Stop Being Jealous and Deepen the Trust and Intimacy in Your Marriage or Committed Relationship
Jealousy will actually push your spouse further away from you. When you stop being jealous, your relationship will improve.
If you are a jealous person, consider where you could have learned this.
If you are a person who has any jealousies, it is worth looking for the answer to that question. Most of our harmful behaviors are learned from past experiences. If you are a religious person, I can certainly tell you that jealousy is not seen as a good thing by any major religious texts. The Bible, for example, says directly that “Love is not jealous (1 Cor 13).”
Why do people continue to be jealous?
One of the main reasons that jealousy persists is due to basic insecurities. The fear of losing what we perceive as belonging to us. It prompts us to do things to make sure someone is not taking our stuff or our partner. It makes us behave like a guard dog, or at least think like one. Jealousy is also supported by the belief that our significant other belongs to us. Commitment never means ownership, even in a marriage, because what we are committing is ourselves.
In long term relationships, jealousy pushes people apart.
In regards to long term relationships, the feeling that you own your partner will give rise to anger, control, and jealousy. These stand directly in the way of self expression by your partner, so sharing of thoughts and feelings will be minimal. Our attempts to own our partner actually prevent us from having more of what we want--a good relationship with our partner. The more controlling, jealous, or angry we are, the more our partner is repelled by us. The more our husband, wife, girlfriend, or boyfriend will shut down—both words and feelings.
When we stop being jealous, we start to draw our significant other back to us.
Giving up jealousy does not put you more at risk of losing your husband or wife, although it may feel like it at first. Instead, it helps to strengthen the bond of your relationship by increasing your partner's desire to be with you. No one wants to feel controlled. To begin to give up jealousy, you will need to mentally and verbally give your partner the freedom of doing as he or she pleases. If this brings a gut reaction from you to say "no way," consider that your partner has this freedom anyway. And if you keep being jealous, he or she may use that freedom to find someone less controlling.
The fact is, we have no control over our partner's behavior or thoughts.
Even if you can force someone to a certain set of behaviors like always being by your side, you cannot force someone's thoughts to be there too. If you could force someone to be with you emotionally and physically all the time, then you could not have the satisfaction of knowing he or she has chosen to be with you. Until you grant freedom, there is no possibility for you to feel a great depth of love from your partner.
An exercise for working on being less jealous.
- Write down any areas where you feel jealous.
- Tell your partner that you are no longer going to feel jealous in those areas and are not going to try to control his or her behavior.
- Tell your partner that he or she is an adult with the power to choose to be with you or not and that you don't need to be responsible for his or her behavior.
- Stop asking questions about where your partner is going, or has been. Remember, your suspicious questions don’t prevent unfaithfulness--they make it more likely. Your trust makes you more attractive.
Giving up jealousy does not mean that your partner can now do anything he or she wants without it impacting the relationship.
Of course, what he or she does will still impact the relationship. This would also be true for anyone else-a friend, parent, sibling, coworker, employer, etc. It's important for your and your partner know what constitutes an emotional affair in your relationship. Each of you has the responsibility of controlling yourself and not each other. It's important to realize that your are not giving your partner freedom, because he or she already has that. When we commit to someone, we also commit to trust. Until we can do that, we should not commit. Then, if the trust is broken, your partner will be to blame and not you. Remember, to have success in your relationship, you must not do things that will push you and your partner apart. In the case of infidelity, we must not live in fear of it, but live with the confidence that if it happens we can deal with it. Although we never want it to happen, there are some healthy ways to deal with an affair that preserve and restore relationships.
In my relationship with my wife, we have no jealousies.
That has drawn us very close together as we can talk about anything. Temptations are part of life and being able to talk to each other about them helps us to resist them. Knowing that we can talk to each other about anything makes us very valuable for each other, as we don't have that with anyone else. It is a unique benefit of our relationship. It makes our relationship close. If your partner were having temptations or desires for another person, could he or she talk to you about it? The more you can answer “yes” to that, the less of a jealous person you are and the more of a loving person you are.
Stop being jealous to become more irreplaceable.
Jealous people are all around us in great supply. But, it would be very hard to find a replacement for someone who loves, listens, cares, and allows us the freedom to think and be ourselves. Such people are rare. Any man or woman would be much more careful to keep someone like this. Giving this to your partner makes other people seem much worse in comparison. When you are trusting like this for your partner, you help to make yourself irreplaceable. That is your biggest safeguard against losing your partner—not jealousy.
Coach Jack helps men and women to rebuild trust and create close relationships. For more information on coaching for difficult relationships, click here.