My wife and I were married and polyamorous for ten years - then she left me to be monogamous, broke up with him, asked me back, but wants to be mono with me

My wife and I have been practising poly for almost a decade. Then something changed - about 18 months ago, she started dating a guy who wasn't poly, but said he had no issues with it, he was just going to be monogamous with my wife. I wasn't seeing anyone else at the time, but about six months later I met a poly girl who wanted a Daddy. I enjoy fetish Daddy scenes, and this meant I had someone to see while my wife was with Mr. Monogamous, so all seemed well. Then my wife asked me to move out, and said it was over. It was sudden, and I was sad, and didn't understand exactly what was going on, but didn't particularly want to fight for something where I was unwanted. I got my own place, and got on with my life.

Then Mr. Monogamous dumped my wife and she asked me back. Then she asked me to dump my Baby Girl, which I didn't think was entirely fair, but I really wanted to be with my wife, whom I love, and it was once wonderful - before Mr. Monogamous. Now she's claiming she's triggered every time a DD/lg situation comes up, even in conversation, and she wants me to close off that part of me. She's having genuine panic attacks, but I don't understand why.

I'm starting to feel like I'm being played, and now I'm anxious all the time, too, and can't seem to work out what's going on. I'm not sure why I'm always the one to move, to change, to sacrifice and I'm just thinking...when does this go back to normal? My wife must be suffering from her breakup. Could I be a rebound? Can someone become un-poly? Could my wife have caught monogamy from being with a monogamous guy? He slut shamed her for being poly during the breakup.

You have a lot of questions here, and I think the one person best able to answer those questions would be your wife. It sounds like she’s been through a lot of emotional turmoil and confusion, and you’re right that something really has changed with her. But I can’t explain what happened, how, or why. It’s possible that Mr. Monogamous was manipulative or even abusive in a way that has affected her self-image or sense of security in relationships. She may have felt a certain joy in their monogamous relationship, short-lived as it was, that she is trying to re-create. It is possible that Mr. Monogamous encouraged her to develop a warped narrative about you and your relationships with other women that she is now seeing things through.

And, of course, I only have your side of the story. It’s possible that she was hurt by how willingly you left, and Mr. Monogamous framed things for her in such a way that you didn’t care enough to fight for her, that you were relieved to be freed up for Baby Girl. Perhaps he had nothing to do with it and she subconsciously wanted to see how hard you would fight for her. Perhaps she blames your relationship with Baby Girl for the initial breakup, and worries it will happen again if you stay with her. I have no idea where her strong feelings and new requests are coming from! But she probably has a better idea. Your best bet is to talk openly with her. Consider, if possible, seeing and kink and/or poly-informed therapist together. Especially if she’s now having panic attacks, she should be seeing someone about that regardless, that’s a serious issue.

I’d also recommend that you do more to stand up for yourself. Someone kicks you out of your marriage and your house, then wants you to bounce back once they’re done with their foray into monogamy, then starts making serious demands about changing the terms of your relationship. You don’t need to just accept all these changes and go with the flow. It’s okay to say no, that you won’t end things with your Baby Girl, and you and your wife need to figure out another way to handle this new phase of your relationship. You can also decide that you no longer want to be with someone who treats you like this, and find a way to graciously end this marriage.