a mess I can't think myself out of... and distrust-paranoia
I'm in a huge relationship mess right now and I cant think my way out of it.
I, have been living non-monogamous for several years now. Over the years I've learnt more and more to communicate - my needs, my understanding of relationships, and also: to try to encourage my lovers to tell me my needs, try to convince them that I DO want to act according with their needs ALONG with acting according with my freedom and needs.
But whether they were open to the idea of non-monogamy or not, more or less, or even when they actively wanted to live this way, not because of me, even those that lived this way before they met me.... somehow ended up being pretty much monogamous with me anyway.
I don't know why, but in all the more serious or more longlasting relationships I've had, my lovers never had any other lover during the time we were close. And this has accumulated into a very strange thing inside of me. Because on one hand, of course I want to be happy about/am happy about/want to honor the way they feel intensely for me, but on the other hand, theres this guilt and insecurity inside of me, and these voices telling me that I'm an asshole and have no right to have needs or insecurities or jealousy inside of me, because of my history. Which sucks when I'm trying to trust people.
And right now, heres my situation:
A year ago, I started getting close to this wonderful person, and the closer we got the more overwhelmed I was by the clarity my feelings had. I've always been bothered by the fact that I was never sure whether I loved someone or not, always having voices inside of me saying that in the end I dont need them, and maybe Im playing a game... stuff like that.
With this person, all these fears, voices, uncertainties.... disappeared.
I was so completely sure that I loved that person. We spent so much time together. We told each other it was okay that we needed each other, We decided to allow that.
And then, a few months ago, I moved into this living project and a lot of things in my life changed. I was being confronted with a lot of crazy, really tough things, I was completely overpowered by the experiences I was making. And then I met this other person and we ended up making out on the second day we knew each other and suddenly, BAM, I was in love with another person with this damn clarity. And I told this person, very soon, that I'm nonmonogamous. And that theres this other really really important person in my life. And so on.
He seemed to accept it, although he didnt really want to talk about it. We spent a lot of time together and at the same time so much shit happened in my life. It was crazy. And I ended up not feeling up to facing my longtime lover. I called, and told him what was happening, but I couldnt see him. It was just too much at once for me.
for about a month this went on - me, in a chaos of things happening and people close to me breaking down, at the same time spending a lot of time with this new person, and seeing my longtime lover very seldom. When we did see each other, he was very defensive, hurt by the sudden distance I needed, and we spent most of the time we did see each other talking about how he was feeling, and how he was handling the situation. This sometimes went emotionally over my capacities, since I was a wreck in the first place, but I didnt notice this, feeling like I had to compensate my spending less time with him by giving as much space as possible to his needs, and being afraid to lose him.
THEN, I got home one day to find my new lover in tears, and he confessed to me that he was madly jealous, and actually monogamous (although he never used that word). Basically, although I had tried to talk with him about it a lot, he had always evaded, saying stuff like "of course defining things is stupid, I dont know why people do that, everything just is what it is, fuck labels, of course I'm fine" I HAD sensed the defensiveness, but I didnt want to push it. I had been honest with him. And I had hoped that he would eventually come to trust me enough to talk more openly with me.
And when he finally did, he ended up telling me in tears that his heart belongs to me, that hes a "loyal dog" in love, that the only lips he wants to kiss are mine, that thats his way of loving, and he wants to respect my way of living and being, but its really fucking hard for him. Which triggered all my accumulated guilt and self-hate. And yet, I could see that these were his feelings, and I had to respect them for what they were. And then of course there was the happiness about the fact that such a wonderful person felt so much for me. And then the self-doubt about those feelings, the fear of me secretly wishing for monogamy after all. And then the self-hate for not being able to just see the feelings and the beautiful things between us, my head full of words like "social construct" and "ownership" and "communication" when he was just helplessly being himself.
here comes another element: my flatmate. A really good friend of mine, in some ways, although we tend to butt heads from time to time because were both very complicated and strong personalities. So I'm away for a few days, and I come back, and she tells me she has to talk to me. Tells me that her and my new lover had cuddled the day before while watching movies, and that she does kinda have feelings for him in some way but doesnt really want to act on it and whatever, but if thats okay with me that this happened, because she doesnt want any weird jealousy crap, and that shes going to talk to him about it but hasnt yet. And I said that ITS FINE automatically, and was really confused, and told her that id be fine with them getting closer if thats what happens, that it would be strange for me but if we worked to communicate well it would be fine, and she said no, no she doesnt want that anyway, she was just checking.
so for the next days I waited for them to have talked, not wanting to talk to him about it before she did, (and he didnt really say anything to me except something like "i missed you so much I'm glad she was here during that movie because it was really sad and I felt really crappy") but she didnt talk with him, so finally I did, because I couldnt take the awkwardness I felt.
And it was a really weird conversation, because at first he didnt even get what I was talking about, and then he thought I was jealous or was accusing him of having done something more than what happened, and just said he wanted closeness to someone but thats all and he doesnt feel for her that way at all and his heart is mine and all that. And of course I couldnt say that it sounded different coming from her because 1. it wasnt my place to tell him her feelings 2. it would have turned out like an accusation ...... and I said that IF something like that were to be between them that would be FINE by me Id just like for there to be communication, and he just started to reassure me that theres nothing whatsoever and he belongs to me. which wasnt what I wanted to hear, but being weird about that would have just made the situation worse. So I just shrugged it off.
Told her that I talked to him, and later that day they talked and flirted a lot but as they both told me they "just" had fun and cleared that they didnt want anything more from each other.
And I felt really awkward towards her too, because it could be a really hurtful situation for her, with him blatantly prioritizing me like that, which wasnt really something I wanted but also something I cant say "I dont want" because its part of his feelings and his feelings do make me happy..... and I wanted to talk to her about how she felt, but she was really distanced anyway, and my relationship with her felt imbalanced in that way anyway, me listening to her rants and she letting them out on me, and I felt like she didnt really care about my needs in this situation either, which hurt me, so I couldnt really talk to her properly either.
And now its a few weeks later. And I'm feeling really neurotic.
Because they keep flirting, today I came out of the house to find her head on his shoulder, and damnit, I wouldnt MIND if I had the feeling that there was honest communication.