May 21st, 2014

Mr. Information - Poly Problem

Being in an (open)  relationship where one of you has the jealousy thing and trying to explain how that feels to the other person who doesn’t, is trying. I get sick of how whiny it makes me sound.

I’m married and its my boyfriend seeing someone

I’m not complaining that he’s seeing someone, I am however, being honest that it makes me a bit insecure. Whilst being very clear that even though he’s given me the option of asking him to stop and he would, I am never going to do that. Basically its my problem not his. He’s being very helpfulin how he’s helping me deal with it and i’m making the effort to manage it. Beyond that, not much to be done really. If I don’t trust him, I shouldn’t be there in the first place

Its a healthy attitude, weightlifting has health benefits, doesn’t make it easy.

I’m not sure I actually have a question in all of this, i’m just looking to make sure I’m no batshit insane I think.

I’m married, we’ve been together a decade, married just shy of a year. We first got engaged, 7 years ago. I paniced about the wedding and started asking if this was what I wanted for the rest of my life. I knew he was. But when we got together he warned me that his sex drive dropped off after a couple of years, I thought I’d be different, I wasn’t. So as much as I wanted to grow old with him, there was no way I was going to last in enforced celibacy. About 9 months after we got engaged, I moved out for 18 months and started seeing other people. Moved out might be a stretch, I only ever changed my address on one piece of mail and used to stop by to stack the dishwasher and put up the xmas tree. Since I’ve moved back in 5 years ago, i’ve had two main relationships in the same city and a number of liasions in other places. My first boyfriend never saw anyone else, wasn’t in his nature. My second boyfriend, was seeing people when we got together, but hasn’t for about a year and half. The people he was seeing previously had partners already, or lived out of town.

One other thing I am going to mention here is a formative experience that left me unable contemplate a relationship for most of my 20’s til I had counselling to get over the sense of panic at the thought. When I was 15, my boyfriend, Justin, take me for pregnancy test when I was worried about being pregnant by previous boyfriend. Tells me all about how he’s a rape crisis counsellor and how you can only be one if you’ve been abused. And lots of other stuff, basically I thought I know this person well, that he’s there for me. He starts talking to my ex best friend, and I query if they are getting together, he denies it and they do anyway. At this late stage i can’t remember if we broke up before that actually happened or if it was cause it was bleeding obvious it would be. Either way his attention, after 4 months, had shifted, and I got left out in the cold. Turns out that everything he told me about his family, his life and everything else was a lie, when challenged on that, ‘i thought you needed to hear it’

Its why if you lie to me or I feel you have, you better have a really good reason for it. Its why my definition of love is ‘giving someone enough to hurt you and trusting them not to’

Btw, yes I was 14 when I first had sex (he was 18 , we went out for nearly a year), no I don’t consider this traumatic or grooming and I’m not going to be engaging with anyone who feels I need correcting on this point.

My boyfriend is now seeing someone (single, lives in same city) and it does cause me to be rather insecure. Not because of anything he does, he still see me as often, he still treats me the same, he mentions her but no more than anyone else in his life. He’s been very supportive about me being upset (and how miserable that can make me feel) about it. Which is mainly me being terrified of losing him, thats the thing with formative experiences, they form you. Not having had much experience of my boyfriends seeing other people, it takes me awhile to stop my brain defaulting to Justin. Its been a few months now, and I am getting used to it. Though I’m not spending time with them, until shes been round for about 6 months, gives me chance to get used to the idea, and makes sure shes not just a passing phase.

He wishes it didn’t upset me, he has no intention of going anywhere and whilst he’s happy to help me get over it, is probably getting a bit bored with doing so (for reference its starting to bore me as well, I dislike being this clingy and needy). I am doing much better with it, I always said I’d get over it but still couldn’t help having that burst of paniced emotional flailing to start with.

For reference my husband isn’t, and has shown no interest in seeing anyone else. He has a close female friend he sees once a week to hang out and watch tv. We got married last year, I stopped counting how long it is since we slept together. That side of things has been outsourced and overall left us as a very stable, very happy domestic unit.

I have no idea what would happen if he did start seeing someone espically if he wasn’t sleeping with me as well. That would absolutely terrify me.

So yeah, i’m still learning how this works, and its hard sometimes. I try to be honest but not confrontational with how I feel, I try and let them know what they can do to help.

Husband and boyfriend as very similar in lack of jealousy, not very insecure and generally very emotionally laid back. Which has been good for showing me that life isn’t a sex in the city episode. But can be bit frustrating when i’m upset and not coherent enough to explain myself, or they do something and look blank or tell me off when it upsets me (not often these days, 3years of this arrangement and we know each other well enough, so well we’re off on holiday together for a week next month (no they aren’t sleeping together))

Thanks, writing that out helped, i’m doing okay, I just need to remember that comparing my responses to a couple of male geeks, isn’t always the best measure.


No. You are not crazy. You are human. And the problem you have isn't that related to the poly/open lifestyle. Everyone - even completely monogamous married people get jealous sometimes.

What the problem seems to be is that your brain has put  you in a nearly impossible position:

1. You are obviously deeply in love with your husband, but also, obviously, are not in a position where being faithful to him would make you happy.

2. You also love your boyfriend and know you can't reasonably ask him to be faithful to you since you are married, but him not being faithful is causing you pain.

The traditional advice to give you would be to take your husband to a sex therapist or divorce him or dump both dudes. I'm not traditional when it comes to advice.

Assuming you want to grow old with your husband, you are going to have to see other people. And those other people are going to want to see other people too, because you are married. So, the question is how do you make this reality stop causing you pain?

My guess is through communication and time. Given your background you have every reason to not be particularly trustful of men. But, you can learn to trust. Keep talking with your boyfriend. Tell him about your fears. Tell him how you feel. Don't worry about him getting bored talking about it. If he's right for you he'll know that it will be worth the effort to listen to you.

Over time, if he's really a good guy, you'll start becoming less jealous and more trusting, because he'll be behaving in a way that earns your trust. You'll see that he isn't going to leave you for this other woman. And, he'll make it clear that when he's with you that you are his priority.

If he, on the other hand, behaves like a douche, then dump him and find a different poly partner.

But hopefully your boyfriend is a good guy and time will mostly heal this wound. Sure, you'll be jealous sometimes, but that's true for most humans. Those of us born without the jealousy gene are few and far between.

This entire process is going to be painful, but it will have benefits if it works out. Learning to trust is a good thing.  Having someone help you learn how to trust  is a great thing. Everyone being honest with how they feel is the best thing.


Got a question for a drunk? Post an anonymous comment or send an email to