Sometimes I find language incredibly confining, particularly when expressing affection. It’s all very well when you’re speaking directly to the object of your affection, but when you speak in the same manner about them with another partner, it’s hard not to sound like you’re making comparisons. It seems the more affectionate you get, the more exclusive you sound. If, when speaking to S, I say something affectionate about A, I immediately feel that I have to reassure S that I do love her as well because the I find that the language I have access to implies exclusivity of affection even though I mean no such thing.
As a result of this, I rarely discuss my feelings about one partner with the others*. If I did, I think I’d probably have to establish first of all that anything I said about my feeling for the partner in question has no bearing on my feelings for the partner with whom I’m speaking. That sounds tedious, but it’s something I think I need to bring up with my partners anyway, and with some more than others. I don’t know if I’m just being paranoid though. Nobody’s actually brought up that they feel threatened or insecure – it’s just a feeling I get when, in the presence of one partner, I address another partner with an endearment that I’ve used for the former, or with an endearment that I use only with the other partner. Either way, the (usually innocuous) word suddenly seems laden not just with affection but with all this other meaning, all of which could be construed as detrimental to my relationship with the partner listening in.
Am I overthinking this?
*I generally do not discuss my partners, beyond incidental stuff, with anyone at all because I think that would be a breach of privacy.