My partner of 10 years and I recently started to date another woman. The other woman has been good friends with my partner for about 5 years and I've never had any jealousy over the friendship. Once we all became sexually involved I became very threatened by their established friendship and I felt like I was going to be pushed out. Neither one of them did anything to make me believe that I couldn't trust them, but my insecurites got the best of me. After feeling like I was losing control over the situation I decided to call things off with the other women without consulting my primary partner. How do I deal with jealousy and envy that I feel? I now realize I have no good reason to feel this way other than myself being paranoid and expecting the worse rather than the best. My primary partner is now trying to decide if she wants to be with me if I cant trust her. I can I overcome these feelings in order to make things work and move foward?
Welcome to the forum (nice name, haha),
Well, you know? I think the whole idea of trusting another human being 100% is complete crap. I don't genuinely believe we can even trust ourselves 100% - could you ever say you would *never* do something?
I understand that your girlfriend's feelings are hurt - you've spent a decade together and she feels that, by now, you should trust her.
The way I see it is this (presuming your issues aren't with her, as you say):
- it's not her you mistrust; it's this new situation
- when you first learn to swim, do you trust the water? when you first learn to ride a bike, do you trust two wheels? I sure as hell didn't. Trust is a learning process. You learn from living it.
- you are/were also learning to trust a new lover: regardless of their longterm friendship, this was new
- on top of this, you're learning to deal with dating other people, as a couple. Ending it with your third without discussing it was a mistake. Own that, admit it, apologise for it. Mistakes can be forgiven.
One crucial point to make to your girlfriend, if you genuinely believe that is was nothing to do with her is this:
It wasn't MISTRUST of her that made you freak out. It was YOUR OWN INSECURITIES grabbing you by the throat. It was all to do with you. Your GF was likely to be much more comfortable, because she'd known this friend for years. She might not have so many insecurities - or, she might not have any that have been triggered in this situation.
Things to look at for the future:
- do you still want to be poly?
- does GF still want to be poly?
- if yes, do you still want to be poly with that particular woman?
- control: it's a motivating factor for many of us. You've recognised very quickly that it was lack of *control* that freaked you out. Take a good look at that and see what you can do about it. I'm a Domme - I'm all about control. Great in sex. Not great in my relationships. The best method for me? To completely let go of control - myself and my girlfriend dating and operating as autonomous people
- guidelines: do you girls have any? would you like some? guidelines aren't about control - they're about positive agreements.... things that you put in place to *promote* longterm freedom by making it easier on each other; not things that are put in place to make you feel better by *restricting* freedom
(wild examples plucked out of the air = limit one-on-one dates with third to (x) times per week, for first three months. promotes longterm freedom by stopping things from getting crazy whilst everything is new. // we have our own solo date (x) times per week. very important to keep the love and lust flowing. // any issues between us and third should be discussed together first, unless it really doesn't affect our relationship // whatever else you might think would be healthy)
- insecurity: what specifically bothers you? third girl might be more fun, more of a laugh, better to talk to, closer to your girl than you are, more attractive to your girl than you are, equally as important as you are in your girl's eyes? something else? once you've narrowed it down, outline those things to her
After ten years, it would be rash for your lady to cut and run at the first hurdle. Sure, you cut and run regarding your Third - but you didn't cut and run on your 10 year relationship. Poly is damn hard, especially to begin with, there are few rulebooks, we all act like complete tools sometimes, but with work, it can be amazing. Everyone has to be willing to do that work. It's not all about you dealing (or making rash decisions ;) ) on your own - and it's not about your lady deciding, for herself, that it all comes down to trust. You know your own mind - explore it and communicate it. Hopefully she will understand.
As for getting over the insecurity issues; don't expect it to happen overnight. Everyone's different, but from a personal perspective, it's taken *me* two years to get to a relatively comfortable point in poly. Though, that's in a two year relationship. You guys have a 10 year foundation; so you might feel much better, much more quickly.
Remember that there's absolutely NOTHING wrong with recognising your insecurities. We are born perfect, then life fucks us right up ;) Actually, God, some of us aren't born perfect. Then life carries on messing with us! When you feel a twinge, it means your insecurities are in the spotlight, wailing and scratching at the walls like a glittering Robert Pattinson in the direct sun. It doesn't make you wrong for seeing them - it's a GOOD thing. If you see them, you can overcome them.
Do lots of reading and research. This article is amazing and pages 5 and 6 are really good starting points for both of you:
I really identify with Sternberg's theory of love. It helped me immensely, when nothing else seemed to work. The idea is that all love is different. New love may have different elements to old love. The fact that it's all different means that nobody is going to be exactly the same as you in your lady's eyes, at exactly the same point in time. If your lady feels that glorious 'consummate' love for you - even better. No new person can compare to this straight away: and that gives you time to get comfortable, whether they ever reach that stage or not:
There's a great website called More Than Two (.com, I think). Books - The Ethical Slut and... ah, crap. I've forgotten the other one. But somewhere on the main page of this forum is a sticky with links to reading lists.
I hope this helps! Let us know how you get on and feel very free to reply to this with any further talk.
Thank you so much. Your reply was very helpful and had also given me more to work with. I'm currently focusing on self love and self growth which i believe well help tremendously. Thanks for the resources i will definitely be reading those. I will continue to post on the situation any advice is welcome. I have apologized to both partners for my shortcomings and let then know that it was my own insecurites and not anything either one did that led to my rash decisions. I recognize that now and am more than willing to work on it regardless of the outcome. Fingers crossed they come around.
Hi and welcome.
I am not sure I understand your situation. You and your longterm partner jumped into polyamory by inviting and embracing sexually and romantically, one of her best platonic friends?
What is this like? Living together? Seeing each other how often? Sex/dates only between all 3 of you at once, or are separate sex and dates allowed?
Many couples new to poly decide to start out with inviting a 3rd to join them. This is usually a big mistake. Thinking sharing a partner will prevent jealousy is actually not the case.
Of course you're jealous. Your primary partner has a 5 year relationship with this woman. You're on the fringe. Also, the new gf has to build a romantic relationship with both of you at once? This is difficult to say the least.
I hope that they do come around; unless anything else is going on, I can't see why it needs to be "one strike and you're out". My fingers are crossed for you, too.
I think that what you are saying sounds great - self work is always a good thing.
I'd love to hear how this goes for you and what the outcome of this is.
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