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-   -   I sure could use a mentor (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=3457)

corrigant 08-14-2010 12:40 AM

I sure could use a mentor
Let me sum up the scenario. Im a 36 year old male (Tracy), engaged to a 30 year old female (Claire). We have been in a mono relationship for a year and half since we met. About 4 weeks ago, an old flame of hers visited town and she realized she was still in love with him. She asked to go poly and be with him as opportunities arise (we live in Texas and he lives in California). I agreed to give it a try and she has made plans to visit him in late November. We are both committed to being each others primary, getting married and having a family.

Now the fun begins.... Part of me loves the idea and can not dream of restricting her from experiencing such a wonderful love. I have little desire to be in another relationship, but I do love the idea of being free to experience new things. The flip side, is the part of me that is freaking the fuck out about all of this. I've had lots of ups and downs and am consistently struggling with my underlying fears and insecurities. I have seen some of these fears face to face and others are too afraid to come out. I'm trying to be loving and accepting of these parts of me and I believe that is the only way to address them. The hardest part is that these fears and insecurities in question, when left unchecked, tell some really bad stories that generate a lot of negative emotions that are negatively impacting my relationship with Claire.

I have tried to talk to Claire about it, but she appears to have some serious guilt issues and internalizes my feelings, blames herself and becomes uncommunicative after a few minutes. We are practicing with non-violent communications and imago dialog, but these are taking some time to practice with our tight schedules. We are also working with a counselor that is open to Polyamory. I have realized that these are my own issues and that Claire can do nothing but satiate my dysfunctions. This has made it easier to not talk about my shit until we can work out an effective communications process.

In the mean time, I still have these negative feelings that are just out of reach for me to come to terms with and I'm feeling pretty unloved in our relationship. I feel lost and alone on a regular basis. I want to be with Claire, I want her to have this other love and I want the growth potential I can see for myself by overcoming my insecurities. I just don't know how to get there. I could really use some exercises, practical techniques and guidance to coming to terms with this.


sage 08-14-2010 02:01 AM

Hi and welcome
Although I don't quite understand all of what you are saying e.g. the negative stories. It sounds as if you seem to be going through a jealously crisis. This is my own term for what seems to hit most of us on a polyamorous path at some point. Usually sooner rather than later.

For me the pain was so bad that I didn't even recognize it as jealousy, just pure agony. It came in waves and each wave was significantly less painful than the first.

You'll find lots of support here, infact I kinda look on this whole forum as being my mentor. But if you want someone one on one feel free to message me.

Initially anyway it sounds to me as if this could be quite a healthy thing for your relationship. Polyamory forces you to learn how to communicate with your partner and from your post it seems that this is where you need to start.

corrigant 08-14-2010 02:46 AM

Thanks for your input Sage. We definitely need to learn to communicate more openly and effectively and we are on that path. My concern is that my negative thoughts about Poly will sabotage our relationship before we learn to communicate and work through it.

I guess I'm looking for advice about how to cope with my jealousy from someone that has been through it. At the moment, my jealousy is building momentum and I don't like where it is going.

FitChick 08-14-2010 04:03 AM

What are your fears? When I first became involved with my partner,I was scared I would lose him to someone else,that fear still arises every now and then,you need to express your fears with your girlfriend and discuss them. I know the communication is hard but it truly does help. :)

sage 08-14-2010 04:13 AM

Yep, I agree with fitchick.

Get all those fears down on paper and look at them. Only then can you start to do deal with them.
Your fears are valid and being afraid to get them out into the open just causes them to fester and make the whole thing worse.

Breathesgirl 08-14-2010 03:21 PM


Awesome site, lots of great advice with a side of humor.

When jealousy rears its ugly head (& it IS ugly for me when it happens) my need to lash out must be handled with kid gloves. I find I need MORE alone time in order to figure out what started the jealousy again. I reread xeromag, I journal, I do things to take my mind off the problem for a while since I find that sometimes NOT thinking about the problem helps me to 1. relax & 2. formulate a coping strategy until it can be overcome.

Somewhere in all of that I talk with Breathes & explain, to the best of my befuddled brain's abilities, the problem. He is able to see things from a different perspective without belittling my feelings about it. Between the two of us we manage to uncover the problem & bring it out into the light of day so it can be dealt with and banished.

This is by no means an easy or painless process. It takes time & lots of introspection. It is hard to face one's fears but it is so worth the end result.

Ariakas 08-14-2010 03:45 PM

I agree with what everyone has said, but I also think having her travel to see him is a lot of added stress. Its not something I personally would consider as a "first" date. It leaves your brain to go wild with jealousy and what if scenarios.

Secondly, where does HE stand? Is he interested in sharing her? This could help with jealousy. Understanding his motives for enterring into a poly relationship with her. It might also help with your jealousy.

She will go through some suffering. Check out my blog in the lifestyles section. I was brutalized by emotional upheaval at the idea of being poly. I know it existed out there, but didn' tknow I could love more than one. That had a real affect on me

Good luck


sage 08-14-2010 08:19 PM

You've received lots of good advice. Now you just have to work on it but you are going to need the support of your partner. Try and get her to have a look on this forum, or better still participate herself. She needs to understand that if she wants to pursue a polyamorous relationship and retain what she has with you she is going to have to work hard at communicating with you and not withdraw into her own guilt. I don't quite understand what you mean by "satiate my dysfunction"? On re-reading your initial post I think you are taking far too much of this upon yourself. Maybe stop looking upon yourself as dysfunctional and start seeing yourself as a brave loving person who has the emotional intelligence to try and give your loved one what she wants in life. Most of the population can't get anywhere near this. The gift you are giving her is big stuff, never forget that.

Best of Luck:)

redpepper 08-15-2010 01:34 AM

i'm wondering if you have met this guy. Often a lot of fear diminishes when people meet each other. It often turns out they aren't the crazed lunatic that are thought of in our heads... even if you meet on line and talk that would help. Chances are you have some stuff in common, at least your fears, apprehensions and jealousy perhaps?

This site has tons of great advice and stories of others that are similar to you. I suggest doing a search in the tags or otherwise to see if you can find some support... this site for me has been a great mentor too. :)

Vexxed 08-15-2010 05:03 AM

I've been struggling with insecurity for months now. I've improved a little, but I'm still not out of the woods.

I not only met my partner's other boyfriend, and her husband, but I moved in and began to rent a room from her boyfriend. At first, I wasn't intimidated by him. I got to know him, and started to think that he was quite an impressive guy. So, getting to know him didn't help me.

I second the suggestion to read a bit on xeromag.com

I would also recommend reading the book Radical Honesty. I'm reading it now, and it is helping me, particularly his recommended list of questions that couples should ask each other to build and keep intimacy regarding sex and relationships. He even mentions that it doesn't matter if your relationship is mono or poly, that his questions still alleviate stress and build intimacy.

I need help with insecurity too, so I don't want to try and give any more advice at the moment.

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