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-   -   What's the difference? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2756)

Mohegan 05-11-2010 01:45 AM

What's the difference?
I am looking over a site that was suggested to me, to help me come to terms with my current relationship problems and I came across something that got thinking.

It was about being a secure person. Basicaly saying if you are secure in who you are that jealousy won't be much of an issue for you in a poly realationship. I was fairly secure with myself before I got sick. I was incredibly confident and it allowed me to appreciate others strengths without feeling a need to compare myself. About 6 yrs ago I had to start hormone therepy which put my body into menopause at 21. I ended up gaining almost 100 lbs in 6 months due to all the medications. Along the same time several things happened that made me question my abilities in a lot of areas of my life. I began to doubt everything I thought I was. Even now that I am back in college I feel like I am constantly having to prove to myself that I can make a go of this. That I am talented enough to make this my career. Because it seems like everytime I think, "Ok I've got this. This is going to turn out really well." It doesn't. Or someone just blows me away. This has caused a lot of issues with me. Including several major depressive episodes.

I'm not completely down on myself. I know who I am and I know my strengths and am working on my weaknesses. It has taken awhile to back to where I am now, but I am fearful I will lose it all again. I am constantly second guessing myself. Even tonight. My husband had his g/f over. I had given him a backrub earlier in the day because he was stiff. He said he felt a lot better. Yet when she got here, he had her give him one and kept saying how great it was to be able to move again. It was a huge hit to me. Something that simple. I felt like I wasn't good enough. Years ago I would have been okay with it. I would have been happy that he had someone to help him better than I could. But tonight, I felt like a worthless human being, simply b/c he asked her for a back rub as well.

So my questions are: When does confidence become cockiness? How do you hold onto security when the world keeps knocking you down? Do you ever fear you are wrong, that you don't have the right to feel confident in a certain situation? Does conficence make it harder or easier to relate to others? How do I get over comparing myself to her? Up until I found out about their affair, this wasn't an issue. Now it seems to be a constant thing.

idealist 05-11-2010 02:21 AM

I wish I had words of wisdom for you!! When I was 21, I was leaving a guy I had been with for 4 years. I struggled along for 9 more years doing the best I could. I finally entered therapy when I was 30, which is just about where you are now. That was when my life began to slowly change for the better. Within a year, my confidence was sky high. I quit the job I had for 8 years and started my own business. I have been running that business successfully for 21 years now.

I know everyone is different and each person has their own path in life. You may have already had some therapy, or maybe you just aren't interested in it. I'm not saying just becasue it's what I did, that everyone should do it. But, I do see a lot of people my age still just floundering around in life and struggling emotionally and financially. I am very convinced that if they had stopped when they were young and gotten some professional help, they would be in a much better place today.

I found individual therapy and group therapy both to be very effective for me!!!

Peace and Love !!!

Mohegan 05-11-2010 02:32 AM

I've had therepy on and off since I was 7. I've found some of it incredibly helpful and some of it quite laughable. The husband and I are currently looking for one now, but with no insurance we have a small list to choose from and so far nothing has worked out. I'm hoping when we get into therepy together I can work through some things. I just don't like that now that I know about the affair I am suddenly feeling inadequate. That's not me and it wasn't an issue 2 weeks ago. But after thinking about it, I've realized I don't do well with criticism. One small remark about my work or something I've said or any thing similar and I feel worthless in all things. I don't like that. And am trying to find a way to move past it. To acknowledge what I am and find a way to improve what I need to improve without feeling worthless because it needs improved. I very much have an all or nothing attitude for every aspect in my life and I am finding it is not benneficial for me. So I need to figure out how to reach the happy medium.

LovingRadiance 05-11-2010 02:43 AM

The biggest thing that you can do for you is to educate yourself on what is great about you-then focus on being the best version of you that you can be.

It sounds SO SIMPLE-but it really requires effort to make yourself do it. (ugh).

Also-if you focus your mind on helping yourself and anyone around you be the best that you/they can be, you have a lot less time to contemplate who is better than who-because we are all REALLY only competing against our own best self-not everyone else.

The first step is to commit to making every decision EVERY decision based on "is this promoting my best self-or not". If it is-go for it. If it's not-don't do it. No matter what it is.

Quath 05-11-2010 04:30 AM

I think confidence comes from knowing you can do well. With some things it is easy. You can pass an exam or get a high score. For some it is hard. Like it is hard to see if you are a good lover based on being with one person.

In the backrub example, it could be that your husband's comments were because he thought his gf needed more compliments because it was new or because he felt she needed to hear it more. When one of my kids cooks diner, I usually compliment them more than I would my wife even though she cooks better. So I hope she doesn't feel the kids cook better than she does.

So be careful in evaluating yourself based on stuff like that. If you are unsure, you can ask your husband later if his gf rubbed differently then you. Maybe see if she had a technique.

I think part of confidence is also being willing to learn more or improve. Or knowing that you can improve.

Mohegan 05-11-2010 06:27 AM


Originally Posted by Quath (Post 29262)

I think part of confidence is also being willing to learn more or improve. Or knowing that you can improve.

I think so too, but I don't want to take away from what they have either. I don't want to learn things simply because she can do something better than me. That seems a little catty to me. I love to learn new things, I enjoy personal growth. I have nothing against learning to do something differently or gain more knowledge on something. But as much as it bothers me that she did do it better, or maybe he just wanted the extra attention, I want to acknowledge that there are things she does differently or better than I do. I guess I feel like improving my skills will make it seem like I feel that I have to compete with her. Hell right now I may feel like I need to compete with her and not even realize it. But I don't want it to be like that.

redpepper 05-11-2010 06:52 AM

what do you mean by confidence becoming cockiness? Could you say a bit more on that? Do you have an example?

Mohegan 05-11-2010 05:28 PM

Redpepper- I think that sometimes confidence can lead to or can be percieved as cockiness. I am wondering if that is way I have such a hard time with criticism or a set back. I guess I think the only way I am confident in something is to be the best at the thing in my group of peers. I know that is scewed and I am trying to figure out how to seperate those feelings. In my relationship, I feel like anytime my husband looks to friends for advice or to help with a situation, without coming to me, that it is a blow to my confidence. That if I were better at this or more knowledgable at that he would come to me. I do find that to be ridiculous. I am not the master of the universe. I know I cannot be an all knowing entity. But that doesn't stop the feeling of being less than others.

I'm trying to figure out when I lost my ability to be proud of myself and happy with my accomplishments and still accept that there are things I am not good at.

I feel like if we ever do work with through this affair, I will always be comparing my time with him to her time with him. We are different people, with different things to offer, and this comparrision is not healthy for any of us. I know that. But I don't know how to change it. I don't know why it suddenly changed in the first place.

Ariakas 05-11-2010 05:49 PM

I just have to say being repeatedly cheated on is not going to be a confidence builder. Quite the opposite.


In my relationship, I feel like anytime my husband looks to friends for advice or to help with a situation, without coming to me, that it is a blow to my confidence.
Why would this be a blow? This isn't a bad thing, perspective is a good thing, friends are a good thing.

sometimes items are easier to discuss with friends, their opinion is less biased (ideally) and more general. Remember opinions are about perspective, if he is looking for opinions on something you and he are involved in, he might naturally realize that talking to someone outside the box is good :)...


I guess I think the only way I am confident in something is to be the best at the thing in my group of peers.
This philosophy is dangerous. There will always be someone better at something. You need to accept that. Confidence cannot be based on the impossible :) Pick a series of things you like about yourself, that you are good at, and focus on those for confidence. Accept weakness in other areas and take heart with the knowledge that you are trying to be better at the things you are best at.

redpepper 05-11-2010 08:27 PM

I think the difference between confidence and cocky is a matter of humility. Its important to be humbly confident I think.

This doesn't seem to relate to what you are talking about however. You aren't confident because he broke trust with you. That is why I think. You thought you had a position of being special in his life, sexually and in terms of your opinion and take on life. His cheating told you that you despensible and not worth as much as you thought to him. Of course you have lost your confidence because of that. Anyone would.

I suggest that you not be so hard on yourself and point out to him that HE has created this in you and now you are left to deal with it. At the same time I would suggest that the two of you use this to work on his never ever cheating on you again.

This coming from a woman that is very confident. Why? Because I have learned some hard lessons about this and am in a place now that means I can be who I am to the best of my ability. Not only that I can offer that to those in my life by staying true to my integrity and word.

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