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  #61  
Old 12-12-2013, 05:46 AM
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Thanks for the articles Kevin. The Ted talk is a classic and the Labriola article is insightful. Very useful. Now if I could just integrate that info and let it work some magic. She keeps saying that it's not fair that she feels that way, that it's the pot calling the kettle black. Meanwhile, I still want to be friends with R. I don't know if it will ever go anywhere but I have to be free to make friends. I've known R now for more than two months and we haven't even held hands. Sure, she tilted her head that one day as if she expected me to kiss her and under her breath another day breathed out a compliment that made it clear that she finds me attractive. I like that. I'm even flattered. Still, I don't find her as attractive as A and I'm not planning to jump into anything simply because she's inviting. However, I was grocery shopping with my kids today and when we got to the cheese section I said, "Let's get extra cheese so we can invite R over for pizza." We did and then as we were leaving the supermarket, guess who pulled in? R. So I invited her over for pizza. It was pure synchronicity. So now, when I have the most innocent friendly get together, I can't tell A about it lest she be consumed over nothing again. She told me that she should give me space to pursue my other interests but I don't even really have other interests. R is a friend. Is it as hard for you guys to believe that as it is for A?
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  #62  
Old 12-12-2013, 03:38 PM
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Please don't hide from A that you are seeing R as a friend. You think you are protecting her, but you are thinking for her. You've done nothing wrong. You have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Tell the woman you love you had a friend over for pizza. Nothing more nothng less. If you want a serious relationship with A, I strongly encourage you to be honest with her.

A.'s jealousy is for her to deal with. The best thing you can do to help her deal with it, is not hide stuff from her. She will find out at some point, and then she will no longer trust you - and rightly so.

I've been reading your blog and rooting for you.
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  #63  
Old 12-12-2013, 04:56 PM
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Of course Cleo. Honesty first. Thank you. I maybe should have said, "can't easily tell her." That is the real crux of the situation because I'm not hiding anything from her but I would also like to be able to tell her all the details. It's exciting for me to make a friend and I want to share that excitement with the woman I love. I feel slighted because she also still flirts and meets people and confides in me about her experiences. She realizes that her feelings describe a double standard. I'm pretty sure it's taking her by surprise and she doesn't know what to do for feeling that way. Meanwhile, I don't want to add any pressure to the considerable amount that she already goes through. I'm frequently hesitant to "bother" her because I figure that she requires space to maintain her relationships with hubby and children. I don't pry into their relationships. I don't know when they have sex and she does not have to tell me if she's talking to an old boyfriend or meeting someone new. She usually does. I trust her and what I trust is that no matter what she does, she will come back to me because she has genuine deep feelings for me. She appears to not quite trust me like that yet and that's okay with me for now because she does trust me in other ways. What bothers me is that she doesn't recognize that R is not in any way a threat to how I feel about her. Maybe some other woman would be. But not R. Even if I slept with R, I love A. Today is our 3 month anniversary. We're at 17,500 messages in three months too. We're still going strong and this jealousy thing is only a minor bump well worth digging into because I seek a level of understanding that will empower A and I to persevere. Thanks for all the positive energy!
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  #64  
Old 12-12-2013, 06:17 PM
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Hi pcflvly,

Was wondering if A has had a look at those links, and if so what was her response to them. Hopefully she found them useful as well?

I don't think of jealousy as a feeling one can just dissolve overnight. The best one can do is seek out good coping mechanisms for dealing with the uncomfortable feelings. One coping mechanism is deciding in one's mind whether there's due external cause for feeling jealous (cause sometimes there is). It sounds like A hasn't thought of any external cause as yet but it's still a good idea to analyze the external circumstances carefully. So as to thoroughly rule them out at least.

If they are ruled out, then one knows the objective will be to "push through the feelings" through such mechanisms as diversions, readings, reasonings, venting, journalings, even just plain old endurance (with a dash of fake it til you make it if that helps). Even then it probably won't be an overnight process. Jealousy can be a long dark forest to get through.

Re:
Quote:
"So now, when I have the most innocent friendly get together, I can't tell A about it lest she be consumed over nothing again."
I wonder if the best thing wouldn't be to repeat the above statement to A -- sometime when she's relatively ready to hear it (no immediate upsets and that).
  • She needs to be aware of the real problems the jealousy causes;
  • She needs to know you'll always tell her the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth;
  • She needs practice at hearing R mentioned. Practice at processing her own emotional response.
Of course when I say the whole truth I don't mean every little detail, if for no other reason simply because people generally don't (and don't need to) comb through every detail of their day when talking to each other. But you should at least (at some point) be able to tell A, "Hey, we had R over for pizza," and even be able to share a little of whatever you and R talked about, etc.

You may have to share stuff with A in smaller bites at a time in the beginning. A isn't necessarily emotionally ready to hear every last detail. Give her some time to get used to hearing (all of) the basics first.

Re:
Quote:
"It's exciting for me to make a friend and I want to share that excitement with the woman I love."
Have a caution here: NRE (and yes you're probably already experiencing that with R) can water down the accuracy of one's judgments, and the thoroughness of one's perspectives. Before getting caught up in your desire to share the excitment with A, remind yourself that A doesn't feel so thrilled about it. What is A getting out of it, is a question to ask yourself. If she's just getting a lot of fear, insecurity, and feelings of rejection from it, then you should exercise empathy and compassion and not hurt her with too many details.

Re:
Quote:
"I feel slighted because she also still flirts and meets people and confides in me about her experiences."
Ah, but don't even go there. A's jealousy isn't necessarily a rational experience, nor is it necessarily an experience she chooses to have. Jealous feelings aren't fun or comfortable feelings for the jealous person to have. You have to be patient with A while she tries to sort out the root causes of the jealousy. At the moment, most of these root causes are probably buried in her subconscious, so she can't give you an instant explanation. The problem will take quite awhile to unravel.

There do seem to be trust issues on A's part. Something she might want to look into. Journaling could be her friend here.

Can A develop a friendship of her own with R? It might help.

Re:
Quote:
"What bothers me is that she doesn't recognize that R is not in any way a threat to how I feel about her."
Maybe so but the question is, what is it about R that feels threatening to her? A lot of reflection and analysis is called for here.

I gather that R is quite a nice friend. Not someone you would just kick to the curb. If A can reason that through in her mind, the reasoning can be part of the emotional processing and will help her realize it's something to just push through.

Hence why I wanted to make sure she'd checked out the links. I'd even suggest bookmarking them for re-reading from time to time. Sometimes you need a "collection of mantras" you can repeat to yourself as part of the emotional processing. Something that does make sense to your mind. Again not an overnight process, but something that will gradually yield results.

Re (from the 9th):
Quote:
"She said that her husband would do R in a minute so I asked her if she would be jealous if he did. She said no. So why do I get the jealousy treatment?"
That would be one of those mantras (and something for her to maybe journal about). A should really do some digging to find out what's at the root of the negative reactions she's having. Is she thinking you're going to dump her and pick R instead? Maybe the fact that A is "taken," whereas R is "available," feels threatening to A. Sure A isn't jealous of her husband but then, she has special (spousal -- i.e., societal pressure) "claim" over her husband. Not something one "should" take comfort in, but let's face it, society programs us a lot to take comfort in it.

And does A have stuff in her past that R somehow stirs up? something else for her to think (and journal) about.

Hopefully you and A both will be able to see a marked improvement in how well A copes with the jealousy in about a year as you look back. But if she's still spinning her wheels by then, then some kind of poly-friendly counseling might be in order.

Re (from today):
Quote:
"We're still going strong and this jealousy thing is only a minor bump well worth digging into because I seek a level of understanding that will empower A and I to persevere."
That's the spirit.

Think of jealousy as, not a curse and a bane to the relationship, but as an opportunity to dig into that subconscious and recognize issues that A wasn't previously aware of. Only when we see the "emotional toxins" for what they are, can we begin to flush them out.

If I think of more ideas I'll let you know.
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  #65  
Old 12-13-2013, 04:32 PM
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We talked about it quite a bit last night. What rang the most true was the idea that R was a convenient scapegoat for all the other pressures in her life. There were multiple external causes. Pretty sure that was it because she got an aha look and immediately after that asked me about R. I told her everything... I told her that I'd talked to my stylist, Ashlee, when I got my haircut Wednesday. Ashlee asked me, "Is R prettier than A?" I said no. Ashlee then said, "A doesn't have anything to worry about then." A was somewhat comforted by the anecdote and chill about R. We spent about five or more hours holding each other. A couple hours cuddling and talking. More hours even closer. I can't get enough of touching her. If we're together we are at least holding hands and it always feels like the first time. A spark. We talked about that too. How it feels to touch each other. Our bodies each warmed and excited, talking to each other skin to skin. A deeper wordless communication. Our bodies seem to have a lot to say and it quiets the mind while they talk. Quiets the mind. She had to go but left me in bliss. Thirteen hours later and still in bliss.
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  #66  
Old 12-13-2013, 05:58 PM
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That sounds most excellent. Continue with the communication (of all sorts).
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  #67  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:18 PM
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She stayed over last night and somewhere in the midst of several hours of lovemaking I whispered in her ear, "Have you ever made love before?" She replied, "Only with you. Only with you." But that was the last over night for now. J is struggling with his feelings about the whole thing and asked her to chill for now. No prohibition on our usual dating, just the overnights.
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  #68  
Old 12-15-2013, 07:27 PM
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Sorry to hear that, I know the overnights are important and very meaningful. Hopefully this is just a temporary thing.
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  #69  
Old 12-24-2013, 03:27 PM
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The overnights are nice. I like getting up with her and starting the day, making her breakfast and coffee. I just like that. It's hard for him though to wake up at home alone. It's not hard for me. Mind you, the waking up in the morning part is the only thing that changed. We still go out, come home, and fall asleep in each others arms. The only difference is that she gets up at 2am and goes home. I am every day in disbelief that her and I are still together, still growing stronger, and that it is working out in all our relationships. He dropped her off here the other day. They carpool occasionally and it made more sense that she just get a ride. He knew what neighborhood I live in but he didn't know it was the old polyamory house. That was a bit of a shock for him. Remember, they both had experiences here. He regularly slept with a married woman in my house. (long before I moved here) I knew this but the irony of it all is just hitting me now. It sounded like the irony hit him too when he saw where he was taking his wife.
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  #70  
Old 12-24-2013, 07:26 PM
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Well, poly is nothing if not ironic. It sounds like you guys are making small steps of progress despite the obstacles. I think that's a hopeful sign.
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