Torment of falling for a mono

Phantessa

New member
I have a problem, I'm always developing crushes on mono-men (who are either not open to poly or believe I will leave my husband for them)... So, this is more of a vent. I wish I had known about poly years and years ago. I felt forced to choose between my spouse and boyfriend(I'll call him E) at the time (8 years ago). E stopped talking to me for about 2 years until he found a girlfriend and he reconnected with me as a friend. He says things that make me believe he still has feelings for me and my feelings for him have never left. After my husband and I began talking about exploring poly, I mentioned it to E. He made jokes, said that if I had brought it up before when he was drunk or his relationship were rocky then he would have been interested in it. I don't think it would work unless he is in a relationship, because of the long distance we live apart. I don't see his relationship lasting, because she's talking to ex's and there were some inappropriate convos he caught her in. Hell, she could be poly and just not know what it is. But, everything he tells me leads me to think he's not willing to consider exploring poly. He's the one person that I could really imagine having a long term secondary relationship with and one my husband is 100% fine with already. So, I'm feeling sad and frustrated that he seems to be so hardcore mono(based on convos we've had). Anyone ever had this problem or anything similar?
 

nycindie

Active member
Personally, I don't specifically seek to find dates or relationships with only poly guys. I prefer to see if I connect with someone just based on who they are, even if they have always considered themselves monogamous. I'm generally attracted to men who possess a certain open-mindedness for such things, however. But first, I see if they are willing to be non-exclusive in relationships, and if we hit it off and seem compatible for something long-term, I then discuss my views of and approach to polyamory and find out if he can be okay with that. I just don't consider poly a part of my identity, nor do I usually find myself attracted to anyone within my local poly community.

BUT...

To me, your current issue seems to be about more than just "how to find a poly guy" or the dilemma of simply finding yourself attracted to monogamous men. This ex-boyfriend of yours has a history with you and, although years have passed, you're still wishing it could've continued when you got married. From the way you worded how it ended, there seems to be some resentment or maybe even anger still lingering about having to let that relationship go. You are holding onto the memories and feelings you had for him, so much so that you are still hoping something could develop between you and him -- even though he lives far away. Something tells me that the issue for you has to do with having what you can't have, in a delaying gratification kind of way. As in, how good are you willing to let your life be right now, instead of pining for something or someone else?

I just perused some of the other threads you have started here. You came here last year, not sure what you wanted, knowing your weren't satisfied, but unable to figure out if you were "cut out" for either polyamory or monogamy. In that thread you said:
I've never been anything but monogamous. This is my only real and serious relationship I've ever had. I get the sense that I need something more. But, I don't really know what I'm missing. Before this my longest relationship was two months and that was serious at all.

Did you mean to write that is wasn't serious at all? Is that the ex-boyfriend whom you are now wishing wasn't mono? Then, you and your husband took a brave step and chose to move forward into poly, but you had a less than favorable experience with someone you met online, and considered it a failure. After that you and your husband had a baby, and entered counseling because it seemed there was some distance between you, and that seemed to help. You said you felt closer to him. That was only a little over two months ago, when you wrote:
We're not actively exploring our poly side either, because we both recognize we need more time to reunite and solidify our relationship.

So, most recently (early October), you posted that your husband said he wanted your relationship to stay monogamous, although he understood you might want more than that. However, he would step aside if you do want to pursue another relationship that is anything more than a platonic friendship. Is that where he still stands? Because now you say he would be 100% okay if it were E., so he must've changed his position on it. You, however, seem as unsure as you always were:
I don't really know where I'm at or what I want. But, I find myself questioning even wanting a long term commitment . . . The concept of polyamory and the level of openness and honesty is one piece I've really connected with. Although, at the risk of losing him I would probably sacrifice some sense of potential completeness for myself.

So, I think a few questions for you to ask yourself are:

What is it about this old boyfriend that has you still daydreaming about him, wishing it never ended?

Have you looked at your tendency toward dissatisfaction with how things are in the present? This could just be a learned pattern you adopted from observing others when you were a child -- to always feel like something isn't quite right, but you don't know what it is nor how to fix it. Seriously, you could be happy and content with things just the way they are, yet not even know it simply because you've been habituated to be restless, plaintive, and dissatisfied!

Also, what is this "sense of potential completeness" you want, and is it only through relationships that you believe you can have that? How has the counseling or therapy been?

What makes you happy? Who are YOU, besides being a wife and mother?

How can you make your life the best expression of what moves you and brings you joy? Maybe having multiple relationships is a part of that, maybe not.​

Even if I'm way off-base about what I'm sensing (the perennial dissatisfaction), these may be good questions to ask if you continually find yourself drawn to basically unavailable men. I actually don't think I'm too far off, though. On one of your threads, LovingRadiance wrote to you:
I keep thinking (while reading your posts) that maybe the issue isn't "polyamory" vs "monogomy" so much as a need to re-identify what rules make a relationship.

. . . You sound like your MORE looking to find "permission" to have fulfilling, dynamic, close meaningful relationships to fill the different interests in your life. That CAN be polyamorous, but it doesn't have to be per se. Do you see what I mean?

I wonder if you really need to work on figuring out who YOU are?

. . . You sounds so confused about what YOU want vs what you think you SHOULD want.

This is your ONLY LIFE. You're an adult now, it's time to figure out who you want to be . . .

It seems you have a very understanding husband with whom you can communicate. That's great and something to appreciate. If I were you, though, I would explore other things that you feel are enriching to your life, but not necessarily other relationships! I would be cautious about delving into any other relationships before you feel like you have a good sense of who you are and what you want out of life, not just out of your relationships.

.
 
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Phantessa

New member
First, I appreciate you taking the time to look back over some of my old posts and giving a very thorough response. I see where you’re getting coming from, but I tend to post when things are down and not good. So, you’re probably only reading about negatives. I have had long periods of wonderful time and relatively few low points in my life since about 10 years ago. I think things have been going downhill just with my relationship with my husband over the last few years. Some of the problems we had were jealousy and low self-esteem and with the discovery of poly, we’ve been more open and honest with each other. However, we started going downhill while I was pregnant and we haven’t had any significant upswings in a year. When I had a boyfriend for 6 months or so(before the pregnancy), it was an amazing time. I felt more complete and I was a better partner to both of them at that time. I do have things outside of my relationships that fulfill me, including my career, meditation, cooking, art, music. Although, since our daughter was born and me working full time I don’t have as much time to spend doing these things atm.
I have been told the toughest time in a relationship is right after the kids are born and another tough time is the 7 year mark, and we’re smack dab in the middle of both. We’ve been taking each other for granted and spending time doing our own thing. Things are not much better, which is partly why I’m looking for outside relationships right now. 1) It helped our relationship once before and 2) It’s easier to get those needs met by someone else if he can’t be there for me right now(even if it’s through friends), because I am close to giving up on him. The problems I’m having with my husband right now have been met through this friendship (ie: emotional support) with E. He’s looking for a secondary partner as well.
At the same time, I do think I should be working on my relationship with my husband more, but at the same time I’m close to giving up. I feel like I’ve been making a huge effort and he’s not. I’m honestly considering a divorce if things don’t change. When he’s gone and I have the house to myself, I feel better. And that is so sad to say. Maybe I put our relationship on a pedestal too high, because he had an amazing start and middle. In addition, we have had a rough year, because I’ve had a lot of random health problems post-pregnancy, been forced to go to the ER 4 times! He has been the most unsupportive he’s ever been the year I needed him the most. If he can’t visibly see the illness then he thinks I should get over it. I do have unresolved resentment and anger at him for that. We do have some significant issues right now. We will continue with counseling and hopefully things will improve. We’re both miserable and that’s the last thing I want for him or me. At some point, we’ll have to make a decision if things don’t change. I hate to say it, but it’s been a year and I feel pretty hopeless about it right now.
 

Phantessa

New member
Reading back over my original post, I should clarify. I have had crushes on poly men too, but unfortunately none of them developed into anything. I’ve only had 1 secondary relationship and yes I still have feelings for E. But, I don’t think two mono interests really means I’m only attracted to them, because I’ve been very interested in a few poly men(but for one reason or another, usually distance, they weren’t interested in exploring it further). When I made the post, I was feeling very frustrated that E isn’t open to it and secretly hoping he will change his mind. I’m happy for my continued friendship with him although I would love for more to happen.

As I’m learning I’m trying to figure out what works best for me, which is why there was so much confusion early on in my posts. I feel like I have a much better idea of what would work, specifically a secondary partner that I am also their secondary. I saw a possible glimpse of that with E and it resparked my interest in him. And my husband has been okay with E from the beginning of our discussions about poly, simply because he doesn’t feel threatened by him. Not the best reason, but either way he’s connected with E and been friendly toward him, knowing my interest.

I realize I'm jumping all over the place to respond, so hopefully that explains things more fully. I really appreciate the responses and questions.
 
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