"fairness" and guilt...?
this is something I have been struggling with for a long time, and I would appreciate any thoughts on this.
It's been about four years since I've realized that I'm not a monogamous person and I don't want to be, and there are quite a few non-monogamous people in my communities. But lately I've been extremely confused with my self-image, and my feelings towards my relationship-dynamics.
A lot of this comes from the fact that, while I have always been very communicative about my view of relationships, and I have always made it clear at the beginning of every romantic(and otherwise) involvement that I want everyone involved to be free to act on any of their feelings, almost all of my more intense of more long-term lovers have been monogamous towards me.
Aand, although maybe not directly connected to that, quite a few times someone got emotionally hurt at the end and it was almost never me.
Usually this happened because our needs didn't match. But I've been struggling with this confusion, because one one hand,
I know that I still have a lot of internalized monogamy-socialization inside me and a lot of guilt and self-hatred associated with that,
and at the same time I know that I'm not perfect and that just because I'm communicating honestly doesn't mean that I don't fuck up,
and that not always when someone gets hurt it's anyones fault and that fault shouldn't be the point.....
but now, I'm at a point where I dread the moment I do feel jealous of one of my lovers, because somewhere deep down I feel like "after everything i've put people through, I don't have the right to feel that" and that it would make me an asshole and a hypocrite.
Even though I never blamed anyone for their jealousy, and I've almost always taken lots of time and energy to talk about it, and try to work through it, and I've never given anyone false hopes.
And I hate it, because my feelings on non-monogamy and freedom of human relationships is one thing I am absolutely clear on and certain about, and yet I know that somewhere inside of me a part of myself feels like it's a "bad thing to do/be". And it makes me hate myself.
Now, some of my lovers have actively made me feel bad about it, have berated my ability to love and whatnot, but most of them have been really accepting and open and some actively enthusiastic about it.
but even in the best cases, simply the amount of times people I have loved have felot bad about the way I am and feel, even if they said that it's not my fault and even if we did work through it and they did learn to feel better about it... it still accumulates into a really shitty feeling.
And most importantly it makes me feel like I cant possibly ask for support or consideration of my feelings if I, myself, end up feeling jealous, insecure, posessive... and this, in turn influences my ability to trust people and let myself go emotionally. Because, what if....? After all, "I'm an asshole and I've hurt people"....
As if there is some kind of credit account for how many times you can have other lovers, and if your lovers have other lovers in turn it adds to your "allowance", and I'm in a minus and should make up for it. What a load of freedom-negative bullshit. But there's the words "fairness" and all the comparing and all the guilt, and........ I just don't know anymore...
help? thoughts? insight?
& thanks for reading...
What is your question?
It seems like you know you're being too hard on yourself but can't stop. Maybe therapy?
Hey there SaBo. First off, take a deep breath. You sound like you are reeling, spinning yourself into a tizzy with these emotions. To start, has something specific happened recently to urge you to react this way and reach out?
That doesn't make him an asshole or a hypocrite! This makes him HUMAN. And I actually appreciate that he feels that way and is honest enough to share it with me.
You DO have a right to feel that way. But you also have a responsibility to learn to manage it. And you can never hold anyone back from finding what they need, considering your need to do that as well, even if it means losing them.
I can't tell you how many times we have had the "Are you breaking up with me????" talk. And NO , I never am, but it is a real, valid fear for him. And, as I need many reassurances, he does too. And we will both provide as much as we all need.
YES you can. And YES you should. Always be honest, with yourself and your loved ones.
There are many threads on here by other poly folk who feel jealous, insecure, etc... It's human nature to have those emotions. You just need to learn how to effectively communicate and manage them. First step though, is getting you feeling at peace with your own self.
I do understand where you are coming from; my bf has also felt like an asshole when he sees how this poly dynamic negatively affects both me and his SO. He's witnessed many tears, fears, doubts, insecurities and it hurts him. He does feel as if he's being selfish sometimes. (And sometimes maybe he is.) But I love him and accept that the situation he is in is rather difficult as well. I appreciate that it must suck sometimes to feel so torn between many places - where you want to be and where you need to be. And that varies by the situation, by the day and giving up any of those things are not an option for him - work, home, SO, friends, family, hobbies, with a needy gf added in the mix..(but wow, does she ever love and appreciate him and he certainly benefits from that!! :p) :D
Hope you find some peace.
It's important to remember we are EACH individuals and we EACH have all of these emotions and IT IS OK. IT's not the having of emotions that is ever an issue. It's when we choose to act out inappropriately that problems are created.
Try to visualize a little and realize the backwardness of your thought pattern. Sometimes if we make it a visual thing-like watching a movie-we can more easily flip out opinion on the topic.
There is no simple way to define what is or is not fair in life, except that many things don't appear to be. One would have to understand the full purpose of life (havne't met anyone who does) AND every detail and aspect of each parties prior experiences and potential future experiences in order to define "fair".
So, it's best to hand that one over the powers that be-whatever they may be to you and understand that the best you can do is treat YOURSELF and others with respect and kindness in so much as possible while being wholly honest and open about your weaknesses and struggles as well as your goals and efforts and needs.
SELF HATRED KILLS.
Please get some therapy on that.
Just reading your comments on self hatred tears me up.
It's been 1 month 1 week and 5 days since my friend committed suicide.
She had a BEAUTIFUL life, was making great strides in fighting for equal rights for minorities in our town, her funeral was packed. A church filled with LGBT's who hadn't set foot in church in years, disabled, deaf, black, white and every other color people. Because she was just such an amazing person.
But, the self-hatred over her mis-perceived version of who she was got the best of her and stole it from the world.
Please please please-don't let that one go It's not worth the risk.
Find someone to talk it through with that can help you move past it and make peace with yourself.
Thanks for sharing. I also seem to end up with mono guys who are willing to "see what happens" with me. To this day I don't know how it would feel to be on the "receiving end", whereby he is the one seeing other people. I imagine - and fear - that I would feel jealous, and subsequently would feel I am a hypocrite, and that it wouldn't be "fair" for me to feel that way.
All hypothetical, of course. For all I know, I'd be fine with it... so I try not to think too much about it :p
But GUILT is a real issue for me. My "primary" of 2.5 years is wholeheartedly mono, and I've been poly the whole time I've known him. Even though he is okay with me having "connections" with other people, I often feel guilty when I do, and like I am doing something that I shouldn't by being poly.
I haven't heard many other polys talk about guilt -- what have been others' experiences with this? How do you stop feeling guilty/wrong when you are assured that you shouldn't?
Look, feelings are feelings. Wind is wind. Rain is Rain. Emotion is emotion. It's just internal weather. Let it blow on through.
You cannot help what you feel when you feel it.
The only thing you can help and control is how you choose to respond to those feelings.
You can REACT in the heat of the moment, or choose to ACT WITH INTENT.
And right here mostly I see you beating up on yourself for having very human feelings of jealousy and what not pop up. And instead of working through them and letting the internal storm blow through -- you pile blame and guilt on yourself for feeling what you feel. Like you are just not ALLOWED to be so very human.
And you just do not want to have to be feeling yucky. You should be "above" having to feel these things, but feel them, therefore you must suck at... being human? It's very sad and confusing.
What's that all about? Being so self judge-y and self hating?
I can't tell from the post if you are just having a bad day or this is a chronic thing. If chronic?
You might want extra support in sorting yourself out. Like counseling or help like Recovery International if you have a chapter near you. The way you talk to yourself inside your head is not nice. Why aren't you nice to you?
Please consider taking better care of you. You have worth, dignity and value as a person -- even if things are rough for you right now. :(
Hey SaBo, no, it is not selfish. Everybody has feelings.
The other night my mono boyfriend and I had this same talk, in which I told him of my feelings and how somehow even though I'm poly and don't think I can change, it still freaks me out the idea of him dating anyone else at the same time as he dates me. I told him I know this is hypocritical and that I wasn't asking him to not date other people but that I really did want to talk about it. He said that he doesn't view it as hypocritical. He is not interested in dating anyone else. His point (and mine) is that everybody is wired differently.
I really liked what New had to say. I too can get anxious and need constant reassurance (I have an anxiety disorder according to my shrink and should really get on meds soon), but sometimes people do not need the same things. My BF does not feel the need to date more than one person (and he reckons that might be a bit of a challenge as well in terms of time and being there emotionally) and yet I do. I keep asking if it does not bother him me being poly and he says all he really wants is for me to be happy and to be at peace with my decisions.
In terms of a relationship and both partners feeling secure often the two partners can't be treated exactly the same. It is similar to our needs in society. Some people need antidepressants to function. Some people need more sleep than others. Some people can't stand being alone while others really need their alone-time. We can't treat everyone the same and everyone has different needs in order to feel secure. So long as we can ensure that both sides are happy and feel that their needs are met and that reasonable compromises can be reached this is fair. Your partner may have no issue with you being emotionally attached to someone but may place restrictions on physical aspects, whereas you may find the emotional attachments more of a threat.
In discussing this with your partner(s) just make sure that it is clear that these are your feelings and not necessarily demands you have on your partner, and make known your own needs (eg to spend a certain amount of time with your partner, to feel fairly in control of certain aspects of their interaction or to be informed, etc.)
Everybody has different needs, and it is well possible that you may need someone to be the exact opposite of you in terms of needs (in my case mono and very secure in himself) in order to feel secure yourself within a relationship.
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