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Old 08-12-2018, 02:16 PM
Dede Dede is offline
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Question looking for feedback on strategies for managing jealousy as a mono person

Dear all,

I have evolved a bit in my process to making up my mind if and how I can give a 'green light' to my wife who wants to start a relationship with another guy, practically forming a 'V'.
I would appreciate some hands-on feedback/testimonials from those of you who have been faced with a similar situation and have successfully managed it.

My main questions circle around the topic of jealousy:

- When agreeing to open up upon the request of an established partner were you fully convinced that this would work out or was it more a 'well let's try' attitude? Was jealousy the biggest obstacle for you to overcome?

- How did your jealous feelings develop over time? How long did it take for them to become less strong? Or are there still strong fluctuations and because of/triggered by what?

- What did you do to manage your feelings (e.g. therapy, talk to friends, connect to online communities, meditate, whatever)? What helped most and why?

- Did/do you always know when your partner is with another partner? If not was it easier to deal with jealousy when you knew or when you did not know?

- What do you DO when you know your partner is dating the other partner, in particular during nights?

- Did you make rules or agreements for a transition period to help you getting used to dealing with jealousy? How long? Did your partner quickly try to renegotiate asking for more freedom?

- Was territoriality a strong part of your jealousy? How did you overcome that? What about envy?
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2018, 10:46 PM
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kdt26417 kdt26417 is offline
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Hi Dede,

When I have experienced jealousy in the past, I have found that the most helpful thing was to identify what need I had that was not being met. Then, I would ask for help in meeting that need.

The first step in any situation where you are feeling jealous is to ask yourself, "Am I being treated badly?" If the answer is yes, then you need to think about how you are going to treat yourself right even if others won't. Jealousy isn't always a subjective emotion.

If the answer is no, then I suggest examining your needs and figuring out how they can be met.

Regards,
Kevin T.
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  #3  
Old 08-13-2018, 02:02 AM
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BelleRose BelleRose is offline
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Before I acknowledged myself as poly and agreed to open a mono relationship, I was worried about jealousy. Similar to what Kevin said, I typically manage it by identifying what need I have that isn't being met in that moment, then asking for it, and creating conditions (agreements; boundaries) that will ensure that those needs will be consistently met regardless of other people/relationships.

I'm not sure if this helps because I am poly, but typically when I have a pang of jealousy or worry that my partner(s) caring for someone else means that I'm losing something, I think of my own dating tendencies. Even when I'm super excited about someone new that never impacts on the love I have for existing partners. I guess that's why I'm okay with poly, because having truly experienced love for multiple people at once, I know it isn't a finite resource and that nothing is being taken away from me, the same way nothing is being taken from any of my partners if and when I'm with someone else.

In terms of when my partner(s) are with other people, sometimes I know, sometimes I don't know. I'm okay with either. I tend to know purely for scheduling reasons. Right now, for example, my boyfriend is upstate with my metamour where he'll be until Tuesday. However, he has other less serious partners and I never really know when he's with them. I'm okay with that too. For me, I just need to know that a partner/relationship exists. I don't want it to be happening behind my back or feel like I'm in the dark. Otherwise what my partners do when i'm not there is kind of their business and I don't feel jealousy whether I know they're with someone else or not.

It's hard for me to answer the question about what I do when my partner is on a date with someone else, because I feel like if you're married and cohabiting there's the added element of someone being absent who would be there were the date not happening. I don't modify my personal behavior around other partners according to whether they're on dates. I do exactly what I'd be doing otherwise, you know? Sometimes I have a date too. Sometimes I don't. I see friends. I watch a movie. Cuddle with the cat. You name it. Lol

I am a very territorial person. It's odd, because I'm poly, but I do like for certain things to be just "ours" in all of my relationships. As such I prefer for other partners not to be flaunted in front of me, and I like to establish something special that's just between my partner and I. In one instance it's kink. In others it's sometimes as simple as a TV series we watch together, and not skipping ahead to new episodes without the other person. Little things.

I hope that helps.
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  #4  
Old 08-13-2018, 09:49 AM
lunabunny lunabunny is offline
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First of all, I should preface my answer by stating that I am the poly one in my closed V.

My two partners aren't involved with anyone else besides me, although they used to be FWB with each other and the three of us have played with the idea of becoming a triad in the past... therefore most of your questions also pertain to my situation, as I've found I can be quite jealous and territorial under certain circumstances.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dede View Post
- When agreeing to open up upon the request of an established partner were you fully convinced that this would work out or was it more a 'well let's try' attitude? Was jealousy the biggest obstacle for you to overcome?
I had been mono with Jester (M) for a year when I got together with Boho (F, his ex partner). Jester was completely open to the idea and had little-to-no jealousy.

However when Boho suggested that we form a triad I felt tremendous jealousy at the idea, and felt I'd be losing something special with Jester if I were to consent to "sharing" him with his ex. (He and I were engaged at that point, and I wondered how this would change things.)

For us three, it was definitely a case of "let's TRY this" rather than anyone declaring "I am doing this".

Quote:
- How did your jealous feelings develop over time? How long did it take for them to become less strong? Or are there still strong fluctuations and because of/triggered by what?
I agreed to try a triad dynamic out of curiosity and also guilt: I didn't think it was fair for ME to have two partners when they each "only" had me. I acknowledged they still had feelings for each other, even though these feelings aren't specifically "romantic".

At first, my feelings of jealousy were manageable, but became less so when confronted with the reality of them being together... i.e. when I saw them bantering flirtatiously in our group chat, and more so when we actually played together for the first time in person. It was extremely difficult to witness my partners being intimate with each other, even though I love them both and want them to be happy. I admit I broke down several times during this period (as detailed in an earlier thread of mine and on my blog, The Accidental Polyamorist.)

We eventually decide to remain essentially a "V", though we're open to other things happening in the future.

Quote:
- What did you do to manage your feelings (e.g. therapy, talk to friends, connect to online communities, meditate, whatever)? What helped most and why?
I talked in depth with both partners about the difficulties I was having managing my jealousy/insecurity. I also joined this forum around that time, which helped tremendously... and entered therapy. It really was a very hard time for me; this being my first true experience of polyamory and "ethically" sharing a partner in any way. I confess I had to go on medication as I really wasn't coping with all the changes in my life. My partners dealt with all of this much better than me.

Quote:
- Did/do you always know when your partner is with another partner? If not was it easier to deal with jealousy when you knew or when you did not know?
This doesn't really apply to my situation, as I am the poly one, and the "hinge" of our V. So if and when my partners would "play" together, I always knew and/or was present.

I am the kind of person who prefers to KNOW, even unpleasant or difficult things, rather than be kept in the dark... so yes, I find it easier to deal with just about anything as long as I'm aware of a situation.

Quote:
- What do you DO when you know your partner is dating the other partner, in particular during nights?
Once again, not really applicable... however... there have been times when my partners have gone away on vacation together, without me, as they live in the same country. (Although I've also visited them together and separately.)

Even though I know nothing much will go on physically between them when I'm NOT present (beyond some cuddling and sleeping in the same bed platonically), these situations have still proven difficult for me because my partners used to be sexually involved with each other, and I can never be quite sure if something will spark up between them again. I just have to trust they're being completely candid with me.

There is also a lot of ENVY in such situations, because they get to be together physically if not sexually, while I'm left out on the other side of the world. (We hope to change that next year.)

Quote:
- Did you make rules or agreements for a transition period to help you getting used to dealing with jealousy? How long? Did your partner quickly try to renegotiate asking for more freedom?
Yes and no. When Boho and I got together, Jester accepted it immediately and did not put any limitations on me/us, emotionally or sexually, except he made it pretty obvious he still considered himself my "primary", even if we didn't verbalise it. That has evolved into more of a co-primary status over time, and both partners now seem comfortable with the status quo.

After we ended the "triad experiment" (where we three were trialling being equal romantic partners, which didn't work), and went back to more of a "V" situation... I left it up to Jester and Boho to choose their future level of physical intimacy.

In saying that, I DID set some "rules" (more like agreements) which included no deep kissing and no fluid bonding/sharing between them. They both readily agreed to these limits, but so far have chosen not to be intimate with each other in person again (so far?) This has definitely helped allay some of my insecurities and trust.

Quote:
- Was territoriality a strong part of your jealousy? How did you overcome that? What about envy?
Oh, yes. Both of my partners consider themselves "mine" and are quite subby. In in similar way, I see each of them in that light and can be quite territorial.

Words of affirmation is my primary Love Language, so one of the things that upsets me greatly is if one of my partners uses a nickname, term of endearment, love song, or compliment that I consider special/specific to ME or that particular relationship.

Even though I have two partners myself, I try very hard to "compartmentalise" each romantic relationship, even if we're all great friends and sometimes-playmates. The way I talk to each of my partners takes a different tone... the words I use are unique to each of them... the kind of sex we have is different (which isn't too difficult, since they're different genders).
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Me, Lunabunny: F, 50, heteroflexible, in a LDR committed relationship with Boho
Jester: M, 59, straight, "it's complicated"
Boho: F, 56, primary partner, heteroflexible
Red: M, 52, ex-husband, straight
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  #5  
Old 08-13-2018, 01:54 PM
Taramafor Taramafor is offline
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I can only speak as someone that's had to deal with jealousy in others.

For my part the reasons for not "being restricted" with anyone are quite simple. I have a past of being made to choose, which resulted in choosing others and it all resulted in the people I care about self harming and one committing suicide. Little more to it but that's the "end result" of such things. "Picking one over others". Or "making it a choice". Didn't occur to me it didn't have to be back then. I never pick "anyone to be the most important" but it is 100% CRUCIAL but everyone is treated fairly. No above or below about it. You either mean that much to me or you don't. Simple really. I don't even do the friend part, I skip that. "I matter. You matter. Conversations with communication. Love and be loved or see ya". It's not rushing. It's simply being clear about not holding back with each others happiness. Don't "have" too, but you WILL hate yourself when I go out of my way for you and you hold back. I won't leave. And if you won't leave... well, it has to be FAIR. Otherwise I worry about myself then you worry and it all just goes downhill. But if you stick around in the worst of times it also goes uphill and beyond.

What complicates things is that I was with an ex (at the time not an ex) who had an ex. Was pushed away on my account unasked for. He ended up in a drunk car crash. Slowly died in hospital. Now I never liked him and he didn't like me but I do understand we both liked the same person. But it was too late when that penny dropped.

As for having to deal with jealousy in another, I simply reassure them that I'll make the time and effort. Which I do. But then they got jealous not because of the lack of that but because they see others "doing things" themselves. Not even sex. Could be as something as simple as "playfully talking about what you enjoy". Which said jealous person is also good at. There's nothing to be jealous about. It's their own insecurity getting the better of them. One simple sentence to that. "Trust my judgement". And I follow it up with "Have I ever lied to you". The REASON I want YOU involved too is because I want you there as much as someone else at times. And also there will be times I DON'T want you around because everyone needs 1 on 1 time. Not even for sex, it's the 1 on 1 time period. As someone that gets jealous you should know the value of that.

Being blunt. If I say you're good at something then trust me on that account. If I think you can improve I'll say it. Hide from people I know all you like but there might come a time we all "have to deal with each other". Don't have to like each other. Can even hate each other. And if it's you that knows someone then I have to deal with it too. Transit of property of happiness. Person. Hobby. Dumb robot that rolls over me in my sleep. If it MATTERS to you then I have to give a shit because it affects you. Just like how I'd worry if something made you sad or afraid. I'll go out of my way to do that as long as you look out for me.

BLAM! I get to know a formally mono person who ends up not being mono anymore because they were more interested in someone else but then got interested in me because I was that persistent and went out of my way to be there. Talked them into how much they love me despite hiding behind the "friend" label. Nope, you're there for me in all things and been there in the worst of times as well as the best. AND you're going out of your way to make the time and effort more then with anyone else. Anyone that hides behind safe labels is just afraid to be there for you (which they were). Doubting themselves. Thing is you're probably the ONLY one doing that. When you "Worry for another because you struggle with them". Ask yourself one simple question. Do you always try for someone that means that much to you? If the answer is yes and others don't even ask that then you're doing better then most I'd say.

The problem with jealousy... is the abundance of too much attention. Sounds strange doesn't it? See, you can end up hating yourself for "dragging others away because they feel like they have to never be away from you". Just keep in mind that like anything else in a relationship it has to be FAIR. Too little? Point it out. But make sure the other person was a lazy shit. And if YOU have been that lazy shit then admit it. Too much? Point out they're up your grill or that they been up yours. You're not losing anyone by going "Get some you time/time with others that matter.". And I'm sure you yourself know others that matters that need time or otherwise places to be. If you're around someone ALL the time then you either worry about them (not necessarily a bad thing) or you're afraid of what they might get up too when you're not around. Catch 22 there. Sometimes we all lean on others and are worth worrying about at times. But hey, I'm needy as they come and can go "I'll be fine, go out and have fun". If I really need you then I'm not one to hide it. Other catch 22 there. Some people "hide that pain". Counterproductive IMO. It always gets known later if not sooner. May as well get it out of the way in the early days. "Not wanting them to complain for not being around" is likely an irrational thought process if you think it with a more poly person (ask and check in though). I'm more likely to complain if you let me be the reason you can't be happy with anything else. I know I matter but damn, other things will always matter too. People. Games. hobbies. etc, etc. Only way I'd complain is if it's clear I need you.

Just, you know, make sure you make the most of things when they come back (personally I try not to keep people waiting too long). Everyone gets a "turn" and some people can misinterpret that as "just being a turn". But that is NOT what the phrase means when I use it. It simply means "Everyone matters regardless of wherever I'm fucking them or not and if you're in a bad state at the same time they are I'm going to go the extra mile and be there for everyone at once which I've done before in the past and went insane when they didn't trust me yet they ended up getting on in the end. Probably because they finally trusted me about having a good side they didn't see in each other."

... Yea, it's a lot of work. At least the first time around. Especially when people see the worst of everything. Somehow I manage. And if jealousy is present it might not be stemming from JUST a 3rd party. It could be because you're jealous of having that hard earned talent. To "Work with multiple people at once". Especially if you're an introvert. I'm an introvert too but it was "adapt or suffer". The more you know peoples personal lives, the more you do it and the better you get at it, the more you see why easily placed mistrust does more harm then good. Even as strangers.

And when there's a "struggle" it can often be seen as "not caring enough", which more often then not is just plain bullshit. You're human. Everyone struggles. Point it out, do something about it. Add things without subtracting. Done and dusted. Not quite that easy of course but "Here's what we can do together" and all that. Even something as simple as movie nights after forming a plan can work wonders at times. Making the best of what you do have even if what is yet to be had is still a struggle.

You got more then others too. You could be "already there" while others only SEEM to have as much or more. If you know you have a majority of the time and effort then that says it all. If anything you're the one to be jelaous of in that situation.

The real problem can lie in the lack of the "spark". Of which wil be there regardless of others (if anything others can give ideas with you). Can happen for a number of reasons. But again, find the problem. DO something about it. Intimacy is "doing things each other enjoys". The attention and affection. You got your things you like, they got theirs. Don't even have to be the same because of "give and take". Give. Get. Share the experiences. Most recently what caused the loss of that with me was becoming depressed and having suicidal tendencies because a potential 3rd saw only the worst of me. "better dom" my ass. Even if things had worked out with them they're no replacement for you and got your own "awesome style". Like I said, nothing to be jealous about at times. And you really don't want to be in a position where you're proven wrong. It's honestly put me really on edge with everyone now. Mistrust breeding mistrust. I just remind myself everyone fears the worst and does stupid shit because reasons but few want to actually have a close look at you and claim responsibility for how they affect you. But that's bullshit. Plenty of people out there are responsible for their own actions and admit it.

As for jealousy itself, it's not my problem. I don't mean that in a mean way. I simply mean I refuse to let it be a factor in how I treat others. For the exact same reason I wouldn't allow others to have it be a factor with you. Because if I allow it to be a factor with anyone someone, somewhere will hate themselves for it. So I just have to go "It's happening. You'll have to deal with it" at times. Love you I might but I don't deal in "auto expectations without consent". And in my case there's damn good reason for it. Avoid me for it or don't. Love those that don't. Even if still having "neglect concerns". Even I get that at times. But again, DO something about it. Without a "loss". Can seem impossible to do really amazing shit or enjoy something "strange and new" in any number of situations. Know how often I disprove "nope logic"? All. The. Time. And every time. It's called "show and tell" and "Here's the situation you're in which you now enjoy which you previously complained about".

These days people just trust me when I say we can make things work out. XD

Last edited by Taramafor; 08-13-2018 at 02:08 PM.
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