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-   -   New to poly, need some advice (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19257)

padlina 12-25-2011 08:46 PM

New to poly, need some advice
 
Hello Everyone.

I am in relationship with my girlfriend since 4 years. I am Polish, she is French, we live most of time together in Poland, but she goes back to France to see friends and family every now and then.
Last summer she fell in love with her friend. She came clear about it a month after she had come back (actually I have found out about it on the evening she was about to tell me, which made it feel worse).
She told me she discovered herself to be poly, I believe that cause before she left we had few talks on the idea and concept of being poly. To give a full image I must admit, that my relationship with her started from a triad including me, my ex and my current gf. So yes I am poly, though I always thought of relationship in which everyone is in relationship with everyone.
I felt cheated on, cause one rule of our relationship was, no sex with people we can fall in love with, this was actually a rule my gf set.

Since over a month now we are trying to work on our relationship. I love my gf, but I have issues with jealousy. I am a needy person when it comes to attention. It was hard times, few times broke up and got together the same or next day. My gf is getting tired of this, and I am not surprised. But she's a great person, she loves me and says she wants to be with me for her life.
She went back to france last week, but she agreed to slow down for a while with her other partner. Thanks to this I was able to see, that my jealousy is not as I thought connected to sex, but to passion that is between them, and which has faded between me and my gf.
I have a huge problem though accepting the fact, that her other partner is not sure if he wants to get involved in the relationship. I fear he's just having fun at the cost of our relationship.
I really want to make our relationship work out.

On one hand I want to know less about them, on the other hand there is some part of me that wants to know what's going on. Should I put myself away from her other relationship, so maybe it would bother me less?

My jealousy is putting a lot of strain on our relationship, is there a way to handle it? What are your experiences with it? There are times, when I am not jealous at all, but there are times I boil inside.
I would be greatful for advice from You.

redpepper 12-27-2011 01:04 AM

I think it a great idea to ask her to slow down so that you might catch up. It sounds like you need that. Hopefully that helps.

Envy/jealousy is about fear, and not getting needs met. If you can break it down into parts you might be able to figure out exactly what your fears are and what you need for that fear to dissipate. Taking the time you need is the best way to do that.

It sounds like you are having trouble with their passion and not getting enough passion in your own life. What are you going to do in order to create that? That would be a good place to start I think.

As to the "rule" that she made. I don't think it such a great idea to make such rules as they tend to get broken and then used again the person who made them. Its best to create boundaries that are movable when the time comes that they are not useful any more or have proven themselves to be a bit off the wall. Its also important that these boundaries be agreed upon by all. They need finessing to do so but its important that everyone think about the broader picture and what "could" happen and make adjustments as time goes on.

I suggest that you look in the search engine here for "jealousy" and see what else you can find on this topic as its a common thread topic.

padlina 12-27-2011 08:39 AM

Thank You redpepper.

My partner is very resentful to the idea of slowing down for longer than a week. Her argument is that it's her relationship and I have no right to put boundaries at them or expect her other partner to slow down. And I have nothing to answer this, cause I feel that she's right.

We have been working on my jealousy, though until last weak it was hard for me to identify reasons of my fears. Passion is one of them, then I found out, that a perspective of her moving in few months back to France scares the hell out of me, I am bound with a work contract here and would like to stay here till the end of it, to have some experience when I start looking for next job.

After quick research on jealousy. http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18935 this thread rang quite a few bells in me.
It made me realize, that much of her behavior triggers same reactions as my ex did when she cheated on me. Also made me realize why my trust is so hard to rebuild this time - my ex used my quickly rebuilt trust to cheat further on me as I found out much later.
I am planning to go for CBT therapy as soon as possible, since a quick read through few articles showed me, that it's working for me.

I do have a problem with passion as well as expressing my feelings. I think I would need therapy for this too, cause usually I act in rather (too) calculated way and only getting angry makes me lose my control. And it might be coming from my childhood and overall lack of passion and attention at home (blame the parents ;) ).

You are right about the rules. After she told me about her other partner, we have set up a new set of boundaries that help me (her maybe too) to feel safer and that she is ok to accept as not to restraining for her, right to discuss and change the rules being one of them.

I wrote her, asking to wait for me to catch up, I'll see what she answers.

Ps. It's great to read through this forum and see how great community You have created. I hope I become part of it :)

redpepper 12-27-2011 10:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by padlina (Post 117494)
My partner is very resentful to the idea of slowing down for longer than a week. Her argument is that it's her relationship and I have no right to put boundaries at them or expect her other partner to slow down. And I have nothing to answer this, cause I feel that she's right.

There are many threads here to show that it is not a good idea to rush anything or think only of oneself in poly relationships. I know its hard to put a hold on NRE, but its necessary if she wants to keep the relationship she has with you. Because there is more than one partner here she does not have the luxury mono people have to be frivolous and enjoy NRE like a highschool kids. People who have more than one partner and who have children have a responsibility to slow down, make sure thier time is divided evenly, make sure they act rationally and consider the feelings of all those involved. If she has a child then she would likely do this for her child. Why would she not do this for you?

You aren't "putting" boundaries on them, you are requesting that they consider your needs as a member of the now evolving poly dynamic they and you are creating. If they were in your position they would be making similar requests I would think.

You could have a lot to say about this I think and I think its great that you are asking again. I wouldn't let this go if I were in your position. It shows what they are made of and the way they respond will be indicative of how you will be treated in the future. That is a huge bit of learning you could go through and if I were in your position it would make or break whether or not I would want to stay with her.

padlina 12-28-2011 02:04 AM

An update:
My gf didn't agree to slow down anymore with her relationship with other partner - she's to scared she can lose it. To be honest I contributed to it with a few break up/get togethers and sending a few false signals... Wish I was not so emotional in those matters. Also I was told, I didn't make it clear what it means for me to slow down, kinda true here. Still need to work on better communication.
So I decided to put on my big boy's pants (sounds good when You are male :o ) and accept consequences of my actions like adults do. After all it's either this or losing my relationship with her.
I decided to accept her relationship with other partner as it is. I even decided to support them the way I can (airplane tickets might be expensive ;) ). I am using some CBT techniques to fight my jealousy issues, and it looks like they work so far.
She agreed to stay in Poland longer, which removes one huge (probably the biggest) fear from the list of my concerns and makes it bearable for me - need to make sure about it though (that she stays - English is not our primary language so we usually have to doublecheck if we understood each other right;) ).

Quote:

You could have a lot to say about this I think and I think its great that you are asking again. I wouldn't let this go if I were in your position. It shows what they are made of and the way they respond will be indicative of how you will be treated in the future. That is a huge bit of learning you could go through and if I were in your position it would make or break whether or not I would want to stay with her.
I am scared of being to submissive to be honest, I know I have tendencies to be. I still need to find a way to express that if I feel that my willingness to work on our relationship is abused, I will quit.
The other partner seems to be quite mono set actually and seems to have problems finding himself in this situation (I didn't help it sending him a stupid text when I was really pissed off about all this :( My short temper again).

I am anxious and full of hopes. When I read how great it can be when poly relationship works out it gives me the will to work on my relationship.

Started reading Your blog thread RP, but I am just on 10th page ;) It's fascinating cause reading Your entries allows me to identify with what You feel while some of PN's behaviors You describe there (I know it was long time ago ;)) ring bells in my brain. This helps me to understand my gf position.

redpepper 12-28-2011 03:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by padlina (Post 117577)
Started reading Your blog thread RP, but I am just on 10th page

oh man, that's an epic tale. :p good luck getting through it. There is a lot in there!

Glad you are refocusing some how and coming up with some strategies. Don't be too hard on yourself about your temper, we all do "human" things in the face of threat. It might be best to move forward in a healthy way from here and let it go.

eastonman 12-28-2011 07:25 PM

jealous
 
Being jealous is normal at first. Jealousy stems from your own insecurities. Is her 2nd partner better than me? Does she love him more? Does he have something I don't? In order for this relationship to work you and your primary have to have a strong loving relationship. She has to be respectful, honest and caring to you. Don't use a poly relationship to hold onto someone you should be letting go of. Good luck to you.

padlina 01-31-2012 06:43 PM

getting better
 
Haven't written anything for some time so here is how it has been and how it is.

L (I'll refer to my girlfriend as L) presented me her point of view and made me realize she did slow down, it calmed me down a lot.
The time when she was in France was full of mood swings for me. Good thing is with every week the intensity of my moods was decreasing (those mood swings were very regular, I had crisis every 7-8 days).
She spent a lot of time with me on chat, which helped me a lot, even when it was just small talk. I need to get some hobby that would occupy me enough not to crave for her attention. I was feeling really uncomfortable demanding so much :(.
Generally I must admit L worked hard on helping me go through this time.

The transition she went through after she had come back was a surprise to me (I should have taken more of my time to go through this forum, now I know it's a usual thing), plus on our first dinner in a restaurant we had a guest that was not really welcome (by me), guess it was my fault not to say explicitly that dinner was special for me.

Now present time.
Finally my thoughts stopped spiraling into anger. I can still get a little jealous about this or that, but I don't have anymore those days when some thought pattern would cause my anger to rise and explode few hours later.

I noticed I have problems not feeling "manly" - lovely society stereotypes, although this is gradually going away, as when I speak with people about my situation, I usually find more understanding and acceptance than I expect. L is helping me fight this feeling too :) I wonder how often do men changing their relationship to poly have this feeling.

I managed to accept L's relationship with S but for now I feel rather uncomfortable about opening it further for new partners or casual sex. For now L says that's ok for her, but I hope this feeling passes away and we can progress further.

I still have some problems defining myself. On one hand I know I can love more than one person, I would like a poly relationship for myself, on the other hand I am not uncomfortable being mono, I suppose it's a matter of choice for me. The problem is I'm scared a little of beginning new relationship, I don't know how L would react (she admits there might be some jealousy issues). I am even more afraid of my own actions.
I feel it's unfair she had her time to embrace fully the new relationship during summer, while I could be forced to slow down but would like to enjoy NRE as much. I just didn't get over it yet, so for now I think I'll wait until summer, when L goes to France again and I have more freedom and she has more friends around and her SO. I still have to consult if she agrees with me on this one.

So far I saw no 'profits' for me in opening relationship, but that's not true (my brain tends to be very selective ). We are talking with L more than ever, there is much more emotion between us and generally it feels a lot like a fresh relationship :) We are falling in love with each other again. Yay!

MeeraReed 02-01-2012 03:13 AM

It sounds like you are doing the right things, communicating well and working through your issues. Seems like things are going well. Good luck!

Your English is very good, by the way :)


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