I’ve sent a couple questions and just wanted to say thank you for your answers! They have really helped me. I’m still having issues dealing with all the physical stuff but I’m working on it. I guess my question would be, do you know of any solid ways to deal with the jealousy? I know communication is key (and we will be doing A LOT of communicating) but should I take up a hobby or something??
This is such a genuine and sweet question. I love it. I’ve already covered lots of more abstract ways to deal with jealousy - communication, introspection, etc. - but as for solid, concrete, actionable ways to deal with jealousy, I’d say taking up a hobby is a good one! It will start out as maybe just a distraction to keep you from feeling alone and keep your mind off the jealousy, but you might find that when you stay busy, your partner having other partners comes as almost a relief! When I was a student juggling dozens of responsibilities, I often had to forgo time with my partners in favor of meetings and work and so forth. I didn’t feel guilty about it and they didn’t pressure me to carve out more time for them than I could at the time, because they had other places to find companionship. I’m not saying that polyamory allows you to blow off your partner, or that cramming your schedule is the healthiest way to deal with feelings, but if you have things that you enjoy independently and ways to occupy your time that don’t revolve around your partner, that will help!
Another thing that I’ve found to help is to dig into your own polyamorous or poly-lite feelings. Even if you don’t identify as poly, recognize the moments in your life that help demonstrate the way your partner’s feelings for other people are not a threat to you. Check out the sexy barista at Starbucks. Go ahead, appreciate that. Then do a libido-check and see if you’re still as attracted to your partner as you were before you took a moment to enjoy coffee-cutie. Chances are, you will be! Think about an ex you had an amicable breakup with. Smile about their good qualities. Spend time with a beloved best friend and make note of how happy they make you, and how that deep care for another person isn’t crowding out your feelings for your partner. For a lot of people, that sort of emotional exercise can help serve as the “proof” they need that their partner’s polyamory isn’t something to feel threatened or jealous about.
Also, if you haven’t already, read essays, articles and blogs by and about people who are happily poly. If there’s a poly meetup in your area, check it out. It might help to see that you aren’t alone, that this arrangement works for other people, and to maybe reach out and make some friends who you can share this with. I know my poly life has been greatly enriched by having a very good friend who is also poly. Having someone to talk to about the unique issues that come with polyamory, like the ones you’re dealing with, can really help. A varsity-level version of the “make poly friends” method is to meet your partner’s partners. Becoming friends with them is a sure-fire way to knock jealousy’s lights out for good. “Be friends with your partner’s partners” might seem really intimidating, or even impossible, but I’ve never seen it not work!
You should also try practicing compersion - feeling happy for your partner because something, or someone, else is making them happy. I use “practice” with both meanings - adopt it as a way of thinking, and try it again and again until you get it. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it can be learned. You want your partner to feel happy and fulfilled, so try to feel grateful to the other people in the world who help further that purpose. Remember that this is not a zero-sum game, and if someone else makes them happy, it doesn’t mean you make them less happy. It just means they’re happier overall!
I’m glad that I was able to help you & hope I can continue to be a resource and poly friend to you. Your partner is very lucky to have someone who’s so self-aware, honest and willing to work on all of this.