Facing Fears

As I write this post, my OSO (Other Significant Other/Secondary) is with his OSO and my husband is out of town.

So many people write to me and say they could never have a polyamorous relationship because they are too jealous, as if jealousy just magically disappears within poly relationships. It doesn’t. Some people deal with jealousy better than others, and, true, a few people just don’t feel jealous at all. I’m not one of those. As a triple Scorpio with emotional regulation issues, jealousy does rear it’s ugly head from time to time, but I choose to manage it rather than give in to it.

I choose compersion.

Still…some days are easier than others. Today is one of those harder times, knowing he is with her while I’m by myself. It brings up a lot of deep-seated fears, like abandonment. Like the fear of being replaced. Like the fear that it’s all a lie and I’m being played the fool, especially after this last year of heartbreak. I’m scared.

Falling in love is scary! Opening yourself up and being vulnerable before another person can be terrifying, especially if you know all too well the pain that heartbreak can bring. Utterly terrifying.

Still, those are my fears. These fears have been inside me long before I met my sweet auctioneer and they’ve been poked and prodded and reaffirmed by my two losses last year, so they’re rather fresh and raw. Now…do I call up my OSO and tell him how scared I am? Do I ask for reassurance?

No. I don’t. Especially not now when I know he has a date with his OSO.

My fears are not his responsibility. They’re mine.

Sure, as in any romantic relationship, two people become entangled and they are there for each other to soothe fears and support emotional times. But by asking for such reassurance at a time like this would be wholeheartedly selfish, and it would possibly damage our relationship. At other times, however, we do share our fears, and it’s important (even essential) to do so, as I’ve mentioned in many other blogs. It’s how you build intimacy and deepen your connection with your beloved, but there is a time and a place for that. Also, it can’t be all that you do. You must also make love and laugh and dance together.

Still, the fears can come at the most inopportune times. If we can be mindful when these feelings emerge, we can look more closely at them. Name them. Examine them. Diffuse them. We can face our fears alone in strength.

I can face my fear alone in strength.

Radical acceptance of reality is a DBT technique I’ve recently learned. So often we wish something could be different and through that wishing we feel resentful or sad or scared or something else. But wishing it different doesn’t make it different. Radical acceptance of reality is a powerful skill. It allows us to accept things the way they are and deal with that. It makes things clear, and we can make our choices from there. Wishing and hoping for things to be different doesn’t change a thing. All it does is make us upset. Accept reality, no matter how hard it is because through this acceptance we have the power of choice and understanding.

Naming emotions is another DBT technique, and it has been quite helpful, really. By naming my emotions, I’m able to examine them and often see just how silly they are. Just by naming them, it diffuses the intensity a little and makes things more manageable. In addition, by naming them aloud, I can then counter them with reason. With history.

For example, I will say “I feel jealous” and “I feel scared that I will be replaced.”

“I feel unseen, unloved, forgotten, pushed aside…”

And I know as soon as I say them out loud that those are all things inside me. This time is no different than the other times. My OSO has been seeing his OSO before he started seeing me. His affection for her doesn’t diminish his love for me, not even a little bit. If anything, it enhances it. And I know this not only through getting to know my OSO better and spending more time with him, but I know it from experience, too. I love my husband dearly, deeply, completely. He is my entire world. By finding and falling in love with my sweet auctioneer, it hasn’t diminished my love for my husband.

It has enhanced it.

I love him more than I ever thought possible every day, and part of that is because he accepts me and loves me for who I am, not who he thinks I am. He loves and accepts me and permits me to find more love and more desire.

And I love him with everything I am.

None of this diminishes what I feel for my OSO. I love him more everyday, too. I love him because he has reminded me what it’s like to fall in love, to feel alive and young and beautiful. He has breathed a new life into me with his desire and love for me. As he and I learn who each other are and fall in love ever more deeply, we grow as individuals and as a couple. And through our love he is able to love others, and so am I, with the understanding that love breeds more love. He feels safe to love me because I won’t try to possess him, because I have shown him that love and freedom are possible together.

So, yes, my beloved OSO is with another woman tonight, and although I wish it were me, it’s not. No amount of wishing will make it be me with him tonight. Yet, my love for him deepens because he is such a loving and caring man. My love for him deepens because he can maintain a relationship with her and in doing so he’s able to love me more. Sounds like a paradox, but it’s really not.

I’m scared. I really am. I’m scared of having my heart broken again, but I’m not so scared that I’m going to give up this euphoric feeling of being in love. I do feel jealous sometimes. I do need reassurance sometimes, but mostly, I feel so very grateful for the love of two amazing men. I feel grateful that they love me for who I am. That they allow me to love others, if that comes to pass, and they know my love for them won’t be jeopardized because of it.

And their love for me is not threatened because they love another. Not even a little bit. In fact, it deepens because of it.

It’s a beautiful thing.

~ by omgrey on February 1, 2012.

20 Responses to “Facing Fears”

  1. I could cry this struck such a deep chord in me. I’m currently flailing in just the same thing. My rational vs. irrational. Fight vs. flight~ xox thanks honey~

    • Thank you, sweetie! I find that I’m fighting my flight/flight impulse often, thanks to my little anxiety imp that lives in my head. The events of last year certainly haven’t helped. We are actually doing quite well. Rather gorgeous, actually. xo

  2. […] Facing Fears (omgrey.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Grey, this just might be your most profound blog yet! You pierce nerves & emotions that most people never even knew existed here. Wow! There is no need for me to attempt adding anything because you’ve given so much truth in your words & feelings! I’m blown away frankly.

    What I come away with from this inspiration is…

    …that LOVE is growing exponentially; and this world needs so much more of this type of love if it ever dreams of becoming a world of peace & GIVING.

    I’m sharing this with everyone I know. Thank you. 🙂

  4. This is exactly the thing I needed to read this weekend, as I’m dealing with some difficulty of my girl being off with her other relationship right now. Honestly, I really look up on this topic, so this made me feel a bit better. Thank you.

    • I’m so glad! I just learned a new word today: Wibble. It’s the fleeting feeling of jealousy or discomfort like this. I love these made-up poly words like Wibble. Frubble. & Compersion.

      We’re basking in love, my friend.

      • I love that! I feel such a strange compulsion to have a precise word for the way I’m feeling- which is always ridiculous, given how nebulous emotions can be. But I will have to remember to use that, especially since the word itself just makes me smile and feel better about it.

      • Me, too! We’re finding that the words we’ve learned in this society really don’t fit with how we’re feeling or what we’re experiencing. Language is not a great way of communicating, actually…but it’s the best way we have. This is why I talk so much about defining terms within a couple/triad, so everyone means the same thing when they say them.

  5. […] Facing Fears (omgrey.wordpress.com) […]

  6. […] of course, our fears are ultimately our own responsibility. However, if you are in a loving, romantic relationship with someone who struggles with abandonment […]

  7. Reblogged this on evolution of the chicken and commented:
    Another great post. I struggle with many of these same fears. Feeling secondary, unimportant, not a priority and often find myself examining where that yields from.

  8. […] Facing Fears […]

  9. I just came across this through the Modern Poly website.

    I *needed* to read this today. Thank you for sharing.

    • Thank you for reading & commenting! Glad it was helpful.

      • I’m new to poly and going through my very first bout of this struggle and it’s been hard. I want to support my beloved and her partner (who is also my friend), but at the same time it’s been just ugh for me. Thankfully I’ve had a friend who’s been amazing in helping me deal with my feelings. I hope that this is just the normal learning curve and it gets easier with time.

      • Polyamory is anything but easy. It’s constant communication, introspection, and facing uncomfortable feeling and lifelong issues. Most people can’t handle one relationship, let alone two.

        It takes great commitment and investment to oneself and ones partner(s) to build and maintain poly relationships.

        If easy is what you’re looking for, poly isn’t it.

        This might be interesting to you as well: https://omgrey.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/successful-polyamory/

      • Wow, excellent post.
        Let me rephrase myself: I hope I learn from this experience and gain tools that will allow me to handle future situations better and responsibly. I want to continue learning how to be supportive of those I love while being mindful of my own feelings and working through those.

        I’m keeping both of those posts around to read regularly.

      • Excellent!!!

        You will build the tools and handle things well just as long as you continue to approach it with integrity, honesty, and love.
        🙂

      • And that’s exactly what I want to do. Again, thank you.

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