Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > Poly Relationships Corner

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 09-03-2012, 06:14 AM
Invi Invi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 54
Question How do you manage your triggers?

I'm a mono female in a relationship with a non-mono male (open relationship, he dates around).
I have issues with jealousy (insecurity, fear, occasionally anger, sadness) and envy that I am working on.
This is a hard time in my life to be going through this, I think (new baby, no nearby friends or family for support, no longer working because of baby, he works full-time), but I did nothing to get myself out of this situation. I considered it, we discussed it, and I stayed.
I love my partner more than anything and would like to be with him for as long as humanly possible. I am willing to do the work to do so, even though some days it is overwhelming and I just want to quit. It can be depressing, but I know if I go to a dark place in my head that something is wrong, and I need to fix it. I have a pretty negative world view. I am working on this as well.
We've been seeing each other for about 2.5 years. Non-monogamy has been relevant for a year and a few months. I really only started working on trying to be okay with it, as opposed to ignoring it, at the beginning of this year.

I'm getting a little off-topic, but I guess that is some background for you.

A while back (perhaps a months ago?) we had a bit of a disagreement that we have resolved, but during that time he had a flurry of communication with women he was interested in, constant texting and messaging on the computer, all day for about 2 days. It made me very upset, very jealous, and overall very unhappy.
It did subside after a couple of days.
Before that, his texting and messaging other women already made me uncomfortable, but since then, the sound of him opening and closing his phone, or typing for more than a few seconds at a time (signifying he is typing a message, or a comment on something... my mind always goes to messaging a girl, obviously, or it wouldn't be a problem), I get this surge of unpleasantness. Jealousy. Annoyance. Sadness or anger, sometimes.
It doesn't happen every time, but often enough that it really bothers me.
The trigger bothers me. The fact that I am reacting in such a way bothers me.
Lately he has been just leaving his phone open more often, so there is no tell-tale click half the time, and it doesn't bother me so much. I don't know if he does this because I've told him the sound triggers these feelings, or for his own convenience, but either way, it has helped.

Now obviously, I can not ask him not to text or message the women he is interested in. I can't ask him not to open his phone, or type messages on the computer. Can not. Would not. That is ridiculous, and impractical.

I realize this is a rather silly issue to have. It's not like he's bringing girls home and having sex with them in front of me. He only goes out with someone once or twice a week, He's just answering messages. Sometimes more frequently than I am comfortable with, or during certain times I would rather he not, but still.. they're just messages.
I am trying to get to the root of my insecurities, but this is taking time.

Does anyone else have silly little actions that trigger such an unpleasant reaction?
How do you deal with them? How have you gotten over them in the past?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 09-03-2012, 07:28 AM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,425
Default

I had issues with the phone, very similar to what you describe. I did ask that meal times, bed times and our date times are 'just for us'. So, no answering messages, no phones on. That has made a huge difference and I found that I am not triggered even half as often by the sounds and interruptions now that theres a guaranteed time they don't occur.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 09-03-2012, 05:24 PM
NovemberRain's Avatar
NovemberRain NovemberRain is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 699
Default

I prefer dismantling triggers, when I can. Hypnosis is an incredible tool for that. Not the stage hypnosis you're prone to see in your town. Real, therapeutic, one-on-one hypnosis, with an experienced, well-trained person.

Personally, I've enjoyed lots of hypnosis on CDs, and now, much is available for download, right into your device of choice.

I also work with some folks who eliminate beliefs that are not serving. I was damn near hysterical recently, when my boss left, and i had to do his job (as well as mine). I had one session, and haven't had a moment's anxiety since. I didn't realize that I HAD anxiety before that. But after it was gone, I realized it was missing. I feel SO much better.
__________________
Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own...
Robert A. Heinlein

Me: female, bi, (formerly hinge of a vee)
with FirstBoyFriend (FBF)(moderately long-distance)
and no longer with CurrentBoyFriend (CBF)(who lives in the apartment building next door)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 09-03-2012, 06:22 PM
Avatar Avatar is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Bay Area
Posts: 78
Default

Phones in general can be a sore spot, when overdone. Skye I'm sure is nodding emphatically, especially given that I use mine almost exclusively, in place of a computer. Work, personal stuff, this post, etc. So, one thing that may be worth asking yourself before taking action is if the primary issue is the amount of messaging, or the messaging itself. If the former, then perhaps working on that first and seeing where the other ends up is the better option. In our home, I do try to limit it on my own, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes, I need the reminder from Skye.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 09-03-2012, 06:26 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,413
Default

Ugh, consider this... you are new parents. You have a lot of hormonal surges and a new little human being to bond with and take care of. Many poly people take a break from engaging in other relationships when there is a new baby in their lives.

Instead of placing blame on yourself and thinking you are not handling your "triggers" well enough, consider the possibility that your irritation rises up because this simply is not the right time for him to be focused on having liaisons with other women. You and your baby need him!

You cannot be left (abandoned?) to parent alone if you have a partner. Is he stepping up and doing what he needs to do to share in responsibilities at home? If so, then, okay, maybe have one day a week for a date with someone else, BUT if pursuing other women is an escape from the scary responsibilities of being a new dad and he's leaving you high and dry to do it all by yourself, then he is being a total cad and you should not tolerate that!

You two need to get down to the nitty-gritty in your communication and come together as two new caregivers of a child.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

"Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me." ~Bryan Ferry
"Love and the self are one . . ." ~Leo Buscaglia "

An excellent blog post against hierarchy in polyamory: http://solopoly.net/2014/10/31/why-i...short-version/
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 09-04-2012, 01:55 AM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,213
Default

How old is baby? Have you been checked for post partum depression? Is he pulling his share of the new baby work load? Because if he isn't?

Then no wonder you feel annoyed/angry/jealous. Because you are in an isolated space, in a demanding role with not enough support from your partner. He may very well be your only adult contact right now. You are awash in kiddieland. (Nursing a newborn is every hour on the hour at the start! Sleep is precious! You are not going to feel right as a nursing mom til it hits the every 4 hr blocks and you can snatch longer sleep and you feel less irritable.)

Meanwhile he is getting to be at work interacting with Adults, time off to date for pleasure, and not being full present to parent duties when at home? Luxuries YOU do not get right now.

So did you make this baby alone or what?

If this is the place you guys are at? You need to man up a bit about knowing and stating your wants, needs, and limits for this baby time.

He needs to man up a bit about doing more in this baby time.

And yah, perhaps that means chill or even Close to any new relationships until the babe is older and the demands on your Time less heavy.

There is a REASON we are Closed through parenting time over here. I know some people do not Close, but we did. It's just maddening to meet kiddie demands and have to juggle our own couple things AND be dealing in other people wants, needs, and limits. Something has to give, and it's a lot easier to Close and let of that for a while. Some things CANNOT be let go of -- like the baby care and self care.

Make sure you each are tending your mental health, emotional health, physical health, and spiritual health. As well as help to tend each other's buckets. Parenting is a team effort. Please take better care of yourselves/each other in this baby time. Baby needs you well in ALL your health buckets.

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-04-2012 at 01:59 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 09-04-2012, 01:22 PM
Invi Invi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 54
Default

Thank you all for responding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I had issues with the phone, very similar to what you describe. I did ask that meal times, bed times and our date times are 'just for us'. So, no answering messages, no phones on. That has made a huge difference and I found that I am not triggered even half as often by the sounds and interruptions now that theres a guaranteed time they don't occur.
I'm glad I'm not the only one.

I had a bit of a breakdown tonight, which really was unexpected because I had just been talking to an online friend about how well I've been handling things lately, and the progress I have made.
I guess I was thinking a few too many negative thoughts at once, was dealing with too much stress, and then the texting started up and I just had to leave the room.

This led to him asking me what was wrong, repeatedly, until I could squeak out every little thing I could think of that was bothering me, including the texting. I made sure to remind him how it bothers me when we are talking, watching a movie, or when he has said he wants to spend time with me. Apparently we have different ideas of what constitutes "quality time" and we are going to work on finding a middle ground there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NovemberRain View Post
I prefer dismantling triggers, when I can. Hypnosis is an incredible tool for that. Not the stage hypnosis you're prone to see in your town. Real, therapeutic, one-on-one hypnosis, with an experienced, well-trained person.

Personally, I've enjoyed lots of hypnosis on CDs, and now, much is available for download, right into your device of choice.

I also work with some folks who eliminate beliefs that are not serving. I was damn near hysterical recently, when my boss left, and i had to do his job (as well as mine). I had one session, and haven't had a moment's anxiety since. I didn't realize that I HAD anxiety before that. But after it was gone, I realized it was missing. I feel SO much better.
I'm hoping at some point to see a counselor/therapist of some sort, but as it is, I don't think our insurance covers it, and we certainly can not afford it out of pocket. Maybe I'll look online for some of those hypnosis CDs. I don't know how effective that would be with me, though. It is my understanding that you have to believe in hypnosis for it to work, and well, I've always been a skeptic.
(I say this a week after trying EFT, though, and while I am not sure that works either, at least it was distracting? heh.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Avatar View Post
Phones in general can be a sore spot, when overdone. Skye I'm sure is nodding emphatically, especially given that I use mine almost exclusively, in place of a computer. Work, personal stuff, this post, etc. So, one thing that may be worth asking yourself before taking action is if the primary issue is the amount of messaging, or the messaging itself. If the former, then perhaps working on that first and seeing where the other ends up is the better option. In our home, I do try to limit it on my own, with varying degrees of success. Sometimes, I need the reminder from Skye.
This reminds me of something from the discussion we had earlier.
He used to have a smart phone. He could do all his texting and web browsing on there, and often chose it over his slow, desktop computer. He recently had to turn off his smart phone and go back to using an old flip phone to reduce his bill so that we could get by more easily.
He used to use his phone to check his OKCupid or whatever site messages, so I never knew the difference of when he was texting or posting on forums or responding to emails or.. anything. And I think that helped. A lot. He pointed this out to me earlier, and now it makes more sense to me. He also was able to do these things on his phone when he was out of the house, so he spent a bit less time doing them at home than he does now.
Obviously, this doesn't make me not upset when he is multitasking, as he put it, at home when I would rather he be fully present.
Again, I'm hoping we can reach a more comfortable middle ground, because he didn't seem to realize exactly how much this was upsetting me, even though I had mentioned some of it being bothersome in the past.

I know the messaging itself bothers me. I really wish we had opened this in a better way. The way it was brought up and gone about was rough and unpleasant, and that is one reason it took so long for me to really start working on my issues with it. I guess I'm still not fully okay with it. I am in theory, but in practice.. ugh.
The frequency just exacerbates it, I guess.
Either way, I continuously tell myself they are just talking, just like he would to any friend back where he came from.
Same thing with sex. It's just sex. It's not like he hasn't had sex with other people before. Why should it matter if it's past or present?
Getting slightly off topic there, I guess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
Ugh, consider this... you are new parents. You have a lot of hormonal surges and a new little human being to bond with and take care of. Many poly people take a break from engaging in other relationships when there is a new baby in their lives.

Instead of placing blame on yourself and thinking you are not handling your "triggers" well enough, consider the possibility that your irritation rises up because this simply is not the right time for him to be focused on having liaisons with other women. You and your baby need him!

You cannot be left (abandoned?) to parent alone if you have a partner. Is he stepping up and doing what he needs to do to share in responsibilities at home? If so, then, okay, maybe have one day a week for a date with someone else, BUT if pursuing other women is an escape from the scary responsibilities of being a new dad and he's leaving you high and dry to do it all by yourself, then he is being a total cad and you should not tolerate that!

You two need to get down to the nitty-gritty in your communication and come together as two new caregivers of a child.
He does what I ask of him when he is home, assuming he is not dead on his feet. He has some health issues that cause fatigue, so he is not always able to help when I would like him to, aside from just holding our son.
He knows (I restated this to him today), that I would find it helpful if he would offer to take the baby more often, instead of waiting for me to ask him to so I can cook dinner, do laundry, etc, or playing with the baby while I am holding him. There for a while, no matter what mood he was in, the baby would scream whenever I handed him to him, so I think there may be some residual fear there that whenever he takes the baby, he's going to end up holding a wailing little boy.
He understands that I am home with our son almost every waking moment, that I have no other help with him, and that this can be rather hard on me.
I don't think he goes out as an escape. I fully believe it is for other reasons. If it were because of stress at all, it'd be because of his job, and finances, not baby responsibilities. He goes out for fun, for experiences, not escape.

I do not think he would be open to the idea of closing, currently.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 09-06-2012, 02:21 PM
CheshireCat CheshireCat is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: UK
Posts: 9
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by LovingRadiance View Post
I had issues with the phone, very similar to what you describe. I did ask that meal times, bed times and our date times are 'just for us'. So, no answering messages, no phones on. That has made a huge difference and I found that I am not triggered even half as often by the sounds and interruptions now that theres a guaranteed time they don't occur.
Bit late to this, and distracting from the baby-related chatter, but just wanted to add I SO identify with this trigger. Constant phone beeps and pings and vibrations had me thinking that DH and his new girlfriend were constantly talking to each other ALL THE TIME and it drove me crazy for a few weeks. I'm just about getting a handle on it now I think, but it still pops up for me a fair amount. DH is pretty good about not answering when we're on dates, and at meals, but they always wish each other a goodnight by text, which when I'm less uncertain about it all I'm sure I'll find sweet.

We're in the process of trying to work out an agreement re: him messaging his new sweetie while we're on our two week honeymoon next month. Eep. We don't want it to become a source of argument or tension while we're gone, we're working out a system whereby when we're not actively involved in "doing" something, he may step away and catch up while I read a book or something. Don't want to put a timelimit on it or anything (nothing like a deadline to make something seem more important or desperate, eh?) so I shall trust my DH to just simply be polite and focus on us the rest of the time One friend said I should make him sever all contact for the two weeks, but that just seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me! I'm sure we'll figure it out.

Anyway. I thought I'd offer another story to show you're not the only one in the throes of that! I hope the tips n tricks people have given you re: coping with the baby and involving your partner more are helping!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 09-07-2012, 12:09 AM
Invi Invi is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 54
Default

heh. I've heard the car seat suggestion before. My first brother used to nap in his.. and pretty much only in the car seat. I guess he had some pretty bad reflux, so sitting up a bit was the only way he could sleep.
Our car seat is a pain to take in and out of the car, though, so we have one of those bouncy seat things. He doesn't like it too much, though. Right now he seems to prefer the floor to any kind of seat or swing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YouAreHere View Post
You would be surprised.
Not sure what type of functions you're referencing, but my ex-husband, back when he was a full-time stay-at-home-dad, volunteered for the Obama campaign, he would take our daughters with him (admittedly, older than infant age, but more apt to whine about being booooorrrrrrrred! ). The other volunteers grew to LOVE having the girls around the office - they were a distraction from the day-to-day, and the attention the girls got from some of the other volunteers gave my ex a little extra time to focus on HIS work. Win-win.

It's worth a shot! Worst that can happen is that, no, it doesn't work out, so you're back at not going to functions. Nothing lost, but you'll know for sure.

Maybe I'm worrying about it too much. When our candidate was still actively campaigning and I was pregnant, there was at least one woman who'd bring her infant to meetings in a sling, but I guess I don't trust our bub to be quite as quiet around that many people. He gets upset if he sees someone looking at him if he's in the wrong mood. lol. Took him to a well-check last week, and his ped had a student in the office with him. He ended up hiding behind his clipboard to keep our little man from crying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CheshireCat View Post
Bit late to this, and distracting from the baby-related chatter, but just wanted to add I SO identify with this trigger. Constant phone beeps and pings and vibrations had me thinking that DH and his new girlfriend were constantly talking to each other ALL THE TIME and it drove me crazy for a few weeks. I'm just about getting a handle on it now I think, but it still pops up for me a fair amount. DH is pretty good about not answering when we're on dates, and at meals, but they always wish each other a goodnight by text, which when I'm less uncertain about it all I'm sure I'll find sweet.

We're in the process of trying to work out an agreement re: him messaging his new sweetie while we're on our two week honeymoon next month. Eep. We don't want it to become a source of argument or tension while we're gone, we're working out a system whereby when we're not actively involved in "doing" something, he may step away and catch up while I read a book or something. Don't want to put a timelimit on it or anything (nothing like a deadline to make something seem more important or desperate, eh?) so I shall trust my DH to just simply be polite and focus on us the rest of the time One friend said I should make him sever all contact for the two weeks, but that just seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me! I'm sure we'll figure it out.

Anyway. I thought I'd offer another story to show you're not the only one in the throes of that! I hope the tips n tricks people have given you re: coping with the baby and involving your partner more are helping!
Aw, enjoy your honeymoon.
Some of this has definitely been helpful.
I think I need to call my insurance provider and see what is an is not covered in regards to counseling or therapy, at least for PPD. If I can see someone for that, maybe we can talk about some of the other stresses in my life and get some of that taken care of.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
envy, jealousy, mono / poly, mono/poly, trigger, triggers

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 04:52 AM.