Here is a great excerpt from the article I’m reading today. Authors McCullough and Hall discuss how jealousy is not inevitable, natural, or something that cannot be eventually overcome or understood.
“Our culture seems addicted to three core beliefs about relationships that are almost guaranteed to create jealousy in even the most well adjusted people. Identifying and dismantling these beliefs is the most effective way of dealing with jealousy.
Core Belief #1: If my partner really loved me, there would not be any desire for an intimate or sexual relationship with anyone else.
This is based on the scarcity model of love, in which a person’s emotional or love interest in somebody else means that I will be loved less. It is as absurd as the idea that to have a second child is an indication that you don’t love your first child enough. It also presumes that sex and love are the same thing and meet the same needs.
Core Belief #2: If I were a good partner/spouse/lover, my partner would be so satisfied that they wouldn’t want to get involved with anybody else.
This belief is even more insidious. With the first belief you can at least blame the problem on your partner. This belief makes it your fault for not being the perfect lover. This is also the basis of the widespread romantic myth of the ‘one and only person on the planet.’ This is also guaranteed to cause serious self-esteem problems, which is fertile ground for jealousy.
Core Belief #3: It is not possible to love more than one person at a time.
This again is based on the scarcity theory of love, that I only have a finite amount to give.”
In the rest of the piece, the authors outline new core beliefs that can replace those old, outmoded (and stressful) core beliefs.
I really found this article particularly helpful for myself on a personal level today, as I’m dealing with what, I think, every poly person and every single human being in general goes through from time to time–which is self-esteem issues. I am battling feelings of worthlessness, sadness, fear, anxiety. I feel overwhelmed by an intense, almost insatiable desire for a partner that I have who lives at a long-distance from me, and am overcome by grief at missing him. When we are not near each other or not communicating, I somehow feel like I am less. Like I am worth less. Reading this article today helped me to remember that much of these negative feelings I have are a result of flawed cultural programming. Although I wouldn’t characterize my feelings as jealous ones, I do think that my current emotional issues are a result of a general scarcity mindset. I need to remember that each moment, no matter who I am with or not physically with or near, is beautiful and perfect just as it is. I need to remember to love all those I come into contact with. I need to remember that constant craving and desire and attachment is, ultimately, going to result in suffering.