Mono/Poly - is it safe to say all the hard work falls on the mono?

bearpancakes

New member
I'm married and my wife is poly, I'm not. We only recently opened our marriage up and now she's exploring her options. During this journey we both started out with the expectation that we'd both be dating, but I have no desire to have another partner. Its also been a struggle for me to accept the fact that the type of love we've shared together for so long is now no longer just for us........I guess that makes me mono.

We've talked about this a lot and what things we can do to make this work, and while again my partner is great, I feel like all the work is on me. I have to disentangle myself, I have to deal with bouts of jealousy and sadness, I have to constantly communicate my feelings, I have to accept the fact that our marriage as it stood for 10+ years is gone and now we're in a new version of it......to her it's all the same and she can't understand why I feel its different.

What sorts of things can we do to make a more equitable split because I feel like I'm pushing the boulder uphill so she can live her best life, and while I'm willing to do it to make her happy, I don't want to get to the point where all the hard stuff is always on me
 

Inaniel

Well-known member
I have a mono partner and the poly part of the relationship doesn’t seem like hardly any work for her. Lately she has even helped me take pics for an online profile and comes out with me to have drinks and flirty banter with other women. Doesn’t appear to affect her at all…

With that said, she knew I was poly when she consented to the relationship which probably makes a big difference.

When transitioning previously mono/mono relationship to a mono/poly relationship I can see how the poly party might feel senses of relief and excitement for the new found autonomy. While the mono party feels a sense of loss. That’s not to say the poly party isn’t doing any work, but it might be a different kind of work.

I am more familiar with the poly type of work, like navigating the emotions of multiple partners, dating logistics, ect…

I don’t think it’s ever safe to say all hard work falls on any one person. Because everyone is different and manages emotions differently.

I think if you are experiencing grief, time will help grieve the old relationship and the new normal will become more natural.

You also speak of feeling inequities, and that could be a sign the relationship configuration no longer feels balanced to you. You might consider further deconstruction of the previously held mono structure you spent 10yrs building.

A lot of people think poly only has to change one thing in a relationship… That has not been my experience at all. You might consider things like divorce, separate housing, more financial autonomy, ect.. And through that deconstruction you may even find the time and desire to date others yourself.
 

LoveBunny

Active member
In a mono/poly relationship it's very important neither partner is doing all the compromising. It's nice you want your partner to be happy, but the relationship won't work if you're unhappy. So If you're relationship agreements aren't working for you, ask to renegotiate.
 
Last edited:

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle. I hope you feel better for airing out some.

What sorts of things can we do to make a more equitable split because I feel like I'm pushing the boulder uphill so she can live her best life, and while I'm willing to do it to make her happy, I don't want to get to the point where all the hard stuff is always on me

I get concerned when I read about people doing stuff to make other people happy.

What do you do to make your own self happy? It's ok to want to contribute to a partner's well being. But you come first. Not them. Not like in a "selfish" way. But in a self care way.

In the morning? I'm going to pee and take care of me first. Before I helping anyone else around here figure out breakfast or find socks. I can care about them, but nope. Attending to me first.

Are you able to say "I love you a lot, but not even for you will I do stuff that hurts me?"

Are you bending yourself into pretzels to do something you don't really want to be doing?

Are are you doing stuff that hurts you just to avoid a break up?

Mono-poly can work, but be sure you are doing it for the right reasons. Otherwise it's just as messed up as a poly person doing mono to "make my partner happy" but then hurting their ownselves by getting in a box they don't want to be in. Are YOU in a box you don't want to be in?

If you are willing, just that you are struggling with transition? It's ok to be going through a grief period. The old normal is gone. The new normal is not here yet.

This isn't like "Just like before, just with more people." This is more like "We broke up on purpose. Even if we didn't legally divorce, we let the old 1:1 relationship model go. We've rewritten our vows. In order to build this NEW poly model."

So there's going to be some break up grief, feelings of loss, adjustments and transitions to get through.

How each person handles it? All people are different and have different skills.

Like if you already know softball, changing to baseball might not be a huge leap. Some changes, yes, but enough familiar things so the transition is not entirely foreign. But if you never played a sport in your life, learning baseball is going to be tougher.

If you've dealt with grief before? This grief is easier to navigate. You know what comforts you and what does not. If you never had grief as an adult? This grief is not just this grief. It is a combo of "first adult grief ever" PLUS "This specific grief."

So maybe take a look at one thing at a time. Did you make a decent transition plan or is it kinda winging it and bumping into stuff a lot?

I have to disentangle myself.

Why is this? Were you too enmeshed before when practicing monogamy? Anyone here codependent?

Some couples are really joined at the hip. And that's not healthy in monogamy. So it would have been a problem then too. It's not just a problem in poly. But poly does have a way of shining a light on things.

I have to constantly communicate my feelings

Why constant?

What was communication like before? Was it at a healthy level?

Were you relying on partner just knowing stuff? Or taking some things for granted? Or partner being your only emotional support person?

Is poly bringing to light that you need a bigger emotional support system?

I have to accept the fact that our marriage as it stood for 10+ years is gone and now we're in a new version of it.

Yes. Broke up on purpose to start a new relationship model. Did you spent enough time living into that WITHOUT new poly dating in the mix? Or did you open up too fast and didn't do enough healing from the break up first? So now it's like dealing with two dings at the same time, instead of one first, then the other?

I have to deal with bouts of jealousy and sadness

Understandable to be sad if you are grieving a loss.

Jealousy to me is being afraid someone else will take away something I have. What are you jealous about?

What prep work did you both do?

Have you read about poly hell? Any of that going on with you?

How about changing core beliefs Any of those pinging? And do you even want to change them? Or do you want to keep them as is, and you are struggling to accept that you and spouse are growing in different directions?

To her it's all the same and she can't understand why I feel its different.

Well, are you each able to articulate your POV? I am going to guess. I might guess wrong.

Maybe she views it "the same" like "I have to do my adjustments and you have to do yours." So even though not the same kind of personal work in specific skills, you each have to be doing some. So the same in that sense.

Or like on the detangling thing... If it existed before as an issue? And it exists now? Maybe that's "the same" to her.

But on your end? It's different. Because now she's going out. And you have time by yourself you didn't use to. So you kinda have to look at it in the face and deal with it in a way you didn't before. But now you do... so "different."

Is it like that?

I do not understand DH's obsession with model WWIII planes. I accept he loves them. I know that's not the same thing. But reflect on your need. Does she really have to understand that it is different? Or would you like her to just accept that it is different for you?

What behavior would you like her to do different?

Here's list of needs. Maybe that helps you articulate.

What sorts of things can we do to make a more equitable split because I feel like I'm pushing the boulder uphill so she can live her best life, and while I'm willing to do it to make her happy, I don't want to get to the point where all the hard stuff is always on me

Well, what IS the hard stuff in this situation? You don't actually list.

Do you each have your own finances? Or at least yours, hers, and then joint house so her poly dates are sucking up joint house things like the rent or mortgage payment?

Do you each have your own fair share of chores in the home? And not like she goes off on dates and skips doing her chores dumping them in your lap?

Is there other stuff like that to list?

What's she doing now? What would you like her to do instead? Are your requests reasonable and rational? How about expectations? Are those reasonable and rational?

I don't know if any of that helps. I am sorry you are having a hard time right now though.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello bearpancakes,

Mono/poly is an inherently unfair setup, by definition. The poly gets extra partners, but the mono gets nothing. The mono is faithful to the poly, while the poly is unfaithful. Now having said that, some mono/poly relationships have been successful, but the mono does most of the work.

See also https://polyamory.com/threads/the-struggling-mono-thread.3989

I'm very sorry that you are hurting in your own marriage. You have lost your specialness, you are no longer your wife's one and only. That can hurt a lot, although you do say this was a recent development and maybe you just need some time to adjust.

Tell your wife that she must be more considerate towards your feelings, she must recognize that you are the one making the big sacrifices while she goes off and has fun. Your marriage has changed. It has changed for her too, even if she doesn't recognize that.

It's definitely unfair to you.
Sympathetically,
Kevin T.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Mono/poly is an inherently unfair setup, by definition. The poly gets extra partners, but the mono gets nothing. The mono is faithful to the poly, while the poly is unfaithful. Now having said that, some mono/poly relationships have been successful, but the mono does most of the work.

I think it is fair enough.

In consenting mono/poly? Presumably the adults involved chose to go there because they already know they like that model or because they think they will like it, want to try it, and think it is acceptable risk to undertake.

What do they get?
  • They each get to be in the mono-poly thing.
  • They each get to help design their mono-poly agreements along with whoever else would be in this grouping.
  • The mono person who wants to love 1 sweetie? Has their 1 sweetie.
  • The poly person who wants to love more than 1 sweetie? Has their more than 1 sweetie or at least the opportunity to seek them in a consenting relationship model.
  • All could be faithful to this group's mono-poly agreements. (Or not.)
Whether or not this is the thing they each want to sign up for in the first place? That's on each person to figure out.

As for who is doing most of the work? I think that part depends on who has more personal work to do from the start. Could be the mono person. Could be the poly person. Every grouping has their own specifics because each individual in the group comes with their own baggage as well as their own set of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.

If this is a case of one or the other being railroaded or manipulated into it? That is a problem because it isn't freely consenting.

If this is a case of one or the other agreeing to do stuff in bad faith -- like they don't really want to be doing this but they say they do? And lead their partner to believe all is well when it really isn't? They are not being honest with themselves or the partner. That's a problem too.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Mono/poly is an inherently unfair setup, by definition. The poly gets extra partners, but the mono gets nothing. The mono is faithful to the poly, while the poly is unfaithful. Now having said that, some mono/poly relationships have been successful, but the mono does most of the work.
Aren't you and your "Brother Husband" both mono to your shared wife/gf? Are you getting "nothing?" It seems to me she takes real good care of you! Are you doing all the work, or did your gf have to do a year of work to convince her husband to consent to her dating you and then you living with them?

I guess we would have to ask your also mono Brother Husband if he is "getting nothing" out of you being in the house and taking up half his wife's time.

My female nesting partner has a mono bf. He does not get "nothing." He would like a bit more time with her... but he's an introvert and doesn't really have anyone local that he is anywhere near as close to as he is to her. But that's on him. He knew going in that she was poly, that she had me, her established nesting partner. He has her half time. He gets his personal free time to recharge when she isn't there. He gets her 100% attention when she is with him. He gets cuddles, a bed partner all night, sex, D/s kink. He gets to cook for her and eat with her. She helps him garden. They watch movies and TV series, share books, they talk, they support each other when health issues arise. When they visit his family, she is his official gf to them, so he gets that "status" of being partnered.
See also https://polyamory.com/threads/the-struggling-mono-thread.3989

I'm very sorry that you are hurting in your own marriage. You have lost your specialness, you are no longer your wife's one and only. That can hurt a lot, although you do say this was a recent development and maybe you just need some time to adjust.

Tell your wife that she must be more considerate towards your feelings, she must recognize that you are the one making the big sacrifices while she goes off and has fun. Your marriage has changed. It has changed for her too, even if she doesn't recognize that.
I agree it is much more difficult to open a formerly mono partnership to poly/poly or mono/poly. Sometimes the original relationship does not last; other times the partners do adapt and make it work, even thrive and blossom!
 
Last edited:

Inaniel

Well-known member
The mono is faithful to the poly, while the poly is unfaithful.

You are using the word “faithful” in the context of a monogamous arrangement and applying that context to an open arrangement. That doesn’t make sense to me.

Poly people are just as capable of being faithful to agreements as any other person…
 
Last edited:

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
In some mono/poly situations -- the ones that aren't going well -- the mono's perspective and opinion may be that the poly is cheating, even if from a poly point of view, that isn't the case.

I actually don't consider myself to be in a mono/poly situation, yes I have one partner while she has two partners, but I don't consider myself to be mono because I would be open to taking on a second partner for myself, if the opportunity ever arose.

Having said that, yes I have a super good living situation and relationship situation, plus I like the extra me time I get, I am rather introverted. I have no reason to complain, and I don't mean to complain.
 

bearpancakes

New member
In consenting mono/poly? Presumably the adults involved chose to go there because they already know they like that model or because they think they will like it, want to try it, and think it is acceptable risk to undertake.

Thank you for the perspective, where I think I may have gone wrong is I don't know if I want this relationship arrangement, I'm only doing it at the moment to make my partner happy. I went into this with the thought that I'd get over it as time passes.

Am I setting myself up for failure?
 

Inaniel

Well-known member
In consideration of your statement. Yes.

I would encourage to dig deep, find that self-worth hiding deep down, and muster up the courage to stand up for yourself…
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Thank you for the perspective, where I think I may have gone wrong is I don't know if I want this relationship arrangement, I'm only doing it at the moment to make my partner happy. I went into this with the thought that I'd get over it as time passes.

Am I setting myself up for failure?

I'm trying to understand what you mean. What is failure to you? What is success?

Could you please be willing to clarify? Only doing it to make her happy? What about YOU and what makes YOU happy?
  • Are you in the habit of not thinking about your own well being? You do self neglect? Is that the expectation in this relationship?
  • Or the expectation in this relationship is to "trade" -- like you look out for her and she looks out for you?
  • Or is the expectation something like "I look after my well being first so I can operate from a full tank of gas and not like running on fumes. Then I can help my partner with their reasonable and rational requests."
  • Something else?
  • What happens if you DO NOT "get over it?" Then what?

To me? If you decided to do this and have now changed your mind? Or want to pause to re-assess your approach because some parts were not discussed well? Speak up sooner rather than later. Tell spouse what's going on with you.

Especially if you were only thinking like "make my spouse happy" and didn't consider your "willing and able."

WILLING
  • Do I really want to be doing this? Is this what I wanted for myself in my romances?
  • Would this bring me joy? Does doing this make me happy?
  • Is this acceptable risk to me or too risky? How do I reduce risks?
ABLE
  • Do I have the skills to do this well?
  • What are the skills I would need to learn or grow first before taking this on?
  • Does my spouse have the skills? Do they need to learn or grow some skills before taking this on?
  • Do either of us have past trauma or baggage to work out first before doing this? Or will doing this ping all those things and amplify them?
  • Did we do enough preparation?
HOW LONG IS THIS TRANSITION TIME

There is nothing wrong with a "try and see" approach. But you have to know how long that is.
  • 6 mos? A year? Something else?
  • It's not like "try and see" for 5, 10, 20 years right?
  • What are the deal breakers?
  • How will you measure/know that this is worth doing? What's too little return on your investment?
HOW DOES THIS END
  • It ends well. We transition to doing mono-poly fine. (What's that look like?)
  • It ends meh or poorly.
    • We agree to stop and learn whatever is missing before trying again?
    • We agree to stop completely and go back to just us?
    • Something else?
  • It ends where one wants to keep going and the other does not. Now what?
    • We already talked that out. We just implement our divorce plan
    • We did not talk. We are now all upset and having to make our plan under duress.
If you are jumping in blind? You might be heading for some pitfalls.

Nobody wants to fall out of the boat and drown. So they get in the boat with a life preserver. They don't WANT it to happen, but they are prepared just in case if they go boating, right? Have you "put on your life preserver" or are you just jumping into the lake however, whichever? Not even a boat?
  • "Am I setting myself up to fail?"
  • "Have I done what I can to set myself up to succeed?"
These are things only YOU can answer.

I suggest you do some soul searching and pump the brakes if you and spouse and jumping into this too fast and underprepared. Maybe read the pitfalls article together if you haven't already. Along with poly hell. Get the Opening Up Book. The free worksheets from that are here.

Wayback Machine
Self Evaluation

Wayback Machine
Creating Authentic Relationships

Wayback Machine
Reflecting on Change

Wayback Machine
Open Relationship Checklist

And then these for more articles.




Not comprehensive, but places to start.

HTH!
Galagirl
 
Last edited:

dingedheart

Well-known member
I think it is fair enough.

In consenting mono/poly? Presumably the adults involved chose to go there because they already know they like that model or because they think they will like it, want to try it, and think it is acceptable risk to undertake.
consent doesn’t make a situation fair.


What do they get?
  • They each get to be in the mono-poly thing.
  • They each get to help design their mono-poly agreements along with whoever else would be in this grouping.
  • The mono person who wants to love 1 sweetie? Has their 1 sweetie.
  • The poly person who wants to love more than 1 sweetie? Has their more than 1 sweetie or at least the opportunity to seek them in a consenting relationship model.
  • All could be faithful to this group's mono-poly agreements. (Or not.)
I think what the op and kev were trying to point out is the emotional adjustment and lift on the mono side is much greater. DEMOTION, DISPLACEMENT, INTRUSION are never / will never be a factor for the OP’s wife. The work required on the poly side is time management and hopefully not letting their NRE get the better of them. Basically don’t take both hands off the wheel and let the car go into a tree or ditch.

In Your bullet point list “ what do they get “ you left off risks. Physical and emotional risks introduced by proxy. The STD/ STI risks. And lastly risk of a unplanned or planned pregnancy.

As for who is doing most of the work? I think that part depends on who has more personal work to do from the start. Could be the mono person. Could be the poly person. Every grouping has their own specifics because each individual in the group comes with their own baggage as well as their own set of intrapersonal and interpersonal skills.
Seriously you actually believe this ?? With as many threads as you contribute to and on with all the various topics how is this even a close call. Not that my memory on this means anything but I’m trying to think of a single case in which in poly mono dynamic where the transition and adjustment “ work “ was being done by the poly partner.



In regards to your very comprehensive post directly above this one I’d recommend not just having a life preserver but a full blown escape plan. A legally drafted postnup if you live in a state with community property laws. If things break bad and or you don’t like the direction things are headed execute plan D and you don’t lose 1/2 your 401k, etc.
I think the process of detangling should start with a visit to a lawyer.
 
Last edited:

GalaGirl

Well-known member
consent doesn’t make a situation fair.

I agree. Mono-poly is not "fair" like both sides even, dealing with the same kinds of things.

I do think mono-poly is "fair enough" like "buyer beware." Each person is responsible for doing their due diligence before signing up for that arrangement.

If they consent to do stuff? Presumably they looked into it, understand what it is, did some prep, and accept those risks. Or if they want to "just wing it" in their approach? They accept those kinds of risks then.

I think what the op and kev were trying to point out is the emotional adjustment and lift on the mono side is much greater.

I believe OP that this is really hard for them. And that they are doing greater lift in their situation. I don't have a good sense of what OP is dealing with, which is why I asked them to list if they could articulate.

I was also trying to answer the OP's question. "Is it safe to say all the hard work falls on the mono?" There I think it is situational. How it goes for other people? Depends on the people in the other mono-poly situations. Sometimes yes --- harder on the mono. Sometimes no. It wasn't for Inaniels' mono partner -- who knew it was a mono-poly deal from the start. Can there be cases where it changes from monogamous marriage to mono-poly with less lift for the mono? Maybe.

It can play out it so many ways when people open Pandora's Box.

Sometimes in a monogamous marriage when the poly person realizes they are poly? That on paper it's "monogamous marriage" but in reality" it's become mono-poly and they need to tell? The poly person does the emotional lifting then. Wondering how to even bring this up to the mono person. Fearing loss. Other stuff.

Sometimes it's "buyer's remorse" instead. Like one partner wanted poly, it ends up not being the sunshine and rainbows they thought it would be and wants to go back to being doted on by the mono partner.

And surprise! The reluctant mono partner discovered they like being more on their own, has developed other interests besides partner, and they don't want to go back to "original deal." They detangled and don't want the poly partner around as much or latching on so tight like before, don't want to be so doting any more like putting the poly person on a pedestal. They would have to reconcile another "new deal" then, maybe a more independent monogamy than before. Because it's not going back to how it was before they opened Pandora's Box where they were joined at the hip.

That is why I think how it actually plays out is not always going to be the same for all situations. Not everyone is going to be / react / deal with things the same.

Some don't even want to go there to begin with. If they signed up for monogamous marriage? They did not sign up for mono-poly. They don't have to consent. Old deal is over. They might say "No, thanks. Dealbreaker. You go on without me. I don't want to sign up for any new deals."

Some risk going there and then things imploding/exploding and ending up apart.

That's why it circles back around to "buyer beware" to me. Is mono-poly even? No. Do I think it fair enough that each person has to do their own due diligence and understand what they get themselves into? Yes.

Doing mono-poly just to make the poly partner happy? There's too much at stake to just do it for that.
What about one's own happiness?

In regards to your very comprehensive post directly above this one I’d recommend not just having a life preserver but a full blown escape plan. A legally drafted postnup if you live in a state with community property laws. If things break bad and or you don’t like the direction things are headed execute plan D and you don’t lose 1/2 your 401k, etc.
I think the process of detangling should start with a visit to a lawyer.

I agree. Everyone is responsible for their own emergency preparedness. Divorce plan could be all talked out and set already.

After things blow up? That's not the time to start thinking about how to disband with grace.

Galagirl
 
Last edited:

Inaniel

Well-known member
In regards to your very comprehensive post directly above this one I’d recommend not just having a life preserver but a full blown escape plan. A legally drafted postnup if you live in a state with community property laws. If things break bad and or you don’t like the direction things are headed execute plan D and you don’t lose 1/2 your 401k, etc. I think the process of detangling should start with a visit to a lawyer.

I say to skip the postnup and dissolve the contract outright... I can attest, as someone who recently dissolved a marriage contract with an existing partner; going through the process while still in love, with the communication and empathy benefits that come with that... It is more valuable in my opinion than anything a lawyer can offer...

I think it's a great idea to consider divorce when making a big transition in a relationship, like going from mono to poly. It's a bit symbolic as well, like saying goodbye to the old thing that was built, and all of those agreements/vows that were made. To clearly draw a line in the sand and say from this point forward we are different, and all agreements prior should be re-considered. Even if at some point the couple chooses to re-marry...
 

bearpancakes

New member
I'm trying to understand what you mean. What is failure to you? What is success?

Great question, I don't know if I've thought about this. Failure for me is our current relationship ending, anything that results in that outcome is off the table (my partner hasn't made being poly an ultimatum by any means). Success would be me figuring out a way to be comfortable and secure in our relationship and secure in the fact that she has needs/desires that I don't.

Could you please be willing to clarify? Only doing it to make her happy? What about YOU and what makes YOU happy?
  • Are you in the habit of not thinking about your own well being? You do self neglect? Is that the expectation in this relationship?
  • Or the expectation in this relationship is to "trade" -- like you look out for her and she looks out for you?
  • Or is the expectation something like "I look after my well being first so I can operate from a full tank of gas and not like running on fumes. Then I can help my partner with their reasonable and rational requests."
  • Something else?
  • What happens if you DO NOT "get over it?" Then what?

  • unfortunately yes, I didn't realize this about myself until now. I don't self neglect but I do have a tendency to think I can deal with disappointment better than others, so I'll shoulder the burden
  • We look out for each other, but I don't expect her to make me feel more comfortable, that's my job to figure out what that is communicate to her. So I don't expect her to find a solution and implement it, but my expectation is I'll get to a point where i know what I need to feel comfortable and she'll do that.
  • I will have to cross that bridge if I get there. But that would be an end to either of us exploring poly
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
Great question, I don't know if I've thought about this. Failure for me is our current relationship ending.

Generally, a good way to think about a current mono relationship that is transitioning to poly is to think of the old relationship as already over. A brand-new arrangement is now in place. Even if poly is just talked about, but you decide to remain mono, it still permanently changes how you both look at each other (and yourselves) and operate in the relationship. The old assumptions are gone, over, dead. New exciting ones need to be navigated, discussed, agreed-upon. This is not necessarily a horrible thing. There could be grief at the death, on both your sides, even on the poly partner's side (which can come as a surprise). But the new ideas can actually give your relationship a real kick in the pants. You may have better communication, more intimacy and better sex as a result!
Anything that results in that outcome is off the table (my partner hasn't made being poly an ultimatum by any means). Success would be me figuring out a way to be comfortable and secure in our relationship and secure in the fact that she has needs/desires that I don't.
To be really honest, we all have some needs and desires that can't be met by our one romantic partner. That is why we have friends. It is possible to think of your metamour (your partner's partner) as just one more friend of theirs, as you get used to the idea.
  • Unfortunately, yes. I didn't realize this about myself until now. I don't self-neglect, but I do have a tendency to think I can deal with disappointment better than others, so I'll shoulder the burden
  • We look out for each other, but I don't expect her to make me feel more comfortable. It's my job to figure out what that is and communicate to her. I don't expect her to find a solution and implement it, but my expectation is that I'll get to a point where I know what I need to feel comfortable and she'll do that.
You can request her to meet your comfort needs, but she does not have to agree to do everything and anything you request. She might do her best, but fall short. Then you need a Plan B. Reach out to friends, a therapist, family, or even a new romantic partner.

Currently my nesting partner can not meet all my romance and sex needs, or even entertainment needs, or help around the house much, since she is going through a health crisis (multiple issues, to be exact). However, my bf is more than happy to take up the slack! Bless him. This refreshes me, takes away my sexual frustration, and allows me to be a better partner to the one who is ill and hurting and needing accommodations. Also, her OSO can help to support her on his end so that all the burden is not on me. It's really great.
  • I will have to cross that bridge if I get there. But that would be an end to either of us exploring poly
If you do not "get over" the speedbumps of transitioning to poly, she agrees to stop exploring? This sometimes happens. The poly partner agrees to Close. Sometimes, after a few years of making this effort, they realize they just can't do it anymore. As I said recently in another thread, IMO, a poly person agreeing to go mono for their mono partner is similar to a gay person trying to be straight for their straight partner. No one can live well contorted into a pretzel for someone else.
 

Tinwen

Well-known member
Thank you for the perspective, where I think I may have gone wrong is I don't know if I want this relationship arrangement, I'm only doing it at the moment to make my partner happy. I went into this with the thought that I'd get over it as time passes.

Am I setting myself up for failure?
Not necessarily, but I think you did set yourself up for the feelings of "having to do all the work" described in the first post.

It is true IMHO that you do have "more work" to do here with the grieving, as she is moving towards a change that's desired, while you're moving towards a change unwanted. She's also got skills to learn and work to do: this could include stuff like pacing herself and staying attentive even in limerance, working on her scheduling, time-management and reliability, communication and conflict resolution skills, giving support and co-creating safe and sound relationship agreements. While this kind of personal work often feels nice and useful enough, it's still adjustment which could include lots of hard bits.

While you've written a good goal here, which is totally doable:
Success would be me figuring out a way to be comfortable and secure in our relationship and secure in the fact that she has needs/desires that I don't.
I'd add, that success would also be arriving at a balance, where you're not feeling like you're doing "more work" then her, or even significantly more work than in your monogamous relationship. While there is some inherent addend difficulty to scheduling, agreeing on vacation etc. in a poly setup, there should not be day to day struggle to come to terms with the setup itself.

I think what will help you at some point in the process (if you do continue going down this route), is looking at the benefits this setup may bring YOU. These could include
  • seeing your partner flourish
  • meeting aspects of them you wouldn't have met otherwise
  • having a wider social network, bringing more inspiration and variety into your life, as well as experience and practical help
  • the freedom that comes from rebuilding a relationship with less expectations
  • a more open communication about intimacy and frankly, all aspects of the relationship
  • exploration of the boundaries of your intimacy with others --- though you may not want other relationships (or even sex, though you say nothig about that), it may be freeing to loosen monogamous boundaries and allow for flirtation and attraction with others, non-sexual physical contact, a visit to sex-positive events
There's more, but these come to my mind from my experience. Try to make your own list of the benefits this arrangement may give you personally. Hopefully, when your grieving is finished, there is something in for you too.

Though it's admittedly hard at this point, it's quite possible, that through this process of deconstructing the boundaries of a monogamous paradigm, you will gain a better understanding of people, of yourself and become more open to life in general - I cheer on you :)
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
I agree. Mono-poly is not "fair" like both sides even, dealing with the same kinds of things.
I’d even add it’s same things or the same number of things. Which supports kev statement that this Dynamic is inherently unfair.





I do think mono-poly is "fair enough" like "buyer beware." Each person is responsible for doing their due diligence before signing up for that arrangement.
i can see having that position sitting up here in the cheap seats but that would seem a little harsh for a spouse express to their struggling mono partner. AND damn right cold / brutal if there was a long drawn out lobbying program to open up. This isn’t a 300 dollar used car we’re talking about. “ SORRY buddy but you should have done you homework.…you should have read the fine print “


If they consent to do stuff? Presumably they looked into it, understand what it is, did some prep, and accept those risks. Or if they want to "just wing it" in their approach? They accept those kinds of risks then.
I think what someone was told or sold by a spouse ( presumably a trusted partner in life ) might have a serious effect on the individual due diligence that maybe needed. I also think expectation and intention coupled with historical prospective could play a bigger role for each individual rather than what prevailing poly wisdom says.

Prep or No prep it might be a cold hard fact he’s going to do more work / study or time on the therapist couch than his wife.


Can there be cases where it changes from monogamous marriage to mono-poly with less lift for the mono? Maybe.
It can play out it so many ways when people open Pandora's Box.
100% agree with that.

Sometimes in a monogamous marriage when the poly person realizes they are poly? That on paper it's "monogamous marriage" but in reality" it's become mono-poly and they need to tell? The poly person does the emotional lifting then. Wondering how to even bring this up to the mono person. Fearing loss. Other stuff.
I don’t see that as the same type of thing ( don’t get me wrong in sure it’s a big deal and one dread having that conversation but it’s a one and done thing. There is no compartmentalizing or rationalizing your old status or your new status, etc etc. There isn’t the same level / masters class level reading on coping to have that conversation.


Sometimes it's "buyer's remorse" instead. Like one partner wanted poly, it ends up not being the sunshine and rainbows they thought it would be and wants to go back to being doted on by the mono partner.

And surprise! The reluctant mono partner discovered they like being more on their own, has developed other interests besides partner, and they don't want to go back to "original deal." They detangled and don't want the poly partner around as much or latching on so tight like before, don't want to be so doting any more like putting the poly person on a pedestal. They would have to reconcile another "new deal" then, maybe a more independent monogamy than before. Because it's not going back to how it was before they opened Pandora's Box where they were joined at the hip.
Can you think of one thread this has happened in a poly mono dynamic. I can think of several where someone pressured their spouse to open and then once their spouse hit their stride they wanted to return to mono. The situation you describe above Ive never seen in here or in real life. If you know of one please send me the link I’d like to read it.

That's why it circles back around to "buyer beware" to me. Is mono-poly even? No. Do I think it fair enough that each person has to do their own due diligence and understand what they get themselves into? Yes.
Basically if you’re dumb enough to sign up for it shut up and deal. Stop bitching about the work load.


Doing mono-poly just to make the poly partner happy? There's too much at stake to just do it for that.
What about one's own happiness?
Typically there’s many more factors ….kids, finances, etc.


I agree. Everyone is responsible for their own emergency preparedness. Divorce plan could be all talked out and set already.

After things blow up? That's not the time to start thinking about how to disband with grace.
I wasn’t thinking about disbanding with grace thats a good idea too. I was thinking of escape clause that favors the mono To help ease a struggling mind. In some states the divorce laws are heavily slanted in favor of the female. As a former married mono and as with the op’s case the wife wants an open or poly dynamic OK fine …but I want to jump off or out for whatever reason Without paying the usual high rate.
 
Top