how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

Finding Compersion In Polyamory

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Most polyamorous couples want to find compersion in their relationship…

To be in a place where your partner comes home from a date lit up. And instead of being full of jealousy or anxiety or resentment, you’re HAPPY for them… 

You can discuss their other relationships. Share their joy. Maybe even give them advice and support.

And yet, while most polyamorous folks WANT compersion, the way they try to find it is completely wrong. So they never get it.

Want to know the secret to finding compersion in your relationships?

Resources mentioned


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Josh 0:00
All right, everybody. So today we're going to be talking about compersion in polyamory. So what is it? Right? How do you get it? And just as importantly, like, what are the myths around compersion that a lot of non monogamous people believe? All right, so hang on, and let's jump in.

Cassie 0:43
We teach non monogamous folks, how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:48
This podcast is about answering one question, how do you create loving, passionate, secure relationships outside the box? Even if nothing has ever worked before? If you want to know the answer, you're in the right place.

Cassie 1:01
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcast.

Josh 1:11
So Cassie, what's been new in our world?

Cassie 1:15
A lot of new words the little lion is talking up a storm and has a lot of new things to say

Josh 1:23
Well, it's actually funny because I'm having a harder time understanding her now than I was when she had less words.

Cassie 1:32
Yeah, when she had a handful of words even though they weren't super clear. We knew what they were but now like you know, peanut butter, bubbles, and Bob Ross all sound very similar.

Josh 1:46
Yeah, and then the baby like thinks you're stupid like grabs you by the face and like enunciates into your face, saying...

Cassie 1:52
Bob Ross!

Cassie 1:53
You want peanut butter? Bob Ross!

Cassie 1:56
And to explain the Bob Ross thing because probably our listeners are like, why does your baby know Bob Ross?

Josh 2:02
Because she's a prodigy and she's painting at 19 months old. They're beautiful. There's happy little trees. And uh...

Cassie 2:09
Because she really likes Bob Ross before she goes to bed and she really likes the little tune to the thing.

Josh 2:13
Are you sure she doesn't like it because it's the only TV she gets?

Cassie 2:15
No, she actually, every time the song comes on, she starts rocking out to it. And then she asks again, which is one of her other new words to listen to it. But no, she really likes it. And she likes trees. And she knows the word tree. So the whole time she's like trees.

Josh 2:31
I'm not looking forward to leaving her in Maryland.

Cassie 2:33
Hmm, no. We're leaving at the end of the month to go do some training and we're going to be gone for like 10 days.

Josh 2:42
Well we're gonna be gone for like, a week and then quarantined.

Cassie 2:46
Yeah, all together,

Josh 2:47
Three days when we get back.

Cassie 2:49
Yeah.

Josh 2:49
Is more what it is.

Cassie 2:50
Yeah, so it's gonna be like 11 like 10 and a half, 11 days of no little lion.

Josh 2:56
We do these trips, what, like, maybe three times a year for training to help our clients. So this is going to be... Yeah, two. So we went in June and then.. no there was one earlier but it was virtual.

Cassie 3:07
Yeah. Yeah, they're actually having it in person, this time, and we're gonna get to go and learn a bunch of amazing stuff and bring it back to our clients. It's one of the things that we do to kind of up our skills and better serve the people that we work with.

Josh 3:25
Yeah, well, that's what happens when you spend like $100,000 on training a year to better serve your clients, is you wind up traveling. So that's part of that, so... But it is what it is. I'm- like I said, I mainly, you know... remember a time when traveling was like exciting, instead of stress inducing?

Cassie 3:43
Oh, yes. Like, pre 2020. You mean?

Josh 3:47
Like, it was like, we're traveling, how exciting! Now it's like, Oh, God, we're traveling. It's stressful.

Cassie 3:54
COVID tests...

Josh 3:56
Come back quarantining from the baby who we were really hoping to take on this trip back before Delta was a thing.

Cassie 4:02
Yeah, we were hoping to take the baby so that way, like

Josh 4:04
We were hoping COVID would be like, this was in like June folks, like we were hoping COVID would be like, way more settled down by now then it is.

Cassie 4:10
Yeah, we were hoping that like Amanda could come and the kiddos could come and they could enjoy their time. You know, out there while we were getting training, so.

Josh 4:19
It's nice to baby has a mama at home though, while we're training.

Cassie 4:21
Yes.

Josh 4:21
That is ideal. Because otherwise I don't think it'd be possible.

Cassie 4:24
So look, here's the thing. This is like Poly co parenting nesting partner win right here. Two parents are going away for training and there is still a parent who's able to be home with the kiddos. So that is a huge win. And just talking about that like talking about that idea of like, you know the kids and COVID and stuff like that. The little lion also has a bubble buddy right now.

Josh 4:52
Oh lord.

Cassie 4:55
So the little lion has a COVID bubble buddy.

Josh 5:00
Let's explain what happened. We got tired of this baby who had never seen another kid her own age, staring longingly across the park at kids and wondering why she couldn't go meet them.

Cassie 5:09
She's been really, really sad that she has not had any little people friends. And so we have a friend who is at the same sort of risk level, and their kid doesn't have any other kiddos that they're interacting with. So we were like, we will bubble them. So they will be their only non vaccinated friend, family member, etc. So that way, the two of them could have someone to interact with that's their own age.

Josh 5:40
Well they're about the same age and the parents live close to us and are friendly. So.

Cassie 5:45
Yeah, so it's worked out really well, you know, and our daughter, on the other hand, is struggling a little bit because now that she has another human her size, She's so happy to see this other individual who is like, her size and playing with things that she is and she just wants to touch him. She's just like, please let me touch you

Josh 6:10
Which is so funny because she was and we didn't like do this intentionally, but it was just her. So the little lion was born the weekend that the US went into lockdown, like she was born like two days before we wouldn't have been able to, like be in the hospital with you. And, and so it's funny, because up until recently, she would like social distance herself. She's like, people are awesome. But you need to be like six feet from me or it's weird, right? And now she's just like, FRIEND! I'm going to tackle you. Like, yeah.

Cassie 6:40
She's like tackling him, the first time they actually interacted, me and Amanda joked that it almost seemed like, she didn't think that he was real. Because like, she was sitting next to this kid. And she's like, uhh, and then she just starts like, reaching out and poking him with one finger and touching him. And then looking at me and Amanda, like, Is this real? Is it a real human? And we're like, yeah, it's definitely

Josh 7:04
A real small human.

Cassie 7:04
It's a real small, it's a real small human. So we've had to have some conversations. And I think it's important, like, even at toddler age, to be working on consent, like we're like, you know, look, little lion, he's telling, you no, he doesn't want to be touched right now. He doesn't wanna be hugged.

Josh 7:19
I think that's the biggest problem you're having with that, though, is he doesn't actually talk so he's not actually saying no, so she's kind of like, No, he's not.

Cassie 7:26
He doesn't mean no.

Josh 7:27
What are you talking about? He didn't say no.

Cassie 7:29
So we're having to work a little bit on like,

Josh 7:33
Body language.

Cassie 7:33
Body language. And, you know, talking to her as much as we can. And you know, at this point, you know, she just, she really wants to hug him. And he just does not want her to hug him right now. But it's adorable and cute. And I think it's really awesome that she has a small human to interact with.

Josh 7:52
So I think that's kind of caught up on where we're at. And I don't want to take too long away from the topic today. So if it's good with you, why don't we go ahead and hop into the topic of today's show.

Cassie 8:07
Sounds like a plan.

Josh 8:13
Alright, everybody, so we're gonna try something a little different. This time I've been wanting for a while to try being in a spot where, like we can actually look at each other while we talk, and see how that goes. So I'm excited about that. And I'm excited about today's topic. So why don't you tell people what it is,

Cassie 8:28
We're going to talk about compersion, because we get all kinds of questions about compersion, like, what is it? How do I get it? How do I maintain it, if I'm feeling it, and things get rocky. So we wanted to really dive into what compersion is, and how you can actually get to having compersion in your relationships.

Josh 8:47
So let's start with what it is. So you want to start with like kind of like what most people think of compersion like compersion is or...

Cassie 8:55
Well, like why don't we just start with like, what compersion really is and then we can we can kind of dive into what it's not. Okay, so compersion is a non selfish joy that you have when you see your partner or others in your life, having happiness with someone else, right? It's that good feels that you have when you see your partner and particularly when we're talking about non monogamy, doing things or interacting with their other partner and being happy and joyful for that experience for them.

Josh 9:31
Well, yeah, it's really at the end of the day, it is this, in non monogamy right, when you're talking about compersion, people are talking about compersion, you're looking at being happy for your partner, that they have other partners in thier lives or when they're with their other partners or when they're having conversations with you about, you know, what they did with their other partners. And this is like, this is one of those like polyamory ideals, right? You know, when I'm talking to people and I'm talking to about what they want in their relationships. I can't tell you how many times, especially people who are in like a jealous place right now, which I know we're going to talk about. But how many times one of the things that they want is to be in a spot where like, their partner comes home from being on a date, and instead of being anxious and angry and upset, in comparing themself, like they watch their partner walk through the door, and they see them lit up, by having this other person their life. Like the time they spent with them, right? And that makes them happy and fulfilled. Instead of anxious. People want that because they want to be able, when their partner's happy to be happy for them, instead of being emotional and being upset and dragging them down or sabotaging the relationship or just being miserable, right?

Cassie 10:46
Yeah. And that's the thing, right? Like, who wants to be the wet blanket in their relationship with their partner, right? No One. No one wants their partner coming in being happy, excited and being the person that's like Grrr.

Josh 11:00
So folks here bare with us we're gonna just a little bit while we are doing this. Like I said, we really wanted to do this. It's kind of weird, like sitting in front of a computer and talking to each other without talking to each other. So we're gonna try but there might be a little adjusting this time as we go and get it right.

Cassie 11:10
We'll give it a try. Yeah. All right. So why don't we talk about what folks believed compersion is that isn't accurate.

Josh 11:22
Well, before we do that, can we talk about for the people who are like, I don't think compersion is a thing. I don't think you can be happy for someone else's happiness in a relationship. Right? Or I don't understand how that's possible cuz I know there are people like that. What would you say to them?

Cassie 11:41
So first off, compersion is not this thing that only poly people do, right? Like compersion is something that we've all felt at some point. So if you're a parent, you've had times that maybe you didn't go out with your kid and your partner right and they went out and they had a great day and they came back and they said, Oh, I had a good day and you're filled with joy. Or your partner right, they get that promotion at work or something like that. And their boss complimented them they got told that they were hot stuff by their boss not in the same kind of hot stuff as like their partner telling them that but you get what I'm saying right? And you're overjoyed to hear them talk about their own excitement, them to be super excited and things like that actually makes you have joy. Like a genuine joy and it's almost like a thankfulness and gratitude that there's other people in the people in your life that you love that make them happy that bring them joy.

Josh 12:44
Well and kids, so anybody with kids because I know a lot of people have kids, kids are really the easiest example for this right and doesn't even have to be and I think this is something that's, that's really easy to see, when you're talking about like children. It doesn't even have to be something that you enjoy doing. Right? Like I'm just trying to think, you know, we have a little lion she's, what 19 months now going on, like four years old and ridiculous, right? And just being in a spot like, okay, like, here's a really easy example, I'm not a big pool person. Right? And we went recently on like a family trip with our you know, our nesting partner and our kids. And we went to the mountains for a few days and you know, and did like a working vacation like clients at some point hiking at others it was really awesome.

Josh 13:31
But you know, one of those periods we went to the pool, and she was so happy and it isn't even something that, you know me I'm not a big pool person.

Cassie 13:41
You're not.

Josh 13:41
You know, I could take the pool, I could leave the pool.

Cassie 13:43
I love pools.

Josh 13:43
Usually leave the pool, right? Usually leave the pool, but still like seeing her so happy to be there, like, made me happy. Right. And that's I think what a lot of people miss when they're talking about compersion is seeing you know, even if you're in a spot where you really struggle with it, or, you know, if you're in a spot where you don't even see how that's possible, understanding that we all have this in other areas of our life, right? It's when we get to our romantic relationships, that it tends to start getting pretty complicated.

Cassie 14:15
Yeah, it's when we start to think about it in terms of our partners, other mates, right? Whether it is romantic or sexual relationships, that's when we start to see it a little differently.

Josh 14:29
And, you know, I'm thinking as we're talking about this, right? The reason people I think struggle with it in romantic relationships that I see with our clients or the people we talk to, is the same reason people struggle with compersion in other areas of their life. And it's really simple, right, which is, it's hard to really be happy for somebody when that thing that's making them happy is negatively impacting you. Right? So you know, I'm thinking about, like being in a situation where you know, your partner lands promotion.

Cassie 15:01
Oh I have one. I can give a good example.

Josh 15:03
Okay, go ahead.

Cassie 15:03
You with boxing.

Josh 15:05
Oh.

Cassie 15:06
That was very hard for me to have compersion around, right. So like, you were training like six days a week like you were, you went a little bit overboard with it

Josh 15:16
Note to yourself, by the way. If you sign up for a cage fight, that's going to require you to spend, like you already work like 60 hours a week, it's going to require you spend a massive amount of time training. Before you do that...

Cassie 15:27
Talk to your partner.

Josh 15:28
Talk to your partner. Lessons learned, you don't have to mess it up. Okay.

Cassie 15:31
But anyway, right? There was after after my initial ticked offness, I did want to support you with it right? And I loved you and I cared about you. But it was really hard for me to find compersion around that thing, when I knew it was taking away my time. When I knew there wasn't the things in the relationship that I was needing at the time, because you were already working a bunch of hours and things like that. So that's a great example of how like, it's really hard to feel that joy and happiness for someone when they're doing something that's actually pretty good for them. Like that was good for your confidence, good for your health, because you were going and working out all the time. Even though I knew all those things, it was still really hard for me to be happy for you.

Josh 16:14
Well, but I do want to pin that right? Because I think that's really important. I think I do just want to, you know, because you know, and this is one of the things that we see people do so often in this world of non monogamy that we live in. Is they take things that aren't complicated, I don't want to say aren't difficult, right? But they take concepts that like aren't complicated, and would be easily understood. Looking at it through the lens of monogamy. But then, when it comes to polyamory, they they make this like massively more complex thing. And again, I'm not saying that to say that it's easy, like all of these problems aren't easy to solve, right? That's not what I'm saying at all. But what I'm saying is, we make it more complicated than it is. So you know, and this is a really great example. Because again, like in the other parts of our lives, we're used to having compersion, that's the normal thing and the other parts of our lives. We don't think it's weird.

Josh 17:39
But like I said, so often, when we have things in polyamory, we take these things that aren't that hard to understand, maybe hard to solve, but they're not that hard to understand. And we throw all this like weird baggage on top of it just because we're talking about non monogamy and it doesn't need to happen. Okay, so I wanted to throw that in. back over to you.

Cassie 18:22
Yeah, so one of the big myths that I just kind of want to like knock out the way and then we can kind of get into some of these problems and complications and why people can't find compersion and how you can is there's this idea that compersion is the absence of jealousy, and it's really problematic, right? And even if you don't think it's true, you probably are sitting there like how is that problematic? It's problematic because it puts the standard that in order to have compersion, in order to have that you have to get rid of jealousy all together, right? Not to say that you don't have to get it managed, but it means that you have to get rid of it all. And it means that if you get rid of jealousy, suddenly you have compersion and that's the bigger problem. That's not necessarily always true, right? Doesn't mean Oh, I'm going to get rid of you know, the bad things that are going on. And suddenly, every situation I'm going to feel good about and that's just not how that's going to work.

Josh 19:30
I have something to say but I know you have another piece and I think it'll fit in better after that. So go ahead.

Cassie 19:34
So and this is where the kind of like it gets, you talked about overcomplicated, is that a lot of times in the non monogamous communities folks think that compersion is this either or, right like either you are in compersion, or you're jealous, and it's a spectrum and what the opposite of jealous really is, It's not compersion, it's security. It's feeling good. It's being okay with your partner having other partners and doing these things. Compersion is like the next level up. And obviously, that's something that a lot of people want to strive towards. And it's important, but it's not the opposite.

Josh 20:21
But is it really even a level up? Or is it really something different? Because, you know, I think, you know, it's entirely possible to get rid of jealousy and to not have compersion. Right, I think it's entirely possible to also have compersion while you feel jealous, you know, especially I think of people we've worked with who maybe have like a thing for their partners, being with other people and still feel horrible, though about their partners being with other people, even though it's like a turn on and they're happy for their partner, they're still miserable themselves. So I mean, is it really even that it's the next level? Or is it that it's, it's really even something separate from jealousy,

Cassie 20:55
I didn't mean next level, it's a different level, it's a different level of feel good it's a different level of emotion and connecting to those things, right, that happiness.

Josh 21:09
And there's two reasons I think this is so important to realize this distinction that we're talking about, right? Number one, because people tend to have this thing in their heads that like, if they don't have compersion, that they're just not good, polyamorous people. And it's not just that they think that it's that they're also hearing that, and it's also being reinforced by a lot of other people in their spaces in their communities that, you know, if they don't feel compersion, about their partners doing stuff, right, that they just, they just aren't good poly people.

Josh 21:43
And that's connected to this other idea, which I think is just as problematic, right? Which is this idea that, like you said, you know, there's like, if you're a good enough polyamorous person, you will hit a certain level of compersion, and when you hit a certain level of compersion, your jealousy will be gone. And if you're feeling jealous the real problem is you just have not achieved the appropriate, you haven't gained the appropriate amount of like experience points to level up to that degree of polyamory, at which you will feel compersion and not jealousy.

Cassie 22:18
You didn't earn your poly wings yet.

Cassie 22:19
You just you just haven't gotten - Yeah, you haven't gotten the experience points, like you get enough, you'll level up, like you're- it's, and that's really, it's really damaging, right? It's really damaging, because number one, like you said, compersion is the opposite of jealousy and getting to a place where you feel compersion doesn't mean you're not gonna feel jealous and vice versa. Right? But also, just because like I said, like, it isn't, it isn't necessary, to feel compersion to have happy and healthy, polyamorous relationships, like it's definitely a bonus to have that, but you don't need it.

Cassie 22:52
And so I'm gonna shift gears in a second. Okay, but just to kind of like, point that out, you know, I want to take a little piece of what you said, which is, you don't have to feel compersion. Now what if you want to, right? And that's perfectly fine. It's, it's an absolutely good goal, right to be in a place where you want to achieve having compersion. But it's important to recognize that when you don't have compersion, that isn't the problem in your relationship. And that's where a lot of folks go kind of sideways is they think, well, I don't feel compersion. So that's the problem in my relationship, that's what's causing the pain. That's what's causing me and my partner not to get along. That's what's causing a lot of these things to happen. And the truth is, is that the lack of compersion is a symptom of what's actually going on. It's not actually the cause it's the symptom, right?

Josh 24:04
So then, what is it that happens then when people believe that that lack of compersion is the symptom? Or sorry, is the problem instead of a symptom? Yeah.

Cassie 24:13
Yeah. So what happens is they focus on the compersion, like Oh, so I'm going to Google that might be how you found us, right? Like you go looking for like, how do I find compersion? What do I do?

Josh 24:26
You go on YouTube at three in the morning, you wind up pulling up videos like this.

Cassie 24:29
We're not talking directly to you.

Josh 24:31
You go into- Unless we are.

Josh 24:33
You go into polyamorous Facebook groups, and look what everybody's saying about conversion, how you're awful for not having any.

Cassie 24:39
Yeah. So you end up spending a lot of time working on trying to build compersion, and we'll talk a little bit about like ways to find compersion, things like that. But you end up ignoring and neglecting the real problems that are going on right. You end up spending a lot of time focused on trying to create that feeling of compersion, versus fixing the problems that are causing you not to be able to find compersion.

Josh 25:12
Well yeah, and I think that's an important piece, right? Because and here's the problem with this. So this is what I want to throw out here for people. It's like we said, lack of compersion isn't the problem, what is the problem, it's feeling jealous, it's feeling insecure, it's, you know, like most people, when when you're looking at compersion as a solution, the problems you're looking to solve, are feeling jealous, or feeling insecure, or feeling anxious. Really, that's, that's it, we're feeling afraid, right. And that if you can just fix it, that's going away. The problem is, again, that isn't actually fixing the problems at all. And, you know, what happens when you focus on the compersion, end of it is you don't actually address the issues that are there. You don't address the feelings of jealousy, you don't address being insecure, you don't address, you know, the anxiety.

Josh 25:56
And it's not just that you don't address the feelings of those things, right? It's that you don't address whatever's at the root cause of those problems, you don't address why you're insecure, you don't address the problems that are leading you to feel anxious, you don't address the things that are going on in your relationship that are leading you to feel jealous.

Josh 26:14
Because you know, any of you who have heard us talk about jealousy before know this. But anytime you're talking about jealousy and insecurity, which are really kind of two sides of the same coin, right? There's the feelings that you're having. But 95% of the time, that's just the tip of the iceberg. There's also the things that are going on in the relationship, the patterns that are there, the interactions between you and your partner, that are making you feel those things. So again, maybe you're feeling jealous, because your partner is spending all their time with somebody when you're not getting your time needs met, like you've been complaining for years that you don't have any time and they keep telling you, Oh, there's none available, there's none available.

Josh 26:54
And now all of a sudden, they're spending like three days a week and every evening with this new person, right? Or your intimacy has sucked and now your partner's coming home, and is just like can't shut up at how awesome the sex is with their new fling or your know your relationship super rocky. And you have this feeling that as your partner connects with this new person, right? That that distance between you is just going to keep growing and growing. And you see their awesome relationship, and you're like well, our sucks. And you worry that your partner is going to leave you. Right? And none of those things do you fix by focusing on compersion.

Cassie 27:29
Yeah, it's on looking at what's actually going on and focusing there. So where do you want to take the conversation from here?

Josh 27:39
You wanna talk about where people get stuck here for just a little bit longer?

Cassie 27:42
Go ahead.

Josh 27:43
Is that cool?

Cassie 27:44
Yeah.

Josh 27:44
Okay. See the great thing about sitting like this is I can read off your social cues and we're not like walking over each other as much talking. The other thing though, is I'm not looking at your outline so I don't know where I'm stepping in what you've prepared here. So it's like six to one half dozen to the other.

Cassie 27:58
That's okay.

Josh 27:58
I'm actually liking this quite a bit though.

Cassie 27:59
It's so far away that like I don't even- I can't even see my notes.

Josh 28:02
I'm liking this quite a bit though. Like I said, it's weird like talking to somebody next to you while you're staring in front of you it's just like an odd social thing even when there's a picture of them in front of you. Like it's strange.

Cassie 28:12
We need to work on the like setup a little bit but I think we're yeah - I feel like we're kind of far apart.

Josh 28:17
If we were standing up maybe?

Cassie 28:18
I don't know. We can give it different tries.

Josh 28:21
Different positions. So.

Cassie 28:24
Stuck. You were saying talking about the stuck.

Josh 28:27
So yeah, I really want to hammer this because this is really important, right? Anytime you're in a situation where you're focusing on something that is not the problem, the problems are getting worse, right? You can't fix the problems when you're not focusing on the problems and this is what is so troublesome right about how off track polyamorous people get a lot of times and trying to fix their issues and not understanding what's really going on underneath. Because again, if what you think the problem is here is a lack of compersion... Okay, so here's the thing, right? You know, we mentioned a little bit ago that you know, it is possible to have some compersion while these other problems are going on right but that's actually super hard. Most people don't do that right. That's more of like a thing like I said like you have like a kick for that and so you're able to hold it in your head at the same time like being turned on by that but also...

Cassie 29:16
I would say it's not even just that I think some of us have a low bar of being able to like even if I'm miserable, I can find a little bit of happiness for you. It doesn't even have to be a kink, right? It doesn't have to be a kink. It doesn't have to be something like getting my rocks off. But there's I think all of us because we love our partners have a little bit somewhere flare of, I'm happy for you.

Cassie 29:42
But that little I'm happy for you having something that you're happy about only lasts so much when you're unhappy when you're unfulfilled when you feel unfed in your relationship. That little, you know, bump of like, I'm going to be happy for you no matter what isn't enough, even if it's there, it's not enough.

Josh 30:07
Well, let's feed into that. So let's use that as an example. Right? So and this is the problem when you focus on the compersion. And so you're like, oh, man, the real problem is, I just need to be happier for you. Let's use the time as an example, I'm not getting my time needs met, I haven't been for a long time, I'm not getting that met in this relationship. And now you're off spending all your time with somebody else. Well, I can focus on being happier for you, I can try and do that. And maybe I'm the slightest bit successful, at least in the short term.

Josh 30:31
But what winds up happening is because I haven't fixed the time problems, right. And I haven't fixed the feelings that I have around that. In the meantime, I'm getting more and more and more upset, that my needs are getting met, and I'm having to watch somebody else do that, right. And it's getting harder and harder and harder for me to maintain that little bit of happiness for you. And at the same time, other problems are exploding in our relationships, right? We're getting more distant, we're arguing more, I'm feeling more jealous. So you know, I just want to throw this out. Because you know, this isn't just like, you know, I want to tell everybody, there's always a cost to not fixing the root problems that are going on. And when you focus on the wrong things isn't just oh, you know, this other problem isn't getting fixed, right, it's that these other problems are usually getting worse as time goes on. And they're unresolved and they keep getting activated and triggered, right? And then that's setting off other things in the relationship because that's how relationships work right. Now, because I'm insecure, I'm biting your head off. And now we're arguing and now we're feeling more distant. And now I'm more jealous. And now I'm feeling guilty that I'm- you know, this is how relationships go.

Cassie 31:42
It's the relationship

Josh 31:43
Synergy.

Cassie 31:44
Yeah, it's just the way it works, right? All of the parts of our relationship play into each other. And when we focus on the wrong thing, we set that domino effect into our relationships where we're bumping from one new problem to the next because we're not actually focused on the core issue that's going on. So I think we drove that home quite a bit. So

Josh 32:08
Get off your soapbox, Josh. Okay, fine.

Cassie 32:09
I'm picking a little bit. But I think folks want to kind of find out like so like, what is, you know, the truths about compersion? What is...? How can I find it?

Josh 32:23
Okay.

Cassie 32:23
How can I get it?

Josh 32:24
HIt it.

Cassie 32:24
So let's spend a little time there. So here's the first really, it's gonna sound kind of counterintuitive, but just bear with me, the first thing in finding compersion is accepting that you're not going to feel compersion about everything. That is going to be the first thing for you, if you are wasting energy and time, dreading the fact that you can't get through everything in compersion, you're just going to stress yourself out, you're going to be upset, and you're never going to find compersion anyway.

Cassie 32:57
And there's certain things that maybe you are never going to have compersion for. So I'm gonna use the example of the person who wrote into us, right.

Josh 33:07
Cool.

Cassie 33:09
We had someone who wrote in a while back, and she was talking about her and her partner. And she was like, basically, the short version is her partner, who she's only seeing like once a week, now, they live together. But because of her partner's work, and because of her partner's other relationships, they're only really spending like one day a week together. They have one bedroom, they're in a one bedroom apartment. And her partner is having orgies in the bedroom, in their bedroom, and their shared bed with three other people, one whom he cheated on her with. And she's out in the living room, because, you know, during COVID, right now, she can't go out and do things, right. And she's really upset, because she can't find that compersion for her partner.

Josh 34:00
And this right here, folks, and listen, we're taking it to extremes here. But this is what we're talking about, like and how many people told her that she just needed to find compersion in that situation.

Cassie 34:10
Tons! And that was the thing she wrote in talking about how like, you know, she brought this up and another poly group. And folks were like, you need to work on your breathing exercises. And you need to like work on like writing out your thoughts, and not saying any of those things are bad techniques

Josh 34:24
You need to work on your boundaries.

Cassie 34:25
But like, wow, like there's not a lot of folks out there who are going to feelcompersion around that, right? There's so many layers, the fact that she's stuck in the same house having to listen to it, that it's in their bedroom, that it's with somebody that her partner previously cheated on. There is so much there that needs work beyond her feeling compersion.

Josh 34:48
And I do want to throw out and the reason I said that, the reason I said she needs boundaries is because, again, the problem here isn't compersion, right? The problem is that a lot of those things are going to suck and if some of those things are boundaries for like your partner, sleeping with people in or bed or connecting with this person he cheated with her on or doing all those things while she's in the living room listening.

Cassie 35:06
Yeah.

Josh 35:06
Right. Like the answer to that isn't have more compersion. The answer to that is you need to have boundaries and agreements around like what's going on in your home and when.

Cassie 35:16
Yeah.

Josh 35:16
And most people would struggle with that.

Cassie 35:18
Yeah. And the thing was when she wrote into a she was in like a really bad spot because she was like, I'm being told that I'm just not poly enough that i'm not strong enough to be in non monogamous relationships. And the truth is, that's bullshit, right? Like we all have things that we are never going to feel compersion about, like there's going to be things that like, just don't work for us.

Josh 35:45
And they don't always have to be super egregious, right? Like there's kinds of play that you do that like, I'm like, I don't want to know about, don't want to be around for I don't really feel compersion, like cool, do you.

Cassie 35:54
I'm never gonna feel compersion about people eating your tomatoes. Like that's just a thing. Like, right like, I love eating your tomatoes off your sandwiches, and I just don't derive joy from other people eating your tomatoes, I can tolerate it to a certain extent. It's not something that I feel great about, right? And it can be a little things like that. But it doesn't make you a bad poly person. It doesn't make you not non monogamous, because you don't feel compersion about everything. And as I said, If you accept that, then you can start. Then you can start actively, right, actively looking for the places where you can have compersion.

Josh 36:33
And won't even when you have it, you're not gonna have compersion all the time. Right? Because compersion is an emotion and our emotions are Yeah, and you know, one day something that we have x emotion about, we have y emotion about, right, like someday our partner singing maybe like awesome, brings gratitude the other day may like piss us off, cuz we're in a bad mood. So, you know, even when you have compersion, because it is an emotion. It's not like you're gonna have that all the time, or even in every situation, like every similar situation the same time.

Cassie 37:05
It's gonna wax and wane. So how do you find compersion? Like, what is the first step in finding compersion? And this is a question that we get a lot. Go ahead.

Josh 37:15
Well, because I do want to say, because compersion is awesome.

Cassie 37:18
It is.

Josh 37:18
Like, when you have it just like, and this is the thing. Do you mind one second here?

Cassie 37:25
Go ahead.

Josh 37:26
I'm hoping this isn't isn't out of order.

Cassie 37:28
Probably, but we're just kind of spitballing today.

Josh 37:30
Like I said, this is the problem with not looking at your outlines. I'm like, I don't know if we're gonna miss it or not.

Cassie 37:35
It's fine.

Josh 37:37
You know, so it's really important to understand, you don't have to feel compersion to be a good polyamorous person. Like you can b,e like we said, like, great, have a happy, healthy, thriving relationship and never feel compersion. And maybe that's you, and that's fine. But the reason so many people want compersion beyond just thinking it's going to fix their problems, is because compersion is awesome when you have it. So I want all of you here, if it's something that you want to to find compersion, I just want to find it for the right reasons, I don't want you to find it, because you think it's gonna fix things, it's not gonna fix or you think that you're a bad polyamorous person, I want you to find it, because it's awesome. And I want to let you talk about how awesome it is for a minute. And again, hopefully that wasn't later on in the outline.

Cassie 38:16
It was it was literally in the sentence that I was saying. So

Cassie 38:18
All right, cool.

Cassie 38:19
So here's the thing, right? Like, you know, we want to talk to you about like, how you can take that first step in finding it right, because it is awesome. And it is fun. And it can, it can make your relationship better, right? It's not going to solve the problems. But when those problems are solved, and you have compersion, it can make your relationship more fulfilling and full, because you get to celebrate with your partner, and have these experiences where you're able to connect with them about the other things, the other people, the other experiences that they're having in their life. And that feels great.

Cassie 38:59
It feels great when we're able to have those conversations that are open and honest and free of anxieties and frustrations, and hurt, right? Where we're having those conversations and it is light and gentle and fun. Most of us want that. Right? Most of us want that. So how do you take that first step? Right? How do you take that first step towards being there, right. And if you're having a hard time connecting with compersion, if you're having a hard time connecting with that emotion, the first place to start is just to be thankful, right? If you are like Oh, I'm not happy with the time or bla bla bla bla be thankful that your partner is happy. Right? Find the little places where you can have gratitude and where you can be thankful.

Cassie 39:55
I'm not saying this process is easy, okay, because some of you are probably like I I'm not thankful at all. If you're looking for compersion, the first step is really just actively finding, even if it's just a shred, like maybe you're like, I am completely pissed off that my partner came home late, and that like x y&z happened and I'm not happy. But I am thankful that when they got home, they were happy. Or I'm thankful that it gave me time to spend with my kids, maybe it's something that isn't directly about them, it's just finding thankfulness from the beginning. So that's like the first thing.

Cassie 40:36
The second thing is, again, not getting stuck on finding compersion about everything, it's about the things where you actually can authentically, be thankful, right, don't get stuck on trying to be thankful for every interaction that your partner has with somebody else. But the things that you can really, actually authentically be thankful for. Like, I'm thankful that you found someone for a while to go for early morning runs with because that is something I will never, ever do. And it got you calmed down for the day, and less hyper and less trying to like run out the door on vacations, right? Like, I am thankful that you found somebody that can have that experience. And for most of us, right, we can find those things, even if it is like, I'm thankful my partner's partner, got them out of the house and went to this thing that I never wanted to go do, right. So find the things that you authentically can feel thankful about.

Josh 41:33
We had a couple of friends in our circle a while back. You know exactly what I'm talking about.

Cassie 41:39
Vegan fuckin' apple pie is what you're going for.

Josh 41:41
Where we were out and we were having dinner. And he was going on talking about this amazing day that he had with his partner going out and picking apples and making vegan apple pie. And she was like, you know, this is the thing like,

Cassie 41:57
His other part is the other partner.

Josh 41:59
His other partner. And his wife's like, this is this thing, I don't understand how I could possibly be jealous of that. Right? Like, because I don't know what I was doing. But it sure as hell was more fun than making vegan apple pie. And I'm glad he had somebody to do that with. She was genuinely thankful.

Cassie 42:15
She was genuinely thankful that she did not spend her Saturday, picking out apples and then making vegan apple pies for like 12 hours, she was super thankful for that. So like we all have that in us somewhere. So find those places where you can be authentically thankful. And start there. Don't try to be thankful, don't try to be blissful over the things that you're actually struggling with. Start with the things that you actually can be authentically thankful for.

Josh 42:46
From an emotional end, it's okay to be struggling with the things that you're struggling with. Obviously, you want to fix those things. But trying to pretend that you're not suffering when you are and you're not struggling when you are doesn't serve anyone. So don't try and cover up whatever struggles whatever, you know, pains you're having in your relationship. Don't try and cover that up with this like false sense of compersion. It doesn't work.

Cassie 43:10
Yeah. So with that, you know, the last step is really focusing on those problems, right? The last step in in finding compersion is removing the things that are causing you to have the bad feels. Because here's the thing, I can become a lot more thankful for the experiences that you're having, I can genuinely feel joy for my partner for their experiences. When I am feeling whole in my relationship. I can genuinely feel just really good about what you're doing. When I am not battling you for my needs when we're when I'm not feeling insecure and thinking our relationship is going to end.

Josh 43:59
Well it's really what we're talking about at the beginning, right just with anything else in life where we make it more complicated. It's easier for me to feel happy when your being happy when your happiness isn't making me miserable or dragging me down in some way. Right? And I don't mean by the way, people I don't just mean I'm not just talking about complete, unreasoned jealousy, right. I'm not just talking about it's dragging me down just because you have somebody else in your life. Right?

Josh 44:28
But I'm talking about all the other ways in which that might actually be dragging me down whether it's a worry that this person is going to replace me because we're not solid or it is arguing or it is the lack of time or it is like I said, not getting my needs met and having a magnifying glass put on that with other people. When you can get the ways that you're being hurt by your partner's happiness out of your way. That's when you open the door to having that kind of happiness for them just like you do in other areas of your life where your partner is happy and it's not hurting you.

Cassie 45:05
Yeah, it's about making sure that you're in a place where you are not struggling with feeling insecure, feeling lonely, going through all that. And getting in the way, because really it's it's those things getting in the way of you being able to just celebrate your partner's experiences. It's having those things be in the way of you being able to just experience them without all that baggage along with it.

Josh 45:37
And I mean, look, figuring out for you what it is that needs to be fixed. That isn't the most complicated thing in the world, right? I mean, you want to roleplay for a second?

Cassie 45:46
Sure.

Josh 45:46
Okay. And this is a conversation you have with yourself or have with someone else, someone like us, I don't suggest having this with your partner.

Cassie 45:54
No, do not have this with your partner.

Josh 45:56
But I'm demonstrating this to you for your inner dialogue with two people. So, Cassie, you come to me, you're like, Josh, I don't have compersion.

Cassie 46:03
I don't have compersion.

Josh 46:04
Okay, so when your partner's out with somebody, and you're not feeling happy and compersiony, like what do you feel? Like what is going on?

Cassie 46:13
I am feeling angry that we haven't gone out in a very long time. I am feeling like my partner doesn't care about my time. And I feel like my partner doesn't value me because we don't do things together.

Josh 46:32
Okay, so that's already there. Now the other thing that I want to note for most people, though, is most people like even if you're talking yourself in this, you're not going to go all those layers at once, right? Most people it's going to be like.

Cassie 46:42
I'm jealous.

Josh 46:44
Okay. And you know, when you're jealous, like, what exactly is going through your head and your heart when you're feeling jealous?

Cassie 46:51
And that's where you have to go into all those layers.

Josh 46:53
Well I'm angry. Well, what are you angry about? But you can ask yourself this. But listen, it isn't that hard. Because you know, right? Like, most people they know. And you may not have like that insight with like, the level of like, expertise that you get from like talking to one of us. But most people have a general idea. Right? What it is that's actually going on, like you're not just like, when you're talking yourself about, you're not just like, Oh, I don't have compersion. That maybe what other people are telling you. But when you're talking yourself about this, you're like, Oh, God, we're arguing all the time. Oh, god, I'm worried they're gonna leave me or Oh, God, I don't get any time or Oh, God, like, he hasn't looked at me the way he's looked at them in 10 years.

Josh 47:28
Figure out what's going on, when you remove those things, right? When you actually instead of focusing on just trying to create like this, like false sense of compersion by trying to force yourself to be happy, for your partner about things that you're not happy about, like, when you actually are able to figure out, again, how is their happiness hurting you? Like, that's the question to ask yourself. How is their happiness hurting you. And when you can figure that out, then you're in a position to actually fix those things. And only from fixing those things, are you in a position to take those things out of the way. So you can actually really, truly experience that compersion, which again, may not be necessary, but it's awesome. And while the compersion itself may not be necessary, fixing whatever it is that is causing you to be unhappy about your partners hapiness... because you may get to a point where you're no longer unhappy about their happiness your just not thrilled, cool. But fixing those things is necessary for the security and health of your relationships.

Cassie 48:27
That way, you're not sabotaging, you're not causing arguments, there isn't all this stuff building that then can cause problems, you know, even bigger problems, and perhaps you and your partner not being able to work through that. So as you said, even though it's not necessary, but awesome to have compersion, it is necessary to be in a place where you have removed those fears, those insecurities, and doubts.

Josh 48:58
But again, once you have removed those things, right, once you remove those things that are standing in the way of you being happy for your partner's happiness, then you can be in a spot where they do come home from a date, and you do see that happy look in their eye. And you are genuinely happy for them. And you are able to have those discussions about like how it went and actually really be thrilled if that's what you want.

Cassie 49:18
Yeah, you get to be that supportive, happy partner versus not.

Josh 49:24
Yeah. So where do you want to go from here? Or is that it?

Cassie 49:29
I think we summed it

Josh 49:30
Yeah, we've gone on about that a little bit.

Cassie 49:34
So here's the thing, right? It is a simple concept. It's something that you mentioned before, like this idea of like, of course, I'm going to be able to be more happy for my partner, when I'm happy in the relationship that I have with my partner. It's not always easy to get there, right. Sometimes it takes making big shifts in your relationship to get to a place where you can genuinely feel happy for your partner again.

Josh 49:57
And sometimes it can even be hard for you to dig beneath the surface of the jealousy, or they're not feeling compersion or whatever to figure out, like what is really going on that needs to be fixed, especially if you've been in patterns for years and years and years.

Cassie 50:11
Which many folks have. So, if that's the case, right, for you, if you're like there's been things going on. I've done a little bit of this, like thinking about what is causing my hurt, my fears. And even if you don't know what it is, but I recognize that this is something that's been going on for a while, and I'm tired of being stuck.

Josh 50:32
Even if you're just like, hell, I really want compersion in my relationship, or I just want a healthy, happy relationship. And I don't know how to get there.

Cassie 50:39
Yeah, go ahead and book a call with one of us and we can get on a phone call and talk to you about what's really going on.

Josh 50:46
Yeah. So go to atouchofflavor.com/talk. You know, you'll see our calendar, right you'll pick a time that works for you, go to like a short little form, that's got just some info that we really need to know to prepare for your call. And then when that time rolls around, you know, we'll dive in, it will be the best hour you've ever spent on your relationships. And we'll really dive into what is it that's going on. What are those things, you know, that are going on in your relationship that is where your partner's happiness is hurting you. But not just what are those, like coming up with a step by step plan, to how do we actually solve those things, right to get to a point, not just where our relationship is happy, and healthy, and loving, and intimate and secure. But then because that stuff is out of the way, I can be genuinely truly happy for my partner's happiness, because it's no longer hurting me and get to that compersion. So yeah, if that's something that you want for yourself, go ahead, go to atouchofflavor.com/talk book that call we'd love to talk to you, right. But if nothing else, I really just want, can we sum up what we really want people to take away from this?

Cassie 51:51
Okay. So kind of like the the three bullet points?

Josh 51:55
Three bullet points.

Cassie 51:55
Okay. First off, you don't have to feel compersion about everything. Compersion is awesome, though. And it's gonna be four. Compersion starts with having gratitude and genuine feelings of celebrating your partner's other experiences. And thirdly, the best way to get there is to remove the friction, that is causing that pain, that suffering while your partner is happy.

Josh 52:24
And I think that's pretty much it, folks. So without further ado, it was a pleasure talking to you. And we'll see you again here soon. Maybe sitting the same way. Maybe standing, maybe facing the computer again.

Cassie 52:36
We're gonna try some different things out.

Josh 52:37
We don't know we're gonna figure out what works best. But until then, everybody have a fantastic rest of your day. And we'll talk to y'all soon.

Josh 52:50
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 52:56
If you're ready to transform your relationship and you'd like to see if you're a fit to work with us. Here's what I want you to do next, head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk and book an appointment to speak with our team. We'll get on the phone with you for about an hour. And we'll get you crystal clear on three things. What's really not working in your relationships, what your dream relationships would look like and a step by step plan to close the gap and save your family. Even if nothing has worked before.

Josh 53:24
We talk with hundreds of non monogamous folks like you every year and here's the truth, building loving, thriving relationships that doesn't happen on its own. You need expert guidance to make that happen. And unfortunately, when you're building relationships outside the box, that's impossible to find and we get it but that's exactly what we do. We've helped clients all over the world, save their families, get the passion back and become best friends again.

Cassie 53:48
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to atouchofflavor.com/talk. I'm Cassie.

Josh 53:56
And I'm Josh, let's talk soon.