Envy Is Not Jealousy

I like words. I enjoy finding the right word for a particular concept, even if admittedly I don’t always succeed. Certainly I consider the difference between envy and jealousy to be important, even when common usage makes it hard to determine what the meaning should be. In reality though it’s simple. Jealousy is felt over something you have, envy is felt over something you don’t have (but want).

Jealousy is talked about a lot in polyamory. It is considered to be a bad emotion. Uncontrollable jealousy, the inability to share someone you love would be fatal indeed to a polyamorous relationship. In reality though, a little jealousy can be handled, with care and communication. After all everyone is looking out for it and trying to control and tame it.

In comparison I’ve not yet seen any significant discussion of envy. It seems to me just as troublesome as jealousy in its own way. When someone you love has something you want, something you cannot share. That’s hard to deal with. I honestly don’t know how to work through that. Controlling your own envy of others is hard, but harder still, how do you help someone else? How do you reassure someone who is envious of your relationships? How do you make them feel better?

Playing down the value of what you have is one option, or hiding the cause of envy from them. Neither are options I see as helpful or healthy for anyone.

What does that leave I wonder?

Waking up

This morning, I’ve come to a realisation. It’s been a bit of a painful process, though I think I’ve not done too badly, all things considered.

Readers of this blog will be aware that towards the end of last year, I (and Caitlin) split up with the gorgeous Amy. My relationship with her was intense; physically, emotionally and D/s. It’s taken a while for me to recover from.

The final part of that happened last night, or more accurately when I woke up this morning.

Last night Caitlin and I went to a lovely play party held by the nice folks at After Pandora. I should have had a really good time, and I did… mostly. I left, however, feeling rubbish. This was entirely my fault, though it was through this black aura that, with Caitlin’s help, I have regained my sense of self belief, and my confidence as a Dom that I had been lacking since splitting up with Amy.

You want some more details? Well here they are:

My polyamorous relationship with Caitlin has been transforming from something that we were considering, evaluating, into something that is definitely looking right for us. As I speak, Caitlin is entertaining our house guest (her boyfriend) in the spare room, and by the sounds of things, both of them are having a lot of fun. I wouldn’t admit it at the time, but this had bothered me a bit the last time it happened. I had a feeling of envy that I thought was because she was getting all the fun, but I now recognise was actually jealousy. The questions going round my mind were ones of ‘how do I compete with the fantastic time Mat is giving her’.

Of course, it is not a competition. Though I do recognise now that I had lost my mojo rather, which does bring us on to last night. At the party I met a lovely lady, whom I certainly hope I’ll talk to (and see)  lots more. But, because I have been in this rather indeterminate state, I rather ignored Caitlin. Now, we’d attended the party to have fun time, and part of that was meeting other people, so this was not, in itself, a problem, but we’d talked about some things that I’d wanted to happen, specifically, I’d wanted to have my cock sucked while people had been watching.

To cut a longish story short I was getting a little tired, and had decided that it was probably time to go when I came across Caitlin just having had sex with one of her friends with benefits. Again, this was completely with our agreed bounds, but instead of being my Dominant self, and insisting that she repeat her efforts with me, I got hugely jealous, spoiled my evening, and left in a huff with her in tow (Apologies to her beau are in order).

I, to be frank, was fucking stupid. I could have turned this rather hot image in front of me into some really hot sex. *sigh*

Caitlin reminded me before we went to sleep, myself still in a terrible mood that she was mine, and if I’d wanted her, I should have just taken her.

Sometime we need to be given a slap round the face, and this is what I required. With those words, she put in place the necessary things for me to sort my house in order.

I’m back, and it feels great!

P.S. I do hope I’ve not put off the lovely lady I met with my indecisive behaviour, I’d like to get to know her better 😉

Selling Yourself Short

On reflecting on my current relationships, or even proto-relationships. I’ve realised that I have been setting my expectations too low. I’ve been harbouring a sense that my desire for people to share my life with, and not just my body was unrealistic. That I should instead accept whatever attentions I can get, accepting that as a substitute for the perceived unattainable emotional connection I long for.

Perhaps it’s due to my inability to see myself as attractive.

My sexual attractiveness is not in doubt. The evidence there is such that even I have to (finally) accept that I’m pretty, sexy, and quite a lot of fun to play with.

The sort of attractiveness that counts though, the being desired as a friend and girlfriend and not just a lover is something I find harder to accept.

I believe that anyone who really gets to know me will reject me. Everybody does. I don’t have enough to offer anyone. I simply don’t know how to have a relationship any more.

Obviously Perrin is an exception to all these views, but I genuinely don’t understand what he sees in me, so how can I possibly believe, and even more, accept, that anyone else will see it too.

It seems greedy too, to want more than Perrin to care for me. He gives me so much, how unreasonable to ask the universe for more of the same.

Still, I need to remember that it’s ok to say no. That I have a choice. That I don’t have to settle for second best. That I’m worth loving, even if I don’t understand why.

Then I can cherish the people who love me as they deserve.

Making Sense of It

Things have been pretty quiet on the blog and twitter lately. The reason for that of course, is that things have been busy in the real world.

Over the past week there has been a serious explosion of emotional experiences, each different, each fanning out in a different direction. If you imagine one of those domino toppling layouts you’ll probably get the idea. Lots of little pieces, each one individually hardly noticeable, combining together to form a major emotional disruption.

This has been followed inevitably by an attempt to reach resolution. I seem to have been working backwards (perhaps that is the only way to reset dominoes) , tackling one set of feelings before moving on to the next. I’m not quite done yet. And I won’t sleep soundly until I am.

Each problem is unique. A different problem, a different solution. Some emotional, some practical.  Yet, in each case, I’m attempting to process what has happened, where I am, and how I feel about it.

Right now polyamory just seems like a way to hurt in lots of directions at once.

New Year, Old Friends

After a lovely Christmas with my family, we had arranged to spend the new year with our oldest (and best friends). Its something we’ve been both looking forward to and dreading for some time. Looking forward to, because we hadn’t seen our friends in far too long, and dreading because, though they are our best friends, they knew nothing of our new(ish)ly discovered kink and polyamory.

So it was with much trepidation that we made the journey to their house. We had decided, you see, that we could not go on hiding this side of our lives from them.

Our friends were as lovely as they always are, and fed us a lovely meal, and provided much good wine. It was, much later into the evening (or was it morning by then?) until we could finally summon the courage to admit our new found sexual freedom.

The thing about Real Friends, though, is that they are understanding, both of your personal ups and downs, mistakes, and large surprises, such as coming out as poly.

We are very lucky to have such friends, especially those who we shared the new year with. We should have told them much sooner. Of course they would have understood 🙂

Lovers, Old and New

Last night, Caitlin and I were lying in bed cuddling and talking about the recent changes in our lives. Caitlin is forming a relationship with another man, and we started to discuss what that would be like.

Talking about her going out with him turned me on immensely, and it was not long before we were making love. At this point I started thinking about the beginnings of my relationship with Amy. The particular moment is when I first spent the night with her alone. It was an occasion we had been waiting for and anticipating for some time, and we had some amazing sex. It was a night I am not likely to forget!

Making love to Caitlin, I shared my thoughts with her. I know that it may seem odd to some people reading this, but sharing feelings about making love to someone else during sex is not something that we have a problem with.

On that night, back in the summer, when Amy and I were entwined, Caitlin was not in my thoughts. Amy and I shared an amazing moment of passion, and during that, speaking for myself, my thoughts were entirely with her. I had some very nice thoughts of Caitlin later, though. 🙂

Relating this to Caitlin, I wanted her to understand that when her new man was making love to her, as I was then, his cock between her legs, her arms around him, it is entirely fine, and, indeed, proper, to not be thinking of me, and, instead, enjoying that special moment of sharing your body with another. Get lost in the passion, and not feel guilt, because I wholeheartedly approve.

With these thoughts of passion with others, firmly in our heads, we both had an amazing shared orgasm.

Complete or Finished

So somebody tweeted this morning:

Difference between complete and finished? If you’ve a beautiful girlfriend life is complete, wife finds out, you’re finished.

If I had been strictly monogamous my response would probably have been ‘if your wife is the beautiful girlfriend then you’re complete’. With my rather more polyamorous head on I went for ‘if your wife is involved too then you’re complete’. But either way, I felt it necessary to question that humour.

While at a word play level I can appreciate the funny side of this joke, at another it roused a level of annoyance within me for that typical casting of the wife as the bad guy.

Too often, I see the wife cast as a monster, lurking in the shadows, preventing the ‘poor’ husband from enjoying himself. And when a husband is portrayed as being able to have fun it is only by defiantly ‘disobeying’ her. As if the couple is incapable of reaching an adult agreement together, or being honest, and instead behave in a parent/child manner (and I don’t mean in a role play sense).

The only figure more terrible than the wife, is of course, her mother!

Somehow the beautiful loving girlfriend, becomes resented when she becomes a wife.

But why should it be so. Of course some of this is portrayed in jokes like the one mentioned, but often those stereotypes are replayed and reinforced by men talking about their own wives. Are so many people unhappily married that they would denigrate their partner publicly that way. I can’t help but wonder, do the wives know how their husband talks about them?

Sometimes I dislike being described as a wife, precisely because I am afraid that the listener will hear those stereotypes, rather than the cherished person that being Perrin’s wife means I am.

I wonder, do so few people have an adult relationship with their partner, or are they all really so embarrassed to admit that it is a partnership that they have to hide their feelings behind insults.

Either way, if you love your wife, if she is your love, and your lover and your friend, as she should be, stand up for her today. Tell someone how special she is. Make her the princess and not the monster.

And yes, I know the same is sometimes true in reverse, it’s not defensible either way.