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Old 08-29-2012, 04:35 PM
girlwithwings girlwithwings is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: the south
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Default new, exploratory, dealing with jealousy and the whole nine yards

I've been with my boyfriend for a little more than a year and a half. At the outset, he and I discussed poly/open relationships and agreed that that was something we're both interested in - as he says, he can't see himself being with only one person for the rest of his life, or that one person will ever fulfill his every need. In the beginning, I felt it was necessary to focus on getting to know each other, on OUR relationship, before starting up other relationships.

He once asked if, while on a trip, he could have sex with a woman with whom he has an intense emotional connection and has loved for a decade. For some reason, this set off alarm bells in my head. In talking through it and trying to figure out why that was, I discovered that although I really love the idea of new relationships, I'd rather he not sleep with/date longtime loves because it makes me feel like somewhat of an afterthought. He agreed that we could wait and discuss it later if the opportunity arose again. (It hasn't.)

Lately we've begun a relationship with another couple, and it's been going mostly swimmingly. There are a few sexual difficulties on my boyfriend's part, but the four of us are going to work it out when the man of the other couple returns to the States. I've experimented with kissing and dating other men and flirting with other women, but haven't slept with anyone outside the relationship. Nor has the boyfriend.

We have very different levels of sex drive (he needs 2 orgasms a day, no matter what, pretty much, and I'm okay with a 3-4 times a week or sometimes once daily), and I've been horrendously sick with a cold recently. I walked in on him masturbating to a combo of porn (about which I couldn't care less) and, more importantly, a photo of 3 of his ex-girlfriends in swimsuits, including the one he'd previously asked to sleep with.

Is this a normal thing? I'm working through my own jealousy. He says I'm being irrational, that those women are hundreds of miles away and he decided long ago he could never be in relationships with them, whereas we are here, sleeping in the same bed and having sex on the regular.

I guess what I'm asking is, is it rational to feel a little strange that he's fantasizing about his exes when I'm in the next room? Is there any way to tamp down the jealousy? He thinks I should just let it go, to realize that this is him and it's not going to change, but I want to make sure we talk about EVERY jealousy, insecurity, and problem so that nothing gets swept under the rug. As I understand it, this is the only way a poly relationship can work.

Again, I'm not threatened by the idea of a new relationship for him/him and me (I'm beginning to think I'm far more interested in the two of us pursuing someone together - which we have tried and not been able to work out). I'm not jealous of these women, exactly. I'm concerned with his reaction to my jealousy, and concerned that he isn't comfortable telling me this is something he does regularly.

Thoughts, feelings, advice? Any would be appreciated. I live in an area where the very idea of an open relationship garners wide eyes and minor gasps. My friends are mostly married with new babies, and I can't talk to anyone about this. *sigh*

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2012, 05:10 PM
tallOakland tallOakland is offline
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Location: Bay Area, CA
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Default

Have a look at The Ethical Slut (I also imagine there is a lot of content on this site about it as well), it has a good section on jealousy. Jealousy can mean many things, so it's very important to talk about it and explore this with your partner and see what's really bothering you, and perhaps once you see that you can let it go.

As far as "is it rational to feel jealousy", (with all respect), that's a nonsense question. You feel what you feel, rationality has nothing to do with it. It will always be better if you respect how you feel at the time, communicate about it and work with it. If you think you should not feel some things and begin trying to suppress or hide those feelings, it will lead only to trouble for you and your partner. Always give the highest respect to your feelings; they are trying to tell you something. Find out what it is.
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