Sometimes my husband makes me feel guilty about spending time with Kitten. He doesn't do it on purpose, and he has gotten much better about it (mostly because we've talked about it over and over), but he gets jealous and cops an attitude.
My first reaction is to feel sad and hurt and (yes) guilty. But as time goes on, if I let it fester, I get angry. I don't have an explosive attitude like some fire-sign folk. Instead, I simmer… boil… burn like molten lava. It is usually my anger that makes me say stupid things (when he wouldn't dance with me at a wedding after he'd previously promised to try, I commented that I should have brought Kitten… stupid, I know, and I regretted it instantly), but it is also my anger that makes me want to talk and get it over with. I know better than to talk to him when I'm angry so I let it cool off first. To be fair, I let him know I'm angry and that I want to talk about it later.
On this subject, as with most in this situation, I respect and understand his jealousy and feelings. I know that he is afraid and uncomfortable at times and I do my very best to make him feel better. It does not help that some of our friends (who we don't talk to much anymore… surprise surprise) tell him I'm only making him feel better about it so I can fuck around on him. As I have no intention of ever leaving him, it is important that he sees my intentions and I keep reminding him that I think he's a great husband and that I love him, and I'm not going anywhere. Dogs get separation anxiety and sometimes, mine gets it even when I'm still there.
When asking for time with Kitten, I make the mistake of making it sound like I'm asking for permission when really I'm just asking if he's alright with me being gone, or if he had planned on doing something with me. And it has started to feel like I am asking for permission. Usually he says it's fine, but then later makes me feel guilty, or he texts me asking how much longer I'm going to be if we haven't set a time. I don't get much time with her and the time I do get often feels stunted due to time constraints and my need to keep Ark happy. I love him and I do want it to work.
So we talk about it, like we always do. I explain that I love him and I do want to spend time with him, and I do and will continue to spend most of my time with him. But I only get to see Kitten for a few hours a couple days out of the week, and I want to be able to enjoy that time. Is that selfish? I think it's fair. All of our feelings were out in the open about it and though no real, clear conclusion was drawn, we are working through this patch of trouble. We kissed, snuggled, made up.
All this week, I won't have any default time with Kitten since my husband works every morning and will be home by the time I get off work (I go to her house after work when he is working evenings; an unspoken agreement). So, this morning, instead of asking for permission to go over, I just said, “Hey baby, I'm going over to Kitten's after work today.” And he said, “Okay, I'll see if my friends want to get together this afternoon then.” And that was the end of it. No attitude, no sour moods, no texts asking what time I was coming home. He texted me when he was leaving his friends' place and I asked for a ride home, and everything is good.
I recently read that enjoying being alone is important in order for polyamory to work for you. I have to agree with that (but that's another article). I think that my husband having something to do while I'm not home really helped him to pass the time without me and stay in a good mood. While I am hopeful that he will some day find someone to be poly with, I don't want him to rush into it because he feels lonely without me (or while our choice to do this is still in touchy stages). Our relationship at the beginning of this was spectacular and I think we should work back up to that before going in deeper.
As I'm sure I've said before and as many polyamorists have said before me, open communication and complete honesty is key. Ark and I talk about every little thing (and I talk with Kitten also). Just talking about the problem and getting it out there is the first step to a resolution, even if the resolution isn't agreed upon immediately. Be patient and work through your issues. The rewards are so worth it.