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Old 12-18-2011, 05:19 PM
nooneparticular nooneparticular is offline
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Default Jealousy and cheating

A few years ago (before my wife and I discovered poly) my wife and I had a falling out. She moved out and started sleeping with another man, all the while telling me that she was not doing anything with anyone else and that I had nothing to worry about. I was reassured that there was nobody else that she was seeing or even interested in. It wasn't just sex in the end, there was an emotional bond that she admitted to me later would have probably resulted in a significant relationship had I not been around.

Fast forward a few years... We open our relationship and each of us have recently begun seeing other people. We've both been very open in our communication and honest about actions, intents, and emotions with our new relationships. After her second date with a guy that I have to admit seems like a rather cool individual that I might even be friends with because of all this, she gives me a rundown of the evening. Some old feelings of betrayal and jealousy come back. I know they aren't related to the current situation, as I don't have any problem with what she's doing with him or how things are progressing (slightly faster than my minimum comfort level, just enough that I am able to have my comfort pushed and grow a little with each interaction).

Has anyone else had an experience like this? How do you get past feelings of jealousy that are unrelated to the current situation?
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Old 12-19-2011, 01:12 AM
Quath Quath is offline
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What I do is to just think about it from different point of views or with different hypothetical situations. I usually try to imagine what I would vary with the situation so I would not be bothered. And then I try to understand that.

Sometimes if I think about it enough, my logical and emotional sides get in tune with each other.
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Old 12-19-2011, 02:35 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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Sure, its common for old feelings to come up. Poly dynamics push every single button that a couple have. The idea is to deal with all those buttons and walk through it to the other side so as to let them go and start something new. This is why most people don't make it or wouldn't even try. Some of those buttons are huge, some are not even known and some would never come up again if it weren't for poly.

I suggest that you take a few deep breaths, put it all into perspective and ask that you go very slowly so that you might be able to stay on top of your emotions. Unfortunately for her it might mean that you are able to barrel ahead and she will be fine and she will have to put the breaks on more often as a result of a stupid decision years ago. Them's the breaks I'm afraid. This is why cheating is evil in my opinion. It almost always ends in a life time of issues. So be it, its done now, but there will be some work to do. Tell her what you need from her and keep talking.

You might want to do a tag search for "jealousy" "envy" "cheating" and "affairs." It could help to look at the 'poly foundations' thread and the 'lessons learned' thread that you can find by doing a search on "lessons," or "foundations"
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:41 AM
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I recommend you look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or research CBT techniques.

Although what you're experiencing may not rise to the level of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, there certainly are similarities. You certainly went through a stressful event with your wife and certain actions or behaviors displayed by your wife may now be emotional triggers for you, causing you to re-experience those emotions. CBT should help you examine the thought patterns that are stimulating those emotions and give you the tools to help you think in different patterns.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:19 PM
swmnkdinthervr swmnkdinthervr is offline
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While we have found that jealousy linked to the past is mostly about how you view yourself and potentially some baggage from an earlier hurt, all that understanding is often little help when you are viewing from inside that painful place. Don't forget also that we are all products our our environment and most of us were subjected to jealousy/guilt "training" by our well meaning parents/peers!

We agree that there might be some help in therapy, you may also wish to look into "mindfulness" which is linked to cognitive therapy.
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