As has often been discussed (most recently on the excellent LovingBDSM podcast) jealousy is a symptom of insecurity. The manifestation of our fears that our partners will find something in another person that we cannot provide. For some people, that insecurity means they can’t stand for their partner to speak to, compliment, or even look at another person of their preferred gender.
As participants in a relationship, we have a responsibility to demonstrate to our partners that they matter to us, and that our heads will not be so easily turned, and we also have a responsibility to trust in our partners that they will not stray outside our agreed parameters. If one party has become so insecure that they simply do not trust the other, to me this is indicative of a deeply unhealthy relationship, on both sides.
That is not to say that every relationship with insecurities is an unhealthy one. People who have been betrayed in the past will naturally find it difficult to trust again. Of course, their partners should be aware of this and they should work together to build that trust in spite of those insecurities. If my last partner cheated on me, I would hope that my current partner would be mindful of this and not give me any reason to doubt them. Equally, I should be mindful that my insecurities from a previous partner should not be laid at the feet of my current one every time he has to text Leanne from the office.
To the best of my knowledge, I have never been cheated on. However, I have been through several abusive relationships that have left my self-esteem in tatters. Interestingly, this never manifested itself as insecurity during my previous relationships, or at least I never worried that they would cheat on me, primarily because, well… who else would have them? Who else would be that stupid to get involved with such narcissistic, selfish, soul-destroying personality-vacuums? Only me.
But despite knowing that they were full of shit, they still left me feeling there was a list of reasons why nobody would be that enamored with me. I was awkward, weird and boring. I was both stupid and a know-it-all (because abuse is always lose/lose). I was expensive, and needed to be financially subsidised because of my frivolous spending. I embarrassed them. I would “do”, but I was difficult to love. So while I never worried that they would actually cheat on me, there was always that feeling that they felt they were doing me a favour by being with me. A favour that might easily stop. This feeling stayed much longer than they did.
When I met Bear, the things were a little bit different. I had been single for a few years, which had actually done wonders for my self-confidence. I knew I wasn’t incapable, and that a high proportion of my insecurities were a direct result of their bullshit and not anything wrong with me. After my marriage, I knew I wasn’t prepared to be stuck in a relationship with somebody who didn’t really seem to like me all that much.
My early encounters with the Doms of Twitter had shown me what sort of good men were out there, but also what sort of narcissists, abusers and morons were out there too. This gave me quite a well-formed idea about what I wanted, and what I wasn’t prepared to put up with. I was aware of my own insecurities, and I knew that there was no way I could go into anything other than a monogamous relationship.
At the time, Bear identified as poly, so initially neither of us thought we had any chance of a romantic future together. Things evolved for both of us over the next six months, and when we embarked on our relationship four years ago, it was on the understanding that we were monogamous.
Initially, Bear’s recent poly past was a bit of a hurdle for me to get over. He was very open and honest about the ladies he had spent time with, and why he was now happy to be with just me. I struggled to understand. He had only been poly for a short time (for less than a year) after the end of his last long term relationship. I couldn’t make sense of how he could go from just starting to explore his brave new polyamorous world, with all the wondrous variety that entailed, to settling down with little old me. I was shy and awkward, and I felt very inadequate, especially sexually. I knew I had some emotional baggage and I was just starting out as a submissive, I felt I had so much to learn and very little to offer.
He had met and played with experienced subs, confident subs. Women who were in control of their sexuality, understood their bodies and, frankly, could orgasm a hell of a lot easier. Why would he turn down the chance to meet with so many different women who could offer him all the things I couldn’t?
For a long time there is a feeling (never a fear, just an awareness) that he might decide that he regretted limiting his options. But he never gave me any reason to doubt him. He has always been honest with me, even when it was very difficult for him. He makes me communicate with him, even when it is very difficult for me. He understands me, he loves me, and he believes in us.
His motivation is making people happy. I am a big fan of the hypothetical question, and I love digging around in his brain, and he has always made it clear that if I wanted to see other people then he would be absolutely fine with that, as long as it makes me happy. It isn’t something that I want, but I know there is something that he wants.
Like many men, he fantasises about threesomes, about another woman joining us. This is something we have spoken about many times in the past, usually sharing little fantasy scenarios to get each other worked up and horny. More recently, we have been having serious discussions about what it might look like. Initially, I imagined this would take the form of him having a second submissive, something that I didn’t necessarily feel comfortable with. For all the reasons I have gone into above, I do still have insecurities. If Bear had another sub, even if there was some overlap with all three of us together, I think I would be worried about him being pulled in two different directions, and I don’t have enough faith in myself that the pull towards me would be stronger.
However, the idea has evolved to the stage where we are now contemplating finding a girlfriend for us, as a couple. This idea is both alluring and intimidating. I have no sexual experience with the woman, but I have fantasies. I have seen activities at play parties that I would definitely want to be a part of. I am emotionally fulfilled and satisfied with Bear, but I do find the idea of forming an intimate and loving relationship with a woman very appealing.
It’s impossible to know at this stage, but I think that the fact we would be going into this together will calm a lot of my insecurities. He doesn’t want to go looking for something better than me, or something I can’t give him. He wants me with him, for this to be something we do together, because that is what he wants us to be; together.
Maybe I’m being naïve, I don’t know. Maybe the combination of distance and schedules means that we never find somebody who can make this work. Maybe I will be struck down by insecurity and jealousy as soon as I see him kiss another woman, or watch her suck his cock (hey, that’s my job!). Whatever happens, we will be honest with each other. We will trust each other and we will work together, even if that means that we decide not to go down that route. And I have faith in him that he will not pressure me to go into something just because that’s what he wants.
I still have a few insecurities about myself, and I probably always will. But I don’t have insecurities about us.