My husband insists on an open relationship. I don't want that.

My husband insists that we have to have an open/poly relationship even though it makes me miserable. He keeps saying that we can make it work that we just need the right compromise. But I don't even want that. I do love him, but neither of us are going to be able to be happy together long term. And he refuses to see divorce as an option. Some people just aren't polyamorous and I don't think that makes me wrong or inferior.

You are absolutely correct that not wanting a polyamorous relationship doesn't make you wrong or inferior. You seem pretty clear-eyed about the fact that this relationship does not have a future - you two have discovered things about yourselves that make it obvious that you're incompatible as spouses. 

You don't need your husband to agree to see divorce as an option - you can make that decision for yourself. If it's over in your eyes, it's over. Leave the relationship, hire a lawyer, see a therapist, and free yourself to move forward toward a monogamous relationship that meets all your needs. 

I'm polyamorous, my boyfriend is not, and this tension is making me miserable

I think I need to break up with my boyfriend. I love him so dearly but the only options are break up and be poly or stay together and hurt my own feelings when I crush on others. There is no way he wants to do polyamory, and every option makes me feel terrible. It doesn't help that I relapsed on self harm and drugs....I know it's bad but I just am so distressed and don't know what I'm doing anymore. I'm desperate. How do I compromise, and is it even possible?

If a relationship is making you feel desperate and distressed to the point that you relapse into self-destructive behavior, it's not healthy for you to be in anymore. Sometimes "love" isn't enough - sometimes two people are mostly great together, but one major issue makes them not compatible in a relationship. It's heartbreaking and frustrating to have to break up when there are still things you love about being together, but it sounds like it's necessary in this situation. 

Please reach out for help with the drug use and the self harm - you don't deserve to be this miserable, and you do deserve support through this difficult time. Not having the freedom to live into who you are as a polyamorous person is really unhealthy for you, so you need to start taking the steps toward a healthier relationship arrangement, even if that means no longer being with this current partner. 

My fiancé wants to swing and I’m extremely uneasy. At first I trusted him quite a bit. There have been a couple situations I felt betrayed & that he took my trust as naivety. He purposely kept secret the extent of a friendship he knew I would be uncomfortable with. He says that being in an open relationship we’ll have to be completely honest & open with each other. I have always been very open with him, I’m struggling to really believe he will be open with me. Nearly every time we talk about this I panic.

If you panic when you talk about this, try writing it down. You two can have this conversation over text or email - even if you live together, some things are easier to hash out when you have time to think it over and read it over and draft it.

Talk specifically about the situations where you felt betrayed, particularly this issue of him hiding something from you. Point out that if he wants honesty from you, he needs to also be honest with you. If he can’t do that, then this simply cannot work.

It sounds like you are trying to make this work, but he is so unwilling to meet you halfway that he is being dishonest to avoid having to work on meeting your emotional needs. There is a big gray area between “I’m totally okay with this” and “I am absolutely not okay with this,” and he needs to help you navigate that space. If he’s insisting that you do 100% of the emotional work while he experiences zero consequences in your relationship for his choices, well, that’s a problem and he is not a healthy person to be in this relationship with.

I’ve been in a triad for about 8 months, and I’m having issues with it lately. I know this is the only way I can be with him, but it’s been tearing me apart. I wish I could be introduced as his girlfriend. And I want to be his only girlfriend. What do I do? I don’t want to lose him.

This is one of those tough situations where it’s not possible to get everything you want. Sometimes relationships just don’t work because of things like this - it’s a frustrating reality of life. If the only way to be with this guy is to be in a triad, and you don’t want to be in a triad, then you may not be able to be with him.

If you met someone you liked and then 8 months in, they told you they were moving to a remote, freezing village above the Arctic Circle, and the only way to be with them was to live there, it would be totally reasonable for you to say I do really like you, but I just can’t be with you on these terms. Or if someone you liked only dates people who are vegan, and you can’t or don’t want to make such drastic changes to your diet. Or if he only gets off by having sex in a day-glo yellow full body latex suit, and that’s just not your thing.

Not wanting to lose someone doesn’t mean you’re obligated to put up with something that’s not making you happy. Think about it the other way: if being monogamous was, for him, the only way he can be with you, would he do it? You don’t have to accept someone else’s terms just because they won’t budge. If an unstoppable mono meets an immovable poly, neither is obligated to compromise - it just may not work out. 

If a relationship is tearing you apart and not giving you what you want, it’s probably not the right relationship for you. There are plenty of monogamous people in the world who will treat you as their one and only girlfriend, and it sounds like you deserve to be in that kind of arrangement. 

hi! im a monogamous person in a relationship with a poly person, & my partner is also dating someone else. my partner was already with this other person before we were together, & i am not and have never been comfortable being in a poly relationship. i have read various articles & watched videos & /tried/ to be okay with things, but nothing has worked & im on the brink of breaking up. i really like him & i want to make things work but i dont think im ever going to be happy like this. any advice?

There is no magical way to make this work. If you don’t think you’ll ever be happy in this relationship, you need to leave it. It sounds like you did everything you could to work on yourself so you could find a way to be happy and fulfilled in this relationship, and it didn’t work. That’s okay.

It’s okay to try things out and realize they aren’t for you. It’s good to be honest with yourself about what you need and what you can and can’t do. You may really like this person and enjoy most of your relationship with them, but there’s a fundamental issue that isn’t working for you. You have a right to find relationships that make you happy on every level.

Breakups suck, but part of the point of dating different people is learning what you like and what doesn’t work for you. You should be very proud of yourself for taking the leap and trying this out, for doing your best in good faith to make it work, and for having the honesty and self awareness to get out when you realized it wasn’t healthy for you. 

Soapbox: This is one of the reasons I think it’s perfectly okay to see polyamory/monogamy as orientations rather than chosen behavior choices. Some people just can’t think themselves into being someone who gets what they need from a polyamorous or monogamous relationship. Forcing the “it’s a choice open to anyone” narrative implies that people for whom monogamy or polyamory doesn’t work have somehow failed and just need to work harder on themselves. I think it’s crucial to empower people to say “this is who I am, and this is what I need.”