How I Handle Jealousy in a Polyamorous Relationship
2017 was the year of horrific political changes in the world, dramatic hurricanes and floods, and for me: the year where I committed to a polyamorous relationship, a.k.a. the year where I’ve come to terms with jealousy. I’ve never considered myself an inherently jealous person. I love sharing and being generous with others. But when it comes to relationships and particularly to polyamory, I am faced with the fact that… I have a tendency to be a bit jealous.
That’s not to say jealousy is an all-together bad thing.
We’re taught in society that being jealous and being polyamorous are bad things, that we should love one person and that people are often jealous of their partners. Being in one of these “taboo” relationships means I know my partner sleeps with other people, and most of the time – I’m okay with it. It’s possible to unlearn how we see heteronormativity.
What is heteronormativity? It’s basically the belief that being straight and having sex with another person of the opposite sex is the only norm. In our world of today, that’s almost impossible to imagine with all the LGBT+ activism. And beyond that…
People have the capacity to love more than one person.
You don’t just have one friend, right? You don’t have just one family member that you adore more than any other one (or do you secretly?). Polyamory has meant for me that both my partner and I have the capability to be with others and come back to our own personal relationship stronger. We acknowledge that we’re each other’s primary partner and that we love each other a lot. It doesn’t mean I’m not sometimes uncomfortable or unhappy with someone. It does mean that we talk about it… extensively.
You can’t have one of these relationships without learning that being open is the most important aspect of communication. When I’m feeling insecure or lonely, I tell my partner because that can translate into jealousy later down the road if I’m feeling neglected.
Handling jealousy comes down to figuring out what is causing your it and acknowledging it.
Why do I feel unhappy or jealous of one particular partner? Do I need more attention? Probably. It’s the hardest kind of relationship I’ve ever been in before, and in all honesty – I find myself often challenged. I love my partner so much, I want us both to be happy. That means leaving our relationship open, talking about difficult emotions that make us uncomfortable, and being vulnerable about scary feelings. So handling jealousy? Just part of the process – and another way of seeing myself and my partner in a clearer light.
Have you ever thought about or tried a non-monogamous relationship? How do you handle jealousy in any type of relationship? Share with us in the comments!