Do you find yourself disgusted at the thought of your partner glancing at another person? Do you get miffed when someone steals a glance at your date? Jealousy is a serious issue that plagues – yes, plagues – many relationships. But whether you know it or not, the green eyed monster rarely rears its head for any other reason than to create drama.
In other words, jealousy does not come from a grounded, healthy place most of the time. Rather, it’s an emotionally challenged response that indicates a problem on the inside – not in the situation. This kind of unfounded jealousy is an emotion experienced by those who perceive that another person is giving something that they want to someone else (typically attention, love or affection).
Envy vs. jealousy
Now, a twinge of envy over a friend’s promotion, someone’s new car or your lover’s fondness for the Katie Holmes or Ashton Kutcher look-alike at their office is standard. But we’re talking about more than a twinge. We’re talking about the kind of jealousy that causes petty arguments or becomes a recurring theme in relationships.
You know, the stuff that keeps you up at night imagining horrible situations without reason. When you can’t handle the idea that your mate wants to hang out with friends one Friday because they may meet someone else, or you’re nervous over the idea that they work with someone of the opposite sex, after all, they’ll be in close quarters, you’ve got an insecurity issue! This kind of jealousy is rooted not in your partner’s fault, but in your fear. All the same, it feels very real.
So how do you quell those seemingly uncontrollable emotions? How do you begin to change your view of yourself so you can project different emotions and perceptions onto others? You start with your perception of yourself. Your opinion of yourself determines how you view that which you feel is rightly yours. If your opinion of yourself is low or negative then you’ll logically compensate by smothering what (or who) you think you possess and envy what you desire. Realize that you deserve to be treated with respect, that you are worthy of the relationship you desire and watch the jealousy wither away.
Once you see that relationship clearly, check yourself to make sure you’re not seeking co-dependency. The best relationships are forged by two whole individuals with both separate and joint interests, not by two incomplete people looking for someone else to fill in the gaps and fill up their time. In other words, you don’t need to do every single thing with your partner. If you were together every second, don’t you think you’d run out of things to talk about? And trust us, the mystique would disappear – fast!
Look of love
Likewise, it’s absolutely normal for people (yes, even those who are involved) to notice other attractive people. In fact, what makes a relationship something special (or a commitment at all) is choosing not to act on those inclinations! Relationships are a choice – and in most cases, the person who is with you wouldn’t choose to be with you if he or she didn’t want to be. Trust is the foundation of any good relationship and if you find that you can’t seem to muster it – not even in the day to day situations like those mentioned above, consider this before you give in to the urge to phone stalk: is the problem that you really don’t trust yourself?
Think about if you’re very much in love with someone, and are in a serious relationship. You periodically go out of town and while you’re away, you know (or think you do) your lover’s habits – they go to bed rather early and goes to work early in the morning. So, as you’re away for about a week, and one particular evening you ring when you “know” they’ll be home, but there’s no answer. The images begin to flash into your head with repugnant thoughts so intrusive that they actually make you sick.
The next morning you call their office, but a co-worker answers and say’s that they’re not in yet. Oh no. Oh, God. The intrusive thoughts begin to make their way into your head. The visuals disturb you to the core. You know something’s up. Speaking of up, your stomach has turned upside down. Whether you see it this way or not, you’re in a jealous rage. You’re angry, feel violated and want revenge! You want to control the situation, but you’re out of town! Sound familiar?
Before you leave a series of accusatory messages or even worse decide that this is it and your relationship is done, stop to breathe. Take a second to calm down. Realize that nothing has actually happened! You’re out of touch with your lover and can’t communicate your frustration, yes, but that’s it. See that. Understand that the occurrence of these all consuming feelings can be eradicated altogether (even if a similar situation were to occur) with a two step process. Start by communicating effectively with your partner in the first place. Then know you’ve done all you can and take the leap to trust.
Communicating your deep feelings to your partner will be difficult – particularly if you’ve been letting the green-eyed monster steer your course for some time. But if you say what you feel, your partner will have a chance to reassure you. Imagine speaking the truth and uttering words such as, “I need to have more quality time with you,” or “When we go out, I’m not comfortable when you leave me to mingle with others.” Statements such as these will be the starting point to communicating effectively and reaching an understanding. They’ll boost your self-confidence because you’ll get used to speaking your mind and expressing what you want and need.
Understanding the root of your jealous feelings and communicating them to your partner is the basic solution to help you conquer the Green-Eyed Monster! Of course, ultimately, you have control over your own emotions and nothing your mate can say will absolutely change them. But by opening the lines of communication, you get a chance to trust, and at the very least you’ll learn to agree to disagree, which isn’t a bad thing.
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