Are you jealous? How’s that working for you?
We wanted to learn more about jealousy and how it manifests itself in all sorts of relationships. Just when we were wondering, I received an email from Carise Rotach-Beard. She was coming to Chicago and wanted to teach a class at g boutique. Carise is a Minneapolis-based licensed psychotherapist specializing in people who identify within the polyamorous, kink-affiliated, and queer communities. She affirms all relationships and works from the belief that sexuality is multifaceted, particularly when more than two are involved, but can be navigated with confidence allowing for a person to experience richness and the intimacy they desire. Perfect.
The title was really long, Un-Learning Jealousy in Ethical Non-Monogamy, and a little confusing. The class was anything but confusing. Carise has a wealth of knowledge and experience and what she taught at g is applicable to any relationship. Monogamous or ethically non-monogamous, we’ve all gone to “that jealousy place” where we don’t even recognize ourselves or our actions.
Carise focused on polyamorous relationships but, I promise you…we can all learn from these teachings. Some of her most resonating take-aways are:
- Jealousy bases itself in our Limbic system and our immediate reaction to jealousy is Fight, Flight or Freeze.
- In these moments it is best to:
1.Do some deep breathing
2.Take a break from the conversation- do promise to come back to it though
3.Journal about your feelings
- Jealousy = Fear -What are you afraid of? Usually it is loss. Feel that emotion. Feel the emotion you fear the most.
- If jealousy is intentional or manipulative, it’s time to use your resources and get help.
It’s easy to conceptualize the notion that love & loss go together because we know that it hurts more to lose something or someone you love but what if we focus on the ebb and flow of life. If we accept our capability for abundant love and abundant loss. If we place enough trust within ourselves to know that we can’t own anyone else so we must accept the ebb and flow of our love. That way, we can make agreements within our relationships and when jealousy does occur, we can own the situation for ourselves and not blame the other person.
Another important conversation technique is the use of “I” statements. This helps keep the conversation from escalating into angry outbursts. After all, we can only control our own actions and let others know how we feel. We can’t say what’s in their minds or hearts or how they feel.
Carise pointed out that we are able to learn and grow through jealousy. This work can deepen attachment and understanding between partners but only if we practice positive communication and work at building mutual trust.
What a great event at g boutique. We are so grateful to Carise Rotach-Beard for sharing her time with us while in Chicago. Please come back to g boutique for more.