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Old 08-14-2010, 12:40 AM
corrigant corrigant is offline
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Unhappy I sure could use a mentor

Let me sum up the scenario. Im a 36 year old male (Tracy), engaged to a 30 year old female (Claire). We have been in a mono relationship for a year and half since we met. About 4 weeks ago, an old flame of hers visited town and she realized she was still in love with him. She asked to go poly and be with him as opportunities arise (we live in Texas and he lives in California). I agreed to give it a try and she has made plans to visit him in late November. We are both committed to being each others primary, getting married and having a family.

Now the fun begins.... Part of me loves the idea and can not dream of restricting her from experiencing such a wonderful love. I have little desire to be in another relationship, but I do love the idea of being free to experience new things. The flip side, is the part of me that is freaking the fuck out about all of this. I've had lots of ups and downs and am consistently struggling with my underlying fears and insecurities. I have seen some of these fears face to face and others are too afraid to come out. I'm trying to be loving and accepting of these parts of me and I believe that is the only way to address them. The hardest part is that these fears and insecurities in question, when left unchecked, tell some really bad stories that generate a lot of negative emotions that are negatively impacting my relationship with Claire.

I have tried to talk to Claire about it, but she appears to have some serious guilt issues and internalizes my feelings, blames herself and becomes uncommunicative after a few minutes. We are practicing with non-violent communications and imago dialog, but these are taking some time to practice with our tight schedules. We are also working with a counselor that is open to Polyamory. I have realized that these are my own issues and that Claire can do nothing but satiate my dysfunctions. This has made it easier to not talk about my shit until we can work out an effective communications process.

In the mean time, I still have these negative feelings that are just out of reach for me to come to terms with and I'm feeling pretty unloved in our relationship. I feel lost and alone on a regular basis. I want to be with Claire, I want her to have this other love and I want the growth potential I can see for myself by overcoming my insecurities. I just don't know how to get there. I could really use some exercises, practical techniques and guidance to coming to terms with this.

Tracy

Last edited by corrigant; 08-14-2010 at 12:43 AM.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:01 AM
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sage sage is offline
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Hi and welcome
Although I don't quite understand all of what you are saying e.g. the negative stories. It sounds as if you seem to be going through a jealously crisis. This is my own term for what seems to hit most of us on a polyamorous path at some point. Usually sooner rather than later.

For me the pain was so bad that I didn't even recognize it as jealousy, just pure agony. It came in waves and each wave was significantly less painful than the first.

You'll find lots of support here, infact I kinda look on this whole forum as being my mentor. But if you want someone one on one feel free to message me.

Initially anyway it sounds to me as if this could be quite a healthy thing for your relationship. Polyamory forces you to learn how to communicate with your partner and from your post it seems that this is where you need to start.
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Old 08-14-2010, 02:46 AM
corrigant corrigant is offline
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Thanks for your input Sage. We definitely need to learn to communicate more openly and effectively and we are on that path. My concern is that my negative thoughts about Poly will sabotage our relationship before we learn to communicate and work through it.

I guess I'm looking for advice about how to cope with my jealousy from someone that has been through it. At the moment, my jealousy is building momentum and I don't like where it is going.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:03 AM
FitChick FitChick is offline
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What are your fears? When I first became involved with my partner,I was scared I would lose him to someone else,that fear still arises every now and then,you need to express your fears with your girlfriend and discuss them. I know the communication is hard but it truly does help.
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Old 08-14-2010, 04:13 AM
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sage sage is offline
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Yep, I agree with fitchick.

Get all those fears down on paper and look at them. Only then can you start to do deal with them.
Your fears are valid and being afraid to get them out into the open just causes them to fester and make the whole thing worse.
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Old 08-14-2010, 03:21 PM
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Breathesgirl Breathesgirl is offline
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www.xeromag.com

Awesome site, lots of great advice with a side of humor.

When jealousy rears its ugly head (& it IS ugly for me when it happens) my need to lash out must be handled with kid gloves. I find I need MORE alone time in order to figure out what started the jealousy again. I reread xeromag, I journal, I do things to take my mind off the problem for a while since I find that sometimes NOT thinking about the problem helps me to 1. relax & 2. formulate a coping strategy until it can be overcome.

Somewhere in all of that I talk with Breathes & explain, to the best of my befuddled brain's abilities, the problem. He is able to see things from a different perspective without belittling my feelings about it. Between the two of us we manage to uncover the problem & bring it out into the light of day so it can be dealt with and banished.

This is by no means an easy or painless process. It takes time & lots of introspection. It is hard to face one's fears but it is so worth the end result.
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Old 08-19-2010, 09:02 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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Quote:
Thanks for your input Sage. We definitely need to learn to communicate more openly and effectively and we are on that path. My concern is that my negative thoughts about Poly will sabotage our relationship before we learn to communicate and work through it.
I'm sorry that I can't completely relate to where you are coming from, but I'm a very empathic person, so to an extent, I can.

Your negative feelings about poly need to be honored, just as her desire to explore the relationship needs to be. I can only speak for myself, but things improved significantly when DW started saying how he was really feeling, because then we could address it. Does that make sense? For example, he thought that my loving another represented some inadequacy on his part and that simply isn't the case. Since he's been more open, we've tackled a lot of monsters that needed to be tamed. I think it's important for you to make it clear to her how much you want to be okay with this, but that it will take you time. That's very reasonable! Maybe others have said the same, but I haven't had a chance to read through the whole thread.

Jealousy is a feeling you are feeling and it tells you something. A friend of mine had a nice re-frame of this when he said that jealousy indicates how much you value the other person. The trick is to look at what it is trying to tell you. What I "hear" you saying is that you are afraid of losing what you have. Who wouldn't be when a significant change like this occurs?

I wish you much peace and love through this journey!
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Married for 14 years to an amazing man, "David Webb" on the forum
Discovered that I was poly in January 10,
forging my path together with the best partner I could ever ask for!
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Old 08-19-2010, 03:29 PM
inlovewith2 inlovewith2 is offline
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I
Quote:
've had lots of ups and downs and am consistently struggling with my underlying fears and insecurities. I have seen some of these fears face to face and others are too afraid to come out. I'm trying to be loving and accepting of these parts of me and I believe that is the only way to address them. The hardest part is that these fears and insecurities in question, when left unchecked, tell some really bad stories that generate a lot of negative emotions that are negatively impacting my relationship with Claire.
Hi Tracy! First of all, welcome to the forum--this is a fantastic group of people, many of whom have provided some incredible guidance to my dh and I.

I have a couple of first thoughts based both on my own experience and the experiences shared on this forum. One is that you need some allowances; to grieve what your relationship was previously (much of which it likely still is), and to take a breath. Jeesh, this should not be an overnight process (and feel free to read on our journey, and you'll see why I say that I learned from my own mistakes. When you are the one exploring a new relationship, it's really easy to miss the big picture. When you are just starting out a dating relationship (a mono one let's say), this is expected. But when you are exploring poly, the relationship that must come first and foremost is the primary one, imnsho. Claire needs to be respectful of where you are at in the process. How you feel is just as important as how she feels. Of course she's enthusiastic and eager, but that's no less valid than your feelings of fear and insecurity. Now, there is tons that you can do to work on that yourself, and much of that needs to be intra-personal, I think, but she is your partner and needs to support you.
Quote:
I have tried to talk to Claire about it, but she appears to have some serious guilt issues and internalizes my feelings, blames herself and becomes uncommunicative after a few minutes.
See, and those are her issues. Her feelings are understandable as well, but again, need to be dealt with in large part intra-personally. You would do well to reassure her that her feelings of guilt only become obstacles in your relationship. Take the good (that it indicates how much she cares for you) and put the rest in the trash where it belongs. I honestly think that has been a tremendous help to DW and I. It's not that I don't feel terrible sometimes, but I express it and don't let it consume me. Imo, he needs to know that I feel it, but then we need to let it go.

Quote:
We are also working with a counselor that is open to Polyamory. I have realized that these are my own issues and that Claire can do nothing but satiate my dysfunctions. This has made it easier to not talk about my shit until we can work out an effective communications process.
Yay for the poly-friendly counselor. We just found one ourselves!!! While yes, these are your issues, you are working hard to overcome them and as your partner, she needs to support you in any way she can. She's truly fortunate to have a partner willing to overcome all of the messages we've been force fed about monogamy for our entire lives. It would have been easy (at least at the outset) for you to say "forget it", but you didn't. And being that a relationship is a give and take, now you need her to meet you where you are at.

Obvee, you understand that you too will benefit from dealing with your insecurities, but that doesn't negate that the process will at times be difficult, nor does the difficulty negate the reward.

I personally think that you need to talk about your "shit", even if in an imperfect way, rather than wait and hold it in. Holding on to pain does damage, plain and simple.

Quote:
In the mean time, I still have these negative feelings that are just out of reach for me to come to terms with and I'm feeling pretty unloved in our relationship. I feel lost and alone on a regular basis. I want to be with Claire, I want her to have this other love and I want the growth potential I can see for myself by overcoming my insecurities. I just don't know how to get there. I could really use some exercises, practical techniques and guidance to coming to terms with this.
I'm so sorry to hear that you are feeling unloved. And if Claire doesn't know that, she needs to. It can certainly be said in a non-blaming way, and owned appropriately, but as your partner, she absolutely must know. DW withheld a lot of his feelings from me in the beginning, for very noble reasons. But as I told him, they found ways to be expressed even if he hadn't put them into words.

The most practical tips I can share are to journal, talk, and be open about where you are. Your feelings are your feelings.

Here's one post that captures a lot of our journey: http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showt...?t=3110&page=3

Best of luck to you and Claire!!!
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Married for 14 years to an amazing man, "David Webb" on the forum
Discovered that I was poly in January 10,
forging my path together with the best partner I could ever ask for!
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