Sunday, October 13, 2013

NRE is a hell of a drug

New relationship energy is frickin' amazing, and it is always frickin' amazing regardless of whether or not the relationship fully materializes. For the people experiencing it, it is a time of possibilities, and raging hormones, and the thrill of the unknown--but for the partners of those people it can be scary, and dangerous. NRE is the quickest way to uncover insecurities and make someone aware of just how jealous they really are.

I discovered this for myself several years ago when my then lover (now husband) started playing with another woman. In my defense, he and I were also very new, and I did not have firm footing yet--but the reality is that I was just plain jealous, and I am not sure that would have been different if she had come along further in our relationship. I was jealous because I worried that he would like her more than me, that he would want her more than me, that he would leave me for her, or, actually, that he would just leave me for the possibility of all the NREs out there. I was not happy about the NRE, and I tried foolishly to somehow control it, to keep my relationship is some kind of safe little box.

Of course this failed--as it should--but it did give me an opportunity to explore my feelings, and at the end of that exploration, this is what I learned:

I have no control over the NRE my partner experiences. Once the relationship is opened up, it is totally out of my hands. I know that my partner is going to feel passion for another person, and that passion might very well make me feel for a moment as if he doesn't have the same passion for me. There is a chance that I will feel left behind, that my jealousy will surface, that any new relationship he gets involved in will send me on a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

The thing is, though, that I WANT this NRE to happen--otherwise why explore non-monogamy at all? But wanting it, and being ready to deal with it, are apparently two very different things.

I had to realize that the new passion IS different, but not necessarily better or deeper than the passion he feels for me. He is with me for a reason, and that reason isn't going to change just because an emotional attachment is formed outside of our relationship, and certainly not because of a new toy. He is going to experience NRE--he will be giddy, and silly, and emotionally wrapped-up with this new person for awhile, but he will also want to share those emotions with me. He will want to know that he has my blessing, and he will want to bring that energy home. I need to welcome it and give him a safe place to explore, because that is exactly what I want from him.