Debbie's Blog

Taming Jealousy in Relationships

March 29th, 2011

Mayou Angelou said, “Jealousy in romance is like salt in food. A little can enhance the savor, but too much can spoil the pleasure and, under certain circumstances, be life threatening.” Jealousy becomes a problem in a relationship for one of two reasons. One, because the person you are with is not trust worthy or two because you may be dealing (or not dealing) with insecurities about the relationship or yourself. Here I’ll be giving you tips to keep the greened eyed monster at bay so that your relationships stay on track.

Tip #1: Identify the reason
Narrowing down the reason for your jealousy is the first step towards overcoming this emotion. Is this about your partner? Is your partner untrustworthy? Or do you have your own insecurities and unresolved feelings about your self-worth? If this is about your lack of self esteem, chances are this issue shows up in other ways of your life as well. Many of my clients find the self-confidence building exercises and techniques I teach them to be incredibly helpful in building their self esteem and ultimately greatly reducing the time they spend spinning in jealousy while at the same time improving other areas of their life as well.

Tip #2: Do a Reality Check
If you are feeling a bit threatened by a third party or feeling like your partner isn’t being as loving or attentive as he or she once was…ask yourself, “What is real and what is imagined here?” . Is there any real proof that your relationship is in danger? Now if you do a thorough check in and feel you have reason to suspect your partner, love yourself enough to be honest….. with yourself, confront the issue and then take the appropriate action.
On the other hand, if after you do some investigating and soul searching and you conclude that you have no real reason to be jealous consider that you may be using jealousy as a form of self sabotage, protection, or control. If you tell yourself over and over again that your partner is going to be cheating on you at the next possible opportunity and you spend a lot of time focusing on that then…guess what? It’s not your partner who is putting up barriers to intimacy it’s you. Powerful feelings of hurt, anger or rejection are not without cause. The roots for these feelings may have taken hold long ago due to a previous relationship or a childhood issue. Taking responsibility for your emotions is the one of the first steps in getting a handle on the jealousy that is in your life.

Tip #3 Begin to deal with the thoughts
It’s important to know that in order to have an emotion, like jealousy that a feeling is always preceded by a thought. Keep in mind that the past does not equal the future so be aware of dragging old baggage from a past relationship into your current one. If you find yourself ruminating and feeling miserable over the possibility of what your partner may be doing, learn to minimize insecure thoughts before you dwell on them. Create statements like these and repeat them often to yourself…

”No matter what has happened to me in the past, this moment is different and has nothing to do with past relationships or previous situations” or

“My fears about what has happened in my relationship have nothing to do with reality and I am choosing to focus on the possibities of love and joy instead of pain and heart break.”

Jealousy can brew up some disturbing mental images of your partner with another person. I have found using techniques such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) or Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) are very affective in redirecting what I refer to as “circle thinking”. These techniques actually shrink or even shatter these troublesome thoughts and images before they get out of hand. You can learn more about EFT and NLP through various websites on the net. Being conscious of your thought patterns and learning how to control them will help arrest the feeling of jealousy.

Tip #4 Communicate with your partner
Communication is always key in resolving relationship issues. Talk about your feelings and let your partner know that trust and confidence in your love and relationship for each other is important to you. Granted it can be difficult opening up and sharing the part of you that doesn’t always make sense to even you, however, intimacy is showing up and sharing exactly who we are and talking about our struggles as well as our dreams.

Tip #5 Get help
If you deal with jealousy on a regular basis even though you have tried every way you know to stop, if jealousy is still wrecking relationships and holding you and the people you love hostage, get help. Powerful feelings of hurt, anger or rejection are not without cause. The roots for these feelings may have taken hold long ago due to a previous relationship or a childhood issue .Find a professional that can help you deal with the emotions and unsupportive beliefs that are behind your jealousy so that you can move into a healthier happier way of being.

The rewards for overcoming jealousy and slaying the green eyed monster will make it possible to have deeper more meaningful love in your life and cultivate fulfilling relationships than you ever dreamed possible.