what did you do?
I am new to the forum too... i can very honestly say i have never actually joined any 'forum' and i don't really know where to begin. it would be safe to say i have had poly morals and philosophies my entire life. i have seen it be very fruitful and also seen it be torturous. My parents were, for a long time, part of a group of "intentional relationships", so i learned very young that relationships were not all the same. i also learned very young that this relationship style isn't "normal".
I have been in mostly monogamous relationships my whole life, but i have always expressed my interest in and appreciation for polyamory. When my husband and i got serious, i made sure my views on the topic were clear. "Some day, we may decide to explore this, and i want to make sure you are open to that"... And he was.
Some Day came early last year. Honestly, he was more into it that i was. i was the one that began feeling jealous, before anything ever even happened. i felt a bit needy and childish around it, wondering if perhaps i really wasn't "ready". whatever that means. so we continued to talk a lot about it. We are very good communicators, which is very fortunate for us - we can talk about anything and everything very objectively. we recognize almost immediately if we are being carried away by our emotions and we allow ourselves room to be expressive, while we acknowledge where we are.
While i expected to have to go through a 'grieving period' (?) of sorts when hubby started experimenting, it actually ended up being me first. Once i began seeing somebody outside our relationship, hubby and i continued to talk about it regularly. it has been a roller coaster, though. hubby is having trouble with jealousy - not jealous of the other man, but rather jealous that he hasn't been with anyone yet. he has dated several women, but most the time he (he has high standards) decides not to bring it any further.
it has gotten to a point with my other sweetie that the relationship demands an amount of respect. When hubby last got jealous, i left sweetie's house earlier than we planned so i could go home and talk it out. after that i realized i wanted to make some basic ground rules. it didn't feel right to me - i felt like the time and space that sweetie and i had created for eachother was being robbed... and it has happened before.
pattern has become that i talk it out with hubby and it is fine. but i don't want to feel like he can just walk on the time i create with my sweetie. not that he is intentionally disrespecting it; he is insecure and jealous and doesn't know how else to deal with it. but only for that moment. through all of our communication this is the relationship he wants, it just hasn't actually "worked" for him "yet". so it is hard for him to see it working for me.
we are still on a great level as far as communication goes, but he has made a request; that i not sleep with sweetie until he finds a relastionship of his own, so that he doesn't have to be jealous. While sex is not a huge thing for me, and i could do that if i chose to, i am concerned at the idea of conditioning each others relationships... i don't know if i am okay with that... if we are in this relationship, absolutely we need to respect each other and communicate and make choices that are best for everyone. but would we, by allowing ourselves to blatantly rule the others relationship through jealousy, are we creating a pattern we will regret? or should it be seen differently? my first response was "yes, but we only do this once, i don't want it to become a habit" but then we came up with questions like "so if you have sex with somebody can i go back to having sex with sweetie?" or "so what does "a relationship mean" and "how do we judge when YOU feel like YOU have a relationship so that I can resume MINE"... and it just felt worse and worse. So i made the final suggestion that we see what others have done, because surely, somebody else has been in this or a similar position.
that is all the hesitance i have based only on my marriage, not to un-include or make any less important my relationship with sweetie. if i were in his shoes i would feel pretty low if i were told "i can't go to bed with you again until Husband feels "secure" in his own relationship...." no, i can't do that.
my hubby wants this relationship. and coming across the definitions and philosophy of polyamory have helped us define where we are, and it rings well for both of us. so we are trying to make it work. biggest problem: Hubby doesn't have a sweetie. He's a very good looking man, and has a lot of depth, he's just MEGA shy. and insecure. when we have discussions about this he is totally fine, but although occasional, and in the moment, when jealousy strikes, it strikes HARD. it is very very hard on both of us. i definitely take the caretaking role in these situations (another thing we both recognize), and he the needy child-like role.
anyway the main question is -
Do i act on my relationships based on hubby's emotional and relationships state? and would it even "cure" his jealousy anyways? What tools have others found to dissolve jealousy?
Hello Peter and welcome to the group. Lots of great people here with a broad range of experience & perspectives.
To your questions & situation................. my 2 cents worth :)
Two simple thoughts.
1> You're new at actually practicing this. Give both of yourselves some slack in this phase. Don't think for a moment that it won't get easier with practice. It's kind of like reading a book on ocean kayaking and then suddenly finding yourself in 8 ft swells ! Yep - you may get tipped once or twice until you get some mastery. Goes with the territory. Lots of emotions and internal stuff to surface and process. Look at it as a team effort and don't expect either of you to stay dry right out of the gate. Practice laughter :)
2> LEARN the difference between 'jealousy' and 'envy' ! It's discussed here and on most other good poly sites/resources in depth. What you're describing is classic 'envy' and how that gets processed is distinctly different than processing jealousy ! There are a few cases where the line blurs but this is NOT one of them (per your description anyway). But processing it wrong could make a convoluted mess ! Don't need that - waves are high enough already.
Sounds like you guys are in a very good position - good communicating etc. Go slow and keep your paddles in hand.
yeah, it actually does make a lot of sense - the simplicity of things always amazes me. how right you are. our hearts and our minds are so deep and complicated, but then our situations can be so simple and clear. Thanks for the reminder! :)
Hi Just wanted to give a quick Hello :)
I am the "hubby" in PetersD's post.
yes envy is a much better definition of emotion that I have been feeling. over the last month or so it has been ripping me apart. And causes and avalanche of other emotions to rise to the surface. I have seen other post on this forum that suggest keeping busy when your partner is away I very much try to do that. Our situation at the current time is we have children and it's very hard to stay "busy" and not dwell when I feel stuck at home taking care of our kids. I imagine some of you are thinking, "well you have kids doesn't that keep you busy". Yes it very much does but not the type of busy that let's my mind stay away from dwelling. I am sure those of you with kids know what I am talking about... anyway... I am trying hard not to dwell let's put it that way. We have been open for the last year and I never expected it too be this emotional and to manifest the way it has... we started with the idea of just having an "open relationship" I thought it would be more "fling" oriented. but it's been much more, my wife has spent much more time away from home then I expected and it's taken some time to work out the communication around that. The time away from home does not all have to do with the relationships some of it was self growth oriented. But when the two are combined it made it very hard at times... and being with the kids has not made it easier feeling like I was abandon and stuck with the kids. We have worked a lot of it out but powerful emotions are not easy to ignore regardless of how old they are and in a lot of ways it's not that old... only a year or less. As time goes by there has been lots of healing and growth. But the envy still sits under my skin like a tick making it hard to completely forgive and forget the situations that have occurred.
Here is a problem I am facing. yes I am shy as my wife suggested and it's a big part of the envy. I also envy that she is able to meet people and bring up her intentions so much easier then I am. plus I envy that she is woman and so far from my experience men are more willing to say yes to an attached person then a woman is. So in a sense she has it easier. I am sure there are a lot of women that don't agree??? maybe?? I also feel I should point out my wife is very beautiful, she is eye candy for sure. when you combined that with how deep she it... well let's just put it this way she is amazing! I also don't drink or do any drugs so I don't have the inhibition inhibitor that a lot of people have so whenever I do get up the courage to talk to someone it's always very intentional.
Another thing I am discovering is so far most of the woman that are open to poly relationships are somewhat to extremely outside the spectrum of what I am attracted to. I have been using okcupid to see what else is available and so far most of the poly people are either, not attractive to me or are attractive but outside my personality scope.. very into BSDM or other sex practices that are outside what I am into. Not to say I would not like to form a relationship with these people but I think they pass me by because I am not "like" them enough. So..., so far my pool of people that I would be interested in getting to know is very small as far as I can tell. I am sure there are women out there that I am attracted to that would like to be with someone like me I just have not found them yet. (witch does not help the envy process)
well I have two women I have met in the real world that know my situation and are willing to talk to me about it. so wish me luck. I feel like a lot of our strain will be released when I have my "poly" as well :)
I wrote this fairly quickly but I feel like it's honest and true... I will come back and edit it when I have more time to spend on it, if I think it needs to be edited.
I also want to note I love my wife very very very much and I do believe in the end we will feel really good about our decisions, we are just in a kind of muck right now trying hard to stay centered and work things out.
Very insightful and VERY realistic.
And guess what ? Here's where the next key element comes in !
All the factors you mentioned are very common and very much a part of the male side of the equation. Somebody will probably bash me for that but sorry - facts are facts. There appear to be far fewer women available and willing to consider poly relationships seriously than there are men. It just is what it is. And that being the case, many of the desirable ones are already FULL (we speak about that here occasionally too).
But - again - back to simplicity. Compersion.
Don't lose sight of the fact that when all the counts are in, that what this is truly about is the relationship and love between your mate and yourself. Anything else is just an addition-right ?
If you can train your mind to celebrate with and for her in her explorations it will only reinforce your real love for her. And hers for you. And maybe (hopefully) by focusing on that - rather than the "hunt" and the frustration, something nice will come your way when you least expect it.
Majik happens in strange ways......
Happiness is a choice.
I sort of had something like this, being a male.
When my wife and I "opened" our relationship, it was because without talking, the limits of our relationship had come to a head. I thought, at the time, that SHE thought I'd slept with someone else and was telling me "This is okay".
Later, I find that her impressions were different and valid and good, and there was no cheating involved, but we opened it in my brains because she though I already had.
So when she ended up, rather quickly, with 3 partners and I had NONE except the one person I was falling in love with but not seeing on a daily basis, I felt a bit of envy. Also, I felt a bit of "How the hell do you have so much energy!?!?!?!"
I've got to agree here with GroundedSpirit that compersion matters! I have been envious, but I've never actually been jealous. I sort of let my feelings towards my wife ground me. She could do 50 guys in a train but she still loves me for the memories and values we share and nothing around that will shake us. That said, those memories and values don't have her driving home the next morning with a MASSIVE smile on her face.
Finding her explore herself and her values doesn't by any means take away from who we are and what we want mutually.
The flip side to that is that, with me, most of my relationships seem to be non-sexual but extremely intimate with sexual tension. The whole "getting laid" thing has shifted in my eyes from the goal to a form of that sharing. I don't know what your sex drive is like but with me, I find that I'm exploring the forms of relationship I want, more than the onjes that have the highest chance of me getting laid and still liking the person in the morning. My own priorities have shifted because of my experience.
Unless of course you meet any nice people that you’d like to hook him up with...in this particular case it might help get over that particular barrier. I’m sure stranger things have happened.
I think much of your husbands envy comes from inside him, so it’s mostly something that he will need to do some soul searching and internalizing to sort it all out.
This is one of those times when I’ll ask some hard questions, not to have them answered for me, but to bring them up to answer for yourself, to help you find your own path.
Here’s another one. Jealousy is something that generally is a product of our expectations or fears, and another person’s actions (usually a lover, or a third person liable to gain their affections). As such the cause of jealousy can and is often levelled at another person. Envy is less about others, and more about the individual afflicted with it. If one is feeling envious, it is really about the person feeling it. So who is there to forgive, and what transgressions to forget, if the cause of envy is yourself?
If you’re shy, that’s your own limitation, not your wife’s. You can use it as an excuse, or find a way to change it, or overcome it. (I use the same excuse by the way, and not always sure which way I’m going to go with it either. But I do recognize shyness for what it’s worth...an excuse)
One odd thing I have come across when I’ve approached the subject with otherwise mono women is that they’re not always turned off by it. There’s an odd paradox I find, in that while they are adamantly against the idea of being cheated on (and of course there will be stories of who cheated on them, and how many times they’ve cheated on others), they often are comfortable enough with being the ‘other’ woman (In terms of the classic mono-scripted relationship model) to try it again. And yet responsible or ethical non-monogamy is considered ‘weird’...sometimes I just don’t understand how people think. Anyways...I digress.
So what? It is what it is. Is there anything you can do about it? Is it the mechanism to find potential partners that you would be attracted to? What’s the trade-off between effort to frustration?
So what happens once you have a new relationship that’s going well, and your wife’s bf dumps her? And she has trouble finding another date for whatever reason. Are you going to put your gf on hold until your wife finds someone new? Is your wife supposed to put her other loves and happiness on hold everytime you find yourself between gf’s? Could you find happiness in your wife and her contentment? Can you let go of yourself and your problems, obstacles, excuses long enough to feel her happiness and let it reflect inside you?
What do I actually feel about these things?
On issue X...Can I control it? If I can't, how much time do I spend shouting at the rain?
Does it need to stay that way?
Will this help our relationship?
How my action/decision affect the wife/kids/lover/myself?
Will this take us in the direction we want to go?
Is this something I can/should change?
There’s no right or wrong answers to the questions you ask yourself. Only truthful answers, and not. You won’t do any favours to anyone by lying to yourself.
There’s also answers that will lead you to communication, respect, love, honesty and compersion. And there will be answers that will lead to their opposites. Which path do you want to take? How can you change those answers to lead you on the path you want?
These will be the ones to concentrate on and internalize...until your inclinations to envy fade into the background and be lost to you, and you’ll reread your original post here and wonder to yourself “What the hell was I thinking”.
Don’t kid yourself though...this takes some time. Patience and perseverance.
I hope you're right I am doing my best to be what you described and it's not been easy not even close just reading your reply made me cry again. I have cried over this subject for the last three days in a row. It's not fun I don't like it the last year of my life has been the most painful by far. If the pain does not ease soon I won't be able to continue I have told my wife this she knows. I am a big believer in balance and as far as I know my wife and I agree our relationship around our polyamoruous intentions have been and still are too far out of balance for our own relationship to work correctly. To speak to DrunkenPorcupine my sexdrive is very high my wife says higher then normal but I don't really have any comparison. My wife has also stated that she does not want to be my primary sexual outlet anymore in essence her sex drive has dropped. She also said sex is important to her "sweetie". so the way my mind works if she only has so much sex to go around then I am getting the short end of it in that regard. And that does not feel good to me. I know the way I get the most out of showing and receiving love with someone I am intimate with it through physical contact and sex is the ultimate in that expression. Sex is an important piece to all this but in no way is it the only piece and it is not even the biggest. I truly want a meaningful relationship with my wife and with a poly. At this point I don't know if I am truly built to be a poly. It was hard enough for me to find my wife I never thought I would be going through this again. And now I am doing it while raising our children and having to learn how to have compersion for her other relationship. It has not been easy. I like to think that lower lows mean higher highs and this process has taken me incredibly low.
I wrote this as a pure reaction, I just wanted to say what was/is on my mind... if I waited and wrote it after more processing it my sound and feel different... I don't know.
I agree and have thought about everything you have said... right now it feels like walking through fire... I hope i can make it to the other side.
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