How Do I Deal With Jealousy In My Relationships?

One of the biggest fears people face when considering polyamory is the fear of jealousy.  It’s funny because the fear of jealousy often creates more drama than the emotion itself.

It’s natural to feel jealous from time to time.  It’s natural to feel blissful and joyful from time to time.  It’s natural to have feelings.  Having feelings is a part of being human.

If you’re experiencing jealousy in your polyamorous relationship, it’s important to remind yourself that you’re not alone.  There’s nothing wrong with you and there’s nothing wrong with your emotions.  Your experience is valid.  When we are aware of our emotional state, we have more space to consciously choose what to do.

Keep in mind, it’s one thing to be aware of a feeling, such as jealousy, and it’s another thing to act on it.  The idea here is to always consider and choose to act on our feelings in a way that creates more connection in our relationships.

The following video offers some tips on how to deal with jealousy in poly relationships.  A transcript follows.

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Hi there. My name is Laurie Ellington, That’s I work with individuals and couples in all kinds of relationships. I specialize in open relationships, non-monogamy, and polyamorous relationships. The core of my poly coaching services is to help people get really present with what’s going on in the moment.  To find clear ways of communicating what’s going on and clear ways of communicating their needs, And, to do so in a way that creates a connection.  To do so in a way that creates intimacy. And, to do so in a way that creates and nourishes healthy relationships.

Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about jealousy. It’s one of those things that everyone experiences at some point in their life.  And, polyamory has this wrap or this notion that, “Oh my gosh, if you’re going to be in a polyamorous relationship, you cannot experience jealousy at all.” I’m going to tell you right now that that’s not true. That’s a lie. Some people may not be jealous people. They may not experience those feelings of insecurity. Other people do.

It’s not to say that if you experience jealousy, you cannot be in a polyamorous relationship. It’s not to say that if you don’t experience jealousy that you’re going to be awesome in a polyamorous relationship. Jealousy doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with being poly or being capable of being in a healthy polyamorous relationship. Jealousy is a feeling. It is an emotion. It is natural. It comes and it goes just like joy comes and goes, ecstasy comes and goes, fear comes and goes, anger comes and goes.

All of these feelings will move through us. We breathe them in. We find out what they mean or we check in with ourselves about what we want to do with this feeling or what we want to do with this emotion, and then we go on. I wanted to give you a tip for those moments when you are feeling jealous, for those moments where you are feeling insecure, for those moments when you are feeling less than superhuman.

I’ll give you just my own story. Lots of times, I will experience a little bit of insecurity or a little bit of jealousy when my partner’s going out with somebody new. It’s like what does that mean? Who is this new person? I am starting to feel nervous. My blood pressure is starting to go up. It’s like I have all these questions. It’s like, “Oh my God, what does this mean?” What I’ve come to learn is that when I feel jealous, it’s because I have an underlying need and that underlying need for myself is the desire to feel needed, wanted, loved, all these different things.

It’s like I really just want to feel okay. I want to feel okay with myself and I want to feel okay in my relationship. What has happened to me in the past is that when I’ve been triggered by something, all of a sudden I’m feeling this energy, I’m going to call it jealousy. I’m feeling this energy.  It feels really intense and really uncomfortable.  I don’t know what to do with it so I start looking for ways outside of myself to feel better, grabbing on to my partner, trying to control his situation, trying to feel safe.

What I have learned is that the more I can recognize that feeling when it comes up in the moment, “Wow, feeling that feeling. I think it’s jealousy. I don’t like this feeling, but I’m feeling it and I’m just going to sit with it.” Sometimes, I’ll put my hand on my heart and I’ll breathe and I’ll name it, “Jealousy. Okay, I know this. I’ve been here before.” Then I get an opportunity to ask myself what’s really going on and what my need is.

It’s like, “Okay. I’m feeling jealous. I have a need to feel loved or I have a need to feel safe.” I could ask my partner for support. “Babe, I’m aware that you’re going out with this person and I’m feeling nervous. I’m feeling jealous and I really just want to know that we’re okay. I really just want to know that you love me. I really just want to know something.” I have to separate this a little bit because the need that is wanting to be seen is generally, a younger version of myself. It’s like the little kid.

In my adult world, I know we’re good. I know I don’t have to worry about. I honestly don’t need reassurance, but that little kid that is triggered really does and that’s real. What I encourage my clients to do when we’re in a Poly-Coach session or we’re in an open relationship coaching session is I encourage them to pause. I encourage them to check in. I encourage them to breathe when they are feeling triggered, to breathe when they are feeling an emotion such as jealousy or insecurity, and breathe.

Slow down.

Feel your heartbeat say, “Wow, I’m feeling jealous. Okay.” It’s like, “I can do something about this. I’m going to ask for support.” You reach out to that person. Maybe it’s your partner, maybe it’s a girlfriend or maybe it’s someone else. “I’m feeling jealous right now. I really would love to spend some time with you. I’m feeling a little insecure right now, can you give me a hug? I’m feeling a little nervous right now, can you call me when you’re on your way home so that I know that I’ll see you by the end of the night?” All of these different things are possible. It’s anything is possible. Things become even more possible when we learn to be okay with ourselves.

Again, part of what I do in my coaching is I help people learn and practice to be okay with themselves. I learn and help people practice to be okay with each other when they’re in the midst of emotional turmoil. I’m telling you when you’re in an open relationship, when you’re exploring polyamory, or when you’re in a polyamorous relationship, you are going to experience turmoil. Just like you would in any kind of relationship. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to be part of an elite crowd to be in a polyamorous relationship. Lots of people explore polyamory because they’re drawn to it. That’s okay. There’s a lot of exciting things about polyamorous and being in a polyamorous relationship.

Back to when I’m feeling jealous or when I’m feeling triggered, I take a deep breath. My hand on my heart. I listen to my heartbeat and identify. Okay, I’m feeling jealous. Maybe I’ll admit that I don’t like to feel jealous and I’m going to feel jealous and that’s okay. Then I ask myself, what do I need? Then I let myself come up with that answer. I need some reassurance. I need a hug. I need someone to tell me that they love me. Just whatever that is that’s going to feed that little part of you.  Then, you ask.

And if you need some help, if you need some help in any of that whether getting present, learning how to communicate, asking for a need to be met, or just being in the soup of open relationship or polyamory, give me a call.

Polyamorous relationship coaching, My email is My name is Laurie Ellington. I have blogs on my website, poly-coach. com. Check it out. I offer a Poly-Coach consultation to anyone who is interested in working with me. Thank you. Bye-bye.

To learn more about how I use a polyamory relationship counseling approach in my coaching and to see if working together is the best fit for you, contact me and schedule a Poly-Coach Session today!

About the Author

Laurie Ellington

I teach people how to break through false beliefs and negative behavior patterns. I offer my clients tools that empower their life and their relationships.