Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Is it Jealousy or Envy? (Jealousy revisited)

The other weekend M and I went to the Rochester Erotic Arts Festival.  Some of their workshops were on polyamory.  We went to one that was about how polys deal time-wise with handling multiple relationships.   One presenter had a live-in partner and an outside relationship.  The other presenter had two live-in partners (his wives as he called them) and an outside relationship.  All of the partners and others were in attendance and gave their views and asked them to explain things to the audience.  It was interesting on many levels.  One was to see how real people handle all this and not read it in a book.  Another was that even in these relationships there are disagreements between people and how they work things out (talking about it was their answer).   One person in the audience then asked about how they deal with jealousy.  The answer they gave was thought provoking.

One of the wives answered that question with a question:  Is it jealousy or envy?  She went on to explain her view.  “If you are upset that the other person is happy and you want to destroy their happiness, then that’s jealousy.  If you are glad that the other person is happy but you’re upset that it isn’t you, then that’s envy.”  That got me thinking.  All the books discuses jealousy; but is it really jealousy or just envy? 

I know that M is poly and when he goes out with someone else, I’m glad that he is being who he is. For him, this makes him feel whole and good about himself.  I may not like the fact that he is doing something and I’m not, but in no way am I going to sabotage his time with that other person. This makes him happy. When he checks in with me after his time/date I ask how it was.  I’m not looking for all the juicy details, because I don’t want to know, I just want to know that he enjoyed himself.    In this aspect, I’m going through envy and not jealousy. 

Now if I was to blow up his phone with texts and/or calls while he was out with another and not give them a moment’s piece, then that’s jealousy.  I’m sabotaging M’s time out and therefore destroying his happy time; let alone M then having a really loud discussion with me afterwards about my behaviour.  If I complain and/or rag on M when he texts or calls me when he’s home from being with someone, again that’s jealousy.  He’s feeling good about the time he had, and I have to be the bomb that destroys it all.

So, is envy compersion?  No, it isn’t.  Someone did ask this, and the answer was no. In order for it to be compersion, everyone involved has to be doing the happy dance.  In envy, you’re not happy because it isn’t you who is involved. 

I feel that books should not call it dealing with jealousy when you are in this mono/poly relationship.  Instead they should define jealousy and envy.  Now, people, comes the hard part.  You should look at your own relationship and ask yourself, “Is it jealousy or envy that I am dealing with?”  If your answer is that you’re glad that your partner is being who they are and you are upset that you’re not doing it too, then that’s envy.  If your answer is that you want to unleash the hounds from hell whenever your partner goes out with someone, then that’s jealousy and my advice to you is to think about staying in this relationship.  Jealousy is not a good thing.

Every relationship requires work to keep it going strong; but look at it and say to yourself: “is it jealousy or envy” and go from there.

If you would like to check out the festival:  www.rochestereroticfest.org

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Respect Yourself

I’ve been asked a few times if people still go through those seven stages of emotions during their relationship; and how should people handle it.  My answer to the first half of the question is yes, every time our partner is interested in or starts to date someone new, we go through those seven stages to some degree.  Some people go through these stages whenever their partner leaves to spend time with the OSO too.  I think that it’s a normal thing.  I mean, a new person enters the picture or our partner leaves to spend some time with their OSO and we wonder where we will wind up on the relationship ladder.  We wonder about this and go through those stages (maybe even a quick run through) until things balances out and we are comfortable again.

How we handle all this is another thing.  We can read books, blogs, articles; talk to others about how they handle things, and you can get some good advice that you feel that you can use. But I feel that if you are not comfortable with, or in touch with yourself, then all this advice that you have been collecting will go by the wayside.  So, what do we do about this?  I’m a spiritual person so I feel that 2016 is the year of awakenings. No, I’m not going to go all religious on everyone.  I’m going to write about what is working for me and maybe it’ll inspire you to either look into what I’m doing or look at things that may work for you.

I would strongly suggest that if you would like to start out, read the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  The four agreements are: Be impeccable with your word.  Don’t take anything personally.  Don’t make assumptions.  Always do your best.  He then goes on and discusses each agreement.  There is a companion workbook that just came out for the four agreements.  There is also a fifth agreement:  To see the truth.  I haven’t read The Fifth Agreement book yet; but I will.

Another great book (for us women) is Warrior Goddess Training by Heatherash Amara.  There’s a companion workbook for this as well.  In this book she talks about clearing out old thoughts and ideas that no longer suit us and for us to become who we really want to be.  For me this was one powerful book!  It can be intense because we are looking at our past, but it really worked for me.  Sorry guys, I tried to look up things for you, but if there is something out there for guys, please let me know and I’ll pass it along.

By finding out and being comfortable with yourself, I feel that you could be able to do those me times when your partner is away without feeling guilty or bad about it.  I feel that when you hit those seven stages you can look at them in a different light (Like: My partner is responsible for their actions not me.  I don’t have to play judge or victim to myself.) than you do now.    I know that there are other books out there that are on the topic of personal growth/self-help; you will have to check them out and see which one feels good to you.