The Jealosy Diary

dingedheart

Well-known member
I mean that's literally what I talked about in my other post on this thread. I suppose if one was mono you'd never have to make those contrasts nor comparisons.... except for the part where "mono" people fall in love with people who are not their (legal/committed) partners all the time.
From the context of your post or posts it sounded to me like you said you didn’t understand the mindset where you would “ want “ to love one person more than another ...ie hierarchy based poly. It seemed like you were trying to illustrate the difference in thinking in general terms of a poly person vs mono person thinking .

My thought or point is dumps those 2 labels ( mono / poly ) and looks at this from a purely human behavior side. If we remove all the outside factor / entanglement/ commitments / marriage contracts and go strictly off desire and chemistry and overall compatibility probably lots of polycues or tribes would be realigned In a nesting sense. Dont you think? I know of many that have done that just because ...and the because is never super specific but rather “ fell out of love “ . And if youre being a good hinge and or being a good participanting partner in a marriage how’s that happen ? BUT it does. Is it something to fear or place in a risk assessment matrix I don’t know. Is it something to consider ...yes I think so.
 

dingedheart

Well-known member
dinged, I'm not going to answer any more of these questions on Arc's blog. It's not appropriate.
I thought about that too when I asked but figured his thirst for knowledge of real world example might outweigh the intrusion.

And I wasn’t actually serious about the water heater or the associated bills .
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
My thought or point is dumps those 2 labels ( mono / poly ) and looks at this from a purely human behavior side. If we remove all the outside factor / entanglement/ commitments / marriage contracts and go strictly off desire and chemistry and overall compatibility probably lots of polycues or tribes would be realigned In a nesting sense. Dont you think?
I’m gonna reply to this in my own blog sometime today rather than here, or maybe in a general discussion post.
 

Arc

Member
Hi, I'm back! At least temporarily/sporadically. I have really appreciated the support on this forum, but realized back in January that I needed to do a digital detox, both around online-poly stuff, and screen time in general.

4 months have passed. My partner stalled on finding a therapist (I'd asked her to take that on), but met someone who might be a catch, and suddenly felt motivated to find a therapist, stat. LOL. Sigh. But at least we've started that process, which feels like a container and support for the relationship.

Fortunately her crush is also not in a situation where he can jump into a relationship, so we have a little time to get therapy going and don't have to make any decisions right away.

I am finding, happily, that I feel a lot better when we talk things over, and feel a lot worse when there is no communication or when things are left to the imagination. So that is promising - the guy she's into seems like a decent and considerate person, even if mildly annoying to me.

Right now what I'm thinking about how to get the ball rolling on "dating." Although I'm trying not to think about it as dating, but as building relationships with people, including people who are open to polyamory/ENM (otherwise I just make a bunch of platonic friends), and hoping that some of those relationships have a mutual attraction and turn into something.

Hoping to get started on that soon, as I think it will take a while (as a guy), and I think this will all go better if I don't feel like shit, being left in the dust while she goes out and has fun. I will probably post something about dating advice soon, to utilize the collective wisdom of this forum.

FWIW, I am aware that this may not work out and I may find that I am "wired mono." I am not sure what that would mean, but for now I want to see where this goes. So I'd appreciate any feedback take that into account - that is, support for upping the odds that this will work, rather than warnings that it is going to fail.

Thanks and glad to be back. This is a great community and overall you all make me feel much more positive towards the potential benefits of polyamory!
 

BrokenArrow

Member
Thank you for this post! Don't know how I didn't see this thread earlier. I read your first entry and realized that's a lot of what I'm feeling now, and I related more and more with each post. There's some obvious differences, of course. Honestly, I had to skip ahead to see if things got better because it kept hitting too close to home and I couldn't deal with it anymore. Definitely looking forward to following your progress. Hope you're having better luck than I am right now!
 
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Arc

Member
Thank you for this post! Don't know how I didn't see this thread earlier. I read your first entry and realized that's a lot of what I'm feeling now, and I related more and more with each post. There's some obvious differences, of course. Honestly, I had to skip ahead to see if things got better because it kept hitting too close to home and I couldn't deal with it anymore. Definitely looking forward to following your progress. Hope you're having better luck than I am right now!
Hey BrokenArrow! Well, I'll certainly update you... but things change day to day. On Wednesday I was grumpy and annoyed about a recent "date" she went on; Thursday I was ready to go play tennis with this guy if he helps me with my OKC profile; and this evening she's seeing if she can match me up with the friend of a mutual friend. (it's a long shot, but fingers crossed because the friend is really cute) Based on recent patterns, I expect we'll be fighting about something by tomorrow! :ROFLMAO:

Anyway, I feel for you - haven't read all your posts but if you relate to mine, that I'm sure I relate to yours, especially the painful parts. It's rough but I'm hopeful. Take care!
 

Arc

Member
Entry 5:

Some updates from December. My wife now has found a guy who is poly. She likes him, and he likes her. This is the first time we're really talking non-theoretically, so it's new territory. (The guy she was friends with from the fall, who I was jealous of/freaking out about, turned into a platonic friend). They agreed to keep things on a "friend" basis until we get our couples counseling rolling, which takes some of the pressure off.

Topic A. How I've been processing this new guy... I know him a bit, and didn't have the best impression of him - nothing super-negative, just a feeling of, "Oh, one of these types." What I've found is the more I talk with my wife about it, make sure he's a nice person, the less threatened I feel. This has surprised me because I thought I might want an "out of sight, out of mind" arrangement but it turns out that out of sight does not mean out of mind, at least for me. I started thinking he was a jerk, imagining him laughing at me and feeling really cocky that he could have my wife, etc. So we checked in and my wife (really should get some initials going, let's call her "R") assured me that this was not the case, and I was actually convinced and felt much better, less threatened.

We had an interesting discussion recently about how we talk about the other person. I had said something like, "At first I thought he was kind of an arrogant mansplainers, so I was relieved to find out that he sounds like a genuinely nice guy." I actually meant this to be positive, but she got caught up in my saying something negative about him, and didn't even hear the positive that came after it. It was actually a revelation - somewhat scary - that we were not talking about a friend here, we were talking about a "sweetie", a crush, someone she has feelings for and feels protective of - one of those, but not me. It was a really strange feeling to just see this, that this is where we're at, with multiple romantic loves. I know this is all pretty basic on this forum, but it was really disorienting coming out of a long-term mono marriage. I didn't, to my credit, feel bad or jealous, I just felt dizzy, and disoriented, maybe a little dissociated.

Topic B. Just the other night R went out to hang for several hours, at night, with her platonic friend (whom I was jealous of last fall), at his house. I was not particularly jealous, which is serious progress since October or November. Granted this is partly because I'm convinced it's not romantic, but it still felt like a success that all I felt was a little lonely all night.

However, as an exercise. I decided to pretend to myself that she was on an actual date, and even that she was having sex, and then coming home later. While I can't say I felt great about it, I could kind of envision it and not get too worked up. Somewhere in the back of my mind was a thought like, "Yeah, but you know, it's not that big of a deal even if they're having sex. She'll just come home and be the same person who left." So I will take that as a "win", too. I am sure that the first time she goes and has sex with someone, it will be a rough night, I'll probably need to watch some movies, I'll probably be a bit cold or withdrawn when she comes back, I might sleep separately, but I don't think I'll go crazy or fall into despair. Yay!

What success we've made has come from talking openly, I think. This has been my work - I'm just going to take credit for it! R tends to avoid, but the more we talk, the better I feel, and the better I feel, the better she feels, it seems.

Arc = me
R = Arc's wife
I'll add more initials when they become relevant.
 

Magdlyn

Moderator
Staff member
An initial is better than "my wife," but we recommend you choose actual nicknames for your partners and metas and friends, etc. It's much less confusing for your readers, and easier to remember.

You did well the other night! You're doing the process of disentangling, which sure can be hard coming from mono and going to poly. Maybe you saw the article about it? The best practice is for each partner to have a "me day," or evening, where they go out without you for a few hours. (This was more difficult during lockdown, but it's becoming more practical, at least in my state, where people are getting the vaxes and still wearing masks.) So, R can go out once a week, to do whatever, with this ex-bf/friend, by herself, or with anyone else. And then, on a night when she is NOT going out, you go out, so she has to be the one sitting home and learning how to occupy herself (and imagine YOU having sex, if that seems necessary or helpful to her). After all, so far it's been easy for her, with her romantic interests, while you don't have any. But she might struggle too, once you start dating! And then feel like a hypocrite. This is quite a common struggle.

 

BrokenArrow

Member
I didn't, to my credit, feel bad or jealous, I just felt dizzy, and disoriented, maybe a little dissociated.
Maybe you're a little wiser than me, but don't make decisions or agreement while your stunned like I did. Explain to your partner that you need time to think things over and wait till your head clears and you've had time to process. I built up a lot of resentment towards Spitfire for things I've agreed to while stunned and always feel like an asshole when I have to ask to renegotiate.
 

Arc

Member
An initial is better than "my wife," but we recommend you choose actual nicknames for your partners and metas and friends, etc. It's much less confusing for your readers, and easier to remember.
Okay, good to know. Makes sense. I'll come up with something for my next post
You did well the other night! You're doing the process of disentangling, which sure can be hard coming from mono and going to poly. Maybe you saw the article about it?
Yes, that article was very helpful even though the tone was a little annoying - I personally don't think the last 20 years of my life were "creepy" (and trust me I've known real creepy in my life). But I let it slide. I'm definitely making progress disentangling.

The best practice is for each partner to have a "me day," or evening, where they go out without you for a few hours. (This was more difficult during lockdown, but it's becoming more practical, at least in my state, where people are getting the vaxes and still wearing masks.) So, R can go out once a week, to do whatever, with this ex-bf/friend, by herself, or with anyone else. And then, on a night when she is NOT going out, you go out, so she has to be the one sitting home and learning how to occupy herself (and imagine YOU having sex, if that seems necessary or helpful to her). After all, so far it's been easy for her, with her romantic interests, while you don't have any. But she might struggle too, once you start dating! And then feel like a hypocrite. This is quite a common struggle.
He he, I admit that I'm hoping that she does struggle a bit. Not for revenge, exactly... just so she can empathize with me more, and so her idealized image of poly life is brought back to earth. And also, I think I deserve a little bit of jealousy.
 

Arc

Member
Maybe you're a little wiser than me, but don't make decisions or agreement while your stunned like I did. Explain to your partner that you need time to think things over and wait till your head clears and you've had time to process. I built up a lot of resentment towards Spitfire for things I've agreed to while stunned and always feel like an asshole when I have to ask to renegotiate.
Good tip, BrokenArrow, thanks. The other night I got annoyed about something she did - a breach of trust, mostly symbolic, but still, and I was like, "You know, do whatever you want to do. I don't care." Probably not the best approach... it could come back to haunt me...
 

Arc

Member
Entry 6:

Oh, man, it has been an interesting week. First things first: I think I am overcoming a lot of my jealousy. Not saying it's all going to be smooth sailing, but I'm in a much better place than I was 6 months ago. Oddly enough, here's what did the trick: I drastically lowered my expectations of my wife, whom I will henceforth call Rachel; and I drastically increased my expectations for myself.

I won't go over the full history, but long story short, Rachel tried to get us to open up, but in my opinion did not take my own needs and feelings into account, and was focused on avoiding conflict or discomfort, or guilt, rather than figuring out what I needed from her to make this work. (this was over the last 7 months). I freaked out, thought things were happening outside of my control, got jealous, angry, etc. We were entering poly hell.

Well here's where I've come to: If Rachel is not able to attend to my emotional needs and communicate with me effectively about this issue, I'm going to have to strongly explore whether that is someone I want to spend the rest of my life with. Now, I am not talking about starting divorce proceedings. I'm really just reframing the situation: Rather than me desperately trying to hold onto her and make sure she doesn't abandon me (the panicked jealousy phase); I am going to think like this:

a. Rachel is a great person, great mom, and a good friend.
b. She has disappointed me on a number of occasions about whether she can give me what I need in the relationship.
c. There are other women out there who might be able to give me what I need (and also receive what I can give, of course); and actually want someone who likes to talk, process feelings, address concerns head-on, and practice non-violent communication.
d. So rather than try to frantically convince her to change her tune, I'm going to just reiterate what I need, tell her the ball is in her court, and see what happens.

The outcome of this thought process is that I don't feel like I'm in the vulnerable situation anymore. She is actually in the vulnerable situation, because she's disappointed me and needs to regain my trust and confidence, and I am going to wait until I feel clear that that is possible.

Meanwhile, I think this: Lots of women want men who are sensitive; thoughtful; able to process difficult emotions and conflict; don't get defensive and avoidant. I think there are a lot of women (poly or single and monogamous) who would be interested in me. So again, I'm not in the vulnerable position, like I thought.

Well, this way of thinking has really improved my mood through all of this, and my sense of being in control.

I am also reaching out to people more. I haven't had the energy to make my OKC profile live, but I've been working on reaching out to people more - both for friendships, and potential romantic possibilities. It's a bit tricky as a guy, since most women I know seem to be monogamous and are in relationship, but I just found out a friend of a friend might be poly so I suggested a walk. And I'm feeling pretty good about that, whether she says no (no biggie), or yes, and whether she becomes a friend (yay) or a girlfriend (yay!!!).

There's more to the week - there was a minor but symbolically meaningful breach in trust on Rachel's part, which was disappointing and frankly lowered my expectations of her. Maybe I'll go into that in my next entry.

Any thoughts are welcome! And thanks for reading. :)

Arc = me; probably serially monogamous our ethically non-monogamous
Rachel = Arc's wife, full on poly down to the genetic level

 

Inaniel

Active member
c. There are other women out there who might be able to give me what I need (and also receive what I can give, of course); and actually want someone who likes to talk, process feelings, address concerns head-on, and practice non-violent communication.
----
Meanwhile, I think this: Lots of women want men who are sensitive; thoughtful; able to process difficult emotions and conflict; don't get defensive and avoidant. I think there are a lot of women (poly or single and monogamous) who would be interested in me. So again, I'm not in the vulnerable position, like I thought.

Way to flex your confidence and self-worth. (y)
It will serve you well in any relationship.
 

Arc

Member
Way to flex your confidence and self-worth. (y)
It will serve you well in any relationship.
Thanks! It's all about perspective, right? :cool:
 

Arc

Member
Entry 7: I'm going through a remarkable period of okayness and non-jealousy as Rachel continues her weekly, sometime bi-weekly dates with Frank... it's almost too good to be true, and in fact I think it is too good to be true.

Not to say that it's not progress - I genuinely think I've turned a corner about the jealousy. It is still present but it's a much milder form - basically, whereas before it was sort of taking over my brain, now it is just sort of bumming me out and making me feel distanced. So no, feeling distanced in my marriage is not ideal, but it's better than freaking the fuck out about a potential "rival" (and by freaking out, I mean in my head, and being a bit angry and passive aggressive, it never got worse than that).

What has let do this change? Well, I think I touched on this in the last entry, but I seem to have just "let go" of control - whereas before I was desperately trying to hold onto some idea of what "normal" was, and hoping to somehow integrate polyamory into that "normal", now I've accepted that that is not going to happen, that what's done is done, and it was in fact done well before I even knew it. Rachel is polyamorous. I think I may be able to enjoy an ENM-life, but it just won't be the life we had before, it will feel different.

How different? I am not sure. For now, I have had to emotionally take a step back from the relationship. It feels like this is to protect myself. You might say I care less about the relationship. This sounds really bad, but it is more like being less attached.

Rachel has been going out with Frank once a week or so, or chatting with him online. I am remarkably uninterested in him or what they talk about, what they do. I don't need or want to know many details about what is going on in Rachels mind about Frank - is she pining for him? Obsessing about him? NREing him? Or maybe not? I don't really know - I'm not asking. She has sometimes wanted to share some drama about his life, and I don't really pursue that direction of conversation. I know that might not be best - in the end, I think we'll want to talk about and meet each other's metamours. But for now I am avoiding going into that territory, partly because I really don't want him or the relationship to take up my headspace. I want to put my energy on myself, and not feel like some prurient witness to this other relationship.

I do get waves of grumpiness, and I start acting emotionally withdrawn. This comes in waves. Lately it's been fading pretty quickly after a reminder. But in the meantime, my brain still struggles to grasp what's happening: "Oh, she, Rachel, my wife, is going on a date with this guy, developing some sort of private intimate relationship, and I'm just keeping to myself and not reacting." I think the best way to describe that is cognitive dissonance. There's more to unpack here - I'm feeling almost too neutral about the whole thing, so I think there are some big emotions under the surface, but for now this perspective is serving me to get on with life. And you know, sometimes, that's actually kind of an important thing to do.

I have a goal of launching my OKC profile by the end of May. I am actually not that hopeful about it; I have some other avenues that are likely to be more effective, but it still feels kind of meaningful and exciting to put myself out there on OKC. I'll write about that process a bit more as the date approaches. Thanks for reading "The Jealousy Diaries"! o_O
 

LoveBunny

Member
Arc, I relate very well to the emotions you're experiencing. I went through them several months ago when my boyfriend started a secondary relationship. From the minute I understood his lover existed until she broke up with him 6 months later, I was sometimes battling jealousy, sometimes fine (never happy, never compersion, just fine.) I tried hard to focus on myself and us (not him and her.) I was trying to get psyched about dating others, but mostly the whole poly thing just felt like a pain in the ass. He and I are not together nearly as long as you and Rachel, and not married. It isn't easy, what you're trying to navigate.

When his secondary finally ended things, bf and and I renegotiated to ENM/swinging structure rather than poly, only then did I realize how much I'd been holding back from him emotionally. I just wasn't able to flow towards him knowing he was dividing his romantic time and energy. My guard was always up, always feeling that at some point, he was going to tell me, "Hey, I need to spend less time with you so I can spend more time with her."

We tried to mitigate it by making agreements that kept our relationship "primary," but energetically, I kept hitting a wall.
He describes it as feeling as if I just "hit pause" during that 6 months of our relationship. I was not as loving and giving and open as when it's been just us.

I often wondered if I was shooting myself in the foot by not being MORE open, loving and forthcoming instead of less. But where is that line between stretching oneself towards positive growth vs. hurting oneself to keep someone around? I'm not saying your situation is one or the other, these things are complicated. Just saying I feel for you and thank you for writing!
 

HaloOnFire

Active member
Arc, I relate very well to the emotions you're experiencing. I went through them several months ago when my boyfriend started a secondary relationship. From the minute I understood his lover existed until she broke up with him 6 months later, I was sometimes battling jealousy, sometimes fine (never happy, never compersion, just fine.) I tried hard to focus on myself and us (not him and her.) I was trying to get psyched about dating others, but mostly the whole poly thing just felt like a pain in the ass. He and I are not together nearly as long as you and Rachel, and not married. It isn't easy, what you're trying to navigate.

When his secondary finally ended things, bf and and I renegotiated to ENM/swinging structure rather than poly, only then did I realize how much I'd been holding back from him emotionally. I just wasn't able to flow towards him knowing he was dividing his romantic time and energy. My guard was always up, always feeling that at some point, he was going to tell me, "Hey, I need to spend less time with you so I can spend more time with her."

We tried to mitigate it by making agreements that kept our relationship "primary," but energetically, I kept hitting a wall.
He describes it as feeling as if I just "hit pause" during that 6 months of our relationship. I was not as loving and giving and open as when it's been just us.

I often wondered if I was shooting myself in the foot by not being MORE open, loving and forthcoming instead of less. But where is that line between stretching oneself towards positive growth vs. hurting oneself to keep someone around? I'm not saying your situation is one or the other, these things are complicated. Just saying I feel for you and thank you for writing!



Thank you for posting this. This perspective has given me even more pause for thought and I appreciate it when folks post things of this nature. It serves to allow me to judge for myself where I am on certain things that may or may not have occurred to me. I appreciate it! :)
 

Arc

Member
Arc, I relate very well to the emotions you're experiencing. I went through them several months ago when my boyfriend started a secondary relationship. From the minute I understood his lover existed until she broke up with him 6 months later, I was sometimes battling jealousy, sometimes fine (never happy, never compersion, just fine.) I tried hard to focus on myself and us (not him and her.) I was trying to get psyched about dating others, but mostly the whole poly thing just felt like a pain in the ass. He and I are not together nearly as long as you and Rachel, and not married. It isn't easy, what you're trying to navigate.
Ha, thanks for sharing this, I feel a bit less alone! "Just fine" with the situation is about where I am at these days. It feels like a success, because it's a major improvement from "like shit" and jealous. So far compersion is more theoretical, as in, I feel good that she feels good about her life and being poly. That makes me happy. Re: the specifics of being in a relationship and having sex - not there yet.
I often wondered if I was shooting myself in the foot by not being MORE open, loving and forthcoming instead of less. But where is that line between stretching oneself towards positive growth vs. hurting oneself to keep someone around? I'm not saying your situation is one or the other, these things are complicated. Just saying I feel for you and thank you for writing!
Such a good question - where is that line?
 

Arc

Member
Entry 8: I guess it's been about 2 weeks since my last entry. A lot has happened.

On the good news, the title of this thread is seeming out of date or even obsolete (okay, I won't go that far, yet). My sense of jealousy continues to decrease as communication improves in my relationship. Just to highlight the kind of progress that's happening - I went out for breakfast with Frank - just him and me - the other day. I knew him via a mutual friend so it wasn't totally like meeting a stranger. And you know what? It went fine. We had a good chat, mostly not about Rachel or poly. I didn't feel insecure or threatened; he's a nice guy and very respectful. So that was great. I would say that my only weird negative reaction was disappointment - I just didn't get the attraction! So part of me was like, really? This guy? I am straight but I can pretty well imagine what kind of guy I might fall for if I liked guys, and this was not the type. So I was almost offended that she wasn't choosing someone who would be more of an improvement over me! (I know this is all kind of silly and it doesn't really work that way, but I'm just putting my thoughts out here)

After that meeting, Rachel has gone out with Frank again, and I didn't have a negative reaction, just maybe some mild agitation and difficulty falling asleep. So jealousy no longer feels like the primary barrier to deal with - just one of a handful. Rachel has been hanging out with Frank about once a week, but sometimes twice, including going over late - after the kids are asleep and coming home when I'm asleep. This has happened twice (after discussion and with my approval); so far there has been not sex and limited physicality, and I trust that this has been true because I think Rachel realizes now how damaging and counterproductive a breach of trust would be.

One thing that has improved things immensely, on my end, was a fight/conversation we had two weeks ago. Because my jealousy has decreased, I've been able to really hone in on the relationship challenges themselves. As in, what, specifically, has been bothering me so much about this opening up process. There have been, from my perspective, a series of tactical errors on Rachel's part, mainly based on her avoidance/fear of negative emotions. As a pattern they indicated that we were really not seeing this process through the same lens. Most importantly, I suddenly realized that if I didn't make myself astoundingly clear (I thought I'd been pretty clear before, but apparently I needed to be astoundingly clear) about what I needed, communication-wise, then we would just keep repeating the same disappointment/hurt/apology cycle and I would never feel good about this.

I won't go into detail about what I told her, eventually, but I sort of made it clear that I wasn't going to just stick around in that situation indefinitely. I didn't threaten divorce, but I put it on the table and made it clear that that would be an option if things didn't change. And finally, I think, it sunk in with her and she seems to have taken in what I'm saying about what I need, which basically comes down to: We need to be able to talk about this without you getting defensive or just avoiding the topic but forging ahead with the relationship.

We have started seeing a couples therapist. So far that is going well and provides us with a solid anchor point in the week. She is really focused on helping us strengthen the foundation of our relationship. I really wish we had done this before Frank entered Rachel's life, but... that's just not how it worked out, so we are feeling a bit rushed to decide how and when to open things up, sexually.

Right now we are at a sort of crossroads. Our plan was that Rachel and Frank would keeps things basically non-physical (nothing beyond hand-holding, hugs) until we started therapy, which we did last week. Unfortunately the therapy was a bit delayed so that stage got stretched out and there is now some sense of urgency, on their part, to get the ball rolling as it were. So I'm in this position of being the one who they are waiting to say "go for it" (sex) but I don't exactly know when or how to say that we're ready (both me, ready, and us ready as a couple), and that just feels like a one-sided position. Meanwhile, Rachel is doing her utmost to not seem like she's in a hurry or pressuring me. Hopefully the next couples session will help clarify next steps.

Overall things have been quite good. I've been feeling positive and we've been joking around about crushes, attractions, and who I might want to start seeing.

As of yesterday, I did give the go-ahead for more intimate physical stuff. I drew the line at sex because we have not worked out all our STI/safety plans and boundaries around that so it felt like a reasonable boundary around something that directly impacted me. However, an unexpected challenge was the definition of 'sex'! She wanted to keep that vague - she just said, "I know what sex is" and I was like, "Um, well, can we just be specific?" And she really didn't want a solid line drawn, and felt really uncomfortable talking about it! I had to overcome my feeling of being "controlling" and insist that we be clear what we were talking about.

As it turned out, I felt comfortable drawing the boundary at contact with sexual fluids which would involve hand jobs and things of that nature, but she was thinking it should be specifically refer to oral, vaginal, anal sex. So we were really set up for a big problem/trust breach if we had kept things vague and hadn't clarified.

I am not actually sure how I feel about my particular boundary, how dead-set I am about it, but I do feel like going from hand holding to hand jobs (I hate that term, but whatever) is a pretty big step, and somehow symbolically closer to the category of sex than to the category of "making out".

So today, after that conversation, I'm not really upset or triggered by anything, but I am feeling tired, frustrated from having to sort of be the one to manage this process for her when it's her deal, and this makes me feel less close and affectionate towards her. We'll see how things go over the weekend. Thanks for reading!
 
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