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Old 09-26-2013, 12:42 AM
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phantazmagoria phantazmagoria is offline
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Default Dealing with feelings of being left out

Hello, everyone. I am not a huge active user, but have recently been reading more and more posts. It's so helpful to have this forum to help me along my journey.

A lil backstory... I am a girl, been married to husband for almost 10 years. we've dabbled here in there with the poly lifestyle. About 2 months ago we entered into a relationship with a beautiful girl. Our dynamic is that she is dating both of us, we play together, her and I play separately, and her and him play separately.

That's where things get a little bit dicey in my brain. Them playing separately. I know it's the fair thing to both of them. I trust them. But I get these bad feelings of feeling left out, which causes a bit of jealousy. I have irrational, low-self-esteem thoughts. I try to fight them, I know they are pointless and meaningless to have. He's not going to run away with her, she's not trying to steal him away. It seems all so ridiculous, but still the idea of them playing alone has started to bother me.

In the beginning, it was fine. I was fine with them being alone. It was sweet. And then we had a weekend when I was tired, cranky, menstruating, with a cold sore on my lip ... and all I felt was that they had a fun weekend kissing with sexy times, while I couldn't kiss, have sex, and went to bed early. It caused a lot of anxiety in me. I felt totally left out. I felt like I need to reconnect with my husband alone. And I did. And it was great. Now ...

I just want to go back to being fine with it again. I want to be able to know they are together, and be happy that they are having a good time. That seems like the healthy, stable, MATURE thing.

I don't want to dwell on my feeling-left-out feelings. Insecurity and jealousy be damned!!

Any thoughts? Words of wisdom? Advice?

I REALLY APPRECIATE in advance any insight.

Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:51 AM
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MsChristy MsChristy is offline
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Have you told your husband and partner about your feelings? Even though it sounds like you know your feelings are irrational, it can be a big help to let them know you are working through these issues so that they can offer their support.
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Old 09-26-2013, 01:00 AM
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phantazmagoria phantazmagoria is offline
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@MsChristy .... yes I have communicated. They are both super understanding ... but I'm feeling like I'm always causing drama in the relationship because I just can't "chill the fuck out".... but I want to more than anything. I hate feeling like a drama queen.
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Old 09-26-2013, 04:50 PM
Cherub Cherub is offline
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Phantazmagoria,

To me, a husband, whose wife has very recently asked me to allow her to seek a bf and is plenty anxious at the prospects of them being out on dates, I marvel at and admire that you've had a mostly postive introduction to your poly relationship.

You wrote:
Quote:
In the beginning, it was fine. I was fine with them being alone. It was sweet.
Was this hard to achieve and was this complete or was it something you either told yourself or worked through to achive?

If it was either incomplete or something you convinced yourself of, I could see a more extreme period where they're alone having a grand time while you're feeling misrable letting negative feelings emerge that you may not have known were there.

FWIW, I usually have many demands on my time every day so tend to prize my alone / me time. I'll sometimes stay up very late on a Friday night after everyone has gone to sleep to really relax and do what I choose. That said, I find when my wife is out late travelling or overdue visiting with friends causes me to be unsettled and concerned until I know that she's back and okay. It may not make rationsal sense as I do very much enjoy my time with her, but is how I feel.

Best wishes to you in this,

Sincerely,
-Cherub
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:05 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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I am going to come from this as someone who has experienced anxiety issues and depression issues not regarding poly AND regarding poly situations and managed to work through them.

One of the keys is to NOT fight the feeling. Fighting the feeling only increases it. It's more productive to accept the feeling and then consider what is ACTUALLY causing it (because it's rarely the physical situation we are thinking it is). It sounds like you know what triggered the feeling.

As I also have herpes, I know exactly how emotionally destructive it can be when dealing with a breakout (doesn't matter where-I don't have them on my mouth-but my husband does, we both have the same struggles). It leaves you feeling inadequate and it really reinforces your inability to participate *even if you were invited* in certain activities. It can really take a toll on self esteem for those reasons PLUS there is so much drama about it anyway that just the reminder of having it can set up issues too.

That alone is a perfect explanation for your struggle.
Unfortunately, because the timing happened as it did, your unconscious mind may be associating their time together with emotions that were actually created *first* by the breakout and only exacerbated by them not being "shut out" of activities.

Which then means those feelings all return when they are together without you.

So-what do you do?

First, you let them know THIS-that you've taken time to really assess "WTF is going on with me". And realized that you've inadvertantly created a connection so that when they are together-it triggers the same emotions as a breakout. (the emotions you describe are SO common for people with an active cold sore and well documented so I haven't included links-but you could google it or even ask your Dr.)
And
that you need some help from them in breaking that connection in your mind and restarting.
This is of benefit to you-but also to them.

Now:
Think of some things you can do. For example; when I am struggling with anxiety issues or depression issues and Maca or GG need to be gone for anything (neither is dating someone else currently but Maca has in the past) they will make a point of sending me a text telling me how much they love me AND make a plan for a special thing with me for after. Not necessarily IMMEDIATELY after-it might even be a week later. But-the key is noting the reminder.

"Hey babe! I love you SO MUCH! I am looking forward to our plans to _____ next Friday!"

They might leave me a note in the fridge or on the bed or on my mirror that says something sweet.

Maca will frequently set out a piece of jewelry and ask me to wear it while he's gone.

After the apart time-is reconnect time. A time for lots of cuddling and reassurance.


What I've found is that if I work through this sort of thing, especially AFTER a correlation has been made between some bad experience and some event: I MUHC MORE quickly begin connecting that repetitive event with something happy. This makes the breakdown of the bad correlation more quick as well.

Maybe they could EACH send you a text or leave you a note or something.

Maybe they could each help you make a plan for something special for you to do during their time.

The key is for them to feel like they can be proactive in helping you to build POSITIVE associations to their time alone together and in doing so kill the negative associations.
Instead of them feeling guilty. It's not "I need you to do this SO YOU CAN BE ALONE". That's unhealthy.

It's a matter of them knowing that they are helping you through a mental health "glitch" so that you can be the person they love and enjoy without feeling like they don't care about you.

For you: you have to think of some things that don't stop them from havin their time, but will help you to process that time better. What works for me, might not work for you. But you can figure out what works for you.

For example, if Maca was going out on a date and it was only a few hours of sexy time for him, I might go about making a really yummy, sexy dessert to share with him when he returns (he almost ALWAYS eats something sweet around midnight regardless of when he goes to bed).

I might take a bath, wash my hair, shave, lotion, masturbate, fix the bed, light candles, turn on music etc-so that when he comes home he's got a beautiful smelling room with a sexy wife waiting for him.

If it were GG, I might make a special dinner. I might do the same before bed routine. I might write in our diary a sexy, loving entry.

If you like to read, have one or both of them take you to a bookstore and help you pick out an awesome book to read during "their time" so you have something you enjoy. If you like to crochet or knit-a special project to work on during their time.

Write yourself a letter-telling yourself all the reasons you are loved by each of them and what makes you great as an individual. Write it-during "their time".

Write each of them a letter telling them what you adore about them individually.

Write each of them a sexy story about what you love to do sexually with them or fantasize about or whatever.

Make a gift for each of them or for the both of them-make it during their time together.

(for example: I bought matching towels for Maca and his girlfriend. I went shopping for them while they were out on a date).
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:23 PM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantazmagoria View Post
@MsChristy .... yes I have communicated. They are both super understanding ... but I'm feeling like I'm always causing drama in the relationship because I just can't "chill the fuck out".... but I want to more than anything. I hate feeling like a drama queen.
Okay, love the advice, but I'm going to play the bad cop here. Yes, you are causing drama here. So, feeling is probably accurate. But you do want to figure out a solution, so that's awesome.

As for the advice, the tips are great, but you say "I want to be able to know they are together, and be happy that they are having a good time"? The tips might work for others, but you're the only one, in the end, who can control how you feel. Trust me, I feel left out constantly (whether it's a relationship, friends seeing a concert I can't get to, etc.) Only thing that works for me is to focus on what I'M doing, realize I can't do everything and be everywhere, and not worry about what I might be "missing out on."

I thought I was jealous of a partner, before realizing the real issue was me feeling left out of ANYTHING. Problem? Yes. Fixable? Yes.

If, on the other hand, what you're really feeling is jealousy, and the ONLY situation you feel left out in is when he is with someone who he feels affection for....well, then maybe poly isn't for you and you need to find someone who can do what you need to be happy.
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:16 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PolyinPractice View Post

If, on the other hand, what you're really feeling is jealousy, and the ONLY situation you feel left out in is when he is with someone who he feels affection for....well, then maybe poly isn't for you and you need to find someone who can do what you need to be happy.
That might make sense if the OP hadn't already said she had been fine until a specific event-which is well documented to cause these problems for mono people and single people frequently enough to be listed as "things to watch for" in people with the disease.

Since there is an obvious moment when the emotional problem started, and that moment has a clearly defined different (additional) variable;
It makes sense to consider the new variable as a potential cause.
Since that variable has been documented to cause these emotional issues in so many people in varying relationship styles-it continues to make sense to focus on resolving the emotions as being caused by that variable and simply affecting the other variable (the relationship comfort).
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Old 09-27-2013, 02:37 AM
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phantazmagoria phantazmagoria is offline
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In the beginning when I was fine with things, I was eager for them to develop a bond. Her and I had already spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other. I wanted them to have that too. And when they did, it made me happy. I wasn't forcing it, it just was a natural happy. I was like "You got a blow job? Yay!" "He made you cum? Yay!"

I definitely think poly is for me, for us ... we have way more good times than bad. And we've only been dating our girlfriend for 2 months. I think that hiccups will happen as you learn your way around each other in the relationship. I just want to try to be as healthy as I can be.

It's interesting to read LovingRadiance's response to the cold sore part of story, and how that so deeply effected me, stuff I didn't even think about. Very good insight - and will definitely be reflecting back to that. And thank you very much for all the useful tools and strategies to navigate through my issues/feelings.

Usually, their alone time has happened either when I'm at work or in bed sleeping. We all keep different schedules.

I'm looking forward to the weekend, for the 3 of us to reconnect. It's her birthday and I'm excited to spoil her.

I think we are in a good spot. I read a blog last night that was very helpful to me in figuring some things out about where my feelings of "left-out" come from. I'm big on trying to fix the root of the issue, because otherwise, it's gonna keep coming back.

This is the blog: http://www.cat-and-dragon.com/stef/p.../jealousy.html
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:12 AM
PolyinPractice PolyinPractice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phantazmagoria View Post
Usually, their alone time has happened either when I'm at work or in bed sleeping. We all keep different schedules.
Ahh, so that is where this is coming from....he and she are choosing to spend time alone together when they COULD be choosing to spend time with you...or either of them could choose to spend one on one time with you.

That can be very difficult for anyone new to poly.
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