Polyamory.com Forum  

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

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-20-2012, 07:16 AM
polyFM polyFM is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 85
Default Triad dynamics - how common is jealousy?

For those of you who have engaged in long-term triad relationships, how much of an issue was jealousy? How did you deal with it when it surfaced, if it surfaced?
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-20-2012, 06:34 PM
peabean peabean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 52
Default

For us jealousy still rears its head from time to time. Much of it is that my girlfriend often feels we would 'be better off without her' and she worries that we don't need her. Which of course isn't how I feel. I want her, but I also want time with my husband. I want her to not feel angry at me when I'm with him or when he and I happen to get alone time (doesn't happen often, we have kids!). When he is with her I feel happy, I work hard to not feel resentful of their time, since I know the only person I can truly change is myself. I guess I practice 'compersion' in those circumstances, as much as I hate that made up word!

So, how do we deal with it? Talking, crying, hugging, making promises and keeping them. All the ways you would normally try to deal with jealousy in a relationship. We try to address the underlying insecurity that drives the jealousy, instead of the manifestation of the jealousy itself. That is not always easy, but we do try.

Maybe if you had a more specific question I could help more?
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:12 PM
polyFM polyFM is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 85
Default

Thanks for the response peabean. I haven't ever been part of a triad but I've definitely felt a sense of "tolerance" towards my intimate partner when she experiments with people I don't know. I'm not sure what it is... if I don't know the third person then my energy kind of shifts from an open appreciation of the known to a closed toleration of the unknown; I'm not quite resentful, just a bit uneasy. I would almost rather not know if she's seeing someone else just to dodge my own feelings. Not knowing the unknown, you know?

This is probably a kind of growing pain but I feel like it's not an uncommon one.

I'm wondering how this might change in a triad since everyone is in the loop - everything is known, and there aren't any known unknowns, if you will.

I should tell you that my understanding of a triad is three people who love each other in a "closed loop" - polyfidelity.

Quote:
Much of it is that my girlfriend often feels we would 'be better off without her' and she worries that we don't need her.
Is your situation closed loop, or are you all open to each other seeing other partners?

Last edited by polyFM; 01-21-2012 at 12:16 AM. Reason: updating
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-20-2012, 09:36 PM
nycindie's Avatar
nycindie nycindie is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: The Big Apple
Posts: 7,103
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by peabean View Post
For us jealousy still rears its head from time to time. Much of it is that my girlfriend often feels we would 'be better off without her' and she worries that we don't need her. Which of course isn't how I feel. I want her, but I also want time with my husband. I want her to not feel angry at me when I'm with him or when he and I happen to get alone time (doesn't happen often, we have kids!).
Wow, Peabean, putting myself in your shoes, I don't know if I could tolerate a situation where a mutual girlfriend gets angry when I'm getting quality time with my husband. That she thinks you two would be "better off" if she wasn't around also seems indicative of a real problem. She sounds like she has seriously low self-esteem, and that is probably where her envy (it sounds like envy, not jealousy) and possessiveness is coming from. I know this question might sting, but do you ever get the sense that she is really more interested in a relationship with your husband than in being with you? We come across so many instances like that, where a women gets involved with a M-F couple but really only wants to be with one of them, and/or isn't actually bisexual. How long have you all been a triad together? I think you two are doing the right thing in talking and working on it, but maybe a poly-friendly therapist could be helpful here.

Sorry for the tangent.
__________________
The world opens up... when you do.

Oh, oh, can't you see? Love is the drug for me. ~Bryan Ferry
"Love is that condition in which another person's happiness is essential to your own." ~Robert Heinlein
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-21-2012, 01:25 PM
peabean peabean is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 52
Default

Yes, I do believe her feelings of insecurity stem from low self esteem. I won't get into it on a public forum but suffice it to say she has a history of abuse, although its been many years since shes been in that situation.

I actually dont think she is more interested in my husband. Before we got together her relationships were primarily with women, so she has very little experience with men. I think the envy part is her seeing how easy it is between he and I. We have been together for a decade and have reached the point where we hardly ever fight because we know each other so well. We are deeply in love, and it shows.

The thing is, we are each also deeply in love with her. She brings so much to my life and I love how giving she is. We have been together for a year, and plan to stay together. We are constantly talking, and she understands that her jealousy feelings are hurting our relationship. She is in counseling and I've tried to find a counselor for all of use, just to talk it over with a professional, but poly-counselors seem few and far between.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-22-2012, 01:41 AM
IsobelR IsobelR is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 17
Default

Our triad isn't exactly long-standing, but I think we've come up against some of the issues you're experiencing. We ALL worry occasionally that the other two might go off and be a happy couple together. Which is dumb, it's not going to happen. We all realise it's dumb, but we still worry.

The best thing we've found for working on that is to bring it up whenever it strikes. This does require a certain amount of bravery, but it means that we're all able to give reassurance when it's needed.
I understand how she's having insecurities when you two have been together for so long. My gf and bf have been together for 11 years, and married for 8, and naturally they have a comfortable way of being together. That's not something that will change (I hope! It's a great vibe to have) but it might become easier for her when your relationship as a three has settled in the same way. A year is still (relatively) new, and it's a lot to adjust to for all of you.

It sounds like you're doing everything I'd advise - keep talking it out, keep reassuring her, and I don't really know what else to recommend. I'd hope this will fade with time, when it becomes obvious that you're not going to leave her. I'd hope
__________________
The unicorn they never knew they needed.
http://morethantwo-lessthanthree.blogspot.com/ for my views on God, Polyamory and Life.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-22-2012, 07:13 AM
CherryBlossomGirl CherryBlossomGirl is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 212
Default Tough stuff

Jealousy is a tough one for me in my current triad. My husband and our girlfriend are waist deep in NRE, and I'm not on board with that heady emotion. I'm having a helluva time dealing with feeling alienated and lost in something that I chose to start. It's not very pretty, and I wish I could just disappear sometimes when I'm having a really tough time. I do communicate how I feel, but they're my emotions, and nobody else's responsibility. I keep thinking that there will some kind of solution that will allow me to feel safe and sane again, keep hoping that it'll get easier, but I'm deep in discomfort and upset at present.

And I thought I was an evolved, happy, centred person.... sheesh, polyamory really turns you upside down inside of yourself. What I'd give for a chat session right now with someone with experience.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
envious, envy, jealous, jealousy

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 10:48 AM.