Much of my immediate family are great believers in 'gut instincts'. That is, we are more likely to trust how something feels to us than what may suggested by logic and reason. Some of the worst decisions I have ever made have been decisions in which I have ignored how I feel, and some of the best ones have been ones where I trusted it entirely, against the advice of logic, reason, and a lot of people. Of course, a healthy does of realism is helpful in these situations too. If I had the gut instinct that I could fly, then it is generally a good idea to listen to the logic and realism which tell me that there are better ways of testing this than jumping of a tall building.
I was introduced to the idea of polyamory at about age fifteen, when I read a book my Robert Heinlein. It's called 'The Moon is a Harsh Mistress' and is still one of my favourite books. I had a gut instinct then that this was right, but it took me almost ten years to truly listen to that instinct and act on it fully. Some of the unhappiest times for me were when I tried to bury it completely, and to convince myself that I was wrong, that it wasn't me and that I could be happy with a single person. Most of this occurred during a 4 year relationship with my second boyfriend, Henry. In what became something of a pattern, I met and developed feelings for Henry when I was still with my first boyfriend, Chu. Chu didn't take too kindly to this (for which I don't blame him). I ended our relationship based partly on the fact that I hated feeling like he was allowed to dictate who I could and could not be friends with, and partly because it just didn't feel right any more. After a month or so, Henry and I began dating. For the first year things were fantastic. We were in love, he was wonderful and everything was great. During that time he moved away for work, which was sad, but I knew that I could cope with long-distance (Chu and I lived about 5 hours apart for the last year and a half of our relationship). Then, true to form, I found a friend. An awesome, amazing man, Renshai, who I still hold in very high regard. He liked me, and I liked him, and we liked each other too much for Henry to be comfortable with. I was pretty miserable for a while because I felt like I was treating Henry poorly because of how I felt about Renshai but I did not want to stop seeing him because...well, I didn't want to. I wasn't going to leave Henry for him and I didn't see why Henry was so insecure about the whole thing. Henry's reaction aggravated me so much that I broke up with him. Guess what? It didn't feel right any more. At this point I should have stuck to my decision and got on with me life. That's not quite what happened...
Henry and I got back together in less than 2 weeks, he persuaded me to stop seeing Renshai socially (one of the worst decisions in my LIFE, I still can't believe I actually agreed to it) and we stayed together for another 3 YEARS. I think at least 2 of those years I spent waking up next to him on the weekends with this knot in my stomach, thinking 'this is just not right'. I convinced myself that things would get better, especially when he moved closer to me (something that was always going to happen, but never quite did). I found another inappropriate friend who sadly had to move away to the US, Henry broke up with me because I finally told him I couldn't do monogamy. The thing that most sticks in my memory about that particular fight is me telling him that all I could give him was my love, and him telling me that it wasn't enough. We got back together the next morning. I spent that summer as a counsellor at a summer camp in upstate New York. While I was away, Henry and my girlfriend (yes, I was allowed a girlfriend, with severe physical restrictions when Henry wasn't with us) basically had sex. This was a HUGE departure from the rules we'd all agreed. I'd always said I'd be fine with it, but as she and I weren't allowed to do anything beside kiss when he wasn't around I was NOT happy with him doing anything more. For some reason, I didn't make a big thing of this. I have no idea why. What did strike me when I saw him again after 8 weeks away was that I really hadn't missed him that much. I'd loved the freedom to talk with and hug whoever I wanted without fear of upsetting him. I came within a gnat's whisker of breaking up with him...and he persuaded me not to, again.
The following year I met Hermit and, as can be guessed from my track record, got 'too close', very fast. It ended up eventually being the breaking point for Henry. He broke up with me 3 months after Hermit and I met, and I think it was the biggest relief of my life to date. Writing it all out like this, I don't know why I thought it would get better with Henry. He consistently showed himself to be unhappy with polyamory, and unwilling to share me with anyone. I deeply regret being who he wanted me to be for so long, and regret that I wasn't strong enough to stand up for my friendship with Renshai. I will never again sacrifice a friend or a family member for someone's self-esteem. There is one, rather large, positive thing that came out of all this though. I know who I am. I know what freedoms I need in my life and I know that I will never be anyone other than myself, no matter how nicely someone asks. There is also the fact that if Henry and I had stayed apart after the first time, I may never have met Hermit and Minx. And that would be a terribly sad thing. They are most definitely worth it :)
I suppose what I'm trying to say is that however logical or reasonable something seems, if it doesn't feel right for you, it probably isn't. And however crazy or insane something else seems (like following a married man to a different country, say), if it feels right then it is most definitely worth a try.