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Indigomontoya 07-16-2010 08:23 PM

Problems with (My) Polyamory
 
Here's a brief bio: I'm a 29 year old, straight male. My fiancé and I have been together over 2 years, and we have opened our relationship up about 6 months ago. Prior to that we were in the building trust stage of our relationship, and I knew when we started dating that she was poly and it was something she needed, but she was willing to wait for me. We initially opened to women (for her, she's bi) and then through introspection I gave the go ahead to open it up all the way; it not being fair for me to ask her to repress or partially repress part of herself for my benefit. Once the floodgates were open, she went a little crazy (which she has since apologized for) and has settled into the idea of a poly rather than an open relationship.

I agreed to all this mainly because I don't believe in random encounters nor do I believe anyone can be everything to one person, and I feel better if she had an OSO (proper term?) that had been established on a friendship first. Also I love her with everything I am, so for me it was not right for her to repress part of who she is. I have always been a mono and I agreed because I feel that being poly will force me to address baggage I have been carrying around with regards to others leaving or being replaced (one of which was another fiancé) and issues of self-worth and confidence lest I deal with them forever. So I am dealing with my own self-worth and inadequacy issues.

So after several others (term needed please) that were not considered to be OSO material for various reasons not going to be discussed here. She has found a guy that makes her happy, which is fantastic. However, and it's a big however, there's issues now with my jealousy, anxiety and anger; and it's any time she goes out. I never had an issue with the physical aspect of it: have a shower, it cleans off and then I can "remark my territory"

Now we have established guidelines and rules for permissions for overnight stays, house privileges, dog privileges (she decided that she would ask if it's okay to take our dog to the park with the OSO since she is my little girl) and the list goes on; we discuss openly concerns or new guidelines (since I'm a recovering mono, and she hasn't had any other partner allow her to explore this) and have the great mentality that if for this to work we both have to be happy in it.

To this other gentleman's credit he has put our relationship beyond his own wants/needs and acted in nothing but an outstanding manner. He and I have agreed to meet but then my fiancé is petrified of a tug of war ensuing if she sits too close to him, or too close to me, or he touches her, or I touch her, say the wrong thing, etc. etc. I suggested maybe he just picks her up and I say hello at the door, shake his hand and break the ice as a start.

All that being said, back to my anxiety, which stems from fear of loss; my jealousy, which is the irrational fear, based jealousy manifesting in the pit of my stomach. This comes from the feeling that by her attention being given elsewhere and her affection (re: emotional affection) there's less for me. Now my rational brain says love isn't a finite commodity, but my reptile brain (the part with no reason or need for it) wants it all and any that goes anywhere else is at a loss to me! mine! mine! All mine!

I also believe part of the jealousy is that she has found it so easy to find willing participants (term please) in the lifestyle and I am having a heck of a time finding any at all. Which I am sure is common, but if anyone has any ideas of how to break the coming out part to a potential interest. Right now I have been waffling using Plenty of Fish, keeping that I am in an open relationship in my profile, taking it out. Getting hate mail from it, people not reading it and freaking out when I mention it, etc. etc. etc.

The anger is my rational brain reasserting itself in some way, as I get angry with myself for being irrational and then lash out. To this end I have been using the exposure therapy method where I don't force my anxiety away, try to control it, but let it come and dissipate on it's own. This has had limited success. So I am hoping that since I doubt this is a unique problem there are readers out there with insight to help move my personal growth along.

I'm not going anywhere, and neither is she. Our communication is open and honest, and our relationship is the best it's been ever. But I need for the sake of that to continue to fix what's wrong with me.

Thank you for reading the novel of a first post.

IM

immaterial 07-16-2010 08:36 PM

Brave soul! I read what you are saying as a journey for you into unconditional love, the best and the most difficult, IMO.

I am a strong believer in meeting all involved parties. I think it would lend clarity. It may remove some of your jealousy that is based only on imaginings. It may heighten some of your jealousy based on reality. :-) But at least your whirlwind of feelings will have a stronger basis in reality. Not all agree with me on this point and every situation is different.

The main thing that leaps out for me is a movement on your part to attribute your very real jealousy and anger to your lower nature. I personally would caution you in this. These feelings are actually be quite worthy of complete and total acknowledgment as coming from simply and precisely who you authentically are and what is really going on for you right now. The energy they carry and the information they bring are both probably essential for you to get the most out of what is happening. One of the Great Myths about poly is it is "more spiritually evolved" or "from the higher self" than mono, precisely because (supposedly) people feel compersion and not jealousy. This is hogwash, IMNSHO.

Look forward to hearing more!

Immaterial

MonoVCPHG 07-16-2010 09:24 PM

Everything that Immaterial just said! Nice:)

jkelly 07-17-2010 12:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indigomontoya (Post 36314)
my anxiety, which stems from fear of loss; my jealousy, which is the irrational fear, based jealousy manifesting in the pit of my stomach. This comes from the feeling that by her attention being given elsewhere and her affection (re: emotional affection) there's less for me. Now my rational brain says love isn't a finite commodity, but my reptile brain (the part with no reason or need for it) wants it all and any that goes anywhere else is at a loss to me! mine! mine! All mine!

Many people find the jealousy articles at http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html helpful.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indigomontoya (Post 36314)
she has found it so easy to find willing participants (term please) in the lifestyle and I am having a heck of a time finding any at all. Which I am sure is common, but if anyone has any ideas of how to break the coming out part to a potential interest.

I think Pepper's article at http://freaksexual.wordpress.com/200...e-big-picture/ is really good.

I understand that OkCupid is rather poly- friendly. You may do better there than at the site you are using.

EugenePoet 07-17-2010 01:30 AM

I agree with jkelly, OkCupid is more poly-friendly. Also, you can search on the term "poly" or "polyamorous" and find people who have mentioned it in their profile.

I second the honesty part. When I was on OKC I had a paragraph about me dating a poly woman, and while I'm sure it cut my responses by at least 90% the ten percent that remained were the interesting ones anyway.

As far as jealousy, anxiety, and angst go...yes. That's something both men and women experience when their partner is poly. Believe me, you ain't alone. I don't know any cure, but familiarity with the situation and especially with the guy involved as a secondary may bring those feelings to gradually subside.

I can tell from your writing that you're thoughtful, coherent, and rational. Those qualities are a great help, man! But as you yourself say, emotions come from somewhere else. You have to have feelings, though, or you're dead.

My poly (ex?) girlfriend had me meet her husband and we had a very pleasant time. One key was the sense of generosity and intelligence with which they both deal with poly. Also, we automatically refrained from touching or showing physical affection in each other's presence -- politeness, but also a way of respecting each other. That might work for you guys, especially since the gentleman seems to be, in fact, a gentleman.

redpepper 07-17-2010 07:10 AM

I would suggest that you do a search on here for what you are looking for and do tons of reading on it. There is a world of experience and thoughts on this forum that might help.

Indigomontoya 07-17-2010 04:57 PM

Thanks for all the advice. I think even just putting down the situation and how I was feeling helped a great deal.

I really like the idea of initially just a handshake and a "have fun kids!" at the door when he picks up fiancée from our house to break the barrier. Although after posting yesterday, and my fiancée reading my post (+ points to whomever figures out who she is) he and I actually bonded while she was talking to him on instant messenger. It was quite a good experience since we were discussing nerdy common interests (who's our favourite doctor, who are our favourite characters on BSG) and she had absolutely no clue what we were talking about, she was just the relay. Overall just posting and actually getting into words what I was thinking helped, and the bonding did too.

I really believe in the advice of immaterial that I need to acknowledge rather than debase my feelings. I just cannot allow them to overwhelm and control me. I cannot thank you enough for the articles Jkelly, especially Pepper's, it was and is a great help.

I'll keep you posted and go from there.

IM

inlovewith2 07-17-2010 11:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indigomontoya (Post 36314)
Quote:

I agreed to all this mainly because I don't believe in random encounters nor do I believe anyone can be everything to one person, and I feel better if she had an OSO (proper term?) that had been established on a friendship first. Also I love her with everything I am, so for me it was not right for her to repress part of who she is. So I am dealing with my own self-worth and inadequacy issues.
You have some great foundational principles here, imo. And you are a brave soul!

Quote:

However, and it's a big however, there's issues now with my jealousy, anxiety and anger; and it's any time she goes out.
These feelings are normal and even arguably healthy (not to say not experiencing them is unhealthy). What would you expect of yourself? I just admitted to my dh that I would be a puddle on the floor if I were him right now. We have a lot of mono messages fed to us for years! Why wouldn't we have some insecurity when that "foundation" is shaken?

Quote:

I never had an issue with the physical aspect of it: have a shower, it cleans off and then I can "remark my territory"
And others (my dh for example) can handle the emotional intimacy seemingly with ease, but it's the physical that makes them ill. We are all different! The trick is to validate your feelings and have open discourse about them with your fiancee.

Quote:

we discuss openly concerns or new guidelines (since I'm a recovering mono, and she hasn't had any other partner allow her to explore this) and have the great mentality that if for this to work we both have to be happy in it.
That is a great mentality, imnsho! Have you read "Opening Up"? I'm about 2/3 of the way through, and think it might be helpful in helping you address many of the concerns you list here.


Quote:

To this other gentleman's credit he has put our relationship beyond his own wants/needs and acted in nothing but an outstanding manner. He and I have agreed to meet but then my fiancé is petrified of a tug of war ensuing if she sits too close to him, or too close to me, or he touches her, or I touch her, say the wrong thing, etc. etc. I suggested maybe he just picks her up and I say hello at the door, shake his hand and break the ice as a start.
Sure it's nerve-wracking for her, but what about you? Fwiw, DW and I discussed this and he and my oso decided to meet just themselves. This has pros and cons like any other arrangement I should think, but at least there was no "tug of war" fears. Or you could set guidelines ahead of time like no physical contact. Ftr, I agree with something another forum member said a while back; that the deference goes to the "primary", but that's me. And if that's *you* as well, say so!


Quote:

All that being said, back to my anxiety, which stems from fear of loss; my jealousy, which is the irrational fear, based jealousy manifesting in the pit of my stomach. This comes from the feeling that by her attention being given elsewhere and her affection (re: emotional affection) there's less for me. Now my rational brain says love isn't a finite commodity, but my reptile brain (the part with no reason or need for it) wants it all and any that goes anywhere else is at a loss to me! mine! mine! All mine!
All completely normal!!!!!! Our rational brains aren't the be all and end all, but in this case it's right ;). I kid you not, I love my dh more now that I love another as well! Go figure. See, love isn't a quantifiable thing and it doesn't follow some kind of linear equation.

Quote:

I also believe part of the jealousy is that she has found it so easy to find willing participants (term please) in the lifestyle and I am having a heck of a time finding any at all. Which I am sure is common, but if anyone has any ideas of how to break the coming out part to a potential interest. Right now I have been waffling using Plenty of Fish, keeping that I am in an open relationship in my profile, taking it out. Getting hate mail from it, people not reading it and freaking out when I mention it, etc. etc. etc.
Also totally normal! DW and I have found that he seems to have the toughest time when things are going "well" for me and not so great for him. He still feels like he's mono through and through, but is giving dating a shot. He hasn't wanted to kiss anyone, etc. and has had fears that this indicates some failure on his part. It doesn't, anymore than my being poly indicates a failure on my part! My mantra of late? It is what it is!!!! It's remarkably applicable to all kinds of situations.

Quote:

The anger is my rational brain reasserting itself in some way, as I get angry with myself for being irrational and then lash out. To this end I have been using the exposure therapy method where I don't force my anxiety away, try to control it, but let it come and dissipate on it's own. This has had limited success. So I am hoping that since I doubt this is a unique problem there are readers out there with insight to help move my personal growth along.
I don't know that I can be helpful being the poly person in a poly/mono relationship, but I think the exposure method has some merit, *if* you are at a point where it can be effective. Honestly, I think the idea of meeting him is the best form of it, because like I think Redpepper said, then you get to see that he is human, etc.

Quote:

I'm not going anywhere, and neither is she. Our communication is open and honest, and our relationship is the best it's been ever. But I need for the sake of that to continue to fix what's wrong with me.
You'll have to forgive the therapist in me here, but our words can be powerful. Why do you say there is something "wrong" with you? You are working it out, doing the best you can to make it work for the sake of your partner and your relationship; what's wrong with that? You have some feelings that suck and hurt like hell I imagine, but they aren't "wrong", they *are*. Give them their due attention and keep on with the awesome commitment you both have!

I wish you the best of luck!!!!

Christie

TruckerPete 07-19-2010 05:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Indigomontoya (Post 36451)
... after posting yesterday, and my fiancée reading my post (+ points to whomever figures out who she is) ...

It's me! +1 to me! Buahahahahaha!

In all seriousness though, thank you everyone. You've been a tremendous help and the articles posted by jkelly, especially Pepper's, were great. Who'd have thought my fiancé had a Valley of the Dolls idea going on? He's certainly had it easy with me for the last two years. :p

We did have a bit of a rough week, but for ultimately good reasons. Talk, cry, talk, cry some more, reaffirm we're not going anywhere. Rinse, repeat.

We've also been discovering that others' posts, while not directly related to our issues, have hidden gems of wisdom in them! So for any and all out there, keep reading, because you're sure to find relief in unexpected places.

Indigo and Mr. A have continued to have conversations through me, and might just be figuring out that there's a shared sense of humour. I think that Indigo's effort to overcome negative feelings and get to know Mr. A has been the most encouraging, open-minded thing he could've done.

And hun, though you may not be where you want to be, so long as we're working together and talking, we're exactly where we should be.

redpepper 07-19-2010 10:38 PM

Hey, what do you mean. "valley of the dolls" idea? Just that someone else I know said that recently and I didn't get it. Does it have anything to do with Russ Meyers movies?


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