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-   -   Some presumably common issues (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2808)

bittysue 05-18-2010 11:24 PM

Some presumably common issues
I've been poking around here and learning a great deal about what polyamory is all about and for that I thank you all!

I'm still left wondering a few things and I'm sure that they are going to come up at some point with my partner. He and I are always up front and honest with each other (this is THE healthiest relationship I've ever been in) and we have no issues sharing each other physically (within the guidelines). However, knowing myself and knowing my partner, I have a sneaking suspicion that we may move beyond just physical sharing and graduate to emotional sharing (beyond the friendships we already have).
This may not sound like an issue, but for me, it will probably be huge. Throughout all of my relationships the physical wasn't as important as the emotional. I never minded my guy sleeping with someone else as long as he was honest with me about it, but during my last relationship my guy started spending a lot of time with another woman, not sleeping with her, just spending a lot of time (the time he usually spent with me) with her. That broke my heart more than I could express.
So, my concern is (because I'm pretty sure that my current partner and I are headed down a path that will lead to this issue) that if we bring someone else into our relationship I will be constantly jealous/hurt if he is spending a lot of time with them. That I'm going to feel as if I am being emotionally cheated on.

My partner is loving, understanding, caring, kind, compassionate and every other good word you could come up with and I know that if/when this situation arises he will not only want to help me through whatever issues I might have but also make every effort to keep me from having issues in the first place. I know that I don't have anything to worry about or be jealous about if he is spending time with someone else or investing emotionally in someone else, but I'm afraid that wouldn't keep me from having negative feelings.
Perhaps he and I should just keep our sharing physical and among friends as we have been doing, but I think the natural progression is going to lead us to something more serious. I don't fear adding someone (male or female) into our relationship, but I am afraid of the feelings I might have even though I don't want them.

So... any suggestions/thoughts/advice/stories about how to not feel as if your being emotionally cheated?

idealist 05-19-2010 03:34 AM

Welcome!!! And I'm sure you will learn a lot here!! There are a lot of really caring and articulate people on this forum!!
I would never suggest that you try not to feel something. It's best to feel your emotions and share those feelings and your thoughts with your partner. There may be a little bit of codependency in the idea that you need a certain amount of time and attention from your partner. I would suggest to seek out and find opportunities for activities that interest you.....make your life (without your partner) fuller. That could never be a bad thing. :rolleyes:

redpepper 05-19-2010 05:41 AM

hm, I never considered trying to squelch my feelings, they tell me so much about what I should do and what my gut says is the right door or path to take. I rely on them for just about everything.... I'm a ENFP though on the myer's briggs scale (at least that was the closest)... perhaps that's why?

ya, agreeing with idealist on this one. I think it's important to remember that your primary partner should be yourself. Look after yourself first in terms of growing learning, doing nice things for yourself, taking time, really knowing yourself and then think about others.

I wonder if then you will find that going through the emotions that will come up with adding other people to your lives and being added to theirs will feel as big of a deal. You will know you. Your partner will know themselves and then you will know each other. In that order. does that make sense?

idealist 05-20-2010 01:19 AM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 30127)
I'm a ENFP though on the myer's briggs scale (at least that was the closest)...

Just a quick diversion from the topic!! Note to RedPepper....ENFP's rock!! I'm ENFJ, but my business partner is ENFP and she is really awesome!!!

redpepper 05-20-2010 05:13 AM


Originally Posted by idealist (Post 30204)
Just a quick diversion from the topic!! Note to RedPepper....ENFP's rock!! I'm ENFJ, but my business partner is ENFP and she is really awesome!!!

Thanks! I think we noted eariler in a thread just how many poly people are E or I, NF, P or J. The NF part seems to stand out.

Morningglory629 05-20-2010 05:16 AM


Originally Posted by redpepper (Post 30127)
I wonder if then you will find that going through the emotions that will come up with adding other people to your lives and being added to theirs will feel as big of a deal. You will know you. Your partner will know themselves and then you will know each other. In that order. does that make sense?

Great bit of advice! Starting to do more of this myself! It definitely helps in fighting the angsty feelings of not being with your partner/lover.

GroundedSpirit 05-20-2010 02:06 PM

Hi and welcome Sue,

Idealist and RP have pointed to a couple important things.
We have to be careful of letting (co) dependency slip into our relationships. It's very natural when you are feeling really close to someone to want them to be center of your universe - and vic versa. But this is a dangerous thing in the long run and we have to be on guard for it all the time.
It's far more healthy in the long run to capture those special moments when they present themselves. We can't force them anyway. They come when it's proper - when conditions are 'just-so'.
Being actively engaged in our own self development, and being happy being with ourselves is so important. We can't be defining ourselves based on someone elses participation - or lack of.


redsirenn 05-20-2010 08:21 PM

here is a link to the NF's -


Also -
I think that it is good to feel something - sometimes relationships can conjure up an emotional reaction that may not have been brought to the surface otherwise. This can give you an opportunity to identify with it and work through it instead of around it.

I have definitley noticed that I can feel deeply for more than one person at a time, although not much has happened physically with regards to those people. Just this fact - that I can have these emotions gives my SO those wormy feelings, and the same thing happens to me if he feels that way about someone.

The thing is, that i can only speak for myself in expressing that the support for internal growth from him makes me cherish the existing relationship. Sure - it can be confusing at times having these feelings for more than one at a time, and I do wonder if I am doing something "right", "wrong", or whatever.

My history of relationships was very much a one to the other very quickly and with emotional overlap almost every time... serial monogamist to the core! I think that I felt guilty about feeling for someone else, always wanted to explore it, but didn't know that there was another option other than just breaking it off with my current partner. Hence the questioning of my actions now - it is hard to face myself like this.

In sum, work through this stuff. It is a great journey even if just for yourself. It is a gift that you can carry with you forever to build confidence within yourself, and learn to be happy for others.

Even if a relationship style this extreme is not what you want forever, there are great things to gain! Especially since your SO seems nice from your description. I would think that your ultimate priority is to be sure you are healthy first.


bittysue 05-21-2010 07:07 AM

Thank you
Your replies have been helpful and have pointed out some things to me which though I already knew needed to be worked on, had been pushed to the back of my mind.
Perhaps I'm in denial about being dependent or codependent, but I think my partner and I have a fairly healthy relationship without what most people consider the normal amount of conflict. In any case, he and I are always working together and separately to ensure that our relationship stays healthy and moving in a positive direction. (let me just say at this point that it amazes me that I found someone that not only wants to work on the relationship but often is the one to initiate hard conversations. That, I must admit is new to me)
He and I are still building the foundation of our relationship, the bedrock it is built upon is sturdy, so I am hopeful that if/when we meet someone that fits with us we will be able to take it in stride and not have too many negative feelings.
I know I had asked about 'avoiding' negative feelings, but really I think I should have asked about how to resolve them. I don't want to side step them or pretend I'm not having them, but I tend to have a hard time owning my feelings. Or feeling as if I have the right to feel the way I do. So dealing with them is often internalized and my poor guy has to pry out of me what my issue is because I'm not good at sharing. I have a hard time articulating myself in a way that is understandable and which accurately describes what is going on in my head. Shoot, sometimes I don't even know whats really going on or why I feel a certain way!
I suppose that is what I need to work on, the sharing part. I don't have any reason not to want to share and every reason to want to. I know that my partner isn't going to judge me or tell me what I'm feeling isn't valid. I just need to suck it up and open my mouth. lol

So, again thank you all for your words of wisdom, I do truly appreciate it as it did start me thinking in a way that was helpful for me to work out what exactly it was I was worried about. And that is usually have the problem!


And yes, I'm a fan of the run-on sentence! lol

redpepper 05-21-2010 07:39 AM

resolving is quite different. For me it's a matter of picking them apart and moving bits to the side to find the core of what it is I am feeling. Once I have done that I can look at what I have moved.

I do this by endlessly talking about my experience. I do that when I try to understand anything that makes me uncomfortable, from understanding people to understanding myself. I talk about it constantly until it loses it's power when a shift occurs or a new piece of information is added. I chose people in my life who are willing to listen and ask questions...

unfortunately this can be seen as gossiping and people tend to stear away from it. I don't see it as such, gossip is with the intent to harm, talking about another, or about an issue with the intent to learn about them or what is going on is different. It's about moving forward with the new capacity to be empathetic and caring.

I think thinking negatively about what we and others say about each other and ourselves is very entwined in what we have been taught and people tend to just "not say a word" for fear of it being seen in a negative way. I tend to feel uncomfortable with this in my life and chose not to include people who are more interested in not saying anything rather than making themselves vulnerable by saying everything...

If you are able to lose that and walk through everything you feel, comfortable or uncomfortable, then I think you might find that the emotions are not as strong and have space around them. They don't overwhelm as much or for as long that way. At least that is what I have found.

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