People tell us all the time they just couldn’t do what we do because they’d be jealous. We definitely understand that! Don’t think we never feel a little green. The secret is we handle it differently (or try to handle it differently) than we would if we were monogamous.
My best advice: Try replacing jealousy with humour. As long as you trust your partner or partners and know, all emotions aside, that you trust them completely you can start to break down jealousy and embrace other reactions.
I emphasize trust here because ultimately I believe it is the cure to jealousy. Jealousy usually emerges with thoughts about someone breaking the relationship rules or putting some other aspect of their life over you. It happens when we think either we have been wronged (broken rules and boundaries) or we’ve been denied something we deserve (like priority or time, etc).
If you don’t trust your partner, if you truly believe they would break that boundary or that they would make choices that hurt you knowingly, it will be impossible to turn off that feeling of jealousy and mistrust.
If you do trust your partner, though, if when it comes down to it you don’t really believe they could do those things then it becomes possible to answer jealousy and replace it with other emotions.
My recommendation? Humour.
Particularly with polyamory or any open relationship structure you’re going to find yourself in situations you never imagined. You’ll have conversations about the moments you share with other partners, and if you habitate you may even walk in on those moments. It’s the reality of making the relationship choices we have.
Living this lifestyle is going to be a lot more challenging in the long term if each time these unexpected situations occur you react with anger and jealousy.
Instead, laugh at it, a little. Laugh with each other about the surprise of it all and support each other through the unexpected encounters.
Remember that you define your relationship boundaries and part of deciding to involve more people in your life should be a mutual mental preparation for all the consequences of overlapping relationships.
On a final note – don’t feel like you have to deny the existence of jealousy. It’s a totally normal, human emotion and it should be acknowledged. However, when you feel jealous you have some choices about what to do with that jealousy. I recommend humour instead of anger so that the role of jealousy can be reduced and you can prevent it from defining your relationships and the relationships of those around you.