Problems with the Jealousy Exercise
So, I was going through the exercise on xeromag for dealing with jealousy, and made it through just the first section before I ran into trouble.
The article asks that I write down triggers for my jealousy that come to mind. I am a habitually jealous person, I would be the first to admit, so I can think of a fair number... And reflecting on the list, I realize it covers, well, pretty much everything my poly husband might want to do with his other partner.
That sounded sort of like a problem, so I contemplated what my list *doesn't* cover, and basically it doesn't cover them hanging out as platonic friends with me or other un-involved friends of ours around. As long as it isn't something that I wanted to do with him but don't get to because he's doing it with her instead (i.e. watching a movie I like, going to the dog park, etc.)... or something that he prefers doing with her to doing with me (i.e. riding his motorcycle, going to spiritual functions, etc.)... Bottom line, fairly limiting for people who were in a serious romantic relationship before I discovered them cheating in January.
That in itself sounds like a pretty bleak outlook for getting through this exercise to me. I need to convince myself not to get triggered by pretty much everything, because at heart I am upset that they want to be lovers at all. I'm already feeling down about this... Is it even useful to do this exercise if that's how far I have to go?
And if this is more "advanced" practice, I guess I'm struggling to figure out how to lay a better groundwork.
I'm sorry that you are having a tough time. I'd like to point out that because your partner cheated with this other individual, youre not just dealing with jealousy. Youve got hurt, betrayal, possibly abandonment, anger, jealousy, and a lot of strong emotions. Thats really awesome that you want to work through your jealousy but also you have to mend the relationship. Regain trust, forgive, etc. Poly is very difficult, but not impossible, when the primary relationship isnt in good shape. Maybe look at what you need from your partner in order to heal. Also decide what you want. If you dont want to do poly or if you want to try and work through. Neither path is right or more enlightened. Its about whats best for you. And maybe I missed it but did you specify if you are poly or mono?
dont be too hard on yourself for having emotions. Your response to your current situation sounds normal and reasonable. Its understandable that you have a hard time with them being lovers. Just allow yourself time and space to heal because otherwise youll only end ul feeling more negatively toward them. Hugs!
It doesn't seem like the safest space from which to launch into poly - having discovered them cheating. Were yous poly before that? I'm not surprised that you feel you don't want them to be lovers at all, and I wonder if you can label yourself a jealous person until you try out the same exercise with regard to a relationship honestly entered into.
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