And you're a little freaked out.
When your partner tells you that they’re interested in polyamory, it is world shaking; indeed, the mere mention feels like an implosion of the world you knew.
This is because:
1) we are culturally programmed for monogamy, and
2) it feels so threatening to our current relationship and therefore a core piece of our existence.
When my wife (Jes) dropped that she wanted polyamory, of course I reacted from fear.
Here’s a short list of everything that scared the shit out of me:
I saw possible benefits, too–for her and me, but those paled in comparison to those looming threats. I couldn’t see then, that all of those were manageable. I couldn’t see that pretty much all of them were surface level manifestations of the fear that she would leave me. Interestingly, our relationship wasn’t in trouble. Sure, we had our problems, but nothing nearing a possible end to our relationship.
A core wound doesn’t need rationality, though. A wound only needs something to fear.
I couldn’t see that core wounding–a belief that I didn’t deserve lasting love, underlied my fear. Not seeing any of that, I responded with a number of defensive postures, things that would punish her for wanting poly. This was 2013. I had no context (or semiotics) for healthy polyamory, that–
It's a valid way to live.
It had way more benefits that monogamy, for me.
People were doing it successfully.
Our relationship could thrive.
Without that context, I struggled greatly. And while we ultimately worked through it, the whole process could have been so much easier. This is why I created “The Reluctant Polyamorist”, a workshop focusing on how I grew into secure polyamory.
Access to the recordiing after
Workbook for further exploration
Live coaching on the call with The Daylovers