Nadia asked me a question about insecurity in poly relationships via formspring.me and I finally answered it this weekend. Â Well, I answered an aspect of the question. Â I talked about some of the insecurities that come up in polyamorous relationships, based on my experience, but I didn’t really address insecurity itself, and that fucker permeates pretty Â much everything, unfortunately. Â Poly relationships don’t have the corner on that particular problem. Â The fact is, I deal with insecurities and fears on a regular basis with both of my relationships, and I’m a bit tired of it, tired of how insecurity jerks my chain, tired of my defensiveness and over-compensation in the face of fear. Â I need to take control, rather than having it control me. Â For me, this starts with a conversation.. something like this:
Insecurity, you fucker,
Goddamn, I’m tired of you creeping in all the time. Â I shouldn’t panic over every misunderstanding. Â Shouldn’t feel like it’s the end of the world when I have a spat with either one of my partners. Â But you come in with your logical sounding arguments and leave me feeling like a failure or like I’m losing everything I care about. Â You’re a very smooth liar and I’m really tired of you having so much control over me.
The truth is, she needs to be able to talk to other people, too. Â Her needs should take precedence over my feeling of inadequacy. Â And it’s not that she doesn’t need me, too, it’s just better to have more than one person to turn to.
And why is it that I always want to fix everything? Â It seems like the right thing to do, solve the problem so the pain goes away. Â Except it isn’t always, and I keep having to learn that lesson, over and over again. Â With each partner, each relationship, I feel compelled to rescue, fix, solve.. make the bad stuff go away. Â And with each partner, each relationship, what I should be doing is listening, supporting, doing what is asked of me, not what I think is best. Â There’s a mixture of ego and insecurity in my automatic “fix-it” reaction. Â The ego that believes I can solve all problems and the insecurity that tells me I’m not enough for her if I can’t.
And that’s a fear I battle a lot. Â I worry that if I can’t make it better, I’m making it worse. Â And it’s not just the long distance relationships that arouse that fear and insecurity. Â Even after 16 years, I worry that my wife will decide she can do better, find someone who can more adequately meet her needs. Â And with all the physical distance between Roxy and me, it’s easy to fall into that trap as well. Â I’m far away, I can’t give her the hugs she craves or meet her for coffee or go to the kinky events with her. Â If I let it, the acid of fear in my stomach can overwhelm me and that’s when I over-compensate. Â I burst in, sword waving, taking swings at anything that moves.. not a great strategy when I often am so blinded by my fear I don’t see very clearly.
The thing is, I can’t really solve other people’s problems, I only have that power over mine. Â So, Insecurity, I’m going to be working against you, taking away your power. Â I’m going to continue to work on controlling my knee-jerk reactions and insecurity-fed over-compensation binges. Â As a reminder of what I’m trying to accomplish, I’ve got a sticky-note on my desk right now with 4 words on it “Don’t Panic” and “Just Listen”.
And really it comes down to “Don’t Panic”. Â I need to stop seeing a bad mood on the part of one of my partners as an indictment against our relationship. Â I need to stop being defensive and fearful when one of my partners reaches out to someone else for comfort, advice or whatever. Â If I truly love them, why would I want to keep them from any kind of help, release and companionship? Â It does me no good to try to keep everything in my hands, there’s always something that slips out. Â Why can’t I have faith, believe*? Â I understand that I can’t completely rid myself of these unseemly emotions… I am human.. but I need to gain some measure of control over my reactions to them. Â I need to wrestle my life out of the hands of Insecurity and Fear, I don’t want to be wallowing in this shit for the rest of my life.
So, above all, this year.. no, for the rest of this life, I need to work on something kind of simple…
*yes, yes I did quote a Journey song.. deal with it.
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