A mono man and his Jealousy. Therapy options, thoughts.
I have only just had my first serious poly talk with my partner of 18 months (more on that later). I am mono (I think) and though she has alluded to poly I kept stuffing my fingers in my ears and pretending it wasn't happening as I was completely smitten, and am mono. I thought I'd be such a good lover this would change. I was wrong (not about the lover thing!). I thought I could forgive her, thus be some kind of saint, and she would want only me - this was wrong too. Forgiveness implies she has done something wrong, which for poly people who do not understand they are poly must be a huge source of pain. Always thinking of herself as flawed, and that 'relationships' could never be serious as her men would eventually hate her, get fed up, and move on. This is her history, trying to be honest, being rejected for her beliefs, looking for love elsewhere, scenes and accusations, pain, solitude again, or stuck with a secondary while the man you love goes off and hates you. Belief she was flawed, abnormal, destined to loneliness.
I have been driven to despair trying to understand this women who obviously loves me, yet refused to commit. At wits end I was going to leave (for about 6 months). I'm quite lucky I didn't go insane, it was a very dark period but I do not give up on love, nor on friends, easily. I knew something didn't add up, and did my homework. LOTS of homework. I had to somehow keep it together enough not to drive her off while gaining some understanding of what I was actually dealing with.
I did (look them up if you want to deal with feelings better do yourself the favour) NLP, EFT, CBT therapies. All of these are amazing to learn about and do, I have grown emotionally in leaps and bounds. I highly recommend all 3 methods as self help therapy. EFT online - find Brad Yates on you tube. NLP - Tony Robbins is a master at this. CBT has an exercise - TEA. Thoughts, errors, action, this is really deep stuff, hard and it hurts at first. 3 days of this I was sane enough to 'talk' to my partner, instead of whine, or demand, or cry, or whatever else never seemed to work. This therapy is for those with dysfunctional backgrounds who have trouble thinking straight at times. The book to read is called 'Been there, done that, do this'. It seems a let down, very small, large print. BUT, do the TEA exercise and you will find relief. mine was rapid, some take months. many 'depressed and 'anxiety disorder' types come off medication after doing the TEA exercise. I am typically a happy person, but all that incongruity of who my partner was brought up loads of old wounds.
None of these therapies fixed the cause of the problem, my utter confusion as to where I stand. But it was important I was sane and rational enough to have 'the conversation' with my partner.
I told her I thought she was polyamorous, not flawed, and that she can have her needs met, if she were to understand and commit to meeting mine, which are simple, love, no more lies (only trying to protect me then, i said i don't want to know). I said the pattern of her life pointed strongly toward polyamory, and that her secondary was now approved, and yes it hurts me a bit, but there are ways to cope with jealousy, and if she will help, it's all workable, it's all ok.
She is stunned. She was convinced she was flawed - 'fucked' as she said. She was convinced she was destined to keep people at length yet she couldn't. she said she is over her head in love with me and an absolute mess as she was sure her behaviour would drive me away eventually. She hates keeping me at length but couldn't see another option, yet she couldn't keep me at length, I was wounded a lot, she was hurt by this, it was very hard for both of us to make sense of this thing.
All the pain just began to fall from us. It was incredible. I still have to deal with jealousy, but I have therapy tools, and more importantly, her willingness to help me. I will spend a bit of time now reminding my partner she is not 'fucked', and will introduce her to other polyamorous people so she can meet kindred souls and not feel so 'unique' (alone).
I am very grateful to have found the polyamory community, without reading your stories I would still be despairing, then we'd be split up, and both despairing.
This has been nothing short of a BREAKTHROUGH. Thank you.
"The course of true love never runs smooth."