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Old 05-01-2011, 02:17 PM
islandgy9 islandgy9 is offline
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Default Double standard

I have sought advice from these threads before and hope someone can get through to me. I could really use some help here. Either help or a good hard kick in the arse... I would prefer the help though because I have been doing a lot of self arse kicking and it doesn’t seem to be doing any good. I think I'm 'kicking' the wrong place...

Here is the short version... More background follows, it is all relevant and I imagine provides insight but I figured few people would want to wade through it... It was cathartic for me to write it all out though and maybe, just maybe by reading about my struggles someone may be able to avoid the pain I have gone through...

*MY problem* is that I am acting like a hypocrite…. I despise double standards yet I am the epitome of that kind of hypocrite. I see this in myself and am struggling fiercely trying to rid my life and relationship of it. I ashamedly can not seem to get past an obvious double standard I am aware of but for the life of me cant seem to reason it away. Confidants have said it is because I am a ‘male’…. That statement is unacceptable to me. I don't want to be like this and I don't like it. My behavior is very upsetting to me and I am embarrassed and ashamed that I can not ‘make it go away.’

I am divorced... twice. This was largely due to me needing something “more” than one relationship can offer. I believe I have finally accepted this about myself although what I seem to need is more of a physical “more” than an additional emotional relationship. Cheating and lying destroyed my marriages and I vowed I would not deceive anyone again.

My significant other (we have been emotionally and sexually together for about a year and a half), M, has been understanding, patient and gracious. We have tons of fun together and both of us have blissfully, joyously agreed that we are having the best sex (with each other) than we have ever experienced with anyone... By far!

I have two m/f couples that I (sheepishly...) enjoy getting together with every month or so for "playtime" as we called our afternoons (3 or4 hours) of threesome purely sexual fun. I also have a longtime (13 years) female friend, C, who became a “friend and more” 7 months ago. I have always admired C and we agreed to try adding a physical aspect to our friendship on a “trial” basis to see if it “worked” for both of us. C is aware of my struggles with M and agreed to “help” me be more comfortable with my dilemma by association (if that’s the right word), meaning friendship with sex so I can hopefully be more comfortable with M’s relationships. I have sought advice about C from this site because she has other boyfriends that did not know about each other or me… I have since stopped being physical with her once I found out her others did not know about me. She also has two great kids that I really enjoy spending time with. C and I see each other every other week or so and hang out with the kids. She wants to continue the physical part of our relationship (I do too..) but knows I will not be part of that deception and accepts it. I try to help her see what deception can do to peoples lives but somehow she manages to justify “non-disclosure” to herself.

Although I absolutely believe in the principle “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander"... I can't seem to internalize it. Or in my case; 'What's good for the gander should be good for the goose too'.

My angst is that my significant other, M, and I are trying to have an open relationship, monogomy hasn't worked real well in the past BUT I have feelings of severe anxiety (that’s the closest I can do to identify what happens) when she tells me she: 1-Has met someone of interest. 2-and again when she has scheduled a 'date'. 3- Then for a day or so before the actual date straight through until a day or so after the date.

I hate this feeling, it twists my guts in a knot, I don't feel like eating, I feel the need to distance' myself from her because ridiculous, spiteful remarks are on the tip of my tounge that I DO NOT WANT to say. These feelings generally go away once there is “distance” between her “interludes”. M knows I react like this and 'understands' I’m not doing it TO discourage her from her relationships, but she is discouraged that I have these reactions. I fully acknowledge I have no right, nor will I stand between her relationships but I am far, far from so called compersion. So very strangely I do not feel this way about C and her boyfriends… I totally accept I am a small part of C’s life and I am perfectly fine with that. I have none of the anxious feelings with C. In fact I do truly want her to be happy in whatever she does. However, if C left my life, although I would miss her, I would not be devastated as I would be for the loss of M.

M, on the other hand claims to truly feel joy and is happy knowing I have 'friends' that give me pleasure. I despise double standards yet I am the epitome of that kind of hypocrite. I see this in myself and am struggling fiercely trying to rid my life and relationship of it.

We both haven’t done well with traditional relationships and thought this might work for us. I 'introduced' her to having simultaneous relationships and she has found what real honest communication is like and is, in her words 'experiencing what an actual sex life is'.

I don't think we are polyamorists, but we have 'friendships', some sexual- outside of our relationship.
MY struggle is that I still get almost incapacitated with fear of abandonment and its nasty attributes as well as huge inner conflict of 'ganderism' wishing she would only want me while at the same time accepting within myself that I seem to 'need' aspects of relationships outside what M and I share. I fully recognize how horribly hypocritical this is... I see the double standard plain as day but I can NOT rationalize it away! Please help...

*Believe it or not, that is the short version.*

If you want to know more, ask and I will post the rest. It is relevent but Im long winded and these threads have a limit! Again, MY struggle is that I still get almost incapacitated with fear of abandonment and its nasty attributes as well as huge inner conflict of 'ganderism' wishing she would only want me while at the same accepting within myself that I seem to 'need' aspects of relationships outside what M and I share. I fully recognize how horribly hypocritical this is... I see the double standard plain as day but I can NOT rationalize it away! Please help...

Last edited by NeonKaos; 05-01-2011 at 02:58 PM. Reason: line breaks
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:32 PM
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It sounds to me like you have some sort of sense of ownership or possessiveness with M that you don't have with the other women in your life. Perhaps because you view her as primary, on some level you feel that there is some kind of "right" you have that others shouldn't. This could be a very old, familiar pattern of relating that you might be carrying around with you. If you think about it, does the dynamic of your relationship feel similar to any others in your past, even from childhood, where you felt allegiance to someone and then they didn't seem as faithful to you as you were to them? Because there is some association you are making here, that her having other lovers is a threat to you somehow.

Anxiety is usually accompanied by a heaviness in the chest, and irrational fears. There's a book called Mental Health through Will Training by Dr. Abraham Low (he started Recovery, Inc.). He wrote about how to deal with anxiety and irrational fears by doing the following: change our insecure thoughts to secure thoughts, move our muscles to overcome the defeatist babble of the brain, do not attach danger to the symptoms, bear discomfort in order to gain comfort, and endorse yourself for your efforts no matter the outcome. In other words, when you're feeling this way, go out, take a walk, do something physical, and focus on thoughts that make you feel secure. Know you will get through it, and acknowledge yourself for facing it, even if you feel like you're flailing, or failing.

One thing that helps me when I get jealous or possessive is that I remember that loving someone means I want them to be free and happy, and that they deserve all the love they find, not just mine. Reminding myself of that is tremendously helpful.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nycindie View Post
It sounds to me like you have some sort of sense of ownership or possessiveness with M that you don't have with the other women in your life.
I actually don't know if this is entirely true. It could be, but perhaps not. I suffer from what you are talking about islandgy9 and it has nothing to do with ownership and possessiveness. I don't know if you are like me or not, but let me explain and you can tell me. I have huge abandonment issues that I find I have little to no release from in some of my relationships where my partner has other loves or starts dating new people. I am beside myself with anxiety, can't eat, lash out, everyone around me becomes a target. It isn't fair, I hate myself, I hate what I say, that I have no control and that I can't feel compersion for them as much as I try. It's completely irrational.

No offense here NYCindie but I was told that I am possessive and have a sense of ownership and that just made me more angry and hurt. I didn't. I didn't feel I owned anyone or was possessive, just deeply hurt on a level that went far beyond the moment and situation.... I like to flip ownership and possessiveness on its ass and look at it with compassion and consideration for the person acting that way (not that you weren't NYC! you were! I see that). It is a behaviour that comes from somewhere. There always seems to be something behind it that is not identified when someone is told they are being possessive and taking ownership.

I wish I had an answer for you that is more specific, but really all I did and do is keep walking through it. I see it as a form of jealousy and to me jealousy is a fear of the unknown and an indication of deeper issues. I work on the issues and ask my partners to give me tons of attention and reminders that they are not going anywhere... what made it difficult for me is that one of my partners sucks at this. He gets completely overwhelmed by NRE and is not a mulit-tasker. He neglects just about everything in his life when he is in love... which, in turn, makes me feel more abandoned than ever. Keep talking, keep walking and maybe get some help with the deeper issues that come up. If you scratch beneath the surface and see what's there, what do you find? (you don't have to answer that here, but it is a possible question to ask yourself)
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:34 PM
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I'm with RP on this one. I think the fear of abandonment is often misinterpreted or perceived as possessiveness and control issues. In your case I think there is only one way to get past that....dive into those waters.

There is only one way to develop confidence that you will not be abandoned and that is to actually "not be abandoned". You can't hypothesis some things in life...you have to experience them in reality. It's similar to how me and Redpepper's husband dragged our heels about moving in together. We went over and over it in our minds truing to figure out how it would be. Eventually we just had to throw our hands up and say fuck it, we're doing this and see what happens". Through actual experience and not hypothesis we found out it works really well!

Take the plunge my friend...keep a lid on things but tell your partner that you sometimes worry you will speak out of turn or say sharp comments. Let her know what is going on for you so she is not paranoid or holding back. You both want this type of freedom...just dive in...it's the only way to know for sure.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:52 PM
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Hullo and sorry to hear you are struggling!

One thing that keeps on coming up in your post is that not only are you feeling insecure and fear abandonment - you are mentally beating yourself up over those feelings, which adds to your feelings of anxiety and inferiority.

Take a deep breath. There is nothing evil in having feelings. Really, it IS okay to feel what you are feeling. Jealousy is not something that you are or that defines your emotional existence now and forever more. It is a fleeting emotion - the more you obsess over it, the more power it will gain over you.

You are okay. What you are feeling is okay.

Onwards! There is a lot of help available for dealing with jealousy. If I understood your post correctly, you are afraid that once you allow M the freedom to meet others, she will find someone she likes better than you and abandon you to start dating this new magical person exclusively?

Now why should she do that?
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:55 PM
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I left a word out of my post. It should have read: "you might have some sort of sense of ownership or possessiveness..."

Perhaps this is a case of people interpreting words differently. I did not mean to imply that this was a bad thing, either. I mean, we're all possessive about some things and, it might not be a possessiveness about M as a person but about the OP's place (position) in her life. I suggested that as simply a possibility to look at. It seems the OP feels somehow threatened more by M's paramours than by those of his other loves, and so in some way his relationship with M is set apart from his others, significant in some way. It could be a possessiveness, or a feeling that he should come first, be considered first, etc.

It is also possible that the fear is based on a protectiveness about not wanting to see her get hurt. Fear of being abandonment is a big one, but that I think is also very much entwined in possessive feelings.

Either way, I think it would be good to ask himself, what it is about that relationship that makes her other involvements more anxiety-provoking? Something being taken away? Some feeling of loss of control? A possibility of being replaced by one of her other lovers?

Does this situation remind you of old doubts, fears, insecurities which you are just projecting onto this relationship? It is possible the struggles you go through have nothing to do with M in the present, but could be the result of old patterns of behaving and relating from the past, that you carry into relationships. We all do this from time to time.
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Last edited by nycindie; 05-01-2011 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:20 PM
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Arrow double standard

hi C...rubyslippers as in...everything you really need in life, you find in your own backyard...ps I always cry when the flying monkeys are coming to tear Dorothy and Toto apart in The Wizard Of Oz...XXOO ps in case you're wondering, M here...
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:33 PM
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Arrow double standard's M here...

Hi you all, i have taken the name rubyslippers for the posted reason...islandgy9 is a wonderful man who has learned deep lessons about the harm deception itself does...even more than a perceived offense...in his marriages. I know his ex and she is lovely elegant and a real beauty inside AND out. It seems he has come to realize on the deepest level, just how she felt after their breakup...during our time together the past year and a half.
Last eve we talked...I told him that by extension, I feel connected in a good way, with his Others...both C, elegant lovely and kind, and his couples friends whom I have never met. Because they care for him, I care for them, even those I have not met.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:43 PM
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One of the first men to respond to us as a couple when islandgy9 said if i was comfortable we could venture forth to a three...was j...he is still a part of my life. I had been the everfaithful monogamous GF throughout my life, a classic serial monogamist, and never left one man for another...I would leave for my own sanity... and this, inviting a new man into our relationship was a new thing for me...a friend on the East Coast long ago confided he and his wife were swingers, and until islandgy9, that was the only brief glimpse i had of a world beneath the surface...how funny and obtuse, i am 50
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:52 PM
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man who has learned deep lessons about the harm deception itself does...even more than a perceived offense...in his marriages.......It seems he has come to realize on the deepest level, just how she felt after their breakup...during our time together the past year and a half.
This was what I was also wondering. What has come up as a result of having cheated? What realizations about what you did have changed in you since experiencing your love going out and sleeping with other men?
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Last edited by redpepper; 05-04-2011 at 07:07 PM.
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