New exploration of Mono|Poly Relationship. Would love support and guidance!

Denverite

New member
Hi everyone!

This is my first time on this page and unsure where to start but looking for some sort of community and support to bounce things off of. With Covid it’s really hard to join a support group right now so I don’t know where else to look!
Long story short, my husband and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together 15 years now and had an extremely loving and fulfilling relationship. About 8 months ago he had an affair and we have been working to heal from that ever since. In our healing process, where we are both putting in soo much time, energy, love, and work, he told me he thinks he is polyamorous.

At first I fought this, thinking this is the love of my life how could he need/want others. We’ve since worked together having all the hard conversations and he is now working on the previous relationship (the one from the affair) to start over in a healthy manner and one that I am a part of the process for. We’ve been working together every step of the way and he is so respectful of my process but of course we are being judged by close friends all of whom are asking the question “are you just letting him have his cake and eat it too?” I am struggling with how to unwrap that question and make sure that I am happy and not only happy because he’s the love of my life and I want him to be happy ... if that makes sense.

How do I know this is best for me too even if I do not get the same energy from multiple connections that he does and how can I be sure to protect myself but let him be authentic at the same time? Any and all thoughts are appreciated!
 

Magdlyn

Well-known member
It's extremely common for high school partners to cheat after some time has passed. It's rather unusual to be sexually faithful to one person your whole life, even if you feel they are the "love of your life." Most people will feel a need for variety, yearn for novelty, be curious about having sex with other people. Humans are not innately monogamous. It's a choice we are trained to make.

Obviously, it's possible to love and desire more than one person at once. Most of us regulars here do or have loved multiple people simultaneously.

If you have no desire for further partners, that's fine. This would be a mono/poly relationship. All you can do is trust in your partner's love and loyalty. It could be possible he will continue to love you and want to stay with you. There is no way of knowing 100% that your marriage will last forever, whether you practice poly or not.

You'll never know if "poly is best" for you until you try it. If you want to avoid feeling displaced and insecure, you could start by reading this.

 

icesong

Active member
Long story short, my husband and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been together 15 years now and had an extremely loving and fulfilling relationship...he told me he thinks he is polyamorous...At first I fought this, thinking this is the love of my life how could he need/want others...
This *may* be a case of it's my situation so I see it more - the relationship version of noticing other people driving your car model more - but I've noticed a *lot* of people who met in high school, or early in college and/or were each other's firsts ending up wanting to explore non-monogamy. I mean, I'll be honest, I probably would have, in the long run ended up cheating had we not chosen this path. I'm not proud of that, but I know how strong my curiosity about sex with others and my drive for novelty were. It never ever meant that I loved my husband any less though - just that the random life circumstances that led us to finding each other very early in our lives had some down sides.
of course we are being judged by close friends all of whom are asking the question “are you just letting him have his cake and eat it too?”
... if my friends were "judging" me, I'd be a bit dubious of both their advice and their friendship. It's one thing to be concerned about your friends, but quite another to assume you know their lives or what will make them happy and fulfilled better than they do. Clearly it happens a lot, and it's part of why many polyamorous people stay closeted... but that doesn't make it ok.
 

Inaniel

Member
At first I fought this, thinking this is the love of my life how could he need/want others. We’ve since worked together having all the hard conversations and he is now working on the previous relationship (the one from the affair) to start over in a healthy manner and one that I am a part of the process for.

This sounds like a difficult situation, it illustrates your character and love for your husband. Obviously this would be a major transition for you however, don't forget that it is also a transition for your husband and the woman from his affair. A secret affair is drastically different from an openly poly relationship.

we are being judged by close friends

It is par for the course. When you step into poly you are stepping into a minority lifestyle. Judging by your name I take it you live in Denver, as do I, let me know if you ever need someone local to chat with. My wife may be able to relate to your situation as we have a mono/poly relationship.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
How do I know this is best for me too even if I do not get the same energy from multiple connections that he does and how can I be sure to protect myself but let him be authentic at the same time? Any and all thoughts are appreciated!

You know because you are the expert on you. If you want to go there, you would be going there for you and the joy of the journey, joyful and willing to pay the price of admission -- all the ups and downs of polyshipping.

Does that appeal? Would you still do poly even if you broke up with him?

If you poly, would you be protecting yourself from?

What do YOU need to be authentic in your relationships -- poly or not?

Can you deal with being "out" at poly? Is it safe to be poly where you live?

Ask the soul searching questions you could be asking yourself.

Because you decide what YOU need to be happy in your romances or marriage.

The deal he offers is being more respectful, no more cheating, and a new polyship that includes his previous cheating affair partner.

If that's not a good enough deal for you? If you are NOT up for poly or mono-poly? Call it done.

Don't bend into pretzels. Could divorce. So you can be free FROM poly stuff and he is free TO pursue poly stuff without cheating.

If you are up for open marriage? Decide.
  • Poly or mono-poly WITH the former cheating affair person in his poly network?
    • No? Then no.
    • Maybe yes? Then what work needs doing to make this ok with you?
      • What work will be done to rebuild trust here?
        • From you?
        • From him?
        • From Her?
  • Poly or mono-poly but NOT with her in his poly network? The price of admission is to drop the cheating partner.
    • Is he willing to drop the partner?
      • No? Part ways.
      • Yes willing to drop? What work will be done to rebuild trust here?
        • From you?
        • From him?
Be up front with what you need to feel safe, comfortable and ok participating in poly. First to yourself. Then with him. Don't agree to stuff just to keep the marriage going. It's not about "saving a marriage." It's about making sure the people are ok.

At first I fought this, thinking this is the love of my life how could he need/want others.

Usually I've seen HS relationships break up at graduation if not sooner. Young adulthood is a time for figuring out who you are and what you want from life. And if you both were on the fast track to marriage? What one wants at 15 might be different than 25, 35, 45. Shoot, even after DECADES of marriage, people change over time and sometimes grow in different directions.

We’ve since worked together having all the hard conversations and he is now working on the previous relationship (the one from the affair) to start over in a healthy manner and one that I am a part of the process for.

Are you poly? Do you even want this?

And if you are up for poly... are you up for poly with his previous cheating affair partner? Cuz that might make a challenging thing even more challenging.

We’ve been working together every step of the way and he is so respectful of my process but of course we are being judged by close friends all of whom are asking the question “are you just letting him have his cake and eat it too?”

You have enough on your plate without dealing with friend baggage. If you have judgy friends rather than friends who ask " This looks hard. How can I support you in a hard time?" Well, you may have to reevaluate your friends. But for now?

How about you ignore the friends and focus on what YOU need to thrive in a relationship first? And you may have to ask yourself that in your soul searching even though the friends ask it different. You COULD ask yourself "Am I just going along with this so as not to break up?"


might help you.

Then review where you live and your family and friend circle. Because you will need support whether you divorce or go on to poly. What if you try poly and it ends anyway? Then what? Will you have the support you need to heal from that?

I am struggling with how to unwrap that question and make sure that I am happy and not only happy because he’s the love of my life and I want him to be happy ... if that makes sense.

I know what you mean. You don't want to subsume yourself to the relationship from habit or fear of change or putting his happy ahead of your own.

I will gently remind you that you are not dead. You can't really say someone was "the love of your life" til you are near the end of life. Right now? He is "a love of your life." The main one so far, if you've been together since HS.

If you were widowed, you'd never allow yourself to love again? Because he was "the love of your life" and he just takes up all the love?

It's ok to love him a whole lot. But you also have to be able to say "I love you a whole lot. But not even for you will I do stuff that hurts me."

Again... you could reflect on what YOU need to be happy in a romance/marriage. If what he offers you as the "new deal" doesn't make the cut for you? Doesn't meet your personal standards for what you want from your Life? It doesn't make the cut then.

If poly is not for you? Don't force it.

If it means breaking up and trying to be good exes and friends or just good exes because that's the healthier relationship shape? Go with it.

Then you can be free FROM poly stuff you do not want and find your new happiness.

He can be free TO pursue poly stuff he does want without cheating and find his new happiness.

And you can be hopefully be happy for each other if the best choice is part.

I encourage you to do the soul searching you need to be doing.

It is ok to consider doing poly and arrive at the honest answer of "No, I considered. And this might be fine for other people but this is not really for me."

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Denverite,

First of all, mono/poly relationships are a thing, and people do make them work. It's usually not easy, but it can be worth it. You asked us what you would be getting from this. I suggest you ask *him* what you'd be getting from this. What is he offering, that would make it worth it to you? Can he give you more time and attention? help you more with chores around the house? something else?

You might find this post useful: The Mono Bill of Rights

You do realize, of course, that you yourself don't have to be monogamous? You could have a poly/poly relationship. Would your husband be willing to do that? He should be.

Whatever you decide, take it in little steps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
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