We all know how this works with medical issues. If I have a cough, I could take some over the counter medication or cough drops and treat the symptom. However, that cough may be related to allergies, or asthma. It could be related to pneumonia, or covid. Treating the symptom is only going to get me so far when the underlying issue is still at work in my body, causing problems.
So why is that when people experience “negative” emotions they assume that’s where the problem stops? “Oh, I’m just jealous. Everyone feels that way sometimes.”
Just jealous? Why are you experiencing that emotion?
Jealousy, like any other emotion, is merely the end result of a chain that starts somewhere in the brain and ends with a feeling. The question, as always, is where does it start, and how do we address the root cause?
There can be two ways to get there. The obvious one people give in to, is allowing their jealousy (or other feeling they don’t enjoy) to turn to anger at feeling bad and to throw that anger at their partner until what they are really upset about finally tumbles out from between their lips, if they get that far. My recommendation instead of choosing the destructive route is to take some time for introspection. Rather than allowing myself to act on a feeling of jealousy or frustration, irritation or anger, I spend time with it. I love it and caress it and talk to it for a while. Sometimes I even name it George. I ask it to show me what was bothering it, the way I would any friend who came to me with a problem. It is usually happy to accommodate my gentle coaxing in a way that doesn’t alienate my partner.
Because that’s really what all of this is about, isn’t it? Better, more positive communication, yes?
Perhaps the root isn’t that my partner is spending time with someone else, perhaps it is because the time we’ve spent together seems less like quality time and more like two people on their phones. Perhaps I’m upset because I’m not feeling special, or maybe I’m even mistaking one emotional response for another. When envy is the feeling of wanting what someone else has and jealousy is the feeling of being afraid to lose what you already have, they are easily mistaken for one another. Throw in the concept of “fear of missing out” and that’s quite a tangled ball to unravel before getting the heart of things. Some people can’t go through this process alone, so for them I always suggest they have a kink / poly aware counselor help them untangle where those feelings are coming from.
The important part is where you communicate these things to partners. Don’t freeze them out or pretend everything is okay. Let them know you’re working through stuff and you’ll let them know when you figure it out. Don’t take forever to do that, of course, or they will no longer trust your process. Continue to be affectionate while you sort out your shit. There’s no reason to punish them for your feelings. Once you’ve figured out what you need or desire in order to improve the situation, to address the root, be sure to do that in clear concise language, avoiding language which blames your partner. If you hadn’t – if you didn’t – when you make me feel. BZZZZZZZT! Nope. Try positive statements, such as I would like more attention, I’m feeling like I haven’t seen much of you lately, I want to feel important to you.
It can be easy to assume a feeling is its own issue as a standalone, but how often is that actually true? It is important for us to understand ourselves in order to effectively communicate that within the context of a relationship. The better we get at determining where these roots begin, the easier it will become to address those things before they begin to become bigger problems.
Christmas bunny has been exploring kink since she was legal to do so. Her serious writing started in college, where she accidently got some of her papers published in educational journals. She has recently expanded her writing to include her kink journey. She began writing in the physical realm, but shed some of her inhibitions and began sharing those entries with others. She now keeps an active blog of her personal growth and her relationship with her Master / Daddy Dominant and writes helpful educational posts on a variety of subjects.