Reframing Thoughts about My Partners’ Sex Lives

Note: not sure if I’m going to be returning to blogging full-time anytime soon, but my voice is doing a little better, and, well, I wanted to write, so here is a short post:

A few months ago a partner of mine spent a weekend out of town, and told me when she returned that she had hooked up with someone over the weekend. I felt a pang of jealousy, as I often do, and then my brain did something unexpected — something it’d never done before: after the usual catastrophizing, “Oh God, what if this person is better than me and my partner leaves me?!”, it thought, “Wait, that’s not the only way to think about this…”

I realized that there was a nifty alternative way to frame the situation: every time my partner hooks up with someone else and comes back is evidence that the catastrophizing oh-god-what-if-that-person-is-better-and-my-partner-leaves-me scenario won’t happen. Because every time my partner hooks up with someone else is an opportunity for Catastrophe Scenario to happen, and every time they still want to be my partner after a hookup is another to add to the list of times that Catastrophe Scenario has consistently not happened.

This new framing — where partners hooking up with other people is an opportunity to gather evidence that I am awesome rather than an opportunity for my partner to discover someone better — has been really helpful for me recently, and seems to have had a not-insignificant impact on how often I end up feeling jealous. So I thought I would share.

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