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Old 07-19-2011, 12:07 AM
confusedme confusedme is offline
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Default Jealousy is destroying my "secondary" relationships

First off pardon any grammatical errors. I need help. I have been in a relationship with my wife now for 9 years, married for 7. We have had an "open" relationship almost from the very beginning, but no emotions were ever involved. The open part of our relationship was always in bouts, never for a set period of time. In March of this year we decided to open things back up. I met someone and the spark was instant. I felt confused, lost, like I was betraying my wife for having these feelings. I noticed my feelings for wife were not fading. I started looking for answers, looking for what was wrong with me. I stumbled across the word polyamory, I had my answer. Everything started to make sense. As I read I could relate to everything, and realized I had been polyamorous my whole life, and I didn't even know it. I didn't know anything other than what I had been told.

On to the problem. I feel no jealousy. Before anyone starts doubting and saying "you have to feel some jealousy" I assure you I feel none. My wife, on the other hand is my polar opposite in the matter of jealousy. I will admit at time envy has crossed my mind, but even then very little. When I finally came out to my wife that I was poly, shit hit the fan. We worked through things. So I had my "other" we will call her C, and she eventually found hers shortly after. He is a great guy, we have a lot of mutual respect for one another. We will refer to him as J. So my wife arranges a weekend, J comes to my place, and I go to C's place. That arrangement went well. My wife would go to J's every weekend and spend the whole weekend there. I had no problems with this, but when it came time for me to go see C, I would get texts and phone calls to come home. I had a problem with this. Well C and I wanted different things from the relationship, so we parted ways. My wife continued to see J almost every weekend. I gave her the time to build her relationship with J.

Eventually I moved on. I found someone else I made a connection with, someone I had known for 5 plus years. We will call her A. I'm going to try and make this short and to the point. I was catching jealousy from both sides. A was jealous when I was with my wife, and my wife was jealous when I was with A. A ended up leaving. She eventually sent me an angry message saying my wife would never give us enough time. That my wife had my balls in a vice. I speak to my wife about jealousy. I ask her to control her jealousy. I told her that when her jealousy starts causing problems with my other relationships I have a problem with that. I'm not telling her not to feel jealousy, but asking her to control from having an outburst. When she feels jealousy to come and talk to me about it, so we can work it out verbally. Am I being unreasonable in my request, or am I being insensitive to her emotions. please help. Any resources that might be helpful would also be appreciated.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:27 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Hi Confused! Sorry to hear about everything you're going through. There are some great essays about managing jealousy on this site - http://www.xeromag.com/fvpoly.html

Frankly I would put my foot down in this situation. Your wife's feelings are real, but she is responsible for controlling them. It's like if you had decided as a couple that you wanted to save money for your goals, but while you were diligently cutting down on spending, she was making impulse buys all the time. Just a really unfair double standard that is going to screw up the whole situation for both of you, since your resentment will likely only build if things don't change, and then you'll end up doing something harsh, like telling her that if she won't let you keep your gfs, she has to leave her bf.

I would set some expectations and timelines with her. Like, she has a month during which she needs to do some reading, actively work on her issues, and come up with a contract of standards that you both agree are fair, like no interrupting dates unless there's an actual emergency. If she won't do any of that... maybe couples therapy. Or hell, maybe you really will need to make an ultimatum that she has to stop seeing her bf and work on her relationship with you if she can't get this under control... go back to being closed again, basically. I really really hope it doesn't come to that though, as that would be so sad for her bf if they really are emotionally engaged with each other.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:46 AM
confusedme confusedme is offline
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thank you annabel. I would like to avoid the ultimatum because I know she is emotionally engaged with him. I don't want him hurt because she can't control her jealousy, he did nothing wrong. I will Look into the reading. Do you have any other resources that might pertain to my situation?
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:54 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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There is this thread:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1877

And this is a list of popular topics:

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1830

and here is a link to a tag search for "jealousy"

http://www.polyamory.com/forum/tags.php?tag=jealousy

just a quick question: do your wife and gf WANT to change vis a vis this jealousy problem?
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:33 AM
confusedme confusedme is offline
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thank you for the reading material neon. I'm not sure I understand your question, what is vis a vis? I am currently without a gf so I'm not sure how the next one will react.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:43 AM
NeonKaos NeonKaos is offline
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vis a vis means "face to face" but the way I used it means "in regard to".
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:20 AM
confusedme confusedme is offline
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had a long talk with the wife tonight about her jealousy. Some things have been worked out. J was there to add some insight on his jealousy. I failed to mention J is mono, but very understanding. He doesn't seen hard-wired, if I'm using terminology correctly. Things seem to be looking up for now. Thank you all for the reading material.
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:41 AM
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AnnabelMore AnnabelMore is offline
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Haha, this board is so amazing that we'll solve all your relationship problems in 5 hours or less -- guaranteed or your money back!
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:47 AM
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redpepper redpepper is offline
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I agree, no one should throw their feelings at another, but it does happen. It takes practice to be considerate, caring and thoughtful when it comes to hard emotions, but it is necessary as it is respectful. No one deserves to be blown up at no matter how hurt and jealous they are feeling. I don't see any reason why you can't put your foot down about that and be firm with a request to simmer down before coming and talking rationally and in a calm tone about whatever the situation is. Practice of this should I help I think.

What is she jealous of? She has her cake, what is it about you having yours that bugs? Or is she just being hypocritical and doing the possessiveness thing?
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:39 AM
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Hi there, confusedme (confusedyou?).

I don't doubt your lack of jealousy. I wasn't born with a jealousy unit installed either. In some ways, this feels almost unfair when hearing from others about their jealousy issues.

Looking at the timing of your situation, you had 9 years of together time with some open marriage stuff going on. In March you opened your marriage back up.

So in the last four months, you've:
Opened the marriage again
Met someone
Developed feelings (C)
Self-identified as poly
Come out to the wife as poly
The wife has met someone in a poly relationship (J)
Lost your someone (C)
Found a new someone (A)
Lost the new someone (A)
Potentially had your testicles in a piece of uncomfortable hardware not intended for use with your testicles
Posted your story here

Wow. I'm tired just writing that--my nuts aren't in any duress. Seems like a lot of stuff going on in the latest 3.7% of your relationship with the wife. I'm not surprised she's coping poorly with jealousy when you sort of changed the plan (open marriage to poly). Both of you are going to need time to adjust to poly life.

So far it sounds like you're off to a better start, but part of what you get to work on is how to communicate with wifey and how to help her along her journey (in so much as you can). One thing that I've learned as a person who is personally functionally jealousy-illiterate is that we need to recognize that some things which are very important to someone dealing with jealousy will just slide right off our radar. While wifey learns about coping with jealousy, you might be well served doing the same so that you can pick up on details that might be important to her but invisible to the non-jealous. You might be making stuff harder on her not realizing that some of what you do can be triggers for jealousy.

As you get further down the poly road, things will get easier. Right now you're still comparatively new, bumps and bruises are to be expected.

Also:
Two new amors in four months? I'd be jealous of you, too. Don't kids these days take any time to say hello before imploding a relationship? *comically old people grumble*
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