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Author Topic: Monogamy....
Cypher
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My boy, of eight and a half months, is heading off to Australia for two months in March. Only yesterday I asked him if he wanted to break up before he left and he said what he'd rather do is take a break. Which means he wants to be able to have the freedom to fool around while he's away without having any regrets or feeling guilty. He says it won't impact our relationship here.

I'm VERY intent on monogamy and I put it to him this way: He could go and fool around, but I wouldn't be around when he got back. If he wants me he has to be loyal and NOT cheat. He doesn't view it as cheating, but I do. Otherwise he can go and have fun and do that and we'll remain PLATONIC friends.

Am I wrong in forcing him to be loyal? He said he'd rather have me than those adventures. I know he'd want to have both, but since he can't he wants me. I just don't want him to resent me later.

Has anyone else had experience with this?


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Heather
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Only you can know what you need, Cypher. There's nothing wrong with that.

Polyamory, or allowing a partner to have other partners (or taking them oneself) isn't for everyone, and most of us do know what's best for us in any particular relationship and in our lives in general. Honestly, I'm comfortable in nearly any well-negotiated and honest relationship construct, but my partner is only comfortable being monogamous, so because I want to be with this person, it was a really easy choice for me.

Clearly communicating what YOU need, and then listening to your partners needs is how this whole thing works. So, while I don't like ultimatums period, I think working out what works for both of you and what you both can live with is imperative.

Just make sure that it really is about him wanting other partners, and not about just wanting a bnreak in general. And be sure that instead of delivering an ultimatum, you are coming to an agreement that works for you both.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


Posts: 68237 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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Oop! One more thing: you can't force anyone to be loyal. You can only "force" them into saying they agree with something.

So, do be sure you aren't backing yourself into a corner, or setting up a situation where he's going to feel he has to lie to you if he DOES take another partner. In my book, it's a whole lot easier to deal with someone seeing someone else than to deal with someone lying.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


Posts: 68237 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Cypher
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Thanks for the insight, Miz S.

I think one of the reasons I value monogamy so highly is because my father carried on many relationships behind my mother's back. He was prone to fooling around and now both my parents despise one another. I hate seeing that.

I don't want to give my boyfriend an ultimatum because it feels like I'm threatening him, but I don't want to be. Personally, I don't want to be in any relationship if it isn't monogamous. It's just something I'm not prepared to handle. He's the one who wants to move in with me next year and he wants to travel elsewhere with me in the summer.

He said he wanted the break because he wants to know that he can stand on his own. And he believes that those other experiences are part of growing up and he wants to be free for a short amount of time before getting me back. He wants to know that he could explore possible romantic connections. I don't want to be a weight to him and I certainly don't want to hold him back. I want us both to be happy.

Yesterday I gave him the choice: the break or me. At first he said the break and it hurt me so much, but I didn't get angry and I tried not to cry and I told him that was his decision and I got up and began to leave his bedroom. Then he wouldn't let me go. So I got out to the stairs and he stopped me again. Again, I asked him his choice and he said he guessed it was the break, so I said okay and went down the stairs towards the door. This was not angry or resentful at all. So I put my shoes on and he followed me and he was crying and he was begging me not to go, but I told him it was for the best. And I asked him again and he said the break so I kissed him goodbye and walked out the door and down the front steps to the gate when he just called out to me and asked me to come closer. So I did and he just grabbed me and wouldn't let go and cried into my shoulder and said "screw the break, screw Australia. I can't lose you."

I'm so confused by all this....


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Heather
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Well, it certainly sounds to me like you know what you want and need very clearly, you're communicating that as best you can, and you're handling the whole situation really well, Cypher.

I hope that it all works out for you: give it a little time. I bet it'll be a lot less confusing soon.


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emsily0
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separations in relationships are always really tough. my boyfriend is in college now (i'm a senior in high school) and it was a really hard decision, at least for me, to decide to stay together when he went away to school. i know it's not exactly the same thing - he's closer than your guy will be, and i guess for you a long-distance relationship isn't an option - but still, i think i know what you mean.

i don't know what's going to happen next year when i go away to school. we've been talking about it a bit lately; if i'm reasonably nearby his school, like within a couple hours, i guess we'll try to stay together like we are now. but what if i go far away? i applied to schools all over the place. he was saying something about an open relationship; i guess he's done that before, and it worked for him, but the whole idea weirds me out a bit. i like the idea of him being just for me, you know, not wanting other girls. and what if he starts liking one of those other girls more than me? i'm so scared.

so yeah, in general i agree with miz s (as usual ) - wait it out, things will work themselves out soon. and remind him that it's only 2 months!

em

------------------
Love is a word that is constantly heard
Hate is a word that is not.
Love, I am told, is more precious than gold.
Love, I have read, is hot.
But hate is the verb that to me is superb,
And love but a drug on the mart.
Any kiddie in school can love like a fool,
But hating, my boy, is an art.
-Ogden Nash


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MK-2001
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If he cared about you, he would not even think about fooling around with other girls. Last summer I had to go away to Poland for over 2 months. I haven't even thought about doing **** with other girls while I was there. I think that what you need to do is ask him if he's willing to lose you over something stupid like that.
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reigh
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No I tink he would definatly thik about fooling around in fact depending upon his drive personality and a lot of other factors he might think about it a lot. I mean don;t we all think about it it wouldn't seem very normal otherwise. If he chooses to stay loyal inspite of these thoughts it just means he's loyal but a real human being. Maybe he dosn't know it's like to be with anyone else (Possibly very unexpieienced). Be sure you talk to him about it and know his intentions don't give into paranoyia. Mabey he just wants to try single life cause he's burned out. talk talk talk but also listen
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glitter695
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You know he might think about it, but it doesnt mean that he has to do it. I mean people have fantasys about other people all the time, but it doesnt mean that they have to *fool around* with them.

I think you should talk to your boyfriend and tell him how you feel about it. You cant force your boyfriend to be in a monogamus relationship, all you can tell him is how you feel about the situation.

Your boyfriend IMHO could wait until he comes back from Australia. I mean I know people who wait for there love ones all the time, and wait no matter how long it takes. And just think it could always be longer than 2 months. But thats just people I know.

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Cypher
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Thank you all for your feedback.

He's chosen me over the break. Hands down. He tells me it's because we have something really special here and if it means losing me, then he doesn't really need it. What I'm still a little hurt by is the fact that, while I know he won't do it because he values what we have, he'd still like to. He wants that break and that freedom, but he's not taking it on my behalf. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wish he wouldn't take the break because he WANTS to not take one. If that makes any sense.

I guess I'm scared of what may have stirred this desire within him. I mean, I know it's only natural to be curious about other members of the opposite sex (I know I am, although less so since I started going out with him), but I want to know if it's natural to want to act on those curiousities if you're in a supposedly happy relationship? Is it dissatisfaction? Or something else? This has been making us go through a really rough spot in our relationship and we both appear to be pulling back somewhat. Everything is so intense.


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Hanne
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Yup, being curious about other people, other partners, and other options is 100% normal. It's kinda like going out to dinner, ordering the linguine, then looking at what the guy at the next table has and thinking "wow, that looks really good, I wonder if it is?" Of course, with dinner, you can go back the next night and order what the other guy had. Not so easy with relationships.

It doesn't mean there's anything at all wrong with your relationship. Honest. It's simply a sign of two things:

1) Human beings are always curious about what things beyond their sphere of influence are like
and
2) No one human being can be absolutely EVERYTHING for any other, period. So sometimes, even in a very close, well-adjusted, happy, intimate relationship, someone might wonder "gee, I wonder whether I'd get such-and-so aspect of a relationship if I were in a relationship with someone different." Once you've been in a few relationships -- if you've been paying attention -- you begin to realize that it's ALWAYS that way, and that's not because your current partner is doing anything wrong or there's anything wrong with your relationship, it's just because no one person can be absolutely everything any other person needs or wants, and that's human nature.

And it's really okay. We make compromises, work out ways to get what we need in ways that don't hurt us or the people we love, and work together with our partners to communicate what's going on so we can deal with it sensibly.

Honestly, the fact that you guys went *through* this issue and discussed it is really very mature and forward-thinking. Lots of people would've been too afraid of upsetting one another and wouldn't have even brought up the topic... and heaven only knows what kinds of decisions would've been made unilaterally, without both of you knowing what was going on. But you *did* talk about it, and talk it through, and that's very difficult and very smart and mature. Give yourself some major credit for seeing it coming and working through it. The kind of communication you've been doing with your partner is the kind of thing that builds really good solid relationships. It's an excellent thing to know how to do. Good for you both.

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Start a Revolution -- Stop Hating Your Body!


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Cypher
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Thanks, Hanne. That does make a lot of sense.

I know this feeling is entirely internal and it's something I have to grapple with on my own and let go of, but I have to say that it's incredibly hard to do. Things are completely off the wall and I feel very weak because I'm scared of losing him. I've never connected this well with anyone, on a romantic basis or as a friend. It's strange how we complement one another. Each of us can almost tell just what the other person is thinking. When I started going out with him it was just me wanting to date a guy and have fun with it. And it's evolved into this amazing emotional and mental and physical connection. On top of everything else, he's become my best friend. For real. I know I can tell him anything and he's always just so supportive and understanding. I didn't even see the whole best friend thing coming until he mentioned to me one night that he just discovered the fact that I was his best friend. It surprised him. And that got me thinking about it and I realized the same thing. Up to that point I had never stopped to consider that perhaps my boyfriend could also be my best friend.

I just love him so much and I feel like I have a lot to lose. I just want to make the right decision and be happy about myself in the end.


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