Jealous of my (live-in) meta-- need advice, am I crazy???

Corgi800

New member
Hey guys, I am new here and came because my girlfriend recommended it to me as a resource. I've been perusing some threads, especially on jealousy, and they're very helpful! But I still feel like I could use some advice specific to my situation.


This relationship currently involves me (22), N (22), J(23), and K(22). N and I have been dating for four years; we were always poly, but neither of us had found another partner until J came along just over a year ago. I fell for J very quickly, and I began dating them (N is allowed to date them if she wants, but is not interested). It was of course a rough transition, but N was involved every step of the way. She was the first person I called when J said yes to dating me; I told her everything she wanted to know anytime she asked; we had frequent conversations, both as a couple and a 'cule. We were pretty successful and things were going alright when we added K.


K has been N's best friend for a long time, and a good friend of mine since Highschool. She was in a messy, abusive relationship for about five years. N and I convinced her to leave, in part because we assured her she would have a safe place at home with us. At around this time, N was graduating from college, and so me, J and N were looking to move. We needed another roommate to make things work financially, and that arrangement allowed K a way out. Another reason we convinced her to leave was, well... She had feelings for J for a while, and she was interested in trying poly.


This seems perfect, I thought. I love K and I can't wait to have her be part of the family. She'll be safe with us and I can trust J to be good to her. J and I had a few issues with our relationship, but so did N and I before we brought in J, and I didn't think it would be a big deal. I even thought it might help! You see, with two partners, I am spread a little thin sexually and I thought K might help take the pressure off. So K signed a lease with us and I just sort of... Waited for nature to take it's course and the two to get together. Which happened a month or so ago.

Haha, silly me, I forgot emotions existed. This all worked out fine on paper but my emotions are complicating this. When the two first started dating, I was mostly happy that they were happy. I felt a little jealous but not enough I felt I needed to voice it. But it feels like the more time passes, and the more I see them together, the more jealous I become. It's gotten to the point I've been having panic attacks walking in the door to our apartment, knowing I will see the two of them cuddling, kissing, and flirting together inside and it will drive me insane. I've been able to pinpoint that my jealousy is mostly made of fear and anger. The anger is scary; I've never been so angry before and it can be very consuming.

Though I am realizing now we never set any expectations when J and K started dating (I didn't even find out until several days later), we've had several talks about the fact that I feel so jealous, and the 'cule has framed the issue around me having unfounded jealous feelings about K, who has been doing everything just fine. But the more I read, journal, and talk this through with my support, I'm realizing K may have been behaving in a way that deliberately stokes my jealousy.

K and I were good friends before this, and when J isn't around we sometimes still are. But when J is there it's awful. She will be perfectly kind one time and rude, snippy, sometimes downright mean the next. She is constantly "correcting" me (saying, "that's not how that works," "you're doing it wrong") about things that don't need to be corrected. She is very defensive of J and will police my tone when I talk to them, even though I am talking to J the way I always do. She's even overheard a conversation I was having with J and interjected to say that I sounded like a bitch. When I disagree with J on little things (like, if I enjoyed the movie we just watched) she is very quick to "take J's side," and put me down in comparison to her, if that makes sense.

The worst instance of this happened earlier this week. K requested that J sleep in her bed for the night, which I agreed to. Later that night I heard them having sex. According to our agreement this is allowed, but this time due to the amount of jealousy and insecurity I found it deeply upsetting. I ended up having a panic attack. I did not interrupt the two of them, but I did go to grab my journal to vent and slammed a door on the way (something I have acknowledged was an inappropriate way to communicate, and apologized for). J heard that, realized I might be upset, and after they finished came to check on me and we talked for an hour or so. This infuriated K, who left for a two hour midnight drive.

We all had a talk together the next day. K, still furious, told me she was tired of her relationship revolving around me, and that the sex they had together that night was the best sex of her life. I said that hurt me. She told me that was good, I needed to feel that pain and get used to it, because she wasn't going to stop anytime soon. Because I somehow still felt I was at fault for needing J I apologized profusely. It wasn't until a day or two ago I realized that was an extremely inappropriate thing for her to say to me. J said nothing about this either. After coming to the realization that this incident was inappropriate, I recognized the behavior patterns leading up to it that had made me so jealous in the first place. She insists every time we talk that she's doing everything she can to make me feel welcome and secure.

SO ALL OF THAT TO SAY, I'm really not sure how to proceed from here. I've told J and N the patterns I've noticed, but not K because that's pretty terrifying. This whole time we've been talking about my feelings like they are an unfounded issue. Because of that, I'm anxious I've somehow gone insane with jealousy and may be seeing things that aren't there. For now I've asked them to just watch how K interacts with me without saying anything so I can objectively confirm this is happening. After that.... I have no clue. I confront her? I have J confront her? It turns out I was crazy and everybody is mad at me?

TL;DR, My meta and I were friends before we were poly, but now that we've moved in and she's dating my partner, things are tense, even downright nasty. I am experiencing jealousy and am therefore blamed for this, but I feel that this is unfair and she has been acting poorly, possibly on purpose, possibly not. I'm so riddled with jealousy and anxiety at this point, I don't know what to think! Can anybody else relate? If so, what helped you through this? Am I right to blame her for some of our issues, or am I a crazy person projecting all my problems onto an innocent meta?
 

Artsy

New member
I've never actually participated in something to this length so I don't want to comment too much on something I have little experience with but I can offer some advice.

I'm unsure as to any "ground rules" you and your primary partner have set up.
But when it comes to my primary partner, we made the ground rule that we both come first to each other and that the whole thing doesn't work if the primaries aren't happy.
With that said, I do understand that each person deserves their own happiness, and that's what the end goal is.

I think asking the others to try and unbiasedly look for the way she is treating you, a good option. And if they do see it, then maybe you all can sit down and discuss it.

The hard part with that, is you don't want her to feel ganged up on so I would approach it like you all really just want the ship to run smoothly and work.

Also what might help is to remember, she came from an abusive relationship and people who are in those for long periods of time, tend to act differently. They have changed their behavior to adapt and survive. So even though she's in a healthier situation, her old habits might still be lingering. Especially if she finally feels like she has a good thing, she might be becoming very "protective" of it.

It sounds like there's a lot of possibilities going on but I don't think it's "just you".
 
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SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
Okay, it is pretty obvious to me how this went wrong. Firstly, you never saw K as a person, you saw K as the answer to several problems. K provided money, K provided sex, K provided you all with validation when you "rescued" her from a shitty situation. You didn't see K as a person. A person potentially more compatible with J than you are. A person that could what N is to you but to J.

So then, when K shows themselves to be a person with wants, wishes and ideas of their own, instead of just an answer to all your problems, it became an issue. Resentment is often involved when this happens. It feels like the person has been rude by not sticking to those predefined boundaries you set where they only answer your problems and do not exceed those parameters.

K was in no way inappropriate to you. She's trying to get you to understand that you cannot expect to control the relationship between J and K. Living with your partner means sex. You don't want to hear people having sex? Live alone. But you can't do that because you don't have the money so you tried to use J to "answer" that problem for you.

To me, you've tried to play grown up poly person but you're just not secure enough in yourself to handle this situation you've orchestrated. Many of us poly people who are your parents age and older would not create this situation where the whole 'cule (as you call it!) is in the same home. That's people who have done this for at least one decade if not more.

You need to confront YOU about some of your controlling and immature behavior when you do not get your own way. This moving in together with you was a terrible idea. You need to get out of that lease ASAP.
 

SEASONEDpolyAgain

Active member
I've never actually participated in something to this length so I don't want to comment too much on something I have little experience with but I can offer some advice.

I'm unsure as to any "ground rules" you and your primary partner have set up.
But when it comes to my primary partner, we made the ground rule that we both come first to each other and that the whole thing doesn't work if the primaries aren't happy.
With that said, I do understand that each person deserves their own happiness, and that's what the end goal is.

I think asking the others to try and unbiasedly look for the way she is treating you, a good option. And if they do see it, then maybe you all can sit down and discuss it.

The hard part with that, is you don't want her to feel ganged up on so I would approach it like you all really just want the ship to run smoothly and work.

Also what might help is to remember, she came from an abusive relationship and people who are in those for long periods of time, tend to act differently. They have changed their behavior to adapt and survive. So even though she's in a healthier situation, her old habits might still be lingering. Especially if she finally feels like she has a good thing, she might be becoming very "protective" of it.

It sounds like there's a lot of possibilities going on but I don't think it's "just you".
I really hope you have your own thread. Some of what you're doing is also naive.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
Just because people are friends before? Doesn't mean they are automatically compatible to be roomies. So there's that.

K came out of an abusive relationship she lived in from what? 17 to 22 years old more or less? Those are formative years. So maybe she's come out of that experience talking rough and not all healed. I think it was a naive for you to invite her to be roomies when you knew she was coming out of abusive. Just to make rent? You can't find a roomie with less baggage?

Survivors need help, care, and patience. But you also need a home that is CALM.

It's also naive to go from zero to dating. There's the missing step of living near by while dating so everyone can have some space. THEN think about moving in together later down. Because if things go wrong and break up, you are stuck living with your ex(es) in the same flat if you can't make rent elsewhere. That's awesome how?

Especially in the 20s when people don't make huge salaries necessarily... I did not date people at my work or roomies. That can lead to a mess in my finances or a mess in my home life.

K and I were good friends before this, and when J isn't around we sometimes still are. But when J is there it's awful. She will be perfectly kind one time and rude, snippy, sometimes downright mean the next. She is constantly "correcting" me (saying, "that's not how that works," "you're doing it wrong") about things that don't need to be corrected. She is very defensive of J and will police my tone when I talk to them, even though I am talking to J the way I always do. She's even overheard a conversation I was having with J and interjected to say that I sounded like a bitch. When I disagree with J on little things (like, if I enjoyed the movie we just watched) she is very quick to "take J's side," and put me down in comparison to her, if that makes sense.

Is she pretty much copying how her abusive ex used to talk to her? She doesn't have other ways or examples for how adults talk to each other in relationships?

If she doesn't realize she has caught "fleas" from her abuser, and you don't say anything about how she talks to people being off putting and neither do the other people? How's this supposed to get solved?

What sort of work is she doing to recover from the abuse? Is she going to a healthy dating class? Have a counselor? What?

I think you guys were a bit naive to seek her out for a roomie if she has not done that work yet or at least working on it.

I want my home to be a place of peace. Not the land of walking on eggshells.

I've had friends leave abuse and to be honest? They were WEIRD for a while after. But I expected it, and I wasn't dating any of them. And they were working on in with their classes/counseling. I could guess wrong, but if K it latching on to J real tight because the last person K dated was abusive, she might not be at a place where K can share J's care and attention with you very well.

We all had a talk together the next day. K, still furious, told me she was tired of her relationship revolving around me, and that the sex they had together that night was the best sex of her life. I said that hurt me. She told me that was good, I needed to feel that pain and get used to it, because she wasn't going to stop anytime soon. Because I somehow still felt I was at fault for needing J I apologized profusely. It wasn't until a day or two ago I realized that was an extremely inappropriate thing for her to say to me. J said nothing about this either. After coming to the realization that this incident was inappropriate, I recognized the behavior patterns leading up to it that had made me so jealous in the first place. She insists every time we talk that she's doing everything she can to make me feel welcome and secure.

Sounds like K is mad at J for going to attend to you (the other partner). And taking it out on you for existing rather than asking J to manage their time differently.

Maybe K *is* doing all she can. And at the same time? It's still not enough to actually feel peaceful in the home to you. You don't want to deal with moods and snippy talk and whatever.

I know finances can be tough, but if this is just not working out? Call a truce, get to the end of the lease and do not renew it again together.

Or if things are bad, pay to break the lease early and get out sooner rather than later.

SO ALL OF THAT TO SAY, I'm really not sure how to proceed from here. I've told J and N the patterns I've noticed, but not K because that's pretty terrifying. This whole time we've been talking about my feelings like they are an unfounded issue. Because of that, I'm anxious I've somehow gone insane with jealousy and may be seeing things that aren't there. For now I've asked them to just watch how K interacts with me without saying anything so I can objectively confirm this is happening.

That's a good first step. See if they notice the way K talks and behaves.

After that.... I have no clue. I confront her? I have J confront her? It turns out I was crazy and everybody is mad at me?

After that you ask K, when it happens again? You say "I hear you say ___. Could you please be willing to say ___ instead? I find that tone abrasive."

Ask if she's willing to work on how she talks around you. Change the tone, drop the snippy, etc.

Ask her what she's doing about healing from her abusive ex because you are concerned some of that person's behavior has rubbed off on her without her realizing it, and it makes you feel tense when you hear her do/say _____.

If it doesn't change and still sucks? Move out. Don't try to all live together. Have a more separate V instead and let K be J's problem. They are the one dating K, not you.

So what if everyone is mad at you for naming the elephant in the room? What do you expect yourself to do? "Keep the peace" so the people living here don't have to address issues? While holding it inside so your own inner peace is kablooie? How would that help anything?

Galagirl
 
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kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hello Corgi800,

There are two kinds of jealousy, internal and external. Internal is when you have some kind of psychological issues within your mind, like maybe you experienced some trauma in the past, and the effects are still lingering. Or you have the monogamous conditioning that most of us grew up with, and the conditioning is telling you that you *should* be jealous in any kind of nonmonogamous situation. That's internal. External is when someone is truly acting hurtful toward you in some way, like they are talking mean to you, or they are hogging the shared partner, and not letting you get your needs fulfilled. That's external. Internal is when you *think/feel like* you're being treated badly; external is when you really *are* being treated badly. Internal is where you're going insane with jealousy; external is where you think you're going nuts, but you're really not.

You have to figure out whether you are experiencing internal or external jealousy. Could even be a combination of the two. It seems to me that you have identified some concrete behavior that K does. So you are not just going crazy, you're not just making this up. This makes me think that you are experiencing some external jealousy. Where the solution is for K to start acting better, not so much the internal solution of you analyzing yourself and your feelings, to see if you can steer yourself into feeling better about the way things already are. That would work if this was internal jealousy, but I think it's external. An external problem has an external (outside of you) solution. In this case, that would be K acting better. Or there's the external solution of changing the circumstances if you can. Such as breaking the lease. But I'm assuming that you can't afford to do that. So you kind of have to rely on K acting better.

It seems like K has put a ding in her friendship with you. She has put a ding in your trust for her. So now, since you can't trust her, maybe that makes you feel like J should be showing you some loyalty, by noticing K's behavior and coming to your defense, maybe even by re-evaluating their relationship with K, and by at least distancing themself from K a little. That is what you want to see. What you do see, however, is that J is participating in an unending stream of displays of affection for K. The cuddling, the kissing, the flirting, and yes, the sound of them having sex. This makes you feel like J is not showing you loyalty, and hurts like someone hit you in the gut with an axe. Furthermore, since you are seeing J not being loyal to you, maybe that makes you feel a bit like J is going to leave you, for K. This makes of K a double threat, not only does K treat you bad directly, but also K is stealing J from you. Add all that together, and you have a wicked case of jealousy.

As I see it, there's not a lot you can do to fix the problem. The ball is kind of in K's court. She needs to start acting nicer toward you; only then, when she does, can the problem be solved. In the meantime, the best I can do for you is assure you that you are *not* going crazy, you are not just making things up, you are seeing things objectively, as they really are. This jealousy is external, with, at the most, internal notes. Perhaps knowing this will help you endure the situation, to hang in there until K comes around. Because I truly have faith that K will come around eventually. Once J and N confirm what you're saying, you can stage an intervention for K. She might not hear what she wants to hear at first, but if it's put to her in the spirit of love, she is likely to think it over later, and realize you had some points. This is not a hopeless situation, it just requires some patience.

My 2¢,
Kevin T.
 
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