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Jealousy in an Open Relationship – He Slept with Someone

Open Relationships And Jealousy

About Me

Lover of Life, Love & Sensuality. Optimist. Believer. Natural Beauty Advocate. Minimalist. Living life outside the box; where the magic happens.

As you probably already know Oliver and I are going through some growth in our relationship. I came across this awesome article that talks about jealousy and most importantly the insecurities behind it. I myself have been dealing with similar insecurities throughout my life and I am sure many of you can relate. This is why I wanted to share the story with you.

‘Will you come over for coffee?’ I said. ‘My boyfriend is in London. The kids can play together.’
‘Why is he in London?’ said my friend.
‘Oh he’s gone for work’ I said. ‘But of course it is the ideal situation for him to date other women.’
‘I so admire you for being able to be so open and accepting. I am so far from that.’ My friend said.
I looked at him and said.
‘It’s a constant work.’

Whilst I may be in an open relationship, I am not some enlightened being immune from jealousy. I am not above jealousy. Because I, like the rest of the planet, used jealousy to get what I wanted and needed as a child. Jealousy is a highly successful tactic the mind has for seeking security outside ourselves. A survival mechanism.

But as an adult, jealousy no longer serves a purpose because I don’t need in the same way as I did when I was a child. I am perfectly capable of surviving on my own. As an adult I am (usually) secure in myself. I have worked, for years to heal my insecurities and become an independent, self actualized woman. I know this…theoretically. But the mind – once it recognises successful tactics for survival – will cling to them. And ‘jealousy’ is a strategy used by most of the western world to keep us in monogamous arrangements. It is used to keep what we think we need to survive.

But here’s the other thing about jealousy. If you do not feel it, you cannot identify and solve the problems that lie behind it. It’s a symptom of an underlying issue. A secondary emotion. And here is the difference between me and monogamous people. I do not try to limit the triggers that cause my jealousy. In fact being in an open relationship, you might say I actively invite them. But then I look behind them to see why I feel bad. Because I believe that doing so will present more growth for my character.  A better and healthier me.

‘How far did you get with her?’ I said.
He said ’All the way, although it was supposed to be only for drinks. She’s very like you. Well, like you five years ago. She’s an analyst. She even loves excel.’
I felt fear settle a cold grip upon me and paralyse my vocal cords for 5 seconds. Very like me. Was I being replaced? Luckily we were on skype (and my fingers certainly were not paralysed).
‘Was she with you when I sent you the photo of the kids this morning?’
‘Yes, she thinks they’re adorable.’

I closed my eyes and felt the adrenalin kick in. Fight or Flight. I wanted to shut the chat window right there and howl. But only for 30 seconds. Because I knew that getting angry was useless, hiding was useless; selfish and immature. It would be an attempt to take the power from the situation by making myself into the victim.

So I chose not to be.

Let me make perfectly clear that he did nothing wrong in accordance with how we conduct our relationship. Everything that happened had been discussed and okayed. The girl in question was aware of the situation and I knew that there was a distinct likelihood of a sexual encounter beforehand. But it didn’t stop my instinctive reaction.

She’s like me. Or at least like I was, before I stopped working to have kids. No doubt slim…with no stretch marks, no post breast feed tits and still achieving success in her profession.

I said ‘Honestly I feel half okay and half not okay. I mean it’s great to know that you had fun and talked about the kids and me and stuff. How did she feel about it?’
‘As far as I could tell she felt fine. But if you are wobbly we need to talk more. I welcome that. Part of growth and us developing together. I love you. ‘ he said.
‘I love you too.’ I said.’Let’s talk when you get back.’

After my seconds of wanting to hide had passed, I sat back and examined my emotions. Jealousy is my signpost.  It indicates that I am still struggling with my insecurity following the birth of our children which has resulted these past months in a fear of intimacy which in turn is due to my old demon, the fear of abandonment.

Deep, deep down, I still fear abandonment which will reinforce the lie that rings like truth in my ears that I am inherently, and personally, shameful and unlovable. Since having kids, I no longer match up to the successful slim business woman I once was. My priorities, life and values have changed. But society’s has not and try as I might, it is difficult not to care. A stay-at-home Mum with a wobbly belly is not a good look for me. Our codependent shame ridden society has driven our need for monogamy; much of it due to our inability to measure up to the youth-worshipping, linear-achievement standards glorified by much of the western world.

I don’t need or want monogamy to know that I am lovable and loved – despite my (quite cute) stretch marks.  And I don’t need or want monogamy as a cage which encloses us in the same prison, simply because I have some insecurity issues which have nothing to do with him. But of course an open relationship doesn’t mean you are immune (or that you stay immune) to jealousy. Some people are. I hope one day that will be me.

Right now, it means that I confront the issues behind the triggers. Because I like to work on and heal the issues themselves, not ignore the wound and stick a monogamous and ultimately ineffectual plaster on it.

The original article can be found on Multiple Match, if the article resonated with you I would recommend you visiting the blog. What are you thoughts on Jealousy? Is it time to let it go or do we still need it?

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  • Peter

    I really am curious now, how the author compares a open and a monogam relationship?
    Or maybe what her intimate thoughts about each of these both seperatedly are, but really honest?

  • Pingback: Jealousy | Utopia for a new society()

  • Luke Chaha

    COMPERSION
    Is an empathetic state of happiness and joy experienced when another individual experiences happiness and joy. It is sometimes identified with parents’ pride in their children’s accomplishments or one’s own excitement for friends’ and others’ successes. It is commonly used to describe when a person experiences positive feelings when a lover is enjoying another relationship. It is an OPPOSITE of jealousy.

  • Jason Fonceca

    You are a sublime inspiration for people all over the world, and this is one of the realest, most honest looks at jealousy, sex, society, and relationships I’ve come across on the oh-so-sprawling internet.

    Thank you so much, Adina.

  • Jess

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=sex-differences-in-jealousy-10-01-28

    Studies
    from around the world have reported that men are more jealous of sexual
    infidelity than emotional infidelity. And women are the
    opposite—they’re more jealous of emotional cheating than sexual
    cheating. Experts often lean on an evolutionary cause for this gender
    difference: Men can never be sure they are the baby-daddy and women are
    most concerned with securing a genuinely loyal father to care for the
    children.

    Well, authors of a recent study in Psychological Science
    question the strength of the evolutionary just-so theory—realizing that
    there are men who find emotional cheating far worse than sexual
    cheating. The study reports that personality patterns, shaped by one’s
    relationship history, can have an impact on jealousy.

    Over 400 participants took a survey to measure their jealousy type,
    meaning which troubles them more: sexual or emotional fidelity. Then
    they completed a test which specifically measures attachment style in
    relationships (those styles include: secure, fearful, preoccupied and
    dismissing.)

    And they found that 65 percent of those who are autonomous and tend to be dismissive about commitment reported greater stress
    about sexual cheating than emotional cheating. And 77 percent of those
    who are more securely attached and committed in relationships found
    emotional betrayal to be worse than sexual duplicity.

    Even within each sex the results were striking. Dismissive women were
    four times more likely to report greater sexual jealousy than securely
    committed women. And dismissive men were 50 times more likely to report
    sexual jealousy than securely committed men.

    So the authors warn: sex differences in jealousy are much more nuanced than a evolutionary explanation might imply.

    —Christie Nicholson

    • wow what an awesome in-depth answer. I ll consider posting this on my facebook page. thanks love for sharing your knowledge. Adina

  • Alejandra Aguilera Galindo

    I just started a opened-relationship. Theoricaly, it works perfectly and I thought jelousy wouln’t exist. But now I feel it, I feel envy even. Of course my mate feels it too. It was hard to realise that jelousy will never go away. I’m scared of being childish and immature when he is with someone else.

    With this article, I realise and understand that it’s normal being scared, that feeling insecurity will be there much more that once, but it will be an oportunity to mature, grow up and know about myself, and my mate of course.

    On the other hand, I’m really thankfull and happy because the confidence, deep comunication, honesty, sincerity and transparency. We are not only lovers, we are friends and accomplices… and that’s something that I couldn’t have with traditional monogamy.

    I love loving us with opened eyes, mind and heart. We are free and that’s beautiful =)

    • u r speaking from my heart. I feel u & and I honor ur strength of going through this. I do believe that we learn to open up even stronger to love then ever before. I do not think in terms of monogamy or polyamory. I question it all. But I do want to become more open and loving and that is what polyamorous is teaching.

      Thanks for sharing ur words. love, Adina

  • Pingback: Jealousy in an Open Relationship – ‘He Slept with Someone’ : Multiple Match()

  • Adina Rivers

    Can’t even put in words how much this article touched me. This is so beautiful and put in great words. It was great to read the conversation between your husband & u. For a second I wished I could have been a silent listener to your whole skype conversation. 😀

    Love this. Thank you so much for this article. It is something where Oliver & I still have to go through.

    Now I am even more excited to experience these situation & kill one inner demon at a time.

    Love, Adina

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