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Old 04-07-2010, 10:17 PM
Polyanomaly Polyanomaly is offline
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Default Should I even be here? Mono needs help please.

I feel like I've wandered into somewhere I shouldn't be... I hope I'm in the right place to ask a couple of questions and get a bit of advice, even though I'm mono.

I'd like to thank the person who first coined the phrase "hard-wired mono" - during my research on this forum and other sites, the frankness, sense and security in what you have all chosen as your lifestyle has made me feel as if there's something wrong with ME - reading that someone can be described as "hard-wired mono" has made me feel a lot better about what I am, as if it's deep in my make-up and not my fault.

I don't have a poly story as everyone else on here seems to, and I haven't been able to find anything matching my feelings in the posts (though I have only looked closely at the "new to polyamory" section) which is why I have decided to post myself.

My problem is simply this: a few months ago I was chatting with my partner. We've been together for years, exclusive, hetero and monogomous, and he mentioned a female friend had a new boyfriend and that her new guy was polyamorous and had another long term partner. A pause in the conversation ensued while he explained the term polyamorous - I was familiar with the concept of "open relationships" but had not heard it called this before, or realised the permutations and subtleties possible. It seems that his friend was excited to be in the new relationship but had hopes of taking over the role of "primary" pretty soon. [Incidentally, from what I have read on this forum, it seems to me that she was already missing the point of polyamory if she was hoping for this?]. I was interested immediately, as I always am in finding out new things I haven't heard of before, but as soon as I did the thing where I imagined myself in the situation, I felt disturbed and agitated. After searching my feelings and discussing this with my BF for a short while, I came to the conclusion that I was, as I put it then, "very monogomous" and we left it at that. I never found out if his friend stayed with her new partner or managed to become his primary, as he lost touch with her shortly afterwards.

My problem is now this: I am attempting to explore the reasons why, nearly a year and a half later, I'm still feeling so frightened and disturbed about that conversation. It's as if the last few months haven't happened; I'm just as - yes, I will use the word: *horrified* as I was when I first heard about it.

Now, don't get me wrong, please... I'm not in any way passing judgement on the way you guys are doing things. On the contrary, I still feel the curiosity and interest in polyamory that I did when I first found out, and in fact I've been awed by the thoughtfulness and respect which has gone into many of your situations to ensure that everyone is completely happy and there is no deceit.

No, the problem is entirely with me, and I hope a couple of you might be able to stay with me while I work this out. The above-mentioned curiosity and interest are entirely to do with Other People - I'm delighted that a group of people can be so fulfilled and happy, with all the pleasures of relationships enhanced by adding further dimensions. The horror and fear come exclusively from the thought that this lifestyle might touch my own life in some way. I feel a little apologetic saying this somewhere like a polyamory forum, but what I want from my relationship is absolute sexual and romantic exclusivity on my own part and also from my partner, and a commitment for it to stay that way. And up to now, I have believed that my partner wants the same as I do. I've believed this because it's been discussed between us. What, therefore, could the problem be?

I have searched my feelings on this, and I may have come up with half an answer, at least, which will lead to some questions. So here goes:-

I think what's worrying me is that I feel I may have, without knowing it, been approached by my partner with a view to possibly opening up our relationship. I know him well enough to know that if he had been thinking about this, he would broach the subject in general terms first (for example, passing on news about a friend's new poly relationship) to gauge my reaction. If that was favourable, he would proceed to more specific discussions about the two of us. In this case, if that is what he was doing, he fell at the first hurdle because of how I reacted. Now, I fear I may never find out if that was what he was leading up to.

What's also crossed my mind is that in telling him about her new relationship and all the details, that SHE might have been hitting on HIM in the same way, whether or not he realised it.

(A third explanation might be that he himself was in fact the boyfriend referred to in her story, and he was trying find a roundabout way to tell me. I think this one is just me being paranoid, but it's out there as a possibility. I've had a long time to think about this, remember!)

I know without any of you having to tell me, that I have to talk to him about this. And I will! Soon! We do have excellent communication, but he has lied in the past, and he has also avoided telling me things that would end up awkward for him. My reason for going on here first is to:-

(a) do some research so I feel ready and know what I'm talking about, and
(b) ask the following questions:-

- How does a polyamorous person go about getting a new partner, whilst remaining completely honest and transparent throughout? Could it possibly be the way I described? The subject is brought up generally first to prepare the way, then a person reveals they are polyamorous, then the relationship can develop on the basis of complete honesty? Am I at least justified in suspecting the possibility this might have happened to me, or does it strike anyone that I'm barking up the wrong tree?

- Doesn't starting a dialogue about the poly lifestyle often result in a "sorry, but I couldn't live that way" ending? Or am I quite unusual?

- Do mono people sometimes end up in a poly or "V" relationship simply so they won't lose the partner they adore?

- If a hitherto mono person spoke to their mono partner about potentially opening up the relationship and got a bad reaction from them, is there any going back? Will that person always have an interest in polyamory from then on, or can things go back to the way they were?

This man is my whole world, and I feel as if I couldn't live without him, yet I know for a fact I would end the relationship rather than agree to share him with anyone else. I know how possessive that sounds - even though I have read a few times on here that poly people have been despised for the way they live their lives, I bet there are a few of you guys thinking that my own attitude to my relationship is pretty despicable too. Reading it back, I'm not sure I wouldn't agree, though I can never, ever change my feelings about it.

So now you all know how mixed up and confused I'm feeling about things - I hope a couple of you will be able to offer some answers to my questions. There is a lovely atmosphere on this forum, of tolerance, acceptance, friendship and good plain common sense. I admire you all so much - you are such good people to let love rule, rather than sexual jealousy and possessiveness. Thank you for reading this.
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2010, 10:57 PM
Ariakas Ariakas is offline
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First off, thanks for posting, its impressive how you are looking through the looking glass simply for the sake of discovery.

And should you be here? Sure why not. I am poly, but wonder why I am still here. I don't have and don't forsee a poly relationship in my future. I am for all intensive purpose monogamous right now. I joined a rock climbing forum to learn about rock climbing...I haven't rock climbed and don't think I will.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyanomaly View Post
I was interested immediately, as I always am in finding out new things I haven't heard of before, but as soon as I did the thing where I imagined myself in the situation, I felt disturbed and agitated.

My problem is now this: I am attempting to explore the reasons why, nearly a year and a half later, I'm still feeling so frightened and disturbed about that conversation. It's as if the last few months haven't happened; I'm just as - yes, I will use the word: *horrified* as I was when I first heard about it.
Maybe "very monogamous" is too simple an answer. I am impressed you want to explore new ideas, but maybe this is a game changer for you. Or maybe it is challenging you in a way you could never have predicted to be challenged

Quote:
I have searched my feelings on this, and I may have come up with half an answer, at least, which will lead to some questions. So here goes:-

I think what's worrying me is that I feel I may have, without knowing it, been approached by my partner with a view to possibly opening up our relationship. I know him well enough to know that if he had been thinking about this, he would broach the subject in general terms first (for example, passing on news about a friend's new poly relationship) to gauge my reaction. If that was favourable, he would proceed to more specific discussions about the two of us. In this case, if that is what he was doing, he fell at the first hurdle because of how I reacted. Now, I fear I may never find out if that was what he was leading up to.
Don't guess, don't assume...ask ...you might be horrified over nothing. I know you say further down you will speak with him, but why have you been torturing yourself...

Quote:
- How does a polyamorous person go about getting a new partner, whilst remaining completely honest and transparent throughout? Could it possibly be the way I described? The subject is brought up generally first to prepare the way, then a person reveals they are polyamorous, then the relationship can develop on the basis of complete honesty? Am I at least justified in suspecting the possibility this might have happened to me, or does it strike anyone that I'm barking up the wrong tree?
How does anyone meet anyone? Some people use dating sites, some people don't look, some people hit bars, some people join poly groups, clubs or go golfing.

Personally, I have been "open" since I was 22/23. When I first picked my wife up in a bar (for example) we started flirting and talking...for some reason I openly discussed group sex, her bi sexuality, my newfound kinks. I was trying to shock her into saying no, instead she said yes. Until recently I probably could have been classified a swinger or some variation...who knew I could love 2 people at once.

Now...in your example, keep in mind, the party involved may not even know they were ever capable of polyamory. So they may well be transparent and honest...and then something changes.

Quote:
- Doesn't starting a dialogue about the poly lifestyle often result in a "sorry, but I couldn't live that way" ending? Or am I quite unusual?
I can't answer this...I have never had anyone just end a conversation based on a topic. At this point you are speaking strictly dialogue right, not changing the relationship?

Quote:
- Do mono people sometimes end up in a poly or "V" relationship simply so they won't lose the partner they adore?
Yes, I have read examples of this happening.

Quote:
- If a hitherto mono person spoke to their mono partner about potentially opening up the relationship and got a bad reaction from them, is there any going back? Will that person always have an interest in polyamory from then on, or can things go back to the way they were?
hmmmm...I can only speak to my experience...I can never be monogamous. It's really that simple. Will I run around humping everyones leg, no. Will I be chomping at the bit for a new gf all the time, no. Will I be open to meeting people and possibly seeing if it goes further. Yes.

I was in a monogamous relationship and miserable...was monogamy the culprit, partially...

Quote:
This man is my whole world, and I feel as if I couldn't live without him, yet I know for a fact I would end the relationship rather than agree to share him with anyone else. I know how possessive that sounds - even though I have read a few times on here that poly people have been despised for the way they live their lives, I bet there are a few of you guys thinking that my own attitude to my relationship is pretty despicable too. Reading it back, I'm not sure I wouldn't agree, though I can never, ever change my feelings about it.
Nope, not despicable ...
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:56 AM
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Lemondrop Lemondrop is offline
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Why are you torturing yourself? It's really okay to be monogamous, as long as you're being honest with yourself and your partner. You have the right to live your life in a manner that's best for you. It pushes my buttons when someone passes judgement on you for not living the same way they do.

If your partner wants to be poly, it's his responsibility to talk to you about it. If it frightens you that he wants to be poly and isn't saying something, then talk to him about it. If it helps, write down what you want to say. There is no harm in saying, "I'm sorry, but I'm not polyamorous." It's okay to say you're not comfortable with something. But after a year and a half, it seems likely to me that he's just fine with monogamy and was probably just bringing up something that was interesting, and possibly was curious to see how you would react to it. As human beings, we do this kind of thing all the time. "Did you hear about the guy who...? What do you think of that?"

As for your questions:

- Poly people find partners in a wide variety of ways, much the same way as mono people. I think Ariakas covered this well.

- You said, "Doesn't starting a dialogue about the poly lifestyle often result in a "sorry, but I couldn't live that way" ending?" Sometimes. If one partner can't live with poly, it's up to the two of them to figure out if the relationship has to end, if one partner can live without poly, or if there's some other compromise they can come up with.

- You asked, "Do mono people sometimes end up in a poly or "V" relationship simply so they won't lose the partner they adore?" Sometimes, though I would hope that everyone would agree on a compromise and that you would be true to yourself.

- You asked, "If a hitherto mono person spoke to their mono partner about potentially opening up the relationship and got a bad reaction from them, is there any going back? Will that person always have an interest in polyamory from then on, or can things go back to the way they were?" Let's get something straight--polyamory is not like air. Not everyone needs it. Having an interest in it does not necessarily mean they have to have it. I've seen people state that they need poly in their lives and that they can not be involved in a monogamous relationship. I've also seen poly people decide to be monogamous because they want the monogamous partner more than they want poly. I think that it would be far better to be honest and find out up front what's going on than to think that not talking about it will prevent your partner from being poly.

As for never ever changing your feelings about poly...that might be. I know Mono feels he is hardwired for monogamy and won't change. I know that I was exposed to poly 20 years ago by a friend who judged me constantly for not living my life the way he was. I got a very negative view of poly and told my husband that if he wanted to see other people he was welcome to do so the second the ink dried on the divorce paperwork. I shake my head constantly and kind of laugh at the trick life has played on me...I was the one who made the decision to be poly, after we met the right people. So who knows? But if you are mono for life, you certainly don't have to feel ashamed of it.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:00 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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I think other people have covered most of your questions very well.

It sounds like you are very worried he will have the "I am poly" talk with you and how you will respond if he does. If so, ask him how he feel and why. See if there are compromises. For example, maybe you could feel ok with an online romance? Or maybe he would just be ok going to strip clubs with you? Or maybe he is interested in swinging or threesomes?

Then you need to see how important it is and what each of you is willing to give to it. Maybe you allow for a little and see how you feel? Or maybe you just say you can't handle it.

It is never easy dealing with. One thing I have seen is that people do change over time. Stuff you may think you would never like; you may enjoy, and things you enjoy; you may end up hating. I don't think there should be any permanent rules in a relationship because people change over time. Let it stay in negotiations so the relationship can reshape as people's desires change.
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Old 04-08-2010, 02:15 AM
EugenePoet EugenePoet is offline
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Interesting posts!

I never thought about polyamory until about 4 months ago, but I had the opposite reaction from yours: "Well, that's a good idea and it seems quite natural, too."

You're not "less liberated" than people who are poly, nor is your monogamous marriage less beautiful than a many-loving one. I sit sometimes and watch my mother and father as they talk -- they've been in a perfectly monogamous marriage for 56 years -- and believe me, what I see is beautiful and admirable. I also admire my GF's poly marriage -- on the phone she'll say, "It was such a difficult day, and then D put my chair facing the window and poured me a glass of wine, and now he's making dinner for me while I talk to you." It's so sweet to know a woman I adore is so well loved!

Both sets of behaviors are in the healthy human spectrum. Not to worry.

As far as the anxiety triggered by the discussion of poly, maybe it really is as simple as it seems: you are psychologically committed to an exclusive, monogamous relationship with the man you love. It's what your dreams, self-perception, and your life are based on. Nothing wrong with that.

As everyone on the forum says, talk, talk, talk, and communicate. Bring the incident up with him, gently of course. Openness does bring couples together, even if they discover a mismatch in perceptions along the way.
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Old 04-08-2010, 05:38 AM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
I'd like to thank the person who first coined the phrase "hard-wired mono"
Sounds like MonoVPCHG to me. We all love him. If you were reading on here-that would be the one. No idea if it's used elsewhere, I always smile though when I read it when he writes it.

Welcome to the board-hope you can find the answers you seek.

Quote:
The horror and fear come exclusively from the thought that this lifestyle might touch my own life in some way. I feel a little apologetic saying this somewhere like a polyamory forum, but what I want from my relationship is absolute sexual and romantic exclusivity on my own part and also from my partner, and a commitment for it to stay that way.
Don't apologize for being honest and clear about what you want. That's one of the most important details needed for a good relationship. If only more people could be clear and honest there might be less divorce!

Quote:
- How does a polyamorous person go about getting a new partner, whilst remaining completely honest and transparent throughout? Could it possibly be the way I described? The subject is brought up generally first to prepare the way, then a person reveals they are polyamorous, then the relationship can develop on the basis of complete honesty? Am I at least justified in suspecting the possibility this might have happened to me, or does it strike anyone that I'm barking up the wrong tree?
It could happen that way. I tend to be flat honest. When I figured out that I was poly-I just told my husband, look I've fucked up, I'm poly, here's what that means. I didn't mean to mislead you-I didn't know that's what I was. I love you, I hope we can work this out-but if we can't, I want to make it as easy as possible for you, so let me know what I can do.
I have him and a bf, don't want another. Not looking to pick anyone up-but I am upfront about "I'm poly, love my husband and my bf and am NOT interested in anyone else."
But some people are more.... "suggestive" in bringing the topic of poly up to see what happens first.

Quote:
- Doesn't starting a dialogue about the poly lifestyle often result in a "sorry, but I couldn't live that way" ending? Or am I quite unusual?
Yes, quite often. No you aren't unusual. But it's also not unusual for someone who says "I could never live that way" to find out that actually-they could.

Quote:
- Do mono people sometimes end up in a poly or "V" relationship simply so they won't lose the partner they adore?
Probably-might be a good question to PM to MonoVCPHG, since he's Mono in a poly relationship, or you could PM Maca-he's my husband. Or greengecko-he's my boyfriend, he's mono too......
And there are at least 3 women on one of the jealousy threads on here who are mono whose hubby's are poly....

Quote:
- If a hitherto mono person spoke to their mono partner about potentially opening up the relationship and got a bad reaction from them, is there any going back? Will that person always have an interest in polyamory from then on, or can things go back to the way they were?
Depends, were they just curious or are they "wired-poly"? I am wired-poly. I tried, I tried HARD to be a "good mono wife". It was a NIGHTMARE. I CAN go without the sex, but without the other emotional relationships, I'm a freaking disaster. With them-I would guess that Maca would say I'm great. But you could ask him.

I don't think that your feelings (or anyone else's) are despicable. What would be despicable is lying about your feelings. Being honest-even if it means you have to end a relationship or change the dynamics of it is not despicable. I had to change the dynamics of my relationship with my bf this week in fact. Because there are details that just will NOT work for me in a primary level relationship, no matter HOW much love there is.

Feel free to post more questions.
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Old 04-08-2010, 12:56 PM
Polyanomaly Polyanomaly is offline
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Thanks for your comments, everyone.

I think I have a basic fear of my partner not being straight with me. I'll talk to him now I've had a chance to think things over and now I've researched a little more into polyamory in general. I clearly have some issues, and they're mainly about trust.

One thing this has taught me is that the way people want to behave can change. It will do us good to have the "are we going in the same direction" conversation again, as it's a while since we did that.

I'll keep reading

Edit: a couple of you wondered why it had taken me so long of worrying about this. The answer is that we have had life problems happening one after the other, all intertwining and affecting our relationship, and we are only just beginning to untangle everything. Even though this has been bothering me that much, it has only just reached the top of the list!

Last edited by Polyanomaly; 04-08-2010 at 12:59 PM.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:08 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyanomaly View Post
Edit: a couple of you wondered why it had taken me so long of worrying about this. The answer is that we have had life problems happening one after the other, all intertwining and affecting our relationship, and we are only just beginning to untangle everything. Even though this has been bothering me that much, it has only just reached the top of the list!
Hi Polyanomaly, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Your first post was very nicely written, genuine and thoughtful. Although I suppose this is "technically" a poly forum, as you've no doubt discovered, what we talk about most and are most focused on is building strong, loving, healthy relationships. Mono, poly - who cares ! The net intent is the same.

But this last post of yours (quote above) does maybe shed some insight.
When we face difficult times in our lives and it has impact on our relationships, it's quite natural to question what role the relationship is playing (potentially) in those difficulties. Now the truth may be that it's nothing coming from "inside" at all - but totally external. But it's also possible that the stress has forced some cracks to surface.

But it's not only unsurprising - but potentially very useful to take a look at that. Are there cracks ? Are there certain facades that have been surviving all along simply because things were just flowing smoothly ?
Good question to ask

Mono/poly makes no difference. Relationships DO get tested. They either pass - become stronger and grow and gain depth or the mask falls off and you have to endure the painful process of looking at some new & hard truths. Stuff that's been bubbling under the surface waiting for one of those cracks to appear.

I guess now is the time you may possibly get to find this out.

Don't be afraid. Nobody wants to live a lie - no matter how "smooth" it may seem.

You both love each other - make it a bonding project. The more fears you end up banishing the more wonderful what you have will be. The boggie man under the bed only goes away when you look and realize he was never there to start with. But if he is - maybe he'll be cute ?

GS
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:24 PM
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CielDuMatin CielDuMatin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polyanomaly View Post
I think I have a basic fear of my partner not being straight with me.
I think you may be right!

Definitely get that talk done so you know what page the two of you are on and what (if anything) needs to be worked on and build the confidence back between you so that you can have a very happy monogamous relationship!

I echo others that I believe that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being monogamous.
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:25 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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The boggie man under the bed only goes away when you look and realize he was never there to start with. But if he is - maybe he'll be cute ?

GS
Yeah.... but in our cases the Boogie man crawls out from under the bed and joins us!! HAHAHAHA!!!

Sorry...I had to say it...
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