Insecurity & Trust in Mono-Poly Relationships
Here’s my next Mono-Poly post, as I mentioned in last week, we’ve been talking about opening things up and essentially finding a way to combine polyamory and monogamy to make things work. My poly partner has been monogamous to me for the past 7 months and we hit a bump in the road when we started playing on OK Cupid and I started feeling a little lost in it all.
I have become insecure in myself and as a result, my trust issues have resurfaced. I’ve been difficult. I’ve been on edge. I’ve been suspicious. After lots of reassuring talks, I feel a little more comfortable with the fact that my poly partner wants to spend his life with me, and only play with others together as a couple, so long as I can keep my trust issues in check.
So why am I still feeling so insecure?
For someone coming from a string of polyamorous relationships, I know my partner is accustomed to be able to explore new relationships and connections as and when they crop up. I suppose my fear is that it’s not in his nature not to do it. My fear is that he’ll meet someone through work, the kink scene, online, or elsewhere and realise that I’m not actually his soul mate, his ‘beautiful’ or his ‘perfect’. Maybe it comes down to the fact that when we met, he was already dating a very sexy, kinky, attractive young lady and I came in and became a long term partner only weeks before she left. I worry that I displaced her. But I guess it takes time in any relationship (for me, anyway) to believe your partner is not going to run away with someone ‘better’ and that you’re not going to be replaced. It all comes down to self-belief and valuing yourself. Understanding that you are good enough.
It does worry me a lot when I see monogamous people talk about feeling rubbish and insecure in themselves while their poly partner is exploring new connections. I feel that any partnership should work both ways for the happiness for both individuals. As the mono partner, it is not your job to put your own self worth second. Sure, in relationships, we often put our needs after others – that’s how love works. But what about you? Is it working both ways? Is your poly partner being considerate of your feelings and putting their needs second as much as you are?
I know my partner has put his needs second by coming to the compromise that we have. It protects my self worth and gives him some of the freedom he needs. Equally, I’m putting my needs second by agreeing to the compromise and accepting that one of these days, through some kind of interaction with a third person, I might feel less desirable. But what we’re putting first is not each other’s needs. What we’re putting first is the needs of our relationship.
Trust in boundaries…
I see a lot of people freaking out or panicking about boundaries that might be broken in their mono-poly relationships. What if he falls in love with someone else? What if she doesn’t come home afterwards? What if her partner is trying to steal her away from me?… What I see is what I see in myself – a lack of trust that the poly partner will respect the boundaries in place. It’s a tricky one, because as soon as a third (fourth or fifth, etc.) person comes in, you need to learn to trust in their intentions too. Will this new outsider respect the boundaries in place? If they don’t, or you can’t trust that they will be respectful, move on!
I think for a lot of us, mono-poly types alike, we will only explore the mono-poly dynamic with someone who we feel is worth it! It can be hard work, but with the right person, it can be oh-so magical! So whether you’re mono or poly or just confused about the whole thing, TRUST that YOU are WORTH IT! That’s something to consider if you feel that just because your partner is poly, he or she can’t live within the boundaries you’ve discussed and agreed on. You are loved. Otherwise he or she would save themselves the headache. Your relationship with him/her is valuable, so why would they cheat?
For me, my insecurity stems
From being ‘Option B’ to ‘monogamous’ men, and being dumped or rejected. It’s hard for me to understand that I might actually be someone’s ‘Option A’, especially with someone who is polyamorous. So for me personally, and I’m sure for many other monogamous people reading this, what I need is that little bit of reassurance. If you’re poly and you are open with your mono partner about the people you find attractive, want to date, want to fuck, etc., then it’s important to reiterate what you adore about your mono partner! Remind them that you choose them, day in, day out. Melt away their insecurities and let trust grow and love blossom. It’ll be worthwhile in the long run!