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POLL RESULTS: Mono relationship; poly problems: (8 comments)

POLL: Mono relationship; poly problems

Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: After my (monogamous) marriage dissolved a couple of years ago, I decided to return to the polyamarous lifestyle-- ie, open relationships. This actually worked out better than monogamous dating did for me, but then I reconnected with a very old friend whom I'd been in love with for a very long time, and things got romantic. I agreed to a monogamous relationship with her, but there's a problem. She knows that I am, by temperament, poly. She doesn't think I'm cheating on her, or that I'm going to, but she stresses constantly about the fact that I might want to have sex with another woman. Not that I would-- that I'd WANT to. I've told her she's enough for me, but that's not helping. It upsets her a lot. Any advice?
POLL: What should he do?
 
4% (44) Gradually work her into the polyamory lifestyle
 
40% (396) Keep reassuring her. You need to build trust.
 
54% (533) All women worry about their husband wanting to sleep with another woman. Your poly past doesn't make you special, pal.
973 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
Murgatroyd
Lover

Posts: 300

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Jan 2008
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - 01:08 AM (#58198)

It comes down to this:

She doesn't trust you.

Work on building her trust. Show her that you can and should be trusted. Tell her that when she expresses her distrust of you, it hurts you and makes you wonder whether her love is sincere. And by all means, don't offer to introduce her to a polyamorous lifestyle or to let her screw around whether you cheat or not. (My use of the word "cheat" was deliberate.)

And if she doesn't change, be prepared to find someone else. There's a good chance she'll make your life a living hell if you commit to her and she still continues to distrust you.


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Morcam
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Posts: 2

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Jan 2011
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - 07:47 AM (#58206)

There is nothing you can directly do to fix this. All the reassurance you could muster in a lifetime is not going to be enough to alleviate her insecurities, they are based in her personal issues, and have nothing to do with you.

She does need to come to terms with them before they destroy your relationship. Suggest to her that the two of you try couple's counseling. The counselor will likely end up wanting to meet with her one on one, but proposing that you do it as a couple will be more likely to get things started.

If she won't go, then I feel that you should think seriously about ending the relationship sooner rather than later, because that issue is going to be like a slow poison that kills it anyway.


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spzeidler
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Posts: 35

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Jan 2010
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - 04:30 PM (#58222)

so, she is worried that she might keep you from being truly happy, not from you cheating on her?

If so, I'd propose you make a pact: to tell her if you meet a person you would like to have an affair or relationship with, and to ask her consent, then.

After that, if what you claim (her being enough for you) is true, you can tell her she's keeping you too busy being happy with her to make time for other people every once in a while. If not, well, negotiate, but don't cheat.


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preaction
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Posts: 4

Registered:
Oct 2009
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - 06:24 PM (#58226)

It sounds like you've discusses the situation with her. She says she accepts the situation, but if she is constantly stressing out about you finding other people attractive, perhaps she needs to work on her self-esteem a bit.


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mlith35
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Feb 2011
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, February 02, 2011 - 06:41 PM (#58227)

Part of me says that your poly past is a legitimate reason for her to be insecure, and that the price of admission to the relationship is having to periodically reassure her, at least at the start. As others have said, trust is something that is earned.

But it really depends on just how insecure she is acting. This kind of thing, constant reminders about how she doesn't trust you and requiring you to jump through hoops to prove yourself, can be emotionally manipulative and even abusive. If at any point you feel like admission is not worth the price, then end it.

Onething that might help, if she's intelligent, is to have her read (or you read and explain to her) "Sex at Dawn," a great book that basically scientifically proves that humans are instinctively and biologically programmed for polyamory (though it's perfectly fine to choose monogamy!) One thing the book really clarifies is that the urge for sexual novelty is hard-wired into male reproductive biology. Its not about the woman you love "not being enough" at all.

If you can help her get over the fear of what your urges mean about her, she might be able to live with a relationship in which you have desires, but out of respect for her, don't act on them. If she's so insecure that she can't live with you ever being turned on by another woman, then she's probably not someone you can have a successful relationship with.


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LittleCrow
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Posts: 5

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Feb 2011
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Sunday, February 06, 2011 - 12:17 AM (#58253)
In Response to mlith35 (#58227):

"She knows that I am, by temperament, poly."

So basically, you've flat out told her that being in a monogamous relationship with her goes against your very nature. OF COURSE she's worried! It's bad enough that most women worry at some point in time that their s.o.'s are going to get bored with them, you've gone ahead and stuck it in her head that it's virtually guaranteed with you. Because it's your nature. Despite your reassurances, she's going to endlessly waiting for the other shoe to drop, and this experiment in monogamy to be over, just like your marriage. Because if she truly cares for you, she isn't going to want you to repress your temperament, just to make her happy - and if she's not poly, your relationship is doomed to fail.


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wolfger
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Posts: 2

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Feb 2011
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Monday, February 07, 2011 - 08:12 PM (#58265)

To be blunt: she's insane. If she's going to worry that you'll *want* to have sex with other women, she'll never be happy with you or any other man. Men want to have sex with other women, or they have no sex drive at all. It's biology.


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LokisGirl
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Posts: 6

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Feb 2011
Re: Mono relationship; poly problems (Score: 0)
posted Wednesday, February 16, 2011 - 03:02 PM (#58327)

I think the problem here is that there are two very different ways of interpreting the question. Is it that the girl in the relationship wants her S.O. to be happy, and is afraid that by "chaining" him to monogamy, as it were, she will be upsetting or hurting him? OR is it that she is stressed at the thought of him having lustful thoughts for other women? Because if it is the first, then reassurance will probably help, as will the statement that the boyfriend will tell her if he finds himself wanting to have a more open relationship. If it's the second, that's a significantly bigger problem; she might have some trust and self-esteem issues, or she might have had bad experiences in the past. In that case, counseling or talking might be helpful.


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