Poly Relationships

Two Kinds of Jealousy

Couple in Argument in Bed

There are two kinds of jealousy that can happen inside a polyamorous relationship. One kind can be healthy if you handle it right. The other is never healthy.

The first kind helps a relationship to grow. This is to say that if you’re going to take on an extra lover, or your partner is, it’s natural to feel jealous.

It’s natural to be a little bit worried that your lover is going to like the other person better than you, or that them needing more than you sexually is a sign you aren’t good enough.

Relax! Once you get past these feelings, your expanded relationship can be incredibly sexy and healthy. The jealousy is just a growing pain, and once you get past it, things will be better. Hearing about your lover being with someone else can even become sexy.

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The ugly flipside of this is when your lover (or maybe you) is using jealousy to make the other feel bad.  

Maybe they’re flirting with someone in public right in front of you. The feeling can be humiliating and quite cruel. I’ve certainly had this happen to me, and I hated it.

This isn’t the kind of jealousy that leads to growth, but is just intended to push a pin into your relationship.

There’s nothing wrong with your lover talking sexy, or flirting on the phone with someone else. The trick is that she or he has to check in with you, talk to you, make you part of the fun at some level. If they’re just doing it to torture you or cut you out then the impulse is unhealthy. It’s bad jealousy.

So what can you do if you have a bad case of #2 jealousy and not enough of #1?

Confrontation is the key. Tell your partner that you have noticed certain behaviour and that it’s making you unhappy. If they get defensive, or tell you that you’re acting crazy then you two need to sit down and calmly talk it out. Don’t yell or scream, or accuse, just make it known that your feelings matter.

On the other hand, if you’re with someone who is crazy jealous and accuses you all the time of cheating, even when you aren’t, you should definitely dump them.

Jealousy is very complex, but it’s an unavoidable part of love. Learning to navigate it is an essential tool!

Get out there, do the best you can, and have fun!!!

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