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  #1  
Old 09-28-2013, 01:55 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Red face Poly for years, and suddenly jealous in my first committed poly relationship?

I posted here last year, and y'all gave me the most centering, useful advice I could possibly have asked for. Thank you! (All those situations have, as most things do in the end, turned out well in their own ways.)

This may be the happiest post I've ever made on this site, so yay! I should say beforehand that this all may come across as super serious and awful, but it's not causing a lot of conflict or upset. It's just something that's bothering me about myself that I would like to examine further.

Recently, I've found someone absolutely amazing, someone who is weird in the ways that I am weird, and we seem really compatible on many levels. We both have the feeling that we've been looking for [someone like] each other for a long time.

For the first time in almost two years, I wanted to make it "official." I wanted him to be my boyfriend and for us to make a mutual commitment with agreed-upon rules. And to my great happiness, he was happy to be in a relationship with me. Which still is baffling in the best way to both of us.

For the first time in a long time, I'm sleeping with someone and every time we have sex, I can be pretty sure it won't be the last time we get to. It's mindblowingly... normal. And it's very good.

We've been acquainted for two months, having great sex for a month, and in a relationship for about two weeks.

However, here's the problem:

I don't know quite why, but my feelings for him have me getting really jealous. As someone who used to be codependent and monogamous, this disturbs me.

I'm fine with him making out with other people, with or without me there, but when it comes to sex, just the thought makes me feel... well, jealous! I have the sense that this feeling comes from how new this is, along with a few deep-seated insecurities that my newfound vulnerability has pushed to the fore.

He's very much into me and not jealous of anything I might want to do with other people of any gender. He's also said my discomfort is important to him and that if it were important to me, he would be happy being completely monogamous with me. He does admit, though, that he would feel sexually frustrated to have to turn down people he didn't want to turn down, which I understand because I would also feel this way.

So, here's where I need some help from more experienced folk. Please and so very much thank you!

What the heck? Why now? After two years of sleeping around and dating people I liked and not being jealous of their other partners, why am I suddenly acting kind of possessive and icky?

I know poly theory. Compersion is one of my favorite emotions. This feels weird!

Why do I feel compersion when he makes out with other people but jealousy when I think of him having sex with them?

I expected my care for him to trigger the desire to get him laid, and while that is true, the jealousy is blocking the happiness I know could be there.

Can I expect these feelings to go away? Can I hasten their disappearance somehow, or do I have to just wait it out as my neurochemicals and the NRE stop screwing with me?

Is this normal?

How can I accept these feelings without allowing them to trigger harmful thoughts and behaviors?

I'd really appreciate any advice from people who are wiser and more experienced. <3
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Me: 22-year-old female, cis and queer, have identified as poly for ~2 years, currently in my first committed poly relationship

A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future

Last edited by LemonCakeIsALie33; 09-28-2013 at 01:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-29-2013, 12:03 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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It seems like the wall of text might be scaring people off? Sorry, folks.

Tl;dr:

I'm in a new, committed poly relationship where we're each others' only partners right now. I feel compersion when he kisses other people and jealousy when I think of him having sex with other people.

But I've been poly for two years in more casual relationships without jealousy.

What gives? How can I work through these feelings / change my thinking to help ease them? Should I just wait it out, since the relationship is so new?

I hope this shorter post will garner some responses.

Thanks!
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Me: 22-year-old female, cis and queer, have identified as poly for ~2 years, currently in my first committed poly relationship

A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2013, 01:01 AM
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Bluebird Bluebird is offline
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Quote:
I have the sense that this feeling comes from how new this is, along with a few deep-seated insecurities that my newfound vulnerability has pushed to the fore.
Sounds like this might be it. I have been having issues with insecurities myself recently - and yeah, I feel vulnerable.
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Old 09-29-2013, 07:38 AM
london london is offline
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Have you considered that it might just be because you are monogamous, you worked through your co dependency issues enough to enjoy casual dating but now you've found the one, you naturally want monogamy because that is what you are wired for. There is nothing wrong with that. You don't need to be fixed in any way. Some people see the actual monogamy part of relationships as a sacrifice, but a necessary one, others don't. I'd argue that those who don't see it as a sacrifice probably have a better chance of successful monogamous relationships but plenty of people live with the sacrifice perfectly happily. You're probably one of those.
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Old 09-29-2013, 02:58 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Quote:
What the heck? Why now? After two years of sleeping around and dating people I liked and not being jealous of their other partners, why am I suddenly acting kind of possessive and icky?
Because you are in a "new" thing with him now. He is now "committed BF person" and while he's agreed to it and your shared agreements? You have not time spent in this mode to see if he can "deliver" -- the relationship is not secure yet. In this new role, he's new to you. You don't know him very well as "committed BF person." So of course you feel wiggy sometimes. It takes time for the "new normal" to become "old normal."

Every relationship unfolds as it will and with every unfold? It's a new thing again!

Quote:
Why do I feel compersion when he makes out with other people but jealousy when I think of him having sex with them?
Did previous "committed BF's" not deliver? Where you cheated on? Is it something else? What kind of jealousy is it?

http://www.practicalpolyamory.com/im...ed_10-6-10.pdf

Is it not so much him but his sex partner that wigs you out? The whole "Fear of the unknown stranger?" Could spend some time there sorting it out.

Quote:
Can I expect these feelings to go away? Can I hasten their disappearance somehow, or do I have to just wait it out as my neurochemicals and the NRE stop screwing with me?
I think it could be a combo of just letting time pass and actively doing things to decrease your anxious, jealous feelings.

Quote:
Is this normal?
Nothing new under the sun.

Quote:
How can I accept these feelings without allowing them to trigger harmful thoughts and behaviors?
You decide that is what you want and then adjust your thoughts/behavior to support that decision.

If those thoughts pop up? You purposefully think about something else, or set a time aside to think it all you want and then once thunk and times is up? You let it GO knowing that you are not your thoughts. You are the person DOING the thinking behavior.

If those temptations to behave harmfully come up? You say NO and choose to behave in a different way -- on purpose.

(I am assuming you are not also having a health condition where the emotional volume goes WAY up. (ex: depression, bipolar, etc). That could mean a different approach than "sit with it, let it pass.")

Galagirl

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-29-2013 at 03:02 PM.
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  #6  
Old 09-30-2013, 06:30 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by london View Post
Have you considered that it might just be because you are monogamous, you worked through your co dependency issues enough to enjoy casual dating but now you've found the one, you naturally want monogamy because that is what you are wired for. There is nothing wrong with that. You don't need to be fixed in any way. Some people see the actual monogamy part of relationships as a sacrifice, but a necessary one, others don't. I'd argue that those who don't see it as a sacrifice probably have a better chance of successful monogamous relationships but plenty of people live with the sacrifice perfectly happily. You're probably one of those.
This is a really good thing to think about! Thank you. I've thought before about whether I might be monogamous, but truly... I'm not. My greatest desire is for a poly family - a triad especially, but I'd also be happy with a V or an N. I think I would prefer to be flexibly polyfi - occasional outside partners but nothing too serious unless we wanted to bring them into the family. I love so many people in so many ways that I don't think my romantic drives are just going to shut off once I have a romantic life partner - and my sex drives certainly won't! (I've already slept with someone else, in fact, which felt good and really just made me want my boyfriend more. He had manual sex with a mutual friend of ours and said afterward he just wanted to cuddle with me. )

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Originally Posted by GalaGrl View Post
Because you are in a "new" thing with him now. He is now "committed BF person" and while he's agreed to it and your shared agreements? You have not time spent in this mode to see if he can "deliver" -- the relationship is not secure yet. In this new role, he's new to you. You don't know him very well as "committed BF person." So of course you feel wiggy sometimes. It takes time for the "new normal" to become "old normal."
This is just what I needed to hear. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGrl View Post
Did previous "committed BF's" not deliver? Where you cheated on? Is it something else? What kind of jealousy is it?
It's the visceral, purely emotional kind... an instinctive response, and I'm not sure exactly where it's coming from, but it feels like it's coming from fear that his feelings will change upon sleeping with other people? It doesn't make rational sense... except...

In the past, I've dated people I liked a lot who said they were very into me but it turned out they were not being completely honest with themselves and/or me. I think this situation is a bit difficult for me in that sense. I need time to believe he's not going to leave me for a silly reason, though he's given me know reason to think he will. In fact, he's already the kindest, most affectionate, and most attentive boyfriend I've ever had.

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Originally Posted by GalaGrl View Post
Is it not so much him but his sex partner that wigs you out? The whole "Fear of the unknown stranger?" Could spend some time there sorting it out.
His potential partner is a close friend of mine, but yeah, it's been awhile since we've had a good talk. We've also been disagreeing on some important things lately (I'm a feminist and she doesn't identify as such, and she says some real bullshit). That said, I would like to get to know her better again, both emotionally and sexually, because I think she's changed a lot recently and let go of a lot of monogamous myths she'd held onto. I like her as a person.

There's another potential partner that is into both of us and whom we're both into, and I'd love to sleep with her together, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGrl View Post
I think it could be a combo of just letting time pass and actively doing things to decrease your anxious, jealous feelings.

Nothing new under the sun.
Yeah, in the past couple of days we've been more communicative about feelings and he's told me some really hot detailed stories of people he's kissed and such, and it's helped a lot! Making it not be so unknown and scary is a really good thing.

Thanks for helping me normalize these feelings for myself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GalaGrl View Post
You let it GO knowing that you are not your thoughts. You are the person DOING the thinking behavior.

(I am assuming you are not also having a health condition where the emotional volume goes WAY up. (ex: depression, bipolar, etc). That could mean a different approach than "sit with it, let it pass.")
I do struggle with anxiety and occasionally depression, but I'm pretty neurotypical at this point in time. I am, however, under a lot of stress right now. It's harder to control my own thoughts, but that is a very good mantra to hold onto: "You are not your thoughts. You are the person DOING the thinking behavior."
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Me: 22-year-old female, cis and queer, have identified as poly for ~2 years, currently in my first committed poly relationship

A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:24 AM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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So, I decided to do something to make things seem less scary, and that is confronting my fears head-on. I invited a friend of mine to join us so he could give her oral with me there. Watching him with her incited little twinges of jealousy but wasn't that scary, honestly.

Then something happened that was both emotionally disturbing and super-enlightening and good. He and I had sex with her there (with my head on her breasts), and afterward we all showered together. I felt cuddly as I usually do after orgasms, but he seemed weirdly disconnected, and it was really upsetting.

After she left, I told him I needed physical contact, and he didn't seem to understand, but after I explained how important it was, he curled up with me.

We talked about how I felt, and he explained that because she's a freshman and therefore may be vulnerable, he'd chosen not to let himself connect emotionally to the situation. What had happened in the threesome between him and me had therefore been "just sex," the kind of purely physical sex he has with people he's not emotionally close to. I had found it so alien because between us, it's never been just sex. He had feelings for me pretty much from the very beginning! So this was the first time we had sex without emotions attached. I hated it. Not doing that again.

Me, I hate purely casual sex because of my brain and hormones and whatever. I only have sex with people I care about as romantic partners or friends. I find it awful to feel weird cuddly feelings toward near strangers, as I have before.

He doesn't feel that way. For him, feelings make sex better, and sex doesn't cause feelings. He's just wired differently, and I didn't understand until now!

Usually our sex is extremely intimate and intensely emotional, so I was disturbed by this sudden unemotional sex with no cuddling after.

And when we talked, I realized... If this is what sex means to him minus feelings, it's actually no big deal. It's like how I view kissing - just bodies, nothing to do with my heart unless I particularly like someone.

At some point maybe he'll have feelings for another person, and if/when he does, I'm sure it will be someone really special that I'll care about, too, in whatever way, and we'll get to that when we get to it. But this was really enlightening and explains why he's always been okay with me sleeping with other people and a bit baffled by my insecurities.

In conclusion:
Faced my fears. It was kind of awful even though it was physically pleasant. But now everything makes sense, and I'm pretty sure after I process this I'll give him permission to sleep with our other friend, because suddenly I understand.
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Me: 22-year-old female, cis and queer, have identified as poly for ~2 years, currently in my first committed poly relationship

A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future

Last edited by LemonCakeIsALie33; 09-30-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 01:42 PM
WhatHappened WhatHappened is offline
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Originally Posted by LemonCakeIsALie33 View Post
So, I decided to do something to make things seem less scary, and that is confronting my fears head-on. I invited a friend of mine to join us so he could give her oral with me there.
Your friend is okay with being used to work out your insecurities? Is she, like your BF, able to have sex without feelings getting involved?

Quote:
I think she's changed a lot recently and let go of a lot of monogamous myths she'd held onto.
Which myths?
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:49 PM
GalaGirl GalaGirl is offline
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Not the approach I would take to gain new understanding of my BF. But you are you and I am me.

If all parties were consenting and happy to be there, then all parties where consenting and happy to be there. *shrug*

GG

Last edited by GalaGirl; 09-30-2013 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 05:18 PM
LemonCakeIsALie33 LemonCakeIsALie33 is offline
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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Your friend is okay with being used to work out your insecurities? Is she, like your BF, able to have sex without feelings getting involved?
I told her prior to the encounter that I wanted to do it precisely because I was nervous and struggling with jealousy, and she was really sweet about it. She seems able to have sex without romantic feelings, yes. She's been sleeping around and exploring a lot recently (including a really hot story involving her giving oral to another person with my BF present! ). The three of us are all friends, and she likes us as people, and we like her, and we all cuddle a lot in cuddle piles. It's all okay.

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Originally Posted by WhatHappened View Post
Which myths?
Well, until this summer she said that penetrative sex was something to only do when she's in love, which is totally fine but had me a little confused by her recent sleeping around upon becoming single. And she used to have a lot of ideas about her worth as a partner being tied to her partner's lack of desire for others, but now she's dating a poly guy who's doing a really good job of introducing her slowly to things. It's good!

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Originally Posted by GalaGirl View Post
Not the approach I would take to gain new understanding of my BF. But you are you and I am me.

If all parties were consenting and happy to be there, then all parties where consenting and happy to be there. *shrug*

GG
Thanks, GG. I didn't expect to gain such new clarity, just to face my fear and see it wasn't scary at all. And it was scary, but for a different reason than I expected that actually turned out being fine.
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A: Poly boyfriend since 9/17/13, currently sexually open and not seeing other romantic partners but open to such in the future
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