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-   -   Does desensitizing work for sexual jealousy (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=21192)

skipperchris 02-11-2012 04:23 AM

Does desensitizing work for sexual jealousy
 
Who has had experience with this approach? How did it go for you?

MonoVCPHG 02-11-2012 06:22 AM

I've thought about this aproach. I think it is better called "de-valuing" than desensitization though.

nycindie 02-11-2012 06:39 AM

I think too often that people focus on the jealousy and not what's underneath it. Jealousy is often a cover for deeper feelings (usually related to fears and/or insecurities) that are difficult to handle. You can try to wish it away, avoid it, meditate about it, hide it, keep yourself preoccupied, and so on, but I believe the only way to see jealousy dissipate and lose its power over you is to look at where it's coming from and see what it is you're trying to avoid by focusing on jealousy or possessiveness. If you allow yourself to feel whatever those hard-to-handle feelings are, without judging yourself for feeling that way, they resolve and loosen their grip on you.

inlovewith2 02-11-2012 09:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nycindie (Post 124366)
I think too often that people focus on the jealousy and not what's underneath it. Jealousy is often a cover for deeper feelings (usually related to fears and/or insecurities) that are difficult to handle. You can try to wish it away, avoid it, meditate about it, hide it, keep yourself preoccupied, and so on, but I believe the only way to see jealousy dissipate and lose its power over you is to look at where it's coming from and see what it is you're trying to avoid by focusing on jealousy or possessiveness. If you allow yourself to feel whatever those hard-to-handle feelings are, without judging yourself for feeling that way, they resolve and loosen their grip on you.

Ah, I'm so hit or miss in my participation here that I doubt anyone knows who I am, but so many of you were so helpful when my husband and I first joined; there is deep gratitude toward the people here our parts.

At any rate, this of course got my attention because jealousy was the downfall of my last poly relationship. My boyfriend truly put a lot of effort into dealing with his jealousy in his primary relationship (his other girlfriend had two, intended to be equal relationships with 2 men). No matter how he looked at it, or examined himself, he came back to focusing on whether the other man was getting "more". I happen to know the other man somewhat and the irony is that he's very unassuming, laid back, and not interested in competition. The pain remained.

Nycindie, your approach to resolving the jealousy is very sound--I think what he was missing was exactly what you describe, examining the origins. I suggested to him that even though he's in a monogamous relationship now, that he still do this internal work because jealousy is a huge monster for him and, I believe, will find a way to rear its head if he doesn't work to be okay with who he is. Unfortunately, it already seems to be true, as he's comparing himself to her previous partners!

neegoola 02-12-2012 03:09 PM

i quote Nycindie, and add:
i believe in Studying and Meditating, but i like Practice very much.
it's very good to know that something is going on about subconscious mind, so that one can DO something about it, de-programming and re-programming.

heartly and briefly, i'd suggest to..well, i don't know which kind of "path" people reading here now are, but i believe, after having experienced it, that.. confectioning some kind of "mantra" can help.

i "used" some quotings from Rob Brezsny and some "lines" of mine to sing (while accompanying my self with the guitar, but it is not needed) a kind of mantra like for instance:
"I am the Chosen One
just like EveryOne Else" , then it can go on for pages or for another short verse.. depends on what One feels about.


for deepenings:
there's a wonderful chapter in Pronoia
http://www.freewillastrology.com/
in which Rob guides readers to a simple ritual about marrying ones' own self before getting married to anyone else. for me it has been kind of.. useful.. ;)

feelyunicorn 02-12-2012 09:06 PM

I think jealousy is a good thing. It means I have feelings for someone. The point to me is not to feel it less, but to feel it more.

Feeling jealous is different from acting controlling, IMO. There are many things you can do with the feeling, I feel. I could use it to communicate more plentifully with my partner, for instance.

The important thing to me is to understand the difference between feeling and action. And, to realize that I am alone responsible for my feelings. Whatever I feel, I can always do whatever I want. Feelings can only help me.

I don`t think feelings will give me leprosy or anything; I think I can go right ahead and keep on feeling them. I hope. :p

skipperchris 02-12-2012 10:37 PM

Thanks for all the feedback. I am looking at the underlying issues and I am also looking at trying to desensitize as I have seen it advocated before. By desensitizing I mean spending more time with my primary and her man, allowing myself to see their passion and basically get over it!!

km34 02-13-2012 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by feelyunicorn (Post 124519)
I think jealousy is a good thing. It means I have feelings for someone.

I said something similar to this to my husband recently. When I feel jealousy, it means that I care about what the other person is doing. However, if the jealousy persists, I know there is an issue. When I get a jealous pang, I first think "well, that answers the question of whether or not I really care," and then I go on to examine my thoughts and figure out how I REALLY feel about the situation. Sometimes jealousy is just the natural knee-jerk reaction, and another emotion (envy at something you can't have, excitement, compersion, etc) will be how you actually feel about it.

nycindie 02-13-2012 10:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by skipperchris (Post 124529)
By desensitizing I mean spending more time with my primary and her man, allowing myself to see their passion and basically get over it!!

I don't know that you need to spend a lot of time with them to accomplish this. It might be more painful than necessary to force yourself to observe them together. If you feel moved to hang with them just out of wanting to get to know him, great, and to want to be less sensitive to it is noble and commendable, but to force that upon yourself seems too harsh to me. In other words, if you're not feeling like you want to be around the two of them, it might not be best to make yourself do it just to desensitize yourself. That would be an artificial situation, I think. You know what therapists and researchers found when people engaged in primal scream therapy and exercises to bring up their anger, when they weren't feeling angry at the time? It made them more angry. It didn't really help them "get over it." And it sounds like you are a bit impatient or scolding toward yourself by saying you need to get over it. How about work through it instead? :)

I do think it's more practical to allow whatever feelings you have to come up naturally in any given situation, in that moment, and to see if at that time you can consciously "take a step back" in your mind to try and objectively ask yourself what you are feeling and, if jealousy is there, why you feel that way. For example, whenever I do that, I am reminded of how I want my loved ones to be happy and feel free, and that the jealousy comes up due to insecurities on my part, so whatever I am attached to that brings up jealous sort of just fades in the light of awareness. But I don't think forcing myself to be exposed to such situations is kind to myself or needed for growth in this area.


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