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-   -   New to this and dealing with jealousy (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2432)

KatTails 04-01-2010 07:47 PM

New to this and dealing with jealousy
Hello - my name is Kat and my husband and I are new to polyamory.

It hasn't been an easy year - here is how we got into polyamory.

My husband and I have been married for 14 years, together for 19. A few years ago - we got into mild swinging. We both enjoyed it and had no jealous feelings. Last April, a married woman he works with came on to him. He immediately told me and we talked about it alot. He was a little curious and interested. I felt safe because she was married, had children and I knew that he was committed to me fully. I reluctantly gave him permission to have sex with her. The reluctance came from the fact that they worked together and I was afraid of where this might lead. We all thought at the time that it would be one or two times.

Well a few months later - they fell in love - fast and hard. I had an extremely hard time when he told me, and we have had many, many months of ups and downs - all because of my struggling to accept this. He loves me, is committed to me and our family and in no way wants to leave me. He has made that perfectly clear to me and to the girlfriend. I do not have any doubts about this. We have always been honest with each other and that hasn't changed. He always tells me when he is going out with her (in fact they are on an overnight date tonight.) He has been extremely patient, understanding, comforting and has taken things slowly. Due to family, work and personal obligations, they do not get to see each other that often, maybe once a week, and at work.

Her and I have tried to become friends or at least friendly with each other. Sometime it works, sometimes it doesn't. She is a very nice person - but resentments do come up. The situation between her and her husband has changed somewhat in the last year. He knows she is in love with someone else, but does not want to know any details. They are staying married because of their children. On two occasions, the three of us had sex - which I arranged it each time. Then days later, I would have a meltdown. I love seeing my husband have sex with another woman, it's just really hard to see him having sex with someone he loves.

At times I don't think that I can handle this - that it is too painful. At other times, like today, I am perfectly ok with it. We are both seeing a counselor and trying to work through this. Divorce is not an option. We are fully committed to each other, our family and to trying to make this work.

I just don't know how to ease the jealousy, fear, envy, insecurity and anger that I feel. Sometimes it is overwhelming. We have never fought as much as we have this past year - but at the same time, this has also brought us much closer together and has made us realize how in love we are.

I just started reading Opening Up by Tristan Taormino and I also have Jenny Block's Open. Any other suggestions for learning to accept that this is what my husband needs in his life. I am free to find someone as well, I just haven't - yet.

I am very sorry that this is so long - I hope that I explained this well enough. If not, I am happy to clear anything up.

Sorry again - and thank you.


lisbeth 04-01-2010 08:33 PM

HI Kat, I don't have any big suggestions for you, I'm pretty new at this too and I'm sure more experienced people here will have some good insights!

I do have a question.... do you have any desire to have a girlfriend or boyfriend, in addition to the relationship with your husband? You mentioned a threesome but not seeing anyone on your own.

vandalin 04-01-2010 10:17 PM

I would suggest figuring out the cause of the jeaslousy. What do you feel/think you are losing when they are together and are you actually loosing it or just afraid of losing it? Is there a pattern to when you have these meltdowns? Is it when they are out together and you are home alone? Is it whenever she is brought up in conversation? Try to narrow it down and find out ways to work on that.

Good luck. :)

GroundedSpirit 04-01-2010 10:34 PM


Originally Posted by KatTails (Post 25351)
I just don't know how to ease the jealousy, fear, envy, insecurity and anger that I feel. Sometimes it is overwhelming.

Hi Kat,

Well - don't fret. Pretty normal (at first). Al least you have gotten past the sex roadblock via your swinging and with this new person. For some that's a major hurdle to clear.

How to "ease" these feelings is by truly understanding them. A big part of "understanding" is realizing that we were "taught" otherwise. It's all part of the big story we were told about "love" - particularly romantic (if you like that term).

But love is love. We have an abundance of it and the more we give away the more it multiplies and comes back to us.

But look at the interesting part - at how easily you embraced the sex part - which IS limited ! Logically it would be that much easier to put love in it's proper perspective.

Sounds like you and your husband are solid, caring people. Sharing that with someone else you care about just makes it that much more special.

Jealousy, as you say, is a fear response. As Vandalin suggested - see if you can determine WHAT it is you are truly afraid of ? Odds are it's a baseless fear rooted in breaking out of the old model. Nothing more. We're always afraid of the unknown.

Insecurity - if you really are an insecure person in general you need to fix that anyway. Dealing with this may help.

Anger ? Likely at yourself :)

You're fine. Breath deep. Be excited.


LovingRadiance 04-02-2010 05:06 AM


check out the articles about insecurity and jealousy on that website. He does a great job helping work through things.

Also the book "Living Happily Ever After" is a great book to help with any insecurities-it's not about poly but it is still a wonderful book for working on one's self.

KatTails 04-02-2010 02:15 PM

Thank you
Thank you for all of the responses.

lisbeth - right now, I am not looking for a boyfriend. Between working full time, having two young children and all that goes with that - I do not feel like I have the time to pursue other relationships. If it happens, I would be open to it - but I am not actively looking. Most of the men I meet on a daily basis are married and therefore I would not flirt with them.

I would eventually like to find someone. I would like to feel what my husband is feeling. Because I haven't experienced it (other than with my kids) I don't really understand how a person can love two people equally. But I would like to understand. My husband and I are still interested in swinging - though we don't have a lot of time to play. Also, the girlfriend has somewhat of an issue with it. However, that might be a good place for me to start. We'll see what happens. But am I open to it - sure.

Vandalin - I have actually lost it on a few occaisions. The most recently was two weeks ago when he took off work on his birthday and instead of spending it with me and the kids, he was with her. I didn't know he was doing that (he said he told me - I think this was a case of miscommunication) When I found out - I seriously lost it. I was screaming, crying, and told him we were done, took of my wedding rings and was serious. I was out of control. I scared myself. He left her to come take care of me and because he was concerned about the kids (they were sent to Grandma's so they wouldn't see what was going on.) Him and I fought, talked and eventually worked things out. But of course, the girlfriend was pissed that I melted down, again, and that he left her to come to me, again. And rightly so - I feel really badly that that happened. It was not my intent - I was out of control. They fought for a few days, but have since worked it out. She lost all trust and faith in me that I am trying to accept this.

I am trying to do whatever I can so that DOES NOT happen again. It was hurtful and stressful for all of us. I don't want to be like that again. As I said yesterday, they are on an overnight date, and I have been remarkably calm and ok. I kept myself busy and didn't worry or think about what they were doing. He called to say goodnight - and I told him to have fun. I hate waking up in the morning with him not here - but I'm doing ok. When he comes home today - I will welcome him with hugs and kisses and make sure that he is happy to be home. We then have a nice weekend planned that we are both looking forward to. THIS attitude I am having right now, is MUCH better than how I was two weeks ago. The issue is how to keep it this way.

Sorry for the long post again and thanks again for the help and advice.


GroundedSpirit 04-02-2010 02:43 PM

Hey Kat,

I think the biggest thing that can move this whole thing forward would be if you and the GF can work on your own relationship. If you don't connect sexually - that's ok. But you ARE sharing something and that can be something that can bring you together.

The topic of conversation doesn't always have to be about the relationship - and shouldn't. Both being the same gender you probably have quite a few things in common about your life in general you might connect on.

The better friends you can become the more smoothly the whole thing will flow.

My thoughts.....


KatTails 04-03-2010 03:16 AM

GroundedSpirit and vandalin - I have spent a lot of time today trying to figure out where this jealousy/fear is coming from. It's really hard to pin point. I'm not afraid he is going to leave me for her. I do not think he loves her more than me. I am not jealous of what they are doing. I do have low self-esteem, which I am working on. There are times that I think she is prettier than me, sexier than me, makes him happier than I do. Not because of anything she does - but because those are all things I don't think I am or do. I understand it's my issue and I am working on it with my counselor.

The whole time they were on their overnight date - I was really good. Sure I missed him, incredibly, but I was ok. No crying, no anger, no resentment. Really. I even surprised myself. He came home, we hugged and kissed and had a nice night out. She sent me a nice text thanking me for being ok with them taking this time together, and I told her that I felt this was a turning point and that hopefully her and I could become friends.

Then, while him and I were out tonight, she sent him a few texts, and the negative feelings came back. When they are out together, I make a point NOT to text him, unless it is an emergency. Sure I would like to text him to tell him I love him or that I miss him - but I don't. I respect her and the time they spend together. I did text him today twice: once to see when he would be home so I knew if I had time to run out, and again because of something concerning the "lie" we had to tell our children as to where he was last night and this morning. That was it. He was gone 26 hours and I texted him twice. She is away from him for a few hours and texted him at least 4 times that I know. I can't imagine why she would need to. I have asked her in the past to please respect the little bit of time he is with me and the kids - she continues to text. This is when the anger and resentment started to set in. I don't like feeling like this. I don't want to feel like this. But this is a trigger for me. I have tried in the past to explain it to both of them - they don't understand why its a big deal. I do hope I get to the point that its not a trigger, but right now it is.

At times when this has happened in the past - I did get angry at him and we fought about it. I didn't do that tonight. I did make one comment when I saw him texting her back - I said "you're mine now." He explained that he was just answering her earlier texts. As far as I know there was no texting after this.

I guess that I can intellectualy understand that he loves us both, that she is in his life, and therefore mine. However, emotionally, I don't want her to be a part of it all the time. I would like to be able to spend the day with my husband without hearing about her or seeing him texting her. Do I have a right to ask that of him? He doesn't like feeling that he has to walk on egg shells around me. He says he talks about me, us and our family when he is with her and that she understands. I guess I feel that as the wife, I shouldn't have to hear about her all the time. Again, this is something I hope goes away - but I can only be honest that this is how I am feeling at this time. In the past, I would have flipped out. Today, while I'm not happy about it, I am staying calm and not allowing this to interferre in my time with my husband. For me this is a big step.

Reading the posts on here, and reading the books I ordered, is helping. But I am realistic and know that issues and emotions are still going to pop up. I'll deal with them one at a time the best I can.

He is the love of my life and my best friend - I do not want to lose him. I know that I have to understand, accept and embrace this new way of life for us - I struggle, but I will not give up! I do truly hope her and I can become friends - but right now we don't really know each other or trust each other.

Thanks again for all your advice.


vandalin 04-03-2010 04:03 AM

I'm glad that the overnight went all right for you. That is a good step. And although you do have a right to be upset that she was "interfering" with your family time I think a large part of that is the NRE they are feeling. I know I had a hard time not wanting to text or IM Elric all the time when we were first testing the waters. That will pass in time for her and for you.

Getting to know her and maybe even find some bond other than a shared love will probably help with hearing him talk about her. Would you feel this way, not wanting to hear about her all the time, if they were just very good friends?

You are taking very good steps in the right direction, as long as you are also able to talk to your hubby about them as well. Feel free to pat yourself on the back and be a little immodest by telling him how you are very proud and happy of yourself that you have been able to do these things, and what you are trying to overcome next. You might be surprised at how supportive and understanding, and maybe helpful, he might be. :)

Good luck!

LovingRadiance 04-03-2010 04:57 AM


Originally Posted by KatTails (Post 25448)
I guess I feel that as the wife, I shouldn't have to hear about her all the time.

This sentence caught my eye, particularly the word that I underlined and turned red.

Yes, you do have a right to not hear about her ALL of the time.
But I sense that ALL is probably a generalization and exaggeration here, something I often got from Maca.

I suggest setting a specific limitation instead of expecting her to not contact him at all "during your time" (I loathe the "my time, her time" concept, but for this example it will do tolerably)
For example,
Identify "personal time as NO TEXT/PHONE/etc barring emergencies."

After 10pm is personal time whether he is with you or her overnight. (for Maca and I this one is the case)


Dinner time is personal time. (he could shut off the cell as she/you wouldn't necessarily know the exact time)


BEFORE a certain AM time is personal time. (GG and I have this until 10am)


Instead of trying to mark out the time he's with you as ONLY for you, mark out TIMES that are personal time for only the two of you (and/or the two of you and your kids).

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