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Old 11-15-2012, 05:10 AM
TheBalance TheBalance is offline
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Default Struggles With Nonmonogamy

So my partner and I have been nonmonogamous for about 4 or 5 months, we have been together for a year and a half. She initially brought up the topic this summer because she had been feeling guilty about having attractions to other people. I agreed to open up our relationship because I wanted her to be able to be honest with herself and not have to hide. We have struggled a lot (mostly me) throughout these past months getting over jealousy hurdles and insecurities. I definitely have not conquered the two of these powerful feelings, but I have gotten a lot better. Recently, though, I have been having doubts. From the beginning, I did not want to be nonmonogamous, I only did it for her. I thought that I would feel differently after some time passed, but it hasnt at all. In fact, it is really starting to affect me. I feel like I'm lying to myself and my partner. I feel so stressed every day and I usually break down and cry on a daily basis because it is too much for me to handle.

So here is my predicament: I want to be with my partner. She means the world to me and I never want to lose her. She is nonmonogamous and I am monogamous. I don't want to ask her to be monogamous, because that wouldn't be true to who she is, but at the same time, I don't want to be nonmonogamous because I don't feel that it is true to who I am. I am at a complete loss as to how this could be resolved so that everyone can be happy.
Please lend me some advice
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Old 11-15-2012, 05:40 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
So here is my predicament: I want to be with my partner. She means the world to me and I never want to lose her. She is nonmonogamous and I am monogamous. I don't want to ask her to be monogamous, because that wouldn't be true to who she is, but at the same time, I don't want to be nonmonogamous because I don't feel that it is true to who I am. I am at a complete loss as to how this could be resolved so that everyone can be happy.
HARD LIMITS:
  • The monogamy part cannot be changed in you.
  • The nonmonogamy part cannot be changed in her.
  • You don't want to exclude her from your life.
  • Cannot live in pain (either of you)

SOFT LIMITS:
  • Then perhaps the romance part has to shift, and you include each other in your lives in the role of friend instead of the role of romantic partner.

Nothing wrong with having a good friend. I know you probably don't want to stop the romance part either, but given that the other things are hard limits and this one is a soft that CAN be changed in time...

Something has to give here. I know it is probably not what you want to hear.

I am sorry you are hurting.

Galagirl
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 05:57 AM
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NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
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Originally Posted by TheBalance View Post
So my partner and I have been nonmonogamous for about 4 or 5 months, we have been together for a year and a half. She initially brought up the topic this summer because she had been feeling guilty about having attractions to other people. I agreed to open up our relationship because I wanted her to be able to be honest with herself and not have to hide. We have struggled a lot (mostly me) throughout these past months getting over jealousy hurdles and insecurities. I definitely have not conquered the two of these powerful feelings, but I have gotten a lot better. Recently, though, I have been having doubts. From the beginning, I did not want to be nonmonogamous, I only did it for her. I thought that I would feel differently after some time passed, but it hasnt at all. In fact, it is really starting to affect me. I feel like I'm lying to myself and my partner. I feel so stressed every day and I usually break down and cry on a daily basis because it is too much for me to handle.

So here is my predicament: I want to be with my partner. She means the world to me and I never want to lose her. She is nonmonogamous and I am monogamous. I don't want to ask her to be monogamous, because that wouldn't be true to who she is, but at the same time, I don't want to be nonmonogamous because I don't feel that it is true to who I am. I am at a complete loss as to how this could be resolved so that everyone can be happy.
Please lend me some advice
I'm a bit confused. You said you opened up, but you haven't said if you are seeing other people also.

There are tons of stories on these very boards of men who are monogamous to women who are non-monogamous. It is entirely possible to do that; however, it does sound as if you are unhappy with her non-monogamy.

Other than that clarification, I heartily second what GalaGirl says.
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:07 AM
TheBalance TheBalance is offline
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Thank you for your responses, this is all so confusing and every bit of advice really helps. I am not seeing other people. I have considered it, but have concluded that it just isn't for me. I have no desire to be with other people. She has asked me to see other people because she feels guilty about being the only one. I really wish that I could give her what she needs, that's why I have been trying to hang in there.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:10 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Is getting over the jealousy the main thing? Could anything here help? You do more page 5 things? She does more page 6 things?

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im...ed_10-6-10.pdf

I mean... you could try. But if the bottom line is that poly configurations just are not your cup of tea no matter what -- it is what it is.


You stating this...
Quote:
From the beginning, I did not want to be nonmonogamous, I only did it for her.
...is a big red flag. You are going against your own self/best interests if you do something your are NOT actually willing or eager to do. That is not being honest with yourself or with her.

It is possible to have a paradigm shift and change a core belief -- but not without serious work. So if you are feeling "meh" about polyshipping to start? And just along for the ride because you wanted to be in her orbit?

That's not sounding like you changing a core belief hard limit thing like "I am monoamorous but this is the exception to the rule" is happening. Could it be? Could take your inner temperature on that to see if it is still "meh" or what. But LISTEN to yourself this time honestly when you ask THAT question of yourself:

I am monoamorously wired. Is this polyship with her the exception to the rule? Am I willing to put in the work required AND give up some of my wants like "my partner is exclusive to me?" Can I offer her me as an agreeable, healthy companion under these conditions?
Hang in there. I know this does not feel fun.


Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-15-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 11-15-2012, 09:41 AM
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Sugarbooger Sugarbooger is offline
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GalaGirl is wise. Doing something for the sake of somebody else to keep the relationship together is not really a good idea.

I'll keep you in my thoughts. Sorry you are having a tough time.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:42 PM
ThatGirlInGray ThatGirlInGray is offline
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Originally Posted by TheBalance View Post
I am not seeing other people. I have considered it, but have concluded that it just isn't for me. I have no desire to be with other people. She has asked me to see other people because she feels guilty about being the only one. I really wish that I could give her what she needs, that's why I have been trying to hang in there.
Her guilt is not something you can do anything about. That is something for HER to work on HERSELF, much like you have to work on your issues with jealousy.

I've been in her shoes. I understand the guilt. But it isn't for you to fix. Nor, really, would you seeing other people help, because THEN she'd likely feel guilty for pushing something on you that you didn't want to do AND you'd probably be resentful as well as unhappy. The question you need to answer for yourself is: Can I be happy in a relationship with her while she is in a relationship with others? The question she needs to answer for herself is: Can I be happy in a relationship with someone who is only in a relationship with me? If the answers are both yes, then you can move forward and work on figuring out how said relationship will work. But if either answer is no, then trying to force a match in either direction will just result in everyone being miserable.
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:52 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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Originally Posted by ThatGirlInGray View Post
Her guilt is not something you can do anything about. That is something for HER to work on HERSELF, much like you have to work on your issues with jealousy.

I've been in her shoes. I understand the guilt. But it isn't for you to fix. Nor, really, would you seeing other people help, because THEN she'd likely feel guilty for pushing something on you that you didn't want to do AND you'd probably be resentful as well as unhappy. The question you need to answer for yourself is: Can I be happy in a relationship with her while she is in a relationship with others? The question she needs to answer for herself is: Can I be happy in a relationship with someone who is only in a relationship with me? If the answers are both yes, then you can move forward and work on figuring out how said relationship will work. But if either answer is no, then trying to force a match in either direction will just result in everyone being miserable.
Very well put, ThatGirlInGray.

TheBalance,

She feels guilt, and you have a fear of losing her. These are the two "parts" of your relationship. A very fragile combination. What is your fear of loss about?
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:40 PM
TheBalance TheBalance is offline
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Thank you every one for such insightful answers. This definitely give me a lot to think about.

Snowmelt, I only fear losing her because I dont WANT to lose her. I want to be with her because we have had such a history and have gotten through so much together. She means the world to me and I can't imagine my life without her. We have spoken about what we would do if we ever broke up and she says that she would not be able to be even my friend. I guess what I'm afraid of is if we do break up, I will lose her completely and forever.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:10 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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We have spoken about what we would do if we ever broke up and she says that she would not be able to be even my friend. I guess what I'm afraid of is if we do break up, I will lose her completely and forever.
This is not a case of "Win choice vs lose choice." ALL the choices stink for you.

So pick the least stinky one then. Some of the choices in Life just come that way. If there was a rose smelling chose we'd be all over that but there isn't so..."Which one stinks the least then? And moves things forward?"
1) You choose to stay =
  • KNOWN pain/struggle of being in polyship that does not meed your needs.
  • It stinks, you know it, that's why you are posting cuz you feel stuck
  • There is no end to stink in sight.

2) You choose to THINK about leaving =
  • possible Pain/struggle of learning to live without her because you cannot imagine it right now.
  • you don't want to think it, but still enduring known pain #1 in the meanwhile.
  • And really you are thinking about it. Just more like thinking about not wanting to think about it. It is tempest in a teapot.

Better to just NOT imagine things and get on with realities and skip the "what iffing" tempest in a teapot. Deal with WHAT IS as you come to them. Just take this off table. Grey it out!


3) You choose to ask GF to close back down to monoship so you get relief =
  • possible pain if she says "no" to monoship
  • possible pain she breaks up with you.
  • possible pain she does NOT break up with you and you remain in unsatisfying polyship with her.
  • possible pain you have to move on and break up with her.
  • You deal with fact that exgf would not want to be friends afterward.
  • (Maybe it turns out you are ok with it after initial ughness?)

4) You choose to leave without asking her about monoship =
  • Possible pain and struggle of dealing with break up
  • You deal with fact that exgf would not want to be friends afterward.
  • (Maybe it turns out you are ok with it after initial ughness?)
Are there more choices here not yet listed? Could add those on board then for yourself.

Then could relist in order of pain level for yourself -- least stinky to most stinky. Then could choose to make a decision so you at least are moving something forward and unsticking yourself form all this ugh.

Me? I'd go with with ask if a monoship is possible and if not, be prepared to 3 and break up. Just to know I checked all avenues before moving my life forward toward a healing place. Short term suckage is less stinky than long term known no end in sight suckage.

Then even though there is short term UGH to get through, you are moving your LONG TERM healths to a better space and reaching TOWARD your next future happiness.

Not sitting in endless suckage stuckness.

I know it is very hard to feel, and I am sorry you are in pain.

But shilly shally just elongates the duration. Sooner or later you have to make up your mind what you want. I hope you want to pick YOUR best long term healths in mind, body, heart, and soul. For sure your mental health, emotional health, and spiritual healths are hurting right now.

But you choose your behavior and then the feelings ensue after. Your behavior either is moving you toward a positive place or it isn't.

My 2 cents,
Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 11-16-2012 at 09:26 PM.
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