It’s so easy to look at what someone else has and believe it is what we need to find happiness. I see it all the time. It can be as simple as wishing you’d ordered what someone else was served at a lunch meeting, or as painful and potentially relationship-damaging as constantly envying metamours for the kind of attention or time they are getting from a mutual partner.
Metamour Envy. It’s truly a poison that can damage more than one relationship when left to spread unchecked.
We like to talk a good game in poly.
Let each relationship develop into what it will be independent of outside influence – down with the relationship escalator!
But how often do we find ourselves riding it without even realizing it? Maybe even while emphatically insisting we aren’t. All the while, we chat idly with metamours, internally comparing our relationships.
She gets more time with him than I do. She sees him four nights a week and I only get one.
He plays with her more than he plays with me. I have to beg to get scene time when he’ll give it to everyone else before me.
I don’t like pain and she does, so he won’t ever do those things with me and it isn’t fair.
It isn’t fair!
Do those people really want what someone else has, or are they afraid? Is it envy because they want it, envy because they want that time, or jealousy because they fear losing what they have? Those are all very different things that we can all easily mistake for something simple.
What happened to taking each relationship and letting it grow based on the needs and wants of the people in it?
If my partner only wants to play with me once a month, but I look sideways and see Him playing with other people, too, should my demands for more play time for me supersede his need for other types of play than I can do with Him?
If my demands for attention begin to impact the way He can interact with other partners in public or private, am I treating them with the courtesy that I would want them to show me?
Am I behaving with only selfish goals in mind, or am I doing my honest best to be a good person in a given scenario?
Frankly, I would feel awful if I felt He were neglecting another partner and it were because of my wants. You see, our particular agreement is that He would see to my needs. Demands are not needs. My mental health is a need, but is my responsibility. He is not my property to command and He is not my pain dispenser.
If I am not happy, it isn’t His fault, and it isn’t His responsibility to try to create happiness in me. That has to first come from me, and if I don’t already have it, He cannot artificially create it, only loan me His. My acquisition of it at that point is vampiric and will drain Him of positivity slowly, but surely, until He is as unhappy with me as I am with myself.
I say this using myself as the object, knowing I am quite happy, both with myself and with my partner, despite my ever-present issues, of course. I have run across many people who fall into this trap, leaving broken relationships in their wake, the other person always guilty of not making them happy.
They aren’t going to find that in someone else. They aren’t going to get that if they are given what they say they want. Because in the end, what they really need has to come from inside, the place that lacks it the most.
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