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Old 07-07-2011, 05:00 AM
zenchaos zenchaos is offline
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Default jealous mono dating a poly but don't want him to compromise

Hi, I just made this account today and I've gone through some threads on mono/poly relationships that already have been very helpful to me understanding my current boyfriend's other relationship.

I'm mono as far as my experience goes and my boyfriend is poly. We've been dating about four months and a few dates in he told me he was seeing a married woman. I never expected to be in an open relationship and was honest, telling him it wasn't what I was looking for but since we just started dating I was fine with it because I didn't know yet if we were going to pursue something long term. I've even met her, her husband, and his social group and thought we hit it off pretty well. My boyfriend is also very honest about their relationship and conscientious in communicating with me about how I feel about it. So far I've told him I'm okay with it.

Recently I've started hanging out with him and his friends (including his other girlfriend) more often. The last two times, they started getting physical in front of me, which was kind of a surprise but it's not like I didn't have fair warning. Her husband was there too but he's well-adjusted to it as far as I can tell. I admitted later that it felt awkward since I didn't expect that but figured that I could get used to it as long as I knew it was going to happen. The second time they did that was less awkward but still awkward nonetheless. I try to laugh it off, make conversation, or look somewhere else but I feel like I'm bad at hiding my discomfort. He asked me again if I was okay with what happened and I said I was.

Honestly, I'm more than a little jealous and insecure. I've read that jealously is usually a symptom of a more specific problem, like not having enough time with your significant other. Even though I know he sees her regularly, I don't feel as though I don't get enough time with him and when we're alone, he's always affectionate and appreciative. I respect that he is poly but that doesn't stop me from wanting to be the only one he's romantically involved with. I think there's also something special about mono relationships, knowing you're only one who can make someone feel a certain way. I know he'd listen if I told him how I felt but I don't know how to tell him because I don't see what he could do about it. I don't like the idea (or the sight) of him being intimate with another woman, but even more, I don't like the idea of him having to give something up because of me, such as publicly showing affection towards her. I think I just want the pride of knowing that there's something about me that no other woman can provide and I wish he didn't need to see another woman to fulfill his emotional needs. This may seem petty but I think that sticking with one person shows you're willing to go the extra mile to commit, and accept what they have to offer, good and bad. I'm not saying there's no real commitment in poly relationships (quite the opposite) but this is the mentality I grew up with. I know that he has sacrificed possible long-term relationships with other girls because they didn't want an open relationship. I sympathize with them, but I really want to make this work for the long term.

Sorry if this is a long first post. It was really more for me to get my thoughts in order (I usually feel relieved after writing something out). But if anyone could point me to a thread that might address this problem or has anything to offer, I'd greatly appreciate it. One last note: If their relationship was just sex or friends with benefits, I'd be fine with it. What bothers me is the emotional aspect of it. Thanks!
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Old 07-07-2011, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by zenchaos View Post
I know he'd listen if I told him how I felt but I don't know how to tell him because I don't see what he could do about it. I don't like the idea (or the sight) of him being intimate with another woman, but even more, I don't like the idea of him having to give something up because of me, such as publicly showing affection towards her.
Sometimes, you have to give some to get some. There is no reason why you would have to hang out with his OSOs if you don't want to, or why you should be having to watch their PDA. If you like them as people, set up individual hang-out dates with your metamours and reserve together time with him for just the two of you.

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I think I just want the pride of knowing that there's something about me that no other woman can provide and I wish he didn't need to see another woman to fulfill his emotional needs.
But there is something about you no other woman can provide! Why else would he be with you since he already has one woman in her life?
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:09 AM
zenchaos zenchaos is offline
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Sometimes, you have to give some to get some. There is no reason why you would have to hang out with his OSOs if you don't want to, or why you should be having to watch their PDA. If you like them as people, set up individual hang-out dates with your metamours and reserve together time with him for just the two of you.
Well I do like his friends but am not actually close enough to spend time with them individually. He said that he's never liked a girl enough to introduce her to them so I felt touched that he did. I also see spending time with them as another way to spend time with him. I do appreciate being in a more social setting once in a while so we're not alone all the time. But you make a good point about giving some to get some. Over time I could probably get used to their PDA if it means sharing in this part of his life. The first time I spent the whole day with them he got the feeling she was feeling neglected even though her husband was there. I'd rather not rock the boat but go figure.

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But there is something about you no other woman can provide! Why else would he be with you since he already has one woman in her life?
Because she's in a more serious committed relationship? Haha but I have thought of that, how each girl has something different to offer but it doesn't make her better or worse. I guess this brings me to ask why some people can be satisfied with just one person at a time while others need multiples. But that's probably been talked to death and opens another can of worms.

Thanks for your input, BU! You seem well-versed in these matters
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:13 AM
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He asked me again if I was okay with what happened and I said I was.
Don't Lie.

It is OKAY to not be totally OK with it. You have been mono for how long? Rome was not built in a day you know I don't suggest you decide to never be OK with it, but it is perfectly fine to ask that while you are in unknown territory that he cut back on the PDA and let you get accustomed to it, set a time limit if you don't want to feel "demanding" or whatever is going on. For all you know he is willing. I am good with lots of PDA from my partner to somebody else when I have a date with me, if it is me and him and his date, I don't want to see so much sometimes.

Is he giving you lots of affection too? If so and it isn't helping you feel ready to see him doing so much with her, you should just try to ask for what would make you comfortable and tell him how you are feeling. If being considerate is important to you, you have to ask him for what you want and give him the chance to give it to you. Boundaries are fluid, you can change and compromise as time goes by.

If you aren't honest with him about this, you will find it too easy to be a bit less than honest here and there, and sooner rather than later, you'll break up with him, because things just aren't working out. Give them a chance to work out by being true to yourself.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 07-07-2011 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:46 AM
zenchaos zenchaos is offline
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Anne, I agree with you. One of my bad tendencies is to imagine the worst of things. Like I said, she felt neglected that one time until they had some PDA and I don't want to create resentment. It's probably not good if I make them feel like they have to walk on eggshells around me. I guess this all boils down to communication skills and my long time fear of seeming needy.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:50 AM
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Are you sure? You said "He got the feeling she was feeling neglected even though her husband was there."

Filtering feelings and assumptions through multiple people doesn't do anybody any good. If she is nice, if she is kind, she will understand and be able to restrain herself for a bit while you get more comfortable. Your job is to look after your needs, your bf's is to look after his, and she will look after hers hopefully, and come out and say if she need more attention. Starting a dialogue with her via email or something might help, if you feel you need to hear it from the horses mouth. After all, she has a husband, and she is probably somewhat secure in her relationship with your boyfriend, as they have known each other for longer than you've known him. She probably isn't going around feeling neglected in general? Give her the chance to be loving towards you too, and help you be comfortable.
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Last edited by Anneintherain; 07-07-2011 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by zenchaos View Post
But you make a good point about giving some to get some. Over time I could probably get used to their PDA if it means sharing in this part of his life. The first time I spent the whole day with them he got the feeling she was feeling neglected even though her husband was there. I'd rather not rock the boat but go figure.
The give some to get some goes for him and his OSO too, as Anne pointed out. How long have they been dating? They are more than likely able to keep their paws off each other until you get more used and comfortable to everyone hanging out together.

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I guess this brings me to ask why some people can be satisfied with just one person at a time while others need multiples. But that's probably been talked to death and opens another can of worms.
Just speaking for myself, I don't necessarily require polyships to be happy, but polyships is what I have ended up with, because I chose to be open to the possibility. Plenty of people do desire multiple relationships from the get-go,though, and it probably has a lot to do with variety, the sheer amount of affection and attention available, and the feeling you just have MORE (love, time, energy, affection, nurture) to give.

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Thanks for your input, BU! You seem well-versed in these matters
*blush*
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:20 AM
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The last two times, they started getting physical in front of me, which was kind of a surprise...... I admitted later that it felt awkward since I didn't expect that but figured that I could get used to it as long as I knew it was going to happen. The second time they did that was less awkward but still awkward nonetheless. I try to laugh it off, make conversation, or look somewhere else but I feel like I'm bad at hiding my discomfort. He asked me again if I was okay with what happened and I said I was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenchaos View Post
I think there's also something special about mono relationships, knowing you're only one who can make someone feel a certain way. I know he'd listen if I told him how I felt but I don't know how to tell him because I don't see what he could do about it. I don't like the idea (or the sight) of him being intimate with another woman, but even more, I don't like the idea of him having to give something up because of me, such as publicly showing affection towards her.
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Originally Posted by zenchaos View Post
I think that sticking with one person shows you're willing to go the extra mile to commit, and accept what they have to offer, good and bad.
I think that being honest at any cost is VERY important... even if you notice that others are doing better with things that you. Even if you feel bad that you wish he would not show her affection. It is SO important not to suck up what you are feeling because others are doing something different or you think you should be different and more accepting.

You bring up some good points about monogamy that are very valid to you. You don't HAVE to follow what others think about feel about poly or anything else if you really are finding that it is affecting you deeply. I would suggest that you are not feeling jealousy so much as this is going against your value system. So TALK about it... let him know that. There is no reason that he should pay her attention and show her affection in front of you. It isn't necessary. I don't show Mono much affection in front of PN and we live together! That is a boundary that has been expressed and I respect it. I don't need to, I can show him affection when we are alone or at other times...

Be careful here. These little things can build in a relationship to HUGE resentment in no time and it doesn't have to be like that. They can be nipped in the bud right away and everyone can feel comfortable. I think I would ask him not to do that any more. At least for now. Then you can tell him when you are okay with it or that you would prefer he not ever touch her in front of you. Whatever you decide. Open and honest communication is key here I think. Being honest with yourself seems to be easy for you with this one... next step. Tell him what you have told us and get about setting some boundaries...

Question: does he show you affection in front of her?
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:31 AM
zenchaos zenchaos is offline
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Well the general consensus seems to be to talk to him honestly :P. Easier said than done. Though Red, you are right about the resentment building up. I can already tell it's affecting my feelings toward him. I will try broaching the topic when I see him this weekend. Wish me luck

In response to your question, he does show me affection as well. It's mostly low-key, like holding hands or rubbing. Usually he initiates it, but I personally try not to go beyond that because I don't know if it will nauseate people. This is just from a personal experience when two of my friends started dating :P. It quickly grew irritating. Around other friends though, we sometimes cuddle. I still am relatively new to the group and feeling things out.
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