Jealousy is a natural human emotion.
It can be both a blessing and a curse…strengthening or destroying, our love relationships.
I think of jealousy as more of a “signal”…telling us when our boundaries have been crossed and when we need to check our own insecurities.
For those of us in alternative or polyamorous relationships, jealousy can (if not fully accepted and explored) become a dangerous and ultimately damaging force.
Recently, I stumbled across a new book, “The Jealousy Workbook: Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships,” by Kathy Labriola (Greenery Press, 2013) that thoughtfully deals with just this issue:
A counselor and nurse specializing in polyamorous singles, couples and groupings, Kathy Labriola has spent many years helping people to understand and manage their jealousy. This book is a compendium of the techniques and exercises she has developed, as well as tips and insights from the polyamory community’s top educators, therapists and authors. These accessible, simple techniques are designed to be easily implemented in the event of an intense jealousy crisis. They are even more useful if undertaken over a period of time before a jealousy crisis happens, to build a skill set that will be at hand to help managing jealousy when and if it does occur. (Available on Amazon)
Reviews of the book are overwhelmingly positive:
Based on her work with the clients she has seen, it is by necessity focused on people with the problems that come with jealousy. This is only a subset of folks in open relationships, some of whom do not have the kind of problems she deals with. However, if you or your partner(s) are experiencing jealousy, this book is full of good exercises to help you through your rough spots. There are nineteen sections, containing forty-two specific exercises with well laid out instructions and examples from people who are experiencing the kind of problems you might be experiencing. (www.ejhs.org)
This book knocked me out! An essential resource on how to resolve jealousy in polyamorous relationships, and open-minded others. An excellent tool for finding answers that can lead to peaceful hearts and an abundance of love and connection. (Anita Wagner Illig, PracticalPolyamory.com)
For anyone struggling with relationship jealousy or insecurity, and especially for people with multiple loves… will guide you through the labyrinth of jealousy and bring you safely out to your widest possible selection of lifestyle choices. (Dossie Easton, MFT, co-author, The Ethical Slut)
Given the tumult that jealousy can and will evoke if not honestly and compassionately dealt with, I think that this workbook is potentially an essential tool for anyone in open an relationship…relationships they wish to maintain as healthy, happy, and…MUTUALLY (for ALL parties) SATISFYING.
Love…sex…relationships…are never easy, and the more partners we include the more complex negotiating balance can become, but alternative relationships can also be very satisfying…it all depends (honestly) on how hard your willing to work, together.