Author Topic: Jealousy and insecurity  (Read 4337 times)

norabird

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Jealousy and insecurity
« on: October 11, 2017, 02:41:21 PM »
Starting this conversation because, well, I can be pretty jealous and insecure in my relationship and while I try my best to handle the anxiety being jealous/insecure sometimes involves, I don't always do it perfectly, and I'm looking to figure out how totally out of line or unusual those struggles are. Things like resenting social engagements that I wasn't aware of or don't involve me, struggling with opposite gender friends, that sort of stuff. I pretty much never say "you can't do this" or actually try to be controlling, but the feeling of resenting other friends or activities or being jealous of other interests/aspects to a person's life is still kind of terrible, on both sides.

It's mostly better now compared to how it was early in the relationship--I was coming off some serious betrayal and had major trust issues/some trauma). Anytime the monogamish question comes up I can go pretty haywire again, though; I often am the one raising it, FWIW, because I feel like I should be able to discuss it.

So, what are the appropriate ways to control one's feelings while still trying to express them but not using them as manipulation? How to handle knowing you are one part of a partner's life, but that other parts are important (sometimes equally or even more so) too? I know that's what is healthy, but it still is hard for me to cope with sometimes! And that's even though I'm treated very well, don't have cause to feel neglected, get special attention, etc. I can't always tell if this is my personality, or if it's the aftereffect of having been majorly lied to by a previous BF, or some mix of the two.

Does this impact your relationship or has it in the past and what are your ground rules for yourself and your partner?

human

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 04:23:43 PM »
What exactly is going on? Is your current relationship in date mode where your partner feels like they are free to see other people? If so I think you have the right to ask for a monogomous relationship but if the answer you get isn't what you want do something, break up if it's not what you want.

I've been in the stituation where I've been infatuated with someone I was dating and they didn't to be exclusive, in the end I scared them off.  Its hard to be in a seren state of mind  when someone  you are head over heels for is dating other people. However when I'm with someone the jealousy and uncertainty practically disappears.

If this is supposed to be a committed relationship and you have feelings of mistrust and jealousy you may want to get counselling. If it's a new relŗtionship that is not yet settled just chill the fuck out  (because freaking out never helped me).
« Last Edit: October 11, 2017, 04:27:51 PM by human »

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2017, 04:36:44 PM »
It's three years old but chilling out is always good. I think I probably set up my question wrong--am just wondering, do other people struggle with resenting or being jealous of partners? How does that get dealt with? But counseling is always A+


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Kris

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2017, 04:47:41 PM »
It's three years old but chilling out is always good. I think I probably set up my question wrong--am just wondering, do other people struggle with resenting or being jealous of partners? How does that get dealt with? But counseling is always A+


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There is a difference between feeling jealous or insecure when one's partner gives one cause to feel that way, and feeling jealous or insecure despite one's partner giving them no reason to feel that way. It's hard to answer this question without knowing which camp this relationship falls into.
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2Cent

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2017, 07:58:42 AM »
The best test for whether the other activities are bad or not is whether your partner feels the need to cover it up. Also it is not good if he is sharing personal stuff with another woman that he is not sharing with you, which is basically forming a new close relationship. It is never good to suppress your feelings, so you should anyway talk about it. Don't tell it in an accusing way, but just tell what you are feeling. If you say you feel insecure and are scared because of this past hurt, it is not manipulation. It is just being open about how you feel.


simonsez

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2017, 08:33:04 AM »
You don't have total control over perception.  If expressing your views *can* be seen as manipulation (and depending on POV, of course any conversation can be construed that way), it's still better to get it out there rather than be quiet altogether.  However, if your direct conversations are perceived as overly nagging or hostile or critical, maybe try unloading into a journal or private blog first and then reflecting and getting to a better state for when (and sometimes the non-human outlet is all you needed at that moment) you are ready to talk to another person.

It strikes me as odd that someone who has been burned before by relationships and is somewhat insecure/jealous would consider any type of relationship that isn't 100% monogamy.  Are you doing it because this is who you are or because you really like the person you are with and would begrudgingly accept something not ideal if it means you get to stay with a particular person?  If two people are not at similar points on the "mono/poly continuum", one person will inevitably be doing things with other people (innocent or not) that could make the other person wonder/sad/angry/jealous/insecure.  This is true for every relationship but seems it could be exacerbated in monogamish settings to a point it could be detrimental.  Bringing up conversations about this topic is incredibly important - if you are being dismissed or afraid to bring this up, these are major red flags.

human

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2017, 04:41:05 PM »
It's three years old but chilling out is always good. I think I probably set up my question wrong--am just wondering, do other people struggle with resenting or being jealous of partners? How does that get dealt with? But counseling is always A+


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3 years is a while, I really thought it might be a new thing. After that length of time I'm usually desperate for my SO to get out of my hair and spend time out with friends while I get some alone time. I assume at this point you know you're SO's friends pretty well and unless they have a history of bad behaviour you'll have to figure out a way to let go.

Cali Nonya

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 09:43:20 AM »
Nora:

Posting to come back to this in a bit.

zinnie

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 10:35:09 AM »
It's three years old but chilling out is always good. I think I probably set up my question wrong--am just wondering, do other people struggle with resenting or being jealous of partners? How does that get dealt with? But counseling is always A+


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There is a difference between feeling jealous or insecure when one's partner gives one cause to feel that way, and feeling jealous or insecure despite one's partner giving them no reason to feel that way. It's hard to answer this question without knowing which camp this relationship falls into.

This. Also, realize that you are responsible for your own behavior, and happiness. If you think what your partner is doing is reasonable, maybe try working on yourself instead of the relationship. Are you happy with your own social life? Are you doing an equal number of activities you enjoy without your partner? I know when I've felt jealous it was sometimes because I wanted more of those things for myself too. But, it isn't/shouldn't be on my partner to fix that. I'd try to figure out where the jealousy is coming from before trying to make the other person change or feel like they are doing something wrong. But, totally reasonable to talk about monogamy!

rockstache

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2017, 11:13:12 AM »
I used to deal with some jealousy that stemmed from insecurity. Then I was in a really serious relationship for several years and got cheated on. Oddly enough, it kind of cured the jealousy in me. In my next relationship (my husband), I was/am far more secure.

I think it is really personal for everyone, but for me there was a feeling that I had been cheated on, I had survived it, and I could do it again if I had to. My husband is also way more honest and open than any previous partners had been, so it is much more mature/adult relationship and that helps.

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2017, 11:23:59 AM »
Interesting rockstache, it is really the past experience--even though I totally survived it!--that makes the present hard. Though this week's issues were mostly just me spinning myself up into anxiety again (rolls eyes at self). BF is totally trustworthy, he would like to figure out some way to get me more comfortable with possibilities beyond just always the two of us forever, but I don't find that totally unreasonable (even though it also gives me some weird feelings of shame, sigh. Don't know how much other couples talk about this, we know several poly couples and I'm not cut out for that, so it's more about brainstorming an acceptable third way). And I have a million of my own activities, I just don't always know how to focus on them when I'm in my head. but, talking often helps, and will just try to remember that jealous or insecure feelings will probably come up and pass in the future and it's really not the end of the world.

elaine amj

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 03:09:40 PM »
I'd suggest you start with what YOU want. Do YOU want a future with just the two of you forever? Or do YOU want to explore a third way? I remember your postings when you first met him and he does sound like a really great guy. I had really hoped you both would have found your way to a solid footing by now. I mean this very, very gently...have you considered how many more years of your life you will spend figuring your relationship out? 3 years is quite a long time.

There is a difference between feeling jealous or insecure when one's partner gives one cause to feel that way, and feeling jealous or insecure despite one's partner giving them no reason to feel that way. It's hard to answer this question without knowing which camp this relationship falls into.

Have you thought about couples counselling? That way you have a neutral third party to point out if you are being irrational or if your BF does have some stepping up to do? He might also appreciate some neutral support when you're not being reasonable.

My own story. I didn't have to deal with jealousy, but I felt a little insecure. Sometime after a painful divorce, my mother said something to teenage me that I wish she never did: "Your father promised me the moon and the stars...back then". It really, really struck me deep to the core that even if someone promises forever, that they could just be caught up in the romance of it all. I had a REALLY hard time believing that DH would be with me forever. DH was patient with me and after about a year - I had studied him enough to know that his core character traits was steadfastness and loyalty. This was a man I could trust with the rest of my life. I was blessed to find him really young and snagged him up quickly :)
My journal: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/realigning-spending-to-match-our-future-goals-a-canadian-journey/

Camp Mustache Canada 2017 was everything I dreamed of and more. Super excited that Camp Mustache Canada 2018 is now a thing!

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2017, 05:30:08 PM »
I'm so glad for you elaine! I don't have a problem with a third way--the only thing I really want for the future is to not get so hung up and insecure. That's not really on BF (we are only talking about it because I raise it actually), it's on me. I just find it hard to be that confident self that I think I used to be or would like to become again.


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J Boogie

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2017, 12:14:43 PM »
Nora, if this has always been a difficulty in your relationship with this person, you two might have different expectations regarding what you want out of a relationship.

It sounds like you might be interested in a relationship that has more quality time and togetherness, and your partner might view an ideal relationship differently.  He might be interested in spending more time doing his own thing with his own group of friends.  If that's the case, you might be better off with someone who more naturally met your emotional needs.  (We all have emotional needs - I don't say this in a pejorative way).



However, it's also possible that you simply continue to struggle with feelings of jealousy/abandonment, and genuinely believe those feelings to be misguided.  But honestly, some people are just wired differently and have different needs.  I'm all for being the best person you can be, but sometimes you can really save yourself the headache if you accept yourself as you are and find someone whose nature is to accept you and give you the kind of love you need to feel happy and secure.

I hesitate to give advice knowing so little about you and your relationship - for all I know you could have major issues and wouldn't be happy with anyone until you sort yourself out, or you are perfectly fine and just want more togetherness than your BF does.  You could ask the wisest person you know that knows you very well, and they could tell you where you land on that spectrum.

Sibley

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2017, 12:46:07 PM »
I love Captain Awkward. This post seems at least partially applicable, so maybe take whatever you can and leave the rest?

https://captainawkward.com/2017/09/27/1026-obsessed-with-my-girlfriends-sexual-past/

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #15 on: October 16, 2017, 01:39:13 PM »
I just saw that captain awkward post earlier today actually! Thanks for sharing, it did not resonate, thankfully (?) my anxiety is at least more future/unknown-focused. It is really hard when you are hung up and know you shouldn't be but have trouble getting over the hump!

I ended up sharing this thread with him over the weekend because we had a bit of a confrontation and it felt like a good time to try and put more of the cards on the table (not that he doesn't know basically all of it anyway, and mostly for me vice versa). We actually spend tons of time together and I get included in pretty much everything, with the bonus that I get to do lots of solo stuff of my own and he gets to do the same when needed--usually a bit less than me, we have different needs for activity. Anyway, we do need to figure out how to navigate my feeling secure enough and not being entirely wholly always totally monogamous, which there are templates for and which part of me is on board with, another part of me is just freaked out. I might be anyway but all my baggage makes it hard. I know there are ways it's feasible though. Also sorry for all the oversharing ack!!

J Boogie

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2017, 01:53:48 PM »
Whoa whoa whoa... are you saying the premise of the relationship is not monogamy?

I think that's the problem right there.  It's not you, it's the lack of insistence on monogamy.  If you want to feel confident and secure in your relationship, make sure it's a monogamous relationship.  Yes, templates exist for people who decide polyamory is for them.  I have no idea whether or not these people are happy.  But I and everyone I know that has had happiness in a relationship has found it in a monogamous relationship.

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #17 on: October 16, 2017, 01:58:38 PM »
Well, I would differ that it's the only answer--partly from reading Dan Savage, partly from knowing poly couples, and partly from knowing that attraction to other people will come up in life, and that past models of marriage were often in fact premised on there being a certain amount of freedom (though usually only to men, thanks patriarchy). And I think there is a point where it's kinda like..does denying that help anybody out?

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #18 on: October 16, 2017, 07:05:08 PM »
Nora,

Just because something other than monogamy works for some people you know, that doesnít mean that is the right option for you.  I may be misreading, but are you sure youíre not settling for that 3rd option despite your desire to be monogamous?  If you want monogamy, that is a perfectly valid need in a relationship.  Please donít sell your needs short.  Let me be clear Iím not discounting that some other sort of relationship works for some other people.

I donít have jealousy relationship issues, but is part of it you not knowing things are happening?  Communication about what heís up to or plans he has seems reasonable to evaluate - can it be improved so you stay in the loop?

Good luck!

Dicey

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #19 on: October 17, 2017, 12:55:32 AM »
Okay, this response is based on my personal experience. I'm going to tell you a bit about my life, and maybe there will be something useful for you. I hope so, because I am not in any way telling you what you should do, mkay? I've never really talked about this before, so sorry if I'm all over the place as I climb out on this limb to share.

I was single for a very long time. I dated a lot of mental (that's a funny autofill for "men", so stet), because I always wanted to get married and have a family. I sold men's clothes at Nordstrom in two different large cities for a decade, so yes, a LOT. I literally got to meet a new batch of potential mates every day. Crazy.

I was also hurt excruciatingly deeply when the man I adored and dated for four years, including while I had cancer, chose to go back to his high school sweetheart during a lull in our relationship. Searing pain that I can bring up in an instant, thirty years later. To his credit, he did marry her and they're still together, AFAIK.

I have also had relationships end when it became apparent that there was cheating going on. I have always been a monogamous type; it's the only thing that feels comfortable to me. Trying to date multiple people was just too emotionally confusing.

There were a few relationships where I felt considerably more insecure and jealous. These feelings suck, but may provide a useful purpose. During my dating years decades, I always knew I wanted to feel a certain way when I married. I was positive I'd know it when I felt it. But over and over, nothing stuck. I did get close. At one point, I even had a ring and a date and a dress, but I called it quits when he lost his shit over something inconsequential.

When I finally met my mate, I was long in the tooth and well past the possibility of children. I was amazed that I DID know in my gut that my search was finally over. We dated for a couple of months. He shocked me by proposing and we eloped less than six weeks later. Last week was our fifth anniversary.  (I will add that I'd known him from a distance for over a decade, so not as scary as that sounds. I knew he was a good person and solid gold mate material.)

He is completely trustworthy. I am secure in his love and steadfast faith in me and I in him. It's as amazing as I always, intuitively, knew it would be. I believe all those times I suffered through insecurity and jealousy, it was my gut instinctively understanding that the person in question was not The One, for whatever reason, no matter how "right" they seemed.

Now, I am so glad those evil twins kept me from ignoring my screaming subconscious, painful as it was to experience, and much as I hated myself for having these feelings/behavior.

In conclusion, may I gently suggest you consider listening to these feelings instead of berating yourself for feeling them? They could be trying to tell you something really important.

Edited for fractured syntax.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 07:29:39 AM by Dicey »
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norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #20 on: October 17, 2017, 07:09:06 AM »
Oh Dicey, I love that story! And I so much appreciate all these comments. Interestingly they are making me feel that I can try this and be fine! It's actually all under my direction at the moment--I am in the drivers seat, but sitting on that brake hard. And I'm realizing I'm only pushing down on it because of the past, not because of now. And that I can try to see if it works and then react accordingly if it's not right.


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Tris Prior

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #21 on: October 17, 2017, 07:55:00 AM »
OK, so, I'm going to ask you: Why do you want a non-monogamous relationship?

I mean, why do YOU want it? How will it serve YOUR needs? Do you think non-monogamy will make YOU happy? If so, how?

You don't have to answer here; just something to think about.

What I'm hearing - and I could be WAY off base, is that your partner wants non-monogamy and you are trying very hard to find a way to be OK with it. That it may or may not serve YOUR needs, but that you're looking at it because you want your partner to be happy (which is TOTALLY valid!) and give him freedom that he wants.

It's OK to want to be monogamous, if that's how you're wired.




Kris

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #22 on: October 17, 2017, 08:28:06 AM »
OK, so, I'm going to ask you: Why do you want a non-monogamous relationship?

I mean, why do YOU want it? How will it serve YOUR needs? Do you think non-monogamy will make YOU happy? If so, how?

You don't have to answer here; just something to think about.

What I'm hearing - and I could be WAY off base, is that your partner wants non-monogamy and you are trying very hard to find a way to be OK with it. That it may or may not serve YOUR needs, but that you're looking at it because you want your partner to be happy (which is TOTALLY valid!) and give him freedom that he wants.

It's OK to want to be monogamous, if that's how you're wired.

This is kind of how I'm reading it, too.

One of the hardest things about searching for a partner in life is looking non-compatibility in the face and recognizing it for what it is.

Most of us... or perhaps all of us... have at some point been with someone we really wanted it to work out with, and have twisted ourselves into pretzels to ignore/overcome/downplay a major, fundamental incompatibility with the other person. Tried to change, tried to make the other person change, tried to tell ourselves it's not that big a deal, tried to tell ourselves everything is awesome except for that one thing...

Nora, I don't know you, so of course I'm not in a position to tell you whether you have a deep, fundamental incompatibility at the heart of your relationship.

But what I will say is this: When two people have a deep, fundamental incompatibility at the heart of their relationship, there are only two outcomes: one, the relationship ends, and both people are better off for it. Or two, the relationship persists, and at least one of the people in it commits to existing with a deep, gnawing unhappiness as a chronic condition of their decision.

At fifty years old and some change, I have had enough relationships to know in my guts that the latter situation is not worth it. Really, really not worth it.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #23 on: October 17, 2017, 08:30:26 AM »
The thing is that what I actually most want is to be free of being totally afraid of non monogamy. Like, I know I could be okay with it (under terms that I get to pick!) if my activated terror brain could calm down. Which I think it is maybe going to be able to do! Or, I'm wrong, and it won't be for me, and we'll go from there.

Kris

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2017, 09:04:20 AM »
The thing is that what I actually most want is to be free of being totally afraid of non monogamy. Like, I know I could be okay with it (under terms that I get to pick!) if my activated terror brain could calm down. Which I think it is maybe going to be able to do! Or, I'm wrong, and it won't be for me, and we'll go from there.

Can I ask you one question about this?

In an ideal world, with an ideal partner: would you rather be free of being totally afraid of non-monogamy?

Or would you rather be in a relationship that is happily monogamous?
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

J Boogie

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2017, 09:31:28 AM »
The thing is that what I actually most want is to be free of being totally afraid of non monogamy. Like, I know I could be okay with it (under terms that I get to pick!) if my activated terror brain could calm down. Which I think it is maybe going to be able to do! Or, I'm wrong, and it won't be for me, and we'll go from there.

Nora, thanks for being so open about where you're at.

I believe that your activated terror brain is properly calibrated and is sending you the right signals for you to follow to happiness.  I think this fear of non monogamy you have is healthy.  After learning a little more about you, I feel comfortable saying that this situation is NOT one in which you need to sort yourself out.  You're fine.  You can trust your feelings, they are valid and they are guiding you in the right direction.

The best advice I can give you is that I believe you will be happiest with someone who is happy to commit to an exclusive relationship with you.










norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2017, 09:44:23 AM »
I would 100% rather be free of all my anxiety around this. Because it bleeds into all sorts of other things in the relationship (time apart, friendships, independence) by wanting to control a feeling of safety and set all the terms and that's just not healthy!

I think the fact is, desire is scary, because we don't totally control it. And monogamy is a way of trying to control it that prioritizes the stability/safety of the relationship which I totally get! But there are totally ways of being monogamish that still prioritize the same. Like...it's really just sex. And it can even be something that happens together! And why would I hold back from new experiences just because there is programming that the right way is to keep everything just between two people? The fact is, there are totally things in being a little more open that intrigue me, it's just the fear gets in the way. Because the unknown is alarming! but if it becomes less unknown, it probably becomes less scary, or at least I can know for certain what I think, rather than having a knee jerk reaction control me.

PoutineLover

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2017, 10:02:46 AM »
It sounds like you need to take a look at what monogamish would mean in the context of your relationship.
Would you both have sex with other people?
Would they be only one night stands, or ongoing?
Would it be threesomes, or separate?
Would you want to know about it, all the details, some or none?
How would you handle testing, protection, risk?
Are you only considering opening up the relationship because he wants to, or because you both do?
Since it seems like you feel jealousy even about friends of the opposite sex, I'm not sure that opening the relationship will help you feel more secure. You can't just wish away your feelings, but you can choose to act or not act on them. It might be an issue of incompatibility if your partner needs more openness and you need more monogamy, and that might mean that this relationship can't be successful. Compromise can be good, but not if it makes one partner feel like they had to do too much compromising to feel comfortable.

Cali Nonya

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #28 on: October 17, 2017, 10:03:00 AM »
I'm the poster-child of having no anxiety about relationships, so I am most likely not the best person to respond, but I would say from what you are talking about, you are separating the sexual part of a relationship from the emotional attachment part.  That's fine, but I think for something like that, communication needs to be very clear, since culturally the two are normally intertwined.


norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #29 on: October 17, 2017, 10:05:48 AM »
Oh yes there would be a lot of communication. I think the poly world is not for me because they do have the emotional component up front; other variants of monogamish/open are less about that. Anyway now I have really well and truly overshared huh.

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #30 on: October 17, 2017, 10:14:06 AM »
Like...it's really just sex.

No.

Often, an early/initial activity is sex. Often, the sex triggers a bond, one called falling in love. That's where things often get messy for people who do poly. If you go in with the idea that it's "just sex", and ignore the part that sex triggers an intense bond between many people, you're in for pain. I've seen couples in polyamourous or open relationships have "just sex" (somewhat successfully) with others for anywhere from one week to ten years...and then the magical, surprise, additional element formed and that shook things up hard.

So, sex is sex, yes...but sex often triggers something much bigger, and often unexpectedly. i.e., Neither primary partner sees it coming; neither can predict with which sex partner something wild and deep and intense is going to surprise everyone.

There is also the additional element that -for the person who prefers monogamy and is agreeing to poly for secondary reasons- their partner having sex with others often creates a block, which affects their primary relationship.
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Cwadda

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #31 on: October 17, 2017, 10:26:22 AM »
Okay, this response is based on my personal experience. I'm going to tell you a bit about my life, and maybe there will be something useful for you. I hope so, because I am not in any way telling you what you should do, mkay? I've never really talked about this before, so sorry if I'm all over the place as I climb out on this limb to share.

I was single for a very long time. I dated a lot of mental (that's a funny autofill for "men", so stet), because I always wanted to get married and have a family. I sold men's clothes at Nordstrom in two different large cities for a decade, so yes, a LOT. I literally got to meet a new batch of potential mates every day. Crazy.

I was also hurt excruciatingly deeply when the man I adored and dated for four years, including while I had cancer, chose to go back to his high school sweetheart during a lull in our relationship. Searing pain that I can bring up in an instant, thirty years later. To his credit, he did marry her and they're still together, AFAIK.

I have also had relationships end when it became apparent that there was cheating going on. I have always been a monogamous type; it's the only thing that feels comfortable to me. Trying to date multiple people was just too emotionally confusing.

There were a few relationships where I felt considerably more insecure and jealous. These feelings suck, but may provide a useful purpose. During my dating years decades, I always knew I wanted to feel a certain way when I married. I was positive I'd know it when I felt it. But over and over, nothing stuck. I did get close. At one point, I even had a ring and a date and a dress, but I called it quits when he lost his shit over something inconsequential.

When I finally met my mate, I was long in the tooth and well past the possibility of children. I was amazed that I DID know in my gut that my search was finally over. We dated for a couple of months. He shocked me by proposing and we eloped less than six weeks later. Last week was our fifth anniversary.  (I will add that I'd known him from a distance for over a decade, so not as scary as that sounds. I knew he was a good person and solid gold mate material.)

He is completely trustworthy. I am secure in his love and steadfast faith in me and I in him. It's as amazing as I always, intuitively, knew it would be. I believe all those times I suffered through insecurity and jealousy, it was my gut instinctively understanding that the person in question was not The One, for whatever reason, no matter how "right" they seemed.

Now, I am so glad those evil twins kept me from ignoring my screaming subconscious, painful as it was to experience, and much as I hated myself for having these feelings/behavior.

In conclusion, may I gently suggest you consider listening to these feelings instead of berating yourself for feeling them? They could be trying to tell you something really important.

Edited for fractured syntax.

Hey Dicey, great story, thanks for sharing!

For the OP, I want to add one bit of advice:  Have you ever considered therapy?  It can be extremely helpful for working out those deep feelings.  In most cases it's also covered by your health insurance provider. IMO, it's one of the best ways you can achieve a positive mental state and happy life. A terrific investment!

limeandpepper

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #32 on: October 17, 2017, 10:28:07 AM »
I think not being monogamous is completely fine if it works for people. And being monogamous is also totally fine if it works for people. And it is also fine to explore being either monogamous or non-monogamous! But if you're geared one way and not the other, struggling to convert yourself seems to me like it's going to create unnecessary suffering.

It sounds like you want to explore other things because 1) your partner is interested, 2) you want to prove to yourself that you can be not possessive and controlling?

It's almost as if you're trying to deal with your trust issues by pushing yourself well beyond what is required, when you're not even comfortable with the more basic stuff yet.

So I want to say that it is possible to be in a healthy monogamous relationship with lots of space and freedom. Where the reason why you're not hooking up with other people isn't because your partner doesn't allow you to, but because you choose not to.

And what I am also saying is:

Things like resenting social engagements that I wasn't aware of or don't involve me, struggling with opposite gender friends, that sort of stuff. I pretty much never say "you can't do this" or actually try to be controlling, but the feeling of resenting other friends or activities or being jealous of other interests/aspects to a person's life is still kind of terrible, on both sides.

^Sort this out first before attempting a venture beyond monogamy, because I don't see how you can handle anything outside of monogamy if you're not even at the point where you're nonchalant with your partner's platonic adventures.

Tris Prior

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #33 on: October 17, 2017, 10:58:46 AM »
So, what I'm hearing is, you want your whether-to-do-non-monogamy decision to not be based on fear and anxiety and insecurity? I can understand that. I'm monogamous not out of fear or insecurity, but because I'm.... just not interested, I guess? Because it feels exhausting? Boyfriend and I have a lot of friends who are poly or otherwise in open relationships and I always joke, "I have no idea how they have the TIME to go date/romance/**** other people, I barely have time for you!" :)

As someone who has anxiety (though generally not about the stability of my relationship), one thing I've learned in therapy is that anxiety isn't always irrational. It can be a warning sign that you should listen to, because something in your life doesn't feel right, or a decision doesn't feel right. The trick is determining whether it's a legit warning sign, or just your brain spinning off into old patterns - which, well, is kind of the point of going to therapy, at least for me. :)

Re joon's post: I think some people can separate sex and emotion, and some cannot, and neither is wrong or right. But I think it's a good idea to know which camp you tend to fall into, before opening up your relationship. Knowing that feelings can change once you are actually in this situation.

That being said, most poly people I know have a LOT of boundaries around this sort of thing (like, for example, veto power over a potential outside partner because an emotional bond is forming and that doesn't happen to be in that couple's poly agreement) and are some of the best communicators I know. I think they look at it like, you can't control your feelings, but you can control your actions if those actions are going to hurt your primary partner.


Things like resenting social engagements that I wasn't aware of or don't involve me, struggling with opposite gender friends, that sort of stuff. I pretty much never say "you can't do this" or actually try to be controlling, but the feeling of resenting other friends or activities or being jealous of other interests/aspects to a person's life is still kind of terrible, on both sides.

^Sort this out first before attempting a venture beyond monogamy, because I don't see how you can handle anything outside of monogamy if you're not even at the point where you're nonchalant with your partner's platonic adventures.

^^^^ This! I would suggest working on this first before dealing with the open-relationship question. Can you articulate why you resent it? Feeling like you're not enough to make him happy, feeling like you're not getting your companionship needs met, feeling like "oh sure, HE gets to go off and have fun but I've got this huge to-do list and the house is a mess and there's no groceries..." (ok, that last one is my issue and one I am still working on. :) )

jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2017, 11:05:23 AM »
That being said, most poly people I know have a LOT of boundaries around this sort of thing (like, for example, veto power over a potential outside partner because an emotional bond is forming and that doesn't happen to be in that couple's poly agreement) and are some of the best communicators I know. I think they look at it like, you can't control your feelings, but you can control your actions if those actions are going to hurt your primary partner.

In my poly experiences, this has been the ideal, yes...  but none of us managed to take action faster than the emotions/bonds cemented. Tough stuff.

However, I also think the poly relationships I've been in and near didn't do any of it "right" (i.e., like the books hold as the ideal). Not because people didn't care, but because none of us had the level of ninja skill that "getting it right" seemed to require.
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JLee

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2017, 12:08:41 PM »
Whoa whoa whoa... are you saying the premise of the relationship is not monogamy?

I think that's the problem right there.  It's not you, it's the lack of insistence on monogamy.  If you want to feel confident and secure in your relationship, make sure it's a monogamous relationship. Yes, templates exist for people who decide polyamory is for them.  I have no idea whether or not these people are happy.  But I and everyone I know that has had happiness in a relationship has found it in a monogamous relationship.

That's a bold statement that draws a conclusion based on anecdotal evidence. I absolutely agree that nonmonogamy is not for everyone - I've dated several people who ended up meeting someone they wanted to be monogamous with, so we stopped dating and they pursued their monogamous interests (we are still friends). On the topic of anecdotes, I would be miserable in a monogamous relationship.

Please don't reinforce the narrative that a traditional relationship model is the only way to be happy.

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2017, 01:02:01 PM »
Whoa whoa whoa... are you saying the premise of the relationship is not monogamy?

I think that's the problem right there.  It's not you, it's the lack of insistence on monogamy.  If you want to feel confident and secure in your relationship, make sure it's a monogamous relationship. Yes, templates exist for people who decide polyamory is for them.  I have no idea whether or not these people are happy.  But I and everyone I know that has had happiness in a relationship has found it in a monogamous relationship.

That's a bold statement that draws a conclusion based on anecdotal evidence. I absolutely agree that nonmonogamy is not for everyone - I've dated several people who ended up meeting someone they wanted to be monogamous with, so we stopped dating and they pursued their monogamous interests (we are still friends). On the topic of anecdotes, I would be miserable in a monogamous relationship.

Please don't reinforce the narrative that a traditional relationship model is the only way to be happy.

Sounds like OP is miserable in a monogam-ish relationship.

I'm convinced the traditional relationship model is the best way for OP to be happy.

I have no specific desire to trash polyamory and reinforce traditional narratives, just giving advice as best as I can given what the OP has said.


norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2017, 01:44:22 PM »
Thanks both J Lee and J Boogie! I actually think I could thrive in a bit more of a non traditional set-up, with some work, but I appreciate your input from both angles.

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2017, 01:51:25 PM »
Thanks Nora, I don't mean to put you in a box.  Wish the best for you.

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2017, 04:58:31 PM »
It's three years old but chilling out is always good. I think I probably set up my question wrong--am just wondering, do other people struggle with resenting or being jealous of partners? How does that get dealt with? But counseling is always A+


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There is a difference between feeling jealous or insecure when one's partner gives one cause to feel that way, and feeling jealous or insecure despite one's partner giving them no reason to feel that way. It's hard to answer this question without knowing which camp this relationship falls into.

This is so true.

I was a really jealous person until I met my husband. It took a lot of practice and good talks but eventually I realized I didn't need to be jealous with him. Some people make it easier :)

This is the short version of my experience. It's not easy, but good for you for seeking answers!

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Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #40 on: October 17, 2017, 05:18:41 PM »
Just read all the posts instead of skimming

Nora, is it that you want to be in a mind space where you can consider threesomes or open relationships as positive life-enhancing options instead of scary, life-disrupting options? And you're being down on yourself because thinking about these things in a real way fills you with anxiety?

Well. If that's how you feel, I can totally relate! I think I could enhance my life experiences if I would be ok with threesomes or open relationships. I'm much too... monogamous, jealous, insecure, etc / for any of those options. BUT, I'm ok with that. I show myself the self-love that allows me to know that those options wouldn't work for me, and it's ok

There are things that do work well for me, ways that I spice up my sex and intimacy life, and all within comfortable limits.

Another way to look at it: Drugs or thrill-seeking activities like jumping out of a plane could expand my life experiences, but I'm scared of them, so I don't participate! And it's ok!!

Anyways I wonder if any of this resonates or if I'm way off. Interesting discussion though.

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #41 on: October 17, 2017, 05:51:03 PM »
Totally 100% resonates Joy!


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jooniFLORisploo

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #42 on: October 17, 2017, 05:59:38 PM »
Another way to look at it: Drugs or thrill-seeking activities like jumping out of a plane could expand my life experiences, but I'm scared of them, so I don't participate! And it's ok!!

For me it's like that, too (except not the fear part). i.e., These fall within the kind of thing I was referring to earlier. I've learned that for me, when it comes to expansive experiences, it's valuable to have more boundaries than I used to. Some outcomes are worth a given activity; some aren't. (And what's worth it will be different for everyone, of course.)
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lifejoy

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #43 on: October 17, 2017, 06:11:01 PM »
Totally 100% resonates Joy!


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Cool. Well in that case I think it might be worthwhile to mentally poke your natural boundaries,  prod them a little, but to majorly cut yourself some slack if things don't budge.

What would be wrong with that?

Perhaps fantasies and roleplaying could give you the reward without the risk ;)

And if you're trying to be more flexible in your proclivities in order to better suit your bf, I would say... is it worth it? Especially since it's sometimes making you upset to think about? And it sounds like your bf isn't pushing things...

Like you, I'm a fan of Dan Savage. And he has definitely said that a partner pretending to like a kink or lifestyle just to make their partner happy is NOT the same thing as a person finding someone that shares that kink or lifestyle. If you're a round peg trying to fit a square hole, even if you make yourself fit, you're still a round peg. Why not just be like, hey, I'm awesome! Yay round pegs!

I guess what I'm trying to say is: why can't monogamy be the life-benefitting sexy option? And of course, monogamy is scary for some people, so couldn't it be the brave option, as well?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7640261-sex-at-dawn

Have you read this? It pretty much suggests that we are not wired for monogamy. I didn't love that book. Not my jam.

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #44 on: October 17, 2017, 06:13:19 PM »
Also, if you like Dan Savage I feel like you would also enjoy Polly: https://www.theawl.com/2014/03/ask-polly-my-boyfriend-thinks-im-ugly/

Linked to you to one of we answers that refers to sex and confidence, so, kind of related.

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #45 on: October 17, 2017, 06:55:22 PM »
Oh I love Polly. And you are fully right on all counts! I think I'm just pushing myself because I feel like someone has to and BF is and will not most likely. But I'll try to do it more gently...


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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #46 on: October 17, 2017, 07:05:23 PM »
Oh I love Polly. And you are fully right on all counts! I think I'm just pushing myself because I feel like someone has to and BF is and will not most likely. But I'll try to do it more gently...


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Why do you feel like someone has to?

rosaz

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #47 on: October 17, 2017, 09:10:12 PM »
I just find it hard to be that confident self that I think I used to be or would like to become again.

This line really stood out to me, so at risk of projecting - not too long ago I came out of a relationship with someone who continually pushed me out of my comfort zone jealousy-wise. The longer this went on the more jealous I got, and I've never been a particularly jealous person before (even confirmed this with third parties). I think maybe knowing that he just wasn't wired to be exclusive in the way I needed turned things that never would have bothered me otherwise (and that had never had bothered me in previous relationships) into reminders of that basic lack of exclusivity. Probably to no one's surprise, it all went to hell in the end, but there sure was a lot more suffering on the way there.

And just my two cents on the whole monogamy/not-quite-monogamy deal - your instinct to get anxious about him having sex with other people springs from the same place as his instinct to want to have sex with other people, that is, the possibility of his getting them pregnant, the repercussions for you being that any children you two might have would thereby get a smaller share of his time, resources, etc. Of course I'm not saying any of this is conscious whatsoever on either of your parts- just that that's why many people have those instincts, because each of them is evolutionarily advantageous to its bearer.

And if its all just evolutionary drives, the your instinct is equally as valid, no more no less, than his. Trying to fight your make-up on this is like trying to operate on the philosophy that you 'should' only need 6 hours of sleep a night if you're a person who really needs 8 (and nothing against poly, etc., just like nothing against those who only need 6 hours. But I'm just built to need my 8). There's no right answer here, just the answer that fits you, and the answer that doesn't. Hairshirts don't get more comfy with time.

partgypsy

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #48 on: October 18, 2017, 06:23:55 AM »
I have found this thread very interesting to read. I guess I have never personally, considered having a stable non-monogamous relationship. The closest I had to that, was when I initially got started back into dating, I was dating two people at the same time, and it was more stressful than sexy. And trying a friends with benefits, where the man suggested threesomes, group sex, etc. I find some mental fantasies of that alluring, but the actual contemplating of doing it, rather than making me feel aroused made me feel apprehensive and shut down (I didn't do it). I guess I am a serial monogamist. if I find someone I am interested in, I am interested in that person and want to explore that, learn about that person, having interesting experiences, see where it goes and develops. I like the combination of sexual AND emotional connection. When that is happening, even if the sexiest guy comes up to me, well I enjoy the eye candy but I'm just not interested.  And if I was with a guy I was serious with, and he suggested threesomes, outside relationships, it would be a turn off for me and I would decide we were not compatible. I've been on this planet for 50 years now, so I pretty much know how my prolictivities are. It doesn't have to do with me being insecure or jealous, it's just not what I want in a relationship.

So, if you are double dutch daring yourself to push the envelope, then do it! But once you do it, listen to your gut. Does it feel right, and good, and cool for you? If yes, then proceed. If not, most likely it is not for you, and that's OK too. 

ETA: if you think by you and him having outside relationships will "cure" you of being insecure and jealous, a) I don't think that is a good reason and b) I don't think it will "work" the way you think it will, just may make the original relationship less valued or you devalued.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2017, 08:45:55 AM by partgypsy »

norabird

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Re: Jealousy and insecurity
« Reply #49 on: October 18, 2017, 09:14:38 AM »
Thanks partgypsy!
Quote
So, if you are double dutch daring yourself to push the envelope, then do it! But once you do it, listen to your gut. Does it feel right, and good, and cool for you? If yes, then proceed. If not, most likely it is not for you, and that's OK too. 

This is definitely where I'm leaning. I do think it's important to listen to what my partner has to say about worrying that being strictly monogamous is going to be hard for them/is a concern, and to see if I can overcome some recent programming to be open to it. But it's not like I'm going to evolve light years because of that! Slow and steady is probably the best I can hope for, or slow and then not at all, and then maybe a bit slower.