Originally Posted by polycouple
I really appreciate you looking at my other threads to get as much context as you can, thank you!
I have to say though, that while I appreciate your advice, I don't really think Tom and I spending less time together would address the root of the problem in the relationship. I've been doing a lot of reading on jealousy. In it I've learned that with jealousy, there is a "trigger," and there is a "root." The trigger is the situation which inspires the jealous feelings, while the root is the underlying belief that the individual has about the situation. From my understanding, it's important to not treat jealousy by avoiding triggers, because then that leaves the roots intact, ready to crop up any moment a trigger occurs, which is bound to happen. So Tom and I spending time together is the trigger of the jealousy, but the root is the ideas that Sarah has about this, such as "If they spend time together without me then they will not want to be with me anymore. If I don't spend time with them, then they will not love me as much." etc.
I also wouldn't feel like it was fair of her to ask us not to spend time together just so she doesn't feel jealousy. I believe it is my role to support her when I can, but it is absolutely only her responsibility and realm of control to deal with her jealousy. I would never ask her or anyone else I truly care about to avoid spending time with people she loves just because I have to be at work. Why should I have to step back? I invest just as much in this relationship as they do...
I don't know. Am I totally off base here?
Somehow I do not think it's "only her responsibility and realm of control to deal with her jealousy." I've been in a poly relationship with my gf, Miss Pixi, for over 2 1/2 years, and she's had a bf as well for 10 months. Lately they have been spending more time than usual together. Usually it's just a once a week 24 hour sleepover, but in recent weeks they have also gone on a 5 day vacation together (in late July), and also had an afternoon date from 1-7PM, last Wednesday, as well as the usual weekend date last Fri into Sat evening.
Yeah, I am feeling kinda jealous. Envious at least. Especially since I've had a string of attempts at dating guys recently that have not gone well, and am feeling bruised. I made sure to tell my gf how I was feeling, her doing all this fabulous stuff with her bf, while I just keep getting kicked in the nuts by the guys I've been attempting to date.
Before this, I had very little struggles with her seeing her bf, just mostly compersion, so... circumstances can cause our feelings to change. There are no "shoulds" in how we feel, our feelings are our feelings.
Back in 2000 when I was married (had been with him for 20 years) we went poly and he fell in love and things moved much too fast. He wanted to move her in after knowing her 2 months. Yeah, I freaked. There is something about being the long term lover, dealing with the new exciting partner your lover is in NRE with, that can be very hard. We often caution people here to be careful with giving as much, or more attention to the longterm partner as you do to the new lover.
A nice parallel is the advice given to parents about to have a second child. Make sure to schedule alone time with the first child. Let the housework go, or hire someone do do it, so you can spend time with the older child when the baby sleeps. If you have trouble with this, make sure to have an entertaining babysitter for her, or playdates, or... anything to make her feel still loved. If someone gives you a baby gift, have a gift set aside for the older child. If someone compliments the baby, tell them something cool about the older kid. Work at helping the 2 children to form a close relationship. Don't pick favorites. Etc.
It sounds like you and Tom are committed to an equilateral triangle, but there is still fear in Sarah that she'll be left out and eventually forced out of the relationship. Whether this is really the case, or just her fear, it is causes real emotions and is EXTREMELY painful to bear. Please go slowly and encourage Tom to give her lots of attention. I agree a romantic sexy long weekend getaway for them would be a good step.