Monogamous and Polyamorous People in Relationship

It is possible for monogamous and polyamorous people to have successful long-term relationships. It takes major work on both sides. If a couple in a committed relationship cannot come to true consensus about their agreements, there are major problems. Consensus decision-making takes more time, more energy and better communication than compromises, but it is well worth the effort.

One thing that’s common in the situation, but that I personally, think cannot have any place in any healthy relationship is a Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT) agreement. That’s just a way of enabling denial on the part of the monogamous partner.

Sometimes there is no real way to reconcile two people’s conflicting needs. If Ann needs a monogamous commitment from her husband, but Tom is not willing or able to be monogamous, they need to end their marriage amicably as possible. If Ann is able to fully accept the fact that Tom is actively polyamorous, she will also be able to accept hearing about his OSO’s from time to time. In fact, it is natural that she would want to not only hear about them, but meet them, because they are important to her beloved.

I’m a polyamorous woman in relationship with a monogamous man. We are currently monogamous. If at any time I do not feel that I cannot be monogamous, I will renegotiate things with him honestly, in a spirit of love. He knows that, and trusts me to do so. I have been in monogamous and polyamorous relationships in the past, and was openly poly when we met. I chose to stop dating other people—he didn’t demand anything. (If he had made such a demand, I would probably have reacted badly to it.)

If your relationship is important to you, take your time and create sustainable agreements with your partner. Both of you must identify what you need, what you want, and what you can truly accept. There is no reason that you cannot both have your needs met, but you may need to be creative in finding ways to meet those needs.

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Angel
    Feb 07, 2016 @ 20:27:10

    I would still be married to my husband if he and his girlfriends had been able to respect my desire to not know them and what they do together. You stated, “That’s just a way of enabling denial on the part of the monogamous partner.” I respectfully disagree. It’s not about denial. I was fully aware there were others, and that they were more than likely having sex. I just didn’t want it flaunted in front of me or have my nose rubbed in it. Part of Franklin Veaux’s Relationship Bill of Rights covers a person’s right to decide what level of involvement they are comfortable with, physically, mentally and emotionally. I chose no to limited involvement, my husband and his girlfriends couldn’t respect my choice. Apparently, only poly people have rights in poly relationships; if the monogamous person asserts rights that aren’t acceptable to the poly people, they can just trample them. I never put limits on who my husband saw or what they did together, never asked for veto. All I asked was for a little respect and compassion, neither of which were afforded to me.


    • Cyn
      Mar 06, 2016 @ 14:14:07

      Apparently you and your husband couldn’t come to consensus regarding boundaries and relationship agreements. That’s unfortunate. I’ve never said that was a good thing, but that consensus is vital.


  2. Deb
    Sep 23, 2016 @ 11:12:37

    I am trying to understand polyamory. My husband told me last month that he is poly – we married four years ago as monogamous. We are both in our 60’s. There has been cheating on his part (Internet) that I discovered shortly before our first anniversary so we have huge trust issues that we haven’t dealt with in healthy ways. What does it mean when you say within your current relationship that there are times that you feel that you cannot be monogamous? Does this mean that a current friendship is going deeper or does this mean that you feel the need to find a deeper friendship/relationship with someone? I am not judging – just trying to understand.


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