My Story and Introduction
My name's Jethro, I'm 23 years old and living in Dubai right now, doing my bachelors degree in journalism. This is my first post here.
I've been in a polyamorous relationship for over a year now, and it's a first for me.
I'm a guitarist in a blues rock band over here, and I dabble in jazz as well.
I must admit that I signed up on this forum seeking guidance from people more experienced in polyamory than myself. Here in Dubai, the only polyamorous couple I know is me and my girlfriend, and most people shun the lifestyle as ludicrous and obscene.
My becoming polyamorous happened when I met my girlfriend in March of last year. At the time, she had been going through a terrible break-up and feeling very down. I liked her instantly; she was so much more interesting than any girl I've met here. We started sleeping together, and as the months went by, we fell in love. Her rule of course, was that we were not to be exclusive. A rule I always believed had to do with her ex, had he ever come back into her life.
I accepted, and began seeing other women. I've been with two other girls while I was with her, though she seemed to have her jealous moments, which confused me a lot.
It wasn't until her ex gave her a call and she started seeing us both at the same time, that I understood her jealousy. I felt a bit bad for a while, but got used to it. I'd ask all the wrong questions at first: "Do you love him more than me?" "Am I your back-up plan?" It was pretty pathetic. But I was still very new to polyamory, and couldn't fully grasp the concept.
Months went by, things were fine and we grew even closer. I went on vacation and hooked up with an old love, something she'd encouraged. Her only jealous moments related to the bedroom, as she was conscious of her "performance." Of course, I always assured her I was more than satisfied, even if we were in an exclusive relationship.
Everything was perfect for a while. She seemed happy, and so was I. She loved her ex very much, and I accepted that. I wouldn't change that about her, which justifies this being a polyamorous relationship, and not just an open one where the concern is physical, and not matters of the heart.
She went on vacation back to her home town in Florida about a month ago. I've been in touch with her every day and I can truly feel her love. I wouldn't dare ask the stupid questions I asked her before, because I knew they were so pointless and far from the truth.
I called her a couple of hours ago. Her breath was heavy. She seemed distraught and lightheaded. She told me she'd been with someone, and I'd called just as they were in the middle of sex. Why she picked up the phone, I don't know.
At first I was fine. Then I sat there for a minute and felt it again. The jealousy took me over. I kept asking and saying to myself: "Why did she need to do that?" "Didn't she say she hated this guy?" "She sounded so out of breath, he must be good."
Here I am now, not able to think of anything but her and him and what they're probably up to this very moment, about her just falling asleep right next to him, waking up the next morning with him, spending the rest of her vacation in that bed.
It's driving me nuts.
I really want polyamory to work with me, and not for my own selfish reasons, but for her to be happy as well. I just can't let myself feel jealous anymore.
Maybe I'm feeling this way because I haven't talked to her properly in a couple of days, and that she's miles away.
All I know is I'm not happy with how I feel. Hearing your stories, reflections, and advice is all I can ask for now. In this conservative town, there's no one to talk to who could understand me or her.
Why do I not mind her sharing her heart, yet feel so terrible when I know she's sharing her body?
Thanks for reading,
In my experience, genuinely wanting poly and believing wholeheartedly in the ideology of it doesn't mean that all discomforts just get switched off immediately. In my case, I'm the one who knew I was poly for years and tried to steer my husband in that direction, and now that we're finally there we both feel like it was the best decision we ever made for our marriage. And yet, even as the one who encouraged it, it's still a process to be totally comfortable with hearing about him and other women after all these years. I don't feel jealousy, and I do genuinely feel excited and happy for him. And yet, there are still insecurities and discomforts, too. I think that's really human. Even if our hangups about sharing our partners are all just a result of social conditioning, they're still pretty deeply ingrained in us, and we can't always just shake them off overnight. I think the important thing is to not beat yourself up for how you feel, allow yourself to have those feelings and work through them. And personally I think it's always fair to let your girlfriend know that you want less detail at this particular point, and that you're not comfortable with her doing something like picking up the phone in the middle of sex. I like to know who my partners are seeing, and it's important to me that they're totally willing to give me however much detail I ask for, but at the same time I'm really not in a place where I'm comfortable hearing too much sexual detail just yet. I'm a bit insecure physically and sexually, and while I don't at all fear losing either of my partners to someone else, I still have a difficult time not feeling inadequate when I actually imagine them naked with someone else. I have to imagine that's not terribly uncommon.
I don't think you should necessarily doubt your ability to be happily poly just because you're working through these discomforts right now. Don't be afraid to tell your girlfriend what pace is comfortable for you when it comes to hearing about sex, and keep rereading all the reassuring things here! What you're experiencing sounds pretty normal to me. Good luck!
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