ON GENDER RELATED JEALOUSY
It's a month later and things still feel kinda crazy here. And I still want breaks from thinking about it all. So here I am.
This is my response from this old thread
talking about "gender related jealousy."
It's normal jealousy struggle. It happens. Both ways -- whether the gender of the other lover is the same as you or different. Because in the end I don't believe it is about the other lover's gender. I think it about your inner thoughts and beliefs.
The whole "If our hinge sweetie compares us, I'm not going to be able to compete" thing. Maybe you are ok with the female lovers because they have equipment you don't. They offer your lover a different sex experience and your thoughts run along the lines of "It's not even a competition there." But the male lover has "your" equipment. So you feel competition fears.
It works the other way too. Maybe you think you are a hot stud muffin and no other man can compete to your magical penis. But crap! Here come women lovers -- they have goods you don't! What if hinge sweetie runs off with one of them and you cannot even compete because you just don't have a vagina to compete with? Ahhhh!
See? Doesn't matter the gender. Whatever tape is playing in there -- it boils down to "I am afraid I cannot compete."
You state your worries/fears yourself -- things like what if is he's a better lover, has a bigger penis, etc.
So what? What if he is blond, has three dogs and a dragon, he drives a vacuum cleaner to work? ( I joke to keep it light and try to make you smile, I'm not making light of your feelings or minimizing them.)
It just doesn't matter what he has or does or is. What is causing your discomfort is not the trigger (him being another lover). It is your thinking and what you tell yourself inside your head that is causing you your upset.
"I am less than, I will fall short..." kinds of thoughts.
To feel better?
Ask your partner to reassure you that your hinge sweetie loves you for YOU and wouldn't break up with you without warning or without giving you a chance to work on whatever needs are not being met.
And ask yourself to learn to cut it out and play a different tape in your head.
"I AM good enough. Hinge loves me for ME and all I bring to the table."
Maybe these could help?
Try to BREATHE. Literally. Take deep breaths and relax your muscles if you feel stress/anxious/uptight. If you make yourself breathe and deliberately let go of any muscle tension, your muscles can give your brain feedback that there is actually no danger lurking. So there is no need to be chronically poised for "flight or fight response." Then maybe your brain can relax a bit in there.
In a way, it's good that it's about the thoughts in your mind. Because you can always choose to change your mind!
You will be ok. You can do this work -- you can learn to overcome jealousy.
Hang in there!
Jealousy is such an interesting thing.
That particular Wagner article presents 4 kinds of jealousy: possessive, exclusion, competition, and fear.
I'm not particularly possessive in the sense described but I do get “fear of the unknown weirdo” and kinda “hurt him and I will kill you” feelings. I'm don't worry about exclusion or competition jealousy feelings.
I like to think that if I felt jealous, I'd be willing to feel vulnerable in the asking so I could go to DH and tell him “I feel jealous. I need help coping with that so I can put it down. Could you be willing to help me? Could you be willing to reassure me? Reaffirm that you love me?”
I know sometimes some people go off the other way. They try to make the OTHER person jealous on purpose. Because they want more attention, want to feel desirable, what to know they are loved, etc. And in doing so they risk hurting the other partner with jealousy or damaging trust between them. Because if you love someone, you don't
engage in damaging behavior toward them.
Love doesn't have to be PROVEN. But it is nice to have it reaffirmed.
Either way it's the same solution. Just ask up front to get the need met rather than try to ignore it for fear for of being found "not able to compete" or try to go around the back door to get it met.
What's so hard about coming in from the front door
and just asking for a need to be met?
I sometimes hear “But I don't want to seem needy....” as a reason for not just asking up front. To me merely having some needs doesn't mean “chronically needy.” We all have needs one time or another. It means you are human.
So I don't buy that. I don't think “I don't want to seem needy” is really the thing. I think more accurate expression of that could be “I am not willing to feel vulnerable. So I don't want to ask for reassurance and reaffirmation from the front and risk feeling vulnerable.”
I get that feeling vulnerable is a horrible, anxious, squirmy kind of feeling. I don't love it. But I love sticking my head in DH's armpit to tell him some horrible vulnerable thing, and have him accept it. And get to feel the wonderful love stuff that comes from full acceptance with/from a partner. That's what makes the horrible worth it.
To risk being loved, warts and all. To get to BE loved, warts and all.