Thread: Double Standard
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Old 11-21-2012, 06:05 PM
sparklepop sparklepop is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 346

Hi Saphire,

It doesn't surprise me that you are struggling with your husband dating somebody else. It doesn't surprise me that it's not turning you on.

Everyone has a different response to poly activity and I don't believe that being turned on is the 'better' response. It's just a sexual response. Yes, it might be a response that's easier for everyone to deal with... but that doesn't mean that you are failing where he has succeeded.

To be honest, if we're going to get sexually psychological about it, being turned on by your spouse having sex with another is known as cuckolding and is more of a kink than a 'good' response to poly. It's a lucky side-benefit to being poly.

I have two opinions about the fluid bonding thing with this girl. On one hand, firstly, she's an idiot and obviously needs to look after her sexual health more. It is also, of course, disrespectful to your primary relationship guidelines. *But* .... don't let that event demonize her to give you an excuse to feel uncomfortable. It is all too easy to let yourself believe that you aren't feeling fear; that you just have a valid doubt about a new party. People do say and do stupid things when they are drunk and they can feed off the attitude of other people. They can also be naive about poly rules and see the person they are about to sleep with as a free agent, in that moment of time, able to make their own decisions.

That being said... perhaps now would be the time to consider some poly guidelines. Would you like to meet the girl properly and have a talk about some guidelines? Or perhaps have hubby talk to her on a more serious level, bringing his head out of the gutter for a moment?

Going back to your feelings... someone posted a really great excerpt from a book earlier, regarding jealousy. I've just been reading it and you can find it here:

My belief about polyamory is that there are two sides to the coin and each side comes with experience. You've had the experience of being the active poly partner, coping with any jealousy (or horniness) that hubby has had, learned to balance your time and attention.... etc. Hubby has had experience on the other side of the fence. So far, you haven't experienced everything he's gone through.... and he hasn't experienced being the active partner.

For me, being poly involves all of the following components:

* Empathy - can I understand my partner, nurture them and help them through any issues, when I am the active poly person?

* Balance - can I effectively balance my relationships when I'm actively poly? Is everyone getting what they need? Am I burned out from too many people, or am I fulfilled? Am I giving enough to each partner?

* Communication and strength - am I willing to tackle my jealousy, or will I blame my partner? Can I try to face my fears, and keep trying, even when I fail? Can I communicate my feelings - to reassure my partner, when I'm active, and to gain reassurance from my partner, when I'm jealous?

* Compersion - even on a very basic, minimal level... is there something in poly for me? Do I get some sort of happiness from knowing that my partner is happy? Even when I'm uncomfortable, do I believe in poly?

* Capacity - do I have the capacity to love/lust more than one, whilst still having the same, or deeper, feelings for those people? Or does lust for a new person make me crave an old person less?

To me... poly isn't just about being happy-go-lucky and feeling no jealousy. It's not about keeping up with your partner and expecting to feel exactly as they do.

I originally came onto this forum because, like you, I was struggling with the idea of my girlfriend being with other people. I was struggling with the fact that I seemed to be the more jealous of the two of us.

Over time, I've realised that jealousy can have a flip side.... I'm a very sensitive, empathetic person. I am great at being an active poly partner, in general. I am ridiculously patient and know how to make my girlfriend feel secure. I can balance very well and love her more with each new person that comes along. On the down side, jealousy/insecurity/hurt hits me harder than it hits her. Now she, whilst being lovely, is not as sensitive. This means that she is pretty good when I'm dating other people. Her jealousy is less than mine and disappears quicker. *But*... when she's the active one... she can be insensitive and selfish - which, in turn, makes my jealousy flare.

She used to think that she was 'better' at poly than I was, because she didn't feel the jealousy as strongly. I've come to realise that 'better' doesn't exist - you just feel what you feel. I'm sensitive - so I feel both empathy and jealousy more strongly. She's blunt - so she feels empathy and jealousy less strongly.

Don't beat yourself up about feeling bad. You are not a hyprocrite - you just feel the way you feel. Hell, it's *always* easier when we're the ones having fun! Imagine you're stuck in the desert and someone else is drinking a big bottle of water. The next day, you're drinking the water and they are not. Which day is going to be tougher for you?

Me: (29f) open poly
In a long-distance relationship with GF (39f)
Dating Descartes in my home country (27f)

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without." ~ Buddha
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