Silencing The Inner Monogamist



The circumstances under which I started thinking about this were less-than-shiny, but I think it’s an important thing to think about, and definitely something that has affected me at times, whether consciously or not.

So, lovely readers – do any of you have an ‘inner monogamist?’ Did you when you first started being polyamorous, especially if you transitioned from previously being monogamous or opened up an existing monogamous relationship?

I’m talking about the little voice that sits in your mind and sometimes questions whether, in fact, any of this can really work, making you wonder if you are in fact deluding yourself that happy, stable, long term polyamory is actually possible. I’m talking about the voice that says you’re doing something wrong if you have another lover outside of your main, primary or existing relationship(s.)

So here’s the thing – I like somebody. It’s been a long time since I’ve really been interested in somebody the way I *think* (after one weekend in their company at a community event) I am interested in this person. A few months ago, I was seriously thinking that I would never trust anyone enough to consider getting involved again – especially another male.

So after tentatively broaching this subject with my beloved Nomad, we talked a little about it and, after some negotiation, he gave me the ‘go ahead’ to see where things go. Wonderful. Well, it is…. except that there’s still this part of me that is telling me that I shouldn’t, that it’s not fair to the person I love, that I love him and so in fact can’t really fall for anyone else.

In other words, the inner monogamist got loose. Now I’m not saying that I am really monogamous. I don’t believe I am. I’ve lived that way and, yes, it made me happy for a while – but now I’ve seen there are other options out there and been made happy by those, I don’t think I want to go back. I think at heart, I am poly. At least now. I don’t necessarily think I was born that way or am hardwired to be so, but who knows how these things work? Relationships, love and desires are complicated things, after all.

But I, probably along with most if not all of you, was brought up in a culture where monogamy is seen as the only acceptable norm – and if you really can’t be faithful to one person, serial monogamy or cheating were the only alternatives. People tell me, on a more-or-less daily basis, that my way of doing relationships is wrong. My family believes my way of doing relationships is wrong. The society I live in, as a whole, believes my way of doing relationships is wrong. Of course some of this is going to be a little…. internalised. So I start feeling guilty and being certain that, if I like or date or sleep with anyone else it’s going to destroy the wonderful, amazing relationship I have. Despite the fact that, with me having made it clear over and over again that ‘no’ was a perfectly acceptable answer, he said ‘yes.’ Despite the fact that he’s been polyamorous since I was, like, seven years old. (Things like this are a running joke we have about our age-gap. We don’t find it creepy, just amusing.)

So what I am wondering is, how do you shut that little voice up which tells you that you’re doing something wrong or unsustainable, even as your partner is saying ‘I’m fine with it…. YES, really, I’m fine with it…!’


8 thoughts on “Silencing The Inner Monogamist

  1. ~Raven~ says:

    You’re not wrong🙂 And because most people do something else, doesn’t mean they are right. You need reassurance. Isolation from like-minded folk can make these inner voices louder… though I am not sure if you are isolated from other poly folk.

    So look for reassurance from poly sources (which you started already here). If you have “what ifs” in your mind, peruse books and blogs that cover how to handle bad situation A, B, C. (That helps me). Otherwise try not to worry. It’s quite possible none of the bad things will happen in the slightest but at least you’ll feel prepared. Possibly like a Boy Scout lol.

    • missamaranth says:

      Thank you! Yes, absolutely – just because aomething is considered more ‘normal’ doesn’t mean it’s more right. I absolutely agree that being around other poly folks can be tremendously helpful – luckily I get to spend lots of time with my partner and metamour, and quite frequently see close poly friends, so I don’t feel completely cut off from like minded folks. I often wish there was a poly meet in my city though! (I’d start one, except I have no free time, probably won’t be living here in 7/8 months, and am absolutely convinced I’m the only poly person in the entire city!)

      I have a lot of ‘what ifs’ running through my mind, not just over this but lots of the time – I am a worryer anyway, though! That’s good advice about reading blogs and books. I spend far too much lots of time reading poly-related stuff both in books and online. I find it all endlessly fascinating!

      Thanks for reading and sharing your insight🙂

  2. Sweetcyanide says:

    I don’t think you can shut the voice up, it will be there. The best thing to do is acknowledge and then say back to it “la la la but you might be WRONG!”

    As long as your *actions* are carried out in a considered way which isn’t going to hurt anyone, in situations like this I always find that once you put yourself in the position you want to be in (in this case, dating someone new) your brain often catches up and things start to feel right. If it doesn’t, then there’s aways time to reassess things x

    • missamaranth says:

      I think you’re probably right – I don’t think there’s any way to shut the voice up entirely. Cultural conditioning, self-doubt and general worrying are too strong for that.

      Yes – I’ve found in the past that my brain often tends to catch up once I’m actually in the situation and have realised that things really are okay! I had major doubts when N and I first got together, worrying if I was going to be hurting A, even though he said he was fine with it…. just took a bit of time, and actually seeing things were really okay, before my mind caught up!

      Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts🙂 x

  3. notpilgrim says:

    Good post… I don’t have the answer.🙂 x

  4. Dragonmamma says:

    It’s not surprising really. Embarking on any kind of new relationship is always a bit scary and daunting. Will it work? Will I get hurt? Will he/she like me as much as I think I like him/her? Without the added complications of poly. Ask yourself whether you think this person would get on with your existing amour and his friends. Does the new person know all about your relationship status already?. Then sit down and ask yourself honestly why you are worrying about the monogamy issue. What is it particularly that makes you feel “wrong” now? Did you feel “wrong” about it before?
    If it is just New Relatiobship nerves it will go away. If it is the voice of the silent majority whispering in your ear ignore it. But if it is an uncertainty in respect of this particular liaison then take your time to think it out a bit more. It may be that your inner self is seeing a problem that your conscious mind hasnt recognised yet.
    And finally , if you decide to go for it, enjoy!!

    • missamaranth says:

      Yes, very true – new relationships are always scary, whether they happen to be poly, mono or whatever! I think your suggestion is a good way of looking at things. Of course, it’s never possible to be absolutely certain people will get on, but knowing (at least some of) those involved very well means it’s possible to make a reasonable guess.

      I think it’s a mix of all the things you mention, really. New relationship nerves are probably a part of it, even though it isn’t currently a new relationship or really anything, the very possibility is rather daunting in itself! I think it’s also the voices of the not-so-silent majority (so called because many of them seem intent on telling me at every possible opportunity why I’m all WRONG!) I’m hoping my subconscious isn’t seeing a problem that I haven’t realised yet, but I’m being very cautious/careful just in case.

      And thank you!!🙂

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