Dr. Sasha (Alex) Lessin & Janet Kira Lessin

Answer Questions from the More Loving Perspective
Living with Wife's New Lover


Sean of Mendocino writes: My wife, Kath and I--both psychologists living in a large rural riverside house--enjoy a six-adult polyamorous family. For ten years before, Kath and I experienced a usually happy, mostly monogamous relationship.  We also enjoyed a few outside lovers now and then.  We talked about each other of these relationships as they occurred and--mostly--supported each others' affairs.

Over our years of psychotherapy training, we'd learned effective communication skills.  We'd released and reprogrammed many of the limiting ideas and defensive behaviors we habitually employed.  We therapeutically owned our imagos; we reparented ourselves. We felt overflowing love and wanted to share with certain dear friends.  That's how I looked at it, and how I still look at it when I'm in my kingly aspect.


    We studied Deborah Anapol's Love Without Limits and I attended a couple of polyamory conferences and consciously decided to enter a more loving, poly lifestyle.  We made love with our favorite couples and singles.  Then we moved in four of our favorite lovers (3 men, 3 women). Now they all love each other too.

     Problem for me is, I have a scared, doubting, jealous, possessive voice that makes me withdraw or repel those I most love.  I have everything--three women and two men to love, other lovers sometimes too (in safe, loving and responsible ways), material abundance, health, delightful livelihood, natural surroundings.  And a part of me keeps trying to ruin it.

     Kath and the others tolerate my alienating tantrums but want me to stop them.  They're committed to me but they want me to come from my Higher Self, not my constricted, reactive self.  When I'm in my Higher Self, I agree entirely. But when my defensive, abrasive, evasive, destructive self comes out, I forget I have a Higher Self.  What can I do?

     Sasha: Tell everyone in your group how you feel. Trust Kathy and your homemates to remind you of your Higher and Empathic (Compersive) (the part that enjoys your darlings' joy) Selves.  Let the frightened part of you say what it really needs and ask your housemates to gift you by meeting some of those needs.  Let us know what happens.

     You sound professional and sophisticated, and I'm imagining the material you are processing now is from deep, core, perhaps archetypal issues.  Besides the personal family programming we received, we have as the archetypes for Western culture energies like Zeus, the King of Heaven, who had tantrums and destroyed people if things didn't go his way. And Hera, the archetypal jealous possessive wife.

     As pioneers on this path, we are moving through personal and cultural conditioning, and moving beyond these old archetypes.  We need to create new archetypes for the collective unconscious.

HOMEWORK: Write a New Mythology. Re-write some of the Greek tales of jealousy and destruction into the new, More Loving Paradigm of how an up-to-date Zeus would handle specific challenges in his life. After all, Zeus was supposed to be a god. What happened to his Higher Self? 

Sean replies: Dear Janet and Sasha:

    Back in August, I wrote you about how my insecurity and defensive reactions to my inner security when Kath (my mate from before we became poly) really grooved with Adam, another of our family. Instead of enjoying my other lovers, I’d obsess on Kath’s unavailability to me and I’d miss them.

    Following your advice, I see Zeus as finding his lover with wonderful people who add to his life as well.

    You suggested I ask for help from our house mates.  I did.  Carl and Carmen had Kath and I sit facing each other and take turns competing the sentence, "In relationship to you I feel ...."

    While I sat neutrally, Kath completed the sentence and told me how some things I did --speaking harshly, withdrawing, asking for more loving and attention than she had to give, asking for love and attention when she was unavailable, saying I felt like leaving the family, etc.--made her feel.  She said that, in relation to me, reacting to those behaviors, she felt hatred, disgust, disappointment and longing.

    I felt devastated at the distress I caused her, but now have specific behavioral improvements I’m making to improve my relations with Kath.  I still don’t feel welcome with her, but I hope this will change if I can consistently satisfy myself with the abundance of love available to me from others and stop bugging her for invitations to be with her. I have hope I can become the mature, loving Higher Self she and my house mates see in me.  Right now I’m having a hard time.  Any further suggestions?

    A week after his last letter, Sean wrote again: Remember my joy when my beloved, Kath, said she'd sleep with me weekends?  This Friday-through-Sunday "Sleep Together Scheme" worked great the first weekend.  That week, she slept and loved with me and several of our housemates.  Plenty of love for them and me.  I stopped obsessing on Kath so I could appreciate my other lovers more.

    The next Saturday, Kath and I made deep love most of the morning.  That night, we watched a video with Adam. As I drowsed off, I told Kath to sleep that night with Adam, if she’d like that.

    But when I woke, Kath and Adam hadn't left the room yet.  I asked her if she’d love me a little more before she left.

    She got angry and said I'd reneged on the invitation I gave her for intimate time with Adam. I was acting needy.  She felt torn by conflicting demands on her, and she didn't want to be with anyone that night.

    So we conclude that scheduling sleep-together days doesn’t work for us. Automatically reserving specific nights to sleep together creates a barrier to authentic loving.  Authentic loving needs to be choosen, not automatic.

    Kath and I again connect sexually and sleep together several times a week-- when we both feel so moved.  We’re developing an easier flow between us and between our housemates, including love-ins where the whole family connects tantrically.