This has to be, hands down, the number one conversation that comes up when I tell someone I am currently in a polyamorous relationship. This is usually led by confessions of “Oh, I just couldn’t share” or “I would be jealous all the time.”
Spoiler alert- I do get jealous and some days sharing the ones I love is hard. But moments of fleeting jealousy are more than worth all the joy and support polyamory has brought into my life.
Sometimes jealousy sneaks up on me. It can be sexual in origin but usually it isn’t. Generally, comparison is my thief of joy. When I compare the relationship that L & B have to mine, a lot of time there are things I don’t see in my own dynamics- and that’s because we are different people with different needs. L may be leaning on B for the support I would love to give her, or B may ask her (and as a result, not me) to make Him a cup of coffee. They may be going on and on about a new jailhouse documentary they love when I’m more of a murder mystery kind of girl.
But jealousy isn’t real.
Jealousy is a feeling, and a fleeting one at that. At my core, I want my partners to be happy and fulfilled in all ways. That’s it. Happy and fulfilled. Not happy and fulfilled because I am all things to all people. Not happy and fulfilled because I met all their needs. Happy and fulfilled. Period.
So what do I do when I’m jealous?
I take a deep breath, allow myself to feel the emotion and tell them. Jealousy isn’t bad, y’all. Feeling jealous in a poly relationship is normal and expected. Let me say it one more time for those of you in the back. You are not “bad” at poly because you feel jealous. That just makes you human.
What would make your poly relationship struggle is if you don’t allow yourself to feel the emotion, blame yourself for it or hide it from your partner.
You know what happened when I told L that I got jealous when B asked her to make Him a cup of coffee? She laughed and then joked that she would much rather me make His dang cup of coffee because she doesn’t even like coffee (sorry, B) and I immediately felt better. Just like that.
Tell your partners what you’re feeling, when you’re feeling it. If it’s a healthy relationship, your partners are going to reassure you, rally around you and maybe even make you laugh. Chances are they felt jealous once or twice this week too.