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-   -   newcomer asking for some advice (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=959)

polishguy 10-14-2009 11:30 PM

newcomer asking for some advice
 
Hi,

I will say that I am new to the whole concept of polyamory, at least when it comes to me. I would describe myself as a "mono" who recently entered a serious relationship with a polyamorous woman who does not live in the same city.

I am asking some advice as I know very well my problem: insecurity. First this insecurity comes from my youth; years abuse of verbal, physical and sexual nature left me a being a shy person with low self-esteem. It took me years to be able to function in society in a manner that seems normal. But I still feel fear about disappointing or not being good enough all the time (and not just regarding relationships), though I am somewhat good at not letting it show too much.

We have an incredible relationship, extremely open and honest and we can frankly talk about anything, without judgment on either side. And she has been very forthcoming about her desires and I am quite accepting of them, because in the end, I know she cares deeply about me, as I care about her.

Now, it is important to also know I do not seek to control, manipulate or otherwise force her to make a choice in any way. I only know that would make her miserable and I would hate myself for it.

The irrational part of me fears a little that I will cease to be exciting or that she would pick someone over me however. I admitted to her that I am a little jealous about her going to visit someone, especially after a comment about looking forward to getting laid. Now, understand that I am not the violent type or the green eyed monster type that throws tantrums. I got angry twice in the last 16 years of living on my own (and for very justified reasons). I also do not want her to hide anything from me. Our entire relationship is based on truth and honesty. But part of me fears that I would say something misplaced or even hurtful to her. I have shared with her some of my fears as well and she reassures me that I am a fabulous and amazing person that treats her exceptionally well. What she calls flaws in herself, I call endearing. She also reassures me that the sex we have is off the charts so that I have nothing to fear or worry in that department. While she did not expect to enter a serious relationship for a long time (she recently got divorced), our relationship has progressed to the point she is happy to call me her boyfriend, so I guess I would be what you call her "primary".

Now, I know some of you might think of suggesting "well, why don't you try the poly thing too?". Just understand I am not very outgoing around strangers or people I do not know very well, and it takes herculean effort on my side to make a *move*. Once I get to know someone, I am totally okay with letting down my guard. It took on my side a lot of courage just to let this woman know that I was interested in her. I also know that I am free to try it, as she says she would be very happy to share me with another woman (with or without her being involved). And while I don't say it would be impossible that it happens, I think myself more towards the monogamous side (barring a threesome with another woman).

Again, I know most of these fears are completely irrational and unfounded and she has my total trust, but do you have any advice on how to deal with these fears I have.

JT
aka PolishGuy

Ceoli 10-15-2009 01:03 AM

My friend Franklin has a fabulous site that has a lot of great writings on it about polyamory (among many other things). He has a really good one on self esteem and being a secure person:

http://www.xeromag.com/fvpolypiano.html

Hope that helps.

ImaginaryIllusion 10-15-2009 01:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by polishguy (Post 9017)
Hi,

I am asking some advice as I know very well my problem: insecurity. First this insecurity comes from my youth; years abuse of verbal, physical and sexual nature left me a being a shy person with low self-esteem. It took me years to be able to function in society in a manner that seems normal. But I still feel fear about disappointing or not being good enough all the time (and not just regarding relationships), though I am somewhat good at not letting it show too much.

We have an incredible relationship, extremely open and honest and we can frankly talk about anything, without judgment on either side.

<snip>

The irrational part of me fears a little that I will cease to be exciting or that she would pick someone over me however. I admitted to her that I am a little jealous about her going to visit someone, especially after a comment about looking forward to getting laid.

<snip>

Now, I know some of you might think of suggesting "well, why don't you try the poly thing too?".

<snip>

Again, I know most of these fears are completely irrational and unfounded and she has my total trust, but do you have any advice on how to deal with these fears I have.

JT
aka PolishGuy

Hey JT,

With a certain bluntness that I don't use too too often, the first thing that came to mind is Counselling. Your fears, while admittedly irrational are probably deeply seated and aren't easily dislodged by yourself without the introspective tools that people don't have outside shaolin temples. :rolleyes:
Now that I've written this my wife will probably fire me a message on FB asking when I'm going to go for MINE! Nuts.

Anyways, other than that, all I can suggest is taking some time to address these concerns to yourself...changing internal dialogs and such, to the other options. One of the great things I love about poly, is that there doesn't need to be an 'instead of'...perhaps just an 'as well as'. There's probably a shelf load of self-help books at chapters both hokey and legitimate to try and give you the tools for that. I would suggest either a professional or similar individual would have specific suggestions for titles or techniques. But it sounds like the issues you're struggling with are beyond the scope of just being involved with a poly person.

It does sound like the two of you have some good communication going on already, which is a great start. Foster it, expand on it...and let her in on your concerns. At the very least if you have a bad episode where you say the things you're afraid of saying, she will have had some heads up that it may not be how you actually feel, but that you're reacting on your fears.

As for trying poly yourself...you seem to be on the right track there too. There's nothing wrong with making sure the relationship you have can work before worrying about adding another. One step at a time.

Cheers.

sweetie 10-15-2009 01:29 AM

I don't think your feelings are irrational at all. Whether you are in a mono or a poly relationship, sometimes the "will I be good enough" can rear it's ugly head.

You are on the right track. Open and honest communication. Talk. Talk. Talk. Argue, if that's what it takes. Problems can arise even when we are completely honest about our feelings, but it's easier if you are both on the same page as to what you are feeling.

Going into a poly relationship can be alot to wrap your head around. Feelings you never thought you would feel are suddenly in your face, and you're trying to figure out where it came from. You don't know what your feelings will be until you face the situation, and feel the feelings. Just be honest about it. I think with time and talk, you'll know what works for you both.

polishguy 10-15-2009 01:59 AM

Reading these comments do help. At least, it gives me a direction to look at on how to deal with my issue. That 1st link also helps a bit. Makes me examine why I am afraid. As for counseling, as much as I know, I would go there, and end up not talking. I only shared my "past" with her, recently and it did help me a lot.

Indeed, we have a lot of communication and often conversations until the sun rises. I will tell her a bit more about my fears, but also that I love her and trust her. She is a wonderful person, who literally means the world to me.

MonoVCPHG 10-15-2009 03:52 AM

Just a quick comment. You might want to ask her to refrain from being so obviously excited about "getting laid" by other guys. She could exercise a little more tact in discussing her other relationships with you. Have her read the forum posts here as well and it might shed some light on what you are feeling which is real, completely rational and human by the way :)

Take care and good luck.

alaskababe 10-15-2009 05:24 AM

Feeling like less
 
Sometimes, someone who loves you wonders why he was so lucky to have found you and are afraid of losing you that they feel less than other men. It does have to do with your life experience. How our lives have been lived determines who we are today and how we feel about different things including a major love feeling for a special woman.

My boyfriend has some of these same feelings and I tell him when he feels this way to tell me and we talk until he feels safe and secure in our love. The frequency of these times is getting further and further apart. I am always patient with his feelings and reassure him I am not looking for another man in my life and if I ever did, I would tell him up front and listen to his concerns. When a man is treated badly in the past whether by family or lovers, he carries the pain and hurt around for his whole life. When he finds a women who truly loves him for who he is, then he is sure she will go away at some point. We can reassure him as needed until he is secure enough to relax and just enjoy our love for him.

I agree with mono about therapy and its helpfulness in learning to deal with these feelings. Some people can do and some cant. Just talk to your lover and you can learn to feel better about your love and its preciousness and protecting it. Take it one day at a time and you will last a long time.
Good luck! :)

polishguy 10-15-2009 11:17 AM

Interestingly enough... last night I was on the phone with her... Despite having a really rough day her self, I asked her to listen to something important for us. I told her it was for the better if I said it, and to listen until I was completely done. At that point, I know she could hear me starting to cry as I was saying it, as my voice got very tense, but I told her that "I know I am insecure, but I love you with all my heart and I trust you completely" (it took about 15-30 seconds to say... because I was crying a lot) I felt so... relieved to say it out loud. I told her that, even if I am not the most comfortable right now with all of this, my insecurities are not because of her but me, and I want her to continue to tell me everything and never feel like she has to hide anything, just as i want to be able to share with her how I feel.

Our conversation ended with her telling me she loves me and thus went to bed knowing she loves me and that has helped a lot.


I want to thank you all for your support here. You guys and gals are kings and queens to me for this help. I might be lurking in the future to read stuff and see things that are similar to me. But most importantly, I took a big step to feel better and feel safer.

foxflame88 10-15-2009 11:47 AM

Despite your insecurities, it sounds like you have a great start.... keep the communication going openly and honestly, and you will likely find that it will help alleviate any fears you may have. Welcome to the forum!

redpepper 10-15-2009 05:52 PM

I don't see any blaring problems really. Everyone has covered what I would say. You seem to be on a good track and in time I suspect that things will only get better in regards to your fears if you keep up the good communication.


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