The jealousy and open relationships go hand in hand. In fact, jealousy is the biggest obstacle to the success of these types of relationships. It may seem contradictory since, after all, the people who decide to have these types of relationships seem to be above it. But in reality, very few people never experience jealousy.
The problem is that many people who embark on these types of relationships, so liberal and modern, do not consider that jealousy can affect them and their partners, so it may surprise them.
It is important to bear in mind that jealousy will arise, and you have to accept it as a fact, assuming that it will happen and being prepared to address it with appropriate strategies.
Most experts agree that jealousy is a natural reaction that, when exacerbated, can lead to irrational harmful behaviors.
While monogamous couples deal with their fair share of insecurity, jealousy in open relationships can escalate in surprising as well as complex ways. In this sense, many non-monogamous couples feel unnecessarily stigmatized and guilty during episodes of jealousy.
In any case, jealousy is something natural in couples, whatever their type.
What is jealousy?
Jealousy refers to the fear of the unknown and change, the fear of losing power or control in a relationship, the fear of scarcity and loss, and the fear of abandonment. They are a reflection of one’s insecurity about one’s dignity, anxiety about being suitable as a lover, and doubts about convenience.
For every jealous feeling, there is an emotion behind that is much more important than the jealousy itself. Behind it, there is an unmet need or a deep fear that was not met. Recognizing those fears and unmet needs is the key to unmasking jealousy and taking away its power.
For open relationships, here are some tips to overcome the ghost of jealousy and contribute to a happier and longer open relationship.
How to manage jealousy in open relationships
Get rid of stigma
Open relationships are still stigmatized relationships, despite the fact that they are being talked about more freely and are more popular.
Many of the people who participate in these types of relationships carry this stigma, and that makes them feel guilty and disappointed, especially when jealousy arises. In this sense, jealousy can seem like a personal failure or even a compromising factor, since, along with the freedom that one has to be with other people, the other is also allowed the same.
Establish guidelines for action
That the relationship is open does not mean that it is a relationship “without rules.” That is why it is important to establish the boundaries and limits of permissiveness so that the two members of the couple play the same game.
Learn to take care of yourself
In open relationships, each one must assume the need to be responsible for himself and learn to calm down and regulate his emotions. The ability to cope with jealousy requires a personal source of trust that does not depend on the love of the couple.
Declare jealousy should be done with the goal of achieving respect and understanding. Therefore, ignoring or belittling the feelings of the other, will only increase the jealousy. In open relationships, it is convenient to listen to the other, reassure him and, above all, express to him with frequent gestures that he has nothing to fear, so that he feels safe in the relationship.
Understand the positive side of jealousy
When jealousy arises, it is a good time to explore the causes that motivate it, to reflect on the type of relationship that is maintained and if this is how you really want to approach the relationship. Jealousy is also a good time to rethink your own beliefs and to mature as a couple.