Do you ever feel like you’re standing outside your body, watching helplessly as you say and do things to destroy your own love and happiness? It’s an experience shared by many of us and while I don’t entirely understand what triggers it, I think it has something to do with a fear of getting (and potentially losing) everything we’ve ever wanted.
It seems counterintuitive, to sabotage the very relationships that give us joy, and yet the loudmouthed, insecure parts of our psyche insist it’s better than waiting for our partners to do it for us! So what are some of the things we often do to preemptively squash our poly happiness?
4 Surefire Ways to Sabotage Your Poly Relationships
1. Let Jealousy Take the Lead
Every now and again something’s bound to happen to make you feel like you’re not the top priority in your partner’s life. Maybe your metamour suffers an emotional crisis and all the focus shifts in that direction? Maybe your partner can’t or won’t include you in longstanding plans, even though you push for some extra time together?
Whatever the reason for your jealousy, it’s best to look at it in terms of your partner’s intentions. Are you really being neglected, or are you simply part of an interdependent dynamic that requires you to be flexible at times? Don’t let your insecurities ruin a good thing.
2. Be Unwilling to Compromise
Those feelings of jealousy I just mentioned can sometimes lead to resentment if they go unchecked. Feeling that you’re constantly taking a back seat to others in your polycule can make you behave in selfish ways to get your needs met. This of course means putting the breaks on compromise. Why should you consider bending to the needs of others if you feel that they never do the same for you?
The problem with this kind of stubbornness is that you may soon find yourself excluded from conversations and planning for fear you’ll try to control everything. Essentially you’re telling your partner(s) that your needs and desires are more important than theirs, and it will lead to tension, or in extreme cases, the end of your involvement in the relationship. Another name for this is self-fulfilling prophecy.
3. Cheat on Your Partner(s)
Poly relationships are no different than mono ones in that they are built on a foundation of trust and expectations. If one of your expectations is total transparency, cheating can still happen and it hurts just as much when it does.
Being polyamorous doesn’t give anybody free rein to sleep around on sly (unless that’s part of the agreement!) No matter how excluded or resentful you feel, it’s never okay to get a little something on the side without first expressing your intentions to your partner(s).
4. Close Yourself Off Emotionally
But how can you express your particular wants and needs if your insecurities are making you feel way too exposed and vulnerable? It can be tempting to shut down in this case and completely freeze out your partner(s). Anyone who’s been on the receiving end of a freeze-out knows how horrible it feels and how it makes reconciliation nearly impossible.
Shutting down your feelings, even in the name of self-protection, is probably the most effective way to end your poly relationship. Let your partner(s) in instead and you’ll at least give happiness a chance to grow.