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-   -   managing jealousy in LDR (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=20972)

visrose 02-04-2012 06:19 PM

managing jealousy in LDR
Hi! I have been lurking for years, but this is my first question to the list.

I'm not sure how much background information is needed to help answer my question, so i will give the basics. I am on an arm of a poly V, with my love and his wife. I do not live with them, but 6 hours away. This is circumstantial, and if I could I would be. they would both like me there. I have no real jealousy issues with her beyond the typical "oh I wish that could be me" moments.

My real jealousy is something else entirely. I am insanely, uncontrollably jealous of my partner's FWB. It seems silly, petty and stupid to me. He has said over and over that they are no more than friends, that he has no desire for a deeper emotional attachment to them than that. I have tried to analyze my jealousy to figure out what the core fear is and I got this far-

He texts or emails back and forth with them every day. He also does with me. Because of the LDR, The fear center of my brain feels that this is devaluing his communication, and therefore his bond with me by having them such active participants in his life. My logical brain knows this is petty and silly because he has told me that we communicate much more frequently than he does with them, (I also talk to him at lunch every day during the week on the phone) and the emotional content he puts behind the words are much stronger with me than with them, even if the words are the same (such as "good morning") . Even with all the information the logical voice in my head is giving me, the emotional voice takes over, screaming like a banshee "He NEEDS them in his life, NEEDS them like he needs you , he reaches out to them EVERY DAY, EVERY F*ING DAY, just like you! You are not special, you are not important!" Sigh. I will not put restrictions on him out of fear. it is not healthy, it will build resentment and destroy our relationship. He has every right to have FWB and talk to them whenever and however frequently he wants to. I know this, logically. Does anyone have any suggestions to make my emotional side accept it too? I have been struggling with this for 4 weeks now, with no headway. I wake up every morning at 4 or 5 am, sick with fear. I spend the day with it sapping away my energy. He and I have talked it to death, and are frustrated and scared that there seems to be no solutions other than I have to have faith. I want to have faith, and let the fear go. I just have no clue how to do it.

I read through the jealousy links. I feel like I have made it as far as the part where you get to the core of the issue. (maybe I haven't?) or you just go on faith (I've been trying that for 4 weeks with no success, so I feel what little faith I have is shaken).

Anneintherain 02-05-2012 01:46 AM

It's now so easy to keep in daily contact with people that many people will if they can. Are you a person who keeps in very regular contact with your friends? Do you value the friends you talk to more often more than the ones you only talk to once in awhile because of having busy lives?

So this isn't the same situation, but I think similar enough. I have a partner who I only talk to once a week, as I prefer to be in more frequent contact with good friends or people I date, it was stressing me out sometimes. I have made the effort to make a few more friends lately, and have found that by being busy talking to and hanging out with them that I am feeling more happy in general and not even noticing not getting what I'd prefer out of communication with the one partner. Do you have a good support system of friends? Hobbies to keep you busy? Interesting people you want to spend time with on a regular basis? If not, find more.

Really, back in the day when I played a MMORPG, there was a chat room with a bunch of people in it and I'd go in there almost every day to chat with the people there - because they were entertaining, because I liked some of them, because I felt they were friends that added something to my life. Not because my interaction with them was better or more important than real life local friends. Not sure if you might want to ask your bf to not talk about his other friends as much when you're talking to him? That is not a horrible thing to do. Do you worry he values NON sexual friends he speaks with daily more than he does you?

So uh..why do you know how often he is talking to his friends, or how much emotion he puts behind his telephone greetings? I think it's time to just stop being involved in that stuff for awhile (don't ask him about it, and ask him not to bring them up for a few weeks), until you get your feelings better sorted out. Could it be a case where you aren't jealous so much of the FWB but you're not really tolerating caring about somebody so much who is not local to you. Is the FWB a recent addition? (Since you say 4 weeks you've been stressed out)

Another plug here for If the Buddha Dated. I had more fears similar to yours back when I was in a longer distant relationship with my current husband, and I found it very helpful for feelings I had then that were a bit closer to what you are describing..

visrose 02-05-2012 02:08 AM

Thank you Anneintherain!
Yes I do very much think this is an issue of not having as many close friends. I have always been a shy introvert, though I have been trying to take steps to change that. Also, though we have been dating for over a year, it was 4 weeks ago that I found out he texts them every day. Before that, I treasured the texts he sent me every day, because they made me feel special. Now, I am just one of many. I know this is petty, and I don't want to feel this way, because he has told me time and again that the emotional connection with me is so much greater than with them. I just wish I had more self esteem, so I would believe that! I mean what more does he have to do for me to believe him? But I just can't find the key to release the fear.

I know in poly, self esteem is imperative to help you through jealousy, and I have been working very hard on that. But I still have a long way to go and it is a very slow process.

Thank you for the book suggestion. I will check it out.

redpepper 02-05-2012 08:34 PM

I don't see any sign that you are not loved, considered, treated with honour and respect in your relationship. It sounds like it really is a matter of how you are seeing this. What happened to create this in you? Something from your past? Do you need to get about having a more complete life with more activity and friendships to sustain that which this person is unable to achieve for you in this relatiosnship? Jealousy is often about an unfulfilled need as much as it is about fear. It sounds to me like you have a need for friends that you can also be close to. Maybe you should start there and see where it gets you. If nothing else it will keep you from thinking about what they are doing in their life.

visrose 02-06-2012 11:23 PM

Thank you Redpepper! I know I need more activity and friends. I am working to change that, but the process is slow and difficult. I don't share easily when I am uncomfortable, and I don't have many friends in my hometown. Most of my friends are at least 3 hours away.

I think you hit the nail on the head when said I am jealous because I need more friends... to continue that thought, I realize I am not jealous of the FWB, I am jealous of my partner for having such close bonds with his friends.

As soon as I realized that, the scared voices in my head got quiet.
Thank you!

redpepper 02-07-2012 07:11 AM

Glad to help. :) good luck.

Moonglow 02-07-2012 12:51 PM

Wow when I read this I kind of feel this way too... I imagine all the people my sweetie is with and how they must be so much more exciting than I am. You know what I did... this will sound so funny... I said out loud, stop having these stupid conversations with yourself in your head. I said it OUT LOUD. It was very powerful. It was also able to make me realize that I am scared of not being special. But it also made me realize that there ARE special people out there and time moves on. There may be a point where I may not be special to him and that's ok. So what brought this message home for me was over the holidays someone came to me and told me they had spoken to my ex boyfriend from like 14 years ago (think about this logically 14 years has passed!) He told them he thinks of me and how special and sweet I was and how rotten he was to me and he wished he had treated me better. Now that guy was a hard guy to move on from... I asked myself daily what did I do, what could I do... but yes I did move on. :) My point is, even when you don't think you will be special, YOU ARE. It may not be in that moment that you want to be, and you just can't compare. Just remember that... he loves you for a reason and he is willing to talk about it with you. Just tell yourself. STOP. :) Be gentle on yourself.

BTW I did ask him about others... and I have to have faith that he is telling the truth, right now there aren't any except his wife. He said we have always celebrated when we were happy. That's what I am doing even though he is far away now, I am celebrating my love is happy. I really truly want him to be, and I lose myself, to that and it gives me comfort as well. :)

visrose 02-07-2012 09:18 PM

I found this very powerful, Moonglow. My partner has told me to say things like that out loud, because it gives the words more strength. :) I have not been able to achieve the same level of power with the out loud statements than I would like, but I think that has to do with not being able to believe in myself as I should. I am getting better at that though, and working harder every day. I have moments where I can strip my fears of their power over me, and that feels amazing!

You sound like we have common struggles. I am actively looking for new friends, and email ones count. If you are interested, send me a PM. ;)

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