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pillowsock 04-20-2014 09:43 PM

a lil help
First off, thanks for being the supportive group that you are!

So here goes, I've recently wound up in a relationship with a girl in which we are incredibly in love with each other. Previously, I had been very fed up with feeling trapped in my mono relationships. The girl also has a strong aversion to monogamy. We both agree that monogamy is usually unhealthy and often destined for failure for all the reasons that you are all very aware of. So we both want our relationship to be as open as possible.

Here is the problem: I can't shake the fact that I don't feel good about her being with other people. It's not a question of me not wanting this kind of relationship or not wanting her to be happy. It's also not a question of whether or not I'm in touch with what causes me to feel this way. I know that a lot of it comes from deep fears and insecurities of inadequacy and ultimately of being left. I really do hate that I feel this way but I cannot help it. It's at times excruciating.

What to do...?

Marcus 04-20-2014 10:13 PM


Originally Posted by pillowsock (Post 265156)
I know that a lot of it comes from deep fears and insecurities of inadequacy and ultimately of being left. I really do hate that I feel this way but I cannot help it. It's at times excruciating.

So that I'm clear, your anxiety is about what could happen in the theoretical future if your partner ends up dating someone? Your partner is not currently dating anyone?

Jealousy (fear of someone taking something that you hold dear) is basically rooted in pessimistic future telling.
1. You cannot see the future.
2. What evidence do you have to enforce your opinion that your girlfriend is going to leave you?
I suggest laying out the evidence you have at your disposal for the second part. Is your girlfriend dissatisfied with you? Has she displayed that she intends on leaving you? Or do you have evidence to the contrary? Rationalize your jealousy, force it to stand against scrutiny, discuss it frankly (and with NO BLAME) with your partner. Many times if the "boogy man" lenses are taken away from jealousy it turns out to just be pessimistic paranoia and will disappear. Practice this and it will become more and more of an instinct for you.

SchrodingersCat 04-20-2014 10:45 PM

If you have abandonment issues or anything like that, you probably need therapy / counselling to work through them. There's only so much you can do with self-help. A professional can teach you coping techniques for the present, and acceptance techniques for the past.

To some extent, abandonment issues can never be completely cured. Gralson was adopted, so his first experience in life was being abandoned. So fear of abandonment is not something he'll ever completely eliminate. However, you can learn not to allow your fears to dominate your behaviour. You can do things, even though they scare you, and gradually learn by observation that your fears are just fears, not predictions.

GalaGirl 04-20-2014 11:33 PM


I know that a lot of it comes from deep fears and insecurities of inadequacy and ultimately of being left.
So are you looking to learn to live with it and reduce it to a lower volume? Or eliminate it? What are you willing to do? See a counselor? Something else?

If you are approaching polyamory mainly because you believe this


We both agree that monogamy is usually unhealthy and often destined for failure for all the reasons that you are all very aware of
that reasoning seems more like "NOT monogamy" rather than "FOR poly" to me.

What are your other reasons for not wanting monoshipping?(Everyone is different.) Could they also apply to polyshipping? Is reconciling that something you could need to do so you can achieve your goal of becoming more secure in a polyship?

For example, if you believe monogamy never works because people eventually cheat, you have to reconcile that fact that sometimes people in polyships cheat also. It isn't the shape of the relationship but the person doing the cheating breaking agreements.

I'm not saying cheating is RIGHT in either case. I'm saying it's going to feel hard to feel secure in a polyship if you haven't made peace with things like that being possible in BOTH monoships and polyships.

Are you feeling like both of you are entering the polyship with "one foot out the door" already? :(

How are you in the habit of talking to yourself? Do you talk down about you to you in your head? That could be another thing to work on to break so you can feel more secure in yourself.

Could this help any?



nycindie 04-21-2014 02:33 AM

You have been conditioned by society to view the possibility of a gf being with someone else as a negative, "bad" thing. Many of us have been taught that if someone we care for enjoys the company of another, it must mean we are inadequate or lacking in some way. These are just "tapes" playing in your head as a conditioned response to certain situations or triggers. We all have thoughts that come up in various situations only because we've been conditioned to think that way - and it is the thoughts that brings up certain feelings as a response.

Basically, you are starting at a good place because you are acknowledging these thoughts. Now your task is to see them but do not entertain them. Pay them no credence.

Marcus gave good advice on questioning the logic in your thought process. It may be that those thoughts never go away because they are so ingrained in us, but they do not have to be so loud, terrifying, and crippling. Eventually, by continuing to look at this stuff and getting to know your own thought process and logic system, you can recognize them for what they are and have some distance, as in, "Oh, there are those thoughts again telling me she shouldn't want to be with anyone." And then you occupy yourself with other things, something constructive, until those thoughts are just like a pattern of wallpaper, in the background and not getting in your way.

Knowledge is power, and self-knowledge can give us so much!

Eclipse 04-21-2014 03:05 AM

When it comes to getting a psychological kick in the ass, the simplest and most straightforward one is usually the right one. With total respect to everyone here, I had to snort and roll my eyes at the concept that you might need therapy or counseling.

Nycindie probably hit the nail on the head. You are brand new to poly, OF COURSE you are going to have jealousy issues. I went through these myself... both of my partners did, and sometimes we STILL do. There's nothing at all wrong with this, it's not necessarily unhealthy to feel these emotions, and you will find that as you get acclimated to this relationship and you feel out each other's boundaries, you will start to feel better about everything.

I want you to humor me with something... If you have never done so before, read The Pit and Pendulum, by Edgar Allen Poe. You don't need to read the entire thing, just the first half or so. I think that it presents a parable for any poly relationship. (Hell, or for relationships, period.) Note that the unnamed protagonist awakens to find himself alone and in the dark. His first overriding urge is to get a clear understanding of his boundaries. Only after he knows the exact dimensions of his prison will he be satisfied and ready to move on to other things. I love this image, because it speaks so greatly to me of human nature in general.

You are in the dark right now. You have not fully explored the parameters of your new poly relationship, and so the unknown (quite understandably) scares the shit out of you. Like Poe's protagonist, you are going to start exploring your confines, and once you have done that... you are going to start feeling better about them. (You might also point out that the protagonist very nearly died in doing this... that's an equally applicable lesson in itself... :) )

The big thing to keep in mind is that this is NOT abnormal. You are going to have crappy days in the big wide world of polyamory. You are going to have amazing days, too. But the same can be said for being mono, for what it's worth.

copperhead 04-21-2014 12:09 PM

Eclipse: I love your analogy :)

jayt 04-21-2014 12:27 PM

it could also be as simple as your needs are not yet filled... after a lot of time without female companionship.. I feel starved and want ALL of her attention for awhile... then it calms down.. kinda like "don't give my plate to someone else while I am still eating" ... (I grew up in a large family, and that really happened from time to time)

vanquish 04-21-2014 01:36 PM

+1 love for Eclipse's Poe ref.

1. Listen to the great advice above.
2. (This is going to sound cold.) Everyone knows someone who, when you're around them, you think "Wow. At least I'm not that guy/girl." You know one. Spend time with that person for about 15 minutes and remind yourself who you don't want to turn into.
3. Really think about your needs and fears. Then communicate them to your partner.
4. Go about fixing those needs and fears yourself with things to do, goals, entertainment...anything that improves you and moves you forward. If your partner loves you (which it sounds like she does) she'll move in your direction just when you need it the most.

SchrodingersCat 04-21-2014 05:48 PM


Originally Posted by Eclipse (Post 265179)
With total respect to everyone here, I had to snort and roll my eyes at the concept that you might need therapy or counseling.

Not everyone benefits, especially those who are convinced it's all bullshit. But I personally believe that everyone can benefit from therapy or counselling, if they have an open mind to it. It doesn't mean you're deeply disturbed or an emotional basketcase. It just means you're human and you have room for improvement. The most fucked up, toxic people I know are exactly the ones who think they don't need no damn therapist, they're just fine thank you very much.

A good counsellor (emphasis on the good) or life coach just gives you an objective view on your situation, with the ability to sit down and go back-and-forth in a way that something like an internet forum never would. You get to incorporate body language, which speaks so much more about our emotions than words ever will.

I agree that if it's just simple jealousy, that's one thing, and you can just deal with it. But "deep fears and insecurities of inadequacy" are not indicative of regular "everyone gets jealous" feelings, IMO.

To me, it's like the emotional equivalent of "go see a doctor." People on the internet can't diagnose whether that weird bump on your back is cancer or just a pimple. You need a professional to figure that out. If it's just a pimple and you go see a doctor, then you'll go home feeling silly but you'll be healthy. But if it's cancer and you don't go to a doctor because people on the internet said it's just a pimple, well then you've got problems.

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