help with mono/poly relationship

textkestrel

New member
I've know that I'm poly for over 9 years now. I foolishly got married and had a family thinking that my mono partner would eventually be open to allowing me to express my poly feelings. After suppressing my emotions for the past 9 years during our relationship I've finally separated from her and am living on my own now. Finally able to venture out and experience what life has to offer I find myself involved with another mono partner who is very jealous and possessive and not okay with my polyness. I've been upfront with her from the start about my poly feelings.

Here's where bad gets worse. She has a boyfriend who doesn't know that she is seeing me. She is not being exclusive to me but demands that I be exclusive to her. I've talked with 20 people about this and they all said to leave her alone and find someone better. On an intellectual level I completely agree, but my feelings for her are keeping me in this relationship even though I know it's not going to last very long or I am going to be stuck in another mono relationship and be miserable with myself.

I've started to become involved with another woman whom she hates and I get a lot of drama from her when I hang out with the other woman. I don't want to let her choose my friends for me, and I feel that if I let her choose for me this time it will be much easier to let her choose the next time the issue comes up. I'm not in love with the other woman, but if I stopped seeing her she would be crushed. I wish that I could just wave a magic wand and everything would work out. But right now I could really just use some good advice from the mono/poly folks out there....

Thanks,
~David~
 

MrSteve

New member
I've been married for 19 years and though I love and get along fine with my wife in most ways have felt cramped, uncomfortable and even depressed to an extent trying to fit into the mono stereotype ... it got to the point where it was almost a continual ache to find some outside femanine company to enjoy (even if it not specifically sexually, at least as boyfriend/girlfriend with sexual tension/overtones).

I don't know how strongly your feelings are, but if you left a previous marriage over the issue then it seems you're likely in the same boat - I've felt better all around for almost half a year now simply by letting myself flirt around a bit with other women and me and many people I know have noticed the difference.

I'm just saying all that because it appears you're similar though you've recognized it earlier ... though I can tell you from the long-term perspective that it's not something that appears to go away or let up.

If you were upfront from the beginning with her, then she's likely made the mistake of not having been upfront with her feelings (apparently she's not very honest with her other boyfriend either).

You don't necessarily need to leave her, but I don't think trying to cater to a double standard is going to work out well and you should continue to be what you're most comfortable with. (She sounds a bit possessive and manipulative - that's a combo I've tried to avoid in women I've dated). If she truly can't accept it and leaves, well that's her loss. If she's willing to accept it and deal with it over time, then likely things can get better, though I'd assume it more likely that with the state of things between the two of you, you'll probably find someone more accepting of you and better in terms of a long term relationship.

Yes, sometimes emotions are frustratingly stubborn LOL :D ... can't always "talk sense" to the heart, but from personal experience, if you make emotional appeals to yourself instead of trying to purely use logic ... feel what you want, and the emotions can line up better with the logic. When you can find a way to line up emotional desires with the intelligence to find a solution to satisfy them, life can be great :)

Good luck, David.
 

MonoVCPHG

New member
I don't quite understand why you refer to your new girlfriend as mono? You identify as poly and she has a boyfriend. There's nothing mono about this...or am I completely confused?
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I've been married for nearly 11 years. It was mono to start.
It was frustrating and heartbreaking and I felt stifled and broken (often used the Eagle in a cage example).
My life ONLY improved when I did the following:

I quit pretending to be something I wasn't. I compassionately explained that I had failed in THIS marriage, because I simply hadn't done the TRUE "dirt work" before hand. I wasn't cut out to meet the commitments I had promised to.
I explained that yes I do love him. Yes I always will love him, but I can't be the kind of wife I PROMISED TO BE.
I gave him the promise that if that meant divorce, I would respect that and honor him by NOT dragging him through court b.s. with our 4 kids, I would settle with him and ensure that I NEVER put in place something that would make his relationships difficult (like moving away causing battles over custody).

I then committed to having NO LOVERS WHO WERE NOT FULLY ACCEPTING OF WHO I TRULY AM.

THEN I went about discovering WHO I TRULY AM. Because "being poly" is only ONE aspect of a person. I identified my TRUE "world view", values, morals etc. MINE-not the ones I thought were mine because that's what I had lived my whole life. (this required a great deal of reading).

THEN I started looking around my life to see who/what was in it that was COUNTER to my TRUE world view, values, morals etc. I started gently "weeding these out".

Additionally I began looking at myself to see what actions I was taking that were counter to my TRUE world view, values, morals etc. I made a list and one by one I have been "discontinuing" those actions (hard work that one!).

I also began looking for what things I wasn't doing that I SHOULD be doing-and began DOING those (like working out, eating healthy, being considerate FOR REAL ALL OF THE TIME, controlling my emotions instead of letting them control me, controlling my behavior and not saying/doing ANYTHING that was counter to those goals).


It sounds like you REALLY need to stop yourself and take a long hard look at what it is you REALLY WANT FOR YOUR LIFE. Not for the bedroom, for your LIFE.
Do you want casual sex partners, a great job, a small studio apt, a fishtank full of expensive fish...

Do you want to have a poly-fi relationship with two women, or 3 women and 2 men, or 6 men and 4 women or (just made all that up).

Do you want to be free to have a couple deep meaningful sexual relationships AND some deep meaningful non-sexual relationships AND some casual sex partners?

Do you want to live in the city? Country? Another country?
Suburbs?

Do you believe in a "bigger picture" like the "Gaia Theory" or "deeper enlightenment" for everyone??

Do you have children you need/want to stay available to limiting your ability to BE where you prefer? If so how are you planning to negotiate this in the long term?
What do you want to impart to them in regards to relationships, lifestyle etc? Would you like them to NOT make the "mistakes" you have (and are)? Do you want to impart to them the importance of continued learning after formal schooling ends? Or that loving people unconditionally is more important than having what you "want"? Or that you must always be true to yourself?
(no push for any given thing from me, just trying to brainstorm thought provokers for you)

The thing I would suggest, you said you started a family, so I assume you have AT LEAST ONE child, and you were married 9 years and been on your own for a little bit.

SO it stands to reason that the "at least one child" isn't grown yet-
Therefore I wonder if you've considered what you are teaching them with your ACTIONS.
For starters, divorce is devastating, more for the child than the parents-they need EXTRA support, reassurance and attention from both parents to ensure that they INTERNALLY feel that they will remain secure, even though the biggest security they had has fallen apart (their family support system).
But more then that, they need to know "what does a great man do as an adult" and "what does a great woman do as an adult".
OBVIOUSLY you can't teach them what a great woman does. ;) You've implied already you aren't a woman!

BUT-if you insist on allowing women who ARE NOT suited to being with someone like you, to "punish" themselves AND YOU by being with you, you teach them that there is something WRONG with your type of "loving" (poly-ness).

You also teach them that relationships aren't "sacred".

(not lecturing on being one way or another per se, but if you and/or she isn't happy with the relationship but you stay in it, that isn't "sacred", even a one night stand where both people leave with no regrets is more "sacred" then a lifelong marriage where one or both partners is obviously miserable)

Additionally you teach them that THEIR NEEDS DON'T REALLY MATTER, becuase you aren't standing up for your own. AND you teach them that EITHER their mother isn't worthy of respect OR you weren't worthy of giving it and/or are a liar.
BECAUSE-you left her "due to being poly by nature" but you are with someone else who can't accept that so OBVIOUSLY there was either some other issue OR you are just f'd up.

It may seem like a "young" child wouldn't be able to figure these types of things out-but I assure you, they do.
I did when my dad left my mother (for good reasons I might add).
My son did at age 4 when his father left me (I was cheating). I know he did because he was VOCAL to his father about it. When his dad left it was obvious to our son (we didn't fight, we remained VERY amicable) that his dad was mad "or he wouldn't have left the house" as he said.
He told his dad, "you tell me and D (his older 1/2 brother) and A (his older 1/2 sister) that if we have a fight we need to get over ourselves 'cause we're family. YOU and GreenGecko (log in name here for confidentiality) need to get over yourselves 'cause we're family!"

A very 4 yr old view-but the underlying message was "dad you are a liar and I SEE IT".
It broke my husbands heart to say the least (about the same time it caused him to lose his temper because for the first AND ONLY time he thought I must have been "talking shit" about him to our son-but I wasn't).

The bottom line is-kids DO "create" themselves based on what they see their parents doing.

You are disrespecting YOURSELF and the other women AND the "unsuspecting boyfriend" with your actions. Your child(ren) will pick up on that and it will color their future too.

YOU DESERVE BETTER.
The women deserve better.
The other boyfriend deserves better.

You can't do much for making the women or the other man going out and seeking better.

BUT you can hold yourself to a standard that respects yourself, your needs and your rights.

You can hold yourself to a standard that shows your
child(ren) the types of relationships you want for her/him.

IF you have a daughter(s), you can show her how you expect a man to treat her and how you want her to treat men (see below).
You do this by treating her mother (as your "ex") AND ALL OTHER WOMEN with respect-even if they don't respect themselves enough to insist on what they need (don't date women not cut out for poly) and treat your ex with the loving (not sexual or misleading) kindness you would show your mother.

IF you have a son(s), you can show him how you expect him (as a man) to treat women and how you expect women to treat him, by doing the above AND by insisting on being true to yourself and only being with women who are healthy and whole and capable of compEmenting your life, not women who bring unnessary drama, headaches and heartaches to your life.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I don't quite understand why you refer to your new girlfriend as mono? You identify as poly and she has a boyfriend. There's nothing mono about this...or am I completely confused?

You aren't confused, he or she may be, but you are not Mon. ;)

She isn't poly or mono... You said it well... let me go find it real quick...

I do not associate having affairs with polyamorous behaviour, nor do I associate them with monogamous behaviour...I associate them with destructive behaviour. This is my experience, my observation, my opinion. Would I be a child molester if my partner was? No. Am I directly hurting that child? No…but turning a blind eye to that would be hurting that child. Turning a blind eye to that would be perpetuating and enabling that behaviour. Nothing would be learned and lives would be damaged.
There it is!!!
 

CielDuMatin

New member
Well, I am going to throw out some red flags here and discuss what I see. Some of this may sound harsh, but if 20 people have already told you stuff and you need further advice, maybe it needs to be direct....

I've know that I'm poly for over 9 years now. I foolishly got married and had a family thinking that my mono partner would eventually be open to allowing me to express my poly feelings.
Red Flag here - you entered into the relationship kind of knowing that this wasn't what you wanted but expecting your partner to change for you to give what you want. In other words, she'd be perfect if only she'd change.


After suppressing my emotions for the past 9 years during our relationship I've finally separated from her and am living on my own now. Finally able to venture out and experience what life has to offer I find myself involved with another mono partner
Red flag - in other words you were suppressing yourself for 9 years, manage to get out of it, and then get back into a setup that is almost the same, and expecting the result to be different in some way this time around.

who is very jealous and possessive and not okay with my polyness.
Red flag - so you knew going in that she wouldn't accept this aspect of yourself but you entered into it anyway. Why?

I've been upfront with her from the start about my poly feelings.
OK... and? Sounds like she was pretty upfront about her not being ok with it, but you ignored that and entered into a relationship with her.

She has a boyfriend who doesn't know that she is seeing me.
BIG Red flag here - so she is lying to the boyfriend. Wait, you said she wasn't ok with poly? Why is she dating you and him at the same time, then?

She is not being exclusive to me but demands that I be exclusive to her.
Red flag, of course - what justification does she give for this? She is mono, dating two people and isn't ok with you being poly. You are poly, but she insists on your being monogamous with her. This make no sense to me whatsoever.

On an intellectual level I completely agree, but my feelings for her are keeping me in this relationship even though I know it's not going to last very long or I am going to be stuck in another mono relationship and be miserable with myself.
So you are willingly choosing to stay in this relationship knowing that your fundamental relationship styles are polar opposites, and knowing that you are going to be miserable. Why? Is your need to be with someone so important to you that you are willing to completely ignore one of your bottom lines when it comes to relationships? Either your polyness is a non-negotiable in any relationship (in which case you shouldn't even be thinking about having a relationship with this person), or it isn't, in which case accept that you're not going to get it, and enter into the relationship with less of an attitude that you are going to be miserable.

I've started to become involved with another woman whom she hates and I get a lot of drama from her when I hang out with the other woman.
Red Flag - are you surprised? She communicated with you that she expects you to be exclusive (for whatever reason) and you go against that. She laid out what she needs from you in a relationship and you ignored that and went ahead and did the opposite anyway.


I wish that I could just wave a magic wand and everything would work out.
Welcome to reality. I searched for magic wands for years in my own relationship and realised that there really aren't any.

But right now I could really just use some good advice from the mono/poly folks out there....
David, here's the best advice I can give:
You need to work out what is really important for you in life. Some people call it their "bottom line", others call it their needs. If you are someone who enjoys making lists or bullet items, then I could recommend a technique I have used before to sort things through - I wrote about it on my blog so please forgive me for not rehashing it here, I will just provide a link: Getting Your Priorities Straight

Understand what is really, really important to you - whatever that is. Really know that about yourself. Then don't enter into relationships that don't respect that bottom line. Don't expect others to change for you, and don't get into relationships that expect you to change your bottom line for them.

It is as simple and as complicated as that.

I hope you found some use out of this. I wish you luck on your journey.
 
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NeonKaos

Custodian
I think David should forget that he wrote that post and go read it as if some random stranger on an internet forum wrote it.

If that doesn't get his head out of where the sun doesn't shine, then he should just settle back and enjoy his drama-filled "love"-life.

22 people, prob'ly more.
 
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textkestrel

New member
Thank you all for your responses. Very direct and to-the-point.

I discovered I was poly when I was dating my wife when I was 19. We got married after being together for 5 years. We were together for 9 years until we separated 6 months ago. We didn't separate because of our differences with polyamory, we separated because we were constantly fighting with each other and things weren't getting better. We have a 3 year old daughter together.

I'm not sure what I want my poly life to look like. I'm single for the first time in almost 10 years, and I want to go out and experience different configurations, because I really don't know what I prefer. I view monogamy as a single configuration, and polyamory has so much more variety that I'm not sure what will work for me until I try it. I just know in my heart that I can't be with just one person.

~David~
 

CielDuMatin

New member
I just know in my heart that I can't be with just one person.
Then only be with people who share that fundamental value of yours - anyone else is just going to make you miserable and they will probably be miserable as well.

I asked several questions in my original post - they weren't rhetorical. You really need to answer them, at least for yourself. If you feel comfortable doing so, answer here, but that is optional. If you do not then I feel you are doomed to repeat your patterns of behaviour and not achieve what you say you want to.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
I'm not sure what I want my poly life to look like. I'm single for the first time in almost 10 years, and I want to go out and experience different configurations, because I really don't know what I prefer. I view monogamy as a single configuration, and polyamory has so much more variety that I'm not sure what will work for me until I try it. I just know in my heart that I can't be with just one person.

There's nothing wrong with that.
What is wrong is trying to experience that with people who aren't TRULY into poly.
Also-you still need to do what I suggested about really, consciously sitting down to decide what you do want in your life.
MOST people can't identify a "configuration", but there are many other parts of your life to consider-and that's NOT the most important one.
More important is HOW you want to operate your relationships. Ceoli has a shitload of comments on this board about that.
I have spent WEEKS working on this. Deciding what's most important to me.
A good way to do this is to consider-what do you want someone to write (of their own free will, not because it was in your legal Will) on your headstone?
Think of something clear and specific that really identifies what type of person you want them to see you as.
THEN put your WHOLE LIFE on path to BE that person. As you practice you will find that there are more details you want to cover.
ALSO-if you do this, you will also attract more mature women who are less interested in "playing the game" of ownership, disfunctionality, insecurity etc; because the more mature women are also looking into themselves and identifying what in life matters to them, and striving to BE the kind of women who people look at and say "Damn, she's totally on top of her game." Not because she has a hot body-but becuase her CONSCIOUSNESS in running her own life is so dramatically beautiful (still may have a great body, but believe me a woman who isnt' acting like a highschool girl is sooo much better a lover!)
 

redpepper

New member
I don't see what the issue is here. You seem to be trying to be everything to everyone and are forgetting to be everything to you first. You said yourself you want to experience dating... so date. Nothing poly about dating a bunch of women other than you might decide to only date poly women and you should always be up front to everyone that you consider yourself poly.

Now is the time to enjoy getting to know other people and take it easy, not be so serious unless you really like someone. You seem to be creating the drama by being Mr. Pleaser.

As for girlfriend with the husband that doesn't know. If you really love her then request that you meet him before continuing onward so as to keep you integrity and self respect. Also to keep your respect for her. If she says no, then leave her. Full stop, end of story, nothing left to say. There should never be any room for cheating in poly as far as I am concerned. I don't care how "poor me" her life is, there is always the option to leave if it isn't working for her. I have never heard one excuse yet that has made me say, "ahhhhh, that's too bad, you should keep cheating..." sorry, I'm a bit of a hard ass on that one.

Btw, there is tons on cheating on this forum, it might be helpful to do a search and read up a bit.
 

LovingRadiance

Active member
RP-I'm having so much fun doing this-can I correct your written thought to what I think your REAL thought is? ;)
There's no room for cheating in ANY relationship (poly or mono)....

Giggling.

ANYWAY-great post. :)
 

redpepper

New member
RP-I'm having so much fun doing this-can I correct your written thought to what I think your REAL thought is? ;)
There's no room for cheating in ANY relationship (poly or mono)....

Giggling.

ANYWAY-great post. :)

Heh, yes, you are right.... any relationship... :cool:

what would I do without your kind reminders LR ?! :D
 

FitChick

New member
My partner is poly and he was previously and to some extent still is involved with a mono woman who makes similar exclusivity demands. When I stayed with him for a week recently there was loads of interference from her,all negative. I know and accept there are other women in his life whereas she doesn't...it is not easy,you need to do what is right for you,or at the very least work out what your bottom line is when it comes to relationships and stick to it.
 

Ttree

New member
Think about what YOU want. This is especially important to realise as a poly person, not to be pushed around or controlled by one person and particularly someone who doesn't have your best interests at heart.

Your feeligs do not control you. Sometimes you DO have to break up with someone who is toxic for you. I have had to end a couple of emotionally abusive friendships and one good relationship for that, where the person refused to accept me for who I am (specifically the poly thing). You are worrying about this other person you're dating vs the needs of your ex. Think about yourself instead. Only by knowing what you want first and being true to yourself can you be there for or commit to anyone else. I've learned this recently. My otherwise-perfect ex (actually in hindsight you always realise things weren't 100% perfect) could not accept who I am but it is good that I broke up with him. You should really do what is best for you or you will never know what you want.

Take the plunge, do something just for you even at the risk of other people not getting what they want, even at the risk of missing an opportunity (trust me there are so many other fish in the sea. After my previous breakups (I've been mono up until recently) I've always thought I would never find anyone so amazing as that person and when I found someone better they made me wonder why I'd dated these guys in the first place and how I could have thought they were so wonderful or so irreplaceable?

To me your ex seems selfish and does not want you to be happy but only to fulfil her needs, which also means she does not appreciate you for who you are but only as someone to serve her insecurities. Who wants to date someone like that?
 
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