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-   -   my jealousy is related to males (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4240)

nto 11-17-2010 11:51 AM

my jealousy is related to males
I have no idea why. Women, I can be happy for her, I miss her when she's gone, but I'm not upset. After about 4 years of polyamory, she's started developing a stronger interest in men. And I'm not doing well.

Every time she even did something dating like towards a guy, trying to set up a date, texting a lot, or what have you, and I realize that she's interested in him (usually because she says so) I am immediately hostile to him. This includes a guy I was pretty cool with, I just wanted to hurt him, either physically or verbally. Not being out of my mind, and knowing it's not reasonable, I didn't. And the second it didn't work out, and he decided not to (without being aware of my feelings) the anger was gone.

I have no idea why. I'm not afraid of her leaving, but when she went out on a date, I drank. It helped, but not something I can keep up.

So what do I do? I guess the best phrase I can think of is that when it's a woman, it doesn't feel like cheating. I never said I was ok with guys, she just wasn't interested until about 4 years in. As she says, her needs have changed, and my feelings very much have not.

girlcaleb 11-17-2010 01:20 PM

You are not alone on this one. My guy has some of the same issues. He hasn't admitted it yet and I am not sure how I should handle it. The only difference with me is that I've never told my guy that I was only into girls. He has known that I wanted other guys from the start. Have you talked to her at all yet or are you waiting for better advice on what to do? Does she know about your feelings when it comes to these other men?

nto 11-17-2010 02:10 PM

She knows, I've told her I won't tell her to stop until I HAVE to, but she knows mostly how I feel. She feels guilty, but feels like she needs to. She feels like it's part of herself, and feels hurt because she tried so hard to be ok with me being with another woman. I'm trying, I really am. but I'm having a damn hard time with it.

I am bouncing between what to do. Sometimes, I think I'm getting better. Then I find out that she talked to him for hours while I was at work (A reasonable thing to do, I think) and it bothers me until, well, it's 9 am and I am drunk. I know it's my hang up. I know I need to try to work through it, but I really don't know what to do. I'm posting on a hidden screen name on a site she doesn't know so it won't hurt her, but wtf do I do? What helps with what feels like a natural limit?

And what worries me is I am scrambling for reasons, and I still have no idea why it bothers me. Past thoughts include: the time we were on a break and she fooled around with another guy, the fact that I spent years as the omega male (the opposite of the alpha male) and don't want to go back to that, the fact that I really don't like myself that much, the fact that I never agreed to her dating males, the most I can do is not tell her no, the fact that I don't feel like I have a choice without being insanely unfair, or something else. Most of these are my problems, not hers. I don't know what to do, but with her talking to the guy this much, I feel like I am on a damn hard time limit to figure it out. I do NOT want to say stop to what has become a serious, intimate, emotional relationship if at ALL POSSIBLE, but that means I need to figure out what I feel and what I need DAMN FAST.

GroundedSpirit 11-17-2010 02:54 PM


Originally Posted by nto (Post 52882)
......... the fact that I spent years as the omega male (the opposite of the alpha male) and don't want to go back to that, the fact that I really don't like myself that much, the fact that I never agreed to her dating males, the most I can do is not tell her no, the fact that I don't feel like I have a choice without being insanely unfair,

Hey NTO,

Sounds like you are really struggling with accepting poly as a reality at all. Especially for yourself.
You may not be cut out for it - at least at this point in your life. Too many of your own issues & insecurities that you need to work on. It's a full time job in itself.

The whole alpha/omega thing is a big tip off.

The only way that poly works is when we walk forward, as partners, with a loved one. There's no space for hierarchy there. We walk side by side with them and support them as best we can in their pursuit of happiness and love.

If we can't be a good partner - we need to get out of the way-until we can.


redpepper 11-17-2010 08:12 PM

I would suggest looking at your relationship towards men and what it is specifically that you have an issue with. Not for her, but for you. For your own growth.

If you didn't agree to this then its time to sit down and talk about boundaries again. What do you feel comfortable with? What would help her not feel guilty? What is she looking for specifically that the two of you could work on in your relationship? Where is the boundary line and how much do you feel both of you can move it?

Its all fluid and movable, but sometimes that takes time and patience and she needs to be patient.

In my relationships, I don't have the option of sexual relationships outside of my tribe with men, women I do. Men I can be intimate with but not involve sex. I have a boyfriend that I am not sexual with and two men that I am. I have a girl friend and the possiblility of other opportunities with men and women also in kink way.

My boundary agreements didn't come out of no where. They were discussed at length and always open for more discussion if they need adjusting because they aren't working for one of us. No one should feel uncomfortable and everyone should eventually feel safe and secure in what they have going on. That has worked for us anyways.

DaylightStirring 11-17-2010 08:35 PM

It's hard to come on here and tell you what you should and shouldn't feel. It sounds like using your own logic hasn't done much for your situation. But i want to give you props for really recognizing where you are and how you are feeling. You are owning the situation and that says a lot. You clearly love her and want the best for both of you!

I think your fears/insecurities are valid. They are a part of who you are. Sometimes feeling guilty or hiding from them will only make it worse. Poly to me is about allowing personal freedom with your emotions (to be free to love more) Instead of focusing on how bad you feel, try some exercises with your love. What makes you feel good about the situation. What are some good qualities you have? What are some good qualities these other men have? Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to make it better all at once, take baby steps.

It's important to keep your communication with her open about this too. Sharing with someone so close to you can sometimes help you relax a little. Remember you are doing this together.

Have you had experience in the bedroom with another man there?

nto 11-18-2010 03:58 AM

No, I haven't tried being there, mostly because I don't think I could. She talks about any guy she is thinking about dating (note: not crushing on. She can be interested, think they are cute, whatever, doesn't bother me a bit) and I start getting fist clenching angry. No idea why. I'm not gonna DO anything with the anger, but it would be just awesome to not be that angry.

My current strategy is to try to not be aware as much as possible. I don't want to know, la la la, fingers in ears. But she's excited. She wants to talk to him on the phone. Great. Guess I'll wait to go in that room. For a few hours. She wants to talk to our roommate about it. Great. Guess I'll leave the room then.

It's irritating, but it keeps the amount of time I am sitting there tensed up to a minimum. And I don't think it's gonna help me get over it.

I have all sorts of stupid changes running through my head. I could move out till she loses interest. I could just say I can't deal with polyamory. I could just say no men, but then I'm a dick, because she got over me being with another woman. I can drink. That last one, being temporary, has won a few times the last week.

I'm trying really damn hard to sort this out really damn fast. She can slow things down physically and such, but no one picks the speed feelings develop, and I'm gonna feel like a real dick if I can't get over it, but it took me a couple months to realize it, and strong feelings have developed.

Tonberry 11-18-2010 04:59 PM

It doesn't seem uncommon. Heck, even I was implicitly told I should feel free to see other women before I was even in a polyamorous relationship (I'm straight though, so tough luck!).

I think it's important for you to try and understand what your jealousy is telling you. You say you're angry, and apparently at the other guys. Are you feeling like they're praying on her? Like they will hurt her? Like they're trying to take something away from you?

I think if you manage to identify what exactly is causing these feelings, it will be easier to deal with them because you will be able to contrast them with facts.

nto 11-18-2010 07:24 PM

It's not that I am afraid they will hurt her, although I obviously don't want that. If I seriously thought that they would hurt her, I'd say no on that grounds, and not feel bad, or at least not like I should try to do differently.

Honestly, for whatever reason, she tries to date a guy, and suddenly my emotions revert to caveman. "THREAT! VIOLENCE!" (Once again restating that I'm not gonna hurt anyone, just how I feel.)

I can make a really good case to myself for about 3 different reasons, good enough that I believe it myself, and am pretty sure that's why, but if I can do that with 3 different reasons, then I'm probably just rationalizing. Which is pretty useless when trying to fix it.

I could make a perfectly good case that it's fear and insecurity. I could make the case that I'm an asshole, and it's a territory thing, and that's mine. I could make a case for it being simple jealousy. I've pretty well convinced myself of each of these in turn, which is a fun set of emotions and realizations.

For example, the arguement for jealousy is based on the fact that I can't get and stay mad at women very well anyways. The thought of yelling at or even worse violence towards them is so deeply ingrained that I can't be mad at women for very long, even when I am pretty sure I was right. So is it then just jealousy, but I am screwed up towards women, and so I just don't feel it? If so, the jealousy would be the NORMAL part of all this.

One of my favorite phrases is it always seems sane from the inside. I can't tell what is wrong with me, so I can't work on it in any way that matters.

Tonberry 11-18-2010 07:50 PM

I don't see why there can't be more than one reason. For instance, jealousy caused by fear and insecurity.

Then the question becomes, what exactly are you afraid of? What's making you feel insecure?

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