New member
I need some people in a mono/poly relationship. I need to feel connected and like i'm not alone. I'll take both monogamous and polyamorous points of view but need to connect with people one on one who can explain/ are struggling with their partner in this type of relationship.

I'm mono and my husband is poly. We've just recently come to an agreement of him expressing his polyamory in 3somes but this is completely new for me. I'm trying to understand. I'm trying to let him be who he is. I partially understand but don't know if I can eventually give him what he needs. After 5 years of hiding and me partially understanding but being angry about it I'm trying not only to be open minded but to try and understand what HIS struggle is.


New member
Hi hon, boy are you at the right place.

It sure seemed like you have a lot of emotions running wild and it is understandable. I have a mistress, my wife is in charge of mistresses. Everyone has their own model, you have yet to find yours.

But a lot of basic principles are the same. In order to understand you better, please correct me if I am wrong.

You got married under monogamous agreement. After 5 years of monogamy, a little surprise: he expresses interest in "poly", but specifically 3-somes.

You were angry about being lied to, and if he is claiming poly as something fundamental to his character, then it was a lie of omission. Maybe it evolved, I dunno. But it was concealed for a long time.

Anger is the result of hurt, and right there is hurt. This kind of hurt is not just passed by quickly and forgotten about.

But you wish to understand this from the perspective that he "struggles" with this. Struggles with the desire for 3-somes.

I'd be feeling super insecure. Like I didn't know what was going on. Of course you are unsure if you can fulfill his desires. He has not been very responsible communicating those, right? And beyond 3-somes, we don't know.

So your anxiety is natural.

First of all, there's no emergency. My wife and I took about 3 years to ease into it and the next 8 years have been pretty darned good.

Some people will be by to suggest books and articles.


New member
part 1

Hey MayDecember! Thanks for your reply and your understanding words. I feel like in order to understand the whole story you need the WHOLE story. It's kind of lengthy. Are you ready?

My husband and I met 5 years ago. We were friends when we started our relationship. He expressed interest but in a very subtle way and I was so insecure and closed off I had no idea. So he started dating (having sex) with my best friend and then officemate. I coached him through his very brief relationship with her and once I found out they were "together" I switched my very small possible attraction for him off. I had a 2 year old daughter and was concentrated more on her than anything/anyone else. Well their sexual relationship didn't last very long and apparently was just sex. While he was heartbroken and she was back with her ex my husband and I went out to dinner but just as friends. At this point we had one conversation where we discussed that he didn't believe in monogomy and that I did. It was brief and very back and forth. After that we didn't discuss it again. I guess I knew he didn't believe in monogomy but I guess I misunderstood his statements of "well you've had multiple relationships in your life and haven't been with just one person" and a few other misleading statements. That's really the only conversation we had about it before we got together.

The night of the dinner my intention was just friends. I really didn't have any other feelings than that. As it got closer though I got nervous and we ended up staying up all night talking and eventually had sex.

After that things got confusing for me. I felt I betrayed my friend and didn't think I wanted to do it again but my husband was very persuasive. I hesitated getting into a relationship with him not only because of my friend but because I knew his "very brief" feelings for her. With constant reassurance that nothing was there I gave in. Years later to find out there was lingering feelings. I hesitated to move in with him (I had a daughter and didn't want her to close to someone I didn't know for sure was going to stick around) but we moved in together. He urged her to call him Daddy.... I hesitated but it all seemed to be ok.

Other than this rocky, you still have feelings for your ex but I know you have feelings for me too relationship, our relationship was great. I could talk to him and be honest with my insecurities and he helped me work through them. He healed me in some sort of way that at the time I couldn't do for myself. He was different than every man I had met or had been in a relationship with.

About 6 months in is when he told me he wanted to have a 3some and of course when I asked with who he told me my friend/his ex. Of course I flipped out. Not only because I didn't see it coming (I was very clear about my position on 3somes and that I would never be able to do that for him) but because him telling me who he wanted to have one with confirmed all of my fears and insecurities (I'm a bigger woman and she is more his "ideal" body type). I felt like he had feelings for us both and couldn't have her so settled for me and this was a way for him to get what he wanted out of both of us.

I eventually entertained the thought. I loved him and while it made me extremely uncomfortable and brought up a lot of demons I felt if I truly loved him then I would at least put in the effort to try to move out of my comfort zone. We struggled for a few years. There was a lot of drinking to numb my feelings and in turn lashing out at him just because I was so angry. Angry and him for what I felt he trapped me in and angry at myself for getting in this position.

Over the years it has mainly been the ex I have struggled with because to my knowledge she was the only one that he pursued. I tried the 3somes with her on 4 different occasions. I had trouble with them all. I ran out of the room crying a few times. The last time it went ok but I was drunk.

There were lots of conversations throughout this. My not wanting him to have other relationships, I might be ok with the occasional 3some but I don't know. I asked him to just be honest with me and tell me. Answer my questions when I have them and don't lie to me. We somehow just muddled through it. In the meantime we got married and recently just had a baby (7 months ago). My pregnancy with him was awful. There was a girl at work he was interested in (he told me he was attracted to her but as we talked he said he would stick to our agreement (3somes only and at my pace) he developed a relationship with her. He said it was just friends but could somehow tell me what positions she could do (apparently knowledge gained through the conversations) he moved his shifts to work with her and if he wasn't he would spend his entire shift on the phone talking to her. He called her as soon as he left the house and would talk to her on the way home and I knew all of this not because he told me but because I could see her number on the phone records. Records he didn't know I was looking at. He would come home 2 hours after his shift ended because they were talking at work and hanging out. I felt betrayed and stuck and like I didn't matter. Of course I expressed this in a very bitchy controlling passive aggressive way.

I finally had my daughter (his first biological child) and things between us seemed to change. He couldn't leave my side and when he took our other child home he couldn't sleep and was right back at the hospital as soon as he got her off to school. I felt important again. I felt like I mattered again. I felt like it would actually make a difference in his life if I wasn't there. I felt the connection that I only got bits and pieces of through the years. We took our baby home and we were a couple again. Just him and I. He seemed to be focused on not just our family but me. About a month later our circumstances changed and we made the decision to move to another state. In the meantime I started to notice his distraction again. After a back and forth and me telling him I couldn't do this anymore he decided he would try things my way. I was skeptical, jaded and didn't believe him.

We moved and things have been ok the last 5 months. He's had a few conversations with the ex but completely platonic and not sexual at all. I've been skeptical and he's been great at giving me the reassurance I need as far as when I ask if he's talking to someone he'll say no and show me what he's doing (i've never asked for that) Or not suddenly closing his phone when I enter the room. Stuff like that. Then all of the sudden last sunday it changed again. He became defensive when I asked questions. Kept his phone in his pocket at all times. Turned the screen off when I sat next to him. All the usual signs. So I reached my breaking point. I understand that I hadn't reacted the best in the past but I thought we were on a new page. We made an agreement to be open and honest and he was hiding again.

Which is what brings me here. After I called him out I let go. I had a very honest conversation. I told him we were different people and that was ok but it seems like we can't figure out how to be different people but work together. I couldn't give him what he needed and he wasn't giving me what I needed. I needed honesty and patience. I needed to feel like a priority and that it mattered whether I was a part of his life or not. I needed to have a say so because it was my life too and what he wants seems to be something that I can't give.


New member
part 2

It was when I started talking about figuring out the details of how to manage our family and he could see I was starting to give up that he took a step back and started to express my importance and that he wanted us to work. Once I verbalized my reluctance in continuing our relationship together that he for the first time showed some emotion. He actually verbalized he couldn't imagine his life without me. That if he had to choose between multiple sexual partners and me that he would choose me. He begged me not to give up and that we would work it out no matter what. That we had been through too much and created too much to let it go over sex. (according to him that's all he wants. Just the sex and is willing to compromise with 3somes because in some silly way it makes me feel included and like it's not happening behind my back) I have no desire for the 3somes but think that if he needs to have a new partner I would rather be there than not. We've had a lot of honest conversations since then. A lot of him actually listening to how I feel and discussing it with me and validating my feelings. A lot of how to work through this and reassurance for me of who I am to him and what I mean. It's been hard but it's really what I need. Honesty. Communication. Validation. Before there was a lot of dishonesty and shadiness. There was a lot of I'm weird because I'm monogomous instead of accepting me for who I was and what I wanted. I felt a lot of compromise on my part but not really understanding where the compromise was on his.

So after last sunday, after an honest talk about not being able to do this I started to read about mono/poly relationships. I still don't know if I can do this but I love us and our family enough to try. No matter what happens I want him to feel he has support from me and love from me to be who he wants to be. I love him enough to let him go, though I'll never leave him, instead of imprisoning him and making him suffer the rest of his life. So I'm trying. I'm trying all that I can to understand and be open minded while at the same time nurture myself and my feelings and get what I need out of life too instead of sacrificing myself. Either of those scenarios ends in misery.

Now keep in mind I tell this story from my perspective. I by no means was perfect and accepting and reacted in an ideal way in every situation. I understand why he did some of the things he did and some of the ways he treated me. It's no excuse for some of it but like me he was wrestling with things and feelings and didn't know how to do this either.

I think that's the whole story. My WHOLE situation and why I'm here. I bet you're regretting the "correct me if I'm wrong" statement :)
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Official Greeter
Hello Nikki,
Here are some mono/poly resources to help you:

Also, Are You in Poly Hell? is an article that may help you.

I think what you need is honesty, communication, and validation. Also you need your husband to be willing to compromise. It will not work if all of the compromise is coming from you. Mono/poly relationships are usually extra hard to navigate, but it can be done. You just need your husband to put forth some of the effort, this has to be a joint effort.

What do you feel would help you accept this?
Kevin T.


New member
Hi, Nikki, and welcome to the forum.

I'm in a mono-poly relationship, but I'm the poly one. It wasn't my idea initially. I didn't even know I was poly, though I did know monogamy had never really made sense to me. But I was in a monogamous marriage to my kids' father (divorced a number of years ago now, for reasons having nothing to do with poly), and after we split, I ended up in another monogamous relationship that became a marriage.

A few years into the marriage, we were about ready to call it quits. Some of the issues included the amount of time we wanted to spend together (I wanted to actually spend time together; he didn't. At all.) and some sexual incompatibilities. After a few months of trying to sort things out, I lay it on the line: Either he start compromising with me on some of these things, or we were done.

After a night of thinking it over, he came back to me with a third option: I could start seeing other people to meet my needs for quality time together and the type of sex and kink I wanted. At first, it was meant to be just sex, but six months in, I fell in love with a guy who was a friend-with-benefits, and my husband's response was that it didn't worry him, didn't bother him, I was polyamorous and he was okay with that. He was the one who put the word to it.

That was about six years ago. I've had four long-term relationships, counting the one I'm in currently (the other three each ended for various reasons). My husband hasn't had issues with any of it. The guys I've been involved with have all been fairly well committed to not interfering with my marriage, and my husband doesn't interfere with my relationships.

I don't know if things would work as well as they do if I had to coordinate things to spend time with my husband as well as my boyfriend and anyone else I date (or am friends-with-benefits with). But my husband still prefers not spending time with me, and we sometimes go two or three days without seeing each other awake, so I don't have to worry about time and relationship management quite as much as I think most poly folk do.


Well-known member
I don't know it if helps any but this is what sticks out for me reading your story.

I am paraphrasing.

  • You are mono. He is poly.
  • After a lot of stuff, you told him you each were different people and that was ok. But it seems like you can't figure out how to be different people but work together (romantically/married, etc).
  • You were ready to call it quits.
  • He's temporarily stepped some things up.
  • You are uncertain.

If that is the case? Well, why not STOP being romantic/married people then?

Be good exes and friends and coparents instead. Trade the ill fitting marriage model in for a relationship shape that fits you guys better?

I couldn't give him what he needed and he wasn't giving me what I needed.

Could work to accept you are not deeply compatible and not be dragging this out more than needed.

I needed to have a say in what happens because it is my life.

So why aren't you doing it? You ARE the author of your life. Why pick writing the story like this?

I loved him and while it made me extremely uncomfortable and brought up a lot of demons I felt if I truly loved him then I would at least put in the effort to try to move out of my comfort zone

How does this show you expressing love for YOURSELF? Are you not able to say "I love you a whole lot. But not even for you will I do stuff that hurts me?"

Because you were doing stuff you do not want (ex: group sex) and it ended up hurting you, and now you have anger stuff.

Why bend yourself into pretzels like this rather than take the ill fitting marriage coat off? And reach for a relationship shape you both can wear and BOTH feel ok in?

That we had been through too much and created too much to let it go over sex.

It's not letting the marriage go over sex. It accepting fundamental incompatibility.

Maybe "good exes and friends" is a more loving way to coexist. Then you are free from the stuff you do not want -- poly, group sex, stress, anger, being put down because you are "weird" to want monogamy, etc. (sounds like he's getting frustrated/angry too. It doesn't make it ok to put you down. But if people are getting angry? It's a flag emotion that this is NOT the way to go. Rather than ignore it, could LISTEN to your feelings. )

I felt a lot of compromise on my part but not really understanding where the compromise was on his.

I think you are compromising your values. You value monogamy, but you do not practice it. You don't want group sex, but you do it anyway. How does this behavior demonstrate kindness and love toward yourself?

How can you feel proud when you do that behavior? And hold yourself in high esteem for doing it? You mentioned being insecure -- how does doing this help with that? :(

I see where you want him to accept you as you are and that you are different people.

Where is YOUR acceptance of yourself? And that you are different people? Why "pretzel" yourself into shapes that are ill fitting? :(

People sometimes are all "save the marriage!" when it could be "Save the people!" Marriage is a relationship shape -- it's not a person with feelings. The PEOPLE are the people with feelings. Save them instead.

Coming to compromise? That's for small stuff you don't care too much about. If me and a kid want the last popsicle? We can come to compromise. We share it. And after dinner we go get another box. Then we can have another whole one each. Each side gives up something, and does NOT get what they really want for now. Then gets it later. But it feels ok because overall? Not a huge deal.

Here? You giving up monogamy (which is what you want) and doing group sex (that you don't really want to be doing?) That's not giving up small stuff for now. Those are major things. I would like to think you value yourself and your well being highly.

What you have been doing? Is that being true to yourself and the things you value? Not really. If the result of doing all that stuff leaves you feeling angry and ugh? Stop doing it.

I think you have strayed from your core values. Could stop doing that stuff, and be more authentic to YOUR values.

And him? He doesn't sound like he wants group sex either. He sounds like he wants to date other people. For companionship, for sex. I think he's telling you whatever you want to hear in the moment because he's scared the end is coming, he doesn't want you to dump him. I get that -- change is scary. So for now he minimizes and talks about pulling back. But really? If he shrinks himself into an ill fitting box too?

Now there TWO people in an ill fitting box/coat/situation. How did that improve anything? :confused:

He doesn't get what he really wants and values either. He wants full poly.

I think it would be more honest to admit you guys did not talk about all the things well during the Engagement time to see that you were deeply compatible. It sounds like initially, ok, but not deeply.

Don't wait for him to compromise his values too.

You feel angry at him and angry at yourself having done that. What good would it do to have both partners on the angry pile?

I suspect he'd end up at the same place if he starts doing that -- compromising his values. Angry at you like you can't give him the full poly thing he wants, and angry at himself for putting him in this place.

If this is already circling the drain and you were thinking of leaving before? I suggest changing the conversation to "save the people."

Stop trying to save an ill fitting marriage.

Because if you fight about that? It could RUIN the chance at parting ways with grace on that level, and remaining together as good exes and friends and coparents.

Fight enough and have an ugly break up? Then THAT chance flies out the window too.

Since you claim to love him? Save the people! Save the relationship shapes you CAN maybe wear together and be ok in. Don't do all this crazy to save the relationship shape that is like a bad fitting coat! For what? :(

I still don't know if I can do this but I love us and our family enough to try.

But you don't love your family enough to SKIP dragging it out? You have BEEN trying. :(

No matter what happens I want him to feel he has support from me and love from me to be who he wants to be.

That can still happen if the shape changes from (married) to (good exes, friends, and coparents.)

I love him enough to let him go, though I'll never leave him, instead of imprisoning him and making him suffer the rest of his life.

What are you saying there? That you will imprison him AND you in this ill fittting marriage? The marriage has to keep going even if it kills you both inside? At that point to me the marriage is spiritually dead anyway. Like just going through the motions.

You only get the one life. It's not a dress rehearsal. And life is LONG. You want to live yours like THAT? :(

So I'm trying. I'm trying all that I can to understand and be open minded while at the same time nurture myself and my feelings and get what I need out of life too instead of sacrificing myself.

How about you meet your needs, don't sacrifice yourself? :confused:

Either of those scenarios ends in misery.

Why does it have to end in misery? You are not willing to part ways and be friends?

So you are free FROM all this poly stuff and group sex stuff you do not really want.

And he is free TO pursue that stuff.

And both can be good exes and friends who coparent.

And then hopefully BOTH of you get this:

  • He has support from you and love from you (as good exes and coparents) to be who he wants to be.
  • You have support from him and love from him (as good exes and coparents) to be who you want to be.

No more banging head on walls or trying to pretzel yourself into shapes you just are NOT.

How is that misery? :confused:

Could go ahead and do the mono-poly relationship. From the place of being good exes and friends who co-parent. That is an intimate relationship.

There's no law that says you HAVE to be doing mono-poly as a married couple dating each other and THAT is the intimate relationship that has to be happening.

I think if you move toward being more authentic YOU, the anger would fade and you'd be more at peace.

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New member
I feel like in order to understand the whole story you need the WHOLE story. It's kind of lengthy. Are you ready?

I was, and did read it.

Again, it has to be concise. I see that you are very concerned about explaining why you did not want things to happen, but they happened anyway. Framing things in the best light possible.

You had a 2 year old daughter when you met your husband. The father's whereabouts and relationship with the daughter and yourself are unknown.

Your eventual husband had sex with your friend and office mate instead of you at first. But later, he started having sex with you.

You moved in with him, along with your daughter. Six months later he springs the idea of 3-somes. With your friend, who you cheated on, by your own estimation.

Then the story is drinking, running out of rooms crying, demons, you know kind of a Cinderella and Prince Charming story so of course you get married.

After more bad stuff, you have a child with Mr. Reliable. Therefore, 7 months after birth he is again going down the "affair checklist" of behavior with the phone, defensiveness, etc.

And so the problem. What is the problem here. It is not polyamory. I think the first order of business is self-assessment. Not that I can give that to you.


New member
Sorry to put it so but reading this just drove me crazy... Your husband's behaviour to you is unacceptable.

From everything you have written, I never saw you and your needs in this relationship considered by him.
Like... where was he when you were going out of the room and crying? Why did you force yourself and why was he ok with you forcing yourself for a threesome again and again... ?!? Maybe because HIS needs were more important to him than YOUR needs and feelings and because he feels entitled and comfortable to push and play with your personal boundaries. Dangerous.

Like, why does he go around and fuck while you are almost in labour, having a super difficult pregnancy? Like, this is a shit husband, seriously. It does not matter if you freak out, if you do something like this in such a difficult moment, after you have to kiss the feet of your baby mommy and nobody can convince me otherwise. It is a shit behaviour not because he is having other relationships but because he does not seem to care about your needs and feelings at this very difficult moment when he is supposed to be your no. 1 support and the person responsible for this new life coming with you, and there for you against all odds. I am really really sorry you did not have somebody solid through this but it just proves your strength as a woman.

If I am causing so much distress for the person I love because I am supposedly "poly", I would be in a lot of distress because I am hurting the person I am supposed to LOVE. This should make someone who actually loves you feel super uncomfortable and uneasy. Is he uneasy? Does he sleep like a baby at night? You were so self-conscious because of maybe your friend feeling bad although they had ended their relationship and was he genuinely uncomfortable after all this shit he has done to you or sort of "sorry not sorry"?

Also, these periods of love, followed by ignoring you just enough not to lose you are really alarming...

Last but not least, it is your daughter's decision how to call him eventually and this to me, looks like an attempt for him to back then sneak into your life and make you feel like you depend on him through your kid. It is such a shit attack on a child's developing autonomy, I really cannot accept it personally. Was he pushing moving in with you too fast?

It has been years you are struggling and I am very sorry. I think you deserve better. The way you wrote it, I really do not see you in this story. The way I read about you here is about struggling and suffering for being with someone, raising kids, probably being a Superhero Woman, multitasking, doing acts of service for your family... And him... He just comes right in, eating the ripe fruit after you have done all the work, "having a family" that he belongs to. I seriously hope that he is helping you with the kids, cooking, cleaning and all that stuff. I mean, make yourself useful after making the woman feel like shit for years, man...

All arguments against my statements are very welcome, I am just subjectively reacting to what I have read and to how the text has represented this relationship to me.
Solidarity, Nikki, I am really sorry you struggle with this for that long! By the looks of it, I would not give more of myself to this person if I were you.


New member
I think if you can't peacefuly accept it, and feel angry, you'd better to look for similar mindset of you, or change your mind - that's how I see it


New member
I'm gonna offer the perspective of someone who ended a mono/poly set up almost a year ago now. Granted, there were MANY other issues, but the bottom line was this: I'm poly. She was mono. She'd never accept this huge part of who I was, and it was damaging to me.

What sticks out to me is this: You really are not on board with this situation re: your husband having partners/group sex/being poly. Ideally, the two of you would have ended things long before you were married, and the poly/mono situation would have been out front and you would have recognized this as a fundamental lack of compatibility and moved along. But, it's not too late. You can still separate. You can remain friends/in each other's lives.

I know there are folks here who make mono/poly work. I don't personally believe in it, though. I am oriented to be polyamorous, and monogamy makes me so miserable I want to die. Literally. It's suffocating. If your husband is on that wavelength, a monogamous marriage will not ever be fulfilling for him. It's a crossroads. I appreciate those who make this work, but I wanted to give the perspective of someone who has sworn off dating mono people once and for all. The mono/poly pairing does not work for everyone.


New member
I'm glad you posted this, I'm mono but maybe a little poly?? I get bored in mono relationships and want variety but I'm really jealous so it's hard for me, I've been with a man for 14mos who has another "friend" he says both of us are nothing but he sleeps and cuddles with us, separately, does things with our kids and so things together. I am always making compromises for him and I dont feel he ever does for me. I want it to work because I'm not super keen on being mono, my main pull to it is the relief of jealousy... any way I constantly get if your in so much pain why are you here. I want love and support and reassurance when hes slept with her, i feel hurt and rejected, i feel hes throwing me away for her and when hes in the mood he'll see me. He denies this but will only say I'm sorry you feel hurt and expect me to be at normal happiness level. Any way I'm in solidarity for you, him and your husband arent ethical, they dont provide enough support and communication to make us feel safe. I feel like some people would be able to help us feel safe in poly. But I also love what the other people responded to say ... that's why bend ourselves in to pretzels and bear this pain? We arent compatible and could maybe be compatible as non romantic partners. I also know how hard it is to give up the attachment and all the work we put in you thank you