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third party

Jealousy sucks, period.  While the process of acknowledging and overcoming the root of one's jealousy can aid in personal growth, the in the moment experiences can be painful for all involved.  We tend to focus on the pain that the jealous person is feeling, and forget that there are (at least) two others that are coping with the situation:

  • The partner of the jealous person
  • The focus of the jealousy - who could either be a (close) friend or non-monogamous partner/lover.

A person that is feeling jealousy has a lot of resources available. In addition to being able to rely on social support, there are books and websites that provide advice ranging from strictly monogamous to open-relationship points of view.  There are significantly less resources available to help the partner of the person feeling jealousy cope with the situation. Most of the professional advice and literature is monogamy-centric and focuses on removing the "trigger" rather than helping the partner overcome their inner demons. This translates to cutting ties with the "outside" friend or partner for the sake of the relationship. The social pressure to break off social ties increases if there's a suspicion of infidelity.

Where does that leave the close friends and companions?  For those that are in nonmonogamous relationships, there's an underwhelming amount of information about coping as a secondary (the label itself makes me cringe).  I'm not aware of any resources for someone who has a friend in a monogamous relationship where that friend's partner is experiencing jealousy.

I doubt that I'm the only one that has experienced this, so I'm writing my own guide. :p