In my book, Secrets of Happy Couples, I have a chapter devoted to what to do when you are a jealous mess. We talk about the four roots of jealousy and what to do about them:
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2. Past history
3. Believing your partner "belongs" to you
4. Refusing to allow that things change, possibly your partner's feelings for you
People who are a jealous mess choose these jealous behaviors as their best attempt to get what they want. Typically what jealous people want is for their partner to have no romantic interest in other people. If you are a jealous mess, ask yourself the question, Is my behavior really causing my partner to want to be with me exclusively? When you honestly look at your behavior, you are going to have to admit that everything you are doing is pushing your loved one right into the arms of an understanding, non-jealous person. Do you think your behavior is attractive? Do you actually believe that engaging in this crazy behavior will keep your partner devoted to you, and only you, for the rest of your life?
When you actually take the time to honestly answer those questions, you know what you are doing isn't helping your cause.
So now what? I know what I'm doing wrong, but I feel powerless to stop. It's time to understand that you, and only you, are in charge of your behavior. When you feel compelled to engage in behavior you know is destructive, it is because you are having thoughts that lead to feelings that generate the destructive behavior. The place in that cycle where you have the most control is your thinking.
Next time you begin to feel jealous, ask yourself, What am I thinking right now that is creating these feelings of jealousy? Is what I'm thinking true? Is it really true? How do I know? What evidence is there to indisputably support this story I'm telling myself? What other story could I invent that would create loving feelings instead? What thoughts could I think that will lead to trust? What thoughts will help me be the person I really want to be in this relationship?
Change your story, change your life. Stop being a victim of repetitive behavior as if you have no control. The only person who can change this perpetuating cycle is you. So choose something different today!
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