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-   -   Desire (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13076)

JenAgain 08-05-2011 04:03 PM

My hubby brought this up, and I know how I feel, but maybe not how to express it, so was wondering how others deal with it.

He says he feels a lot of jealousy when he sees my desire for other people. That it doesn't make him feel as special because I don't show as much desire for him. But we already "have" each other, and have been married for 7 years.

I constantly tell him how much I love him, and appreciate him (because I do) and show as much physical affection. However since we do share our lives together, he also sees more of the negative stuff associated with monthly cycles, raising children, every day stress, so on and so forth.

Any thoughts/advice?

opalescent 08-05-2011 04:58 PM

Beloved feels like she has to 'compete' for me sexually, even though I've told her many times she's already 'won'. She's my primary relationship; both SW and Oil Man understand and respect this. I also try my best to let her know via word and deed that she is loved and missed. We are in a LDR which complicates things because I spend more time sexually with my other lovers.

I'm hesitant to talk with her about my sexual experiences, sexual desires with my other lovers in part because I worry about causing her to feel insecure.

I am very interested in the replies to this thread. Wish I had some ideas for you!

JenAgain 08-05-2011 05:06 PM

Thanks!! I am also hesitant to discuss them for the same reason, however in discussing our rules/boundaries, etc. he insists that he wants to know everything. So I will do so if that's what he wants, but I really don't think that it's the best for how I know it affects him.

nicothoe 08-05-2011 05:12 PM

I think you hit the nail on the head when you implied that a lot of our desire is always for the things we don't already have. That 72" television we see in the store looks totally awesome, and we can't stop imagining it hanging in our home. Yet the moment we have it, sure, we love, we enjoy it, we don't want to give it up, but now we are focused that computer.... *grin*

When we are jealous, it is some times over a single thing, such as how much desire you express to others. We often forget all the good and wonderful things we already possess. Imagine a millionaire getting upset over some homeless man who found $10 in the street. All he can do is focus on the enjoyment the homeless man is expressing, and complaining "that should have been me!"

I know I have fallen into that trap on occasion, and will probably do so again. I wish I had the answer on how to stop myself from doing it, other than just slapping myself on the wrist and telling myself to stop being an ass. I think that is all I can do.

nicothoe 08-05-2011 05:24 PM

To re-iterate what Opalescent said, make it a habit to keep everything that happens in the bedroom completely and utterly private. Granted, some people may be voyeurs and enjoy hearing stories, but usually the reasons for wanting to know are not good ones. Knowing something is likely to trigger insecurities, force one into making comparisons, and bring up a lot of "why don't you do that with me?" type questions.

Plus, there is such as creature called privacy. I may be her husband, but my wife is entitled to her privacy, including any intimacy with her lovers.

nycindie 08-05-2011 06:07 PM

Well, nicothoe, the need to keep sexual activities private differs from person to person and couple to couple. We have a huge thread here about that, with lots of different perspectives from people, so I think that is something Jen and Beo need to address according to their own standards.

Jen, there is also a big gigantic thread here about jealousy. Might be useful to read through it. But it actually sounds more like envy to me -- he wants what he perceives as something someone else is getting from you.

I know that Beo has struggled with this before. It seems to come and go in waves and I'm sure he's been in a more secure place about it, but now he's feeling not so secure. Is there anything that prompted this? We have not heard from you in a while, so what's been going on? Have you two continued therapy? And what about the desires for someone else that he had discovered last time he posted here? Has that changed?

It's always helpful to look at jealousy (or envy) beyond its face value and deconstruct it to see what's underneath. What is the dialogue Beo has with himself when he feels this way? If he feels like he's only seeing you for the mundane, everyday things that take place in a marriage, maybe you need to romance him some more, go on dates, etc. But he has to really examine what's under the surface of his jealousy and uncomfortable feelings. It could very well be an inside job, a self-torturous pattern of thinking that only he can get himself out of. In that case, all you can do is love and reassure him as he works it out himself.

River 08-05-2011 07:59 PM


Originally Posted by JenAgain (Post 95941)
Any thoughts/advice?

Go out on romantic dates together. Be clear ahead of time that this is your romantic time, and do it with regularity, say once or twice a month, or more frequently if that works for you.

[edit]: Longtime partnerships get stale when we don't do things that keep them fresh, alive, new.... And this can complicate jealousy issues surrounding attraction or involvement with others, who are fresh and new.


That thought popped into my head for you, but then I realized that it is perfect advice for me and my Kevin-Sweetie, who I've been with for more than 15 years.

It's going to be a bit of a challenge to encourage Kevin to go out on "romantic" dates with me, 'cause once we were out at a nice Thai restaraunt (yum!) and he was distracted, checking out other guys, not looking me in the eyes..., and here we are in this restaraunt with a white lenin (sp?) table cloth and white napkins..., candle light.... So I asked him and we talked and it turned out he just thought I wanted to go out to eat because I needed a break from cooking. And then he said, "But we've already done that" about my saying a little romance couldn't hurt. (Yes, my boyfriend can be a little thickheaded now and then, but we do love one another anyway.)

Kevin and I share a bed most every night; we live together, we eat and play and do all of the usual domestic things together, and we're really good buddies, mostly. And now I see that I need to try and encourage and cultivate some "romance" between us. >crossing fingers< :);):p

JenAgain 08-05-2011 09:18 PM

Thanks everyone! I'm going to link this to him. I wasn't sure how to answer him, I couldn't quite sort out the thoughts through my head, but I know how I FEEL, but some very good points were brought up here.

NYCindie, a few things have changed and others have stayed the same. He did get out of his funk that he was in and we continued therapy. He felt like he was doing great and didn't need to continue, though I still go. He deployed a week ago, so right now I don't have him here which doesn't help the situation a whole lot.

What DID really change is that he seemed to be doing really well, and as things have gone on, I've realized that not only do I feel I am poly, but also would love to have just a plain open relationship to allow for spontaneous interactions, not just full on dating/relationships. Before he had said absolutely no to an open relationship, but I suggested maybe we revisit the idea and gave him my thoughts and feelings on the subject. He did have an anxiety attack, but after some time to reflect on everything and some more discussion and reassurance from me, he decided that we could give it a try. Nothing has happened yet, we are still discussing things, but this was one of his issues that has been brought up and I wasn't sure how to put my feelings into words.

Mohegan 08-06-2011 06:59 AM

It's often referred to on here as the spouse being meat and potatoes and the new person(or venture, or first step into poly or whatever else is new) being some new cuisine. You still love meat and potatoes, but that new cuisine has so many dishes you've never tried before.

I've had to deal with it a bit lately because I have to readjust to Karma seeing someone again. The more we live this life the more I think that while I understand and have no issue with poly, it's not for me. But I am okay with Karma being poly and know that I have to work through my issues as they come.

What may help is just jumping in. I created more anxiety for myself worrying about the what ifs and the future and how will I deal, that I paralyzed any progress. So I finaly said, go ahead. If you sleep with someone I just need a heads up that it's going to happen.

The first time he called I almost had an anxiety attack, but I was able to pull myself in and figure out where the anxiety came from, address it and be okay with it.

As for DADT, I'm a curious person by nature, so sometimes the curiosity gets the best of me and I find out things I'd rather not know. Karma and I have worked it to where I take the lead. I ask questions about the day, what they did, what they talked about, but as far as sex goes I ask if they did, I make sure it was protected and then I drop it. I've told myself this is a privacy thing as well as a reign for my curosity. I do not need to know what they do in the bedroom. She probably doesn't want me to know, any more than I would want someone to know about the details of my sex life.

Looking at it as respecting her privacy allows me to cut my curosity off, without feeling like I am missing something. Karma and I have always had an open friendship. I've always been one of the guys with his friends, locker room talk and all. So it's an adjustment to not ask. But I know my personal boundries and I know I will let my mind run away with "well he doesn't do that with me" and I don't want that. I don't want to diminish my sexual relationship or Cookies so I stop myself before I can.

And spend good quality time together. Karma and I fall into the day to day routine and then he goes out and does fun stuff with Cookie and I'm left going "well why the hell dont we do that?" Usualy we don't because we cant afford it or my health isn't good so I let him use our 'date' money for her.

That will be changing, I found a ton of things I can do even on bad health days, that we will both have fun, are free or cheap and close by. I don't need it all the time, but I need to be reminded as well as remind myself that we can still even 9 yrs later, do fun things together.

My biggest self help was to stop comparing. I am not her and she is not me and therefor our relationships will be different. Karma has feelings for us both, but that doesn't make one of us less than the other. He likes us both for being us. So when I'm feeling like we aren't spending quality time, I look for things Karma and I will enjoy, not just things to make time spent even. Does that make sense? I'm not sure how to put it into words. I just recognise when I am feeling a loss of connection with him, so I work on getting that back. It's about our relationship as its own seperate thing, not ours in comparison to theirs.

Maybe this will help your partner see things in a different light.

Carma 08-06-2011 08:59 PM

Mo, very helpful words for me to read today, so thank you.

My husband wanted to know every detail at first. Now he just wants to know when my Bf and I meet up, and sometimes a few details (but overall the sex is now more "predictable" so what more can I tell him, you know?) (And I don't mean "predictable" in a bad way, LOL! It's just that we aren't acting out some wild and crazy porn movie or something, we are making love, enjoying each other and being in the moment). As long as he is reassured that I love him and I am still committed to our marriage, he seems to be doing all right.

Now my husband has begun a relationship, though, and it is different for me. I am curious, but I really like what Mohegan said about privacy. My husband's new girl has a right to it, and I want to be respectful of her.

Being on this side of poly is .... enlightening, to say the least!!!

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