I am and always have been poly, and monogamy is a very hard pill to swallow. However, I have been monogamous to my partner for over a year now. (This is literally driving me INSANE.) My former partner, whom was very okay with my being poly, is coming back to the country soon, and I would very much like to connect with him. But my current partner is not as comfortable with the thought of a poly relationship. I love them, and I don’t want to break up over my sexuality, but don’t know what to do.

If a relationship, or the terms of a relationship, are “literally” making you insane, you need to first, see a therapist who specializes in poly relationship issues, and second, seriously re-evaluate this relationship.

You don’t want to be monogamous with this person, and you don’t want to break up with them…but ultimately, you’re going to have to make that choice. Yes, it is possible that your partner might come around to monogamy, but that is not something you can control, and if I’m honest, it’s rare for someone who is deeply uncomfortable with polyamory and identifies as monogamous to make that total shift. (This happens, but it is rare.) You can gently suggest polyamory to your current partner, but you should not pressure or cajole, and ultimately it is their call - it’s not like there is a set of magic words or emotional moves you can use to unlock their potential for healthy polyamory. Just like ultimately it is your call whether to continue with monogamy - a painful sacrifice on your part - or not. 

(Again, this is why I think it’s OK and even productive to see poly/mono as ways of being rather than 100% choice-driven, because it gives mono people the power and the safety to say no, this is just not what I’m cut out for, it’s not that I’m being stubborn or refusing to try, it is just not healthy for me. Just like for you, monogamy is a choice you’ve been willing to make for their sake, but it’s very difficult for you and doesn’t seem to be getting easier.)

We all in life have to make difficult choices between two things that both offer pros and cons. Stay with your partner in a monogamous relationship, or leave them to pursue polyamory? Both choices will bring a serious loss but also a serious gain. Only you can decide which is the best, most fulfilling choice for you right now.