I went to an interesting meeting last night, a Loving More Poly Group has a pot luck on the second Thursday of every month. There are a few people who show up regularly and a large rotating cast of occasional members. This was only my second time there but it is such a nice, safe, caring place that I went last night even though my boyfriend couldn't go and I hitched a ride over with another couple.
After the pot luck part [I took a ravishingly tasty Mexican Bean and Corn Salad that was very well received, thenkyewverramuch ;-) ], we gathered into a circle, introduced all around, and the evening's moderator pulled a topic from the introductions for discussion.
Jealousy -- how do you deal with your own, and what do you owe to a partner who is experiencing jealousy? There was a lot of discussion about jealousy vs envy (your partner and his/her lover are having a good time without you and you are ... envious or jealous?) How does jealousy make you feel about yourself and your relationship? What sorts of mechanisms do you use to avoid or recover from jealousy/envy?
Dealing with a partner who is jealous seemed to be a harder thing to do than dealing with one's own. We all seem to want to *fix* it -- make them feel better, avoid activities that make them feel jealous. The consensus eventually was that we need to acknowledge our partner's feelings but that ultimately everyone is responsible for their own feelings. By *fixing* or by tiptoeing around so they can avoid feeling jealous, we are not treating them like equals and adults. By trying to take ownership of their jealousy, we are instead patronizing as well as stifling their growth.