I agree with everything you said in the above post, SC, but this stood out to me. I am glad you said the "many" mono couples coast in their relationship, not "most."Probably not, but only because you would have been able to coast right on by the way many mono couples do, ignoring these deep underlying issues in their relationship because nothing forces them to deal with their personal shit. Does that mean your marriage wouldn't have these issues? Hell no. It just means y'all wouldn't be dealing with them the way you are now.
I just always find it irksome when poly people say that monofolk don't have to deal with their personal shit or work on their relationships in the same way polyfolk do. Of course they do, although specific issues will be different. Clear communication, honesty, and taking responsibility for one's actions are needed in any relationship, no matter the configuration. It certainly isn't true that all mono people can pretty much be asleep at the wheel and get away with it. Else, why would there be so many self-help books on relationships and communicating? I have looked at my relationships as "teachers" since the 80s, and always been challenged by them.
Any engagement with other people has the potential to teach us something but it's up to us to open our eyes, it isn't the relationship structure that opens our eyes for us. Everyone I know has personal shit to work on and issues in their relationships, whether they engage in poly, mono, or have no romantic partners at all, and they look at them, confront them,and grapple with them as well as they can, depending on their willingness and level of consciousness and self-awareness.
The point I'm trying to make is that if you keep misplacing the blame, you're only going to repeat the same mistakes but with a different focus.
Yes. This is important. In an earlier post of mine, I said that a teacher of mine used to say we hold onto feeling bad as a way to do penance. There was more to those teachings. Unconsciously, in our general culture (and especially if influenced by Christianity at all), we're taught to believe that if we fuck up, and then we "pay for" it, then we are forgiven and the slate is wiped clean. And because we are flawed and imperfect, we will fuck up again, do penance, be forgiven again, start all over. But psychologically what that belief system does is make us think if we feel bad enough about something we did, then eventually we'll get a reprieve. And eventually we'll do it again. Guilt keeps us stuck in the behavior we feel guilty about!
No, OP, don't blame poly or your desire for poly. All of you simply made mistakes. Have compassion for yourselves, look at the lessons, and move on. Let go of the guilt and change the way you do things. It may not be easy, but it is simple.