how our polyamorous clients build thriving relationships

It’s OK to Feel Jealous

If you’re feeling jealous and insecure in your non-monogamous relationship, there’s something wrong with you, right?


Many people think jealousy is the cardinal sin of polyamory. But those feelings are normal. And when you use them the RIGHT way, jealousy can actually be the key to healing your relationship.


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Josh 0:00
Alright everybody. So today we're going to be talking about the fact that it is okay to feel jealous in your polyamorous relationships. So stay tuned.

Cassie 0:32
Here at Touch of Flavor, we teach non-monogamous folks how to overcome their obstacles and build thriving relationships.

Josh 0:38
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 are in the right place.

Cassie 0:51
All of this information is 100% free. So please subscribe to and review our podcasts.

Josh 1:00
So what are we talking about today? Cassie?

Cassie 1:02
So we're talking about jealousy. And I think really a big thing around it is... is it okay? And if it is okay, when and where and how and what to do with it. Because I think there's a lot of talk about jealousy sort of being this monster in the like polyamorous and non-monogamous communities.

Josh 1:23
Well, yeah. This is something that's really interesting is-- a lot of times and it depends on where you're going-- but in a lot of spaces, if you go and you say, "Hey, I'm feeling jealous," the answer is "There's something wrong with you." And really, it boils down to, "You're just not polyamorous enough." Or "You're just not cut out for polyamory." Or when you reach that-- I love like, "when you gain enough experience points with the polyamory then the jealousy will go away."

Cassie 1:51
Or "Just find compersion, and you will lose it. Once you find this great invention that I have found, which is called compersion, suddenly, suddenly, then the jealousy will all just dissipate, and you will be woke, and you will never feel those things in your relationship ever again."

Josh 2:08
And that's ridiculous. And it's dangerous. And we wanted to talk about it because it is so prevalent, like this idea that if you're jealous, there's just something wrong with you. Just get better at poly. And the first reason it's ridiculous, is because most people feel jealous.

Cassie 2:25
At some points.

Josh 2:26
Yeah, no matter how long they've been doing this. I mean, we've been doing this for how long?

Cassie 2:30
About 18 years now

Josh 2:31
Yeah! Let me put it this way. I don't... have never met anybody-- or at least not anybody I've believed--who has told me "I never at all feel jealousy" because it just doesn't work that way.

Cassie 2:46
Yeah, people get twinges. You have moments where you feel your feelings. And I think that's the biggest thing is recognizing that jealousy, first of all, is just feelings. And we don't have the same response to like, if I said, "I felt angry today." No one's like, "Oh, you know, if you just become a better human being, one day, you will never be angry. Never."

Josh 3:13
I don't want to say there's nobody who will say that, but we all know that they're full of shit.

Cassie 3:16
Yeah, we all have emotions. And that's really what jealousy at its core is, is a group of negative emotions. It's being envious of what someone else has. It's feeling insecure. It is loneliness or fear. I mean, really, at the root of it. Jealousy is usually rooted in a lot of fear. And it's these group of negative emotions. And that's all it is. And we all have those things sometimes.

Josh 3:42
Well, and what's interesting is when you see people who say, "I don't feel jealousy." I always wonder about what? You don't feel jealousy about what? Because I think when a lot of people say that, what they mean is, "Well, I don't get jealous over my partner sleeping with somebody else," or XY and Z. And yeah, I mean, sure. People get to some of those places. But that's because the jealousy usually... when you're first starting out, jealousy tends to happen over like obvious things.

Cassie 4:09
The first time your partner kisses somebody, or the first time you find out that they had like amazing sex or things like that. But over time, it evolves into other things that typically you don't even know were going to be the things that were going to upset you.

Josh 4:25
I'm thinking of a good friend we had who was talking to us and she was like, "Yeah, she was there and her stuffs at my house and that was all good. And then she put my goddamn spoons in the wrong place! This woman's in my house, putting spoons where they don't go!" like people get twinges over tiny little things. One of the stories you tell all the time, and we don't need to go into the whole thing, but is that one of your biggest jealousy moments was when I gave somebody else-- like a partner-- the tomatoes off my sandwich.

Cassie 4:50
Yeah because those are my tomatoes. I digress. But yeah, those-- Because for me that had some meaning to our relationship and I had like this connection to it. And so we have these things, whether it's tomatoes or spoons or missed opportunities or opportunities that were like, "Oh, like you went and did this thing, and I would have liked doing that thing. And I have this feeling." And it's natural. It is natural for us to have some twinges around those things. And I think that it's really dangerous as a community of polyamorous non-monogamous people to make jealousy, this...

Josh 5:34
Monster in the closet.

Cassie 5:35
Yeah. Because then you're not actually addressing what's going on. If you can just sit there and be like, "Hey, jealousy is not evil. Okay, what is it?" And then from there, you can actually do something with it.

Josh 5:46
Well, and here's the other thing. So first off, like I said, it's so ridiculous. And first off, it's ridiculous, because everybody struggles with jealousy from time to time. So it's ridiculous. But the thing that I think is more concerning about that attitude, and that's the way most-- even like experts and stuff-- approach it. And it's also dangerous. And I think that when people are approaching jealousy that way --actually more than just being unrealistic-- it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of what jealousy is. Because the truth of the matter is, a lot of the times, there's warning signs underneath that jealousy and underneath that insecurity. And if your response, because that's what you've been told to do, is to try and shove it down, you're a lot of times putting yourself in a really dangerous place. Well, I think it's dangerous for two reasons. So there's the reasons we talked about a lot, which I want to hit in a moment. But there's also just the reason that if you're in a spot where like, "Well, I guess there's just something wrong with me." Or "I guess that I'm just not cut out for polyamory," or whatever-- that can be a huge problem. I mean, let's take this to what may seem like an extreme example, but really isn't. Which is "We're first starting trying to open up-- I know my partner needs to be non-monogamous. I can't get over these feelings of jealousy. Well, I guess there's just something wrong with me. I'm not cut out for this kind of relationship. Therefore, we're no longer compatible. Therefore, we need to start looking at breaking up."

Cassie 7:24
People do that.

Josh 7:25
I know, that may seem like an extreme example, but it's really not. That's really a very common place for people to be. Especially if this is like a newer transition.

Cassie 7:33
It's not usually that fast. The thought process that you just did sounds extreme, because it's like, boom, boom, boom. But that is a path that people take. And it's not like, the three seconds that you just said, but it is this idea of like, "Okay, this is where we are. It hasn't moved. There's something wrong. There's something wrong with us in our relationship. This can't work. Okay, we're gonna have to break up." And that is not an extreme. I would say that that is not an extreme, but a big reality. I think the way that you describe it, like boom, boom, boom is a little bit like extreme, because it's not that fast. But it as a problem that happens is pretty common, unfortunately.

Josh 8:12
But let's-- so that's that. But let's go into the deeper piece of where most people have no understanding of what jealousy really is. Which is, people tend to think that jealousy is just an emotion for them to overcome. And it might be helpful here to frame when we talk about internal or external jealousy with our clients, kind of what we talked about there, if you want to do that.

Cassie 8:38
So jealousy, it's a group of emotions, right? And what it is, is it's a indicator, and this is the way I talk to our clients all the time, is, it's an indicator that there is something that you need to pay attention to, either internally, or externally. So it's kind of like something going "boop, boop, boop, boop, boop, hey, pay attention to me." Whether it's internal or external, and internal is going to be like, "Is there some deep rooted insecurities that I have around my body? Or my sexuality? Is there challenges that I need to work through? Because like, I have not done this kind of relationship before?" Or is it external? Is that is that jealousy, external things that are things that are going on in my relationship outside of like, my internal feelings, internal kind of processing.

Josh 9:27
And here's the trick, which is 99% of the time. It's some kind of combination of both. And what gets really dangerous is when people go "Well, it's just this internal feeling that I need to deal with." And they don't look at the external factors. Because folks, I've got to tell you, one thing that Cassie and I have realized over our years and years of doing this and coaching people is the single biggest challenge with non-monogamy-- it isn't what you think-- the single biggest challenge with non-monogamy is that that shines a light on the places that your relationship is already weak. If your communications weak, non-monogamy is gonna highlight that. If you've been disconnected for years, now your partner's out having amazing sex with somebody new and hot, that's gonna shine a light on that.

Cassie 10:24
If you're not feeling appreciated, and your partner is calling their other partner and spending all kinds of time with them, it's gonna make you feel even more not appreciated. It makes things amplified.

Josh 10:35
And if your relationship has already been rocky, it's definitely like you've already been maybe in a not good place, and thinking maybe this relationship needs to end, non-monogamy is definitely going to shine a light on that. So where people get in a lot of trouble is they look-- and this drives me nuts, because again, this is what everybody pretty much says-- is just "Oh, it's a feeling. Deal with the feelings."

Cassie 11:03
"Do some journaling."

Josh 11:05
And yeah, you have to deal with the emotional side of it. And there's better ways to do that, and worse ways to do that, certainly. But if you're ignoring those external factors, if you're ignoring the jealousy, and just be like, "Oh, it's just my feelings," and not recognizing it as an indicator, a lot of times you're headed towards a very dangerous place, because you can work on those feelings all you want. But whatever those problems are, if you're not paying attention, and deciding to start fixing them, are gonna keep growing. And not only are those problems gonna keep growing-- the arguing is gonna keep getting worse, or you're gonna keep feeling more and more distant, as your partner starts drawing closer to this other person, or, as you said, like, the attention is going to get even worse or whatever-- it also on the flip side, makes it that much harder to deal with the feelings because... listen, folks, I'm all about like beliefs and mindset, and trying to shift your mental state in spite of what's going on around you.

Cassie 12:17
It's incredibly healthy to do those things.

Josh 12:19
And it is very hard to ignore reality. If the reality is that you haven't had a date in three years, and you haven't had sex in six months, and your partner is falling all over this other person, and that relationship is skyrocketing, you can be like, "Our relationships great. We're really in love. We have such great sex." I mean, sure, you can try and do that. But even if you somehow have like, Buddha-level mindset skills, and manage to convince yourself that things are still heading in a bad direction.

Cassie 12:54
And doing those things are only going to be temporary. Right now I am positive visioning everything. Positive positive. When you step out of your closet that you're doing your little mindful meditation in--

Josh 13:07
And you're screaming at each other again.

Cassie 13:08
And you're screaming at your partner, it doesn't matter. And I'm saying this as people who really-- we really do believe that there is power in beliefs. There's power in shifting your state. But at the end of the day, you can only do so much of that, and have a dissonance in what's going on in reality.

Josh 13:29
And we work with our clients on all of that stuff. Their beliefs, overcoming their fears, getting to a spot where they're secure in themselves, and they understand their worth and their value. And this doesn't mean your partner is going to leave you. This doesn't mean you're less important. It doesn't mean-- and that's fine. But you have to do all that, from a place where the problems that are actually there, like you have to do that from a place of reality. Because when you don't, again, number one, it's super hard to deal with the problems. And number two, or sorry, it's hard to deal with the feelings. And number two, even if you do, it's very temporary. And it's-- folks, there's places you should be worried. You should feel insecure. I talk to people all the time, who are in situations where they're like, "You know, I feel insecure, and I think I should just get over it." No, you really should feel insecure. This is really bad. Your partner's telling you "Hey, I think maybe I'm gonna leave you and build a life here with somebody else." You should feel insecure about that. Like you should feel insecure that your partner is like screaming and throwing your shit outside the house and you should feel insecure. This isn't a place to feel solid right now.

Cassie 14:54
Well, and what I would like to speak to is, is we get it. It becomes a coping mechanism. "Everything's okay. Everything's fine," right? And I get that. But when you do that, what you're really doing is giving up the opportunity to make change. The more you kind of bury your head in the sand, the more you end up in this place where you're not making the changes, taking the actions, to actually get to a place where you actually are secure, where you're actually happy, where things are actually good. You're basically ignoring those opportunities to make movement.

Josh 15:34
So how should you-- so it's okay to feel jealousy. And there are healthy ways to go about dealing with that. There's unhealthy ways of dealing with that. So how do you actually go about dealing with jealousy? Let's kind of talk about that and break that down. And we use a really simple four step process with people... when we're talking about jealousy. And the first and the starting place always has to be this understanding that you're not wrong for feeling jealous. That there's nothing wrong with you. That it's a feeling. Like you said, it's not some big monster hiding in the closet--it's an emotion, or I mean more specifically, a group of emotions, but whatever. But just like sadness, or anger, or happiness, or whatever, it's just an emotion. And there's nothing wrong with your feeling that. You have to start from that place. Because if you start from a place of thinking that that's wrong, and judging yourself, you're really just stacking another problem and a whole lot more suffering on top because now you're not just suffering over the things that are happening and the feelings you're having around it, you're also suffering around, you shouldn't feel the way that you feel. Is there anything you want to--

Cassie 17:00
No. I think when you do that, you make yourself wrong. And then again, as you said, there's this additional shame or blame that you're doing to yourself versus coming from that place of curiosity towards what's actually happening, or what it is.

Josh 17:17
And then the next step that you have to take is you have to really, again, use that jealousy as an indicator. Like if you take one thing away from this entire episode, use that jealousy as an indicator. And an easy way to do that is just to ask yourself, "Why am I feeling this way?" But this is the thing, because I think a lot of people do that. But they only look at themselves. "Well, I'm feeling this way. Because when I was like seven years old..."

Cassie 17:50
"I have abandonment things."

Josh 17:51
"I was abandoned... "and okay, cool. And I don't mean to be dismissive about that, like, there's always value in solving this stuff in yourself. But you can't stop there, because most people stop there. And you need to look at not just "Why am I feeling this way?" Like within myself... but "What is going on in my relationship that's causing me to feel this way?"

Cassie 17:51
Yeah, it's about taking a big look at the internal and external factors. rNot getting caught up on what's just going on inside. Not just getting caught up in that stuff. And in the reverse, not just paying attention to the outside. It's really making sure that you are taking a look at what's going on as a full picture.

Josh 18:40
And then once you've done that, the next step isn't to try and deal with those feelings. There's one caveat to that. But the next step isn't trying to those feelings. The next step is to try and address those core issues. Now, when I say the next step isn't to try to deal with those feelings. I don't want you to think that I mean, that you can continue to vent those feelings in unhealthy ways. You can't. You have to deal with those feelings in ways that are healthy and not destroying you, or the relationship. That's a place that you have to get. But what I'm saying is, you don't from that point, then try and be like, "Okay, I'm gonna get rid of these feelings." Because as long as those problems are there, they're not going to go away. And again, the problems are usually things that really need to be fixed, because they really are not good. So what you need to actually do is start addressing whatever those core issues are in your relationship, like your communication sucks. You need to fix it, like you're arguing all the time and screaming at each other. You need to stop. You're feeling jealous because you haven't had sex in a year and a half and your partner can't stop talking to how they want to bang this person five times a week. Maybe you need to look and do something about that first. You're feeling insecure because your relationship was already falling apart. And now there's another relationship that's smooth and easy and you're worried that this person is going to-- I want to say take your partner-- that your partner is going to gravitate towards this person because the relationships easier? Guess what? They might. You need to fix your relationship. Anything you want to tack in there?

Cassie 20:18
No-- it's handling those things that are real. It's kind of like we were talking about earlier, which is you can't ignore those real things. You have to address. The next step is addressing those things, those real things that are causing the feelings.

Josh 20:34
And just listen folks-- I know what I said. That last little bit may seem a little harsh, but this is the kind of thing where people just try and shove the feelings down. Because I talk to people all the time. They're like, "Oh, you know, we've been screaming at each other. I'm depressed. I'm anxious. I can't stand to be home. I don't know how much longer this relationship is gonna last. We've been talking about divorce. I'm miserable everyday. They're miserable every day. And you they have this new partner and that relationship's amazing. And I'm really worried that that's going to be easier. And they're just going to wind up being with that person and doing that, because this is so hard, but they tell me they won't. So I guess I just need to get over it." No, that's a very natural thing to be worried about-- that if your relationship is absolutely horrible, and this other relationship's great that your partner might start gravitating that way.

Cassie 21:22
I mean the reality is as humans-- this isn't a polyamory thing. This isn't a relationship thing. This is us as humans. We move towards things that feel good. We move towards pleasure, and things that feel good. And we move away from things that are pain. That is what we do, naturally. That is how we are built. We're not like, "Hey, I want to go home to a screaming partner, while we're crying. And have another night where I'm staying up all night, not being able to sleep, because I'm anxious that our relationship is gonna end." Or like, "Hey, I want to go out on a date with somebody who I'm gonna have amazing conversation with." You're gonna be drawn to the thing that's pleasurable and easy. That is natural for us. And it might sound harsh, but that is what we do. We do not gravitate towards pain and suffering.

Josh 22:17
So with that-- like I said, you need to fix the problems that are actually there. You need to look . You need to use that jealousy as an indicator. You need to look at what are the internal factors, but also what are the external factors? And you need to fix those problems. And then from that point, that's when you start working on getting rid of the feelings. And here's what you're going to find is that, when you do that, it's going to be a lot easier to get over those feelings. When it's just those internal factors left, it's going to be so much easier to overcome them. Because you've taken the very real problems that were inflaming those things every day out of the way. When we work with our clients, we're moving them past the jealousy. And we're moving them out of the feelings and the anxiety and the security, it's much easier for them, because we do it after we've actually fixed the things that are going on. And some of that stuff may just completely evaporate.

Cassie 23:23
Yeah, a lot of it does just go away when there isn't the challenges. But the things that are there that you might still be internally struggling with-- because we all have some of those things-- those things are easy to manage, because you have a reference point in reality, that your relationship is good. Having that reference point, like, "Oh, I've got some insecurities about my body and like about my value. But me and my partner have an amazing relationship,. Every moment we're together--"

Josh 23:53
"I know I'm wanted."

Cassie 23:54
"I know my partner wants me. I know that they're going out of their way to spend time with me and we feel so connected together." Well, I might still have some of those little internal feelings, but I can very easily walk away from those things when I have so much positive evidence. And that's one of the things that we really talk to our clients about is getting to a place where your relationship is good. And having that evidence for yourself to combat some of those internal things. Having that stuff as a reference of "I am wanted. I might have this twinge or this feeling that comes up but I am wanted. I am loved. I am secure in this relationship. There is a future here." And that really helps with with fighting those things naturally.

Josh 24:45
And if you're in a place where you're like-- you don't actually know how to fix the problems that are underneath, which is where most people are. They don't actually know how to fix the problems that are underneath or maybe not even figure out what they are in the first place. If that's where you're you're at, we're happy to help. And you can just go to You can apply for a call. Fill that out. It'll take you to our calendar, and we'll hop on at the time that you picked and we'll walk through all of this. What are the feelings? But what are the actual challenges underneath those feelings? And what would a game plan be to actually fix those problems? To heal the communication, to heal the connection, to get your relationship to a strong place. And then to actually, once that's out of the way, overcome the feelings and get to a place that's thriving. We help people with that every day. And we're happy to help you. But again, just kind of summing this up, I want you to know, it is okay to feel jealous. It is okay to feel jealous. And when you're feeling that jealousy, the worst thing you can do is think that you're wrong for feeling it and that you should just shove down those bad emotions, because that's what good poly people do. And instead, what you have to do is start from a place of realizing everybody's jealous. There's nothing wrong with you. There's nothing wrong with those feelings. Start from that place of not making yourself wrong. Use that jealousy as an indicator of what is the actual problem? And not just inside me. Not what just needs to change in me, but what needs to change in our relationship? And then once you've gotten that, actually fix those problems. And then from that place, now, you can work to get the emotions gone. Out of the way, to where you're not struggling with them, and you're happy and healthy, and thriving. But those are the steps that you need to follow to deal with jealousy. And again, if that's what you're feeling, it's okay. You're okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad poly person. It doesn't mean you can't do this. It's a normal thing. But it's the thing that you need to deal with, appropriately. Anything else you want to add?

Cassie 26:57
Just that if you're doing that you don't have to stay stuck there either. lJealousy is normal. We all have those feelings. But you don't have to live in those negative feelings all the time, either. There is a path and a way to get to where you're not stuck there all the time.

Josh 27:16
All right. So folks, we're gonna go ahead and hop and we will see you all here next week.

Josh 27:29
Thanks for tuning into today's show. We release new episodes every week. So make sure to subscribe.

Cassie 27:35
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 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 28:02
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 are 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 28:26
So if you want to see if we can help you do the same head over to I'm Cassie.

Josh 28:34
And I'm Josh. Let's talk soon.