May 13, 2008

Jealousy

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , , , at 7:14 am by Kathleen

Okay, I promised juicy, so here it is.  On Saturday evening I was dealing with a huge, heaping pile of jealousy, which surprised me as much as it affected me.  Let me start from the beginning.

Saturday night was a fund raiser for the dungeon of which I am a member.  Their building is being sold out from under them, and it was going to cost as much as $10,000 for them to move, so they hoped to raise the money through a huge party, auction, etc.  I was asked to volunteer, and ended up donning a kimono and walking in the fashion show, which turned into more of a strip show, actually.  As I stepped onto the stage, I saw that my husband was sitting next to a pretty, young girl that we had both noticed earlier in the night.  I was blindfolded after that, but I didn’t mind seeing them together.

Later on we were watching some other people play from a small mattress in one of the rooms when she appeared and asked if she could sit.  Her leg was pressing against his, and she was smiling and sweet.  At first I didn’t mind at all, but then I started to find myself flirting with her just so she wouldn’t be flirting so much with Michael.  When I made myself stop that, I started to really examine where that was coming from, and I realized that all I wanted to do was cling to him and hope she went away.

When she did get up to go see something that her mother (yes, she was there with her mom) pointed out, I told him how I was feeling.  It was a bit loud and a bit crowded to go into the full extent of my feelings, but I did want him to know that I was feeling very jealous and insecure.  He made sure that I got all the snuggles I needed, and eventually I decided that clinging to him was not the solution, and let him know that before I went to socialize some.

We talked about my feelings later.  It seems so unfair that I should be actively putting myself out there and not getting any nibbles, while my incredibly shy husband is flirting at parties.  Truth be told I do plenty of flirting myself, and when we talked about this particular girl later it was clear that he didn’t really want to date her, he was just enjoying chatting with her.  So honestly there was nothing going on that I should have felt jealous or left behind about.

I really wish emotions followed logic so well, don’t you?  I feel like my husband is poly, while I am just doing this in theory.  I also wondered for a while if deep down I really, truly would rather be monogamous, and I am just sabotaging potential relationships to stay that way.  I don’t really think that is it, I think that it is just very hard to find a decent person to date who fits my needs and is willing to accept dating a married woman.

After we talked, Michael volunteered to keep things at a flirting level and to not date until I find someone or am more comfortable with the idea.

I feel almost like a fraud, admitting that I was (and am) jealous, but then again poly is not about being not-jealous, it is about learning to be happy enough for the other person and secure in yourself enough that you can beat those feelings back and dismiss them.  I love my husband, and I do want him to be happy.  I think that I just needed to hear that there was no immediate threat every time he smiles at a girl.  If he finds someone that he wants to date, I have asked him to talk to me and I think that I could do a pretty good job of stomping down the jealousy to let him, so long as my own needs stay met.

In the mean time, I am just glad to get this off of my chest.  Thank you for sharing the burden, my friends.

Blessings,

Kathleen

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10 Comments »

  1. Midnitblu said,

    For goodness sake … please give us more details about the dungeon lol

  2. Jerry said,

    It was refreshing to read that you’re actively confronting your own level of involvement. I believe that polyamory, in theory, is much different than it is in practice. I can say I’m polyamorous, believe it, and in all the ways that are important to me, I am. However, if I had never had a poly experience, I couldn’t actually say that I could live that life. I can believe it, but that doesn’t make it so. I believe that many closet gay men and women live their entire lives knowing that they are gay, but are unable or unwilling to live the life that being outted requires.

    So it is with what you’re experiencing. You are, in this reader’s humble opinion, -completely- entitled to have a say in who your husband dates. Even if you’re not a -direct- part of that relationship, you are still very much a part of it. Aside from that – and to be fair, dismissing your own jealousy – as the third party in such a relationship, you have the ability to bear a more level headed outlook on the other person. Guys (and to a lesser extent, girls) are silly creatures who are often blind to manipulative, self-concerned, attention hogs, and your husband should hopefully be very glad to hear your thoughts on someone he’s interested in.

    Most importantly, I think what will end up being the defining factor in your poly relationship with each other is Michael’s own reactions when you finally do meet someone and have the same opportunities he’s already had. Hopefully, he will like the person, and if not, he will not hold back how he feels from you.

  3. Kathleen said,

    Hi Midnight, and welcome! This is supposed to be more of a poly blog than a sex blog, but I can tell you that I was suspended (rope) for the first time that night, and it was a great feeling. 🙂 Keep reading.

    Jerry, thanks for the comment! The problem is less that I disliked the girl and more that I feel like I need to catch up a little bit and join Michael at his level. My say in his relationships is minimal (he volunteered not to see anyone until I feel better) and his in mine will most likely be the same.

  4. Jonathan said,

    Of emotion and a lack of logic: Plato called it madness – that is to say without reason. To use one of his allegories, it is as if an audience is bound and forced to observe a wall in a cave, from birth. There is a stage with puppets behind the observers, with a fire further behind that. The observers only know of the puppets because of the shadows they cast. If someone was released, and allowed to look at what was behind them, they would discover that the shadow is just a mimicry of a puppet, which is in turn a mimicry of something real. When at last the captive is allowed to leave the cave, they see as things are in natural light, and see what the puppets then represented.

    Jealousy is a shadow – and while quite real of it’s own devices, the puppet is a deeper cause, such as insecurity or possessiveness. However, these may be cast aside when brought to the true sunlight – that you are a wonderful human, gifted with free will, and a capacity for unconditional love. The theory of a thing is always more perfect than the reality, such is the way of the Ideal – but to strive continually for the Ideal is to enlighten the mind and unfetter the heart.

  5. livininsanity said,

    By that line of reasoning, a polyamorous person should rid themselves of jealousy, whereby a monogamous person couldn’t rid themselves of jealousy since it is all they know, no?

  6. Jonathan said,

    I feel that anyone, poly or mono, can reduce the effect that jealousy has. Jealousy to me is a warning sign of one of three things: fear, possessiveness, or insecurity – so a complete removal of jealousy would indicate traits of either a confident, secure, non-possessive person, or a person who is ignoring actual causes for concern. It is up to the individual to determine which applies.

    Considering that monogamous relationships, particularly marriage, are to the exclusion of all others, it creates circumstances which could foster possessiveness, and thus jealousy. From experience, I note the many friends that have drifted from our social circle by the weight of an engagement ring, though that is not always the case.

    Being poly is by no means a cure for jealousy, but neither being mono. Either can have it, but I feel that either can overcome it as well. Knowledge is what sets a person free – that could mean the knowledge that jealousy can be overcome, or knowledge that there didn’t have to be just one way to structure a relationship, or perhaps knowledge of the Ideal of unconditional love (which is the one I tend to focus on).

  7. Kathleen said,

    The difference to me, Livin, is that a poly person HAS to work on their jealousy, while a mono person might go through a whole lifetime without their jealousy ever causing a problem or without any opportunity to work on it.

  8. cydira said,

    Kathleen,

    Great post! I’m just finding I love your blog more as I read more. 🙂

    That said, I’ve got to admit, I felt a rather huge amount of jealousy when it became clear that my husband has a gal he’s fond of and it wasn’t just me. I basically felt heartbroken and jealous as hell. I think it took me a few months to get over that initial smack of jealousy, after the fear that he was losing interest in me.

    Then, when I thought that I was past the jealousy, I found that I was feeling incredibly jealous again. It took me a long while to realize just why that was and it became clear that I was jealous of the fact that he and her had a fantastic relationship and were so incredibly happy. I wanted to have the same kind of thing for myself. Now, I’m working on dealing with the envy and it’s *so* not easy. 😛

    I think the jealousy issue is probably the hardest one to deal with, about all of this, because it can make things a little tricky when the three of us happen to be together. She and I get along fantastically, until you add my husband into the mix. Then, well, both of us ladies get uneasy. I’m not sure how to make things more comfortable, but I’m trying very hard to think of something. Any suggestions or ideas would be fantastic! 🙂

    [Sorry about posting my ‘work’ blog last time. This one’s more interesting. 🙂 ]

  9. Kathleen said,

    It was awkward when my husband was around both Becky and myself as well. What helped was to determine what context we were hanging out in. Was he on a date with her? Then I was in the background a little bit, intentionally. Were we all just hanging out? Then he is allowed to be affectionate to her, but I am the wife and she is the (girl)friend.

  10. cydira said,

    You know, I think you just pointed out the vital bit of information missing! Thanks! 🙂


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