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  #1  
Old 01-09-2011, 09:32 AM
nto nto is offline
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Default Guilt over boundaries

We first became poly because she was more attracted to women as a rule, and she didn't know if she could deal with just being with a man for life. Fine, women, for whatever reason, don't make me jealous. No big deal.

Fast forward about 4-5 years. She starts feeling more attracted to men. I explain I didn't feel comfortable with this, it triggers jealousy, and intensely too. Fists clenching over what I recognize is just over nothing.

Well, she had been talking to a guy, and wanted to try a relationship. I am trying really really hard to get over my insecurity, so I tell her the best I can do is not tell her she needs to stop. They aren't officially anything, as far as a relationship goes. She goes out with him a couple times, and I don't handle it well. It gnaws at me. It grinds into my brain. Her phone goes off, letting her know it's a text, and I am on edge. I drink through it, though. Both the other guy and I feel shorted on time, which doesn't help, since she is in school and has a job.

Fast forward a little further, she tells me she loves him, and I damn near have a breakdown. I don't know how to deal with it. She saw how much it hurts me, and we both know there's no good reason for it, I just have no idea how to process it. I've considered everything from just saying whatever, go ahead, I'll deal with my own problems or I won't, and that's my problem, to moving out, to just drinking more. I don't know how to deal with it.

Anyways, she's planning on ending it. She's as depressed as me about this now, and I feel terrible, since it's my insecurity and jealousy making her miserable. I don't know how to deal with it. Adding to the fun is the fact that the other guy is already depressed, even before he knows. He drinks too much, depressed statuses on facebook, all that fun stuff. She's already worried he'll hurt himself, even before he knows what's up (although he does know about my issues).

So any advice? I'll take advice on how to deal with my jealousy, my insecurity, the guilt I have over her feeling so bad, her feeling so bad, or anything else you care to give advice on. I have no idea what to do, say, or how to fix myself or help her.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:09 AM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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I wish I had words of advice my friend but I understand your guilt. I've just learned to accept that other guys entering our dynamic will change what we have from my end. Because of this I sometimes dwell on the idea that what we have can't last forever in it's current form of expression. You can either take the plunge and see what is on the other side if she follows this path or learn to accept your own limitations. As a side note...the whole drinking/depression guilt trip thing this guy has going on does not sound healthy regardless..he needs help.

Good luck
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Last edited by MonoVCPHG; 01-09-2011 at 05:43 PM.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:44 AM
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Hi and Welcome.

Coping with a poly partner when you're mono (which you seem to be) is in my opinion a process that you have to go through. If you want to have a look at my process the link is in my signature. Everyone's process is of course unique but there are commonalities such as dealing with jealousy and insecurity. Monolicious has also written some really good stuff about this recently on here that shouldn't be hard to find.

The thing with jealousy is that it will highlight problems in your own relationship. You say you and the other guy are both feeling short changed in terms of time and that your wife is a student and working. It sounds to me as if this is where you should start. It would be difficult for anyone to successfully maintain all this, but add to that the fact that you're struggling to cope with the first other male in your marriage and he is depressed and drinking, and it all sounds too much to me.

Let her let him go and but don't take all the responsibility for it on your shoulders. Discuss it in terms of feasibility in the current context of your life. Let her know that you're willing to explore being able to cope with her pursuing relationships with other guys but that maybe this guy at this time isn't a good fit.

Of course she'll be sad, but her life is full and if you aren't beating yourself up over it you will be in a better position to support her through it.

As far as him self-harming, that sounds like emotional manipulation to me and more reason to leave well alone.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-09-2011, 12:54 PM
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oy vey... There's not much I can say except this....just support her as much as you can, y'know...the shoulder to cry on and whathaveyou. for the love of all things sacred...DO NOT add to the aggravation already by drinking too much and self-destructing yourself. That is the kind of thing that makes it worse before it gets better (voice of experience. I just got through a divorce with my husband of 4 years. nother long drawn out story). The point of the matter is, as long as you are strong, she will be too (again voice of experience).

End Novel...
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nto View Post
..............
So any advice? I'll take advice on how to deal with my jealousy, my insecurity, the guilt I have over her feeling so bad, her feeling so bad, or anything else you care to give advice on. I have no idea what to do, say, or how to fix myself or help her.
Hey NTO,

Well, I'll try to toss out a few basics that might help you get started.

1. Jealousy.....is a fear based response. In these affairs it's usually fear of loss - someone we care about. Understand that you can't or shouldn't hold anyone captive. Nothing good can ever come of that. If people are connected on the right levels NOTHING can change that. If you're NOT connected on the right levels, and can't get there, nothing will keep you together in a happy, loving condition.

2. "Loving" someone (as opposed to possessing them) means caring for their condition & happiness. Having that love returned to us depends on them witnessing this genuine caring and actions associated with it. The more we love the more is returned to us - in some form or another.

3. It's not uncommon for us to confuse sympathy/empathy for love. Far to many relationships get started from these confused seeds. These relationships frequently develop into co dependent, destructive relationships. We can't fix/heal the world. All we can do is try to lend a little assistance from a distance. I mention this because from what little you've posted I would question her motives in connection with this other guy. He may be a decent person but is her attraction driven from a desire to 'fix' him ? That's a tough call - to be honest with ourself (and do the honest soul searching). But it needs to happen.

4. Guilt, in this case, is very premature. I doubt that any lasting damage is done and what there is is not your fault. The cover is just coming off the pan in a dark room. Everyone is stumbling around trying to follow the scents, not even knowing what is cooking, and there's going to be some stubbed toes or black eyes. Everyone and no one is at 'fault' - YET.

Try to do some learning, talk lots, and leave room for some mistakes. Inject as much solid fact & logic into the situation as possible and try to remove as many emotions. Emotions cloud judgement and right now clarity is vital.

Good luck - keep us posted.

GS
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:42 PM
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I'm not worried about emotions clouding decisions, I just really don't know how to deal with it, or what to do. I can tell her "it's fine. Don't worry about it. Go ahead." I did that for about 2 months, trying my damndest to get over it fast. But really, I just end up depressed, and the thoughts that make me feel better about it are when I have time with her, and the next time I can drink. Which sounds worse than it is, since I've had any alcohol at all twice in the last 3 weeks or so.

Ideally, she dates him, and I stop feeling depressed to the point that I want my brain to just shut down and leave me alone. Failing that, I'd like to know how to deal with things going forward, because now I feel terrible about this, since she dealt with my relationship with a woman, even though it upset the hell out of her.

Really, I'm absolutely at a loss, and don't know how to deal with the jealousy. Women have never made me jealous like this. It just doesn't strike me as the same role, I guess. It makes me angry, nauseous, hurt, depressed, and generally not good.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:47 PM
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This is why I am now single. The jealousy of my husband got so out of hand because I was talking to another man who was a friend, while we were together and HE said he loved another woman while we were together. I have a jealous streak a mile and a half wide, so I divorced him. BUT...after a while things cooled down, and now we are the best of friends. What this has to do with your problem, I don't know. But things will turn out ok in the longrun. Just stay positive
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nto View Post
Really, I'm absolutely at a loss, and don't know how to deal with the jealousy. Women have never made me jealous like this. It just doesn't strike me as the same role, I guess. It makes me angry, nauseous, hurt, depressed, and generally not good.
how about like your stomach and heart are going to rip out of your chest at the same time....?

Well, you'll be happy to know that almost everyone who is just experiencing poly feels this... you are definitely not alone... check out the threads on jealousy (tag search "jealousy") as there is a lot written on it.
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Old 01-09-2011, 06:47 PM
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There is no reason that she needs to quit him I don't think... I think what does need to happen is meeting him, getting to know him, discussing boundaries and time lines so that she can spend time with both of you and it be special and your time only (no texts). The other big thing is to slow down. If her seeing him so much is too much, then ask that she see him less right now. Poly, and all relationships are about expressing needs and making requests so that we can process and go at a pace that is comfortable... not about doing whatever and then just expecting and assuming the others in the dynamic are sucking it up as much as we are. Communicate, respect each other, empathize, spend time getting to know each other and make sure that you are doing right by you first... while keeping others in mind...

Take a look at the tags, do a search in them, look at the stickies and golden nuggets section and educate yourself... then you can make choices that are rational and educate others so as to benefit you and them... I suggest that the two others in this do the same. Good luck.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:01 PM
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So any advice? I'll take advice on how to deal with my jealousy, my insecurity, the guilt I have over her feeling so bad, her feeling so bad, or anything else you care to give advice on. I have no idea what to do, say, or how to fix myself or help her.
Read xeromag articles.
That's my "place to start" suggestion.

Buy (and read) the book "living happily ever after" & "the seven levels of intimacy".

Do whatever it takes to get you busy working on your insecurities and fears. Stay busy and keep at it.

Don't focus on his issues, that isn't something that you can fix. Focus on dealing with your issues.
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