Being monogamous in a poly relationship

MangoGirl

New member
I am in the process of discovering polyamory with my boyfriend. We used to be in a monogamous relationship and then he said he wants to love more people. It wasn't easy, but I accepted it and I decided to try it out. He wants to have another girlfriend, so far he just dates and sometimes gets sexually involved. I am not sure yet, but now I feel more like monogamous, I don't really need or want to be with anybody else. I've been looking for some advice, I read everything on the internet and 2 books about polyamory, but most of it is written for the poly people. I feel really lonely being monogamous in a poly relationship, my boyfriend supports me but I don't feel like he really understands me.
I wish I can find someone in a similar situation.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello MangoGirl,
Here are some mono/poly resources:

Franklin Veaux's Mono/Poly Pages might be the most helpful for you, but I show you the others just in case. Sorry to hear you are kind of feeling isolated (in your mono-ness). If there's any way I can help let me know.

Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

KC43

New member
I'm polyamorous, but I'm married to a monogamous guy. Obviously I'm not in his brain, so I can't totally give his perspective, but he and I have talked a lot about how he sees the situation. So if you have any specific questions or concerns, I'm happy to try to answer.
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
I'm mono-leaning and have been in good relationships with poly people. There's a bit of an assumption that if poly is the relationship model, then everyone needs to be poly, but actually, the only ingredient necessary for success is that all participants need to be OK with poly. Not everyone in the mix has to be involved in multiple relationships. I am friends with several poly couples in which one partner is actively poly and the other is monogamous. That's called a "V" and there are a number of people in this forum community in that configuration.
 

lunabunny

New member
I was almost totally monogamous for around 30 years. Two years ago, while in a mono LDR with my boyfriend Jester, I discovered I had feelings for a mutual friend of ours, Boho, who became my girlfriend.

So now I'm the hinge in a poly "V", where both my partners are monogamous to me. Neither of them are romantically involved with each other or anybody else, nor do they wish to be. And although I'm technically polyamorous at this point, I do not necessarily identify as "being poly". If either of these relationships ended, I'd probably return to a more mono style of relating.

Poly isn't for everyone, and isn't necessary just because you happen to be dating someone who's poly.
 

PolyCureYes

New member
I am mono and dating a poly guy. Like you, I have read every site, article, blog, and book I can get my hands on, but I don’t feel like they’re hitting the mark for me. And I do feel like there is a pervasive anti-mono mindset in most of these resources, which I resent.

I have posted on here and gotten some helpful advice (and some not). But I am still struggling with a few things, myself, so I may not have answers, but I can sympathize or validate some of your feelings.
 

Dede

New member
similar situation

Hi Mangogirl,

I'm in a broadly similar situation: 4 weeks ago my wife asked me if I could live with her 'becoming poly' since she fell in love with another man. She does not want to cheat, she does not see this would-be relationship as any competition to ours, she told me straight-away when she felt it's something serious and we are both very open about all the feelings involved.
I really have a hard time to make up my mind. At a rational level I'm largely convinced that this can work and has many positive sides but my heart and guts are very hesitant. I feel strong jealousy, fear of losing her (irrational probably but still), challenges to define and defend my needs and boundaries.

After our holidays are finished next week we agreed that she will restart seeing this other man, but have only limited intimate physical contact so I can learn to manage my jealousy; this with provisional sunset clause end of this year.

What I am doing is to try to find people whom I can meet face to face in Belgium where I am living, e.g. through a facebook group in order to get first hand input how others have managed my situation. I also have read the morethantwo and ethical slut books.

I can sympathize with your situation and I also know how it feels to have a partner who wants to go poly and who is compassionate with the mono partner (me) but still feels so much energy to go ahead that it's hard to fully understand issues like jealousy.

Hope this helps, take care,

DD
 

senry

New member
I know it's not necessary, but I can't help emphasizing the links that kdt26417 provided. All of them have been extremely helpful to me, but when I'm feeling adrift or indecisive or whatever, and I need a "shot in the arm" so to speak, I go back and take a quick look at "The Mono Bill of Rights" page. There's no set laws on any of this of course, but for me, this page helps remind me what I ought to be able to reasonably expect as a (mostly) mono husband of a poly (or at least non-monogamous) wife.

Although I've been with my wife for a while, I haven't been giving the attention to my marriage that I should have been, due to school and trying to build a career, etc. And though I've been a member here only a short time I've learned a lot, and have been reminded of a lot that I once knew. Quite a bit of what I've gleaned here I've brought to the attention of my wife, and fortunately for me, she gets it (or most of it). One item on the "Bill of Rights" is that we have the "right to meet or at least communicate with our partner's other love interests if we choose." This might seem basic to many polyamorists, but too often, as in my case, the non-monogamous partner ends up dating one or more lovers without the primary having met them, and for me, that's something else other than polyamory (I'm not defining polyamory for anyone else, only myself).

The two good things about my wife's latest lover is that she's been dating him a good while now and is over the NRE (I believe) and also, he is a polyamorist himself with a poly wife. I met them both when we all had dinner together for the first time over this last weekend, and we all really seemed to click together.

Bottom line is that I had the right to meet this guy and I did. In my opinion, what we monos have to guard against sometimes is too much passivity. We've got to figure out what we consider reasonable from our primary, and, in a reasonable way, keep trying until we get it.
 
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To me, a major make or break for whether mono/poly can work is whether the mono person is comfortable with having more time without being together with a partner. If you're the type of person that likes a lot of me-time, or you have an active social life that doesn't require your partner to be present, and then add to one or both of those options that you're not a super jealous/possessive person (not that those feelings aren't allowed, but tend to be dealbreakers when not experienced in moderation) then you have a shot.

For many of the people who can't make it work, they're used to spending all their free time with their mono partner, and once that partner becomes poly and involved with someone else, they now feel lonely, left out, abandoned, and they either don't have other things to do to occupy their time, or they don't feel secure enough in their independence to just do their own thing. That's why often the most common suggestion for people who are experiencing the feels when their partner is out is "find something to keep yourself busy."

The other major key is communicate communicate communicate. It takes lots of discussion, being on the same page, coordinating, respecting each other's feelings (while owning the feelings that you have as your own), etc. But all of that requires open, honest, up front communication.
 

MangoGirl

New member
Thank you all for your responses and for the links. It really helped me a lot!
Dede, I’ve read exactly same books and I am ’only’ two countries away from you ;)

I think the problem I have now is that I don’t know if I can ever be truly happy being in a poly relationship. I am afraid I am gonna agree to have life I don’t want. Actually everything is fine when I am with my boyfriend, at least usually, I am so happy being with him, we go together through difficult emotions. The problem begins when I start talking about our reletionship and polyamory with someone else. I immediately feel like crying, that there is something deeply wrong in what I’m doing, I am in so much pain.

And it’s hard that our relationship is growing, we even started to talk about having a family together, but there is this ’polyamory’ thing that can just ruin everything in a moment :(
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I think the problem I have now is that I don’t know if I can ever be truly happy being in a poly relationship.

When you say "mono" what do you mean?

Like "Monoamorous love style (I want to love 1 sweetie). I want a monogamous relationship shape (I want the relationship shape to be 1:1. No other people in the network)."

Or

Like "Monoamorous love style (I want to love 1 sweetie). I am relationship shape flexible. (I can be ok in a monogamous situation, or I can be ok being the end point in a poly "V" or similar.")


I am afraid I am gonna agree to have life I don’t want.

Why would you agree to something you do not want and go against your own grain, against your own preferences? Rather than speak your truth and go for what you really want? :(

I immediately feel like crying, that there is something deeply wrong in what I’m doing, I am in so much pain.

I'm very sorry you are in pain. :(

I also think you could LISTEN to it. It sounds like you are considering doing something you really do not want to do and it causes you upset. :(

That's not a path to building happiness. That is a path to building regrets and/or resentments. :(

I suggest that you do NOT make any big decisions like having children until this is sorted out. If you guys are not deepy compatible (and wanting opposing relationship shapes is a fundamental incompatibility) do not have kids.

Galagirl
 
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Bonnents

New member
Hi everyone, I'm in a similar situation and it's tearing me apart. I am monogamous, and for four months I thought I was in a monogamous relationship until my friends found my boyfriend's Bumble account. That lead to him finally revealing that he doesn't want a monogamous relationship, and that he hid that from me because he didn't want me to leave.

I know myself well enough to predict that I will be facing a lot of anxiety and heartache if I continue this relationship. I don't want to lose him though. I know it's a bad idea to continue, pretending that never happened, but I really don't know what to do or how to talk to him about it. He doesn't seem to understand my worries or insecurities, and he's said that jealousy is stupid and childish. I could really use some advice!!
 

FallenAngelina

Active member
I am monogamous, and for four months I thought I was in a monogamous relationship until my friends found my boyfriend's Bumble account. That lead to him finally revealing that he doesn't want a monogamous relationship, and that he hid that from me because he didn't want me to leave.

That's garden variety cheating, not polyamory. Your BF cheats on you and soft pedaling that would only keep you in a crappy situation. Jealously is stupid and childish? F*** that, it's absolutely warranted when the premise of the relationship is monogamy. He's been lying to you by omission and that is just as big a lie as any. It's also manipulation. Both make intimacy impossible. Don't let this guy pull the "jealousy is childish" crap on you. Toss him overboard.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Bonnents said:
I am monogamous, and for four months I thought I was in a monogamous relationship until my friends found my boyfriend's Bumble account. That lead to him finally revealing that he doesn't want a monogamous relationship, and that he hid that from me because he didn't want me to leave.

So this BF is not honest with you. Dates you even though he knows you want a relationship shape he does not. Does things behind your back. And when found out, he says he did it that way to prevent your leaving.

So he's in this relationship for what he can GET from you / out of you.

Not what he can share with you.

Bonnents said:
He doesn't seem to understand my worries or insecurities, and he's said that jealousy is stupid and childish. I could really use some advice!!

When caught out, instead of owning it and apologizing for deception? He puts you down and calls you names. Blame shifts like your feelings are messed up somehow rather than his behavior being misleading deception. This is an awesome boyfriend HOW? :confused:

I'd suggest walking away and ending it. It is NATURAL to be upset when finding stuff like that out. You do not sound jealous. You sound angry and upset that he was playing you.

I know myself well enough to predict that I will be facing a lot of anxiety and heartache if I continue this relationship. I don't want to lose him though. I know it's a bad idea to continue, pretending that never happened, but I really don't know what to do or how to talk to him about it.

You seem to know what you need to do. Staying in this relationship would be anxious heartache, and you know it is a bad idea to continue.

I get feeling sad/upset and not wanting to lose this... but you have to step back and realize "this" never existed. What you THOUGHT you had with him? It was nothing real.

You were being duped. It can be a shocker to digest that. And I'm so sorry this is happening. :(

How to talk to him? Don't. If you have to explain to someone how hurting other people is not kind? They don't already know it? They aren't gonna magically learn it from you.

What to do? End it. Walk away. So you don't have to deal with extra anxiety and heartache. This much so far was enough. Doesn't need to be more expensive than that on your emotional wallet. Rather than lingering in a crappy space, get to the healing space faster.

Instead talk to your friends to air out/vent. And thank them for letting you know what was going on behind your back.

Your friends sound like they actually have your back. While the BF? Not so much.

Galagirl
 
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FallenAngelina

Active member
How to talk to him? Don't. If you have to explain to someone how hurting other people is not kind? They don't already know it? They aren't gonna magically learn it from you.

THIS 1000x.

You already have talked with him and he told you that you were childish and that he doesn't accept how you feel. What more do you need to know? What more does he need to know? Needing closure is vastly overrated. No, you really don't need it when someone has been this hurtful. "Closure" here means a long, heartfelt talk or even worse, talks, with someone who really has nothing to give you other than even more dismissive episodes down the line after you've been drawn back in with him. Honor yourself and stand up for what you want in a relationship: honesty and exclusivity. "Talking" cannot give that to you, only you can give that to you by wanting what you want with pride and choosing someone who wants the same.
 

Dagferi

Active member
Bonnents.. This guy is nothing but a cheater who got caught. A partner practicing ethical polyamory would have told you from very earpy on exactly what style relationship they are looking for.

My advice run...
 

WhatHappened

New member
For many of the people who can't make it work, they're used to spending all their free time with their mono partner, and once that partner becomes poly and involved with someone else, they now feel lonely, left out, abandoned, and they either don't have other things to do to occupy their time, or they don't feel secure enough …...

This to me, is shades of the anti-mono slant found in poly writing. Problems are too often attributed to the poor bumbling unenlightened mono not being secure enough, not being independent enough, being clingy, not having a life.....

I will add, though, that when I was in a poly relationship, I did get some good advice here when the wife was playing games. I found the Secondary Bill of Rights helpful and the good advice I got here led me to walk away from the relationship.

I think the problem I have now is that I don’t know if I can ever be truly happy being in a poly relationship. I am afraid I am gonna agree to have life I don’t want. Actually everything is fine when I am with my boyfriend, at least usually, I am so happy being with him, we go together through difficult emotions. The problem begins when I start talking about our reletionship and polyamory with someone else. I immediately feel like crying, that there is something deeply wrong in what I’m doing, I am in so much pain.

And it’s hard that our relationship is growing, we even started to talk about having a family together, but there is this ’polyamory’ thing that can just ruin everything in a moment :(

DO NOT AGREE to what you don't want. The fact that he gets excited about another woman does not mean he needs to whip it out and take action. The fact that he finds another woman desirable does not mean he 'is' poly, because it's quite normal to be attracted to more than one person. Poly is the decision to act on that attraction and that is a choice.

He has chosen to move forward in acting on his desires, regardless of the pain it causes you. This is a character trait that I can guarantee you'll see in other areas if you stay with him: choosing his wants over the damage and pain it may cause you.

Look ahead to what this is going to be like if and when you have young children and he wants to be off with his current hottie. You may find yourself spending plenty of time alone with the kids so he can nurture the new relationship.

Be aware that plenty of poly marriages do end when a 'game changer' comes in to the picture--ie, the person the poly spouse decides they're rather be married to.

You are already unhappy with this. I think the two of you need to realize either he changes or you leave, because this is fundamental incompatibility.

Hi everyone, I'm in a similar situation and it's tearing me apart. I am monogamous, and for four months I thought I was in a monogamous relationship until my friends found my boyfriend's Bumble account. That lead to him finally revealing that he doesn't want a monogamous relationship, and that he hid that from me because he didn't want me to leave.

….. He doesn't seem to understand my worries or insecurities, and he's said that jealousy is stupid and childish. I could really use some advice!!

As others have said....that's called cheating. He's yanking your chain and playing the victim claiming he was just soooo scared of losing you because big bad bonnents wouldn't understand his pure and innocent heart overflowing with so much love to give.

Having been married to a cheater, save yourself the trouble--he understands perfectly. He just doesn't care and is pretending that you are somehow not making yourself clear because right now he's got life exactly how he wants it--you're sticking around to be the safety net while he does exactly as he pleases.

Dump the loser.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
I recommend that anyone even considering opening a relationship takes 1 or 2 days a week out every week to do their own thing without their partner. Right from the beginning. Even if you are going to wait a while to pursue other relationships, your partner getting used to you not being their default date for everything and around every day is a very good place to start. Co-dependency is an obstacle to successfully opening a relationship.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I agree!

I would say even if you DON'T want to Open... to get out on your own without partner once in a while. By yourself, with your own friends, etc!

I think it's part of being healthy. It's fine to enjoy doing things as a couple. But not ONLY as a couple. Enmeshment, codependency -- that kind of stuff is not a healthy way of going.

Galagirl
 
This to me, is shades of the anti-mono slant found in poly writing. Problems are too often attributed to the poor bumbling unenlightened mono not being secure enough, not being independent enough, being clingy, not having a life.....

I think you misinterpreted my statement. When I was referring to people who "can't make it work." I'm not implying that everyone should be able to be poly and that mono people are wrong or less. I'm talking about the people that actually WANT to be polyamorous but can't seem to make it work. If someone doesn't want to be poly, by all means, don't be. Monogamy is a perfectly legitimate relationship model. But for folks that WANT to be poly but are struggling with it, in my experience it is often (certainly not always, but often) tied to the fact that their entire being has become about being half of a couple and doing everything together. They don't do much of their own stuff, own hobbies, own friends, etc. So that results in feeling lonely, jealous, replaced, etc.

Sure, there are plenty of other reasons for it not to work. I was merely pointing out that it's a common one.
 
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