Skip to content

Ask Ellie: In polyamorous relationship, discuss feelings of jealousy openly

Polyamory’s potential impact on a live-together relationship can be a stumbling block

Dear Ellie: I’m in a polyamorous relationship. My primary partner and I live together in a large apartment. When the wife of my out-of-town friend recently died, I didn’t want him spending Christmas alone.

I talked him into staying in our spare room for a few weeks. We all had a good time eating, talking, watching movies, etc.

I retire early as my puppy gets me up around 6 a.m. My partner and my friend would stay up together. I’d said to her that it would be weird for me if they hooked up, and reiterated it when I noticed they were getting closer.

She said they had hooked up a couple nights previous, she was sorry and knew she should have discussed it with me. I later said that what made me angry was that she knew it would irritate me and did it anyway while I was sleeping.

She said she couldn’t guarantee it wouldn’t happen again, but later said she would just remain friends with him.

Yesterday morning, she said he was in a bad way emotionally and she was going out-of-town to take care of him for a couple days. They left abruptly.

I had only 30 seconds to adjust my expectations for the rest of the week and weekend.

I later texted her that she shouldn’t spring that kind of thing on me, I wouldn’t have reacted badly if I’d had time to replan my week.

I said that I understand helping someone out in a mental health crisis but I thought she should avoid anything romantic with him because that changed things into me just not being a priority.

I’d always been the jealous type before exploring polyamory. Now, I’m just accepting this thing that I’m justified in being angry about.

Either I’m dead inside from past trauma or (worse) the relationship really doesn’t mean that much to me. Your thoughts?

Polyamory Effect?

This consideration of polyamory’s potential impact on your live-together relationship can be a stumbling block.

For readers, here’s how Polyamory is defined by Wikipedia: “The practice of, or desire for, intimate relationships with more than one partner, with the informed consent of all partners involved.”

My own response to polyamory, is this: Whatever ways in which consenting adults explore sexual relationships with more than one partner, absent of inflicted physical/emotional/sexual harm, is their private business and not mine.

Yet, you appear conflicted. Your main partner’s sexual/emotional interest in a friend has you annoyed, based only, you say, on wasting your free time.

You’re not “dead” inside. Rather, you’re seeking a way to be jealous without abandoning your desire to have other partners. It’s a conflict only you can resolve. Discussing this openly with your partner should help.

Reader’s commentary regarding two very spoiled adult sons (Jan. 21):

“We teach people, especially our offspring, how to treat us. The 25-year-old should be gone. Give him one month’s notice in a politely-written note (Son, you pay no rent, you give no help, and you’re abusive, so you’ll have to leave).

“On the eviction date, change the locks while he’s at work and, if necessary, call for police assistance with his removal/possessions.

“Let the younger son earn the right to a key for the new lock. These boys are no different from abusive partners.

“The older one has a job and willingness to sponge off others. He’ll grow up fast and become a much more responsible person who will eventually be a supportive son. But if that never happens, she hasn’t lost much.”

Feedback regarding the mother blaming her daughter vs. the real reason for people having their driving licence suspended (Jan. 20):

Reader: My husband just lost his licence for the 2nd time due to low blood sugar and not realizing that it happens. He has had a few falls (for no apparent reason) and the last time he fell his blood sugar was very low. I couldn’t help raise it, so called 911.

“The medics also couldn’t get his levels up so took him to hospital and kept him overnight. The hospital sent a report to our family physician and because of the circumstances, he’s legally required to notify the Ministry of Transportation to suspend his licence.

“It has nothing to do with a family member being blamed.

“It’s for the safety of the mother in the previous column and that of everyone else on the road.”

Ellie’s tip of the day

When feeling emotional conflict, listen to your inner voice.

Send relationship questions to [email protected].