My (M/27) Fiance (F/25) wants to change our year and a half relationship from monogamous to polyamorous, and I'm having a hard time accepting it.

The agreement to try it once you've made with her right now - does she understand how much you're stressed right now?

She knows I'm stressing hard. I don't cry. I was raised in an environment that crying made you weak, and you were essentially prey at that point. I grew up in an environment where you sometimes had to fight your way out of getting the shit kicked out of you by older people. I don't cry. That said, I'm really bad at my emotions and feelings as a result. I've cried three times in the past two weeks. She knows I'm stressing over this, but sometimes I get the feeling that she doesn't grasp how much.

Have you told her that while you've known she wanted this, you didn't really work on your feelings about until now?

I've tried thinking about this since we've been together. I've put serious thought into this, and could never really make myself at peace with it. Now that it's been so long, she's kind of pressuring me to make up my mind and trying her hardest to convince me to let her. She works a 50hr/wk job and goes to school full time, and starting this fall she will be taking 18 credit hour semesters, she feels like she has this next week to do what she wants, and after that it won't work because she barely has time for sleep, let alone another partner. The timeline really pissed me off at first because I feel like this is a huge decision, and that after we go through with this, for better or worse, there will be no going back. She will always have had this chance, she will always have fucked another guy without me, she will always have gone outside our relationship; but at the same time, I will always have let her go. I know it's not fair to put it like that, but that's just how it keeps flashing through my mind.

Like I mentioned before, if she were wanting a woman, I'd be more than ok with that, even if I weren't allowed to participate. I know that it is, to some degree, sexist to make that distinction, but that's just what I feel.

I have actually been to the website you linked, and this rule really hit a hard chord for me:

Don’t seek to give your partner happiness at the expense of your own

To be honest, going over these bullets makes me think that I will not be happy going forward with this. We both want her secondary to be separate, and she has already expressed that I don't have to ever meet him, and that it might be easiest if I don't. But the site also says not to compartmentalize, and that relationships will always influence one another. What if the other person introduces something that I didn't, and she comes to expect that and I can't, for whatever reason, deliver. I told her that I wouldn't want her to be with anyone that could/would do anything to undermine our relationship, and that I view our relationship as most important.

That said:

Don’t be afraid of change

Maybe I'm being too anachronistic. I like to think that I can roll with the punches and take change as it comes. But at the same time, I'm afraid that our life together will be less because of this. I love her, and I want to marry her, and I want us to grow old together. I know that variety is the spice of life, and change adds flavor, but I don't want to risk what I know right now to be awesome and everything I've ever wanted and more. It just hurts to contemplate what could happen.

I really enjoyed the Poly Hell article, and I'll be forwarding it to my SO. I feel like it addresses most of my problems pretty accurately. I'll be sure that she reads it, and then we'll read it together and discuss.

/r/polyamory Thread Parent