I’m currently in a mono-poly relationship. My primary partner is monogamous and has no interest in being with other people. He is reading More Than Two by Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert and is searching for resources when feelings of jealousy or envy come up. We’ve known each other for two years and have been dating for three months. I was already dating my current girlfriend when he and I started dating, and I have also ended a relationship with a boyfriend while we’ve been together. He says his biggest fear is what might happen when I meet someone new and fall for them, since that hasn’t happened yet. But I know it will, and now I’m afraid of it happening, too.
How do I stop freaking out about hurting my amazing partner while still being my autonomous, polyamorous self? We love each other and we want to put everything into making this last.
— In a Poly Predicament
True: monogamous/polyamorous relationship structures can be extra tricky and take a lot of work.
False: they never work.
However, they certainly thrive stronger and longer if built on a sound, ever-updated structure.
It sounds like your primary has been (very naturally) struggling with jealousy for the short few months that you have been together. It also seems like he’s developed enough jealousy-coping strategies to at least manage these strong feelings about partners who were already on the scene when he arrived.
The idea of having a new person show up can rock the boat even with seasoned non-monogamous folks, and can definitely feel like you’re waiting for a huge, catastrophic other shoe to drop when you’re unfamiliar with non-monogamy or are naturally monogamous like your primary is. Will he be replaced? When will this happen? What will happen when this happens? Who will it happen with?
First, validate these scary feelings he might be having. It’s important for each of you to confirm for the other person that the differing, but intersecting fears you have are natural.
Then, reinforce the power you have to handle change in your relationship by making some plans to support each other before, during, and after that change…continue reading…