INCREDIBLY new to this and needing help dealing with jealousy issues
My fiance and I have been together for 4 years. We live together and have a 5 month old son. About 2 years ago, he brought up the idea of being poly and as someone who firmly believed in being mono, I flipped out. I wondered (and still do sometimes) why am I not good enough for him? How can you love two people at once? What if he loves Her more than me? Will he leave me? He understood my concerns, assured me that he'd never leave and for two years, only brought the idea up a few times.
Fast forward to a month ago.
A (my fiance) and I were constantly arguing and I had concerns he was cheating on me. One night, he comes home, wakes me up out of my sleep, and tells me he needs to talk to me. After a long, uncomfortable silence, he proceeds to tell me that he made out with someone he works with, a woman that I used to work with. I, of course, got angry but was grateful for his honesty. If only I knew the real reason behind it.
I later (approx. 3 days later) learned that this young lady was who he was interested in and they'd been talking for a while. He arranged for us to all meet, have drinks, and talk the situation. I had my objections, but for him I agreed to it. This has been much harder than I anticipated. I have major self-esteem issues (which I am working on) and was already fearful of him wanting someone else. The way he looks at her tears me up. He's constantly texting her when he's with me and, though I understand he is building a new relationship and these are the things he must do to get to know her, I can't help but get jealous. Also, I work full time and the both of the are part time so they spend more time together than he and I do. I have told him it's okay for them to have sex when I'm at work because I felt like it would be selfish of me to want to sleep with him while she's not around and she can't do the same. When I know they're together, however, I get so upset it makes me sick to my stomach. I've been very emotional and it's beginning to take a toll on me.
Basically, I need to know where to begin with coping with this jealousy. I don't want to become so jealous that I push him away.
I apologize for this long, drawn out post but I have no one besides A to talk to about this and as far as I know, he is new to this as well.
What needs are going unmet? Needs he is not meeting to help care for your buckets as your partner person? Are you being disregarded somehow by him?
What needs are you not meeting yourself to care for your own buckets as your main bucket tender? The buckets of mental health, emotional health, physical health, spiritual health? Are you disregarding your own needs somewhere? Compromising yourself?
2) If you do NOT want to be in a polyamorous relationship structure, say so. Why are you agreeing to be in one at your own expense? Everyone has the right to pick what relationship model makes them happiest. You are NOT WRONG to want a monogamous relationship structure for yourself because that model brings you the most mental and emotional peace and happiness. You deserve to be happy. You might not LOVE it if it turns out he wants a different model for his life. But it is HONEST at least, and nobody is compromising themselves unfairly.
3) Why do your run your relationship with him from a fear based and/or passive position? Why are you considering yourself "less than" anyone? Why do your override your OWN LIMITS for him? If you habitually treat YOURSELF and your wants/needs/limits as "less than" how can you feel anything but "less than?" And if you end up in emotionally unsafe places because you do not listen to your own limits, then who is to blame? Please YOURSELF first. Being assertive is not being selfish. Everyone has limits.
Why do you not exercise your right to determine your relationship fate/destiny/life for yourself? You want what you want. That is your limit for relationship model(s) that make you happiest. Go for them, so you can BE at your happiest.
You know you can choose to have a conversation with your partner to determine where you stand together as a couple, right? Where YOUR wants, needs, and limits are heard. Where his wants, needs, limits are heard. And if things do not line up, they do not line up. Unfortunate, but not the end of the world. What's the fear behind not wanting to "push him away" speaking to? Would you rather be partnered badly/not matching well than alone?
No judgement here -- just some food for thought to help you think things out for yourself and get to the bottom of the matter. Personal introspection/growth is sometimes very challenging.
http://www.morethantwo.com/ has a huge section on jealousy -- but if the starting gate issue is "No, polyamorous relationships are not something I want for myself and it just does not float my boat" you can solve the whole shebang by being firmer on what YOU want and seek in your relationships. YOU HAVE THAT RIGHT, and there isn't anything wrong with wanting a monogamous closed relationship model. You break up clean, and when ready you date anew and try to seek someone who matches you dance card better for your wants/needs in relationship.
All that isn't easy to FEEL.
But it's pretty straightforward to THINK out. It is what it is. Listen to your Jealousy Alarm trying to tell you something. Sort out what it is buzzing for.
Hope this helps,
There are a lot of threads here on jealousy if you do a tag search. Mostly jealousy is about fear of something happening or someone threatening the status quo. If possible, flip it on its head and look at it from the other side. That is to see ones partner as happy and full of fun things in their life. Hard to do, but possible with practice. Break it down into the many emotions it usually is and explore each one. Walk through it slowly and deliberately because it likely will come up again in a different way if the issues aren't worked out the first go around.
Good luck. Everyting you mentioned in your post is common and people have woked through it. Keep at it. :)
GalaGirl: First and foremost, I was in no way offended by what you said. I'm asking a serious question so I know to expect serious answers. Secondly, thank you for putting everything into perspective for me. I have a lot to think about and I know it'll be a hard journey but its time for me to face it. I think the main thing that keeps me in this relationship is I want my son to grow up in a home with both of his biological parents still together. I grew up with neither of my parents and I don't want the same for my child. Another reason why is, like you mentioned, fear of being alone. It's a rash notion but I feel like I wouldn't be able to find anyone else. However, you made me realize that the worst thing I can do to my son is raise him in a home where Mommy and Daddy aren't happy.
Redpepper: Thank you as well. I'm definitely going to check that out.
Be Open to being together as friends and coparents though. You can come together on those tiers. Rather than friends, coparents AND live-in lovers. You are also teaching your kid how to behave in that situation well in case the kid grows up and faces same.
I don't know what staying in a dead relationship proves. My MIL stayed in it til my spouse (the youngest) graduated HS and they STILL go at it hammer and tongs. None of the adult children was surprised when the divorce finally came down. Just robbed them all of quieter/more peaceful childhoods because the parents are still argue-y to this day. Had they split sooner maybe some of the kids would have had a calmer home environment and the arguments shifted to "only when we have to deal in court days" rather than daily ugh. Because they carry on so decades later? The adult children's lives are still tinged with UGH because the two parents can't manage to be in the same room together long enough to share in their family stuff -- bdays, weddings, grandkid graduations, etc. It's a pain the ass, frankly. Sigh.
I know a divorced family where the wife remarried and she and the new hubby live next door. They all continue to care for their common children even though the wife has moved on to have a second family also. That's an example from the good side of a split. They are friends and coparents. Just not married lovers any more.
Children are always watching.
Be mindful of the unspoken lesson you teach when you stay with someone just "not to break up because we have kids" or "just not to be alone."
It teaches children that it is OK to ignore their own happiness at best or makes them easy targets for abusers on the other end. Because they never speak up about their needs not being met or about enduring bad treatment at home because they are too scared to be alone.
what are you afraid of?
Second-what are your HARD LIMITS regarding relationships?
Third-what are your SOFT limits?
Fourth-what lessons do you want to teach your child-they start learning from birth.
Compare that to what you ARE teaching him.
Kids often repeat the pattern of relationship they see their parents in. For example, kids whose parents are abusive-tend to get in abusive romantic relationships.
So, be real, what lesson will you be teaching your child?
As for dealing with jealousy-I found that the best thing I could do was to focus on ME. What did I want? What did I need?
For example: I NEED uninterrupted time with my lovers. SO, we have a rule, no phones or computers during meals, bedtime, family time or date times. That means NO TEXTING and NO CALLING. Period. If that infringes on getting to know someone-then it's time to realize that
WE ARE NOT SINGLES who are dating-
WE ARE MARRIEDS that are dating (you can replace marrieds with TAKENS)
The point is-that dating and getting to know people IS A BIT DIFFERENT when you ALREADY HAVE COMMITMENTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES. It may go slower the "getting to know them" process.
BECAUSE-you don't get to STOP taking care of your responsibilities to do the "getting to know them" or the dating.
I need to know OUR time and OUR relationship is valuable and meaningful to BOTH OF US.
Therefore, we have a once a week date. Not always the same day/night. Not always the same activity or place.
BUT-if for some reason our OTHER responsibilities make it impossible for US to have our date time-we don't plan date times with anyone else.
The reason for this IS NOT competition or heirarchy-it's because it's important for us to remember that we don't get to automatically take away from OUR special time together anytime work or school or kids need us-and always keep our "special time" with others.
Furthermore-our time with other people is not always "responsibility free". We can have a romantic one on one date with someone else once a week. But-we have kids to care for. SO if they aren't willing to spend their time with us taking care of kids and parenting-then they don't get as much time with us.
BECAUSE we DO NOT EVER give up our individual responsibility to caring for our kids daily. I happen to NOT work and DH works full time. But-our time with the kids is split even. When he is off work-it's HIS TURN to foster his relationship with the kids.
This has resulted in "dates" at the swimming pool teaching the kids to swim, or at the park pushing kids on swings or playing frisbee, dates at the house with extended family bbqs and new years eve fire works displays.
Not all date times with other people are "romantic personal time" because again-we aren't single adults with no kids. We are marrieds with kids. If people want to date us-they need to be ready to be a part of that reality.
GalaGirl and LovingRadiance: Thank you. You both have incredibly valid points. I am very used to putting my happiness to the side to make others happy. I have a hard time distinguishing what is selfish and what is just a person taking care of their own wants and needs. I'm trying so hard not to step on anyone elses toes that I'm tripping over mine. This entire process is really an emotional rollercoaster and there are days where my curiosity peaks and I want to learn so much about this lifestyle and then there are days where the hurt and the jealousy sets in (this has been the past week for me) and I want nothing to do with him. I have some alone time tonight so I've decided to take some time out for me and figure out what i want out of this.
Well, the cheating start with that make-out woman doesn't help... but I'm glad you are thinking about what you want.
Really you have to sort it out for yourself based on what YOU want, what YOU need in a relationship, and what YOUR limits are in a relationship.
Think about what you want your ideal partner to be in your ideal relationship. What's the goal relationship you seek? Living together? Marriage? Closed? Open? Something else?
Then take measure of the man you are with. Can you be happy with him or does he fall short of the mark?
From your first post:
Well, don't be in a rush to get all huffy at her. (Even if she behaves badly to you now.)
He is the first one who broke trust with you.
You broke trust with you second by agreeing to something you did not feel happy about.
So... are you mad at him? Or mad at self? Or both?
Kinda gotta sort that out.
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