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Old 08-14-2011, 05:10 AM
polycouple polycouple is offline
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Default Poly heart Plagued with Jealousy

I have posted a few times about my situation with my BF and GF. Long story short, they were an established swinger couple, together for almost five years when they met me. I was initially a casual relationship, but early on sparks flared, personalities clicked, we spent every day together and fell deeply in love, the three of us, all in love.

The biggest challenge in the relationship can be boiled to the fact that our GF, Sarah, is insecure and jealous. Small manifestations of this crop up daily, for instance she got very emotional the other day when she found out that Tim and I took his motorcycle to my house. She felt like riding on his bike was something special she had, and worried that there would "be nothing left for her." The biggest impact her jealousy has on our relationship is her restricting Tom and I, by not "allowing" us to be intimate when she is not around. This is the most frustrating aspect of the relationship. I show her how much I care, shower her with love, communicate honestly with her about my feelings (good and bad), help her family when they are in need, and see her whenever I can. I also, constantly support, affirm, and take joy in the love that Tom and Sarah share. I actively support their intimacy, private time, and special bond. Despite all of this, she still cannot find joy and comfort in the love that Tom and I share.

I guess I am just venting here mostly but I would love some words of encouragement, that she will be able to move on from her all-or-nothing, black-and-white thinking and move towards an appreciation for the truly amazing gift of love that we all three share. The longer this unfair dynamic persists, the harder it becomes for me to project the love that I feel, and the more I start to consider giving up.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:58 AM
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Sorry to hear that. Its completely not uncommon. In fact most triads that come here to talk complain about the same issues. Maybe if you did a search for tags like "jealousy" or "traids "triad" you will find some advice and some commonality.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:16 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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I went and reread your original thread.... sounds like things have not progressed well in the last couple months.

Sarah still only wants you and Tom to have sex when she is also in the bed and touching both of you? Most of the time here, I see recommended for triads, for each couple to have sexy time one on one (as well as 3ways, if you all enjoy it, but requiring it seems a burden and unrealistic). Sara and Tom, you and Tom, you and Sarah. Group sex required every time will hamper spontaneity and bonding between each couple.

You said earlier Sarah works a different shift than you and Tom... A couple working different shifts is going to have trouble feeling tight and bonded. Never mind adding another woman into the mix, monopolizing all her husband's free time.

Even though you have excused yourself from spending less time with Tom and more time doing things on your own, or with other friends, I can see why you getting so much of Tom's time would lead to feelings of jealousy on Sarah's part. It makes it seem that the new woman is closer to her h than she is! Not an equal, but "greater" than her in the triad. And that really burns. You might seem like a usurper to her. I know if my gf spent 5-6 nights a week with her bf while I was at work, slaving away, I'd feel jealous, or envious at least.

Adding in that you confessed to cheating on Sarah and fucking Tom one on one several times without her knowledge or consent (did you 2 ever confess that to her?)... yeah, it seems to me you need to gently back off just a tad and allow Tom to be alone now and then, allow her the luxury of not imagining your daily cuddles and closeness when she's on her work shift.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:59 PM
polycouple polycouple is offline
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Red Pepper:

Thanks for the reply. I did a search of those tags and didn't really find much relative to my triad situation. Though I have had some luck searching "poly" and "jealousy" online. Infact, Sarah, Tom and I are doing a jealousy workbook together.

Magdlyn:

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?

I also have to add some more context: Tom has lots of time to himself, and lots of time with Sarah. They live together. They see each other when she gets home, and in the mornings. He does a lot of work from home, so while I am at work, they have time together. Also, they are not married, not that that really makes any difference, just clearing that up!

Last edited by polycouple; 08-14-2011 at 08:10 PM. Reason: add more info
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:15 PM
Allstar Allstar is offline
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OK, I have never been in a poly relationship but I might be in one soon. I am learning what I can. I think her having time with Tom would help. Maybe they could plan a getaway for a weekend coupled with you backing off a little bit, not a lot. Maybe that will rekindle their fire and help her to feel comfortable again.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:20 PM
rosephase rosephase is offline
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Does Sarah want to change? Is she working towards feeling safer with your relationship with her husband?

If she is working towards changing, honestly you sound really impatience. This is very different then swinging and it takes time to wrap you head around it. She might need things to help her out. It sounds a little like you are unwilling to help her out if it means less time with her husband.

Do the three of you agree on what you are working towards? What does she _want_ the relationship to look like? What do you want it to look like? What does her husband want it to look like? Are you on the same page?

If she doesn't ever want you to have a private sexual relationship with her husband and isn't working towards it... then yeah, this might not be the right place for you. If she does want that but isn't there yet emotionally I think you could make it a lot easier on her by slowing down, being 100% honest and being patient. She needs your help, your love, your support. Not you standing there tapping your foot and saying "you aren't going fast enough for me".

If you are all on the same page you have time. I know it can feel like you don't. It can feel like everything you want is being kept from you and that is unfair but this woman is opening up her heart, her marriage, her life, her home and that is scary.

If she doesn't want you to ever have the relationship you feel like yo want then you need to figure that out. If you all want the same thing then you need to relax and try to find the best ways to support her while she figures things out and trust that she would do the same for you.

Poly is hard. It is complicated emotionally even for people who can't live any other way. We don't have a lot of examples to look at and society doesn't exactly come running to support us... that is why it is so important that we support the people in our relationships. It can be frustrating and slow but if you are all working towards the same thing you'll get there. It just takes time.
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Old 08-14-2011, 09:10 PM
rosephase rosephase is offline
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Sorry I kept saying husband. I have a tendency to treat long standing relationships like marriages.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:39 PM
polycouple polycouple is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosephase View Post
Does Sarah want to change? Is she working towards feeling safer with your relationship with her husband?
Yes, she recently said she wants to work towards an equal relationship, which is huge progress!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosephase View Post
If she is working towards changing, honestly you sound really impatience. This is very different then swinging and it takes time to wrap you head around it. She might need things to help her out. It sounds a little like you are unwilling to help her out if it means less time with her husband.
Yea, I think you are spot on with picking up on the impatient tone. I didn't hold back in my posts, but I try when I communicate with her to not to make her feel pressured. I understand that what she is trying to work through is extremely difficult, and I respect her so much for doing what so many people are unable to do, but that doesn't always help me to know that when I am treated so unequally. I guess what I most wanted from this forum was some affirmation from others that this can work out. Sometimes I feel helpless, like I am investing so much, yet I'm not sure if it will work out. At any moment she could just decide this isn't right for her, then I instantly lose two people that I love. I feel insecure, and out of control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosephase View Post
Do the three of you agree on what you are working towards? What does she _want_ the relationship to look like? What do you want it to look like? What does her husband want it to look like? Are you on the same page?

If she doesn't ever want you to have a private sexual relationship with her husband and isn't working towards it... then yeah, this might not be the right place for you. If she does want that but isn't there yet emotionally I think you could make it a lot easier on her by slowing down, being 100% honest and being patient. She needs your help, your love, your support. Not you standing there tapping your foot and saying "you aren't going fast enough for me".
I think that we all need to have a lot more conversations about this. We discussed giving me an fair place in the relationship, and she said for the first time that she was willing to commit to that vision. I do think we need to talk in more concrete terms about what that actually means, because I think if we do, it will come clear that we all have slightly (not drastically) different views.

Patience is what I struggle with the most. In the past I have let people walk all over me, and I have a hard time knowing where to draw the line between when it is appropriate and healthy to be patient, and when it is time to move on. It is so much easier for me to be patient when I believe that this can all work out so that I can be treated equally, fairly, evenly (however you want to put it), but sometimes I fear it isn't possible considering how emotional she get's about some things that seem so small to me. It makes me feel like we are so far from where I want us to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosephase View Post
If you are all on the same page you have time. I know it can feel like you don't. It can feel like everything you want is being kept from you and that is unfair but this woman is opening up her heart, her marriage, her life, her home and that is scary.
Thank you, I think I needed to be reminded of this. I guess I should just check in with her frequently to make sure we are sharing the same vision, but also let her know that I understand it's difficult and that I can give her the time and support she needs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rosephase View Post
Poly is hard. It is complicated emotionally even for people who can't live any other way. We don't have a lot of examples to look at and society doesn't exactly come running to support us... that is why it is so important that we support the people in our relationships. It can be frustrating and slow but if you are all working towards the same thing you'll get there. It just takes time.
That is so true, so little real life examples of success and what works in poly. The push back from society is so not helpful.

I really appreciate your thoughtful response. It was VERY helpful!
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Old 08-15-2011, 01:41 PM
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Magdlyn Magdlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polycouple View Post

Magdlyn:

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.
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Love withers under constraint; its very essence is liberty. It is compatible neither with envy, jealousy or fear. It is there most pure, perfect and unlimited when its votaries live in confidence, equality and unreserve. -- Shelley

me: Mags, 59, living with:
miss pixi, 37
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