Hello, I have been in a relationship for 7 months with a man who is openly poly in his relationship values. I believe I have a similar value set too however this is the first time I have attempted to have an open relationship. Intellectually I want and value all of the things that an open relationship could bring but I am feeling held back by fear, doubt and jealousy. I am struggling to stop myself automatically reacting to situations with a lot of negativity when what I really want is to feel safe and secure enough in myself and my relationship so that we can be open. I am open to any advice and direction for further support.
I know I’m going to sound like a broken record on this one, but: therapy! The thing about fear, doubt, and jealousy is that they can be understood, managed, and even healed. But you don’t have to do it alone! The entire point of therapy is to help you when you feel held back from living your own values or desires by fear, doubt, and jealousy, and when you want to feel safe and secure in yourself and your relationships.
It is not uncommon to feel like you automatically react with negativity when you know your ‘best self’ wouldn’t respond that way. Therapy styles like CBT and DBT help you take better control of your automatic reactions and learn to respond in ways you’re proud of rather than react from the part of you that’s scared and acting out. If you are at all able, start working with a therapist - try Googling around for poly friendly or poly aware professionals in your area, or try online/phone therapy if that works for you.
In all this, remember that you’re working on this for you. Don’t go to therapy with the intention of molding yourself into the perfect relationship partner for this new man, but because you deserve help getting out of patterns of fear, doubt, negativity, and insecurity! Maybe things work out with this guy, maybe they don’t. Either way, what you’ve described here are pretty much textbook reasons to seek therapy, and things that really can get better with help! Good luck!