Dealing with another's issues and making boundaries
Haven't posted in a while, but have been reading and still learning...
A brief re-introduction: I’m a straight, mono
female with a straight male partner (D) who has two other
straight mono female partners (Ki and Ka). None
of us are legally married to D and none of us live with him.
We’re trying to build a sustainable, loving relationship
among the four of us and though the 3 of us girls are not romantically or
sexually involved with each other, we do have deep bonds.
I’ve adapted a pragmatic approach of what works for me personally, our
group and the individual relationships within the group. It’s an
on-going process and sometimes I feel frustrated beyond words with the
whole idea of poly (in any form)!
I’m all for personal growth and knowing oneself and I have worked on that
over the past few years. I DO know myself better and feel more centered
and at peace with myself than I ever have. I discovered things that I
may have never discovered if I’d been in a mono relationship and I’m very
grateful for that. I love D and the relationship we have. And I love Ki
and Ka too.
It’s just very draining to deal with another’s (SAME) insecurities,
fears, jealousy, baggage, etc. over and over and over and over. I know
that, in some cases, when the same issue keeps reappearing, the root
cause of that issue has not been addressed and no matter how reassuring
or comforting another person is, it doesn’t reach the source.
Sometimes, though, it’s not just a matter of dealing with a root cause;
sometimes it’s part of an individual’s personality. For example, I have
never been a jealous person – it takes a very specific set of events for
me to experience jealousy and even then, it passes quickly. Ka, on the
other hand, is extremely jealous and when she is triggered, it produces
hurt feelings and DAYS of talking and processing.
She gets jealous of me if I spend more time with D than she does and
almost has a fit of apoplexy if she thinks I’ve gotten more sex than her.
Never mind the fact that SHE almost always spends more time with D *AND*
has more sex with him than I do. She has no problem with the “inequity”
when she “wins”, but on those rare occasions when I “win”, she gets bent.
(And that’s happened maybe 5 or 6 times in TWO YEARS!)
I think Ka’s jealously is also related to her trust issues. These are
due, in part, to baggage from her previous marriage, but also because
it’s part of her personality. So if she “feels” that D (or I) haven’t
told the truth (as she sees it, regardless of the facts), no matter what
he says or does, or what I say or do, or what proof we present, she reads
deception into his/my words or actions, when there is none. I do try to
be patient and understanding as she deals with her baggage. But, her
actions impact me.
I get tired of “being on trial” when I’ve done nothing wrong. I don’t
lie to her (or Ki) and I won’t. I insist on honesty so I’m going to be
honest. And it gets so old when she’s pissy and complains about any
“extra” time I spend with D, which leads me to believe that she feels
entitled to that time. Then my hackles raise because she has no more
“right” to it than I do.
She also asks D questions about what he and I did when we were together.
Is it a jealousy issue? A trust issue? Or, just plain nosiness?
Whatever the reason, it’s none of her business what we do or if we have
sex 10 times or not at all.
My impression from all of this is:
1 - She wants to be the most loved, the most important woman in D’s life
–and she has said that she wants to be number 1. That’s not the
structure of our relationship. D doesn’t love any one of us “more” than
the others. However, as long as she gets more time (and possibly more
sex) with D, she can feel like she’s number 1 and then she doesn’t have
to deal with underlying jealousy or inadequacy.
2- She wants to exert control over my relationship with D so she feels
more secure. How D and I do our relationship is for us to decide. And
the same applies to her and Ki in their individual relationships with D.
How we interact as a *group* is for all of us to determine, but she
wants to cross a line and have a say in my individual relationship with
D. That isn’t going to fly.
My questions are:
How do I deal with her on-going issues to the extent that they affect me?
I know they are for her to work through and process and I tell myself
it’s her stuff, not mine and try to let roll off of me. That becomes
increasingly difficult when her stuff directly impacts me and my
relationship with D.
How can I respectfully convey my discomfort over her asking for personal
details of my time with D? And to make sure she knows that she does not
have a say in our private relationship?
Thanks for reading and for any suggestions.