How to help Dh realize he can be mono?

Starstepher

New member
Hi Y'all,

New to all of this, and figuring things out. I'm bi, and want very much to have a girl in my life as well as my DH. It's hard to explain, but he's the perfect man for me, and I have no want/need to look for another man. But I feel like something is missing for me in the female aspect of it.

After lots of talking and compromising, I'm pursuing a female relationship. Most of the time, he's very supportive of me and helps me with my flirting :p.

Every once in a while, I can tell he gets self-conscious, and instead of telling me - which I would LOVE - he shuts down. And when I ask him about it and we reopen the conversation - for example, what he needs, how I can include him, that I can't tell that he wants my attention when he's just playing video games like usual so he needs to tell me, etc. ... he says that he says it's not fair and he "should be able to have a gf too".

To me, at least right now, what I'm needing is totally different than his "equal distribution" method that he gets when he gets scared. I feel that although perfect for me, he is 50% of what I need. And if I am 100% what he needs, then shouldn't get another partner "just because I have one".

Is there a better way of going about this then telling him that:
  • It's okay for him to only have one partner, it's not a contest
  • I'm not trying to stifle him if he feel like he is missing something, we can talk about it
  • He needs to communicate better
  • I want to make him feel loved and give him all the love he need
  • Me loving someone else won't mean I love him any less
  • At the moment, I'm uncomfortable with the possibility that I could be replaceable. It's something I'm working on. I will always want both a male/female relationship, and will never look for another male partner
  • I am open to a triad/polyfi if it's the right person
  • Please look at this forum! (He responded that he doesn't think it would help him)

Sorry if I sound selfish or crazy or inarticulate, but I'm pretty open with how I feel and what I need and how I'm trying to grow
 

sagency

New member
Sure, it's ok for him to be a happy mono in a V. Have you consider the question of what if he's more of a moderate? In other words, what if he is wired such that he can handle poly elements. He might not be a hardwired poly, but if he's never really dealt with the issue, then the answer as to what he needs might be unknown. Don't assume too much until you've actually asked an answered (always a good rule).


As for you specific items:
* It's okay for him to only have one partner, it's not a contest

Make sure the you don't let NRE become NRE blindness. It sounds like he's feeling left out, and so some responsibility is on you to remind him that he's included and important and not losing out.

* I'm not trying to stifle him if he feel like he is missing something, we can talk about it

Ok. Then listen. Ask questions. Let him guide the conversation and ask questions that help develop his thoughts and feelings. Do not listen to what he's saying while thinking about how you're going to respond. Actually tune 100% to his feelings. After he shares an idea or thought, then take a moment to formulate a response, and then reply. (This is not like normal talking that people do. It's about listening more than talking.)

* He needs to communicate better

Set a good example. You need to be proactive in communicating. Assume nothing. Even if you think that "he should know better" tell him anyway. When he talks, listen to what he says, repeat it back to make sure you heard it right, and ask for clarifying details (see above).
Make communication a habit. Check in with him on a regular basis. Don't settle for cookie cutter answers ("I'm fine" "I'm just hanging out") ask for real detail.
Make communication safe. As a partner, he should be able to say anything without fear about how you'll take it. If he says he hates your gf (just an example) and whatnot, thank him for letting you know. Then you have a concrete subject to work on (why? how can it be better? what can each of you do to improve?). Not sharing to spare feelings or avoid fights is more damaging than any "negative" comments. Negative comments are improvement opportunities--we should be glad to have them shared rather than silently festering.
Communication is a two-way (or three-way, I guess) street. There is no "HE needs to communicate better;" it's "WE need to communicate better."

* I want to make him feel loved and give him all the love he need
Woo him. Date him. Ravage him. Pamper him. Channel some of your NRE back to him. Flirt with him and give him reassuring touches throughout the day. And consider the first thing I asked--if you haven't actually dealt with his poly-potential, ask and answer without assumptions.

* Me loving someone else won't mean I love him any less
Redirecting energy to him will help. Tell him about the things that he gives you that no one else can. Talk about the future. As you do, keep you and he as constants and talk about how this is a journey for the both of you regardless of other passengers.

* At the moment, I'm uncomfortable with the possibility that I could be replaceable. It's something I'm working on. I will always want both a male/female relationship, and will never look for another male partner
I am open to a triad/polyfi if it's the right person
If you, the poly woman looking for a girlfriend, feel replaceable, what does that tell you about how he might feel? If you know that your love for him won't be lessened, how is it the same doesn't apply for you? A triad might be a solution that works for you. You might invest effort in working towards that goal rather than just someone for Starstepher.

* Please look at this forum! (He responded that he doesn't think it would help him)
I'm pretty susceptible to bribes of sexual favors. Maybe that will work for him, too?
Seriously though, when you're talking with him and apply a concept or a suggestion from the forums, mention it ("The forum suggested I molest you until you talk more. It's impolite to talk with your mouth full, but eventually I'll want to hear what you'd like to do this evening."), share stories from folks in similar situations ("Peterpoly and Mary on the forums had a situation like this. They did <blah>, do you think that would work for us?") or you might ask him to look over your shoulder at something you're writing ("Could you check this for me? I'm not sure if I'm being to harsh telling Sagency he's an idiot.") If he sees you deriving benefit from the forums, it may increase his estimation of value for himself.

Best of luck! *hug*
 

sage

New member
"At the moment, I'm uncomfortable with the possibility that I could be replaceable. It's something I'm working on. I will always want both a male/female relationship, and will never look for another male partner "

Do you think because he isn't bi and you are only looking at females that he won't be feeling replaceable? Of course he will. Male or female I don't think there is any difference. For some people there is and they can cope more easily with their partner having a same gender relationship. But for others there is no difference and you can't make it be OK for your husband.
He may not even realise this himself because he obviously isn't a great communicator. He just wants to feel included and or to fill the inequity with a love of his own. Most people in polymono relationships feel inequities and they are an ongoing challenge.

Personally I don't think it's fair to expect support with polyamory if you haven't worked yourself to the point where you can give your partner the same freedom you are asking for.
 

Starstepher

New member
You way rock. And you're right. :) I would write back responses on each of your points and how I've done that to some extent, or how you totally blew my mind with your awesomeness since I never thought of some things and I thought I was the best communicator ever :p...but I won't

...right now, I'm really happy to be learning all that I am and I am trying to get as much figured out in advance. DH have been talking about this for a few years now and I'm finally officially putting myself out there (after letting go of a big "almost" gf). I have a love interest right now, but nothing has happened, and I'm trying to prepare in case something does. Then, I'm sure there will be lots more problem-solving needed on things I haven't/ or can't prepare for.

*hugs all around*
 

Starstepher

New member
"
Personally I don't think it's fair to expect support with polyamory if you haven't worked yourself to the point where you can give your partner the same freedom you are asking for.

I agree; it's not fair. But it's something I'm working on. I do believe in polyfi, but for me "you get one, so I get one" is not the same as "if I have a connection with someone, I would like the same openness you have, with the same boundaries." I think sagency is on point when working on the communication aspect of it. I think it might be DH's way of saying he wants to feel loved and is afraid.

I'm not totally without fault here and I know it :)
 

sage

New member
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12126

I hope you can link to the above thread. I'm not very good on the technical side of this forum. If you can, scroll down a few posts and you will find a post that Sagency wrote on making polymono relationships work. This is the best thing I have read for a while. I don't know if anything in there will specifically help you but it is a hopeful post for anyone navigating the murky waters of polymono, whichever side you come from.

I'm very analytical and keep trying to see patterns that can help. One possible pattern that has emerged for me as a result of this post is that maybe polymono works best when the poly partner has the capacity for the most work. Does that sound weird? I'll try and explain.

The two best examples of polymono that I know of are Sagency and Redpepper and Mono. There is another one but he has gone off the board. In all of these cases the poly partner seems to be very together and capable of managing the relationships. I moderate on the polymono board at Yahoo Groups and there is a large group of mono women there in polymono relationships taking the majority of the responsibility for holding it together. Most of us are only just making it and my current theory is that there is already inequity in our relationships with the poly thing and on top of this we for the most part have to take responsibility for managing the dynamic.

This is of course just a theory but in your case you are already at a disadvantage because of your illness. You need more from your partner as it is and you also want more from others. You need so much it must be very difficult for you to give back to the same extent. This might all sound very crazy but I have been around a while now and I've noticed how important maintaining some sort of balance is.

I really am very sorry for your pain. It must be a terribly difficult thing to live with poly or not.
 

sagency

New member
Sage, you may be onto something there with the polymono success related to poly being able to hold it together and do a lot of the relationship work. I put it heavily on me that if I'm the one juggling multiple situations that I am the one thinking about the others and proactively make sure all are ok.

I think I was lucky in that I came out as poly at a time when I was watching some other relationships (poly/poly) suffer because the active person (the one pulling in new people) wasn't considering the "home" people. So K has never had to tell me I need to give her more--partially her personality--because I always keep an eye on her no matter where the other eye goes. I didn't even think of it as a poly/mono issue until I got here--I had always thought if it as a potential stumbling block for any poly situation (poly/mono or poly/poly).

Better lucky than good? :D


Here's a link to the lessons thread in the General forum where I share maore about making poly/mono work (though I just think of it as making poly/whatever work):
http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2858&page=15
 
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redpepper

New member
So what you are saying is you want the female equivalent of an OPP policy. OPP means One Penis Policy, but that could easily mean a One Pussy Policy also. You might want to do a search on that in the tags... "OPP" could bring something up that might help.

I agree with Sage. the body parts don't matter, what matters is the connection and you are saying he isn't allowed to go and explore for himself because he already has you? Isn't that hypocritical? You want to find someone, why shouldn't he be able to explore that?

Is it not possible to just open your mind to his being just as open to find others as you, what ever that means to him? Poly-fi, poly-sexual, poly fuckery, whatever.... swinging.... What is good for the goose is good for the gander as they say... only this is the other way around.
 

Starstepher

New member
Hi All,

After Sagency's first post, DH and I talked a lot and came up with what will work for us. DH may indeed be mono, but that's something he has to find out for himself. What he said before was coming from a place of worry, so we're going to work on communicating and I'm going to work on giving him oodles more attention. And then I told him I was wrong, and he should be able to have the same openness in our relationship that he's giving me.

Just so you all know, a lot of your responses were reading really harsh and made me cry a bit this morning. Sagency, thank you for helping me realize I was wrong while being supportive.

*hugs to you all*
 

sagency

New member
People who are passionate can often sound harsh. The interwebs doesn't do a lot to mitigate that common reality. I'm sure the others would agree that we all speak from a place of love and caring even when we feel harsh might be best.

*hug*
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
People who are passionate can often sound harsh. The interwebs doesn't do a lot to mitigate that common reality. I'm sure the others would agree that we all speak from a place of love and caring even when we feel harsh might be best.

*hug*

Believe me, this thread was NOT harsh. If anyone thinks THIS thread was "harsh", just leave now.
 

redpepper

New member
Sometimes radical honesty can sound harsh if it is something we don't want to hear. I struggle with that too some times. Please realize that there was no tone intended and no investment (at least on my part) in coming across as harsh.... we are all here to help one another and point out stuff that others close to us either can't or won't because they want us to still like them :p That is the beauty of this forum but also the challenge for those that spill their guts. :)

I think that this place is for people that want straight up questions and advice on the issues they are facing and for those who are willing to give it. If that is difficult either it isn't the place for you to open up so much, or maybe there is something there that you might need to look at about your situation... for me I find its the latter. If I am feeling that posts are harsh then I do my best to look at my own stuff before deciding that maybe the person writing has their own shit going on and I have just triggered something for them.

:) Keep at it, this stuff is hard! But so worth sorting out...
 

sagency

New member
One of my personal rules is:
If someone calls you an asshole, the first thing you should do is ask, "Am I being an asshole?"
Sometimes the answer is, "Yes, you asshole."


So when it comes to posts that seem harsh, ask yourself, "why does it sound harsh, and is it because I'm being a fuck-up?"
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Whoa there, speedo. I made no claim as to whether there was harshness--just reasserted that we pummel because we care. :p

If you read around on here you will see that this thread is mild by comparison with others.

Oh. and i don't mean "you" you, I mean "You" you.
 

Minxxa

New member
I agree that one of the best things about this board is people are straight-up with you. If someone comes here just so that they can be agreed with because they're poly, then this is NOT the right place for that.

I think in this culture of telling everybody what they want to hear to get what you want... that honesty starts sounding harsh. Nobody wants to tell their story and then hear that maybe they're being selfish. But sometimes we need to hear that so that we can see what's really going on.

And, on the other hand, like RP said, sometimes people have their own stuff in there. I know that when it comes to honesty/lying/trust issues, I got a whole big bag of luggage that suddenly will open up and spill on the ground. Messy business, that. So sometimes you have to hear what people say-- measure it a little-- ask yourself the "asshole" question (LOL), and then move on from there.

Nobody ever grows without honestly looking at some hard questions, and the folks here are good at getting that to happen. :)
 

Starstepher

New member
I feel like being honest and showing disagreement can be done in a nice way. I wasn't expecting people to agree with me or tell me what I wanted to hear. I said from the beginning that I'm open and trying to grow and selfish. Admitting that I need to work on myself. But I feel like that went unnoticed. I ended up getting a few really helpful - AND nice - responses that were by no means telling me I was right.

Let's review:
[*]I am open to a triad/polyfi if it's the right person
Sorry if I sound selfish or crazy or inarticulate, but I'm pretty open with how I feel and what I need and how I'm trying to grow

I agree; it's not fair.
I'm not totally without fault here and I know it :)

DH may indeed be mono, but that's something he has to find out for himself. ...And then I told him I was wrong, and he should be able to have the same openness in our relationship that he's giving me.

Even after realizing I was wrong, talking to DH, changing my mind...I still believe things could have been said nicer. After all that is when I got those posts. If someone's being an asshole to me, I wouldn't call them an asshole. I would tell them they weren't being nice. And then give them a hug because they probably need it.

I am sensitive, and I admit that. I was wrong, and I admit that too. But just because this thread was less harsh in comparison to other posts, doesn't mean it doesn't read harsh at all. And just because I called it harsh doesn't mean it's something I don't want to hear. I just feel like all people should speak respectfully to each other, even when they're wrong.

And for that reason, I probably will take NeonKaos's advice and not post again. I'll still read though, because you all still rock.

Love all around.
 

nycindie

Active member
I probably will take NeonKaos's advice and not post again.
You know that NK wasn't totally serious, right?

What exactly do you think was harsh? I just re-read this thread and didn't see anything harsh in it. Where was someone not being "nice?" Just some direct answers to your questions here. Isn't that what you wanted - answers? :confused:
 

SNeacail

New member
You know that NK wasn't totally serious, right?

What exactly do you think was harsh? I just re-read this thread and didn't see anything harsh in it. Where was someone not being "nice?" Just some direct answers to your questions here. Isn't that what you wanted - answers? :confused:

Yeah this! :confused:
 
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