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  #1  
Old 08-25-2012, 04:46 PM
OmahaPoly OmahaPoly is offline
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Default Suddenly Jealous

Hi,
I have been poly all my life. I find myself in a very uncomfortable and unfamiliar position of being jealous and angry about my wife's new relationship.

I will start with the punchline. She met a guy she likes very much, and has since slept with. She is happy with it and wishes to continue this relationship. In the past I have been happy for her to have outside relationships, but this time I find myself angry, hurt, and wanting to have nothing to do with her. Last night I found myself unable to even sleep in the same room with her I was so hurt and resentful. Ouch, new and not pleasant at all.

What keeps going through my mind is my last 3 attempts to pursue a relationship of my own.

The first one was very special, I found myself very much falling for her. Unfortunately, my wife was very unhappy and made things very difficult. Between that and the inevitable bump or two in any relationship I wound up breaking up with her (or her with me?).

The second relationship was again very, very good. She was happy to be with me and with my wife secondarily, and moved in at one point. My wife then became jealous and controlling and we finally ended up with a very ugly confrontation with the three of us. Deciding (wisely) that the level of trouble exceeded what she was gaining from the relationship, she broke up with my wife completely and asked me to come with her. To be clear, this was definitely instigated by my wife's behaviors, not an attempt to split us. However, since we have kids I decided to stay with my wife.

Recently I met a wonderful young woman with whom I share a bunch of interests. She is also poly, which was a relief since I wouldn't have to "explain" or feel awkward. Three dates and my wife's increasing escalation of jealous actions and I broke it off rather than drag someone else into the murk.

All this time my wife has pursued two other relationships outside of ours which broke up eventually when we moved back to the mainland (we lived in Hawaii). So now, a month after that last breakup, my wife is happily pursuing her relationship and I am no longer happy for her. I deeply resent it, and want nothing more than to sabotage her relationship and make both of them completely miserable. On the other hand, this is by far the most interested she has ever been in an outside relationship, and seems to provide an opportunity for her to "switch places" with me. She is encouraging me to find and/or reignite old relationships now that she has found something she wants.

What do I do with this? I am seriously considering divorcing my wife of 16 years, finding myself for the first time in my life (I am 38) resentful and jealous of my lover is NOT a pleasant place to be. To be clear, I was considering the divorce before she found her new relationship, but as always things are not that simple and there are a great many things I value in our marriage (not to mention we have 4 minor children). If I stay, do I give up on my jealousy? It is very tough to talk to my wife, we are both combat vets with some pretty ugly experiences, we met during counselling for PTSD/rehabilitative therapy (physical). On the one hand it gives us some common ground that very few others could have, but on the other hand it means we are both very controlling in our daily lives.

Thoughts? Questions?
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  #2  
Old 08-25-2012, 05:42 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Hi and welcome,

Have you considered in the past (during your wife's struggles ) or now during your own issues to get professional counseling to break down the communication problems?

It sounds like you both are trading punches in these outside relationships. Payback his and hers.

What was your original motivation to do this ? Was your wife on board or was she pressured, or convinced to embrace this lifestyle?

Does she feel your marriage is broken right now or just another rough patch? Does she get, been told of your dark thoughts?
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  #3  
Old 08-25-2012, 05:54 PM
OmahaPoly OmahaPoly is offline
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Hi, thank you. Please understand, I am not in any way ACTING on these feelings. Tgis is also the first time I have had them in any relationship, which is why I am looking for advise on dealing with them. I just feel deeply that there is a serious double standard that has been in play throughout ourarriage, and this new relationship of hers has brought that resentment out.

Like always, jealousy is not the "primary" or "real" emotion.
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  #4  
Old 08-25-2012, 05:58 PM
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LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
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DEFINITELY don't continue the back and forth battle.

I'm sorry you are hurting.

Keep in mind-which she likely is not doing right now-feelings are like weather-they come and they go. Very predictably actually (yes I used the weather line from another poster-she's just-well right!).

The jealousy will pass.
What likely won't pass without resolution is the resentment, anger and envy-all of which sound very much to be "well-earned" based on what has happened thus far.

Unfortunately, before the back and forth attack of jealousy and veto power can be stopped-SOMEONE has to step up to the plate.

Now is YOUR CHANCE to change the forward momentum of your relationship from one of negativity to positivity.

I suggest getting in counseling-with a poly-friendly counselor for starts.

Also-sounds like you two need to re-negotiate boundaries and agreements so you and she are on the same page.

JEALOUSY is one of the topics that needs to be addressed in that boundary list-specifically, how one ACTS OUT on emotions.

It's perfectly acceptable to EXPERIENCE emotions-we all do.
IT is NOT ACCEPTABLE to attack other people over our emotions.
We are responsible for dealing with our OWN EMOTIONS.

She (and you) need to accept that neither of you has a right to take out your emotions on each other or metamours.

GOOD LUCK!
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Old 08-25-2012, 06:07 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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You are were happy with your outside relationship. She was not happy with your outside relationship. You two fought over that. She is happy with her outside relationship. You are not happy with her outside relationship. You two are fighting over that. The words I just wrote are the symptoms of the problems you two have.


Poly brings every unresolved issue between two people to the surface. You two have unresolved issues between the two of you that have nothing to do with other people. Your best bet is to start talking to each other openly and honestly.


What are the issues when it's just the two of you? Why haven't the two of you talked about them?
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:11 PM
OmahaPoly OmahaPoly is offline
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Thank you for your responses, but I feel like I should clarify what I am saying/asking so that I can get some more pertinent advice.

First let me reiterate I am NOT acting out, and we are NOT fighting about this. I want to get some advice on HOW to deal with these feelings, I have no intention of acting badly because of them. Second, this is not her first serious outside relationship, and even before my wife and I met I have been practicing poly. I have never felt this way before is all, and I am trying to come to terms with why I do this time, and how to process the emotions.

My real resentment is that I feel unequal, and certainly feel envious and resentful that I do not have a outside relationship due in no small measure to her reactions. Now she (and I) expect me to behave in a healthy open manner and emotionally I deeply resent having to do so again (2 other serious long term relationships for her remember) without believing I have recieved the same consideration. Of course there is always more to the story, but this is the part I am hung up on.

I not only dont want to hurt my relationship with my wife, I don't want to hurt her relationship with him. On the other hand, I definitely have emotions that make me want to strike out and "even" things up. I would just like help overcoming this desire, then second advice on how to make this relationship work more evenly.

We have trouble communicating if any criticism of her is real or implied however, so conversations can be very tricky to get started. Good eventually, but a tough start.

Last edited by OmahaPoly; 08-25-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:53 PM
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nycindie nycindie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OmahaPoly View Post
My wife then became jealous and controlling and we finally ended up with a very ugly confrontation with the three of us. Deciding (wisely) that the level of trouble exceeded what she was gaining from the relationship, she broke up with my wife completely and asked me to come with her. To be clear, this was definitely instigated by my wife's behaviors, not an attempt to split us. However, since we have kids I decided to stay with my wife.
Not a good enough reason to stay, IMHO. I think your problems are deeper and not even related to poly. If the scales are constantly tipped in the direction of difficulty, fighting, and far too much hard emotional work for far too few moments of satisfaction and joy in return, maybe it is time to end it. Kids are resilient and will bounce back. So will you.
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Last edited by nycindie; 08-25-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-25-2012, 08:27 PM
snowmelt snowmelt is offline
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I know you think the real issue is with poly. It's not. The real issue is something else that exists exclusively between you and your wife. Poly is just magnifying it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OmahaPoly View Post
Second, this is not her first serious outside relationship, and even before my wife and I met I have been practicing poly.
Ok. I understand. This fact is not going to help you resolve the real issue, because the real issue is something that occurs exclusively between you and your wife. If both of you stopped being poly, the real issue would still be there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OmahaPoly View Post
My real resentment is that I feel unequal
Ok. Now we are getting somewhere. What is going on with this?


Quote:
Originally Posted by OmahaPoly View Post
We have trouble communicating if any criticism of her is real or implied however
This is also part of the real issue. What is going on with this?

Last edited by snowmelt; 08-25-2012 at 09:01 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2012, 09:02 PM
dingedheart dingedheart is offline
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Oh pertinent advice ....my mistake

So you're looking for something to mask the symptoms not cure the disease. A technique to get you through. That's tough with the refusal to get help with the communication problem. Resentment, envy, feelings of being unequal generally need to be talked out with the partner involved.

I think you have only a few options. 1) just suck it up and stop being resentful. Whats done is done. Going forward recognize things are going to be unbalanced/ unequal it just the way it is. 2) Try behavior modification techniques when you have urges to strike out and even thing up. I'm sure there's lots of different methods ...more reading and trial and error 3) invite her to read this thread for information purposes only ( promise no discussions later ). At least she might learn you've seriously considered divorce. She might be unaware of that. Might make her more receptive to #4 and any hints or clues you might drop about your feelings 4) find parallel stories here on the forum and highlight them for her and hope she gets the hint. 5) lower your expectations and or your relationship status if you have such a thing , become her secondary. Pocketpoly wrote a blog thread about doing just that. check that out.


Good luck and thank you both for your service to the country

Last edited by dingedheart; 08-25-2012 at 09:42 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2012, 09:49 PM
Vinccenzo Vinccenzo is offline
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What I see here when you list the three scenarios your wife ended up not being supportive of, you've rolled it all up into one tangled ball rather than three separate and unique sets of circumstances and personality blends.

It might help to remember that while your wife did not support these relationships at some point in their development, it does not mean all three were realistically viable and the problems you experienced might not have been fully on your wife. One of these partners actively asked you to leave your marriage. While I do not know all the details, that seems a dark motive that might have been part of why your wife took issue with that relationship.

So look at these relationships separately and not as one large act that was totally of your wife's creation. It couldn't possibly have been because there were three people involved and none of you could have been perfect.

Your wife fears something and it might not be something you are fully aware of making it nigh impossible to positively influence. She may not even be able to articulate it to herself and until that changes improvement will be hard to do. It sounds like maybe neither of you should be adding people to the pile till it gets sorted when its obvious some healing needs to happen.
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