One of the members of our community asked this question:
“He is still friends with his ex. They broke the relationship off eight months ago. She wants him back after she realized we are together, but he told her its over. He does everything to show her they are only friends.
I am jealous. No matter what he is saying or doing I pick a fight. My reaction and behavior when I hear her name is spoiling everything. Please help me to get over my jealousy.”
Jealousy is a really difficult emotion to handle. Even if you are fairly certain there is nothing going on outside of your relationship, it can still be a pretty powerful emotion.
I’ve never met anyone who has completely gotten rid of the jealousy emotion. Jealousy can be a healthy thing to feel in a healthy relationship. To understand what you need to do, let’s talk a little bit about what jealousy really is.
Let’s say you exercise a lot. You go to the gym regularly and you decide that you’re going to increase the amount that you workout. If you begin exercising too much, you’ll may find that you start having joint problems. Maybe your knees start to hurt. Maybe you pull a muscle. This happens to professional athletes all the time.
These “overuse” injuries are a way for your body to tell you something’s wrong. You’re exercising too much and not recovering enough.
The same thing happens when you get sick. If you eat poorly for long enough and do other things that might compromise your immune system, disease will start to creep into your body. And instead of easily fighting it off, your body will make you sick… you might get a fever. You might get a stuffy nose.
These are signs that you haven’t been taking care of your health and your body needs to take some type of swift action in order to heal you.
What does this have to do with jealousy?
Jealousy is similar… it’s your body’s way of telling you there’s something going on in the relationship. If you just have small amounts of jealousy, that can be a healthy reminder that you’re in a relationship with someone you care about.
When jealousy gets to be overwhelming, it’s an indication that there’s a large shift in power and control. When you lose a lot of power in your relationship, you’ll begin to feel jealousy about all kinds of ridiculous things.
You’ll become jealous about the fact that he’s spending time with friends. You’ll become jealous about him spending time at work. You’ll become jealous about him enjoying certain activities that you aren’t involved in.
This level of jealousy is an indication that the degree of power in your relationship has shifted and you don’t feel like you have any control over the situation or your relationship anymore.
If this is what is going on with you, you need to recover some of your power in the relationship. Other ways that you know you’ve lost power is if he’s wanting to have sex or intimacy with you less.
If you’re feeling completely in love and he’s starting to want to push away more, you’ve lost power. We’ll talk about how to regain your power another time…
For now, let’s talk about your situation. You need to determine whether your feelings of jealousy are warranted or not. By this I mean, do you really think there’s something going on there or do you think you’re just having a problem with jealousy?
If you don’t think he’s seeing her again, the best thing that you can do is differentiate your feelings from your actions. The more you act on your jealousy, the less power and control you have over your situation and the more he’ll start to gravitate towards having a relationship with someone else.
If you act like you have no power and control over yourself, you’ll quickly lose power and control in your relationship.
You need to remember that he’s with you. Your feelings and the reality of the situation are two different things. And you don’t need to do anything about it.
And if you do decide to do something about it, it’s only going to make the situation worse and push him more towards what you fear.
If she is someone that you legitimately need to worry about, you need to address the situation. If you feel like what he is doing is disrespectful and malicious in intent, then the best course of action is to calmly, unemotionally, and firmly let your partner know that what he’s doing isn’t acceptable and is pushing you away.
The reality is that he’s going to do what he’s going to do. You can either worry, pick fights, and push him in the direction that you don’t want him to go… or you can be confident in yourself, state what you need and desire, and demand that you get treated with respect or you’ll remove yourself from the situation.
If you feel like you absolutely NEED to talk about your feelings of jealousy, describe what you’re feeling instead of speaking from a place of that feeling.
Here’s what I mean… if you’re coming from the place of jealousy, you’ll probably blame him, accuse him, blame her, etc.
When you attack in this way, it is easy for him to want to hide what he’s doing instead of working for a solution. It’s easy for him to label and judge you as crazy or overreacting.
Instead, if you describe what you’re feeling, you might say something like this…
“When I watch the two of you talk with each other, I feel a little jealous. I think it sometimes triggers my insecurities.”
When you describe instead of attack, there’s a place for him to have compassion for you. There’s a space to talk about it and come up with a solution that works for both you.
What do you think of this blog post? What do you think someone should do in this situation? Comment below and let me know what you think.