Thread: in over my head
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Old 12-12-2013, 06:17 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi pcflvly,

Was wondering if A has had a look at those links, and if so what was her response to them. Hopefully she found them useful as well?

I don't think of jealousy as a feeling one can just dissolve overnight. The best one can do is seek out good coping mechanisms for dealing with the uncomfortable feelings. One coping mechanism is deciding in one's mind whether there's due external cause for feeling jealous (cause sometimes there is). It sounds like A hasn't thought of any external cause as yet but it's still a good idea to analyze the external circumstances carefully. So as to thoroughly rule them out at least.

If they are ruled out, then one knows the objective will be to "push through the feelings" through such mechanisms as diversions, readings, reasonings, venting, journalings, even just plain old endurance (with a dash of fake it til you make it if that helps). Even then it probably won't be an overnight process. Jealousy can be a long dark forest to get through.

"So now, when I have the most innocent friendly get together, I can't tell A about it lest she be consumed over nothing again."
I wonder if the best thing wouldn't be to repeat the above statement to A -- sometime when she's relatively ready to hear it (no immediate upsets and that).
  • She needs to be aware of the real problems the jealousy causes;
  • She needs to know you'll always tell her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth;
  • She needs practice at hearing R mentioned. Practice at processing her own emotional response.
Of course when I say the whole truth I don't mean every little detail, if for no other reason simply because people generally don't (and don't need to) comb through every detail of their day when talking to each other. But you should at least (at some point) be able to tell A, "Hey, we had R over for pizza," and even be able to share a little of whatever you and R talked about, etc.

You may have to share stuff with A in smaller bites at a time in the beginning. A isn't necessarily emotionally ready to hear every last detail. Give her some time to get used to hearing (all of) the basics first.

"It's exciting for me to make a friend and I want to share that excitement with the woman I love."
Have a caution here: NRE (and yes you're probably already experiencing that with R) can water down the accuracy of one's judgments, and the thoroughness of one's perspectives. Before getting caught up in your desire to share the excitment with A, remind yourself that A doesn't feel so thrilled about it. What is A getting out of it, is a question to ask yourself. If she's just getting a lot of fear, insecurity, and feelings of rejection from it, then you should exercise empathy and compassion and not hurt her with too many details.

"I feel slighted because she also still flirts and meets people and confides in me about her experiences."
Ah, but don't even go there. A's jealousy isn't necessarily a rational experience, nor is it necessarily an experience she chooses to have. Jealous feelings aren't fun or comfortable feelings for the jealous person to have. You have to be patient with A while she tries to sort out the root causes of the jealousy. At the moment, most of these root causes are probably buried in her subconscious, so she can't give you an instant explanation. The problem will take quite awhile to unravel.

There do seem to be trust issues on A's part. Something she might want to look into. Journaling could be her friend here.

Can A develop a friendship of her own with R? It might help.

"What bothers me is that she doesn't recognize that R is not in any way a threat to how I feel about her."
Maybe so but the question is, what is it about R that feels threatening to her? A lot of reflection and analysis is called for here.

I gather that R is quite a nice friend. Not someone you would just kick to the curb. If A can reason that through in her mind, the reasoning can be part of the emotional processing and will help her realize it's something to just push through.

Hence why I wanted to make sure she'd checked out the links. I'd even suggest bookmarking them for re-reading from time to time. Sometimes you need a "collection of mantras" you can repeat to yourself as part of the emotional processing. Something that does make sense to your mind. Again not an overnight process, but something that will gradually yield results.

Re (from the 9th):
"She said that her husband would do R in a minute so I asked her if she would be jealous if he did. She said no. So why do I get the jealousy treatment?"
That would be one of those mantras (and something for her to maybe journal about). A should really do some digging to find out what's at the root of the negative reactions she's having. Is she thinking you're going to dump her and pick R instead? Maybe the fact that A is "taken," whereas R is "available," feels threatening to A. Sure A isn't jealous of her husband but then, she has special (spousal -- i.e., societal pressure) "claim" over her husband. Not something one "should" take comfort in, but let's face it, society programs us a lot to take comfort in it.

And does A have stuff in her past that R somehow stirs up? something else for her to think (and journal) about.

Hopefully you and A both will be able to see a marked improvement in how well A copes with the jealousy in about a year as you look back. But if she's still spinning her wheels by then, then some kind of poly-friendly counseling might be in order.

Re (from today):
"We're still going strong and this jealousy thing is only a minor bump well worth digging into because I seek a level of understanding that will empower A and I to persevere."
That's the spirit.

Think of jealousy as, not a curse and a bane to the relationship, but as an opportunity to dig into that subconscious and recognize issues that A wasn't previously aware of. Only when we see the "emotional toxins" for what they are, can we begin to flush them out.

If I think of more ideas I'll let you know.
Love means never having to say, "Put down that meat cleaver!"
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