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Polyamory, Jealousy, and the Eight Walls of Intimacy

Note: This post will be a sort of a part of a 2-part follow-up to my post on Understanding and Managing Jealousy:

If you have not read the other two articles then please take a look.

Jealousy, nurse that horrible Green-Eyed Monster that can tear apart relationships, can rear its ugly head enough in monogamous relationships, but in an open or polyamorous relationships there are a tremendous amount of opportunities where jealousy can surface and cause problems if you are not prepared. The more we understand jealousy the better we will be able to tame this destructive beast. Please also take a look at my other articles on Jealousy to explore this further.

The Eight Walls of Intimacy

I envision there are 8 basic walls (categories of intimacy) that a person may encounter when jealousy, fear, and insecurities can really rear its ugly head. For some of you, depending on where you are at in your journey, these walls can be made of teddy bears and rainbows bringing us joy and candy, but for others, though, a wall can be made of a thousand pounds of tetanus-laden spiked bricks and wounded badgers which rise up to tear you and your loved ones apart.

Each person and each relationship is going to be different, but below are the eight walls I have identified that we may run into when our partners desire intimacy, are intimate, or show intimacy with others. Six of the walls are general categories of actions, and two are specific significant actions whose potential emotional response may be large enough to warrant its own listing. You might arrange them different for you, but I tried to put the walls in the order of least likely to most likely to trigger a jealous reaction. Some specific actions may be categorized differently for you than it is for others, or might be categorized under several of the walls for different reasons, but this should be good enough to start the conversation.

  1. Interest in Another – showing or expressing interest in another person
  2. Non-Sexual Physical Intimacy – holding hands, hugging, kissing, cuddling, petting
  3. Intellectual Intimacy – having deep conversations, sharing a hobby or other interest in common, have aligned philosophical, political, or religious views, etc…
  4. Emotional Intimacy – the way that your partner looks at another, desiring and being excited to see another person, having or desiring a deep emotional connection with another
  5. The “L” Bomb – saying that you love someone else too
  6. Sexual Intimacy – sexual thoughts or having sex with another
  7. Commitment – entangling finances or living conditions, etc; bringing the partner over to family events,
  8. Children – wanting to have children with another, having their children play together, spending time or taking care of the other’s children

Jealousy Severity Rating (JSR)

In the table below I have the 8 Walls listed with a rating scale (0-5) for the Jealousy Severity Rating, and a section for Partner Notes. You could even create subcategories to show that certain aspects are better or worse for you like: non-sexual physical intimacy does not phase you, with the exception of kissing which is something that you may consider very intimate, and seeing your partner kiss another brings out a fresh batch of negative emotions.

Here is a PDF version of this: Jealousy Severity Rating Worksheet

Walls of Intimacy Jealousy Severity Rating (JSR) Partner Notes
0 1 2 3 4 5
1 Interest in Another
2 Non-Sexual Physical Intimacy
3 Intellectual Intimacy
4 Emotional Intimacy
5 The “L” Bomb
6 Sexual Intimacy
7 Commitment
8 Children

Jealousy Severity Rating

JSR name description notes
 0  no reaction no negative emotions are brought up, sunshine and rainbows good for you – compersive feelings are what it is all about
 1 light jealous reaction wibbling, you notice it and may be able to tell it to go away; you may be aware of what is happening and why perhaps some more self reflection is in order and perhaps consider a future talk with your partner about this
 2 mild jealous reaction some negative emotions arise are creating stress and some conflict with you and/or your partners this is a good time to start a conversation with you partner as well as healthy dose of self reflection time
 3 definite jealous reaction definite negative emotions arise: anger, sadness, feelings of loss or neglect and create definite conflict therapist most likely needed, partner conversation needed
 4 strong jealous reaction crying, rabid fears run amok, feeling despondent, questioning relationships and partner choices therapist definitely needed
 5 overwhelming jealousy hysterical crying, serious thoughts of divorce or breaking up, potential thoughts of suicide therapist definitely needed

Exploratory Exercises:

  • assign a Jealousy Severity Rating (JSR) to each Wall with 5 being the most severe reaction
  • create sub-categories or list specific triggers that are significant for you and list their JSR
  • rearrange these in the order from least to most likely to induce an attack of a negative emotion
  • share this with your partners along with notes of their triggers and for ways they can provide reassurance and support to help you combat or deal with it
  • your partners can do these exercises for themselves too
  • each partner can fill this out for how they believe these areas may affect their individual partners as a sort of a check. We may not think a specific or category or trigger affects us, but others may see that it does and this can start a conversation

The Implied Monogamous Relationship Agreement (IMRA)

Note: This post will be a sort of a part of a 2-part follow-up to my post on Understanding and Managing Jealousy:

  • Part 1 – The Implied Monogamous Relationship Agreement (IMRA)
  • Part 2 – Polyamory, surgeon Jealousy, approved and the Eight Walls of Intimacy

If you have not read the other two articles then please take a look.


To get the most out of this article you will have to closely examine your past and present monogamous relationships as well as your thoughts, buy assumptions, and expectations in relationships to see the truth in what I am presenting. This process may be challenging for some. Keep in mind, also, that this is written in broad and sweeping terms.

This article is written from the stand point of an American in a westernized culture where monogamy is the norm and other relationships are not allowed and/or are punished. The only acceptable or even acknowledged relationship structure here is monogamy.

All relationships have a relationship agreement which governs what actions are acceptable or not – monogamy is no exception, although most do not even know that it exists or that this is a thing. The first rule of monogamy, like the Fight Club, is to not talk about the Implied Monogamous Relationship Agreement (IMRA) or even acknowledge its existence.

The IMRA is something that we are taught from birth. It is ingrained and indoctrinated into us as children. It is a fact of life and no other relationship formations can even be contemplated or considered, because the rules for all relationships are already set in stone for you before you were even born, and they are to be a visceral and intrinsic part of your worldview, understanding of life, and the way you interact with people. Its rules and your acceptance of them is implied and expected by everyone as a matter of course. To violate these rules is to court disaster from society at large.

Our culture supports, enforces, and perpetuates the existence of monogamy and its relationship agreement through books, movies, music, religion, laws, and our societal expectations of relationships. Understanding that the IMRA exists can help us to understand our thoughts, emotions and desires, to manage and understand jealousy better, and to better understand relationships dynamics.

As a note – a lot of this is perpetuated and reinforced by 2 harmful ideas: the Starvation Model of Love and the One True Love Myth. If you have not heard of these then please look them up. Perhaps I will write up a short post on this as well.

Contents of the Implied Monogamous Relationship Agreement

The IMRA manifests as a series of Exclusivity Clauses (EC) which effectively state that your partner will have exclusive access to you in the following major areas of life:

  1. Social
  2. Intellectual
  3. Emotional
  4. Sexual
  5. Financial
  6. Parental

I will talk about the individual EC’s a bit more below. In my forthcoming article that talks about the ‘Eight Walls of Intimacy’ you will see how these EC’s map to the Eight Walls – hint: they map pretty closely. Certain specific life moments may have significant overlap in several areas. Flirting is a good example of this, since it could hit on sexual, social, and intellectual or emotional areas, depending on the person or the situation.

For the following discussions I am going to assume that we are talking about a person who is in some form of a committed monogamous relationship (i.e. married or dating exclusively).

Before we dive in we have to create/define one word here as it will be used for our purposes so I do not have to repeat a large phrase each time:

person-gender:  a person of a gender that is appropriate for you as a potential romantic interest (i.e if you are a heterosexual woman then that gender would be male). This is typically applies to situations outside the work environment, but could apply there – each person, relationship, and situation is different.

Social Exclusivity

Social Exclusivity points to only spending time with your partner and no other person-gender – not for lunch (especially if they are very attractive), not chatting on Facebook, not flirting with, not going to a convention or concert with. Your primary social partner is your exclusive partner in all things not work related and anyone else is infringing in that space.

Intellectual Exclusivity

Intellectual Exclusivity points to not finding other person-gender interesting or having interests in common (and wanting to share it with them) especially if your partner does not share it in common with you; not having deep conversations about life, politics, religion, or philosophy, etc.

Emotional Exclusivity

Emotional Exclusivity points to only having romantic or other feelings of desire for your partner and no other person-gender – not still caring for your ex’s or even still carrying a flame for them or a previous love, not falling in love with or being attracted to someone else, not having a close friendship that is closer than an acquaintance or distant friend.

Sexual Exclusivity

Sexual Exclusivity points to having sex with and only sexual thoughts for your partner and not finding other person-gender attractive or thinking about them sexually, not looking at porn, not admitting that they are pretty or are in great shape, not pointing out great things about them, since you should have eyes for only your partner.

Financial Exclusivity

Financial exclusivity points to not spending money on other person-gender – not gifts, surprise parties, trips, etc. All money should be spent only on your partner.

Parental Exclusivity

Parental Exclusivity points to only wanting to have children with your partner, not thinking about wanting kids with partner-gender or what your children might look like. Obviously, there are some exceptions when you already have kids with someone else, but the other rules still basically apply to them too.

Rachel Maddow Interviewing David Bahati, the Sponsor of the “Killl the Gays” Bill in Uganda

As a follow up to my previous post on this topic titled “Ugandas Death Dentence Legislation for LGBT Peoples and the ‘Christians’ Who Counseled Them Towards This End ” – I just recently found this link from WATCH: RACHEL MADDOW INTERVIEWS UGANDAN MP DAVID BAHATI, migraine AUTHOR OF THE ‘KILL THE GAYS’ BILL. It is actually is disturbing to know that this sort of blind zealotry still exists. I do really know that it does, ed but it really saddens me to hear of it.  Please take the moment to watch it. Something interesting to note is that I do not think that this interview would have happened if MR. Bahati knew that Rachel Maddow was a lesbian.

Interview with David Bahati – Part 1

Interview with David Bahati – Part 2

Interview with David Bahati – Part 3

Prop 8 Appeal to be Televised

If you have not followed California’s Prop 8 trial please take the moment to watch the district court appeal which should give you an ideal and a great summary as to what this is all about and both sides’ views. One of the places it is available is via C-SPAN and it all starts at noon (CST). There is also a live BLogging of the district court appeal available at Prop 8 Trial Tracker in case you cannot watch the video at work… like me.

Please watch/read it. This really matters.

“Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, Alters Brain Development” – a Science Daily Article

I came upon this really interesting article in Science Daily titled “Pregnant Mother’s Diet Impacts Infant’s Sense of Smell, prescription Alters Brain Development“. It says that a baby’s sense of smell is affected by what foods the mother eats while pregnant. This makes a lot of evolutionary sense. If the mother is consuming certain foods then it must be good for the baby to have a predilection to consume and have desires for this food as well. This is an effective way of helping to ensure that the baby will want eat the food that is available in its future food sphere. However, valeologist this horrendously backfires when the mother is an alcoholic or has a horrible diet to begin with allowing the potential to pass a desire in the baby for a similar life style. =(

If you are currently pregnant please keep this finding in mind…. think of the children.

Mosuo – an Egalitarian and Matriarchal Society in Tibet

The Mosuo are mentioned prominently in the book Sex at Dawn which I wrote about earlier. The Mosuo, unhealthy who are found on the Chinese/Tibetan border, pregnancy  are one of the few remaining egalitarian and matriarchal societies. What is so fascinating about them is, diagnosis partly that they are a matriarchal society where the mothers ares the center of the family, but also that a mothers family raises the children and the father does not necessarily have to have any direct involvement with his children. The children’s mother and her brothers etc take care of raising the children. Here it truly does take a tribe to raise a child.

They do not marry as we, westerners understand the term. They have something called Walking Marriage. At night if a woman wants the man to come in to spend the night then she leaves the door open for him, and in the morning he must be gone. Women may have however many partners as she deems appropriate, but these liaisons are usually based on love and not necessarily on libido.

Frontline World: Rough Cut has a 20 minute video titled ‘The Women’s Kingdom’ detailing the Mosuo culture. It is fascinating. Please take a moment to watch it.

Read More

Review “Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” – A+++

California’s Appellate Court granted a stay on Judge Vaughn’s ruling pending appeal. This was, patient in my opinion, to be expected since this is such a high profile case and precedent setting case,  so nothing drastic there. However, there is some good news as far as this process is concerned as is covered here BREAKING: 9th Circuit STAYS Judge Walker’s ruling; Appeal scheduled December 6 on Prop 8 Trial Tracker:

  • the appellate court is expediting the the appeal of the ruling of the unconstitutionality of Prop 8 and set the date for the week of 6 December, which is awesome. The sooner the, hopefully, better.
  • they are also specifically asking the Prop8’ers: In addition to any issues appellants wish to raise on appeal, appellants are directed to include in their opening brief a discussion of why this appeal should not be dismissed for lack of Article III standing. which is huge. Judge Vaughn said that they do not have standing for a stay or appeal, if I remember correctly, and the appellate court obviously pretty much agrees with them, but are giving them a chance to sound at least a little rational and try to retain some self respect.

In the scheme of things this is pretty huge. The appeal process could end up being pretty short (comparatively speaking) since they do not have standing for appeal, so this may most likely get dismissed with prejudice. This will be a massively huge win and precedent for gay rights all throughout the US if this does happen, since there will be a court ruling stating that banning gay marriage is unconstitutional and they have no standing. Of course, once that happens the appellate court’s decision will be appealed and, hopefully, a similar thing will happen in the Supreme Court.

Cross your fingers everyone. History and justice is happening. =)
I recently finished the book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality. It is an excellent and life altering book. It really ties together a lot of what I have read about evolutionary psychology and evolutionary biology. If you have not read this book, ask or even if you have never read an evolutionary psychology book at all, pharmacy read it. It may change the way that you see the world, and I mean that in a good way. It covers topics such as monogamy, swinging, infidelity, and polyamory in it.  It truly covers the wide spectrum of human sexuality. Wow is all I can say.

If you do not know what polyamory is I have written a primer on polyamory for those who are curious.

“Social Organization Among Apes” from the book “Sex at Dawn”

I am currently reading the new book ” Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality” which is a book on Evolutionary Psychology, search which for me, more info is a really fascinating topic. I think I have the table copied over correctly. It is a great book so far.

This table occurs in Chapter 3 and I found it really, really interesting and I thought I would share it with you. I found it especially interesting since chips and bonobos are our closest genetic relatives, differing by about 1.6%. It is amazing how diverse the primates’ mating patterns are.

Table 1:  Social Organization Among Apes


Egalitarian and peaceful, bonobo communities are maintained primarily through social bonding between females, although females bond with males as well. Male status derives from the mother. Bonds between son and mother are lifelong. Multimale-multifemale mating.


The bonds between males are strongest and lead to constantly shifting male coalitions.  Females move through overlapping ranges within territory patrolled by males, but don’t form strong bonds with other females or any particular male. Multimale-multifemale mating


Gibbons establish nuclear family units; each couple maintains a territory from which other pairs are excluded. Mating is monogamous. mating.


Generally, a single dominant male (the so-called ·Silverback”) occupies a range for his family unit composed of several females and young. Adolescent males are forced out of the group as they reach sexual maturity. Strongest social bonds are between the male and adult females. Polygynous mating.


By far the most diverse social species among the primates, there is plentiful evidence of all types of socio-sexual bonding, cooperation, and competition among contemporary humans. Multimale-multifemale


Orangutans are solitary and show little bonding of any kind. Male orangutans do not tolerate each other’s presence. An adult male  establishes a large territory where several females live. Each has her own range. Mating is dispersed, infrequent and often violent.

Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature

Here is a 5 page Psychology Today article titled Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature that follows very closely what I have read in the book about Evolutionary Psychology titled Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters. Evolutionary Psychology is very interesting as always.

New Examiner Article “Sacred Sexuality”

I have posted a new article for the Milwaukee Examiner titled “Sacred Sexuality

Sexuality is too often something that is thought of as sinful and something to be ashamed of. Sexual liberation is equated with perversion, youth health moral weakness, traumatologist or even in some places, a psychological illness. The United States, with its socio-cultural values deeply rooted in sex negative Western European Christianity, has a problem with us enjoying and embracing our sexuality, especially, and almost specifically, for non-procreative means. This sexual repression is the cause of much guilt, self doubt, as well violent sexual crimes, especially against women, since they are the supposedly the cause of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden.

To those religions and spiritual movements who believe in the sacredness of sexuality you will find that they believe that our sexuality can be a tool of healing and spiritual enlightenment when used properly and with the right intentions. Embracing and enjoying our sexuality can be a spiritual and moving experience that allows love to prosper and healing to begin. Connecting with another human being in such an intimate way can foster great feelings of love, contentment, self-value, and confidence, as well as emotional stability. Those wonderful world altering sexual moments can be a powerful spiritual experience that can reinforce our faith with the creator and another person.

Sacred Sexuality in the Past

All of humanity was not historically always sex negative. If you look to the past at some non-Christian paths you will find that some other religions have found something divine or sacred in humanity’s sexuality. There was even a sacred sexual Christian movement as well.

In Biblical and pre-Biblical days in Egypt, Greece, and Mesopotamia, there were religious sects dedicated to Isis and Bast, Aphrodite, and Ishtar/Inanna and Asarte respectively (and others) that held sexuality sacred and whose temples had women and men that were what we refer to today as sacred prostitutes, even though that is arguably not the correct translation for their title and position. These sacred or temple prostitutes were priests or priestesses that were trained and specialized in sacred sexual religious rites, and the use of sexuality as a tool for healing and spiritual enlightenment. These sacred sexual priests and priestesses held a prestigious place in their societies for their knowledge and abilities. They revered sexuality as a method of healing, enlightenment, bonding and pleasure.

In early Christian times we had the Christian Gnostic movement, which was present in pre-Roman Emperor Constantine‘s conversion to Catholicism and pre-Saint Augustine Christianity (200’s A.D), and had a similar attitude towards sexuality as a sacred and visceral part of our faith. This path was lost when Catholicism was made the official religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine and they moved to stamp out all of the other Christian movements to solidify their position.

Modern Sacred Sexuality Movements

Gnosticism is a current, and very much unknown, sex positive Christian movement that concentrates on the Christian Gnostic Gospels of Thomas, Mary, and Philip which were found in Nag Hammadi, Egypt in 1945, These gospels mention the Bridal Chamber and its ability for man to transcend through our sexuality.

If you look outside modern Christianity there is also the Pagan/Wiccan paths which also hold sexuality as sacred and some sects do have sacred prostitutes as well. We also have the Tantric and Taoist movements who also revere sexuality in a very similar way. In todays sexually oppressive society you still have a few options to explore, grow, and heal spiritually via your sexuality.

In the past our sexuality was seen as thing of healing and enlightenment and as time passed and philosophical and religious movements went on, they have become more and more sex negative much to our detriment. Fortunately there are movements which have retained a sex positive mentality and spirituality. Shifting our thinking and socio-cultural norms to revere, embrace, and respect our sexuality instead of loathing it will only help us to solve some of our problems such as our high rates of divorce and violent sexual crimes, as well as to increase our spirituality.

For More Info See:

Sexuality and Christianity

Gnostic Bible (Nag Hammadi)

Sacred Sexuality or Prostitution


UUA Sexuality Education

I first heard about this in the UUA World magazine a while ago and I was really, thumb really, buy more about reeeaaallly excited about it. The United State’s sexual education for kids and adults has never been really good or really comprehensive and this is a wonderful and liberating step forward. The UUA‘s Our Whole Lives (OWL): Lifespan Sexuality Curricula spans from kindergarten to older adults.

My next article on for the Milwaukee Examiner as their Liberal Spiritual Examiner will be about sexuality so I will be mentioning the UUA‘s wonderful new curricula there.

It’s a Little Girl!

I will write more later, stomatology but last after noon Tanya gave birth after 24 hours of labor via a C-Section to our daughter, Uliana (ool-liana) O’Neill. Everyone is fine and still at the hospital. =)

Understanding and Managing Jealousy

Note: This article is nowhere near comprehensive. I am not a licensed psychologist or a therepist, check and this writing comes from what reading I have done on this topic and my own experience, viagra sale so take this for what you will. If you have references or other things that may increase the usefulness or accuracy of my writing then feel free to post me about it. I am more than happy to adjust my writing to reflect a new understanding on this topic or to make this page much more useful.

This article assumes, for simplicity, a heterosexual monogamous romantic relationship that is having bad jealousy issues, but could be equally applied with adjustment towards homosexual/poly relationships when viewed through those glasses. Close friends not getting enough time or other less serious situations are not the focus of this writing, but may be just a applicable within that context.

Jealousy is something that we have to deal with, and is something that we are taught is OK. In many forms our culture, unfortunately, supports and perpetuates its existence through books, movies, music, laws, and societal expectations of relationship possessiveness and territoriality. How are we to manage or understand this “green-eyed monster” that can destroy relationships and our happiness, so that it is not allowed to do so, even when cultural support for it is so prevalent?

Understanding exactly what jealousy is, and how and why it affects us can help us to not only tame it, but to advance and evolve our sense of self and increase intimacy in our relationships. I am going to cover a bit here today about jealousy so that we can start the journey to defeat the “green-eyed monster” together and to evolve our happiness and security to the next level.

All of what I am about to write is predicated on there not being a definitive reason for the jealousy such as a history of infidelity or lying and so on. That is a totally difference scenario which I will not cover here, but, in that case, you will most definitely want to seek a qualified therapist. There are also many more links at the bottom of this page that will cover jealousy in much more detail and in a much more educated and qualified manner than I ever could. This page might be consider more of a primer on dealing with jealousy.

Understanding Jealousy

What is Jealousy?

Jealousy is not an emotion in-and-of-itself. It is a cacophonous and yet subtle amalgamation of baser negative emotions such as insecurity, low self esteem, subconscious or repressed pains, and fear of loss, abandonment, or inadequacy that surfaces and affects us in ways that we may not fully understand or be able to describe when it happens. We just know that we feel bad or that it hurts when something triggers it, and we may get angry and frustrated because we do not, or find it very difficult to try to, understand it.

Jealousy is also rooted in the starvation economy (starvation model) of love, which essentially means that if my partner cares for someone else then they will care less for me, which greatly increases the level of fear, anxiety, and possessiveness. We love our parents, our children, close friends, and other extended family, so you do not necessarily need to be afraid that they are going to love someone else and not you. Your partner has room for you in addition to their close friends and family. Humans just keep on loving. It is said that fear is the opposite of love; and by letting go of fear (jealousy) you will foster love in your life.

These self-doubts, insecurities, and fears can lead us to question and pressure our partners in an aggressive and untrusting manner which can damage the relationship, or push them away. Gaining an understanding and control of jealousy will be important to the happiness and harmony of all your current and future relationships, especially the most important and intimate ones.

This frustration and difficulty of understanding these emotions perpetuates and hinders exploration and comprehension of what exactly is happening. Cutting our way through the pain and confusion is what will be important to defeat the ‘green-eyed monster’ and the havoc it wreaks upon our lives and relationships. Ultimately, bouts of jealousy indicate that there is some unresolved issue with yourself or with your relationship, but it also could point to an unmet need within you or your relationship. It signals a moment to learn about ones self and your relationship, which, of course, can be a mixed blessing.

Your Triggers

Jealousy triggers typically involve ‘someone’ of the opposite sex of your partner. Your partner does something and you feel jealous and hurt, and you may or may not understand why. The action that started this process is the trigger. Examples of common triggers are: someone calling your partner or oogling at them, your partner staying our late, or wanting to spend time with friends, spending time with people in a very social setting where there are many individuals of the same gender that your partner could be attracted to.

You will need to pay special attention to your triggers. The triggers themselves may be revealing as to the underlying issue you may be having, especially if one trigger is fairly consistent and others are either non-existent or limited in their prevalence. This may help point to the underlying emotion that is causing jealousy to surface.

Your Emotional Response

Your emotional response to a jealousy trigger is going to be very important to monitor and understand. Try to search your emotion and figure out exactly what you are feeling. This is perhaps the most difficult part. You will need to try to distinguish between individual fears and insecurities, and potentially trust issues. Take the time to think about you feelings to try to refine what exactly is going on. The more you can know about this the easier it will be to understand what your underlying issue maybe and how to deal with it. For this process you need to remove jealousy as a potential word for your emotion, since it is not an emotion in-and-of-itself. It is a crutch word that prevents your from searching for the real emotion that is bubbling forth.

Your Reasons

If you are able to know you triggers and the emotional response to that trigger, then the next step is the take that information and try to find out why that trigger elicits that emotional response. Is it projected unresolved issues from the past, or perhaps you need more reassurance from your partner, or there may be any of a plethora of other things that may cause a specific type of trigger to generate a specific emotional response. Try to think about the relationship between the trigger and your emotional response, your past experiences and your relationship needs and desires.

Again this may be something that you will want a qualified therapist to work through. These are very complicated and potentially deep seated issues that some simple self exploration and talking may not deal with. Plus we are working against some very strong cultural and evolutionary programming.

Managing Jealousy

Responsibility For Our Emotions

Something that is very key to understanding and dealing with this issue is that no one can make you feel any emotion. You are an individual and you have a choice as to how you feel and react to situations. This is not what we are typically taught, but it is one of the most valuable things you can realize for yourself and you life. You have a choice to determine your reaction to a situation, albeit, until your realize this you may find yourself a helpless slave to your emotional whims. People typically go through their lives allowing their initial emotional response to bubble forth and then they go with it because that is all they know, but in the case of jealousy, or even any other negative emotion, it is not such a good idea to do so.

If you work at it you can separate the ‘action that triggers an emotional response’, the ’emotional response itself’, and the ‘underlying reasons for the emotional response’. Keep in mind ‘underlying reasons’ does not mean triggers themselves. The trigger, emotional response, and the reason are all separate and need to be inspected that way otherwise you may start mixing them up and call the trigger the reason, when it is not.

No one can make you feel a specific emotion. We are, in many ways, programmed via Evolution and Culture to respond a certain way to certain situations, but this is something that we can, with effort and desire, to control and modify it. This process can be a very painful, since it will require introspection, self-evaluation, a radical honesty with one’s self and their partner, trust, and vulnerability. All of which can be scary and difficult in-and-of-themselves, but to combine them into one process makes this not for the weak of heart. In the end, it can be one of the most rewarding things you can do. If you are not keen on going-it-alone with you partner in dealing with jealousy, then there are many qualified therapists that would be happy to assist you in this endeavor.

It is important to say to yourself  that ‘I will not allow my emotions to control or effect my life in a negative way and I will decisively choose to address them when they come up.’ Your emotions are your responsibility and you need to evaluate how they affect your life and address them appropriately. I will cover some communication techniques later on that will address taking responsibility for you emotions.

Dealing with Jealousy Through Writing

Writing can be a very therapeutic and revealing method to help you deal with jealousy and other issues too. Writing a journal will help you to keep track of and get out those negative feelings. In these days you could also record them via a small recording device if that serves you better. In either case, you will want to keep your recording medium safe from others because rarely is such a painful and deep-seated emotion pretty. Things may be written or said that can be quite personal and painful not only for you, but to those involved. If you are pursuing this process with your partner you may want to inform them that you are doing this and for them to respect your privacy if you wish it.

When you do feel a bout of jealousy starting you may want to take some time to write down the specifics of the situation that is triggering the jealousy. Keeping track of what situations or actions that triggered you to feel jealous can help you greatly in your pursuit to banish jealousy from your relationship.

As you are keeping track of your triggers, you will also want to also to write down your emotional response to that trigger. Write as much as you can and just let the thoughts and emotions flow so you can thoroughly explore and open them. Explore this state of mind and write down what you are feeling.

Once you have that recorded you can revisit it and explore your triggers and feelings and then you might be able to find a trend in your triggers or what it is that you are feeling. Perhaps you will find a reoccurring theme in your feelings and writings that may point to the underlying reason for your jealousy.

Dealing with Jealousy Through Talking

When talking to you partner form your thoughts along these lines: “I feel ‘this’ when ‘that’ happens” because ‘of this’.; and NOT “You make feel this way when you do this, because you ‘reason’.” since that wording puts the responsibility for your emotions on the other person and assumes that you know the other persons thoughts and intentions.

You have the right to feel how you feel, and the first wording reinforces you are taking responsibility for your emotions, which seems to be an affront to the common thinking of our emotional states, especially when it comes to jealousy and possessiveness with our partners. Jealousy seems to be treated like a crime that is inflicted upon us, when it is really something that we allow to fester within us due to a lack of open and honest communication and taking responsibility for our emotions. We, in our emotional ignorance, unknowingly inflict it upon ourselves and our relationships.

With sentences such as  “You make feel this way when you do this.” you are creating an antagonistic environment, putting responsibility for your emotional state to your partner, even though your emotions are yours and your partner may not have really done anything wrong. Doing so may put your partner on the defensive and may greatly inhibit communication and your progress towards resolution and understanding what you are experiencing.

Enabling Jealous Actions

This is more for the jealous person’s partner than for the jealous person. If you both know that you have jealousy issues then by not talking about it or confronting them, albeit calmly, coolly, and with compassion, you are enabling and reinforcing this behavior and allowing it to continue. Once you start to do that you are reinforcing for them that this behavior is acceptable and that you will just deal with it, which leads to not only a break down in communication, but also in bad feelings for both of you, and potentially a significant amount of resentment.

Take the time to care enough to talk about and address jealousy in your relationship. Ignoring it is not going to make it go away, and is only going to allow it to fester and grow stronger potentially creating a chasm between both of you with a lot of pain.

Pain and chasms – bad. Calm and honest communication – good. Realize that it is going to take two of you to address jealousy, so help to be apart of the solution, by not enabling this behavior. Perhaps you can be the one to suggest counseling if your partner is reluctant to.

References and More Info

What I have written is a pretty good start to this topic, but please do peruse these references for more information. If these do not suffice, please seek a qualified professional to assist you. I also will appreciate recommendations for any other pertinent and useful resources that you may find or know of. I did not include articles on therapy through writing. If you are interested google has plenty, of a therapist can help you with that as well. =)




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