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Old 03-15-2011, 11:04 AM
PLove PLove is offline
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Default Need Advice on Dealing with Jealousy/Mistrust

My husband and I are just beginning to form a triad with another woman and I'm looking for some advice on how to deal with some of my feelings of jealousy and mistrust. This is our first venture into polyamory and I suspect that part of my problem is because of how the relationship started--my husband was sneaking around with this woman off and on for the past year and had fallen in love with her. I met with her to discuss the situation and we found that there was an attraction between the two of us, as well, so we've been pursuing the whole triad idea.

This past weekend, we were together for the first time sexually, all three of us, and it was without a doubt, the hottest, most erotic experience of my life. There was also an incredible energy/connection between us that showed me the possibilities of this kind of relationship.

At the same time, I find that I'm fighting feelings of fear and worry that because they already had an established relationship and I'm entering it late in the game that they are really just wanting to do their own thing without me. Both my husband and the other woman are assuring me that this is not the case and during our lovemaking, were wonderfully sensitive to how I might be feeling about the whole situation. But because of how the relationship started, I'm having problems completely ridding myself of the negative thoughts. I can't help feeling that if my husband and I had found and pursued her together, rather than me being brought into the relationship later, things would be different in terms of my feelings. But it is what it is and I'm trying to find ways to focus on the positive and not go down the jealousy/mistrust road. I'm also trying to remind myself that I should cut myself some slack--in the last 4 weeks, after a lifetime of monogamy, I've moved from finding out that my husband had an affair with another woman to pursuing a triad with her. That seems pretty good to me.

I'd love advice on how others who have entered into polyamory this way might have dealt with their feelings. Is this a pretty normal reaction to starting this way? How do you move out of these feelings into something more positive?
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:00 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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I'd say you're doing extremely well.

Don't be afraid to keep asking for the reassurances that you need. If they're really interested in making this work, they will go at your pace. They've had a whole year to lose your trust; now they need to put in the work that should've been done from the start and help you through your negative feelings.

Negative emotions are perfectly normal, especially given the way you've come to poly. When they happen, acknowledge them, deal with them as best as possible, and try not to worry you're doing something "wrong" just because you're having those feelings. You're not. I don't think anyone around here hasn't had negative emotions in their poly experiences. They're a part of life just like the good ones.

Also, technically, she's entering the game late, assuming you've been with your husband longer than the year they've been together.

Last edited by TruckerPete; 03-15-2011 at 12:03 PM. Reason: had more to say
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:19 PM
RobFire RobFire is offline
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Default Caution.

I can't contribute to heavily on the jealousy issue, other than to suggest that you try to define your jealous feelings in more precise terms that do not use the word "jealousy".

Usually there are underlying issues with jealousy that can be obfuscated by the more general term. Sometimes when someone picks apart what the jealousy means, they can get a better understanding of what their fears, envy or possessive instincts come from.

---

One other point I would raise would be that if it were me, I would take some time and address the breakdown in trust that occurred while your partner was having an affair on the sly. IMHO, there shouldn't be any justifiable reason for that type of dishonesty, and living in a poly relationship demands much more, not less, honesty and communication.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:33 PM
PLove PLove is offline
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Thanks Trucker Pete and Rob Fire for the thoughts.

TP--you're right that she's the one coming in late--my husband and I have been together for 8 years, married for 5. I think that in this situation, it's hard for me to not think of it as me being brought into their relationship though, because they are in love and I'm looking at trying to develop my own relationship with her. Although I guess I could also look at it that WE are in love and she's trying to develop a relationship with me. Because of the sneaking around thing, where she knew about me and I didn't know what was going on with her, I think it makes it feel more like I'm the intruder at times, though.

Rob--the feelings of jealousy no doubt are somewhat related to the usual feelings of inadequacy and fear that I think come with anyone embarking on polyamory for the first time, especially if it wasn't something that they sought for themselves. It's hard to shake a lifetime of conditioning that says there's something wrong with you if your partner wants someone else. Not to mention the fact that over the years when my husband has had feelings for other women, it has often turned into discussions about why can't I be more like they are. He has not been doing that here and has apologized for doing that in the past, but, again, it's hard sometimes to shake the past.

I agree that we do need to work on the betrayal of trust and have been doing that. He gets frustrated at times with my time-table and wonders when I'm going to get over my feelings, but I do feel like we're in early days here and that in all fairness it's a lot to expect that I would be over everything in 4 weeks.
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Old 03-15-2011, 01:38 PM
TruckerPete TruckerPete is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLove View Post
I agree that we do need to work on the betrayal of trust and have been doing that. He gets frustrated at times with my time-table and wonders when I'm going to get over my feelings, but I do feel like we're in early days here and that in all fairness it's a lot to expect that I would be over everything in 4 weeks.
Oh hell yes! He gets a big ol' slow the eff down while you catch up to everything that's happened in the last month.

And yeah, I totally understood what you meant by coming late to the relationship.

I would suggest you do a tag search for NRE (New Relationship Energy). It sounds like hubby is more than a little blinded at the moment. NRE generally lasts 6-12 months, but sneaking around would have slowed down the natural progression of NRE into a stable state. As well, with your acceptance now on the table, the entire dynamic has changed and there's going to be a burst of NRE with that, as well. I would bet he's got all sorts of bubbly future fantasies going on and needs a bit of a reality check.

If he's open to it, hubby should get on here, too. Don't worry, we won't rail on a cheater-turned-poly who is genuinely trying to make things work. We have a number of senior members who came to poly that way.
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  #6  
Old 03-15-2011, 01:50 PM
PLove PLove is offline
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Hi TP--actually he is on here--Hades36--and he's the one who introduced me to this Forum.

You may be right about the NRE. I think that especially after Saturday night it may be picking up and that's another aspect I need to learn how to deal with. I've done some poking around and reading on it and I'm trying to not let that be yet another thing that sends me down the negativity road, but damn--there are a LOT of things to have to adjust to in a short period of time, you know?

He's been doing his very best to be sensitive, thoughtful, spending time with me, etc. On one level, I shouldn't have any complaints because he's really being good about it, especially when I look at what some other people have had to deal with. But at the same time, it IS a struggle to see your partner having these feelings for another person, especially when you're struggling to build your own relationship with them and aren't totally sure where it's going.

It's definitely a learning process and one that tests your personal limits, I will say that!
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Old 03-15-2011, 02:36 PM
GroundedSpirit GroundedSpirit is offline
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Default Trust

Hi Plove,

One thought occurred to me that may be worth mentioning.

It's important to not confuse TRUST (and respect) with poly, sex or anything else. Although they can be connected they are not the same and have to be looked at and dealt with separately.
We all get our trust violated at some point, some more seriously than others. From little things like what money was spend on to something more substantial like the affair you note. Once that trust is violated there's going to remain a certain amount of suspicion and skepticism for a LONG time - maybe forever. You have to build it back through a string of things where your judgement is tested and proves solid.

Now, that being said, living a poly life has it's own set of complications and the trust is only a part. In my experience only, I've found that once something like this finally comes into the light (affairs etc) and you survive that initial shock and all proceed down the road together, I feel that there will be a much higher degree of openness and therefore potential for trust. And validation of that trust and better judgement. So it can actually help rebuild and reinforce more honesty and openness.

Good luck.

GS
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