Everyone feels jealous from time to time. Even the scripture states that God is a jealous God. Oddly enough, jealousy is a natural emotion. However, it can destroy relationships if allowed to fester too long or too strong. Jealousy occurs in monogamous relationships; however, it's known to occur even more in poly relationships because in poly, more than two people are always part of the equation. If you experience jealousy, here are some ideas on how to cope and handle your jealous feelings.
-Understand your feelings, your emotions. Jealousy consists of a combination of fear and anger. One may fear losing something or someone, or one may be angry that someone else is trying to take or move in on that which belongs to you. It is important that you know the difference between envy and jealousy. Envy involves wanting or desiring something that you do not already have; whereas, jealousy involves wanting to protect and keep that which your already have.
-You have control over envy. So if envy is your issue, do not envy. Stop looking at what does not belong to you! However, if your problem or issue is indeed jealousy, allow yourself to actually feel jealous in a healthy way. Emotions are indicators of what we are feeling. We cannot discover how we feel unless we allow ourselves to feel the emotions in a healthy manner. When you start to feel jealous, ask yourself, "Is this more anger based or more fear based?" How can one tell? Recognize which part of your body is most affected by the emotion. If you experience a tight, burning sensation in your jaw and shoulders, then you're likely experiencing anger. If you experience a clutching or dropping sensation in your stomach, it's more than likely fear. It's also probable that you might experience a combination of these feelings.
-COMMUNICATE your feelings. First, it's important that you communicate your feelings to yourself. Write in a journal or diary. Write a poem about them, or write yourself a letter. Writing helps you to logically think about your emotion. When one engages their emotion in logic, this helps to alleviate the emotion. Finally, communicate your feelings with the person in which you fear losing without blaming them. Feeling and sharing your true feelings with someone without accusing them creates a bond or a deep connection between the two of you. It opens up dialogue, the lines of communication. Use "I feel" statements rather than blaming statements. For example, "I feel threatened by the thought of another woman coming into our home because I fear you may like her better than me."
-Figure out what your jealousy teaches you. Jealousy is an indicator of what you truly want and what is most important to you. If you are jealous that your husband seems to have great communication with your sisterwife, then it's your desire to have great communication with him also. If your jealous that your sisterwife seems to have more money or nicer things than you, you may have a need for financial security or even some independence. Ask yourself: "Why am I jealous over this? What is making me jealous? What or who am I trying to keep? What do I fear losing? Why do I feel threatened?" When you begin to understand and identify what makes you jealous, you can begin to take positive action to maintain those relationships and things without the negative emotion influencing your action.
-Change any false beliefs that causes you to be jealous. Manytimes, we have false fears which cause us to be jealous. For instance, "Every female is out to get my husband." or "If he/she leaves me, I won't be able to survive." False beliefs fuel our jealousy, and we need to eliminate them from our belief system. We can change our beliefs. Instead, tell yourself beliefs that support and nurture your well being. When you begin to feed yourself with happy, supporting, and nurturing thoughts, your jealous feelings of fear and anger will begin to disappear.
Jealousy and love are not the same thing. Manytimes, people confuse the two and think that if someone is jealous and fears losing them, then it means they really love them. Jealousy is the fear and anger of losing love. It can disappear when you replace the fear and anger with truly loving yourself and others.
Learn to be happy and content with yourself and what you have. Everyone is different, and everyone has the potential to do both good and bad. Realize that YOU have the potential for a better jealousy free future.
Try talking about your feelings of jealousy with someone. Talking helps.
Illogical and irrational jealousy usually stems from your own feelings of insecurity and low self-esteem. Deal with your insecurity and low self-esteem issues first.
If jealous feelings are leading to power or control issues, then there is an underlying issue which needs to be addressed! For example, if you say to your husband a year after you have agreed to live poly, "If you do not leave my sisterwife and choose me, then I will leave you and take the kids," this is a control issue with a deeper underlying issue. At this point, you need to take a personal inventory of why you feel the way you do.
Helping others to work towards a poly mindset more and more everyday![/color]