closer look at jealousy, by a very overly confident kitten, a

Jealousy.

It happens. It’s normal, right? Of course it is, why wouldn’t it be in a world where jealousy is taught to us from the earliest ages. When everything around us is a competition. When we’re taught we need to be someone’s possession above all else, and they must be ours. I am his, and he is mine. A sentiment built into every moment of our lives.

We’re fucking CONDITIONED to be jealous and fight amongst each other. We’re tossed a SINGLE bouquet of flowers as a good luck charm to be the NEXT lucky bride…and meanwhile, I’m back in the hotel suite fucking the maid of honor while the rest of the girls butt heads and claw each other in a mindless fight to claim the prize. (Okay, this never happened, but it’s literally my top fantasy now)

But people still wonder how I don’t get jealous.

I get jealous, too. Envious is probably more correct, but jealousy is often used loosely. I want…okay, no. I’m sorry. I don’t. I do not feel jealous, not because I wouldn’t be hurt. Because I cannot even imagine any woman, man, or otherwise who COULD get between me and another person.

If a person leaves me, I am happy for them. If they cheated, I am grateful some other loser was willing to take out my trash. If they stay? Then I think they are lucky to have me. As they believe I am lucky to have them. And I believe we both are right.

I guess I’ve never really understood the concept of being jealous, because I don’t see my partners as “mine,” in the traditional sense. They are simply choosing to share their time, energy, even sometimes their lives with me– but in the end, we are all simply going about living our lives.

I feel about people interacting with “my” people romantically, the same way most feel when their partner chills out with a platonic friend or a family member. Or, in an unethical situation, the way others feel when their best friend’s boyfriend cheats on their best friend. Angry on their behalf, well, not angry, but like insulted? But not jealous, like if they were YOUR partner.

And don’t try to make me feel jealous. It won’t work. It’ll only irritate me, because it’ll feel like you’re playing games. And I hate playing stupid games.

But also, I think there’s something else going on, and I may as well cop to it:

Yes, I am rather arrogant. As fuck.

I say I’m not, I say I’m modest, I try to be a good, proper girl. But the truth is I listened to all those motivational poster sayings and went, “Yeah, I AM that good!” Jealous? Of what?

I love myself. I love what I am. I love every little bit of how my mind and body works (aside from the chronic pain and anxiety). I feel like I’m perfect. Not for my partners, not for anyone else. For ME.

Anyone who would choose another OVER me? Their loss. And anyone who would choose to be WITH me? Well, clearly they are so awesome that why wouldn’t others fall for them, too? Who am I to stand in the way of their happiness, since they are doing everything (or at least a great deal) to contribute to mine?

I am fucking Daenerys Targaryen. “You know what kept me standing…? Faith. Not in any gods. Not in myths and legends. In myself.”

You can accept that, or you can not. After all, it’s none of my business. Enjoy your life, I’ll enjoy mine!


(Thanks to His_slinka for encouraging me to share this! And, please share your own stories of jealousy; how it works for you; if you feel it, if you don’t; or even if you LIKE and encourage the feeling; we’re all different!)

I *know* monoamory is not for me!

please note: this is a satirical take at what most posts/profiles that unequivocally state “I know polyamory is not for me” sounds like to me.


I tried it once. I really did. I gave it my all. I really did. The courtship. The destination wedding. The house with the picket fence, the 2 cars, the 2.3 kids, the 3.2 pets. But I just couldn’t.

  • I just couldn’t deal with not having more than one intimate friend for the rest of my life, since that is considered emotional cheating.
  • I just couldn’t handle that even talking to someone who could turn into a potential partner could be considered cheating.
  • I just couldn’t deal with just one partner in my bed, since having more would be considered actual cheating.
  • I just couldn’t deal with no orgies in the shower that I specced for that very purpose.
  • I just couldn’t deal with intimacy being defined as just sex.
  • I just couldn’t deal with the one Disney-canon-approved kind of monoamorous relationship structure

So I have grown. I have evolved. I have come to a realization that after trying it once, monoamory is just not for me!

scheduling poly dating life and childcare: how do you make them both work?

Dear Kitty,

My wife and I had a difficult time with scheduling and childcare this weekend.

At one point, she said, “It hurts my feelings that you don’t think my time with my romantic partner is more important than your plans to [just] go to a play party.”

Frankly, I felt slut shamed by the assertion that one was more valuable than the other, that if I didn’t have another romantic partner, what I was doing was less important. I shouldn’t need to be in another Romantic Relationship, just to prove my plans are important.

Beyond this, I wonder if I am a swinger or person who is sexually open but not polyamorous. I might be open to is dating people together. Or I might feel good about a metamour I have more of a friendship with or who wants to integrate more into our family.

I’m also unsure if I can truthfully say I still feel good about her other relationship.

I guess I could use help figuring out how to balance our lives that incorporates our other partners, without causing resentment.

Yours truly,

Guilty with Kids

Dear Guilty with Kids,

I’ll leave aside the bit about your uncertain feelings regarding your wife’s partner. I think if we can sort out the time management issue (making sure that you both are there for your family AND have your own social/dating lives) that might work itself out naturally.

Let’s move on to the issues at hand, namely, making time for your own social lives.

Whether that means a romantic partner, a play party, or just a couple hours on your own, it’s important to have your “me” time. Without judgement of how you spend it.

I know you aren’t supposed to say anyone’s feelings are wrong, but, she is wrong in saying that her choices are more valid than yours. You and she can renogatiate how much time you have apart, but it is not okay to tell someone their choices are less meaningful than yours. Trust me, I ran into these problems in past relationships (feel free to PM me for more info, if you’d like).

You might argue that some couples/group arrangements happily spend all their time together. It’s true, but it’s risky. Also, this only works when it is freely and mutually agreed to (if one partner wants to spend all their time with another, but that other partner does not, it is not cool to guilt them into having no life apart from you.)

So let’s say that having your own life, apart from your spouse, is important to you. How do you do this in a way that doesn’t neglect your existing obligations, such as kids?

First, I think you need to help her understand why you need your time. No, you don’t owe her an explanation, but since you are married and living together, it couldn’t hurt to understand each other’s values and priorities. Can you sit down with her and explain why you want to spend your time the way you do? And ask her to talk about why spending time with her partner is also important to her, so you understand?

Once she starts realizing that this isn’t a competition of whose extracurriculars are more valuable- but rather that this is important time for both of you to have, doing your own things- you still have to manage the actual logistics of balancing your time.

Schedule the obligations first.

When do you both work? If one works from an office, and the other works from home, how do you divide the housework? It makes sense the homemaker does the bulk of caring for the house, but that doesn’t mean they should do it all. Your children have X number of parents (in your case, two) to divide 100% of financial obligations and 100% of childcare obligations. Maybe one parent works from home and does 60% of the childcare and makes 40% of the income to support the family.

When do you both do things with the kids? Does one parent do all the weekday driving, and the other parent do all the weekend driving? If you are both doing it all, all the time, maybe give yourselves a break and divvy it up. You don’t both need to do everything.

When do you handle the rest of the day to day life stuff? Whatever else needs to be done, it should be done first. Yu wouldn’t do a fancy date night with your spouse, if you had some Crucial Life Task to do first. Same for your “me” time. Don’t neglect your life for some new hobby or interest (that’s called a midlife crisis, sweetie).

Once that is done, schedule your “me time.”

I don’t know how much “me time” you expect, but I would think 2-4 hours a week is probably pretty good. I bet most parents don’t get that much time to themselves. And, if you need/want more, you can probably start living life a little more efficiently (work quicker, stop spending so much time on Twitter and Instagram) in order to squeeze in a little more. Or maybe you focus on home for a while, and then take a weekend away (or even a couple weeks!).

Bear in mind, that since your wife has a partner, rather than parties, she can probably “multitask” better than you. That is, her partner can join her for grocery shopping or spend an afternoon with the kids. You, on the other hand, have to go away for your play parties. So while you both get the “same” or similar amount of “me time” each week, she might get more socializing than you do. And that’s fair.

Most importantly, be flexible in your life arrangements.

One week, she might get more time with her friends, herself, and her partner than you do. Maybe nothing is happening that you want to do, and so you decide to do a lot of stuff around the house or with kids that week. But the next week, you want to go away for a weekend for a really big event.

It won’t also be perfectly balanced. And making this tit for tat will make everyone miserable (including your family). But I think you and she can figure out something that is A) equitable, B) makes sure you put your home and family at top priority) and C) lets you both have your own space and breathing room.

After that, it’s up to you to make it work.

Who knows what the future will bring? Maybe you never fall in love with another person, but simply keep having fun at parties. Maybe you do meet someone. It doesn’t matter, because you already have your commitments down and you already have your time. What you choose to do in your free time is up to you– and you can mix that up however you like.

And that is both scary and incredibly exciting. Good luck!

Sincerely,

Kitty

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas from Pexels

managing feelings of guilt as a “single secondary”

Dear Kitty,

I’m in a relationship with a poly partner. I’m not sure he would agree as he cites how significant I am to him, but I’d class his wife as his primary and myself as a secondary, however his relationship with his wife is not a romantic one so I’m not sure whether I would be his primary and his wife just his ‘lives with’ partner. Besides the point I suppose… They are in an open relationship and that’s the way it has been for years.

I’m unsure whether I am poly or a swinger, as I have only ever explored sex with others (with the consent of my partner) rather than multiple relationships. I’m currently not seeing anyone else. But I’m here as I currently do, and in the future will, find myself in poly dynamics.

In a lot of ways we have a wonderful relationship. I feel more open, loved and understood than I’ve ever felt before. This is my first experience of poly and it’s not without its challenges. I have been working on managing my time, and emotions around that, to stay busy and distracted when we’re unable to spend time together as when I am feeling sensitive this can be an issue. When I am feeling fragile I find it hard to not just hide away and wallow so any tips to find the motivation to use my time alone productively would be much appreciated.

The main reason for my thread is to explore guilt. I am currently really struggling with the feeling that I am keeping him from his family. I feel that him spending time with me takes away precious time with his children and the worry is crippling. I’m not sure how to manage these feelings? He is aware and reassures me that no one is suffering and I’m not taking anything from his family, that in fact he is a better person and dad because I bring a new level of love and happiness to his life. I still can’t shake the guilt I feel. It’s the only thing that makes me consider jumping ship, and there are too many positive to want to follow through with that.

How do you all manage feelings of guilt?

Yours truly,

Guilty(?) Party

Dear Guilty Party,

Your plight caught my eye, because I, too, was a “single secondary” dating someone with an existing relationship. More specifically someone in a primary relationship. This is not to say that secondary/non primary relationships are not valid, however, there are additional complications that arise when you date someone who has that level of entanglement with another human being. How could it be otherwise? Do you really think that wife whose mother-in-law hates her isn’t affected by it? Do you think her marriage is just the same as if she were married to someone whose in-laws loved and cherished her? Please.

I felt guilty, too, like I wasn’t wanted or needed. Know that the way you feel is completely understandable. Yet- at least for myself- things changed as time passed. While I can’t say I never feel guilt or unpleasant feelings today, I definitely feel constant waves of positive feelings crash against the negative. Like you, I feel- and felt- loved in a way I never did in any other relationship. Perhaps, one day, you can feel secure and loved in this relationship, as you ought!

First, let’s assess the situation.

I hope I can help you, but I can’t do that without understanding a little about you. So let me try to make sure I’ve got your situation straight. There’s no rush to coming to an answer, as I don’t have a stock of magical solutions and answers, anyway.

I’m not sure he would agree as he cites how significant I am to him, but I’d class his wife as his primary and myself as a secondary, however his relationship with his wife is not a romantic one so I’m not sure whether I would be his primary and his wife just his ‘lives with’ partner.

It’s funny that you- and I!- called ourselves “single,” despite the fact that we were both dating someone at the time. But I totally get it, because my metamour saw me that way. Unattached, threatening. And yet I was, in fact, very involved with a complicated network of people. Still, my metamour made me feel like I needed to get a boyfriend in order to be a “safer” option for her partner to date.

I wonder if you feel similar pressure to date someone else, otherwise why call yourself single? Why bring attention to that fact when you clearly are not single? If you were, none of this would be an issue. But you do see yourself as a “single” secondary, and that is okay. It’s just worth thinking about.

As far as the primary and secondary nature of your relationships? To the world, yes, she would probably be viewed as A, if not, THE, primary partner of his (many people don’t believe you can have more than one primary relationship, which is obviously not true as there exist plenty of triads/quads, in addition to people who have multiple, non interacting primary relationships (say Alice dates Mike and Bob, and both are her primaries, but Mike and Bob do not date each other. You might say she has two secondaries, but at that point, this is just semantics.) But she also might be a secondary relationship for him. It’s possible for you, the girlfriend, to be his only primary, and his wife to be his secondary. Absolutely nothing wrong with that, if you’re all okay with it. But it can be tricky if you aren’t all on board, especially if the wife disagrees with that arrangement.

I’m curious how you feel about the primary/secondary nature of your relationships. Because this can affect how you feel about the relationship. And strengthen the feelings of guilt (“Am I replacing the wife as his primary? Does she resent this?”)

But this doesn’t seem to be your main concern….

I am currently really struggling with the feeling that I am keeping him from his family. I feel that him spending time with me takes away precious time with his children and the worry is crippling

Kids. Now there’s a whole other issue. I’ll admit I felt this way, too, in the beginning of my relationship. As my then casual partner had kids, as well. A couple of things:

First, every person deserves their “me” time. Regardless if they are a parent or not. If he wants to spend it with you, why not? His kids do not need him every second of every day. They do have another parent, not that they have to be with their parents all the time. Is this, maybe, your ego getting in the way of your enjoying your relationship with him?

Second, if you truly are desiring for this to go further and perhaps even be a primary relationship, I am curious why wouldn’t you be spending time with him and the kids? If this is gonna go anywhere, you and they have got to figure out some kind of healthy relationship with each other (or maybe you discover you can’t stand each other, which is also okay, but, again, means thinkig through the relationship with him.)

Maybe it will happen, maybe not.

I’m guessing you probably need to be able to share an evening together- ALL of you-, even if that means nothing more than you, him, the wife, and kids sitting in the same room and watching a movie.

Please trust me that if you have a non existent/poor relationship with the kids or her, it will only make you all miserable. So maybe it’s time you talk about how you add to his family’s lives, rather than just take away? You know, that life/work balance they talk about? Your life and his BOTH need to balance (and his happens to include a wife and family).

Also, consider being friends with her, too.

Have you tried extending a friendly hand to his wife? Does she see you as cooperation, not competition? He is evidently important to both of you, and he sees something in both of you, so why not try to integrate yourself further into his life by at least trying to be friends? Because if you and she can’t get along, maybe that’s something you should know.

Would you seriously date/commit yourself to a man whose parents, best friend, or close social circle outright hated you or treated you badly? Who didn’t encourage you to share your lives with each other, but kept you compartmentalized on the side? Whatever your answer, I would suggest you may think twice about dating a man whose wife can’t manage to be friendly with you (and who is okay with her treating you as less than even a casual friend).

In short, if you want to eliminate those feelings of guilt, feeling like a welcomed, contributing member of his family is a great way to fight those feelings.

Because you’ll see how much good you truly offer to the kids, instead of feeling like you’re merely intruding and taking their dad away from them. Again, this does not mean losing yourself in his life, but rather bringing your life and his together and making it more than the sum of the two parts.

If that is not desirable or possible, it is still feasible to have a relationship with him– but you are going to have to learn to trust that he is managing his relationship with his kids and just…let the feelings go (or, if it’s shown that he’s neglecting them, consider if you want to stay with a guy who has shown you what happens to his relationships after the novelty’s worn off).

But, really, this all starts with a conversation with him. And them. As silly and trite as it sounds, talking with him and her (and even the kids, in an age appropriate manner) might do wonders to ease your conscious. Please think about what I’ve said here and try to work that into the conversation. It’s okay, too, if it means more than one afternoon of talking (although they do eventually need to tell you what to expect and not leave you hanging for years!)

If none of that manages to get rid of those feelings, you may need to seek a professional therapist who is trained in how to manage feelings like guilt. No shame, if that is needed!

I hope that helps you,

Love,

Kitty

Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

these things scare me

What if he loves her more? Then he fucking loves her more, and you either find that the love he has to offer you is enough, or it isn’t. If it is, you appreciate and reciprocate the shit out of that love, and you don’t compare how much love you’re getting. Its not halloween and the love isn’t you and your little brother’s candy haul. If it isn’t enough, you leave, and you don’t worry, because somebody out there is looking to share a giant pile of love with you.