Jealousy has a firm grip

greenfox

New member
Hello all

Brand new to the forum and looking for some assistance.
I feel this may be long winded and I apologize in advance.

I've been married for 22 years and we have had sexual relationships with 3 women, 2 long term for many of those 22 years. The longest was with my best friend that I had an emotional relationship with from a friendship stand point but the sexual part was just fun and casual. My husband and she did not have an emotional relationship at all.

Our current relationship has been off and on and very rocky for the last three years. I guess we are in what's referred to as a 'closed triad' as none of us are in, are pursuing, nor would accept any one of us having a relationship outside of the three of us. I will refer to my husband as H and out girlfriend as G.

I struggle with physically painful jealousy and anxiety regarding H and Gs sexual relationship. When the three of us have sex together it is usually great but not always. When she G and I have sex together it is amazing and connected. When H and I have sex it is fulfilling and intimate. When I know H and G are going to, wanting to, trying to, hinting that they want to have sex I loose my mind. I am physically sick and reel into a full panic attack.

H works 7 days a week so has very limited time and I work 50+ hours a week and often travel out of town. G works part time to full time but rarely more than 25 hours and has a high needs child. She is also our neighbor. As to the challenges the afore mentioned details I will say that G and H spend much of their at home time together and enjoy partaking in a hobby that I do not enjoy which creates an additional constraint in the time H and I have together and alone.

There in lies the issue. I feel like they spend a lot if time together but G feels they need more and private time together. H wants to make us both happy and inevitably ends up "taffied" between the two of us. I am having difficulty with him "choosing" her over me and honestly throw a bit if a tantrum when he does. When I've been out of town and come home I feel angry knowing they have been sleeping together and treat them accordingly.

This has created confusion, hurt feelings, anger, resentment, and distrust in our relationship and if I could not feel the way I feel or if someone could wave a wand and give me compursion I would take it because in my heart I love the three of us together. There have been months of seperation between G and I but never between H and G. When I am out H seperates from G sexually but they maintain a friendship and spend time together. I believe that during these times they are not having sex but I always know they are waiting for me to come back around and I always do.

We have recently talked about implementing a schedule to define alone rltime to work on our individual relationships. I am terrified for "their nights" . Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do. Not because I don't want them to spend time together but because I have raised my children and don't want to be a babysitter. My thoughts were more along the lines of finding a distraction from keeping my mind from obsessing about what G and H are doing.

Here's the thing. I want my relationship with G and I want my relationship with H I just really stuggle with their relationship together.

I realize I have not painted myself in the best light and hope that I will be less judged than analyzed for possible help with a coping mechanism or resources to change my brain so it aligns with my heart.

I'm terrified of losing my beautiful marriage and he is dug in so to speak. I want to all three of us to be happy, humbled, and healthy together and I need some guidance.

Yours very truthfully!

greenfox
 

nycindie

New member
Hi Greenfox and welcome!

So, my question is about the reactions you have to their having a sex life and relationship without you. What are the exact thoughts that come to your mind and make you feel like your head's going to explode? What are the sentences that pop into your head at those moments you are mad and upset about him spending time with her and sexing her up? If you can drill down to what's underneath your upset, you may be better able to handle and diffuse your reactions, and eventually not be "terrified" anymore about what they have between them.

Here are some ideas. Not knowing you, some of these might not make any sense at all to you, but you might identify with something. It could be:
  • a fear of losing him;

  • comparing yourself to her and thinking you come up short, or feeling inadequate in some way;

  • wanting to be in control of what happens between them;

  • a belief that your marriage is supposed to take precedence over any other relationship either of you has;

  • fear and/or shame if your relationship with G is exposed in your community;

  • disorientation at seeing H relate differently to G than he does to you;

  • feeling envious of the time they spend together;

  • feeling like you have to be a part of their interactions because you don't want to be left out; or

  • you only want their connection to be physical and resent that there is more of an emotional connection between them than you bargained for.

Any of that ring true (or partly true) for you?
 
Last edited:

WhatHappened

New member
I realize I have not painted myself in the best light and hope that I will be less judged than analyzed for possible help with a coping mechanism or resources to change my brain so it aligns with my heart.

I applaud you for being honest. I think these feelings are almost universal.

Green Acres recently mentioned in another thread that she won't date married poly men because every experience with them has resulted in jealousy from the wife. There are poly wives here who say upfront they don't want their husbands having girlfriends.

My own experience with a married poly man is that despite their 15+ years of open marriage, his wife couldn't handle him falling in love and played all sorts of games--and either she lied to him about what she was doing and/or he lied to me. Honesty would have been far better. They've both made themselves look pretty bad. They haven't exactly made poly look good, by extension.

I was a little lost on the situation between you and G. Are you in a romantic, sexual relationship with her, too? If so, that would be a triad. But from what you're saying, I got the impression it was really more of a closed V--in which you and she are friends, but she's only a girlfriend to H, not to both of you.
 

GalaGirl

Well-known member
I am sorry you struggle.

To me? Action behavior or thinking behaviors happen. Then feelings ensue. So If I don't like how I feel, I have to see what behavior I can change. If I do like how I feel, I keep doing the same behavior.

You are asking for help with a coping mechanisms or resources to "change my brain so it aligns with my heart."

That points to THINKING BEHAVIORS first to me.

Your "big umbrella" wants seems to be

  • I want all three of us to be happy, humbled, and healthy together

And how you want to get there is by

  • I want some guidance on learning how to cope with my anxiety and panic attacks

That is reasonable.

I don't know if this helps, but here's what pops up to me in reading your post.

I am having difficulty with him "choosing" her over me and honestly throw a bit if a tantrum when he does. When I've been out of town and come home I feel angry knowing they have been sleeping together and treat them accordingly.

That sounds out of order chronologically. If you keep a journal, try to put things in order chronologically. That makes it easier to sort out "behavior happens, then feelings ensue."
So if any behavior needs changing, it is easier to find.

In chronological order it sounds like this to me.

  • I go out of town.
  • They spend time alone together.
  • I get home and learn this.
    [*]I think "Ahhhh! he is choosing her over me!"
    • I get angry as a result of that thinking.
    • I react by taking it out on them rather than pause, think, and respond.

When you learn to record it like that, you see what behavior happened when it starting going down hill.

Then you can learn to CHALLENGE your thinking when unwelcome "popcorn thoughts" pop up. Like this:

Popcorn thought: "Ahhhh! he is choosing her over me!" (<-- Fire alarm goes off)

Challenge the thinking. (<---Check for fire)
  • How is he choosing her over me when I am not even there? The actuality is that they are choosing to hang out together. I am away on a trip. It's ok for them to do that.
  • If hubby were on a trip, would G and I hang out? Sure. Why not?
  • If G were on a trip? Would hubby and I hang out? Sure, why not?
  • So where was the fire? There is none. False alarm. (<--- Actual conclusion after checking for fire. No jumping to conclusions)
  • So how do I respond? Safe to ignore popcorn thought. No response required.
  • I am safe. All is well. (<--- self reassure.)

Learn to reassure yourself and talk the anxiety DOWN. Not talk it UP.

When I know H and G are going to, wanting to, trying to, hinting that they want to have sex I loose my mind. I am physically sick and reel into a full panic attack.

Why is this communication model in place? How is this model serving you well?

That would drive me crazier than them just having sex. All that pussyfooting behavior stuff. I find it triggering when people are not assertive and do that meek and mild hemming and hawing thing. Just drags things out.

Would you prefer NOT to know the TMI details of their sex life -- when, where, and how they have it, or that they feel horny? You could tell them to get on with it and just stop TMI and pussyfooting so you can be free of triggering from that.

(Is it only the pussyfooting behavior? Or another jumping to conclusion thing here too?)

We have recently talked about implementing a schedule to define alone rltime to work on our individual relationships.

Great! Then you get the time you need with H. And can relax about there being not enough time for you.


I am terrified for "their nights" . Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do.

Her child is her responsibility. Not yours. You could say "Heads up -- I do not sit on date nights. I want the time to be working on my stuff so the triad can become healthier." Boom. That prevents any assumptions being made about you sitting and you can relax that nobody is going to be asking you to.

If you are an anxiety person, learn to deal with just YOUR jobs. Don't be picking up other people's jobs. They can handle it. That's another coping tool so you aren't running yourself ragged and burning out. Do only YOUR jobs. Not the world's.

I am terrified for "their nights" . Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do.Because she has a high needs child he cannot be in the care of a sitter. This limits their time unless I babysit which I am not particularly inclined to do. Not because I don't want them to spend time together but because I have raised my children and don't want to be a babysitter. My thoughts were more along the lines of finding a distraction from keeping my mind from obsessing about what G and H are doing.

Your topic sentence is feeling terror. Then you go on to write supporting sentences to keep the terror going. That's talking UP your anxiety and ADDING. That is not TAKING AWAY.

You could have written

"I want to do something else on those nights so I can focus on not obsessing" and made that the topic sentence. You know the second sentence would be "I am going to tell them I do not babysit on their date night." There. That's your goal and what you do NOT do.

What about what you DO do? What would be the other supporting sentences? How would you fill in the rest if the third sentence starts out with "Here's some things I am going to try. I am going to do...."

Are you going to sew? Call a friend and see a movie? Read? Exercise?

Learn to TAKE AWAY from your anxiety by making a plan, not ADD MORE anxiety by fueling the terror. Fuel COPING instead.

Maybe those are places you could start.

A kid book:

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety

Kid movie: The Croods.

Grug is the Dad who REACTS to EVERYTHING with "where's the danger! Family kill circle!" He's a super anxious guy who has to learn to not be afraid all the time. That he CAN figure out how to cope if unexpected things happen.

It is not the only theme of the movie, but it's there. Maybe it helps you some on the "change my brain" thing -- changing how you view your world like Grug works to change how he views his.

Sometimes looking at the kid stuff makes it easier to digest. Maybe it helps.

You could also seek a poly counselor to help you with that anxiety thing.

HTH!
Galagirl
 
Last edited:

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Hi greenfox,

It sounds like a lot of your difficulties are centered around jealousy and insecurity. Here are some links I often list for helping people to deal with that:

Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity, etc.
How do you achieve compersion?

Jealousy and Insecurity
The Theory of Jealousy Management
The Practice of Jealousy Management

Jealousy and the Poly Family
Kathy Labriola: Unmasking the Green-Eyed Monster
Kathy Labriola: "First Aid" for Jealousy
Brené Brown: the Power of Vulnerability

Hopefully that will help you too.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 
Top