I have been thinking lately about my inability to share my partners. I am trying to determine exactly where my possessiveness stems from. I certainly understand the concept of caring deeply for more than one person. I understand it in a romantic love way. I love more than one person and it doesn’t diminish my love for either of them that I love them both. I have tried sharing my partners before and it has never ended well. I end up disengaging whether that was my intent or not. But why?
Why can I care so deeply for more than one person but I can’t seem to tolerate it in my partners? I know part of it is time. I require a lot of time and effort. (I also give a lot of time and effort back to my partners, but that is beside the point.) Modern living means most people have a job or are in school, or both. Perhaps they have a child or two on top of their other time commitments. This kind of lifestyle leaves little time for anything else. That is one reason I never chose to have children of my own. I require a lot of time from my partner. (And I want to give a lot of time to my partner as well.)
The Husband works. He works quite a bit. This limits the time he can spend on me and serving my needs. I want him to work since he finds his career (for the most part) to be fulfilling. But it takes time. And time is a finite commodity. The Wild Thing has school. That also limits his time. We met before he started school, and it was an ideal situation for me from a time perspective. That is how much time I prefer to have from a partner.
Even with 2 partners, I often feel I’m not getting enough time with either of them. I can’t imagine either of them adding even a single other important relationship without it negatively impacting the time I want to have with them. The only way I could see that working out is if they let go of another major time commitment like… school or work or friendships. And that just isn’t practical. Plus I don’t think it would be healthy for them. So a bit part is that I fear (almost certainly a realistic fear) that the lack of quality time with them would cause me to be unhappy and pull myself back from the relationship.
I also fear sexually transmitted diseases. I fear them with an unholy passion. I have never had one. This might be one of the reasons for my fear of them. From what I understand, many of them are simply not a big deal. But. I functionally don’t have insurance. I do. But it’s at the catastrophic level. Which means I’m paying for the insurance, but I still basically pay for all my medical treatments and appointments out of pocket. My sti testing so that I could begin a sexual relationship with the Wild Thing cost me $600. I don’t want to think about what it might cost me to get rid of any sti. Or worse, if I manage to contract one that I can’t actually get rid of. I can afford the occasional trip to the doctor and dentist. But I can’t afford any kind of extra medical issues.
I know how easy it is for something to go wrong with safer sex. Sometimes the condom/barrier breaks or comes off. It happens. (Not to mention that condoms/barriers don’t even protect against some stis.) And the possible chain of people I would be sleeping with via my partner’s partners just makes things exponentially more frightening to me. And that doesn’t even take into consideration that my partner’s partner’s partner’s partner’s partner might not be as educated or careful as I am and require my partners to be. The lack of education on how an sti might be spread is probably even more frightening to me than thinking about the partner chain. I don’t want to deal with an sti and I don’t want my partners to have to deal with an sti that I have contracted because my other partner contracted something and we didn’t realize it until too late. Regular testing only goes so far. And did I mention how much it costs me to get tested?
And, of course, there’s the big bad fear that most people have about loved ones. The fear of losing them. It seems odd in a poly relationship. I mean, the whole point is that one relationship doesn’t preclude having other relationships! Yet the fear persists for most people. I think part of this thinking stems from how indoctrinated we are that one romantic relationship does preclude any other romantic relationships. So, do I have it. In a way I do.
Reality is that there is never any guarantee that someone will remain in your life or in love with you. Ever. No. Guarantee. None. But we tend to think that there is some guarantee. It’s hard to let go of that. But there just isn’t. And even feeling as strongly as I do that there isn’t a guarantee, I still hate the idea that someone I love might be ready to move on when I am not. Ending things hurts even when I am ready. So I do have that fear. The fear of loss. Though I have it no matter how many partners I have. Even when it’s one partner.
So is this something that I fear that is adding to my possessiveness? The jury is still out.