The Struggling Mono Thread

thirteenth

New member
Struggling this week. A mutual friend of ours told Julian she has feelings for him. He doesn't reciprocate those feelings at all, and nothing is going to happen between them, but I feel angry at her. She's not a close friend and doesn't know I see myself as monoamorous, so I'm also angry at myself for being angry at her. But I don't understand the poly etiquette... if you want to bone somebody who's already in one or more relationships, you just tell them, without considering the feelings of their partners? I feel like I can't trust her at all now and no longer have any interest in becoming better friends with her. I am having trouble talking to Julian about these feelings. He's being supportive and very sweet to me about it, but it's just hard to talk about. I always start crying. I can't seem to straighten out exactly what has me so upset.
 

GreenAcres

New member
Struggling this week. A mutual friend of ours told Julian she has feelings for him. He doesn't reciprocate those feelings at all, and nothing is going to happen between them, but I feel angry at her. She's not a close friend and doesn't know I see myself as monoamorous, so I'm also angry at myself for being angry at her. But I don't understand the poly etiquette... if you want to bone somebody who's already in one or more relationships, you just tell them, without considering the feelings of their partners? I feel like I can't trust her at all now and no longer have any interest in becoming better friends with her. I am having trouble talking to Julian about these feelings. He's being supportive and very sweet to me about it, but it's just hard to talk about. I always start crying. I can't seem to straighten out exactly what has me so upset.

I am sorry you are struggling. Being mono with a poly cannot be easy all the time.

Yes, I would tell them of my interest without confiding in their other partners or taking them into consideration, just as I would tell a single person if I wanted to date them without asking their friends or family. (If someone is clearly in a monogamous relationship, I will take some time to find that out and not make any interest known.) If I am not interested in dating someone, in this case my interest's partner, there's no reason for me to approach them, and especially not before I reveal my interest to the person I want to date. If that person is dating someone else who has "veto" power/power of approval over relationships, I'm not going to date them anyway.

It is up to the person I approach, not to their partners, to tell me of their relationship arrangements, and to manage their other relationships. It's up to the individuals in those relationships to tell their partner's about new interests, etc., and to work out what that means for existing relationships. My obligation is to be a decent human being who respects my partner/interests and his/her other relationships. Many people don't even ever meet their metamours (though I prefer to do so, at least in email or something, once a serious relationship forms--it makes emergencies andthe like easier if everyone is civil and can deal, at least in passing, with each other). Assuming this woman was respectful about it, knew he was poly, and not cowgirling, there's no real reason to be upset with her.
 

thirteenth

New member
Assuming this woman was respectful about it, knew he was poly, and not cowgirling, there's no real reason to be upset with her.

Thanks for your perspective, GreenAcres. Intellectually I accept what you're saying, but I still feel really angry at her because she's someone I know, who I thought was my friend. If it had been someone who had never met me, I know I wouldn't be angry. In fact, that has already happened twice since Julian and I got together, and I wasn't angry at all.
 

GreenAcres

New member
Can you pinpoint why you're angry at her, and why you feel she should have talked with you?

Or, is it just one of those things that makes no real intellectual sense, but you feel anyway? Sometimes, those happen. I certainly get them. Feelings aren't necessarily rational, and that's okay. Sometimes no amount of "personal work" will change the feelings, though we can control what actions we take on those feelings, and that's okay, too. You are allowed to feel what you feel, and those feelings are valid. The question then becomes how to react to them in a healthy way. You could decide to talk to her about it, or to let it go but not associate with her, or to let it go and work on overcoming those feelings (and there are, I am sure, other options, as well).

Whatever actions you decide to take or not take, don't beat yourself up over feeling something. Give yourself permission to feel what you feel, and to think about whether whatever it is that makes you feel this way needs to be worked on or if it's just a one-off from a random situation that may have happened at a bad time, and go from there.

*hugs*
 

thirteenth

New member
Thanks, GreenAcres. It feels good to talk to someone about this.

Yes, I think it is something that makes little intellectual sense, but I still feel very upset. I feel disrespected by Connie (that's her name). I definitely wouldn't expect her to talk to me about her crush on Julian -- I would just expect her to keep quiet about it altogether. I don't think people need to act on every crush, even if they're poly. She already has three (or more) lovers and I can't understand why she has to go after Julian, too. Also contributing, perhaps, is that I've always felt this odd air of desperation from her. She seems to insert herself into other people's plans a lot, or tries to win people over with big shows of generosity that aren't really warranted. So maybe my pre-existing wariness of her is exacerbating my negative reaction.
 

GreenAcres

New member
It could be that Connie has the resources to deal with a large number of partners, of course, and that her poly boundaries don't include not dating friend's/acquaintances partners, so there'd be no reason for her to think it would be an issue. Everyone has their own boundaries, which can be confusing even in mono relationships.

Or, it could be that she needs people to find her attractive in order to be validated (this was one of my former metamours--oh, the drama). If the latter is the case (while we're only getting your side of things, your description fits with this), maybe it's just your "sixth sense" kicking in? The one that says someone is bound to be a load of drama and trouble? While veto power isn't something I agree with and wouldn't be a party to, there are times I still have had those "ugh, seriously, this person irritates the CRAP out of me" feelings. I choose to not act on that and let my partner handle their own relationship issues, but it definitely doesn't mean that their behaviors don't piss me off (and, if there's too much in the way of "bleed over," I excuse myself out of the relationship).

Either way, it seems Julian is also not interested in her, so at least you don't have to deal with feeling like she's a problem while he's also dating her, so that is a positive thing. *more hugs*
 

thirteenth

New member
Yes, sensing that Connie would cause massive drama - I think that's it. I am very relieved that he's not into her. I definitely don't want veto power in this relationship... but I also don't want to feel like I need it. I do trust Julian's judgment. I know we won't always see eye to eye about every person we encounter, but we're pretty close on our opinions of people, so far.

My resolution about dealing with Connie is that I'm going to treat her the same as before - amicable, but not overly chummy. I think I will eventually calm down and get over my anger, and working on being fake to people I dislike is something I need to do anyway. I wear my heart on my sleeve and it sometimes isn't great for me.
 

nycindie

Active member
Sounds like you resent that she didn't realize he is "yours." Perhaps there are some feelings of ownership over him? Or fears that you are seen as inconsequential? And/or you wanted some respect paid to you, or something like that. It's a tough spot to be in, but at least this has allowed you an opportunity to look within and become more self-aware. Relationships teach us so much about ourselves.

By the way, my first thought when I read your post was, well, how would anyone find out if they had any possible chance to date him if they didn't let him know they were interested? That is the perspective of someone interested, but it certainly doesn't mean that the object of their affection is going to take them up on it. The rest of the world is not privy to your agreements or what kind of relationship you have. What other ways would you prefer a person express interest or ascertain whether they had a shot with someone?
 
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thirteenth

New member
Thanks, nycindie-- I read your post on my phone the other day but am just getting a chance to respond, and I've been thinking about this.

I think you're right that I do feel some ownership in this particular case -- possessiveness in response to Connie in particular, because I don't like her or trust her. I don't have this reaction to Maya (his wife) or any of the people in our group of friends who flirt with him. I am getting closer to pinpointing this feeling: it has something to do with her incorrect assumptions about his/our situation. She pretends a greater familiarity with everyone than she actually has. Going way back to childhood, this is something that has always bothered me about certain people. Maybe it's because I am such an extreme introvert and quite stand-offish with most people until I'm comfortable.

I think much of my insecurity comes from Julian and I never really having hashed out boundaries. I am good at communicating positive emotions, but very bad at communicating negative emotions or even just "housekeeping" information about our relationship. He seems to be the same way. We did have a chance to talk about this yesterday (after I lost it again, and started crying about how I don't want to be around Connie and it makes me feel like a bad person). He promised me he will make it abundantly clear to her that he's not interested, should she express interest again.

I do understand your point (which GreenAcres also made) about it being impossible for someone to ascertain the availability of an individual without expressing interest in them. I guess I just felt that a boundary of mine had been violated (that friends don't go after other friends' lovers) and didn't stop to think that other people wouldn't have this boundary. (Despite being privy to many people's situations on this forum where that very thing happens all the time -- I guess it just didn't hit home for me that other people don't find that problematic.)

I think this is going to be a hard one for me to work through, at least for awhile, but the up-side is that Julian and I did talk about topics we've avoided, and I feel really good about the outcome.
 

WishfulPoly

New member
Conflicted

[/COLOR]I will have to go back and read a lot, but I thought I would tell you that I'm really conflicted. I am inlove with Polyamory, and I am deeply saddened that I can't explore it. I have a wonderful husband of 11 years who loves me more than I can say. I really would love to be poly but he refuses. We have children, and we have had a happy marriage, but he insists on monogamy. I love and adore my husband and our family, but I long for polyamory, and I know that I would lose my husband if I go poly. I really need to talk to someone who was mono and now is poly and also to someone who was poly and happily went mono. I need to gain perspective and process through the feelings I suppressed for so long. Help me friends.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi WishfulPoly, I would be happy to help in any way that I can. It makes me sad that you want to be poly but your husband won't let you.
 

FallenAngelina

Well-known member
.....we have had a happy marriage, but he insists on monogamy.....

Wishful, I was married mono for 15 years and everything was as you describe ("wonderful husband who loves me more than I can say") until I just could not live any longer stuffing down my deep desires to connect with more than just him. I won't tell you it's been easy, but it's been amazing for me to feel alive in ways I couldn't even know were missing. 20 pounds just melted off when I opened up to poly and I have a youthful vigor that I haven't felt in decades. What good is a wonderful husband who doesn't love you all the way? That's how I looked at it. If he is super and awesome at the expense of my authenticity, then how wonderful can my marriage really be? I encourage you to explore more. You don't have to do anything, just allow your thoughts to flow freely and see where life takes you. Living "happily" according to what makes someone else happy is really no happiness at all.

A big lesson I've learned is never, ever, ever blame anyone for clipping your wings or caging you in. We are all responsible for our lives and nobody can "make" you do anything or "forbid" you not explore your heart's desire. My marriage is still intact and we live more-or-less in peace together in large part because we early on agreed never to complain about the other person preventing us from doing anything or "making" us feel this or that. Likewise, we don't play "blamesies" but instead allow that each of us is responsible for our own lives. Polyamory involves an awful lot of self reflection and it's never too early to start exercising that muscle.
 
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ladyintricate

New member
Hello Wishful,

I feel for your family. I was married to my husband for 12 yrs and I was happily mono for that time. My husband however seemed to struggle with that structure of relationship for the entire time we were married. He had a physical and multiple emotional affairs that I ended up finding out about and through the chaos afterwards he came out as poly. I actually felt a bit of relief when I read about what it means to be poly and it fit my husband to a T! FFwd a few years and we are in a poly quad and I am pretty happy...then ffd one more year and now I have left my husband and am still with the other 2 from our quad.

Trying to condense a lot of feelings/events/issues into a short post here, but to sum up the way I feel and think now (as a previous mono, who now identifies as poly): It was the dishonesty that my husband perpetuated to himself and me that ended our relationship, not the poly aspect. Honesty is so important to trust. I eventually stepped across the line to "poly" from "mono" in my own time and because I saw that it was possible for me to love more than 1 person at the same time and I made the decision that my life would be enriched by this.

I think the best thing you can do for your husband is to be open and honest with him about your being poly and being interested in trying the lifestyle. However, I don't think you should pressure him. He may not be ready. It's possible that he will never be ready....but maybe he will. Just keep that door open on communication so that if he starts thinking about trying it, he will know you are still open to it.

Good luck to you both!
 

WhatHappened

Active member
[/COLOR]....I long for polyamory,...I need to gain perspective and process through the feelings I suppressed for so long. Help me friends.

What exactly is it you long for? A particular person? A second person in general, but no one specific? Variety? 'Longing for poly' doesn't get at what it really is you want.

What feelings have you suppressed?
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
This may be an odd post, but I wanted to share to see if someone has any insights.

My boyfriend is not only monogamous, but he is also rather -it seems to me - aromantic, me being his exeption of course. He always had big dreams of romantic love, but the reality of his actual life is that before he met me, he had one 3 year long relationship which was somewhere between romantic and purely sexual, and apart from that just a string of one night stands. I used to be a bit jealous of this woman that I have never met - until I realized that it was totally unfounded. Because not only did he not love her, he has never even been truely infatuated with anyone, not even from afar. So, falling in love with me and me in him means I chose the most monogamously mono boyfriend to be in a polyamorous relationship with me.

It sometimes makes me scared that we are so different. Not only am I poly, but he is my third/forth serious romantic relationship and even as I child I would fall seriously in love with people. I am seven years older than him, but still our differences in experience is vast not because of age. He says he is often bored and I think my own infatuation with life has something to do with the fact that I have been so often in love. I can remember a whole of six months or my life when I was not in love with or infatuated with at least one person. I feel there are things about me and also to some degree other people that are hard for him to get because he doesn't share our experience. Not that he is judgmental (his only concern was if he is my first real plural relationship, which he is), he just doesn't get it. I was looking forward to swap stories of our exes and such, but there just isn't any on his end. He got on well with his ex, and he enjoyed talking to her, having sex and so on, but she never challenged him, changed his life or met his family - and he never confied in her. I really feel that I am dating someone who was never in a relationship before. Even he thinks he is inexeperienced for his age.

In a way, we are a perfect fit because apart from poly I fit his idea of that one girlfriend who would come along and sweep him off his feet. There isn't really a problem as such, it is really just for me a life without loving someone would make little sense, I don't understand how that works and I would like to better understand what his life was like.
 
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WishfulPoly

New member
My longings

What exactly is it you long for? A particular person? A second person in general, but no one specific? Variety? 'Longing for poly' doesn't get at what it really is you want.

What feelings have you suppressed?

In response to your questions:
I long for multiple, deep, caring relationships. I want to love and be loved by multiple partners. I feel like I have the capacity to love fully more than one person at a time. I really desire to love in a way that's not jealous or possessive, and I desire to have 100% honesty, the kind where I don't have to hide anything about my thoughts, feelings, or desires, and where my partners would feel loved and accepted for exactly who they are.
I grew up assuming monogamy was the only way, the right way, and everything else was bad, selfish, and unloving. I have always been fascinated by alternative lifestyles, and I finally landed on believing that they are a valid way of life, but before that I struggled, and wrestled, and fought inside myself to arrive there. So I suppressed, repressed, and rejected any feelings or draw I had to non-monogamy. I have told myself for decades that it's wrong and that I was bad for wanting that.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hi Wishful,

I'm sorry you had so many struggles in trying to realize that poly was a good thing. Do you feel like you have overcome all of that, or does some of it come back to haunt you?

@ Norwegianpoly ... I think I am more like you than I am like your very monogamous boyfriend. It seems like I have always been in love with one person or another. I am a hopeless romantic.

Does it trouble you that your boyfriend is so different? or is it just something you take in stride?
 

Norwegianpoly

New member
@ Norwegianpoly ... I think I am more like you than I am like your very monogamous boyfriend. It seems like I have always been in love with one person or another. I am a hopeless romantic.

Does it trouble you that your boyfriend is so different? or is it just something you take in stride?
In a way, it is very flattering! I mean, it is like the ultimate compliment to be his only ever love. But it also scares me. I have sometimes thought that he is so alian to me (I feel the same about my sister btw. She has never fallen for anyone but is always looking for love and I find it weird to talk to her about it). I am not really sure why, but I would rather be afraid that he should leave me for someone else than thinking perhaps he would prefer to just be alone. Because I can take competition but I can't win if he should just find it all too much. He gets overwealmed sometimes and I guess I take it personal. At the same time he is very romantic and I know he feels very deeply about me. It confused me in the beginning, not only that he had not felt it before but that I should make him feel it.

I wonder if we are growing more alike though, because after meeting him I feel like my former flirty self is mostly gone, I don't feel like there is anybody out there who would interest me anymore,perhaps
erh even if they died.
 
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