AskMiriam

Relationship Advice and Columns

Archive for the tag “responsibility”

Responsibility and Envy

This week, I want to write about 2 things, which are more related than one might expect. First off, responsibility. What I mean in this case is responsibility for one’s own emotions and for the emotions of others. I recently read this article: http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/polypeople.shtml. It makes the very good point that there are some poly people who act as if they have no responsibility for how they make others feel. We can make partners and metamours jealous, for example. Jealousy isn’t a completely bad thing, but if we can change our actions to make others feel better, why not do that? We cannot completely abdicate responsibility for how we affect others if only because our happiness can depend on making others happy. I definitely think that we should treat others the way we want to be treated as well. Often, Ben, Eve, and I all talk on skype together. I am conscious of the fact that Eve sometimes feels jealous when she sees Ben and I being affectionate. She wondered how she would feel when she comes to visit us if she sees us kissing, cuddling, or perhaps having sex. We decided to do an experiment; Ben and I kissed while Eve watched. Afterward, she said she didn’t feel uncomfortable, so we were all happy about that.

Her visit is now 1 week away and we are all anxious. I told her that I felt that this visit hinges less on how she and Ben feel about each other and more about how she and I feel about each other. She needs to be able to deal with the fact that Ben is with both of us and that won’t change. I think it is in all of our interest that she is made to feel comfortable and secure with Ben. I know that I may feel jealous while she is around because Ben will be giving someone else lots of attention, but in the grand scheme of things, I want Ben to be happy and I know that that includes having Eve in his life. Likewise, Ben wants to see me happy with someone else, though I don’t expect that to happen until we return to Canada at the end of June.

This past week, Ben and I celebrated 1 year of being engaged. Generally, we spend Monday evenings doing things together as a couple and I decided to do something romantic for that anniversary. I bought candles, a flower, and sweets. I spread the flower petals over a sheet on top of a blanket on the floor, lit the candles, and put the sweets on plates. Ben was very happily surprised, which pleased me. Unfortunately, some of the candle wax got on the blanket, which is what we sleep under, but we had a nice time. That evening, Eve wanted to talk to someone and Ben was occupied. She has also been in contact with someone else and he was also occupied. At that time, Eve felt a whole set of emotions about Ben and I celebrating our anniversary, including envy. When it comes to poly, everyone talks about jealousy, but few people speak of envy. It is under the jealousy umbrella in the broader sense, but it can simply be defined as wanting what someone else has. I sometimes feel envious about what Ben and Eve have. Of course, I’m happy that Ben found someone else that he connects with so strongly, but I also want the same thing for myself. I don’t expect to find that until at least moving to Vancouver in mid-July. I am partly a competitive person by nature and I often feel that I should be achieving more than those around me, so perhaps the envy plays into that. For the moment, we have to see if the relationship will continue between Ben and Eve.

As always, I appreciate your reading. If you have any sort of relationship question, email me at miriam@askmiriam.ca

Advertisements

Post Navigation