Understanding Our Fears and Jealousy

When it comes to fear and jealousy, most of us can say with a degree of certainty, that we have dealt with those pangs of jealousy or come face to face with our fears. No matter what relationship model you represent, these feelings or emotions have the capacity to surface at any given moment. Swinging is no different. As we navigate through, what for most of us, is a very different representation of how we were raised to view a relationship, those spasms of jealousy (or fear) can become a definite subject of conversation. When we are faced with the task of dealing with these issues, it will require some real time investment from both partners as you begin the process of altering your view about what encapsulates a loving, confident and compersion (happiness in our partner’s happiness) based union.

John and I have the privilege of speaking and writing on both of these issues. Since the release of my new book, “Swingers Lifestyle The Questions You Are Afraid To Ask,” we have found fear and jealousy to be one of the initial issues dealt with by those new to the lifestyle. I wanted to share another sampling of a real life issue from a woman, who is wanting to understand the dynamics of her feelings and how to work through them.

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Dear Openlove101,

hi…. i really enjoy your videos… my bf and i are very interested in this lifestyle and we believe this is our path…

the one thing that i have trouble with… that he doesn’t seem to have … is jealousy……

it’s funny bc logically i understand that he would still love me the same even after he may sleep with someone….. but…… i get sad thinking that i’m not enough to hold his full attention……

and yes.. i know that’s unreasonable.. and that’s unfair to ask of him……. but you can’t help but wish you were that special… that you were that amazing…………..

i get sad when i think that there will be a time when he will see a girl… and desire her… and want to fuck her……….

that alone…. makes me sad……

i feel that it’s almost showing that he’s tire of me… and is bored and would like to try something other than me…….. 🙁

bc if you were to ask me who would i like to have sex with if i could……. i can’t think of anyone but my bf bc i am that in love and also attracted to him…..

he tells me that he only views them as sex dolls and won’t get emotionally attached…. so that may cover the part of him loving me most……. but that still means that my body is not enough….. that am i not hot enough? what do they have that i don’t that he seems to want to play with? will he enjoy their experience the most and even think back to it on his own time and maybe even miss her.. or even go as far as wanting to do it again… and then again….. and then maybe even want to do her more than with you?

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Good morning,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write in with your question.

I will tell you that jealousy (or as I like to call it…fear) is a pretty common response when first being introduced to the swinging lifestyle.

When you stop and think about how most of us are raised (with the goal being to have a traditional monogamous relationship with someone) then it’s no wonder we will struggle with being open to having others in our life from an intimate standpoint. I think this monogamous teaching is especially drilled into us women. We are taught to “save” ourselves for our “soulmate,” to not play the field and to be everything for our partner. While this storyline may sound romantic, I actually think it can be a dangerous narrative. First of all, when we attempt to be someone’s everything, we end up making our partner (and ourselves) very small in that we and only we are left with the responsibility of providing all our partners needs, which when you think about it, is not even realistic, nor in my opinion should it be.

You will notice that a partnership tends to be the only relationship you have in life where this “everything” concept takes place. For instance, most of us have a plethora of friends and we will actually add friends all the time to our circle. Most of us will admit that each friend we have offers something special to our life. Yes, we will have those lifelong friends, the ones who stand the test of time, but what is interesting, is how these lifelong friends remain lifelong friends no matter how many other friends are added to the mix…hhmmm, interesting.

This is so much like swinging. You and your partner have each other. You DO have a special bond with each other. You DO enjoy spending lots of quality time together. You HAVE chosen to work as a unit. Because of these choices, this unified working will not be affected by all the others who will cross your path. At least not negatively, as a matter of fact, if you can let go of the fear, these interactions will actually increase the bond you have with each other. If you can stop for a moment from looking at all the others (men or women) coming into your lives as a threat and instead view them like you would a friendship, then it may help you to understand the benefits of swinging. You and your partner will have the opportunity to enhance not only the relationship, but you will also grow individually by coming in contact with some great couples and singles through the swinging lifestyle. I remember one time, when John had a woman friend over to the house. She was young and beautiful and had a knowledge of giving blowjobs that I just never felt as though I had a very good understanding. Instead of feeling threatened by the fact that she might give my husband a better blowjob than I could, I asked her to give me some tips. I leaned on her as a friend. She was happy to give me some pointers, so that the next time John and I made love I was able to try out my new found knowledge…and it worked! John picked up right away that I was trying a new technique and made a comment. I told him his friend had given me some advice, it made for a wonderful intimate afternoon spent together.

I think it can be easy for us to get caught up in our fears about status with our partner. Here’s the thing, bottom line, we have to be secure in our relationship with our partner. We have to know and trust in the love we share together. Just because you look at another guy or your partner looks at another woman, the strength of your bond is what keeps you returning to each other. We are taught that sex is the pinnacle of a relationship, but really trust, communication, vulnerability, honor, etc…these are the pinnacle points to a relationship. If these are in place, nothing, even sex with others will not shake the core…this kind of love is what will make the relationship SPECIAL!

Another thing, when I was going through my fears, I found it very beneficial to talk about those fears with John. We had some real heart to heart conversations about those fears and we learned how to “walk” through whatever those fears happened to be. It’s okay to have these fears, just as long as you and your partner remain honest with each other about what is going on and work towards alleviating those fears. It also helped me to talk myself through fears as well. If John for instance was going out on a date, I would talk myself through any issues I might have. Okay, so John was going on a date, how did I feel, what was the fear? Did I really believe I was going to “lose” John if he went to dinner with this other woman? What about if they had sex? It didn’t take long for me to realize that the love and trust John and I had for each other was stronger than a dinner or a romp in a bed. I know for me, whenever I slept with another man, 10 times out of 10, I came home feeling nothing but gratitude for my partner. Gratitude that (1) he trusts our love enough to give me the opportunity to grow my friend base, and (2) that I am with such an amazing partner!

Again thanks for writing in and good luck,

Jackie
http://openlove101.com/

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3 Comments

  • Lynn says:

    Thanks for sharing that letter and detailed breakdown Jackie. My wife could easily have written it, as it sounds, almost verbatim to a discussion we had a while back. I’m guessing this is a very common narrative for so many couples in the Lifestyle, or at least those contemplating entering the Lifestyle.

    I loved the friendship analogy you used, and I have tried to use similar ones, going even further into “feelings”. Let’s say you find yourself developing a feeling of love for someone, who is not your partner, that doesn’t mean you have to take love FROM your partner to give love to another. I think this is another misconception. I believe people have an endless supply of love to share, and that it isn’t like a bucket when you take some out, there is less for someone else. I believe love is equivalent to infinity in that there is literally no end to how much of it a person can feel. Does that mean that all love is equal or the same in all aspects, I would say No, of course not, but loving one person does not diminish love for another? We have many friends over the years that have gone through the agony of divorce but proclaimed they still loved the other person. Ultimately their demise, was due to a lack of communication, and not being able to work through the differences that pulled them apart. That seems to be one area, where people IN the Lifestyle seem to excel over more traditional relationships.

    I think reading your Blog, even for traditional couples, could offer them a tremendous amount of insight they could benefit from, even if they never intended to enter the Swinging life.

    Thank you once again,
    Lynn M.

  • Lowell says:

    I dont know if you are looking for a response here, or not? But, I have a comment and I guess I will make it now. Firstly, do note, that I am not an expert in this area, these ideas are only my personal thoughts, in response to this woman’s specific concerns, as presented here, on this blogpost.

    I believe it is important for all of us to remember:
    – there’s no one right answer for everyone(one size does not fit all); and this seems to be allowed for, to a large extent, within the lifestyle
    – monogamy is not inferior(or superior) to polyamory—they are just different; I would also say that as monogamy is not for everyone, neither is polyamory a suitable fit for all relationships. But, these preferences may change over time for each relationship and individual
    – most often ‘fear’ is there for good reason, and the answer is to find out why, and to learn something about yourself and your relationship in the process—but figuratively speaking, in the meantime, I still would ‘run’, or move away from the perceived ‘danger, until its safe to say that you’ve figured out the drivers of that fear, and/or have uncovered something beneficial to your relationship in the process of moving closer to the source of the threat/contention. Clearly, a possible outcome is you could determine that it is still not safe for you & your relationship going forward at this time. IMO this is an individual/personal choice that should be made unfettered by social pressure or outside intervention.
    – one’s health, age, stage-of-life, stage-of-relationship, specific relationship-dynamics and resiliency, all play a role in whether swinging and/or polyamory relationship models will benefit a particular relationship

  • Wendi says:

    Hey Jackie,
    Wanted to respond to the Question… thanks for letting me share my thoughts – Hope the writer gets to read this;

    The reality of life is that no one woman will ever hold a man’s full attention…..

    Think about it…. Even your Grandfather can’t help but to notice a pretty lady.

    Men are men and they simply love Women… they look at us and can’t help themselves…

    It’s a biological fact….

    You are Special… You are Amazing…. Never think because your Man wants to be with another woman that you are less in anyway….

    And of course, if you had to choose out of all the men in the world to have sex with, you would choose your BF…. He knows you… You know him… you’ve got a really special thing going that no one can replace…

    I want you to remember…..Don’t doubt yourself…. You Rock….

    And by the way… those other women have nothing better than you do to offer him… they just have something “different”…. OMG…every size and shape and texture…. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Variety is the spice of life”. All of us women are unique and beautiful…. I don’t blame men for wanting us so much… we are way prettier, sweeter and sexier…

    And yes…. He may want to do it with her again…. Who would blame him? But, if you have also been with her partner (her BF or Husband) and like him as well (mutual attractiveness for all involved is Key), and you all are friends in real life together as two couples you have to trust each other’s intentions and you sincerely won’t have anything to worry about…

    Life is big and long… yet precious and fragile…. Be brave and enjoy…. Find your happy friends to be with together…. Own and acknowledge yourself… Perhaps then he may have a bit of “Fear and Jealousy”…and the world and your BF will love you even more…..

    Xoxo, Wendi

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