PW 493: Asking for reassurances

Is it OK to ask for positive reinforcement about my relationship, or do I need to work on my insecurities?

Asking for positive reinforcement

Download the mp3 directly


Under 18? Stop listening now and visit Scarleteen

1:00 Election fallout

It’s impossible to ignore the horrifying result of the U.S. presidential election. If you want to make a difference, consider supporting the National Popular Vote movement so the candidate who wins the popular vote will actually win the election.

20:00 Topic: Is it OK to need positive reinforcement?

A listener writes in to ask how to get more positive affirmations from her partners about how important she is to them. Is it a sign of insecurity that she needs to hear how loved she is on a regular basis? Does she need professional help? It is reasonable to ask for a partner to tell her how he feels about her on a regular basis?

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want to book us to speak or teach? Email lustyguy@polyweekly.com!

How to deal with poly experience shock

Poly Pitfall: Experience Shock

There are many, many pitfalls to relationships in general and to polyamorous ones in particular. One of the dynamics LustyGuy and I often see (and experience) in new poly relationships is what he has termed “experience shock.”

What is experience shock

“Experience shock” is the disparity between your expected response to a new situation and your actual response. It’s what happens when you think about how you believe you will feel when [X] happens, but when [X] does happen, you feel completely differently. The shocked person can then feel a significant amount of cognitive dissonance and even guilt or shame for the sin of not having been able to accurately predict how they would have felt in a completely new situation.

Here’s an example: My partner is going to Burning Man without me, and we talk about how I will feel if he meets someone special there. I say I’d be happy for him; go have fun. But when he comes back home in full love-goggle mode about a new girlfriend who lives in Utah, I feel jealous and insecure.

And now I’m ashamed about feeling petty and jealous when I said I would be happy for him. Which I should be, right? Because I’m a good poly person, and I want to be happy for him.

New class: Navigating your first poly relationship, Friday, June 24, 2016

Why experience shock happens

experience shockExperience shock happens for a very obvious reason: we’re bad at predicting how we might react in new situations. Life doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Many factors contribute to experience shock, including:

  • Lack of information If you’ve never been in the situation before, it’s unlikely you will have enough information to accurately predict your behavior.
  • Contributing factors If I had a bad day at work or a fight with my mom while my partner is at the burn, it will affect how I feel about the new situation.
  • My worst fears It’s very common for one’s own worst fears to come to the forefront during times of stress, and those fears likely have nothing to do with the reality of the situation. In the absence of information, our worst fears are happy to provide a substitute for reality.

How to deal with experience shock

  1. Relax First, breathe. Relax. Everyone experiences this at some point. It doesn’t make you a bad person; it makes you human. Everyone experiences negative emotions at some point, and it’s perfectly OK to experience them. It doesn’t make you a bad person, and it doesn’t make you bad at poly. It just means that you are a human being.
  2. Ignore the “should” Next, ignore the voice that tells you what you should be feeling. Everything you are feeling is OK.
  3. Ask for a hug If possible, ask your partner for a hug or a touch. Physical connections can make negative emotions much easier to deal with.
  4. Describe what you’re feeling Take the time to describe the emotion you are feeling. Sometimes, it’s helpful to describe where you feel it — I tend to feel jealousy in my chest. Others feel it in their stomach or their necks. Others look at me like I’m crazy when I ask about where they feel it.
  5. State the fear If you are experiencing a negative emotion, chances are it’s based on a fear you have. Instead of avoiding the fear, face it. Say out loud what you are afraid of. “I’m afraid that she will replace me.”
  6. Drill down Next, drill down into the fear. What will it mean if that fear comes to pass? “I’ll have to watch as I slowly lose him to her.”
  7. And then what? Ask “and then what” until you get to the point of ridiculousness: “And then… I’ll lose him and everything we have. And I’ll have to move out. And I’ll be alone. And I’ll never love anyone ever again. And I’ll die homeless and alone.”

You’ll find that, while this won’t completely dissolve your discomfort or negative emotions, bringing them into the light in this manner does make them much more manageable.

And above all, forgive yourself for having experience shock. Even the best of us go through it.

PW 467: Metamour awesomeness with L

LustyGuy’s wife L joins us for a repeat performance sharing her advice on being a great metamourcomic hands heart

Download the mp3 directly

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit

1:00 Host chat

  • We had a great time at InfinityCon!
  • If you want to book us to speak at your event, contact lustyguy@polyweekly.com

5:30 Poly in the News

7:00 Topic: How to be an awesome metamour with L

LustyGuy’s wife L joins us behind the microphone again to share her tips to being an awesome metamour.

Why bother getting to know your metmamour?

  • You get a happier partner
  • New friends
  • Keep your partner busy/happy doing things you don’t like
  • You have a co-conspirator
  • It’s the right thing to do

Advice:

  • Don’t get in the middle
  • Feel free to support your partner but say “not my problem; not my girlfriend”
  • Your partner is not someone to make rules for. Trust and communicate instead. The closest they get is “don’t be a dick.”
  • Take care of yourself
  • Recognize envy and ask for what you want
  • Assume good intent

38:20 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Help! I’m insecure about my umet long-distance metamour!

monkey_with_ears1Minx:

I identify as monogamous and in a poly relationship. My boyfriend of several months has been in a long-distance open relationship with his girlfriend on the East Coast for nearly a decade. I’ve been working on my user manual and communicating my needs, but we don’t yet have the line of communication open with my metamour. Because I have never met her, never spoken to her, never even reached out and Facebook-messaged her, in my mind, she’s just this perfect goddess I can’t even hold a candle to. I make comparisons to her, and so I’m afraid that given a choice, my boyfriend will always choose her and I’ll be left behind somehow. How do I stop putting my metamour on an impossible platform and release some of those anxieties?

Insecure on the West Coast

Dear Insecure—

First of all, let’s acknowledge that you’re doing a great job of doing the work and owning your shit! You’re taking positive steps by writing your user manual and setting up regular relationship check-ins with your boyfriend. And you’re also acknowledging that your fears are probably unrealistic and might not have much to do with reality. Bravo! Those are all positive steps to dealing with your fears.

But let’s also acknowledge that you have a few things working against you: being monogamous in a poly relationship, being in a long-distance relationship and being new to polyamory are each significant challenges on their own, and you’re trying to tackle all three in the same new relationship! That is a lot to take on.

And you’re absolutely right: those voices that tell you she is prettier, thinner or more successful than you are coming from within you and typically don’t have much to do with reality. Those are your fears to own and most likely not spawned by anything external to your own head and past experiences.

While you’re already doing everything right, I do have two recommendations. The first is to take your fear cycle to its maximum ridiculous silliness by filling in the blanks:

I’m afraid that if ____ is the case, that will mean _____ and I’ll ____  and then ____.

If the last blank isn’t “and then I die alone,” add more blanks until you get to that point of silliness. Remember that your fears come from within you and typically have very little to do with reality, so let’s take this to the worst-case scenario to bring those silly fears into the light.  For example:

I’m afraid that if she is prettier and more successful than me, that will mean that I’ll always be second fiddle, and he’ll eventually figure that out and choose her over me, and then I’ll be single again, and then I’ll be heartbroken and pathetic and eventually die alone.

If your final blank isn’t something as final as “and then I die alone,” keep asking, “and then what?” until it is.

The second recommendation is to reach out to your metamour on Skype or Facebook or whatever in advance of a face-to-face. Skype communication is better than no communication and can help put the chattering monkeys to bed. And why not even be vulnerable and tell her how you are feelings–that you are insecure because she seems so pretty, thin and successful? She will most likely take it as a compliment, and you’ll feel better for having extended trust by being honest and a bit vulnerable with your metamour.

PW 424: My suggestion backfired! Now what?

lolcat_no_waiWhat to do when your well-intended relationship suggestion backfires

Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Host chat and announcements

1:45 Poly in the News

4:00 Topic: My well-intended suggestion backfired. Now what?

A listener calls in to share what happened when he suggested Google Calendar as a solution to a relationship challenge. His partner, however, didn’t take the suggestion so well. So what does one do when a well-intended suggestion backfires or isn’t received in the spirit in which it was intended?

  • Focus less on finding better tools and more on improving communication.
  • Try listening rather than fixing.
  • Ask what she needs to be happy and healthy in the relationship.
  • Tell her what you need to be happy and healthy in the relationship.
  • Negotiate together—whoever turns down one suggestion has to offer the next one.
  • Slowly and sensitively explore her past baggage and yours.
  • Write your own user manual and encourage your partner to write hers.
  • Erin writes in response to episodes 420 on disabilities and identity to share a lifetime of dealing with disabilities while struggling with a poly/queer identity.
  • Doug writes in to share his preference for describing his son, who is on the autism spectrum.

12:05 Feedback on 420: Poly and identity

  • Erin writes in response to episodes 420 on disabilities and identity to share a lifetime of dealing with disabilities while struggling with a poly/queer identity.
  • Doug writes in to share his preference for describing his son, who is on the autism spectrum.

18:10 Happy Poly Moment

S writes in to share how episode 360 on crowdsourcing jealousy helped spawn a happy poly moment!

22:30 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 395: Unbalanced triads

How do you cope when your new partner is more into your husband?cat_load_balancer_2

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 directly

Introduction Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Announcements and Host Chat

5:30 Topic: Triads

A listener wrote in to ask how to deal with being in a triad with a good friend when the friend seems to be more into her husband than into her. How do you keep yourself from feeling left out and excluded when she’s just not as into you?

Deal with this issue as if it were jealousy. Drill down to the root cause and figure out what the deep fear is. Try completing this:

When she is more into him, it means that I am _______________, and I’m afraid that that means that I am ____________ and that eventually, __________ will happen.

13:00 Feedback

Quath shares coming out stories.

15:00 Follow up to Minx coming out

Minx gets the inevitable family backlash to her coming out and shares her thoughts on the process and reactions.

20:00 Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 360: Crowdsourcing jealousy

How do you deal with jealousy?

How do you address jealousy?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Announcements

4:30 Topic: how do you deal with jealousy?

Listeners brought up this question on Twitter, and we haven’t talked about jealousy in a while. So we threw it out to YOU, the listeners, on Facebook, Twitter and Google+, and your advice was GREAT:

  • If the solution to kids being jealous isn’t “only have one kid,” we should expect the same of adults as well
  • Tristan Taormino’s Opening Up has a great chapter on jealousy
  • Admit the feelings to yourself
  • Narrow down what you are feeling
  • Acknowledge your feelings; reflect; avoid shaming; seek comfort
  • Say it aloud; talk to someone about it
  • Understand that jealousy often involves the fear of loss and that adding a new partner doesn’t mean you get less
  • Understand that you can choose how you react to your emotions

You guys covered it very well! Minx’s tips:

  • Don’t panic. Being jealous doesn’t make you a bad person.
  • Listen to what your body/emotions are trying to tell you with the jealousy.
  • Fill in these blanks: “I’m afraid that if my partner/metamour does ___, it means ___.”
  • Share your thoughts/feelings with your partner(s) in a safe space.
  • Take care of yourself.
  • Ask for support.
  • Pat yourself on the back!

22:25 Feedback: Episode 357

  • Vir sent in this link on “average” and “normal” sex regarding episode 357’s inflammatory use of the word “normal” with regards to sex
  • Anonymous caller points out that when people of privilege are asked to look at their privilege, they can feel targeted and defensive
  • Morpheous comments on the mentions of couple privilege of late, saying ” It’s not a bad thing to have privilege, people who have just need to realize it limits their perspective and to give a voice to people without that privilege, allowing them to speak up.”

27:00 Thank you

Thanks to David for his generous $69.69 donation this week!

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 348: How to deal with a partner’s jealousy

What do you do when a partner’s jealousy destroys a relationship you have with someone else?

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Announcements and host chat

9:10 Topic: How to deal with a partner’s jealousy

L asks for advice on breaking up with someone who isn’t your primary, but Minx sees that her partner’s jealousy is the real issue and gives advice based on Franklin Veaux‘s How to Be a Secure Person:

  • Letting jealousy destroy a relationship is a bad precedent. Deal with this jealousy now so you can go forth and date from a place of generosity, kindness and confidence.
  • Look beneath the surface to determine what is driving your jealousy and insecurities
  • Fill in these blanks: “If my lover [kisses another person in front of me], then the bad thing that will happen is ______.” “If this keeps happening, then it means ________.” “If my lover really loves this other person, then ______.”
  • Practice, practice, practice! Practice being secure and coping with jealousy. It takes 21 days to create a habit, so don’t expect to dispel jealousy the first time out.
  • And please, don’t date until you and your partner are both secure. It’s not fair to your new lover, who is making an emotional, psychological and maybe even sexual investment in you to be dumped due to someone else’s jealousy.

22:05 Happy Poly Moment

Brandon shares a moment of his wife and girlfriend getting along great!

23:15 Feedback: Episode 345 Poly for the Holidays

Vir writes in to remark on Sierra Black’s Huffington Post piece on making a decision about honoring her mother’s holiday wishes.

Wrap up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY (our new number!). And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 327: Help! I’m rich, and I have a big penis!

What to do when your metamours get jealous of your wealth and well-hung dick

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 directly

Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • Minx and LustyGuy share the importance of owning your own poly shit.
  • Minx tells about a recent instance when the usually supportive LustyGuy asked for support himself, and Minx fell short. Instead of drama ensuing, Minx took the next opportunity to look at her shit and apologize for being an insensitive jerk.
  • Wanna go to Burning Man? We are raffling off a ticket in July as a fundraiser to send Minx to CatalystCon! For every $10 donation here, you’ll get one raffle entry. On July 30, we’ll draw and announce the winner of the ticket to Burning Man 2012! Void where prohibited.

10:00 Topic: Help! I’m rich with a big penis!

Cyotee calls in to ask for help: he’s rich with a big dick. What to do? Well, specifically, what to do when his metamours get jealous of his marathon lovemaking sessions and lavish trips with their sweeties? Minx and LustyGuy give advice:

  • Keep in mind that anyone can have great vacation sex. The new, outside lover is often in a perpetual state of NRE or “vacation sex.”
  • Don’t play the comparison game between you and your metamour, and don’t let your partners do it, either. Instead, find the joy in the moment and in each partner.
  • Show that you support the existing relationship. If you don’t know, ask your metamour how to keep their relationship happy and healthy.
  • Treat the relationship like a birthday party for an 8-year-old: bring a present for the birthday girl’s younger brother. Instead of buying your lover a $500 diamond necklace, buy a $250 necklace and a really nice bottle of scotch for your metamour. Let some of your love and attention for your lover spill over onto the metamour as well.
  • Or when you take your lover on a vacation, invite the metamour along. Or give him tickets to an event he’ll enjoy.

25:30 Happy Poly Moment

Charles and Sarah share the story of being married for 16 years with 4 kids and opening their marriage. They starting dating a couple, uncovered emotional baggage and took a break to deal with their own baggage and insecurities.

A few comments: Remember that your first relationship is with yourself. Also, while it’s nice to want to get back together with the couple you started dating, keep in mind that personal growth and appropriate relationships should be the goal, not one relationship in particular.

32:10 Feedback

Tony is a new listener who wrote in about a 90s song that is poly-ish: Three Is Family.

35:45 Thanks

Thanks to Eynstein, Wayne and Chris for the donations this week. Woo hoo!

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? 🙂 Check out PolyWeekly at Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 277: Jealousy and courage

Talking jealousy and the power of courage with Franklin Veaux

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Download the mp3 directly

Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

Host Chat

Musings on the ShibariCon experience and how it was the best con ever.

9:30 Topic: Jealousy and Heinlein

Tacit, host of the Xeromag poly site, discusses Heinlein and jealousy; don’t confuse the trigger for the root; expressing your needs, even when a new person comes along

  • life rewards people who move in the direction of greatest courage; the rewards of a husband reaching out and talking to the wife’s new lover, who was succesfully exploring kink with her
  • his new book, More Than Two, his LiveJournal is a Tacit, and his mega poly site is at Xeromag poly site; the book’s focus is on practical tools to make relationships work on a daily basis
  • comments on NRE–he thinks it keeps you from getting to the good stuff and knowing who the person really is; a shared life
  • Franklin long-distance relationships; his polysaturation point for non-LDR’s (three); and LDR’s requiring deliberate time versus volume of mundane time; minx comments on needing a poly sugardaddy to support her LDR habits; knowing where your boundaries are with discussing sex
  • having a lover/main partner who takes it upon herself (is “proactive”) to ask about and discuss his relationships with new partners instead of waiting for him to tell her what is going on; optimism for love

38:00 Wrap-up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com and attach an audio comment or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. Friend us on Twitter or Facebook, leave a comment here or discuss your own topics at the forums. Check out PolyWeekly podcasts at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review! Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

Make a Donation

Poly Weekly Playmates!

Wanna play?
CatalystCon West '15

Poly Weekly on Facebook

Poly Weekly on Twitter