I understand your feelings and from what I can tell, you are basically in the grip of fear and letting it control you.
It doesn't make you a bad person. I can't judge you from a paragraph and neither should anyone else. You're basically being a bit of a scaredy cat
But you can change that.
I've been there too. I'm still a scaredy cat now sometimes. And yes, I used to be mono and used to be a complete insecure, jealous pain in the (peachy) *ss.
Of course it's easier to be the one having their cake and eating it, than being the one watching someone else eat it.
What are you afraid of? What's the worst case scenario? Address that and face it.
In terms of your partner's recent make-out... have you heard of the word 'compersion'?
It basically means "feeling genuine happiness for my partner's romantic/sexual endeavours".
You know how good those random kisses feel? How little they mean in terms of your life, but how you're so glad to have taken that moment? Can you feel any happiness, any compersion, about your partner having that joy?
It's not just about jealousy
Poly (for me) is about asking myself:
In terms of jealousy
- am I able to be with others and deal with my own mono-programmed guilt?
- am I able to be with others, without falling out of love with my primary?
- am I able to nurture their feelings when they are insecure because of my activity?
- am I able to deal with my own jealousy and insecurity when they are active?
Notice that I didn't say "am I able to be a robot and feel nothing but happiness when my partner is active?"
For me, jealousy and insecurity happens.
We all feel it differently.
When I kiss someone, my partner goes quiet for a couple of minutes, buries it, puts on her brave face and is usually (on the surface) ok. When she kisses someone, I feel like someone punched me in the stomach, I get a dramatic blind white flash of shock and horror, I burst into tears, about half an hour later, I put on some very loud music and then I'm ok. The next day, it's no big deal.
Just because I seem to take things harder than her, does that mean I'm not cut out for poly? I don't think so. We all react differently.
So what I'm saying is... jealousy does happen, it does get easier, but it does rear its head randomly, even if you're extremely evolved. If you feel jealous, it doesn't mean you're not cut out for poly. It means you have to work on your own insecurities.
Remember - a partner can leave you even if you're monogamous. It makes no difference.
Do you need to hear about it?
I used to think that I had to hear about everything. To be truly poly, I had to hear all the gory details and be ok with it. Because if they made me uncomfortable, I'd be hiding, wouldn't I?
Well, God, no.
All I need to know these days is that they're involved in a sexual relationship. I don't need to know what they've done, how long they did it for, or any details whatsoever.
Because it drives me crazy. I paint all kinds of ridiculous images in my head that don't need to be there.
I wish I was able to say "tell me everything, that really turns me on"... but I'm afraid I'm just not wired that way!
However... I'm not suggesting you dash wildly in, declaring "sleep with anyone you want, starting today, I'm evolved!"
Look at your expectations. I don't mean rules. But what do you expect? What does your partner expect? How can you compromise?
"Ok, if we become open to secondaries"
- how many extra people are too much?
- how many times a week is too much, in terms of seeing secondaries?
- how often shall we start getting STD tests?
Then discuss those things. Don't dictate. Compromise.
Guidelines (if you choose to use them) are there to help ease the blow; not to control each other. They do get forgotten at times. But without them, in my relationship at least, we were in 'Single Person Mania', completely not considering each other at all and expecting each other to just sit and applaud us for our fun times. Fun for the person doing it; rubbish for the other one.
What I'm saying, in my usual long and babbling way, is (in my opinion
) yes... it would be more fair to allow your partner(s) the freedom you expect. Be brave. Be sensible and know what you want and what works for them.
Use internet tools, books, poly groups, therapy, whatever you need, to help you deal with your insecurity.
Decide if you'd rather they rip the plaster off and just jump into bed with someone else so you can see that the world doesn't fall down - or do it carefully, with fair guidelines that are not hypocritical. Don't hide behind them.