Cheers Sexy People!
Let’s face it: It’s impossible to talk about polyamory / ethical non-monogamy without the topic of jealousy coming up. It’s one of the first questions I got asked by my friends when I first “came out” to them. “But don’t you get jealous?” Why yes, yes I do. Some days it might just be a little pang that I can acknowledge and then move through pretty quickly. Other days (especially if my self-esteem might be lower that particular day), the feelings of insecurity and fear can bring me to tears. There I said it. 🙂
I do believe that there are some people on the planet that might not be “wired” for jealousy, whether it’s physiological or they simply have confidence of steel and/or simply can’t be bothered to have those kind of emotions. But I think the majority of us, myself included here, have pretty normal everyday feelings of jealousy, envy, insecurity, fear, etc when faced with the reality of seeing or knowing our partners are intimate with someone else — an imagined (or quite possibly real) potential threat to our current valued relationship.
So why do it? For many reasons that I have cited here on this blog. But also because I believe that most of the time, my jealous feelings stem from MY OWN insecurities and fears that I need to work on for my own personal growth. Every time I rise above jealousy or handle it in a loving or productive way, I feel like I just won! I succeeded! I handled my emotions with flying colors and sometimes in the process, I am even closer with my partner because maybe we had a really nice heart to heart. Or he offered me reassurance when I needed it that made me feel like a loving shower just rained on me. Yay! We both win.
Is this easy? No, not at all. But it does get EASIER. I’ll share with you some things that I have come up with for myself personally.
- I created a set of daily affirmations that I try to read every morning. It goes something like this: I love myself wholly, deeply and completely. I am beautiful and feel beautiful. I have 2 men who give me so much love I could burst! I love. I am loved. There is a tribe of love and I count myself as oh so fortunate to be part of a such an amazing group of people. I have all the support of ME. I CHOOSE to be happy and I choose relationships that make me happy. And I always remember to take time to refill the well of my soul. Remember: if that which you seek you cannot find it within, you will never find it without!!!
- I have realized in the past that I have to do a better job of taking care of me and doing things that I enjoy just for me without needing my partners (like playing music, working out, hanging out with friends). Otherwise, I tend to hyper-focus on my perceived problems that aren’t actually even there sometimes. So I gotta stay active, focus on the POSITIVE and laugh alot.
- If I know a situation might bring up some insecurities that I don’t feel strong enough to deal with at the moment, I try to avoid it (like seeing my partner being all cutesy and super affectionate with another). I just say “have a great time, guys!”. Then go do something that I enjoy, preferably not sitting home alone. OR, in the above example, I get on the other side of my husband or BF and let him give BOTH of us (myself and his other partner) attention and affection. That melts it right away too (and he feels like a stud. A win-win).
- I’ve also been trying to get better about simply ASKING these people that I love for what I need, whether it’s some reassurance, a hug, some space, some conversation about an issue, some extra quality time or attention. They pretty much always say yes.
- I’ve gotten better about getting in the habit of politely “inquiring” before “assuming” or “accusing.” Try to remember that not only is working through your own fears and insecurities a great growth experience for you, but if you let your jealousy get out of control, it can damage the very relationship that you are trying to protect. It’s pretty darn difficult to sustain a healthy positive relationship with someone who continually questions your motives, distrusts you, assumes the worst, thinks negatively, anxiously and from a paranoid place about everything you say and do. Trust and be trustworthy.
- When in fear, take a deep breath first, rather than lashing out. Love is the absence of fear. Seek “peace” and “understanding” rather than seeking “conflict” or “drama” and everyone will be happier, I assure you.
🙂 I hope that helps! Poly is fun and rewarding but nobody said it was easy! And hey, we’re human and make mistakes sometimes. Forgive and seek forgiveness. Love… and ONLY LOVE… in all actions… with everything that you do, as best as you can.
If you would like further reading on the topic of jealousy, I recommend the following link:
Also, the book “Opening Up” has an excellent section about handling jealousy.
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)
WOW! what an awesome post. I’ve always been interested in the polyamorous lifestyle, I’m so glad I’ve finally found your blog. Jealousy is such a poison – however we identify ourselves. I love the way you think and write about it.
Thank you very much for the compliment, and for finding and following my blog! It’s great to have an opportunity to share what I have learned so far. It certainly is an interesting and enlightening journey! I learn something new almost every day, either on my own or from someone else! Sharing is caring, as I like to say.
and you say it well.
Thanks so much! I’ll keep at it with pleasure. Have a great day!
It is sadly ironic that, confronted with jealousy, people make rash decisions, reckless assumptions, and attempts to put their partner back under control when that is the behaviour that is mostly likely to make the situation worse and reinforce all the insecurity and fear.
It is a perfect example of creating what you fear.
I really love how you’ve made this all about you rather than making it all about your partner. So often people attempt to solve their jealously problem, and many other problems, by expecting their partner, or kids, or boss, or friend, to change. In fact, the only person you have the power to change is yourself.
This can be such a positive process. Look at the affirmations you’ve given yourself, the commitment to doing what is good for you and what you love doing, communicating better with your partners and looking at things positively.
When you’ve got all that going for you, the insecurities that trigger jealousy don’t have much of a fighting chance. 😉
I could not have said it better myself. This is a perfectly lovely add-on to my blog post. Thank you for your insightful words. It takes a fair amount of maturity and tough work to look in the mirror first when having negative feelings. Negative feelings typically come from negative thoughts (about ourselves or other people). When we knee jerk react, it’s hard to remember that sometimes. And it’s always good to focus on what we CAN control (and stop any futile efforts to try to change other people to our liking — that never works and only builds resentment). Also, talking through feelings gently can alleviate quite alot of misunderstandings and bad feelings, and help us get to a better more compassionate place together. Bravo! And thanks for commenting and adding to the thread here.
I’m so grateful to have found this, nearly 10 years after it was posted! I’ve been struggling so much recently with such intense insecurities (an awful, painful thing when combined with my existing anxiety issues, and is certainly putting a strain on my partner and our relationship), so I googled for polyamory jealousy affirmations, and I’m so glad I came across this post. The phrasing of your comment about being more trusting just hadn’t occurred to me in that way before, and it has really made me think differently about what my insecurities also express (i.e. distrust in my trustworthy partner). “Trust and be trustworthy”, it’s so simple but has immediately impacted me. So, thank you for that.
Thank you so much for this, this made more sense, than therapists I have seen previously who were no help at all.
I have bookmarked this for my daily self