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-   -   How to deal with jealousy (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13626)

Allstar 08-17-2011 10:53 AM

How to deal with jealousy
So here is my main problem. How do I deal with the jealousy? I am new to this, and don't define myself as poly more like a mono open to the idea. My girl has a guy that she met before me. They only see each other about 8 times a year when they are at dance events. They don't try to actively see each other, but if they end up at the same one and have the time they will hook up. She says if she lived in LA she would date him but we live in VA Beach. She says this is what she would want. To have me as a primary here and a distant secondary she sees at dance events. I asked her if she has told him that this might split us up, she just responds with, "He knows you aren't happy about it, but no he doesn't know that is a possibility". I am just not completely sure I can do the poly life yet. I am reading and trying. Just looking for some tips. Right now I have said I don't want to know if they hook up (just burying my head in the sand). I try to stay busy when she is out of town on those trips anyways.

sage 08-17-2011 12:42 PM

Hi Alistair

Do a tag search for jealousy. There has been a lot written here about it because it is such a common problem in polyamory and even more so in a polymono relationship. My advice is to try and deconstruct it and work out what you're really feeling. Jealousy as a label for emotions can cover so much. Are you insecure for example, that she might develop a more intimate relationship with this guy and it will affect your relationship. Or maybe you are just plain lonely when she is away on her dance trips and you feel the inequity of being alone when she is quite possibly in someone else's arms? Maybe you're upset that she doesn't seem to place much validity on your feelings? You asked for tips and deconstruction of the term "jealousy", as it applies to your relationship, would be my top tip.

redpepper 08-18-2011 05:33 AM

burying your head in the sand is not the best idea in the long run. Meeting the guy or at least reaching out in another way will put at least half of your anxiety about who he is and what the hell he is doing in her life at ease. This is what I know from being here and from my own life. Chances are he is not a threat and is a great guy... after all your partner has good taste in people she wants to hang out with right ;)

Doing a search in the tags for "jealousy" is a good idea. Jealousy is mostly about fear of the unknown and issues that are unresolved yet... mostly about needs that are not being met. Jealousy is quite often a whole cluster of emotions that can be pulled apart and either rationalized of walked through in order to get to the root of how you feel... often dispelling the feeling.

Or it could be that poly is just not for you and you would prefer a woman that will be with you and you only. If that is the case then move on before it becomes too painful. I know that is hard, but really, in the end, it is for the best all around.

sagency 08-18-2011 06:51 AM

One simple thing that helps is coming to this forum. By communicating your anxiety, you are more likely to relieve it. It also helps to know that jealousy is common and that many people can move beyond it. I would say it's a natural response, but some lucky few (like myself, thankfully) don't experience jealousy. In any case, a lot of what you might need is to understand why her actions bother you. It sounds like she's not taking time or intimacy away from you, so there's little that is being denied.

Instead, you might have to look at what your image of how things "should be" versus how things are. Then consider what you are willing to handle and also compare that to how things are. It may be helpful to ask yourself what the worst case scenario would be like and then how likely that scenario is.

Often I see partners who are worried about poly folk because of their mono programming. In mono programming, love is finite. Poly wiring is different. It may help if you understand that poly folk have the capacity to grow their love rather than being limited. Thus, if your fear is based on a lack or loss of love, poly folks generally don't work that way. Loving one person doesn't require a poly thinker to take away love from anywhere else. It's perfectly reasonable that your girl will love you all the same regardless of this other guy. For me, I love and adore my mono all the more because I can talk to her about others and how they are good people and share my worries with her. Having my mono's support is wonderful for helping me be a happy poly, and I don't ever forget how special that is.

Best of luck.

Allstar 08-18-2011 10:28 AM

Thank you all. This is honestly my first experience with jealousy. It isn't something I have ever experienced in a relationship. I am really trusting when I am with someone, the basic fact at the end of the night I know they are coming home with me keeps me from being jealous. Though now this is still true because it is only when she is gone.

I have met the guy. A couple weeks ago when he was in town teaching. I like the guy. I can't deny that. He is a good dancer, good teacher, and I get along with him. The only problem I have with him is that in the dance community he is known to just sleep around with girls. I have no idea if shares the feelings she does, I would hate to see him hurt her.

I understand the poly thing, I have love for almost everyone I have ever met in my life. This is the part that makes me think I might be able to do this. I also understand dating a mono is a scary thought for people who are poly. I also spoke with her on this last night. All she did was roll over and kiss me then said, "Babe I am falling for you, I want to be with you, you have absolutely nothing to worry about". This made me extremely comfortable and happy. This was prompted after a message I received on here telling about how mono people are not appreciated in the community and that I will probably not have a lot of luck with her or on this board.

On the moving on subject. I have given myself a time line. Right now she defines us as just seeing each other, even though it has been almost 4 months. I am not asking her to give up her other guy. If she does in the long run that will be a decision she comes to. But I will require a decision to be made on us in the relationship factor. I don't want to leave for deployment as the guy she was seeing. I know at that point it will drive me crazy. So I have told myself if that is still how she sees us by then, it will be over.

I really do appreciate the advice. For now I will continue to talk to her, read my books, and read as much as I can on here. Oh ya and tonight is the poly practical out here. So I am excited and nervous about going to that.

dingedheart 08-18-2011 04:55 PM

Why will it drive you crazy .....Why is important to lock down this title or relationship description before you leave? What about the obvious health risks with this other guy.....him "casually " dancing and bangin his way around the country... or world. ...... you know that athletes foot can be very nasty business.

Derbylicious 08-18-2011 05:17 PM


Originally Posted by Allstar (Post 97901)

On the moving on subject. I have given myself a time line. Right now she defines us as just seeing each other, even though it has been almost 4 months. I am not asking her to give up her other guy. If she does in the long run that will be a decision she comes to. But I will require a decision to be made on us in the relationship factor. I don't want to leave for deployment as the guy she was seeing. I know at that point it will drive me crazy. So I have told myself if that is still how she sees us by then, it will be over.

Have you talked to her about this? She might have a very different definition than you do to "the guy who she is seeing". Also even if she and the other guy do split up being that she is poly there is a good chance that down the line she will meet someone else with whom she connects and she may want to start a relationship with them.

Allstar 08-18-2011 07:06 PM

I mostly want to "locked down the relationship/title" for my own well being. Being deployed for 180 days straight of 18-20 hour days and getting shot at from time to time, I have to keep my head on straight. I can't be sitting there wondering about what is going on between us. I have asked her about us, she introduces me as the guy she is seeing. Not as a boyfriend, even to her poly friends they as her if I am her primary she says no she is just seeing me. They ask if the other guy is her primary she says no. I have ask about the health risks. She said she would talk to him. I know she would meet someone else, but hopefully I would have a little input on the next one. I really think this guy is just in it to get laid and doesn't care about her. I don't want her to be hurt by him. But everything I hear about him says this is what he is doing.

polycouple 08-18-2011 07:15 PM

This step-by-step process to deal with jealousy has really opened up doors for me and my BF and GF. I hope it helps! http://www.xeromag.com/practicaljealousy.pdf WHat worked for us was reading it all individually, and then reading it together, doing the steps together and talking about it.

Allstar 08-19-2011 11:07 AM

So here is the update from last night. We went to the poly practical, I held up fine during it. I participated it was more about what is going on with their yahoo group and online dating. I had some to offer but nothing about poly. Afterwards is when things got bad. She started talking to one of her friends, about the whole situation. I started getting looks of why aren't you ok with this. It made me very uncomfortable and upset. She was acting so nonchalant about everything, like well he will just accept this because he has no option. I hate seeing this side of her. As soon as we got in the car she 180 and was like I know this bothers you still. I know you aren't there. I told her I would appreciate not coming again, I don't think I can handle it. She told me she would prefer if I kept coming. I explained to her that the feeling of not being enough is the part that is triggering my jealousy. When I get back in town we are going to go through the link you sent me polycouple. When we got home we both ended up in tears while talking. As she started to get intimate with me I had to stop because I had the image of her and the other guy. We continued to talk. She made a comment but I stopped her. I will explain at the end why. Her comment was, "If you really can't handle the poly thing....." This is where I stopped her. I don't want her to tell me she will commit to a mono life style. If she would have finished with that, I know I would sabatoged everything to get that. I want to be ok with this. When we started talking about our relationship she stated she is as commited to me as she can be, but she knows that isn't what I want. I told her it is the fact that she told me last weekend, hey I am going to introduce you as my bf but don't get carried away with it. It is only because I don't want to explain the situation to the people I work with. I told her well being the guy you are dating compared to A bf is different to me. You have done this in the past with other people and the guy has been your bf and introduced as such. I know it is as stupid, but to me it speaks to how much a person is willing to commit. I asked her if she thought I was her primary, she said she doesn't like those terms. Then I moved into asshole mode. Asking if he actually cared for her at all, or if she was just a fuck buddy. This upset her and then I elevated it by saying ya I got it. You have it to a science, get what you need while you are at home with me and you have it to a science with him, show up dance, fuck, and come home to me because I am safe. I felt horrible as soon as the words left my mouth. We both end up in tears again. Eventually we both calm down and talk it out. I tell her, my fears about being hurt by the other guy. I don't want to see that. She tells me, "ya I know you got pulled into the poly thing without being ready to it, I really appreciate you trying, I know it is extremely hard for you to deal with right now and I know you might not ever be ok with it. I do appreciate it. I know that you aren't going to give me the option to change and commit (mono) to you. You will just walk away." I told her she is right, it is unfair for you to have to change for me" I told her that I might start dating because that might balance my mind out. My thought is if I have someone how can I get mad at her for it. Then she showed her jealous side. It is worse than mine. Eventually we just let everything die and enjoyed our last night together. I found out last night I will have to go out of town before she gets back from her dance event. This is what happened last time. I freak out, she gets stressed, dance event, I leave for a work trip. I want to be ok with this. Where is the "OK YOUR POLY" button. She is very important to me, I love her. This is the only thing I have an issue with. Sorry for the length of this but I needed to get it out there.

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