Compersion and my struggles with the poly lifestyle.

This blog post is an attempt to write down some of the feelings related to situations I face in life, and my methods of dealing with them.
If something here resonates with you ; well and good but this is not theroputic advice and no bennifit is intended. If you need therapy don’t use this blog post as a substitute.
If I write poly below, I am just using it as shorthand for polyamorous and not the lattern word meaning many.

Over the years I have learnt that the general idea of the average life is to become a better person, learn from your mistakes and treat people as well as you think they deserve to be treated: understanding that mistakes may happen and you might mess up judgements.
You’re supposed to do what is right, and morally bennificial to society and in short be the best human you can be in your dealing with others.

I have also learnt that humans are messy, we all make mistakes and often we don’t achieve our goals. I’ve also discoverd that many issues in life do not have nice or easy solutions.

Are the failings of a person because the person fails and is responsible for those failures or are they to be chalked up to past history, psychological disorders like ADHD autism etc or other mitigating circumstances?

A couple of weeks ago I discussed the fact that I am not particularly good at polyamory with my primary partner.
I’ll elaborate below and hope for not too much vitriol in the comments of this post.

If you are monogamous and think that polyamory is wrong for whatever reason and you choose not to have an open mind then I would suggest you stop reading here.
If you are looking for a howto manual on the best ways to be poly, this article is unlikely to assist.

I’ve been to plenty of polyamory groups and I feel they are an excellent place to share techniques and tips on how to be poly.
those tips and techniques usually include a set of tools to deal with jealousy that might show up in your relationships.
Many people say that compersion is the solution for them in how to deal with their jealousy.
In case you have not come across compersion as a word, it is deriving joy from another’s joy. So for example you should be happy if one of your partners is sleeping with another person because they are happy. If they are happy then you can be happy.
If this genuinly works for you: I’m impressed and would love to know how you managed it.

Empathy is always something I have struggled with and I may elaborate on that below.

I remember at age 5 watching someone receiving birthday presents. I remember asking what the point was. People told me that the fact that the person was receiving presents made them happy, and that seeing someone happy genuinly made them smile.
this to a point I can understand. Emotion can be contagious and to see others happy can make you happy.
If you are the person making someone happy then this also can have a payback in you beeing happier.
I also learnt that whilst it is more blessed to give than it is to receive, one should give without any expectation of receiving anything in return for the maximum return on giving.

Giving people presents that are useful and desirable is certainly one of the ways one can assist people in being happy.

Happiness is also not universally contagious as I found out. I recall someone winning a prize that contained money.
I recall sitting through the ceremony non-plussed waiting for the prices to be awarded. People asked me “aren’t you happy for them?” to which I replied “No, not really.”
It was here that I learnt that part of being a good human involved experiencing happiness when others are happy.
The theory here is that the more happier people are in general the happier society is as a whole.

Polyamory as you can immagine involves a lot of sharing.
If your partner is allowed to have multiple relationships then it is expected that you share them with others.
Sharing is one of those skills we learn when we are young or we are supposed to learn when we are young.
Keeping something all to yourself is greedy and greed is one of the 7 deadly sins or so it is said.

I believe sharing is important in society for if people did not share then there would certainly be a resource shortage in many areas.
Sharing is rarely fair and equitible in my experience which one can easily see when looking at the world’s population where some are very rich and others are very poor.
Tax isn’t fair, but that is not what this post is about, so I won’t elaborate here.

As a child, I learnt how to share, and that sharing my toys and belongings with others was expected and necessary.
Doing without; and not having a particular toy all the time was supposed to be part and parcel of the experience of the world.

I also sadly learnt that sharing your things often resulted in them getting broken or stolen. Lending someone something did not necessarily mean you would get it back in a usable condition if it was returned at all.
The 2 offered solutions to this involved either dealing with the loss and chalking it up to experience or deciding whether to lend things out in the first place.
I lost many material possessions in my early years to theft and shared goods that were never returned.

Sharing means that you have less, but I was told that keeping everything to yourself was selfish and was to be discouraged whenever possible, because the world would not exist as it does if you did not share.
Those who have everything are less likely to share, and those who have nothing are in the most need of them sharing.

Now it turns out sharing people makes life far more complex.
If one were to get jealous over some other having a particular toy or other this feeling was somewhat transient and one could eventually forget about the toy or go buy yourself one.
Obviously people are not toys, and have sensience and feelings.

Jealousy is something I have always struggled with in my quest to be the best polyamorous person I can be.
I don’t think their are easy solutions to this.
Partners that appreciate you and tell you that you are wanted, loved and desired help an amazing amount.
I remember one of my previous partners always wanting to run away with others, which she finally ended up doing.
I recall the days with butterflies in my stomach trying to keep my mind on anything else so I did not become stuck in thought loops of what if he is better than I am, what if she likes him better than me, what if she leaves me? Am I any good at anything?

Talking through your jealousy with others does help a bit, although that only goes so far.

People said keeping busy helps, and it is true: if you occupy your mind with other things then you do not leave as much room for cogitation.
Idle hands are the devil’s workshop or something like that.
For me though, the trick is to do enough so that I do not think about my partner and what else she might be doing: and keeping all the doubts at bay all the time does not seem achievable in this state.
Trusting her that she still loves me, and will return, gets me about 85-90% of the way to a solution.
I still worry, and frett to a degree, and I don’t stop missing her until she returns.
Perhaps time to press play on “Ain’t no sunshine when she’s gone” or similar.

I get that relationships are not all rainbows and butterflies and we must work towards compromise and make things as good as we can for each other.

I’ll admit it: I get jealous when my partner goes and spends time and has sex with others.
I try not to make it her fault, or give her a hard time because she does this but it is still something I struggle with whenever it happens.

I don’t feel compersion when she is having sex with others, even when I am present for the act.
I get jealous when she does other things with other people and I get insecure.
It’s not the crippling insecurity that I once felt with the partner that left me, but it is certainly a force to be reckned with.

I had considered going back to a monogamous lifestyle and in the words of Neil Diamond “having one girl who loves you…” but I honestly don’t believe that I am wired this way.
I am tempted by other women, and long for variety in my experiences, and have had many amazing experiences with many amazing people.
I can’t see myself 100% exclusive with one person, although I reckn I can manage 90-95%.
I have no right to dictate the actions of another, and I respect my partner’s choices to be with others even if I do not always agree with them at times.
Whilst she still loves me and returns to me, I guess I simply have to do the best I can to fight my own internal battles in an attempt to feel happier when she is away.

If you have managed to read down this far thanks for reading.

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