For Monos: when/what quelled your fears of your poly partner leaving you?

fun_canuck

New member
Hi everyone! I am (very) new to poly and have recently come out to my fiancee (partner of 10 years) about how I feel polyamorous. She has really been struggling with the news and is highly resistant to the idea of me spending some time with others, but has asked for some time to process the news. I have discussed the concept of a primary relationship and how it could be healthy/fun for us both to explore/have secondary relationships, but she very much identifies as being monogamous and prefers that we stay that way.

Nevertheless, as I've been reading a lot about and have come to appreciate the importance of managing time & commitments in polyamorous relationships, and in 'hypothetical' discussions have stressed that our primary relationship would take precedent moving forward. That said, her major concern is that I may meet someone in the future and end up leaving here. I am extremely confident in our relationship (we are extremely compatible emotionally, romantically, socially, and financially), but her dismay has made it hard for her to believe otherwise. I've reiterated that only a fraction of my time (1-2 days/nights per week) would be dedicated to spending time with others, and that of course I can't imagine a life without her in it, but the thought of her having to 'share' me with someone else is very difficult for her to comprehend.

Any who, to get to the point, my question is for current/former monos who similarly struggled with this fear. More specifically, when was that moment when you realized that your polyamorous partner wouldn't leave you, and that through effective communication & time management things could work out? Did you ever realize that your primary relationship would safe or do you still have insecurities about how things will go?

Thank you all in advance for your insight and my apologies if this has already been answered!
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
you realized that your polyamorous partner wouldn't leave you

Focusing on this is a mistake. Relationships end for all sorts of reasons. Poly might be one of them. More frequently, poly was introduced to conceal an incompatibility that ultimately ends the relationship anyway.

You might find yourself to be more compatible with someone who is also poly and find yourself having to choose between whatever your spouse can permit and a lifestyle you need to be happy.

Her fears are justified. Trying to minimize them is not the way to go. She will do her own research and see that all these things happen in poly relationships and assume that poly was the issue.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I mean all of this kindly, ok? Some of it may be hard to hear.

Any who, to get to the point, my question is for current/former monos who similarly struggled with this fear. More specifically, when was that moment when you realized that your polyamorous partner wouldn't leave you, and that through effective communication & time management things could work out? Did you ever realize that your primary relationship would safe or do you still have insecurities about how things will go?

You know monogamous relationships sometimes break up anyway, right? People change, grow in different directions, fall out of love, divorce, etc. Sometimes realizing that helps.

Sometimes primary-secondary model stays that way. Sometimes it gets outgrown and someone wants a co-primary model. Then what?

I have discussed the concept of a primary relationship and how it could be healthy/fun for us both to explore/have secondary relationships, but she very much identifies as being monogamous and prefers that we stay that way.

So... why aren't you listening to what she says?

Are you in the bargaining stage of grief? Trying to make it so she comes along for this chapter? When you kinda know somewhere inside that this might be a crossroads place?

To me she is saying VERY clearly that she is monoamorous -- she has the capacity to love 1 sweetie. And monogamous -- wants to participate in 1:1 relationship shapes only. How much more clear does she have to be on her preference?

If over time you two have grown in different directions and want different things now... isn't it best to just address that?

It doesn't really matter if you try to sell poly like it's gonna be great for both, you will practice a primary-secondary model and prioritize her above all others...

What happens if she says "Well, prioritize me then, and let's stick with monogamous shape." Then what?

Bottom line? If you really want polyamory? It is NOT monogamy -- it is not that 1:1 relationship she seeks. So it is fair for her to say she doesn't want any. She prefers monogamy. Her preferences don't have to be the same as yours.

She is not monoamorous and relationship shape flexible where she could do well in either model.
Like she loves you, and that's her 1 sweetie. And she's happy doing polyamory as an end point in a V or similar. Or you are her sweetie and she's happy doing monogamy where it is just you and her.

A better question to ask right now rather than "How do I get her to agree to try poly" might be "Am I relationship shape flexible? Or def poly shape only?"

If you relationship shape flexible? Like... you are polyamorous and have the capacity to love more than one sweetie, but can deal with either monogamy or poly shape things so long as you get to talk about your poly thoughts and feelings. Well, maybe that's a middle place. Then you aren't going around bottled up inside and it becomes a bit more Open for you if she's willing to talk/listen. But it stays monogamous so it still feels Closed enough for her.

But if that middle place is not enough for you? This really is the crossroads place? The old deal is over for you -- you don't want to do monogamy any more? And she doesn't want to sign up to do this new deal of doing polyamory together? Best you both work on accepting you are no longer compatible. Rather than taking the long way around and maybe damaging selves or other people.

You both might want to talk about a peaceful parting and becoming exes and friends instead.

Either one of you doing stuff you don't really want to be doing just to avoid a break up? That's the path to growing resentments and maybe even ruining the chances of still being in each other's lives as exes and friends.

So I suggest you LISTEN to what she's telling you. And then do your soul searching and have the conversations you need to be having together.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
People in mono relationships can and do leave their partners for someone else. In poly relationships, people still can and do leave their partners for other people, but moreso because of recognising a deal breaker incompatibility, as Seasoned mentioned above.

Mono people might leave a relationship to be with their new interest because they believe that for one relationship to start, another has to end. Poly people start new relationships without the intention of ending the first. If the older or newer relationship ends, it has probably run its natural course. Till death do us part is not really the norm these days.
 

LoveBunny

Active member
I'm closer to the monogamous end of the mono-poly spectrum than my boyfriend, so here's a bit of mono-ish perspective.

For me, it's not so much the fear of being left blatantly. Like, "I'm leaving you for so-and-so because I like her more than you." (Ironically, the only time that's happened to me was in a monogamous relationship.)

Harder to deal with is fear of being left in a hundred small ways. So, ok, at first it's just 1 or 2 nights a week with someone else. Personally, I don't like spend nights apart from my love, and I sting knowing he isn't missing me or giving me much thought when he's with another lover. Nor do I want the complications involved in trying to date and manage another relationship so I can feel relationship-saturated though my primary person goes missing a couple nights a week.

Then, what if down the road, he (or his partner) decide they want 3 or 4 nights, and to go on vacation together? I know from experience how powerful N.R.E. can make you want to push the comfort levels of the old, primary partner so you can spend more with shiny new lover...

Will I get enough time and attention with a partner who is toggling between relationships, or even putting a lot of energy into casual dating? Very early in our relationship, my bf briefly had a secondary, but she become unsatisfied with the small amounts of time and energy allotted to her and split. Thing is, I have zero desire to make room in the relationship for him to pursue other partners, because I like being around him as much as possible.

In my personal poly experience, when I have felt too worn down doing the inner work to mitigate the negative feelings, I just leave. Technically, though, in this case, my partner wouldn't have broken his promise, he hasn't "left" me. He just takes away enough time and attention that I decide I'd be happier finding a new partner who is more engaged with me.

Explicit agreements, communication, patience, and good time management are crucial, but still, one or both you will be forced to compromise. I have been on both sides of this (the one wanting poly, the one no wanting poly.) To stay together, you will have to act less poly than your ideal, and/or she'll have to deal with some level of nonmonogamy. It's up to you both to decide if your relationship is worth that level of compromise, and if you can find a way you can both be happy.
 

Marcus

Well-known member
Focusing on this is a mistake. Relationships end for all sorts of reasons.

Ye olden relationship crystal ball. It's a fan favorite.

The approach I have taken in recent years when the topic of "how long will this last?" comes up, is "healthy relationships can last a long time, possessive and competitive relationships probably won't" (or at least they shouldn't).

Focusing on a promise of longevity is a crushing aspect of traditional relating, it's such a shame. Relationships that have unrealistic expectations, resentments, and incompatibilities resulting in possessiveness and competition, should end. The work should not be put in to getting people to believe that we'll never be apart, the work should be put in to taking good care of yourself and learning how to nurture a healthy adult relationship with another healthy adult.

In my world, needing to convince someone that I'll always be with them is a bad sign. It means they are already insecure about us, they already don't know where they stand, and they have expectations that are probably not aligned with reality. It would be a sign to me that they are not clear on what my boundaries are, what my values are, and that my integrity is intact. I get it, we get insecure when things change, but we should address these head on and have the hard conversations, and avoid slapping a band-aid on it by making predictions of the future.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
Hi everyone! I am (very) new to poly and have recently come out to my fiancee (partner of 10 years) about how I feel polyamorous.

hi and welcome to the forum

HOW long have you been engaged ? and is there a date set ? I’d get this sorted out before tying any knots.


She has really been struggling with the news and is highly resistant to the idea of me spending some time with others, but has asked for some time to process the news. I have discussed the concept of a primary relationship and how it could be healthy/fun for us both to explore/have secondary relationships, but she very much identifies as being monogamous and prefers that we stay that way.
Is your thought and hope you can get her into the pool with you ?? Or once she sees the healthy fun you’re having she’s going to want to jump in ?.

Nevertheless, as I've been reading a lot about and have come to appreciate the importance of managing time & commitments in polyamorous relationships, and in 'hypothetical' discussions have stressed that our primary relationship would take precedent moving forward. That said, her major concern is that I may meet someone in the future and end up leaving here. I am extremely confident in our relationship (we are extremely compatible emotionally, romantically, socially, and financially), but her dismay has made it hard for her to believe otherwise. I've reiterated that only a fraction of my time (1-2 days/nights per week) would be dedicated to spending time with others, and that of course I can't imagine a life without her in it, but the thought of her having to 'share' me with someone else is very difficult for her to comprehend.
what’s your major concern or concerns ? YOURE extremely confident in your old relationship. You’re confident your romantic stock won’t trade down in her eyes with the direct albeit fractional loss time, attention, money, etc ?


Any who, to get to the point, my question is for current/former monos who similarly struggled with this fear. More specifically, when was that moment when you realized that your polyamorous partner wouldn't leave you, and that through effective communication & time management things could work out?
I was never worried she leave me for someone else. AS the NRE took off and massive changes in behavior and personality occurred I was mainly concerned with being sled dog / working dog that made possible this other life.
I even suggest trading titles and responsibilities…I’ll become the secondary to have the fun dates and hot sex let someone else do all the work around the house and the work to provide the house itself.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello fun_canuck,

It sounds like you and your fiancée are perfect for each other in every way, *except for this one little thing.* Only this one little thing isn't so little, is it? You strongly want to act polyamorously, while she strongly wants you to act monogamously. How strongly do the two of you want these things? You may have an irreconcilable difference here.

Technically, it's conceivable that given enough time, your fiancée will change her mind about poly (and realize that you won't leave her). To that end, you could have a talk with her, about the benefits of poly, once every week or two, say for about a year. If she still hasn't changed her mind by then, you could keep on talking to her about it for a second year. You just need to decide how many years *you* can stand to give this. What if after five years she still hasn't changed her mind? What about ten years? Fifty?

The great irony about poly, is that poly actually makes it easier to stay with your first partner, than does mono. Because in mono, if you fall in love with a second person, then you are forced to choose one person. In poly, you don't have to choose. You can choose both. So, if your fiancée is worried about you leaving her, she can actually improve the odds that you'll stay, by letting you be poly. Technically, there's still a chance that you could leave her, but it would be a smaller chance.

Just some thoughts,
Kevin T.
 

Inaniel

Active member
Did you ever realize that your primary relationship would safe or do you still have insecurities about how things will go? Thank you all in advance for your insight and my apologies if this has already been answered!

I think what I realized is that nothing is safe. And then I learned how to deal with that. I don’t worry about partners leaving because I know it won’t end me, my romantic life, or my ability to love others.
 

MeeraReed

Active member
It sounds like you are planning to go ahead with poly dating even though your partner doesn't want you to?
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Staff member
Let's be honest, the most likely scenario is she is the one who ends up leaving to go find a mono partner.
 

WhatHappened

Active member
her major concern is that I may meet someone in the future and end up leaving here.

Any who, to get to the point, my question is for current/former monos who similarly struggled with this fear. More specifically, when was that moment when you realized that your polyamorous partner wouldn't leave you, and that through effective communication & time management things could work out? Did you ever realize that your primary relationship would safe or do you still have insecurities about how things will go?
I was the monogamous one, seeing a married poly man. So my input comes from a different angle. I had no fear at all that my poly BF would leave me--none. His wife was likewise confident.

The problem came with other things, which you should consider. How are you going to treat your secondary? Is she going to know that she's just a girlfriend who will never be equal or do you intend potential girlfriends to be fully equal, perhaps life-long partners?

How is a potential GF going to feel knowing she'll never be a wife or live with you or have children with you? If you expect she may one day do all these things, what are the legal protections for her? And will your fiance be okay with this? If you expect equal relationships between wife and GF, how do you foresee this working out?

What will you do in a conflict between your fiance/wife and a potential GF? Will the GF know the wife will always come first or will you attempt to always treat them equally?

Let me give you one example. My BF's wife, about a year into our relationship started 'changing her plans' every time she said she'd be out for the night and he and I decided we'd have dinner and a movie in their home while she was gone. She'd suddenly 'change her plans' to be home that evening. She had already tried twice to walk in on us, arriving unexpectedly when she clearly expected (given his past) that we'd be in bed together. As a result, I refused to be in his apartment if she was there. It went on for a full year, 100% consistent, with her saying she'd be gone, then 'changing plans.'

When I finally said this to him, he completely covered for her. He refused to admit that a year-long 100% consistent pattern might give me reason to believe she didn't want us alone in their house. He refused to even discuss it, instead telling me I was imagining things.

I had another experience of running into her at the same night club where, twice I caught her clearly, deliberately filming me, her phone clearly pointed at me and clearly filming. He again told me I was imagining things.

So -- if there are conflicts between your wife and a GF, how are you going to handle it? Are you going to always side with your wife? In its way, that's admirable, but in poly, I'm not sure that's going to work, because there WILL be conflicts. If you side with your GF (even if the GF is in the right), you may end up with trouble with your wife who has some right to feel you should put her first.

I'm throwing these out simply as things to consider as you embark on this journey.

At the very least, I think that you'd do better to either commit to monogamy or seek out someone who also wants polyamory.
 
Top