Established as Poly but Unable to Handle a Partner Having An OSO...
I'd love to see some discussion of and opinions on a theme that I've been seeing in my local group and some poly people in my life. It's a discussion that is happening to some extent within my local group, and I am interested to hear a wider range of perspectives.
So the general scenario is this: established poly person, has been in an open relationship or open relationships for at least a couple of years and has had one or more serious relationships outside that first relationship. Well-versed in poly-ness, very open, has done lots of hard work to get to where they are.
Then one of their SOs starts another relationship. And they find dealing with this bloody difficult. Much more work ensues and they try soooo hard to work through their emotions because, conceptually, they believe in poly and they "know" on an academic or idealistic level that it works. But their emotions just won't cooperate.
What are your thoughts on this? It seems like a shitty Catch-22 to me. You can't force yourself to be okay with something, and this type of situation can obviously cause major strife within yourself as well as within your relationships. How do you stay true to yourself, your ideals, and also do what's fair for your SO and their SO(s)?
To be clear - I am not in this situation. My husband and I went through something very similar a few years ago when I wanted to start seeing other men (I had been dating/sleeping with women for years), and he had a VERY difficult time being okay with it, but in the end he found a way to be completely fine with it and has been ever since. So with our friends in this type of situation, we can help them or offer advice or our own experiences, but only up to the point where they realize they are not feeling any better even after months of effort. That's where we (my husband and I) draw a blank.