully monogamous, as polyamory is not non-monogamy. It seems interesting to me, however, that loving many but being sexually focused on only one can be done. I have never been able to do that. Of course, I am an admitted non-monogamist, however.

This is a bit garbled. What I mean is: you don't have to "go back" to being mono if you are polyamorous. You can be polyamorous and mono. Does that make sense? I guess you could even recognize you are non-monogamous and just choose not to act on it. I haven't had much success with that, however.

Immaterial
Yeah, if I may sound like a child just for a moment "I don't wanna"!!!! Wahh!!!

Dh has asked me why I need to have sex with them. And the truth is, I don't *need* to. It is a significant want, so much so that it feels like a need, but I can't honestly say it is a need.

My first oso and I had sex and it was a reflection of both our love for each other and where we were at then (that's cryptic, but...).

My 2nd oso and I have talked a lot about it. Sex is not the be all and end all for us. But intimacy is important to us. We would like to have sex as an expression of our feelings for one another. We are respecting the boundaries dh has set, but it does feel like a constraint.

My potential oso is an experienced poly guy/swinger. It's amusing to me how slow he is moving. But it fits for all of us right now. I don't need to have sex with him. Do I want to? Yes, but I'm also scared d/t his experience. So, slow is good.

I'm composing a post about the meaning of sex, but who knows how long that will take to get posted .

I guess that was off track, but the point, I think, is that I've moved to this point with the others, and feel pressured by that even though no one is, in and of themselves, pressuring me.

I hope this makes some sense...

Christie
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Old 07-13-2010, 06:23 PM
jkelly jkelly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by inlovewith2 View Post
So, now what? Can I just “go back” to being mono? Regardless, I know that I need to put things on hold with my secondaries, but damn if that's not hard on many levels...
Well, I imagine it's probably pretty hard for your "secondaries", too, since they're having their relationship with you stop and start at the whims of you and your partner.

Anyway, I think that this identity stuff; "I'm poly-, he's mono-, she's polyflexible" etc. can just confuse things, at least some of the time. Plenty of people in long term monogamous relationships find themselves attracted to, or falling in love with, someone other than their partner. They then decide whether to explore that, either by cheating or leaving, or not.

I don't think that "being poly-" makes much of a difference in all this, with one exception. If one finds oneself interested in someone who is themselves interested in being poly-, that makes it a lot more tempting to leave, because one can then have the kind of relationship one has been wanting to have. Other than that, an identity or relationship style preference doesn't drive one into new relationships; we all deliberately choose to do that each time.
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