What is Justice Jealousy?

May 11, 2024
Two people embrace against a cityscape background, many buildings against a gray skyline. The person on the left has medium skin tone, bark brown short hair and a beard, and is wearing a light wash jean jacket with a white shearling lining.  The person on the right has their head laying on the other person's chest and is facing the camera but looking down. They have dark long straight black hair that obscures their outfit, medium skin tone, and are smiling.

4 minute read

It’s an awesome summer night. You’re feelin’ that sweet wave of compersion, excited that your partner has met someone new and things are feeling stable in your non-monogamous adventure right now.  Then they surprised their new flame with a weekend getaway. Well, this isn’t out of our agreement bounds, I can handle it. You made plans to hang out with friends, go on a date, and enjoy time at your favorite park. This cool. No problem.


Two weeks later you spot a date to a museum on the calendar.


A week after that you hear your partner making arrangements for a quiet date in the park.


Your cool is officially gone. In fact, the flames are about to burst directly out of your head.


Where was this kind of initiative for planning dates when it was just the two of you? It’s infuriating, you asked and asked and eventually just gave up and accepted that they weren’t going to plan dates. But now they can? With someone else? WTF?


The memories flood back of all the times you pleaded for that kind of romantic gesture, only to be met with excuses or empty promises. The unfairness stings like a slap in the face. This is justice jealousy.


If you're considering opening up your monogamous relationship or have recently ventured into the worlds of non-monogamy or polyamory, you may encounter this complex emotional experience. 


Justice jealousy arises when you perceive your partner providing something to a new partner that they were unwilling or unable to give you in the past.


In Episode 151 of the Playing with Fire podcast, Joli and Ken Hamilton dive deep into the nuances of justice jealousy, offering a lifeline for those struggling to navigate its turbulent waters. They illuminate the crucial distinction between jealousy and envy and the roles resentment and the pursuit of fairness play in these emotionally charged situations.


Justice jealousy can show up in myriad ways within non-monogamous relationships. Perhaps your partner enthusiastically explores a specific kink or fetish with a new flame, despite shutting down or refusing to entertain those desires with you. Or maybe they exude levels of emotional attunement and care with someone new that felt sorely lacking in your connection. Even –maybe especially– mundane acts, like managing shared calendars or planning quality time, can trigger a maelstrom of injustice when you sense an imbalance of effort between existing and new relationships.


If you're navigating jealousy,  Episode 151 is a life-raft of insights and practical advice. It’s not easy to unpack this particular type of jealousy, if you’re struggling, understand that you’re not alone. We’re discussing sorting through the pain and co-creating a new path forward using powerful tools like Imago dialogues, Minimum Viable Agreements, Neuro-Somatic Intelligence, and the jealousy roadmap.

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